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Home / FIshing Reports / Pacific Angler Friday Fishing Report: October 18, 2019

Pacific Angler Friday Fishing Report: October 18, 2019



She’s Going to Rain! That’s the report.  Actually, as we look at water levels right now it might not be the whole story. There is a ton of rain in the forecast but it has been downgraded from biblical levels to just heavy rain and with that downgrade you might see some windows of fishable water. Overall, we expect things to blow out on the major systems but keep your eyes on the water graphs and the forecast.

We have intel on the Vedder where fishing has been excellent this week, we have updates on the Harrison were fishing has been a little more challenging as well as some info on the Squamish and Stave.

On the lake front many local lakes have recently been stocked so that is an option for some fun this weekend. Aidan has info there and Sterling has a short interior lake update.

The video version of this week’s fishing report will be up on our YouTube Channel later today. In the meantime check out another great video we released this week where Zach gets into the details of tying salmon twitching jigs.


Stay dry and join us in the classroom next week for our LAST Introduction to Fly Fishing of 2019.  Call the shop at 604.872.2204 to sign up today.

Introduction To Fly Fishing

This course was specifically designed to give the new fly fisher the basic knowledge, casting skills and fly fishing strategies to effectively fish our local BC waters. This course is comprised of two sessions; 3hr evening seminar and a 3hr casting session.  

Dates:  Seminar Oct 22 & Casting Oct 27

Seminar Time:  6:30pm – 9:30pm

Casting Time(s):  10am – 1pm or 1:30pm -4:30pm

Cost: $150.00+GST       


Vedder/Chilliwack Fishing Report

Batten down the hatches! There is a lot of rain for this weekend and the rivers are going to be reflecting that. It isn’t forecasted to stop raining hard until Tuesday, so we can expect the fishing to be tough to non-existent on the Chilliwack until at least mid-week next week.

That said as of writing this report on Thursday the river is still in shape so it might be good Friday, we will see what the weather brings!

This river takes between 1-3 days to come back into shape so a safe bet would be next Thursday through next weekend for prime water conditions. This rain isn’t necessarily a bad thing as this will push in a lot of fresh fish into the system. It should be spectacular for coho once the water starts to drop as well as good fishing for chum. 

Mike (from the Fall Salmon Fishing Course) with his first river caught Coho Salmon on a twitching jig.
Thiago (from the Fall Salmon Fishing Course) with his first ever salmon.

This past week had a mixed bag for fishing on the Chilliwack. We still had lots of lucky anglers including a few students from our Fall Salmon Fishing course, although on the whole fishing was tougher with some very tight lipped fish. Coho fishing in the lower river remained solid. Chinook fishing is starting to slow down a little bit, with the majority of these beasts now in the mid and upper river. There are still a lot of chinook around however and still a good number of clean fish.  A few chum are showing up now too and most of the spots have at least a couple kicking around. I was out all weekend with some of the students from the course and we got into a combination of chinook and coho on roe, twitching jigs, float fishing jigs, and spinners. 

A big spring I caught on my twitching setup during a personal trip.

This week Zach did a cool video on how to tie the Nightmare Twitching Jig, one of our favourites and a great one to learn the basics with as well.

Make sure you are well stocked for the drop after the flood because once that rain clears up it is game on for the second half of the season for the Vedder.

Alex Au-Yeung

Squamish River Fishing Report

The Squamish and its tributaries were in pretty good shape this past week but all this rain will make the next few days interesting.  As expected, char, salmon, and trout fishing was pretty steady with anglers finding success with a variety of tactics and gear.

The next few days may prove difficult but it should start fishing good again once the levels start to drop.  Keeping an eye on temperatures and the graph will help make the best of your time.

Check out this bulltrout that was caught this last week.

Remember to fish the best part of bad water: this means looking for the softest water, even if it’s a bit high or dirty. Though not ideal, fish will often times hold where the water is moving the slowest, allowing them to conserve energy.

If beading, go up to a 10mm or 12mm from the standard 8mm. This may also mean more flashy and meaty flies if you’re whipping the fly rod. Spoons should be in the 55 to 65 size range and  spinners being in the 3-5.

Big Twitching jigs are also a great dirty water presentation in large bright sizes. Check out Zach’s Twitching Jig Video or stop by the shop if you want some ideas or tips on tying your own.

Remember to wade safe and be aware of rising or changing river conditions.

Tight lines,

Jordan Simpson

Harrison River Fishing report

Andre was out earlier in the week scouting around the Harrison and it was too high to fish. We have gotten a fair amount of rain since the start of the week, that being said, looking at the graph currently (Thursday morning) the Harrison looks like it is at a fishable level, for now, as it has dropped slowly over the course of the week, but it is starting to creep back up again.

As you can see in the pics the river was at 9.06 meters on Monday, using the “Harrison river below Morris creek” station on the government site, so it is not fishing friendly at 9.06 meters as the water is in the trees, 9.0 meters and below should all you to at least find a couple of spots to stand and at 8.50 meters and below you will have more space to walk around. 

This week’s weather is our first big storm in almost a month on pretty much all the major systems so really keep an eye on the water graphs if you are thinking of going out. While it does suck not being able to get out fishing when events like this happen, now is a great time to do some maintenance on gear or to re-stock on your favorite flies and gear for when the rivers come back into shape. Once the rivers settle down there should be a lot of fresh fish around and a lot of the old stale zombied fish will have been pushed out. Keep an eye on the levels and get out when things are back in shape.

See you in the shop!

Zach Copland

Stave River Fishing Report

The one river that stands the best chance of staying in shape this weekend is the Stave. While it is still early there are a few fish in the system now. You will predominantly find chum however a couple of coho are also starting to show up too. Float fishing with jigs or fly fishing with large intruders is the method of choice in getting chum to bite while roe, spoons/spinners, and sparse flash flies can attract coho in the slower water. We should see this fishery hit its stride in a couple of weeks but more and more fish will start to accumulate. This is the perfect time to make sure you have enough jigs for this fishery so either come into the shop to grab some or start tying!

Peak season will be here before you know it! Also make sure your rods and reels are in tip top shape as chum are notorious for destroying gear.

Alex Au-Yeung


Local Lakes Fishing Report

Freshwater Fisheries has been hard at work throughout the past couple weeks stocking our lakes, giving us a final chance at local stillwater fishing.

Each of Buntzen, Sasamat, Rice, Como, Mill, Lafarge, and Green Timbers have seen some amount of stocked Rainbows put into the system over the past week or two. My #1 way to target these fish would be with a bottom rig and floating powerbait (when permitted) as these lethargic fish are scanning the bottom for an easy meal. A float rig can be equally as effective, just remember you want to be hanging your bait 1-2 feet from the bottom. If bait isn’t your thing, size down your spoons and spinners to try and get a reaction from these fish. 

Remember, due to low water temperatures, be extra careful if you plan on releasing these fish. They may take a few extra moments to revive so be patient.

If you want to check out stocking reports for a lake near you visit the Freshwater Fisheries Society of BC’s website.

Aidan Munro

Interior Lakes Fishing Report

The weather has stayed steady and your chances of hooking into some monster trout using the methods outlined in last week’s report remain great. I had a few friends fishing up along Highway 24 using micro leeches and booby flies and I received reports of fish up into the 8-12 pound range. I should mention that this time of the year isn’t as plentiful as spring chironomid fishing for most lakes, but it might provide a great opportunity for those looking to fish elsewhere with the likely current shape of our local river systems with this rain. 

Andre has tied some fantastic versatile leech patterns that can be fished using your basic floating line or can be fished along the bottom using all the way up to a type 6 full sink line. Be sure to come check them out and I can fully set you up with what you need for late season lake fishing in the interior and Highway 24.

Sterling Balzer


Vancouver Saltwater Salmon Fishing Report

Well I hope you checked those bilge pumps and float switches like I mentioned in last week’s report!  Sure enough the fall monsoons are here.  With well over a 100 mm of rain falling this past week, the rivers are up and the last of the migratory salmon are making their way into the local streams.  If you want one last kick at the can, I have caught chum and coho in late October down at the South Arm, but for the most part your efforts are likely better spent in the river if you want to chase chinook or coho.  Speaking of chum, it looks like we are in for the worst chum return since they started tracking the test sets back in 1995!  So if you get a chum out there, probably best to release it at this point.  I did get an email from DFO saying to expect chum non-retention notices for non-tidal and tidal portions of the Fraser River later this week, so probably this afternoon.  These notices will likely also encompass all tributaries, like the Stave for instance.  I am not sure if they will close chum out in area 29-3 and 29-4 off the Fraser Mouth, we will wait and see, the recreational angling pressure out there is almost non-existent this time of year anyways.

So, I know what is on your mind, what about winter chinook?  Well there have been a few caught by the eager beavers out there.  So if you are looking to get a chinook fix, this is your best bet.  There have been some good days actually, just enough to get your hopes up, then a bunch of slower days in between.  Well it is only October 18 after all, so you we shouldn’t be too surprised!  As usual for this fishery, keep your gear close to the bottom, look for bait, cover water, and don’t wait for the report.  These fish move around a lot, so a report that is 48 or 72 hours old is ancient history.  I need something to write about this winter, so I am not going to go all in on winter tactics just yet.  You will have to wait until November for that.  In the meantime, head down to your dock and make sure your boat is still floating after all this rain!

See you in the shop or on the water,

Jason Tonelli