Wet weather is coming – if the weatherman is on his game we are going to get drenched over the weekend. There is rain today but the big dump will come Saturday and Sunday so get that rain gear ready!
This is going to shuffle things up for all the salmon river fishing. For most rivers the rain will be good. That said we expect all the rivers to blow out by Sunday and be too dirty to fish, but before they blow out and when they come back into shape fishing should be good. The change in water levels will move fish around and bring more fish into the systems. Check out all the river reports below and also don’t miss Sam’s feature on how to cure roe.
If you’re looking to brush up on some of your fall fishing techniques be sure sign up for one of our upcoming courses. All October courses are listed in our classes and courses section in this weeks report. Get your spot today by calling the shop to sign up.
Ocean fishing has been good for the last week and should still be good at Sandheads and the Capilano mouth, but for the next 20 days every rain will bring us closer to the end of the season. Check out Jason’s Saltwater report for more details.
Finally, the shop will be closed on Monday October 10 for Thanksgiving but we’re here regular hours the rest of the weekend so be sure to stop by! Happy Thanksgiving.
CLASSES AND COURSES
Fall Salmon River Fishing: Floats, Spinners and Spoons
This 3hr evening seminar covers float fishing, spinner fishing and spoon fishing; the three most productive techniques to catch BC salmon in a river.
Date: Oct 12
Seminar Time: 6:30pm – 9:30pm
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 17 & Casting Session October 23
Seminar Time: 6:30pm – 9:30pm
Casting Time(s): 2pm – 5pm
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!
Dates: Seminar: Oct 25 Guided: Oct 29 or 30 (custom trip dates available)
Seminar Time: 6:30pm – 9:30pm
Seminar Only Cost: $45.00
Seminar & Guided Walk’n Wade Cost: $250.000 per angler, minimum of 2 anglers per guided day on the water.
FRESHWATER FISHING REPORTS
Vedder River Fishing Report
Water continues to be low and clear but the fish are rolling in. When I was out this week I saw a healthy number of chinook and coho as well as a couple of chum in the mix. A few of the fish are starting to colour up but still plenty of chrome to go around and there will be for weeks to come. We have had great success with Pro-Cured Roe on our last couple of trips so see Sam’s excellent Pro Cure feature to get in on that action! Other anglers have reported success on Colorado Blades and Blue Fox Spinners. In addition, fly anglers will be pleased to know that small flash flies and muddler minnows are working well especially at first light. The forecast is calling for rain over this long weekend so if it materializes we might have some fantastic fishing coming up shortly.
Please note that sockeye salmon are still in the system (I personally witnessed one swimming among a group of coho) and may not be retained. Cultus Lake sockeye in particular, which are endangered, are marked by a clipped adipose so be wary as it can be easy to misidentify them as a hatchery marked coho salmon.
We have a number of cures, lures, baits and flies that will work well for this fishery so come by the shop to stock up.
Capilano River Fishing Report
The water came up substantially on Wednesday bringing in a number of fresh coho and chinook salmon into the river. While the window for fishing for fall salmon in this river can be brief, it can be absolutely fantastic especially right after the elevated water starts receding. Drift fishing is a viable option when there is good flow so think about breaking out those yarn ties, egg imitations (non-scented of course for October), colorado blades, and jigs. Swinging spinners and spoons can be effective too; look for the wider bodied spoons such as the Gibbs Wobbler as they have more lift for a more seductive swing. Fly guys focus on your flash flies, egg sucking leeches, olive wooly buggers, and muddler minnows.
Harrison River Fishing Report
The Harrison River is shaping up nicely with the water level being at 8.8 which enables you more river access but with this rain forecasted for the next couple of days it might bump up. so if you can go before this happens you should be able to walk to the back channels and fish more areas than just around the bridge. The rain should bring some fish in the system which will be welcomed as so far this season I haven’t heard any reports of fish yet nor have I had a chance to go myself since the river dropped.
Fishing for coho is good until the first week of November but the best fishing is typically the last two weeks of October. If you are fly fishing use sparse flies and flourocarbon tippet especially if the river is low and clear. If you find coho sitting in the back channels you want to cast and strip the flies, if you fish the main stem Harrison for coho that are moving up you can swing flies for them as there is more current. Fishing the back channels is a hunting game and the main stem is a waiting game so it all depends which one you prefer but be sure that they both require a lot of patience!
Stave River Fishing Report
With the much anticipated and highly welcomed October rains, anglers can start to get excited for the upcoming fall fishery for salmon on the Stave River. In the coming weeks, both coho and chum salmon will start to find their way into this local system and anglers will want to start getting geared up for them now.
With many of these fish coming up the river on incoming tides, most fish encountered during the first couple weeks of October are quite fresh and will be willing to bite on a multitude of presentations. Spinners, spoons, flies, jigs, and bait are all tempting ideas, and anglers will want to be able to offer a variety to increase their chances at hooking up.
For colours, anglers will want to focus on pink, silver, blue, and green, and of course, chartreuse. Keeping a variety of sizes at hand to match the water conditions can also help increase odds as one will want to fish smaller lures and flies in low/clear conditions and larger and brighter in more coloured or higher water.
One thing that many anglers overlook is the addition of scent to their lures and jigs. Adding different oils to your jigs or rubbing on gel-scents can also increase your chances as your presentation goes from being simply visual to also having smell to help draw fish in or enticing them to bite with the addition of amino acids. Krill, herring, and also sardine oils/gels are always a good bet.
Remember, please treat all fish with respect and assume they are wild until properly identified and handle them with care.
Squamish River Fishing Report
Reports were good this week for coho fishing in areas of clear water. We are still waiting for colder weather to clear up the main river but it is not far off now.
When we get the first frost the main stem will clear because the snowmelt will stop in the hills. While we are waiting for this to happen focus on tributaries or areas like the Mamquam mouth where the fish are pulling in to get out of the dirty water.
Fish larger spoons and flash flies in blue, copper and chartreuse in the dirty water and have your smaller coho flies ready when the clear water comes. Jigs are also a great method and a great colour choice is purple fished under a float when the chum start coming through in numbers or “twitching” black, blue, olive or purple for the coho.
This rain will make all the areas dirty for the weekend but pray for cold weather after this big rain and things should be good.
Skagit River Fishing Report
It will be interesting to see if we get more warm weather up in the Hope area. Warm weather will makes things tough on the Squamish fishery but it will turn on the Skagit for the last good fishing excursion of the season. The last reports were good but the river was very low.
After a big rain in the Skagit valley fishing is harder because the spots are less defined. I would guess that it won’t be a good bet for the weekend but if it settles next week and the temperatures get a little warmer don’t rule it out as a good option right to the end of October.
How to Cure Roe for Float Fishing
Well the fall salmon season is in full swing and if you’ve been lucky enough to connect with a couple salmon you may have some salmon roe, eggs, or berries in your fridge or maybe you’re waiting for it to rain and your roe is still out there swimming around. Regardless, this is the time of year that we get a lot of questions about roe and what to do with it there are a few options and I’ll go over them briefly in this feature.
Curing your eggs with Pro Cure is by far the most popular way of getting a great bait in a variety of colours and scents. Pro Cure is a company that has been around for the last 30 years developing bait cures and recipes for salmon, steelhead, trout, bottom fish, and sturgeon. They are based in Salem, Oregon on the banks of the Willamette River a tributary of the Columbia River, which is a hot bed for anadromous fish such as Steelhead and Salmon. We carry 3 of their products that cure and prepare your eggs for bait fishing, one being the Pro Cure Egg Cure that comes in a variety of colours and scents. Each one is blended with a mix of bite stimulants as well as a bit of sulfite to drive fish crazy. Salmon, especially chinook salmon, are extremely scent oriented once they enter the fresh water. Salmon are chemical junkies so scent plays a huge role in your success on the river. The addition of Pro Cure oils and gels to roe is a game changer at times.
A relatively new cure by Pro Cure is the Liquid Egg Cure, which is designed to be a foolproof way to cure your eggs. This cure is a wet cure that will help give you a nice even cure throughout you eggs. It’s also going to be less messy as you don’t have to massage the cure into the skein yourself.
Last but not least Pro Cure has a coloured Borax, which isn’t a cure but toughens your eggs up enough to be fished as well as giving your bait a subtle coloring. It also won’t dry your bait out as quickly as the 20 Mule Team Borax will at times. This product shines for steelhead fishing but will also work well for Salmon. Butterfly the skeins just like the two cures above and toss your eggs in the Borax, seal in a Ziploc, and then refrigerate or freeze until your next fishing trip.
Store your finished product in a container or Ziploc with borax either in the fridge if you’re going fishing soon or freeze it if you won’t be getting out for a couple of weeks. Cures will last 6 months to a year if done right.
If you have any questions or want some more tips on cures and curing feel free to come by the shop.
STILLWATER FISHING REPORTS
Interior Lake Report
We are still getting great lake reports. Much like the Skagit if it gets cold things will turn off but if we see some warm weather lake fishing will be on fire.
Interior lake fishing might not be a bad bet this weekend, as the rain will not be as intense and next week we will see some warmer sunnier weather.
SALTWATER FISHING REPORTS
Vancouver Salmon Fishing Report
Well looks like the rains are on the way. Good news for those fishing the Cap, Vedder, and Chehalis rivers, not so much for the saltwater anglers. The forecast for Friday is for 5-10 mm, Saturday 30-40 mm, and Sunday 20-30 mm. This will, without a doubt, raise the level of the Capilano River to a point where the coho and chinook make an attempt to go up the river. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t go fishing though. One of the best days I have ever had at the Cap was when it was pouring rain and the river was high. All the chinook stacked up right at the mouth by the green marker before heading up. Myself and 2 other boats happened to be there. It was fast and furious to say the least with 16 chinook hooked in 5 hours. We have seen this pattern happen a few times, so the rain doesn’t always mark the end of the fishery, but I will admit, the end is near. The fish will eventually use that higher water to head up the river, so if you want to get out and hook some big springs, this is a good time to do it and soon to be one of the last times. The rain will keep the crowds down as well.
Down south at Sandheads, the chum numbers went through the roof the last couple of days in the test sets. There are also some chinook getting caught as well as some coho. The bulk of the chinook have gone up the Fraser but there are still some late white chinook to be had, including some tyees. I saw pictures of a few tyees this past week and reports of some nice coho as well. I was looking at some old photos and this next week there are some good coho days to be had off the South Arm. If you are looking for a change of pace from the Cap chinook, try heading south. This year will not go down as an epic coho year for numbers, but there are some big ones that will make the run worthwhile.
So we have about a week or two left, so if you haven’t had your fill yet, now is the time. There won’t be much going on in November until we start to look for winter chinook in mid December.
See you on the shop or on the water,