It has been an interesting week for fishing. We are getting very good weather for river fishing. This does not mean clear sky’s and hot weather. Ideally we see a cycle of consistent yet mild rain events followed by a few days of cool overcast weather. This rises the river but does not blow them out and allows fish to move in. We are hoping that this will happen this weekend and it looks promising.
We have reports on the Squamish, Stave, Vedder and Harrison in the river sections. As we wrote the report last night the Squamish was in good shape but we have heard some early reports this AM that the Squamish has blown out. That said it should come into shape soon and all the rivers should fish well over the next few days.
On a fisheries front we also have some last minute changes to both the Fraser fisheries and Chum fisheries across the lower mainland. Make sure to read these before going out.
Winter chinook fishing is also going in the ocean and though our boats have been hit by some mixed weather it is worth looking at. Lars has a full report in the saltwater section below.
Lastly we have some cool videos this week. We have Zach’s Popsi Ho video that we promised last week. Sorry we were late with this one -To make it up to you guys we have a double upload this week! One for Fly fisherman targeting salmon and steelhead with Zach’s fly and Jordan has an great basic jig tying video for anyone thinking about getting into tying jigs for float fishing. They are super easy and very productive! Check them out in the links below!
On To the report.
As always be sure to keep yourself up to date on regulations coming out! Here is the latest released yesterday for the Tidal Waters of the Fraser River and another this morning for the Allouette River, Chehalis River, Harrison River, Stave River and Nicomen Slough.
FN1192-RECREATIONAL – Salmon – Area 29 – Tidal Waters of the Fraser River – Salmon Opportunities.
Waters: Tidal waters of the Fraser River (downstream edge of the CPR Bridge at Mission to the mouth).
Effective October 25 until December 31, 2018:
– The daily limit for Chinook salmon is four (4) with only one (1) greater than 62 cm.
– The daily limit for Coho salmon is two (2) hatchery marked only.
– You may not retain Chum, Sockeye or Pink salmon.
In the tidal Fraser River, fishing for salmon is only permitted from one hour before sunrise to one after sunset each day.
Variation Order numbers: 2018-RFQ-569, 2018-RFQ-570
The aggregate daily limit for all species of Pacific salmon from tidal and non-tidal waters combined is four (4). Individual species limits also apply.
Barbless hooks are required when fishing for salmon in tidal waters of British Columbia.
The term “marked” means a hatchery fish that has a healed scar in place of the adipose fin.
Sport anglers are encouraged to participate in the Salmon Sport Head Recovery program by labelling and submitting heads from adipose fin-clipped Chinook and Coho salmon. Recovery of coded-wire tags provides critical information for coast-wide stock assessment. Contact the Salmon Sport Head Recovery Program toll free at (866) 483-9994 for further information.
Anglers are advised to check http://bcsportfishguide.ca for fishing closures and other recreational fishing information.
FN1195-RECREATIONAL – SALMON: Region 2 – Allouette River, Chehalis River, Harrison River, Stave River and Nicomen Slough – Chum Update
Further to FN1161 and FN1179 the coast-wide returns of Chum salmon have been very poor and the current in-season estimate for the return to the Fraser River is 769,000. According to the South Coast Salmon IFMP, at this run size commercial fisheries are suspended and recreational fisheries are restricted to tributary systems where surplus is likely to occur.
Therefore, the daily limit for Chum salmon is reduced to zero (0) effective one hour after sunset, Sunday, October 28 until December 31, 2018 on the Allouette River, Harrison River, Stave River and Nicomen Slough.
In addition, the Chehalis River will not open on November 1 to the retention of Chum.
The opportunities for hatchery marked Coho and Chinook salmon remain open at the limits identified on the DFO website at:
Variation order 2018-RFQ-0579
The aggregate daily limit for all species of Pacific Salmon (other than kokanee) from tidal and non-tidal waters combined is four (4).
There is an annual limit of 10 Chinook over 50 cm in non-tidal waters
There is a minimum size limit of 30 cm for Chinook caught in non-tidal waters.
Single barbless hooks are required when fishing for salmon in non-tidal waters of British Columbia.
Sport anglers and guides are reminded to label and submit heads from adipose fin-clipped (hatchery-marked) Chinook and Coho salmon to the Salmon Head
Recovery Program. Recovery of coded-wire tags from recreational fishers provides critical information for coast-wide stock assessment. For more information and locations of Depots contact the Salmon Sport Head Recovery Program at (866) 483-9994 or visit the following site:
Did you witness suspicious fishing activity or a violation? If so, please call the Fisheries and Ocean Canada 24-hour toll free Observe, Record, Report line at (800) 465-4336.
For the 24 hour recorded opening and closure line, call toll free at 1-(866)431-FISH(3474).
FOR MORE INFORMATION:
Barbara Mueller, Resource Manager (Fraser River) – Delta (604)666-2370
Fisheries & Oceans Operations Center – FN1192
CLASSES AND COURSES
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.
Seminar: Nov 20, 2018, 6:30PM – 9:30PM
Guided: Nov 24 or 25, 2018, full day
Cost: $250.00 + GST
FRESHWATER FISHING REPORTS
Chilliwack/Vedder River Fishing Report
Fishing continues to be red hot and with this rain we should see at least a marginal bump in the water levels, if not more drastic condition changes. We are now swinging right through peak season and don’t be surprised if the big push comes through with this wet weather this week and next week. Chinooks are starting to taper off although still lots remain in the system including some clean ones. Lots of fresh coho and chum Salmon continue to come into the system.
Oddly enough, while we typically push the first light bite quite hard on this system, there were a couple of occasions this past week where the bite didn’t turn on until late in the morning after most of the early-bird anglers had left. With the rain and cloud cover now the predominant weather pattern don’t be afraid to fish past first light. Sometimes some of the best fishing can occur after everyone has left and the fish have been untouched for a while. The same techniques that were working during the low and clear conditions will still work, but think of bulking them up a little once the water gets some colour to it. For example if you fish single eggs then fish a cluster, or if you fish size 2 colorado blades consider moving up to a 3. Fly anglers will possibly want to pull out their heavier sinking tips to keep the flies down in the faster current. For the next week keep your eye on the forecast and plan accordingly.
If you want a good shot at some coho this year, this is the river to hit right now. Get out there and hook up before the run is over!
Squamish River Fishing Report
The Squamish River has been nothing short of fantastic so far this year. We have seen a lot of coho this year and they have been quite large as well. Currently there are fish pretty much everywhere so get out there and explore. Earlier this week we saw the dam on the Cheakamus opened up and that made fishing quite difficult. Since then it has dropped down and has started to clear up. Chum have started to enter this system as well, so bust out your purple and pink popsicles and jigs and have some fun with these beasts.
The high water from the dam opening should have pushed some eggs around too, so don’t forget your trout beads as this will really turn on the bull trout and rainbow fishing. The upper portion of the river is fishing great as well, with coho spread throughout.
We had some issues getting my fly into the report from last week (we have it in this weeks report – check it out below along with Jordan’s) and it is one that you will want to have in your box or at least something similar. Darker coloured flies in the 2-3″ size range have been producing quite well for fly anglers because they contrast with the milky colour of the water that we are still seeing. Black, Purple and Blue jigs have been producing for those guys that have the itch to twitch. Spoons have also been very productive for a lot of anglers as well. Size 3 and 4 K Wobblers have been a go to for us this year so far.
We haven’t seen much in the way of really cold evenings so far this fall, so the upper portion still hasn’t cleared up like we are used to seeing at this time of year. With the lack of rain, the eggs that have been laid aren’t being disturbed, so trout fishing hasn’t been crazy as of yet. That being said, if the weather man gets his predictions right, we could finally see some rain this weekend and that could shake things up quite a bit. Keep an eye on the river levels as if the river decides to blow out it can create some dangerous conditions for anglers. That being said if we get some cooler temps after the rains we should see some epic fishing for salmon and trout. The rains, if they come, should help to push in more fish so we should start to see even more epic coho fishing and some better chum fishing as well as some hot trout fishing.
Last but not least, be sure to be bear aware. As with every year we’ve seen lots of bears so far this season so have your bear spray handy. Good luck this weekend and we will see you in the shop or out on the water.
Stave River Fishing Report
The Stave has been on and off for the last week and we haven’t quite seen the numbers of chum that the Stave is famous for yet. While there is definitely a good amount of fish in the system and it is possible to have an epic dog day, the fishing remains a little spotty and changes from day to day. From what I’ve seen and heard this week it is still important to move and find the school of fish or at least time it with the tide in the hopes of intercepting some fresh fish coming in. Jigs and colorado blades under a float or big colourful streamers are you go to’s, though anything that gets them feeling territorial can trigger a strike so don’t be afraid to try something outside of the box.
The coho fishing has started to pick up somewhat but still hasn’t hit its stride yet. Roe, small spinners/spoons, and flash flies have been the ticket in slack water for a few lucky anglers. Other systems are currently fishing better for coho so I would leave the Stave as a backup option if you are looking to specifically target this species.
** If you didn’t read it above, be sure to familiarize yourself with the regulations released this AM after our report was written that will affect the Stave. **
Harrison River Fishing Report
The Harrison River has seen some fish move through, with most anglers targeting chum and coho. Anglers with a boat have a few more options for exploring, but anglers on foot have been able to find a few fish as well. Gear fishing with jigs and floats is the most common way to target chums, with anglers throwing spinners and spoons for coho. Anglers who prefer fly fishing are best suited with a full floating line and/or a clear tip intermediate. Small sparse flies are usually the key. We have a great selection of float fishing jigs, spoons, and custom-tied flies in shop, so come on in and hang out- any one of us can get you started in the right direction!
** Again if you didn’t read it above, be sure to familiarize yourself with the regulations released this AM after our report was written that will affect the Harrison. **
FLY FEATURE VIDEOS
This fly came to be recently for the conditions that we are currently experiencing on the Squamish River. With the warmer than normal weather and no rain, the water is still has that glacial green colour to it. This isn’t a bad thing, as last week when I was up there; there was about 4-5 feet of viability which is perfect water conditions for coho. After seeing a bunch of fish jumping in a pool I started with a copper flash fly to cast and strip, nothing. Then I decided to go a bit bigger and pink, nothing. One more change to chartreuse, nothing. I have been finding that because of the colour of the water, dark coloured flies that are primarily black have been fishing extremely well for me. First cast with the black and olive and a hungry coho smashed it on the swing. I call this fly the Popsi-ho as it is a mix between a Popsicle and a Hobo Spey. This fly has the teardrop profile that you want and it swims extremely well. Tie some up in your favourite colours and give them a go! Let’s get to the video…
- OPST Shank 32mm w/ Medium Black Brass Eyes
- 140/210 Denier Black thread
- Senyo’s Intruder wire w/ size 2 stinger hook
- Body: Lagartun mini flat braid red, Red Ice Dub
- Shoulder: Silver Fox Olive, Orange Holo Flashabou, Chartreuse Amherst
- Collar: Black Marabou, Olive Marabou – 3/4 wraps of each
- Head: Olive Brown Ice Dub
It’s no secret that float fishing jigs is a very productive way to target all species of pacific salmon. Float jigs are actually really simple to tie and usually only use a few beginner friendly materials. With the amount of colours that materials come in the possibilities are endless as to the variations that you can make jigs in. Jordan is going to walk us through a simple and easy jig pattern that is great for targeting salmon this fall.
SALTWATER FISHING REPORTS
Vancouver Saltwater Salmon Fishing Report
As we are coming into late October, the season is slowly winding down, or is it? Today’s report will be two-fold. First, naturally, a fishing report, but also some end of season maintenance tips, which I will get to in the latter portion of the report.
In terms of the Cap Mouth, I think most of the fish that were there are now up the river, especially with yesterdays rain. Our guide fleet haven’t fished there in over a week now, and I haven’t heard any reliable reports. We focused our efforts up Howe Sound in the first part of the week for springs, and we did find some good fish early in the week. We fished close to the bottom, where the majority of the bait was found. In terms of tackle, glow flashers such as CB55 and BC worked well, in combination with glow spoons. With the full moon closing in, the last few days has been tougher, but there are still fish around if you put your time in.
Winter chinook fishing is just around the corner, but if you have taken your boat out of the water for the season, or are not planning to fish until the spring, here are a couple of tips that will make getting back on the water next season easier. Now is a good time to take the rods and reels inside for an annual service; open them up, wipe the salt and grease off and lubricate them. This is a great way to add years to the reels. It is also a good idea to check and replace your main line after a season of use. For our guide boats we like 40 lb Berkley Pro-Spec, which has great knot strength, blue in colour and is very affordable.
It is also a good idea to go over all your other tackle. Make sure it is dry, wipe away any rust on your spoons, flashers, and terminal tackle. Go over your hooks, replace or sharpen any that are suspect or dull. If you are not using your gear until the spring, it’s a good idea to keep it inside the house where it’s nice and dry. If you need mainline or parts, our staff at Pacific Angler is there for you.
If you are leaving your boat in the water for the winter it is always good practice to make sure your bilge pumps and batteries are working. There are always boats that sink during the winter, and malfunctioning bilges and batteries are sometimes the cause. If the boats bilge pumps don’t work, the boat would slowly fill with water, until its too late. Another common reason, especially if you have an open boat such as our Grady White fleet is that water always finds its way into the bilge, the pumps would engage, but since the boats aren’t used, eventually the batteries would die out, and the boat would sink.
Therefore, its very important to a) check that your pumps are working and b) make sure your batteries are okay, giving them a charge once in a while.
Until next week, see you in the shop or on the water