We are still experiencing some warmer than usual temperatures for this time in October but things are looking to get a little colder and dry up this week and next. This should help improve water clarity on the Squamish and river height on the Harrison. The Chilliwack, Skagit, Stave and Fraser are all in good shape for fishing, check out the report below for all of the details.
Things on the saltwater are winding down for the season, there is still some fishing at the mouth of the Capilano and we’ve had good fishing there in past years as late as October 24 so it could still be worth a shot before you turn your focus to boat maintenance or river fishing.
Our October courses have all filled up but we have two excellent classes coming up in November. If you’re looking to improve your tying skills or master the technique of nymphing egg patterns these courses are for you.
We are just past the mid-way point in October and all our courses for the month are sold out, but don’t worry we have some room in two great courses for November. Call the shop to sign up today!
Tying Intruder Patterns
This course is designed for those that are interested in tying steelhead flies in the “Intruder style”. This style of fly is extremely productive for steelhead and salmon due to its profile and movement in the water. During this two night (5hr total instruction) tying series, you will learn the very specific techniques and unique materials used to tie this fly. This course is suitable for intermediate to advanced tiers. Students are required to supply their own vise, tools and materials. A 10% discount is available on materials and tools purchased for the course.
Dates: Nov 16 and 17
Time: 7:00pm to 9:30pm
Fly Fishing Egg Patterns
This course is designed to teach you the secrets to one of the most productive presentations in the BC fly fishermen’s arsenal; nymphing egg patterns. This deadly method can be used for different species of trout, char, and salmon. During a 3-hour evening seminar we will teach you key concepts, strategies, and gear that will give you a well-rounded foundation during the seminar portion of the class. Then you will put those skills into practice during a fully guided day on the water.
Dates: Seminar: Nov 18 Guided: Nov 21 or 22
Seminar Time: 6:30pm to 9:30pm
The Chilliwack looks to be in good shape for this weekend with a bit of rain, which could make for some fishy conditions. You can still find the odd clean chinook in the lower river but they will be less and less. The coho fishing hasn’t been lights out as of late but hopefully that will change in the next coming weeks. Chum salmon are also present in the river as well.
The main technique used to chase fall salmon on the Chilliwack is float fishing. I’d recommend a 10-11′ medium power casting rod setup. If you’re after coho, a light action rod is a good choice and if its chinook or chum upgrade that to a medium-heavy action rod. In terms of float fishing presentation, roe, wool combinations, and colorado blades are all great options. Another effective choice, especially for coho is spinners and spoons. For this I’d suggest 8-10’6″ spinning or casting rods as they are ideal for retrieving lures.
If you’d prefer fly fishing an 8wt single hand fly rod lined with a versi-tip system is the way to go for this fishery. Using the versi-tip line will allow you to quickly change out different sink tips to cover different speeds of water more efficiently. Small flash flies, muddler minnows, and wooly buggers are all good choices in clear water. Coho will also take big flies if water clarity is an issue.
See you in the shop or on the water,
The Capilano needs quite a bit of rain for the river to come up and move the fish around. The forecast this week originally called for a good amount of rain for the weekend but this has been revised and we’re expecting minimal rain. Hopefully we get that rain later in the week though. Rain in the river usually makes the fish more responsive, which makes for better fishing. As always I’d recommend fishing first light and last light as this is the best bet for willing biters.
The Squamish is still a little dirty but we are hearing the first good reports of fresh chum coming through the lower river and the odd coho mixed in. We are eagerly awaiting the first cold weather to help freeze the high country and clear up the water. Though the nights are definitely getting cold it may take a little longer before we see optimal conditions.
Fish areas where clear water hits the main river and if you are on the main river fish large presentations. Purple and pink popsicle style flies are a favorite. Fish them on 7-9wt rods with sink tips and 4ft of 12-15lb Maxima leader. Purple and chartreuse jigs work great under a float if you want to gear fish for chum and colorado blades and chartreuse spinners are great dirty water coho presentation.
There have been some good egging reports from this past week where fly anglers were using beads and indicators to target bulltrout and rainbows. This picture was a nice little rainbow that was fooled by a bead. For guys who love more classic trout fishing this is a great fun on light rods.
The Squamish System is 100% catch and release for all wild species. Retention of one hatchery coho (adipose fin clipped) is permitted. Be careful when identifying your catch, hatchery coho are rare on this system.
Good luck out on the water.
I hit the Skagit yesterday (Thursday) and my fishing partner and myself found a few fish, but it was not as good as I had hoped. The morning was cold and the bulltrout and rainbows were hard to come by. The river was higher then it was last week and this may have spread out the fish.
In the morning we fished nymphs and streamers and got a fish on the classic golden stone along with a couple of bull trout on streamers. As the day progressed there was a small grey/brown mayflies hatch in the afternoon but we never really found an area where the fish were keying in hard on the hatch. That said we were successful in getting a couple of fish to rise for smaller parachute patterns. At the very end of the day, around 5-6ish, we found a school of fish actively rising to the mayflies and we landed a handful more fish to round out the day.
All and all the fishing was challenging but the river was in good shape. If you stumble on to the right school of fish during the hatch the potential is still there for some great late season fishing. Every day is different but at least on Thursday there was no reason to hit the water early. The hatch seamed to start around 4:45 but only lasted until 6 and then went dead. If it lasted a little longer I’m sure we would have caught a lot more fish. If you’re heading out make sure to bring white and olive streamers and your standard golden stone, prince nymphs and Hare’s ears.
Well I have had minimal luck timing my days off with good river levels. Unfortunately river levels were up again by my days off and I was unable to scout the back channels or anywhere on foot. If you have access to a boat I’d recommend checking out the upper parts of the river to see if there are any coho holding in the slower parts of the river or the back channels.
There is minimal rain forecasted for the weekend and the early part of next week so that should help those of us are hoping to walk and wade the river in the near future. River levels are still about 9.3 but slowly dropping so hopefully we’ll hit the 9.0 meter mark soon.
We’ve heard quite a few reports of coho and chum entering this system over the past week with a few people who had good success float fishing with jigs for chum. Purple, chartreuse, and orange are great colours for chum, with blue, silver, and pink being good colours for coho. Though this is a general guideline, it is not the set rule. We’ve caught both species while fishing for the other.
The water on the Stave is clearer than most systems, so scaling down your presentation is never a bad idea, especially when it comes to spinners and spoons. Fly patterns should follow, with green and/or blue rolled muddlers being a great starting point as they can entice both cutthroat trout and coho. For chums, keep in mind that fly patterns can be a little gaudier.
Coho fishing has opened up, with the retention limit set at two (2) hatchery marked coho. As a reminder hatchery marked coho are those with a healed scar in place of an adipose fin.
With the bait-ban being lifted, bar fishing with spin-n-glo’s and roe will be a popular method for those looking for a relaxing day along the river, in both the lower and upper sections. Small spoons and flies are also a great choice while wandering back-channels for cutthroat and coho that can be found in more ‘tanky’ and ‘froggy’ water. Slower, more tanky water can sometimes require flies to be quite sparse, with sizes ranging from 6 to 10 being good starting points. Sparse rolled muddlers, or Andre’s custom ties that we have featured here in the shop are all great choices.
Please remember that all char must be released- keep this in mind as char are often a by-catch while bar fishing.
If you want to enjoy some time outside before the rain forecasted for next week arrives fishing one of our urban local lakes is always a fun option for a quick half day trip. As we have mentioned in past reports GofishBC has some great resources as well as local stocking reports. Take a look at their website for up to date stocking reports in your area.
The lake fishing reports for the last week have been great both fishing and weather wise. It looks like the stable weather is going to continue for the next ten days so take advantage of this and go lake fishing before the lakes freeze. Most of the lake temperatures are still hovering around 55 degrees at the 3600 -4000 ft level which is ideal. Again this week I have had good reports from Roche, Peter Hope, Kump and Sheridan Lakes. At Roche, a majority of the fish were caught on small olive suds and Most of the fish were caught on small at Peter Hope many were caught on maroon leeches off the shoals.
Before you take off for the interior drop by the shop and we can help you pick out some great flies for your trip.
Well its true, the season is slowly coming to an end and what a year it was. Without a doubt a few things to look back on were the wind and the chinook. April, May and June the NW winds never seemed to cease and this made the Hump and Thrasher Rock chinook fishery hard to access. Luckily for those of us who did not get our fix at Thrasher, we were able to get a good dose of amazing chinook fishing in the back end of July, all of August and right through September off the S Arm and N Arm of the Fraser. It was an amazing year for that fishery and one that won’t be soon forgotten. The Cap was fairly average this year, but it didn’t seem to bother us as much as we were running down to the S Arm all of September and by then we pretty much had our fill of chinook. We also had excellent winter chinook fishing last year, so we are looking forward to December and the New Year to see if that trend continues.
In the meantime, there are a few chinook off the Cap, but for the most part the fishery has slowed down this past week. We have had good fishing up until Oct 24th on some years, but most anglers are now starting to focus on the rivers. We have also heard of a few coho and some chums and the odd late chinook off the S Arm, but again most anglers are now focusing their efforts on the rivers. We might get out for a day or two this week off the Cap for a few hours, but after that it is maintenance time and then we will start poking around for winter chinook around the third week of December.
A big thank you to all of our amazing customers that booked charters this year and all the local anglers that frequent the shop for their saltwater tackle. We had a fantastic year for charters and the shop way very busy as well. It has been a lot of fun getting to know all of you more and more each year and we look forward to another great season in 2016.
See you in the shop or on the water,