We are in the first week of October and salmon season on the local river is in full swing. Reports across the board have been excellent and it looks as though the weather will cooperate for the weekend. We might see the “perfect storm” over the next 4-5 days and when we say that it means we will get some rain to keep rivers from getting clear, but we shouldn’t get too much rain to blow them out. Matt has a detailed look at the weather in the video report and you will see specific details on water levels and clarity in the river sections below.
Andre has another fly video over at Frenzy Flies. It is a cool variant on an egg sucking leach that he uses for coho. Be sure to give it a and the video report a watch for more details on it.
Lake fishing was excellent over the last week, we expect it to continue if the weather holds Aidan has more info in the lake section below.
On the saltwater front things are winding down but there is still chinook being hooked off the Capilano mouth and we have had some coho reports down at the south arm. Check out more details in Jason’s saltwater report.
As always, don’t miss the video report to get some extra tidbits from Matt! Watch it here!
CLASSES AND COURSES
Call the shop today at 604.872.2204 to grab a seat in one of our upcoming courses this month!
Fly Fishing for Coho in Rivers
Catching a coho salmon 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 put your skills into practice – upgrade your seminar to include a fully guided day on the water, putting into practice your new knowledge with a Pacific Angler guide.
This course is suitable for intermediate anglers.
Seminar Only Cost: $50.00
Seminar & Guided Walk’n Wade Cost: $275.00 per angler, minimum of 2 anglers per guided day on the water.
Dates: Seminar: Oct 15 Guided: Oct 19 or Oct 20 (custom trip dates available)
Seminar Time: 6:30pm – 9:30pm | Guided: Full Day
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!
Seminar Only Cost: $50.00
Seminar & Guided Walk’n Wade Cost: $275.000 per angler, minimum of 2 anglers per guided day on the water.
Dates: Seminar: Oct 23 Guided: Oct 26, Oct 27, Nov 2 or Nov 3 (custom trip dates available)
Seminar Time: 6:30pm – 9:30pm | Guided: Full Day
Introduction To Fly Fishing
This course was specifically designed to give the new fly fisher the basic knowledge, casting skills and fly fishing strategies to effectively fish our local BC waters. This course is comprised of two sessions; 3hr evening seminar and a 3hr casting session.
Dates: Seminar Oct 22 & Casting Oct 27
Seminar Time: 6:30pm – 9:30pm
Casting Time(s): 10am – 1pm or 1:30pm -4:30pm
FRESHWATER FISHING REPORTS
Chilliwack/Vedder River Fishing Report
The Vedder has been fishing very well this past week. All 5 Pacific Salmon are in the system right now so this can be a very exciting time to be fishing this river. Large numbers of chinook are throughout the system and coho are starting to get thicker as well. Pinks are tapering off fast although there are still a few clean ones kicking around! There are a few chum salmon starting to appear and there are a couple clipped sockeye bound for Cultus Lake too in the lower river (even saw one on Sunday!). Conditions have been great after the huge blow out last week and should hold for this coming week too if the Weather Network can be trusted.
Roe, twitching jigs, and spoons continue to be the popular method of choice and have been working well for both chinook and coho. Fish the right water for your desired method and you will be rewarded. The fish have definitely spread throughout the system now so this will open up a lot more water to fish and to get away from the crowds.
Squamish River Fishing Report
After the blow out last Thursday we have seen a quick drop in river levels and the river has settled to a very fishable level. The freezing levels have started to drop and that means the river should be clearing up. The weather forecast for the weekend looks like we will see our favourite “Coho Drizzle” up in Squamish. That basically means a little bit of rain with some cloud.
There have been more consistent reports of coho in the system and even some early chum in the mix. The blow out from last week has pushed a bunch of eggs around as well as dead pinks so the trout fishing is picking up as well. For coho, 35 and 45 size Gibbs Koho spoons in copper, green illusion and blue illusion are definitely a must have. Twitching jigs in a variety of colours is a must as well. A note on twitching jigs, colour doesn’t matter. It is important to have a variety of colours on hand because once you have caught a couple of fish on a certain jig the fish get very wary of that colour. Switch up jigs regularly to keep the bite going.
For the guys fly fishing, the normal flash flies are a must for casting and stripping in the tanky pools. Olive sculpin imitations do extremely well for coho as well, if you are casting and swinging. Having a full floating line with a type 3-5 sink tip is a must. If you are wanting to target some early chum in the lower river take some bigger flies in pink and purple. Make sure you have a large enough reel with enough backing for the fresh chum. A #8 fly rod minimum is recommended for these beasts. These fish are big and mean and are completely underrated when they are fresh, I would put a fresh chum up against a fresh chinook any day.
If you are fishing beads, just like twitching jigs, make sure that you have a variety of colours at your disposal. Last week the new Flamingo Glow was the winner when I was up. It is a bright pink but it has a soft glow to it when the light is dim which sets it apart from some of the other colours that we have. Peachy King and Fluorescent Orange are a must this time of year as well. Another new bead that is worth having in your arsenal is the new White Pearl. It is no secret that bulltrout can’t resist the colour white so I have high hopes for this bead over the next few months.
We have a large selection of spoons, spinners, jigs, beads and flies in the shop right now so come on in and let us get you geared up for the fall salmon and trout season!
Harrison/Chehalis Fishing report
The Harrison River is starting to see the odd coho encountered, with even an early chum caught this week. Though still a little early for chum to be a target species, coho should start to show up more steadily as each day passes.
Most anglers targeting these fish will use 7 or 8wt rods paired with floating lines and long leaders or clear intermediate tip lines. Paired with small sparse flies is the norm, but don’t be scared to reach for something a little more flashy.
Andre’s custom coho flies are a great choice to keep at hand. The one he featured this week “Iron Head” is a little better for coloured water or more moving areas but last week’s fly, the “Flash Cohordon” is a good one for the Harrison.
Being able to double-haul and shoot line can also help at times, making the quiet days a good time to practice casting.
As the season progresses you can expect to hear of more anglers finding success. Keep in mind that this river can be very windy making the wind reports a part of your pre-trip plan.
Keep your rod tip low,
Stave River Fishing Report
Things are still very quiet on the Stave and on the North Side of the Fraser in general. There have been a couple of fish filtering into all these systems but it is very early and I wouldn’t put in the time to drive out there from Vancouver just yet. The chum run on the Stave is a fun one to get into and it is very easy to do with just a purple/pink/blue/chartreuse jig short floated. We have a ton of these jigs in stock but they will go quickly once these giant river tigers show up and word gets out so you will want to load up on these right now.
Also make sure you have tackle that can handle these big fish, so if you are on the fence on whether your gear is adequate for this fishery come talk to us in the shop!
STILLWATER FISHING REPORTS
Interior Lakes Fishing Report
Air temps are staying consistent throughout next week, with a tiny bit of rain in the forecast. We’re looking at highs of 13-14 and lows close to freezing. There’s likely still a few weeks of solid lake fishing left, and it’s a great time to hit the more popular lakes as most people are staying at home.
This fall season seems to just be an extension of the awesome stillwater year we had. And this week was no exception. I feel like a broken record, but constant great reports coming out of Tunkwa, Roche, and Stump have been commonplace over the last month or so. We’re starting to hear that the high elevation lakes (such as Pennask and Hatheume) are beginning to slow down and the fish are getting picky. So, I suggest looking at lakes well below the 4000ft mark for some higher water temps, while also taking depth into consideration, as a deeper lake will hold water temperature later into the season.
As usual, balanced leeches under an indicator, stripped leeches over weed beds, or hung bloodworms in 20 ft of water have produced the vast majority of fish throughout the fall.
SALTWATER FISHING REPORTS
Vancouver Saltwater Salmon Fishing Report
As mentioned in last week’s report, if we get a second push of fish heading into a drier week, we should see good fishing at the Cap. That is exactly what happened this week. There was a distinct push of fish on Sunday and Monday and we didn’t get any rain so the river stayed low. The end result was some great fishing for chinook and a few hatchery coho as a bonus. There were some big fish too. We landed a number of fish in the low to mid twenties, lost a few big ones, and saw some big ones landed, including a Tyee. It was good to see this first week of October push of fish, some years it doesn’t happen, but not surprised it did this year since the summer and fall chinook returns have been so strong. There will be a few more fish showing up this week, but for the most part, the run is here. There is a bit of rain forecast on Sunday, but not likely enough to bring the Cap way up and trigger a mass migration of fish into the river. Therefore I would expect fishing this weekend and into next week to be pretty good off the Cap mouth. Eventually we will get some rain and those big chinook will zip up the river, but until then they are fair game for us saltwater anglers. Fishing will also taper off next week as fish get harvested each day, so everyday that passes there are potentially fewer and fewer fish, somewhat mitigated by some new arrivals of course.
It was a great week at the Cap with a nice wave of fresh chinook rolling in this week.
If the Cap doesn’t appeal to you, you can burn some fuel and head to the South Arm. Chinook reports have been slow, not surprising, as we are into the first week of October. My focus in this area would be coho and look at chinook catches as bonus.
Since some of you have hung up the rods for a while, lets talk about boats. If your boat is going to sit in your slip, a little fall maintenance can go a long ways. First things first, check your bilge pumps and make sure your batteries have lots of juice. Make sure the bilge pumps are operational and that your float switches are working. The big rains are coming, you know, those 50-60 mm days that show up every November. We always see pictures and hear stories of boats that sink. If your bilge pumps don’t work or the float switches fail, the boat will fill up with water and end up at the bottom of the marina. Don’t be that guy. Go down to your boat at least once a month, clean it up so you don’t get too much algae growth and that annoying pink stain on your upholstery that can come with it, check your bilge pumps and float switches, clean the inside of the boat with some disinfectant to stop mildew from forming, and if you don’t have shore power, put the trickle charger on for a day to keep those batteries strong. These steps will go a long ways to keeping your boat in good shape for the spring time season.
See you in the shop, on the dock, or on the water,