It is almost the end of October and it looks like we have a great weekend of weather for both trick or treating and fishing! The rivers got hammered with rain over the last couple days but with cold nights and clear skies they should come into shape soon.
Chum fishing is closed (see the regulation update below) but coho fishing is still going strong. We have details on the Vedder, Squamish, Harrison and Stave in the Freshwater Report Section below.
Another fishery to look at is lake fishing. Sterling talked about targeting brook trout in last week’s report but Jason tunes in this week with some late season tactics for those who are not ready to put the lake fishing gear away just yet!
Last, but certainly not leastm we’ve got an update for all of our saltwater anglers so be sure to have a read of Jason’s saltwater report.
As always Matt covers everything and morel in the video version of the Friday Fishing Report – check it out here:https://youtu.be/0OE99_59-BY
INDUSTRY UPDATES AND EVENTS
We’re Hiring – Join Our Team
2021 is almost wrapping up and we are looking forward to a busy holiday season and a great 2022. With that, we are looking to add to our team! We currently have full time openings for both an Inventory Manager and a Retail Sales Associate.
Read more about each of these positions here and send your resumes to firstname.lastname@example.org
If you missed it earlier this week, the following regulation was put into place on Tuesday October 26, 2021.
Subject: FN1130-RECREATIONAL – SALMON: Region 2 – Fraser River Chum – Allouette River, Chehalis River, Chilliwack River, Harrison River, Stave River, Nicomen Slough – Amendment to FN1102 – Effective Immediately
This fishery notice amends FN1102 to implement a no fishing for Chum salmon management measure based on the very low in-season Fraser Chum returns. The full notice follows.
Effective immediately and until further notice you may not fish for Chum salmon in the following waters:
- Allouette River
– Chehalis River
– Chilliwack/Vedder River
– Harrison River
– Stave River
– Nicomen Slough
Variation Order: 2021-RCT-586
If you’re going fishing for salmon in non-tidal (fresh) waters, you need a Non-Tidal Angling Licence, issued by the Province of British Columbia. Visit the provincial website to buy your licence. Licences are available to B.C. residents and non-residents. Fees may vary and are listed online (www.env.gov.bc.ca/fw/fish/licences).
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 (866) 431-FISH.
FOR MORE INFORMATION: Barbara Mueller (Barbara.email@example.com)
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.
Zoom Seminar: Nov 17, 2021 Guided Portion: Nov 21, 2021 1 SPOT OPEN
Zoom Seminar Time: 6:30pm – 9:30pm
FRESHWATER FISHING REPORTS
Chilliwack/Vedder River Fishing Report
Salmon season on the Chilliwack/Vedder is starting to wind down, with a majority of the coho having pushed into the river in early/mid-October. Of course, there will be some later fish showing up well into November, but it’s safe to say that things will be slowing down from here on out. As noted above, DFO officially closed the targeting of chum in Lower Mainland streams on the 26th, so you can’t fish for them. Be sure to keep that in mind if you plan on heading out.
The weather has been all over the place for the past couple weeks, so fishing has been rather spotty. As we all know, rapidly fluctuating river conditions make for challenging fishing, so it’s nice to see a short break in the weather for the weekend. As of writing this report, it’s looking like the river should shape up nicely for the weekend, although Thursday and perhaps Friday will probably be write-offs. With these late-season coho being much less plentiful than they were a few weeks ago, you’ll probably need to put in some walking to find them. They’ll be much more spread out now, especially if the water is high. All the standard gear that’s been discussed throughout the season will work fine, just adjust based on conditions.
As mentioned, there will be coho showing up into November, just in low numbers. Think of these fish as stragglers, they’re late to the party. As such, they usually move through the river fairly quickly, especially if they have higher waters to work with. If you want to have a better chance of finding fish, be prepared to cover water like you would in Steelhead season… there will be fewer people on the water now, so this should be much easier than it would’ve been during peak season. Late season coho can be incredibly rewarding- you have to put in some work, but if you play your cards right, you can be rewarded with some very good fishing… sometimes, with nobody else around!
Squamish River Fishing Report
This week saw similar conditions as weeks past with the water spiking and dropping as expected after various weather systems moved through. The past few days saw the mainstem continue on its milky way, while tributaries held their shape for the most part.
Coho continue to be a consistent target species with anglers finding success across all forms of techniques. Flies, spinners, spoons, beads, and bobs have all gotten fish.
Trout and char fishing seems to be getting better and better with each passing day as salmon spawn and start to decompose. This life cycle provides a nutrient rich food source for both other fish and the river, including other animals such as birds and mammals.
Pixie Spoons continue to be good as the heavier flows continue. As the river drops and clears, switching out to 8mm and 10mm beads is a great option with trout, char, and salmon all keying in on this food. Trout Beads and Blood Dot Eggs are great for this.
If heading up, please be safe and make sure you have bear spray in hand while hiking and make sure to make plenty of noise.
Stave River Fishing Report
This Tuesday, DFO implemented a no fishing for chum salmon management based on the very low in season Fraser chum returns. Previously we had opportunities to fish for chum but not retain chum salmon in the Fraser tributaries but, with this new notice we are no longer allowed to target chum salmon due to the low numbers. Now you may still fish for salmon in systems that allow it, targeting hatchery coho salmon or chinook. As anglers, we should really try our best to change our tactics to act in accordance with the notices to keep our fisheries sustainable in the future. Change out those float fishing jigs for twitching jigs!
The coho fishing on the Stave has been good as of late. Float fishing roe, blades and single eggs have been effective in moving water with hardware, twitching jigs and flies shining in slower water. The coho have started to move into the back channels and sloughs with the higher water lately. It is a good idea to move to a lighter twitching jig to avoid foul hooking chum salmon. Sizes such as 1/4 oz and 3/8 oz are able to still achieve the same success on coho while reducing foul hooked chum.
In the back channels and sloughs, fly fishers should opt for a clear intermediate sink tip as the water is rather shallow and clear. Sparser patterns in sizes 6,8,10 have been working in drabber colours such as copper, olive and black. Don’t be afraid to play around with different stripping speeds and rhythms.
Please be reminded that the limit for coho on the Stave is 4 hatchery marked coho, only 2 over 35cm. DFO has been out and ticketing anglers with 4 coho over 35cm. Note that even if you are retaining jack coho, make sure to measure each one to ensure that at least 2 are under 35cm.
See you on the water,
Capilano River Fishing Report
This past week we have seen the Capilano’s river levels rise to 3.2m and quickly drop back down to 0.8m which makes for great fly fishing levels. With that said, we are expecting some more rain throughout the week with the weekend looking luckily dry. We are nearing the end of the season for this system, most fish that would have pushed in have already moved into the system.
As the water levels bounce between high and low, the most effective techniques change with it as well. Higher levels usually make for better float fishing while lower levels are more effectively fished with hardware, jigs and flies.
On Monday, Nov. 1, the bait ban will be lifted on this system. Float fishing baits such as fresh roe, deli shrimp and worms will be very effective for coho. These fish should not have seen bait within their time in the system and will be eager to bite.
See you on the water,
Harrison River Fishing Report
This rain hasn’t been friendly to the Harrison as we’re seeing big jumps on the hydrometric data graph past 8m as of Thursday morning. This isn’t a massive deal for those who have boats but will make life tough for people hoping to walk and wade. We’re already over the hump when it comes to coho fishing in the area meaning that fish can start to get quite picky when it comes to lures and flies as they’ll have seen all of them before. I like to get away from the standard chartreuse, purple, and orange coloured lures when fishing goes quiet. I’ll start branching off into those red and pink coloured flies as I’ve always had a bit more success with those colors later in the season.
Coho fishing can be good all the way into the backend of November if you find the right spots on this system so it’s worth taking a look again this weekend if all other systems stay blown out. You’re likely going to have to cover a lot more water since the coho have more freedom to move around instead of sitting around their favorite fallen tree. I’ve had pretty good success fishing right tight to banks in these high water events since the coho will feel much more comfortable with a little more colour in the water.
I’m sure all of you are aware by this point but do your best to avoid areas where chum are holding to avoid potential by catch with the latest mandates. I tend to stay away from purple/dark blue combinations when chum are around as they can’t help themselves with those colours.
STILLWATER FISHING REPORTS
Fall fishing in some higher elevation lakes might be slowing down or just too cold or too difficult to access with some snow in the mountains, but the lower elevation lakes are fishing well. The lower lakes below 3,000 feet in the Merritt and Kamloops area saw water temps dip below 50 F last week, lakes just over 2,000 feet, just recently so.
Once we see water temperatures below 50 F you can expect the fish to be consistently cruising in the shallows and close to shore, often in 3-6 feet of water. This can make for some of the best lake fishing of the year, but also perhaps some of the most challenging.
One of the keys is be prepared to move. You are hunting for the fish, in particular active fish. If you see fish jumping or rolling, move to those fish. If you haven’t seen any activity in your area, make a significant move to another area on the lake.
Once you setup, you can cast and retrieve leeches with a hover line or clear intermediate. It also is a good idea to have a fast-sinking line setup with some booby flies and be ready to twitch those across the bottom. If you prefer a less active presentation, try hanging leeches, blood worms or blobs under an indicator. As you can see, there are a lot of variables, so you need to have multiple rods ready to go so you can try a variety of presentations until you find out what the fish want that day.
Here are a few pics from my trip to the interior last weekend. Both of these fish were taken stripping in a brown leech in less than 6 feet of water.
If you look at the 14-day forecast for Merritt and Kamloops there should be at least another good week of fishing on these lower elevation lakes if not more. Even after that, the fish will be there and be catchable, but it will be more of a matter how late in the season you want to fish and how many layers you want to put on. Some anglers push it well into November, picking the warmer days and having some solid fishing when the weather allows.
Good luck out there!
SALTWATER FISHING REPORTS
I am pleased to report that the fishing for feeder chinook, aka winter chinook, has been solid for quite a few weeks now. We have had some trips each week and we are coming back with chinook in the 8 to 12 pound class on most trips.
This fishery is receiving more and more attention due to the chinook closures we are seeing in the summer months. If you are new to this fishery one of the keys to success is to keep your gear fairly close to the bottom. Also keep a close eye on the weather and pick your days. We will be fishing for these chinook for the next 5 months so you have some ability to pick the calmer and sunnier days.
Our guides have been doing well on brighter gear right now like the Salty Dawg, Lemon Lime and Chartreuse Glow Herring Aid flashers from Oki and Gibbs. Bright spoons have also been working well like the Gibbs G-Force 3.0 and 3.5 and Silver Horde Kingfisher 3.0 and 3.5 in colours that have some chartreuse and glow in them.
Here are some fish from this week’s trips.
See you in the shop or on the water.