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Home / FIshing Reports / Pacific Angler Friday Fishing Report: October 21, 2016

Pacific Angler Friday Fishing Report: October 21, 2016


The weatherman owes us a beer! He was off the mark last week. There are more than a few of us who changed our fishing plans last weekend based on the forecast of storms. That said when a major, legitimately dangerous, storm doesn’t materialize, we probably shouldn’t be complaining.

We still got enough rain that most rivers did blow out but there were a few spots that stayed fishable and a number of places came back into shape faster than we expected. This proves the old saying you don’t know until you go.

This weekend we are once again facing a wet weather forecast. On paper it is dryer and colder than last week so we’re hoping that things will stay in relatively good shape. Temperatures this time of year can be more important the amount of rain. When it is cold enough it snows in the high country and the risk of blown out rivers is way less.

So our glass half empty outlook is that once again with the rain forecasted we can expect more blown out river conditions. The glass half full outlook is that you should be tying large flies and jigs and watching river levels and weather carefully. We are coming into the prime time salmon season and if things line up right there could be very good fishing

If you’re looking to learn more about fly fishing some of our local rivers don’t miss out on two of Andre’s upcoming fly fishing classes. For those of you dreaming of a warm winter vacation have a read of Jordan’s fishing travel report of his day out on the water in Mexico.


Fly Fishing For Salmon In Rivers
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 catch salmon on the fly in our local rivers. In the 3hr evening seminar you will learn about rod, reel and line, sink tip, and fly selection. Then put the skills into practice during a fully guided day on the water where you will learn how to read water and swing the fly!

Dates: Seminar: Oct 25 Guided: SOLD OUT- custom trip dates available


Seminar: Nov 7   Guided: Nov 12 or 13 (custom trip dates available)
Seminar Time: 6:30pm – 9:30pm
Seminar Only Cost: $45.00
Seminar & Guided Walk’n Wade Cost: $250.000 per angler, minimum of 2 anglers per guided day on the water.


Fly Fishing For Coho Salmon
Catching a coho on the fly in BC’s many coastal rivers is a bucket list item for any fly fisherman. Our course is designed to educate you on the very specific techniques used to catch coho salmon on the fly in the Lower Mainland.

After your 3 hour evening seminar you will then put the skills into practice during a fully guided day on the water.

Dates: Seminar: Nov 1    Guided: Nov 5 or 6
Seminar Time:  6:30pm – 9:30pm
Seminar Only Cost: $45.00
Seminar & Guided Walk’n Wade Cost:  $250.000 per angler, minimum of 2 anglers per guided day on the water.



Trip Report: Riviera Maya!

After a good long stint guiding up north in British Columbia’s Haida Gwaii, a trip down to Mexico was very much welcomed. Though it was mostly a family and personal vacation, I did take the time to spend a day fly fishing for bonefish.

Flying from Vancouver to Toronto and then Toronto to Cancun, we were eventually greeted by hot, muggy air. Time for beer! Arriving at our resort, the Grand Palladium White Sands, we were greeted by friendly and helpful staff…and more drinks! This resort was beautiful, has everything you could want or imagine, and had endless dining options- including endless ice cream and popsicles. I’m pretty sure I consumed just as many popsicles and ice cream cones as I did drinks.

Fishing options are somewhat limited right at the resort, though walking around I did see some reef points and rips that looked fishy- I just couldn’t get myself up early enough each morning to get out there before the rest of the people showed up to go swimming or suntan.

I did however book a day of fly fishing on Cozumel through Cozumel Charters . Booking my trip through them was a breeze and they were very helpful and quick to reply to my emails. Their rates were also very reasonable, and included snacks, beverages, and a case of beer covered in ice right on the panga!


Catching a taxi to Playa del Carmen, then taking the ferry to Cozumel was incredibly easy and very cheap compared to here, and my guides, a father/son duo, were very helpful and knew exactly which flies to pick. Spotting fish here was a lot easier than in Hawai’i, and often I spotted a few fish before my guide did- though we teamed it and scanned in different directions. Unlike Hawai’i, I found these fish a lot easier to spot. Once spotted, these fish were incredibly spooky of the panga. After a few blown shots and scared fish, we hopped out of the boat and decided to walk and wade the flats. This was much more sneaky and gave me the opportunity I needed to get them to eat. I foolishly left my phone/camera in the boat in fear of dropping it in the drink, so no fish pictures for me- which is okay as I’ve caught bonefish before and this was meant to be more of a relaxing personal day than it was a day to get hero shots. These flats are beautiful, with bird-filled mangroves for as far as you can see. This area also gives opportunity to catch snook and permit to those fortunate enough to have the gods on their side.


If you’ve popped into the shop the past couple days, I’m sure you’ve noticed my raccoon-eyes caused by the Mexican sun. I highly suggest a good pair of polarized sunglasses in amber/copper or bronze mirror finish to help provide the fish-spotting contrast and eye protection necessary.

If you’re interested in doing a warm water trip, either on your own or with an outfitter, come on in and talk to us – we’ll be more than happy to get you geared up, give you pointers on flies and patterns, as well as possibly some recommended guides. Most of us here at the shop are well versed in this world and can offer you a hand in pointing you in the right direction.


Jordan Simpson



Vedder River Fishing Report
A dropping river equals decent fishing and that’s what we had this week. There is a good number of fish in the river and now is a great time to get out. Hopefully the rain forecasted for this weekend won’t affect the water level too much.

For those of you gear fishing, the same old tried and true baits are working such as roe, spoons, spinner, and twitched jigs. We’ve also had a couple decent fly fishing reports as well. When the water is high it is key to find the slow walking pace water where fish will sit to rest on their migration up river. Keep an eye out for those overlooked side channels which coho love, look for 4ft to 6ft plus of stagnant water. Put some boots to the ground and go find those spots and you will be rewarded.

Fishing will continue to be good throughout October and into November.

Good luck,

Sam Graham

Capilano River Fishing Report
The Capilano was flowing high and fast for much of this previous week which was great for the fish, and fishing was exceptional during periods of lower water between flooding events. Most of the run has entered the river so it should be good this coming week if the water maintains a fishable height.

As with last week these fresh fish were eager to hit a variety of things including wool ties, trout beads, artificial (non-scented) eggs, jigs, spinners, and spoons. Fly fishermen have also been doing decently with bigger attractor flies when the water is higher and coloured and flash flies or small muddler minnows when the water comes down and clears a bit.

Please keep in mind that there is a bait ban until the end of October.

Alex Au-Yeung

Harrison River Fishing Report
Well I have had minimal luck timing my days off with good river levels since last weeks storm. Unfortunately river levels rose to 9.6 meters this week which put a damper on walk and wade fishing. Since the last time I was there, which was Thanksgiving Monday I have been unable to scout the back channels or anywhere on foot except the golf course side. I’ll be keeping a keen eye on the forecast and the river levels. As I write this the river level is around 9.4 meters and looking at the forecast it’s predicting more rain so it could be another tough week for walk and wading.

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. Hopefully we will get some dry weather to bring the levels down to 8.8 meters so we can have access to more parts of the river on foot.

Keep your hopes up,

Andre Stepanian

Squamish River Fishing Report
Well as we mentioned above the weatherman was a little off his mark. The river did blow out and was not fishable because of dirty water but less water came than we expected. This is a good thing because the river didn’t go into flood and change all the runs.

The river came back into shape mid week and we heard a number of good reports of coho, chum and bull trout.


A nice coho landed on a guided trip on the Squamish this week.

The forecast is not looking great again for the weekend but keep a close eye on things. If the weather predictions don’t materialize the river could be fishable.

Spoons and spinners are always a good choice for gear fishermen in high water. Chartreuse blue foxes are one of my top producers. On the low river purple jigs under a float are very effective for chum.

Fly fishermen should be following the same theme. Larger purple patterns for chum in the lower river and copper, chartreuse and purple patterns in a variety of sizes. In dirty water go big and as it clears or you find spots with clearer water shift to smaller patterns. Fish sink tip lines with 10-12 lb leaders for the coho and go 15lb maxima for the chum. Though a 6wt rod will work for bull trout and coho, this time of year you will want to fish at least a 7wt or 8wt rod because of the chum.

Good luck,

Matt Sharp

Stave River Fishing Report
Large numbers of chum salmon have entered the Stave River and fishing has been great for many that have ventured out there. A large number of fish have been taken on floated jigs in purple and chartreuse combinations and we have a good selection of locally tied jigs that will get you into some green tiger action! In saying that don’t overlook classic wool ties in similar colours as well as casting big spoons and spinners for these fish.

There are also coho present in this system and they can be caught on spoons, spinners, and roe. They can be harder to find amidst all the chum chaos but they will be in backwaters and slower pockets away from the chum.

Timing your trip with an incoming tide can increase your chances at landing a cleaner fish.

Tight lines,
Alex Au-Yeung



Well there isn’t too much to report on out in the saltwater this time of year.  There are a few winter chinook around and most of the fall migratory salmon, like coho, chinook, and chum, are well on their way up the rivers after all the recent rains.  So today we are going to talk about reels and specifically reel maintenance.  Each spring we get a lot of anglers who bring in their mooching reels to get fresh line for the upcoming season, only to find out there reel has sustained damage over the winter months.  Usually there is some corrosion or seized bearings, they have to send their reel in for repair, and spend money on new parts.  We can often fix the reel in the shop as we stock parts for Daiwa, Shimano, Trophy, Islander, and Abel mooching reels, but sometimes we have to send them away and you are looking at least a month before you get it back as well as charges for shipping, parts, and labour.  So here are some tips on how to prepare your reels for the off season so they will be in perfect working order for the spring.
The first things you should do is take off all your line.  Line is relatively cheap, so you should put new line on each spring.  The line can also hold water and if you leave your reel like that all winter you will often get some corrosion on the spool  This may not affect the performance of the reel, but it doesn’t look great and will hurt the resale value.  You are going to put fresh line on anyways come spring time, so peel off that old line now, there is no reason for it to sit on your reel all winter.  If you have backing on your reel to build up the arbor (common practice on MR2 reels) and you want to leave that on, make sure your give it a good freshwater rinse.  The backing holds a lot of water and we see a lot of corrosion on spools that have backing that has been exposed to saltwater and then the reel is stored that way all winter.
The second thing to do is wash the entire reel in warm freshwater.  This will dissolve any salt in or on the reel, and as mentioned above, will get rid of salt on your backing as well.  Fill your sink with warm water and simply place the reel in the sink and let it sit for awhile so the salt dissolves.    When you are done, take the reel out of the water, take the spool off, and place it on a towel to air dry.  It is important you take the spool off so the reel can completely dry out.
Once the reel is completely dry you can put some reel grease on the pawl for your clicker(s), some light oil on your cork drag and centre spindle, and some light oil on the bearings.  We recommend the Superlube Kit and Tibor Reel Grease, both available at Pacific Angler.   This is also a good time to check all your bearings to make sure they are smooth.  If the bearing feels rough when it spins or makes a lot of noise, the seal has been broken and you have moisture inside the bearing and it needs to be replaced.  This is usually fairly easy.  You can pop it out, bring it to the shop, and purchase a  replacement bearing.  Sometimes if the reel has been left to sit for a long time and was not rinsed and cleaned, the bearing is seized into the reel and it won’t pop out.  At this point it is better to bring the reel into us for repair.
If you have taken the line off the reel, rinsed it in freshwater, allowed it to completely dry, checked your bearings, and applied the grease and oil, you are ready to store your reel for the winter.  Make sure your drag is completely backed off as well.  If you leave your drag cranked down you risk warping the drag washers on Daiwa and Shimano reels.  There is no need to have the drag on, so back the drag knob way off before you put the reel away.  You should do this after each fishing trip as well.  Another key is to make sure it is completely dry before you store it for the winter.  If it is you can put it in the pouch that it came with, although it is not necessary, and let it sit for the winter.  This way next spring, your reel will be ready to go, there will be no nasty surprises, and all you have to do is come to the shop, get spooled up with fresh line, and hit the water.
The biggest mistake we see is anglers simply taking their reel at the end of the season and putting it in a neoprene pouch and forgetting about it for 6 months.  This is when the most damage occurs.  The neoprene pouch actually traps the moisture in the reel and it corrodes all winter.  We have seen some extreme cases where an angler goes to a lodge in August, their reels are wet from fishing the morning of the last day, they put the reels in their pouches, jump on the plane, come home, life gets busy and the reels get forgotten about until next spring.  By this point the spools have seized onto the centre spindle and the bearings are corroded.  So don’t make that mistake.  It doesn’t matter the brand name of the reel or how much you paid or if the reel has a lifetime warranty.  If the above happens we have to send the reel in to be taken apart, it takes awhile, isn’t covered under warranty, and isn’t cheap.
I hope those tips help.  If you clean your reels this each winter you can get years and years of good use.
See you on the water or in the shop,
Jason Tonelli