We had some interesting weather last weekend. As predicted, the Squamish blew out hard but a couple of the valley rivers didn’t see as much rain as forecasted and though they rose hard they stayed fishable yielding some good fishing reports.
Matt apologizes for being a little off in his prediction on the Chilliwack in the video version of the report but, one thing he did get right was regulation changes on chum fishing. With low return numbers, they have changed chum regs on the major Fraser Valley systems to no retention. Check out last week’s report for details.
We have more rain in the forecast this weekend. It is not as much as we saw last weekend but we still recommend keeping a close eye on water levels before heading out.
This week we have updates on all the major river fisheries so have a read of the report below!
On to the report!!
CLASSES AND COURSES
Our classes and courses are wrapped for 2021 and we’re hard at work on the 2022 schedule. If there is a particular course you are interested in for 2022 give us a ring at the shop (604.872.2204) and we will add your name to the waitlist for that course. Our full course schedule will be released in late November so keep an eye on your inbox for that!
FRESHWATER FISHING REPORTS
Vedder/Chilliwack River Fishing Report
We are just getting over the hump on the Chilliwack River and while fishing will remain good for a few weeks still, we can expect it to start tapering off once we get into November. Coho fishing has been good and lots are moving through the river. Chinook are tapering off sharply now for fresh fish though a few silver ones are still to be found.
Some chum are in the lower section and a few mid-river but there is no retention of these fish and we are not sure how regs will treat this fishery moving forward. With low numbers treat all fish caught with the utmost respect as always.
Anticipate the water to be on the higher side with all this rain forecasted for the next week or so. Keep in mind however that fish can still be caught even when conditions are not ideal; look for soft water and travel lanes near shore. Bigger presentations will be viable if the levels do bump.
Stave River Fishing Report
With chum returns being well below average across the entire Fraser system, it should come as no surprise that the Stave isn’t fishing as well as it normally does. As a matter of fact, it could probably be said this year has been one of the slowest years in recent memory.
The forecasted chum return for the entire Fraser system is currently being estimated at a bit over 500,000 fish, which is nowhere near the escapement goal of 800,000. As such, chum retention was set to 0 on all lower Fraser tributaries on the 16th, so as of right now, it’s a C&R fishery only. Keep your eyes open for any in-season updates from DFO that might change this to a no chum fishing regulation. If this happens, coho fishing will still be open. Whether regulations change or not all chum need to be released with the utmost care.
If you do head out, parking on both the east and west sides has become an issue this year. Check out the September 24th fishing report for a brief note on that. Please practice proper handling of any fish you catch- with such a weak return, every fish counts. Pre-spawn mortality due to improper handling of released fish is entirely preventable- land a fish as quickly as possible to avoid exhausting it, keep the fish in the water as much as possible, minimize handling, if possible, and avoid snagging fish. Do not hesitate to report fisheries violations to DFO’s ORR line at 1-800-465-4336. Get pictures or video of the offender and the offense, if possible… give them the evidence, and they will prosecute.
Squamish River Fishing Report
This week saw some impressive and interesting water conditions as the river spiked and then dropped suddenly, shaping it up for a good fall season early in the week.
This next week is going to see similar conditions with rain and warm temperatures up in Whistler and Pemberton. These conditions will bring some rain and keep the glaciers from freezing, resulting in a possible spike and bump again.
Should this happen, the first few days of cooler temperatures should see it drop back into shape with the trout, char, and salmon fishing following suit.
The mainstem saw a big spike in water, blowing it out it for a day or so, but freezing temperatures up top helped drop and clear it up relatively quickly. The tributaries continue to reward anglers targeting salmon and trout, with char being a welcomed by-catch.
Egging and beading is only getting better while spoons, spinners, and flies are all finding fish. Wobbler and oval spoons are great choices, but so are slim spoons such as LJ Crocodiles and Gibbs Crocs. Pixies, K-Wobblers, Prime and Pro-Steel are some of my favourite spoons as their weight allows them to get down in heavier flows. Also, twitching jigs are deadly on this system in the slower water.
Small glo-bugs and beads are also great choices with 8mm and 10mm beads representing salmon spawn perfectly. Blood Dot Eggs and Trout Beads are a great choice for this.
Once the water drops and clears, small and sparse flies will be a good idea to tempt laid up and stacked up coho while larger profile flies fit the bill for prospecting and swinging.
Remember to wade safe and be bear aware.
Capilano River Fishing Report
Fishing has not really changed since last week on this north shore system. We did get a dump of rain into the area which rapidly raised water levels up to a dangerous 4.6m. As of the time of writing, the river is sitting at a very fishable 2m. This week, we are expecting some more rain coming which could raise levels significantly again.
Fishing has started to slow down on the Capilano. A lot of fish pushed all the way up to the hatchery during the big rain we had last week. There is significantly fewer fresh fish pushing into the system and the ones that are in already are rather picky.
All the techniques in the previous week’s reports will work and, as always, putting in the work and changing up presentations will pay dividends.
STILLWATER FISHING REPORTS
Interior lake Fishing Update
I’m not going to say stop fishing yet but we’re getting to the point where it’s time to clean the gear and organize the fly boxes for next year. There’s always going to be a few lower elevation lakes that will still fish well but those options are thinning out with every passing day.
The reality is that the rainbows metabolism will slow right down as the water temperature drops. They simply don’t have the metabolism to go after food. This is the point where I actually start looking at lakes that are stocked with brook trout. Brook trout are much more tolerant of colder conditions meaning their metabolism is still firing on all cylinders with the temperature drops. If you are heading out, you’ll want to look for the shaded areas of the lake with a lot of fallen trees.
Best of luck if you choose to go!