The weather looks great for the upcoming weekend. We will get a touch of rain today and then it is clear skies right into next week. We could see some issues with clear water if it stays cold next week but as it stands, things look great for the weekend for our river anglers. On the saltwater front it’s time to hit the water and do a bit of scouting for some winters. Today was a no go for fishing given the winds but things improve a bit as we look to the weekend but be sure to check your marine forecast before you head out.
This week we look at the Vedder, Stave, Squamish and Harrison. Matt has details on the weather and overall trends in the video version of the report which you can check out here:
They have closed chum retention on our major river systems due to concerning numbers. Matt has some details on the numbers in the video report but be sure to review the fisheries notices here and look up the specific notice for the river(s) you will be fishing on.
Last but not least we also have another great short fly casting video where Matt looks at a little mind trick for fixing casting mistakes. Check it out here:
CLASSES AND COURSES
Well October is coming to a close and we’ve got one great course coming up in November. This course always sells out so be sure to give us a call at the shop today to confirm your spot.
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 13 Guided: Nov 16 or 17
Seminar Time: 6:30pm – 9:30pm | Guided: Full Day
FRESHWATER FISHING REPORTS
Chilliwack/Vedder River Fishing Report
If I had a loonie for every time the weather forecast changed at the last minute and basically nullified my prediction for water levels I would be able to buy some nice fishing gear! Looking back to last week, we were expecting big rains and a blow out over the weekend but what ended up happening was a downgraded rain warning and some epic fishing was had by those that were out Thursday through Sunday. Then we got an epic blow out on Tuesday, which brings us to this week’s fishing report. We are looking at lots of sun and cold nights (if the weather forecast can be believed!) over the next 14 days. This should drop the water back to low and clear conditions, so if you can get out over the next few days and fish the drop before we get into those conditions you should find some great fishing to be had.
For those that want to get one last crack at a chinook, you want to be out there right now. There are still some chrome chinook to be had; I was out on the river on Monday and hooked into a couple myself that were absolute bullets. The coho fishing should also continue for another few weeks before tapering off. Fish are definitely spread out through the system and you can catch them from the top to the bottom, in saying that as the water levels drop and the clarity increases you may find these fish to get a little tight lipped further up so sometimes fishing down low can prove fruitful if you are lucky enough to intercept a fresh pod of fish moving through. Coho fishing should remain good until the second week of November.
Please be aware that as of this past Thursday, chum retention has closed on the Chilliwack. The return has been very poor across the board for the Lower Mainland. You can still target them for catch and release purposes but please handle them with care and keep them in the water.
Squamish River Fishing Report
This week some big rains and unstable weather, made fishing the Squamish and its tributaries interesting. Anglers who ventured out and explored were rewarded with some nice fish.
During the high water events, it’s important to fish the best part of bad water, making sure every drift or swing counts. Most fish are going to be focused on resting or holding, making them not wanting to travel very far for a meal. Making sure your presentation almost hits them on them on the nose can be key.
Larger beads in the 10mm or so range can be useful, as well as larger bobs or Mad River eggs.
Larger profile flies, big nymphs, and sculpin patterns can also trigger strikes. For anglers tossing hardware, larger blades, spoons, and spinners are all good ideas. Keeping a variety on hand will make sure anglers are prepared for any condition.
Stave River Fishing Report
After hearing some extremely dismal reports from the Stave over the last two weeks I decided to go take a look myself. This time of the year is when we typically see a lot of fish moving into this river and the fishing can be on fire. Well I saw anything but that.
I have said in past reports that I don’t like to sugar coat things. The truth is that there are fish in the system, both chum and coho. However there are not many and, in the case of the chum run this year, it is indeed very poor. To put it into perspective, I did a count in a spot that normally is chalk full of chum. I saw two. In the four hours I was at the river there were a handful of risers and rollers in the main channel. We did get into a couple of fish but had to put in the time for them. For those that remember the glory days of the Stave, it is honestly quite a sad sight to see such empty water. However my experience was not surprising given the numbers in the Albion test nets and from what I have been hearing from all the reports.
We will see the peak of the chum run come through in the next week or so. Chum are still open for catch and release and a good old jig under a float works wonders, but be prepared to put in some effort for a few float downs. Interestingly enough, there are more coho being hooked in the main stem than in previous years as there aren’t nearly as many chum to intimidate and push them around. This definitely changes the dynamics a bit for this fishery. The coho can be taken on a myriad of things from roe, spinners, spoons, jigs, and flies. First light is best as the clear water tends to shut them down pretty quick.
Harrison River Fishing Report
The Harrison has been a challenge with relatively high-water levels all week. Anglers have been able to find coho and chinook when using a boat but the shore anglers have struggled. When looking at the Albion test fisheries we are seeing better chum numbers over the last 2 days so these fish should show up this weekend. Without nets in the Fraser it will probably be worth getting out and we expect anglers to find better numbers of chum over the next week. Remember all chum salmon must be released. Check out the video report for more details.
SALTWATER FISHING REPORTS
Vancouver Saltwater Salmon Fishing Report
As mentioned in past reports, this time of year your options are to explore for some early feeder chinook or head down to the South Arm in search of some coho and late chinook. We had a few trips this past week and based on the wind and the weather, it was an easy choice to keep it a little closer to home. The fish cooperated and we found a few “winters” and as usual they had some smaller bait in their bellies.
If you have a little more time to fish or the weather is looking good, the South Arm is still worth a visit. If you look at the Albion chinook test sets and chum test sets, there are still a decent amount of chinook showing up! You wont see too many coho in these test sets as the size of the gill net used is designed to catch the larger chinook and chum and therefore is not ideal for the common 6 pound Lower Mainland coho. Don’t let this fool you, coho fishing has been good to amazing in most of the Lower Mainland streams and there are still some mid to late fish showing up that you can intercept at the South Arm. Don’t be surprised if you hook into one of those late chinook, it just seems the run won’t quit this year.
A friendly reminder to attend the SFI Annual Policy Conference & Big Splash on November 15th. You all know how this season went down, with some of the best chinook fishing we have ever seen from April to September. Lets not forget we were shut down April, May, June, and July when we encounter less than 1% of the chinook stocks of concern. We were shut down in an effort to keep FN gill nets out of the river during this time period but they still had 94 openings in that same time frame that had a 100% encounter rate on endangered chinook. This battle is coming up again this winter. I need your help, so please join SFI and attend the conference and Big Splash. I have already been in a lot of meetings this past month and expect a more aggressive stance this winter from SFI, enough is enough. Your support does make a difference, so please attend and I look forward to seeing you there.
See you in the shop or on the water,