Well at least on the calendar, summer is coming to an end and with it we are into the high point of a number of our fishing seasons. On the weather front they are have been predicting a warm fall. In the short term forecast it looks as though they have it right, epic sun and high temps in the forecast.
We are hearing about some great fishing on the saltwater front with some really big fish rolling through the mouth of the Fraser. Though some anglers have had to put in some time to find the fish, overall the fishing has been excellent.
Matt and the staff are hitting the Skagit this weekend and the reports leading up to the weekend have been very good. We will have a ton more info in next week’s report after their trip but check out this week’s report for details on what they are expecting and hoping for.
The pink fishing has been a little bit of a letdown this season. There have been moments of lights out fishing on the beaches, up Indian Arm and on the Squamish but it has not been as good as previous cycles. We are still hearing positive reports from the Squamish but we feel as though the bulk of the run has hit the rivers. Check out the Squamish section to learn more.
We are hoping that the coho fishing at the Capilano has not finished. If we have a prolonged summer the big northern fish and the chinook should start stacking up soon and we have already heard of some chinook caught off the beach. They have been letting a little water out of the dam so we have seen some better fishing on the river over the last 2 weeks. It will be interesting to see what this weekend has to offer.
Last but not least we are looking forward to the rest of salmon season. The Vedder coho and pink season is not far out and it should be picking up soon. See the Vedder outlook and start getting leader boards and flies ready.
Good luck out on the water.
CLASSES AND COURSES
September is here – the kids are heading back to the classroom so why not you? Join us in one of our upcoming September courses.
Introduction to Fly Tying
There is no greater satisfaction than catching a fish with a fly you tied yourself. This Introduction to Fly Tying course was specifically designed to give you the fundamental skills needed to tie proven fly patterns used here in BC for trout, salmon and steelhead.
This course consists of 3 sessions; each session is 3hrs.
Students are required to supply their own vise, tools and materials. A 10% discount is available on fly tying materials and tools purchased for the course.
Dates: September 19, 26 and October 3, 6:30PM – 9:30PM – SOLD OUT – PUT YOUR NAME ON THE WAITLIST FOR POTENTIAL NEW FALL DATES
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. The dates below show the seminar date first and casting date second.
Dates – Seminar: September 20, 6:30PM-9:30PM
Dates – Casting: September 23, 10AM – 1PM or 2PM – 5PM
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.
Dates: Sep 25, 6:30PM – 9:30PM
If you haven’t been yet be there is still time to take in this great experience!
UNINTERRUPTED will bring the heart of a wild salmon-bearing river to the heart of the city by transforming a downtown Vancouver bridge in the summer of 2017.
As the sun sets over Vancouver this summer, the undersurface of the Cambie Bridge will transform into a wild river filled with migrating salmon. UNINTERRUPTED takes viewers on a beautiful and immersive journey that has been repeated in BC waters for millennia.
Spectators will travel upstream with silver Sockeye turning to crimson as they return to their freshwater birthplace to spawn – a natural cycle that nourishes land, water, animals and _people, but faces growing threats from human intervention.
Tuesday – Saturday until September 24 – 9:00PM
Free viewing takes place in Coopers’ Park, on the north side of the bridge, with nightly capacity for up to 800 people. Organizers ask that you arrive at least 15 minutes in advance; there are also pre-event projections to enjoy.
Learn more about the show’s origin
FRIDAY FEATURE PRODUCT
New Reels from Redington that Are the best of both worlds
Cost Effective – Clean Design – Added Flare
Redington has become the leader in cool, reasonably priced, and high quality fly fishing equipment. They keep finding ways to make simple cost effective materials way more durable than they have any right to be and making them look super cool in the process.
They introduced the Behemoth series of reels last year and everyone has been blown away with their durability. Sure, a few get broken when they get smashed or badly dropped but there is literally nothing under the $200 mark that comes close to matching the fish stopping, torque resistant power of the Behemoth and their warranty track record has been amazing.
It looks as though Redington has done it again at an even sharper price point.
Introducing the Redington ID
This reel comes in at $125CAD. It is not a Behemoth and has not been designed for maximum drag power and heavy applications but it has borrowed some innovations from the Behemoth that should let it punch well above its entry level price tag. This is a perfect trout reel and we are not scared to sell it as a light salmon reel.
Now the cool part – The ID has a very cool, solid back frame that should improve durability and add some protection from silt and sand but it also gives the reel almost a classic look. Clean, simple and not too loud is the way I describe it. I like this styling and I think many of you who just want a simple work horse reel will appreciate it but that’s where the ID hits the best of both worlds. The solid back can take a heavy duty decal (I don’t want to call it a sticker because they are way more durable than a traditional sticker) but basically it sticks onto the back plate of the reel turning your clean, classic fly reel into whatever crazy style you want. With over 30 options and the ability to change as many times as you want, you can go out one day sporting your countries colours, when that gets boring or takes some dings from rocks you can sport something else. They have everything from a clean, catch and release decal to a pink donut decal that is hilarious.
The reels come with one standard decal that you can try. Additional decals cost $6.99 but for this week only if you purchase an ID reel you can sit down, pick out 2 additional decals from the cataloged and we will order them in for you for free!
Come talk to the guys at the shop. Tell them you saw this promotion in the Friday fishing report and they will show you the options!
Promotion runs September 1 – September 6, 2017
FRESHWATER FISHING REPORTS
Chilliwack River Fishing Report
The Chilliwack River is very low at the moment. With the dry season that we had, we haven’t been seeing many fish moving through the system. People have been seeing small schools of pinks moving through, but not in substantial numbers. However, there have been lots of reports of fish moving through the Fraser River to reach the tributaries and we expect more reports as soon as some rain starts coming down. With the forecasted rain two weeks from now, we expect to see schools of fish moving in the system during that time.
As for now, it will be a good idea to stop by the shop, so you can get yourself prepared for the upcoming season. Ask our knowledgeable staff about recommendations for lures or bait and proper river salmon set-ups.
It’s also a great time to scout the river to see any changes in the river as the system changes every year. It’s also not a bad idea to dip the line in to relieve stress, and possibly hook some moving fish. Use lighter line and downsize your set-up to improve your hookup rate in the low and clear water. Even if there isn’t any fish to be caught on a scouting day, you will be setting yourself up for success when the fish show up.
Squamish River Fishing Report
August has come and gone and while, for the longest time, many of us were hoping the big push of pinks would be “late” it looks like the run has started to taper off. The past 7 days have shown an influx of coloured and “humped” fish, which is a stark contrast to prior weeks when 98% of the fish were chrome. For those that want to get out there fret not, there are still some nice fish to be had but you may need to wade through the old fish to get to the fresh (no pun intended!).
Fish the faster moving water as the coloured fish will likely stage on the inside of the seam with little current and this way you can get into the travelling lanes of the nicer fish that are moving further upstream. As always anything pink will do, but don’t forget about other colours like chartreuse and orange! All methods are producing equally well now so be it fly, drift, or gear, you will have a decent shot at a fish or two. This fishery will most likely only be good for the next week and after that it will be time to focus on other fisheries.
If you are not into the pink fishing or have caught your fill, now that the fish are spawning, egging season for bulltrout resident rainbows and cutthroat is starting. We will have a detailed feature on the beads indicators and floats next week but it is one of the coolest fisheries if you are not into salmon fishing or need a break from swinging flies or spoons.
Capilano River Fishing Report
The Capilano River has been seeing some good fishing for coho and the odd pink that entered the system. The water level of this system has gotten much lower since the past week, which can be a good thing or a bad thing. The good news is that the most fish will be stuck in the same pools. The bad news is that they will be extremely picky. The key to success in this river is to be there at first light. Using smaller lures can also greatly increase your chance to fool picky fish. Watch the Cap Cam for water levels. It seems that any time they open the dam a little fresh fish push in and the fishing turns on.
Skagit River Fishing Report
We are coming into one of my favourite times of year to fish the Skagit. It is still a touch early but we are hitting the water this weekend. We are looking forward to some exploring and with any luck some good hatches.
We heard very solid reports over the last week. Historically the best fishing of the season is from now until about Sept 25. The second the nights cool down a little and the days start getting shorter we see the intensity of hatches increase. While it is still warm the hatches seem to be later in the day but when we start to get cooler mornings the 10 o’clock hatches become more defined.
Golden stones, prince nymphs, hares ears and girdle bugs should all be in your box for when the hatch is not coming off but we find that if you want to forego nymphing you can have solid dry fly action all day long this time of year. Grey and green mayflies in a variety of sizes, yellow caddis in smaller sizes and then your go-to attractor patterns; stimulators, humpies and royal wolfs will all catch fish. We even heard a great report from a customer using medium to small Cali blonds.
We will have more info in next week’s report and if you head out remember that the Skagit is a single barb-less catch and release fishery.
If you missed the Skagit Video a couple weeks ago check it out if you want to see some good nymphing and swung fly footage. With any luck we can get some good dry fly footage this weekend https://vimeo.com/226530396
SALTWATER FISHING REPORTS
Beach Fishing Report
The tides are going to be good at Ambleside Park until Thursday. September is finally here and we can anticipate the arrival of Capilano chinook and bigger coho hanging around in our estuary. As long as the first heavy rainfall holds off we can expect the beach fishing to continue. Already I have heard of a couple of chinook caught on both fly and gear from the beach.
The coho are going to be bigger than your average sized fish in the beginning of the season so it’s not a bad idea to increase your fluorocarbon tippet to 12lb just in case you hook a coho in the double digits as well as having a chance to land a chinook. If you are fishing off a boat use a intermediate sink tip or full intermediate line to get the fly down and strip the fly upwards with long slow pulls, also you can fish larger flies than the usual small ones we fish in the early season. White, copper, blue and green bead head woolly buggers and Mickey fin style steamers will work. If you are daring and want more of a challenge that it already is now is the best time to fish poppers for some surface action so try to catch a few good tides this month until they head up the rivers.
See you on the beach.
Vancouver Saltwater Salmon Fishing Report
We had some classic late August chinook fishing this past week. Relatively calm seas, hot weather, and lots of red springs around. There were some pretty awesome catches of chinook from the South Arm, T 10, North Arm and the Bell Buoy. In particular there were some banner days early in the week at the Bell with Jason, Eddie, and Lars getting limits on their charters some days. As the week progressed it seems those fish moved on or went up the river and the action off the South Arm was more consistent. There was a pulse of fish off the North Arm on the Thursday evening flood though, so you never know. Keep in mind these fish are showing up on the tide, may or may not hang around for a few days, then they head up the river. So the fishing can change dramatically day to day and even tide to tide.
The fish have been relatively shallow for the most part, 35-65 on the riggers has been hot. There were a few days when the fish were deeper, those with good electronics did see some down in the 90-120 range and adjusted depths and were paid with some nice fish in the boat. That being said, if you had to choose a 10 foot zone this past week you would have to pick 45-55 as most of the fish that hit our dock came from those numbers on the rigger. As usual, bait has been hot. We have been fishing about a 50/50 mix of anchovies and herring, in particular the smaller green and red sized herring that fit well into the anchovy classic teaser heads. For anchovies we have been using 5.25 and 5.5. Hot teaser heads have been the UV green versions on the top rods and glow green and glow chartreuse versions on the deeper rods. Productive flashers have been the Green Onion Glow, Club Dub Glow, Salty Dawg, Madi, Lemon Lime, and Chartreuse Glow.
We have been laser focused on chinook this past week so we haven’t been chasing coho or pinks off West Van. I did take a few hours to sneak over to the Cap Mouth on one of the flood tides this week to do some prospecting. I didn’t hook or see any chinook on the sounder but we did pick up a nice hatchery coho, then we took off to the Bell because the bite was on.
As we are now into September, expect the number of red springs to dwindle and some more white springs to show up. The whites are often a lot bigger and usually the biggest fish of the year. Anyone who fishes the Vedder and Harrison knows what I mean. This is your chance to hook a tyee (chinook over 30 pounds) in our local waters. Check out this big white that was landed off the North Arm on Thursday night when Mike Miller and Kyle O’Connor went out at 4:30 pm for an evening fish. Friendships are strengthened or ruined when it comes to netting a fish like this! Nice job guys…
Traditionally the best place to catch the big whites is the South Arm, so if the winds allow, you may want to spend a little more time down there over the next 2-3 weeks. We will also get some of these fish off the Bell, usually the ones headed to the Cap.
That’s about all we have to report at the moment, so make sure your gear is in perfect shape in case you hook a big white spring, and see you out there!