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Home / Uncategorised / Pacific Angler Friday Fishing Report: October 18th, 2013

Pacific Angler Friday Fishing Report: October 18th, 2013


We are hitting full stride for fall salmon fishing in the local rivers.  Fish are continuing to enter their home stretch and the stories we hear at the shop each day is that tight lines are in abundance.

The Vancouver weather forecast and the Nicola Valley/Merritt weather forecasts are both steady and should contribute to steady fishing any day you can get out there.

JT was at the Redl show today and picked up fresh fly stock for all the salmon stalking fly fisherman that are looking for patterns to strip or swing.


Locally the saltwater scene has slowed substantially.  You will read below what very well may be our last saltwater fishing report till the winter springs start showing up!

Lake fishing is hot right now.  Do not hesitate to escape the river crowds and hit a lake!

The Pacific Angler guided fall salmon fishing trips are in full swing and dates are quickly filling up!!

upper squamish bullet

There are limited dates available for our trips now so if you are thinking of booking, please do not hesitate another day.  Call 778-788-8582 to book now!

Stillwater Fishing Report: 

This weekend coming up could be another amazing late fall lake fishing dream.  Temperatures are similar to last weekend and the reports below on Stoney and Corbett lakes and the techniques that were used with success last weekend will be sure to produce similar if not better results this weekend!!

Stoney Lake Lodge Season Ending Report:

After a crazy summer due to the growth in business with PA I contacted our good friend Brent Gill at Stoney Lake Lodge and asked him if they had space coming up.  Brent was able to make room for me last weekend, Oct 11th and 12th.  My friend Patty and I left Vancouver at 2pm on Friday and managed to escape most the long weekend traffic.  We were warmly greeted at Stoney Lake Lodge by Brent, Kristen and Brian and immediately sat down to an amazing dinner of succulent flank steak.  Stoney Lake dining room

Stoney Lake Flank Steak

After dinner we relaxed and took advantage of the best this lodge has to offer!  There is no better way to end the day then enjoying a hot tub on a chilly cloudless night to truly relax and forget about work for a couple days!

stoney lake hottub

The fishing had been sporadic but good on the lake and this weekend was shaping up weather wise to be perfect.  The other guests at the lodge were sociable and great to talk with about how the fishing had been.  They were hooking fish on everything from micro-leeches, size 10-12 chironomids, bloodworms, full size leeches from stripping, trolling or even under the indicator.

Saturday we had an delicious breakfast, amazing coffee and got our gear put together then headed out onto the lake about 10am.  The other guests did a lot better than Patty and I on Saturday. We got into a couple trout trolling a woolly bugger but I could not entice fish to hit the micro leeches or chironomids.  Patty had never fly-fished before so I just wanted her to have a tight line and feel the fight of the fish as we mixed it up from casting/stripping or trolling.  The lake is gorgeous with lots of variety in its structure and places to fish. stoney lake trout stalkers

Stoney Lake 1

On Sunday we got on the water a little earlier and quickly got into a few more fish.  Every hit we got was on a green woolly bugger with a chartreuse flash tail.  It was the HOT fly for us. We explored all corners of the lake during the day hitting on some fish here and there.  At 3pm it really heated up.  We anchored about 200ft off some flats with weed beds in about 24ft of water and cast out into the middle of the lake where the fish were consistently rising and seemed to be suspended in the top 10ft of the lake.

Patty Rainbow

We ended up casting and stripping in these woolly buggers and were getting steady takes from 16-20″ rainbows that fought fantastic and looked gorgeous.  Some with color and others flashing nice chrome sides.Stoney Lake rainboq

The weather on Sunday was amazing, lots of sun, some occasional clouds and the sunset was breathtaking.

Stoney Lake sunset

Stoney Lake Trip photo credits: Patty Ho

Suffice to say, we thoroughly enjoyed the one of the last weekends that Stoney Lake Lodge is open for fishing in 2013.  I am already excited for getting up to see Brent and the team in 2014 for some more world class hospitality, scenery and fishing!!

We highly recommend contacting Brent and his team early to book the prime time slots in 2014 for an amazing stillwater adventure!

-The Douglas Lake Ranch-
Lodge# 1.(250).378.7492
Toll Free# 1.800.663.4838

STONEY LAKE LODGE VIDEO! http://youtu.be/KD6tGkl1o6s


Instagram #stoneylakelodge

Corbett Lake:

On the way home from Stoney Lake we decided to stop and fish Corbett Lake just outside Merritt.  Another private gem of a lake with fish ranging from 16″ to 15lbs!  Yes, there are fish in this lake well over 10lbs.  We did not get any hogs to bite on the holiday Monday but the action was steady and a lot of fun!  We fished several methods at Corbett that were successful.  We decided to fish orange bead-head micro-leeches 4ft under indicator in 5ft of water and it quickly disappeared with a nice 20″ rainbow!  We cast and stripped in leeches, mayflies and even had some crazy aggressive hits on waterboatmen.   When I fish my waterboatmen I put a swivel and/or a split shot about 3-4ft from the fly.  This way the weight pulls the fly quickly down and then as you strip it pops the waterboatmen back up towards the surface, exactly how the waterboatmen were swimming in the lake that we spotted.

corbett rainbow

Once again from 3pm – 530pm the action was steady.  We anchored in 24ft of water and the water clarity was such that we could see 20ft down and watch 2-5lb rainbows slowly swimming under us looking for food!

corbett indicator fishing

While Corbett is closed for the season, we highly recommend this lake as a great day trip from Vancouver for some amazing fishing with a realistic chance at 6-8lb+ fish every time you get on this lake!  The shoals, drop offs and bowls that you can fish on this lake make it an amazing place to fish and test all the techniques you want to have in your lake fishing repertoire.

Corbett at dusk

Corbett Lake photo credits: Patty Ho

At dusk, Trudy came down to the dock and fed some of the trout in the lake and it was so cool to watch 2-7lb trout thrashing the surface in a feeding frenzy!  Corbett Lake is under new management now and once again, I am looking forward to taking friends, sending clients and going myself in 2014 to fish and enjoy everything Corbett Lake has to offer!

Corbett Lake is closed for 2013 but you can contact Kim to enquire about 2014 reservations.

Corbett Lake Lodge Box 327,
Merritt, BC V1K 1B8
Telephone: (250)378-4334
email:  info@corbettlake.ca

River Reports:

Squamish river (lower):

The river has been low and clear the past week and the full moon has brought more fish into the lower Squamish system. I fished on Thursday on the lower part of the river for the afternoon and had a decent day.

Jordan Squamish

The right fly, swing and depth is the ticket on hooking up, landing the Chums or the big Coho is another thing. These fish are crazy powerful and will put your gear to the test. Try popsicle flies in pink and purple and use minimum 12lb maxima.


Use of a spey rod is a major advantage over a single hand rod as you have more leverage against these beasts. They come in waves all through out the day so you don’t have to rush to the river at dawn.

Happy fishing,


Stave River:

The stave is just getting started! Lots of bright chum and a few coho in the system as well. There are hardly any “zombies” swimming around, which is nice! Coho fishing was not as hot as expected, but they are there. Chunky cutthroat trout have been a nice by-catch while stripping flies or retrieving lures for coho. The lack of parking is definitely effecting the number of people on the river, but it is rather frustrating. Smaller and more drab looking coho flies fished on an intermediate sink tip is the ticket in this system. Chum salmon are best targeted float fishing purple jigs or swinging a bright marabou type fly on a light sink tip. Get out there and PLEASE BE RESPECTFUL OF THE FISH.


Birkenhead River:

We were up at the Birkenhead early in the week. The fishing is slowing down and that most of the sockeye have died and/or been pushed out of the river.  The river is low and because of the lack of sockeye and the low water we don’t expect the egg fishing for bull trout and rainbows to be very good. We could see an improvement if the water comes up and pushes the eggs out of the gravel but the forecast is not promising. This system is worth keeping an eye on but we wouldn’t recommend going out until conditions change.  Let us know if anyone gives it a try – especially if you find some fish or figure out a technique that works in the low water.


The river is fishing well and we are still hearing reports of fresh springs and Coho moving through the system. The water levels have been holding around 2 on the cap cam. This is low but not too low and fish are still making it into the river. Most of the successful anglers are using gear rods and wool. Bait is illegal until the end of the month and keep your fishing karma levels high – avoiding methods that easily snag fish.

Fraser River:

With many of the popular local rivers gaining a lot of attention, anglers who are looking for solitude and are willing to venture off the beaten path, the lower Fraser river back-channels and sloughs can provide decent fall action for coho, as well as cutthroat from now all the way through the winter. Small and sparse flies presented with proper retrieve should provide some action for you.


The reports we have from the vedder have been solid. Fishing hasn’t been hot but guys are consistently hooking  coho and Chinook. The pinks are pretty much finished but there are still lots “getting in the way” so try to avoid snagging them.

derek hatch coho

The water has cleared up and you will have to use smaller flies and smaller gear presentations but a trip out to Chilliwack is defiantly worth the drive.  Fishing early in the morning is always a good bet when the river is clear. The lower light seems to keep the fishing from getting spook

Harrison river:

Finally the river is going down and the banks are showing. I went scouting on Wednesday and could not believe how many Sockeye were sitting in the channels , I think the closure they had on the Fraser had to do something with this. I was still able to pull a few Coho mixed with the Sockeye by stripping the fly instead of just letting it swing but it was more of a challenge than usual. If it’s sunny the best times to fish is before when the sun comes up from behind the mountain which is usually 3 hours before dawn and then later 2-3 hours before sunset. I had most of my luck with copper colored and olive flies using an intermediate sink tip and 12lb of fluorocarbon tippet.


Skagit River:

We haven’t heard any reports off the Skagit. We would love to get an email or call in report. Though it should be dropping hard there can still be some great fishing this time of the year. It will close at the end of the month.

Saltwater Report:

It’s been a bit of a dry spell for chinook after the wet spell we had in late September that flushed up the main run up the rivers, particularly at the Capilano River. A few coho have still been caught. With that said we have also enjoyed a dry spell of warmer weather and sunny skies that have made for nice days to be out on a boat. I’d been hoping more fish would make it back into the area and it seems that lately the dry spell is turning things around at the Capilano. We’ve gone from nobody catching chinook to someone catching a chinook or two over the last week. A 15lb fish caught on Wednesday was bright silver which is a good indicator the fish had just arrived. Whole herring no flasher got him as well as another also caught yesterday but anchovies have also hit fish.


I recently had a chance to do an 8hr charter trip for my friend Mas on his boat the “M&M”, so I burned some fuel and headed to the South Arm of the Fraser river. JT was out on the Salty Dawg at Sandheads fishing with us as well.  Just as I had finished instructing one of the guests on how to fight a fish one of the rods started bouncing!   After a great job by the brand new salmon angler we boated a nice chum salmon. The bite went off and a few boats left but we patiently waited and stuck around. After an hour or so the bite came back on fast and furious. After a few hours of great action we had fought the chum, lost a spring and hooked 14 coho in the 8-12lb range.

Eddie Sandhead trip Oct 20

Some may have been bigger but they got away or were stolen by a seal we fed twice. At first the coho we hit were hatcheries but then the bulk were wild which had to be released. This kept the creel count low but provided spectacular fights. Initially the fish were hitting deeper at 97′, to 77” on anchovies but closer to the high slack at 77′ to 47′ on white hoochies with the Casper hoochie working best. I like using 7’s and 77′ was the most productive depth overall. During and after the slack they went back to the deeper depths and on anchovies again.

I used primarily chartreuse glo flashers but the Highliner flasher I used to replace the ones the seal got also worked. Although the bite slowed down we were still hooking the odd fish up right up until we had to start our trip home. A couple of boats further out to the Coal Ports also reported similar action.

Probably the best part of the trip was that during the peak of the bite the wind completely died and we were wearing t-shirts and sunglasses, in October! It was like a flashback from fishing in July.

Tight lines


Pacific Angler Upcoming Courses OCTOBER & NOVEMBER 2013


Cost: $225.00 (before taxes)

Date: Monday, November 4th (Theory @ Pacific Angler 6:30pm-9:30pm)

On-the-Water: November 9th (1spot left) & November 10th (3spots left)

Fly fishing for salmon is one of the most exciting fisheries in the Lower Mainland. Let us teach you the techniques and the hot spots to give you a well rounded foundation. Then put the skills into practice during a fully guided day on the water.


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

Cost: $100.00 (before taxes)

Date: Wednesday, Nov 13th (Theory at Pacific Angler 630pm – 930pm)

Casting Session: Sunday, Nov 17th 10am – 1pm (location TBD)


This course is for the beginner fly tier or for those who have never tried fly tying. We will show you the fundamental skills needed to tie the successful flies used here in BC for trout, salmon, and steelhead. This course consists of 3 sessions of 3 hours each spread over one month. Vises are supplied, materials are not supplied, and students will receive 10% off on material purchases.

Cost: $60.00 (before taxes) (2 Spots LEFT!)

Date: Tuesday(s) November 5th, 12th and 19th

Pacific Angler is proud to be your source for fishing education. Call Pacific Angler today, 604-872-2204, to book your spot. All classes have limited availability.

On behalf of the Pacific Angler staff we wish you the best in your fishing endeavors and we hope to see you either at the shop or on the water. To check out the latest Pacific Angler news view the Pacific Angler Facebook page.

Jason, Matt, Andre, Max, Eddie, Jordan and Bryce