The weather looks wet for the weekend. This is actually perfectly timed for a number of our salmon rivers. This is going to bring bumps of fish into the rivers and though it is early, it is going to be the perfect time for scouting with a reasonably high expectation of catching fish. The anglers putting in the legwork now, finding spots and learning how the rivers have changed over the summer, will be the ones hooking the most fish when things get hot. This week we have reports from the Stave, Vedder, Squamish and Capilano. There is still no news from the Skagit Fire Situation – we do not have a report on it this week because if you Google “Skagit River Fire” the most up-to date info is a link to last week’s Friday Fishing Report. We are still hopeful but not overly optimistic.
On the saltwater front fishing is far from over. We had epic fishing early in the week for sockeye but there was a definite lull in the sockeye fishing Wednesday/Thursday and we suspect that the fish we were hitting over the weekend and Monday/Tuesday moved up river. We are being told that the announcement of a marine closure for sockeye will likely come out on Monday, which means that it will be closed on Wednesday of next week at midnight. So its time to start thinking about focusing on chinook and coho – check out Jason’s saltwater report this week for more details.
If you don’t want to brave the wet weather the other thing that is perfectly timed is our Fall Salmon Super Sale (you need to say it in a super deep radio announcers voice).
You have probably already heard about it but if not, everything in the shop is on sale! We have three big sales of the year; Boxing Day, Spring and Fall! There is no better time to load up on gear for the upcoming season or re-stock the go to lures and tackle that you used this summer. You wont see better prices until after Christmas! Check out the list and details below!
FALL SALMON SALE
Get geared up for less! Our Fall Salmon Sale starts tomorrow. Check out the full sale list here and we’ll see you in the shop this weekend!
Sale Dates + Hours
Saturday September 15 | 10AM – 6PM
Sunday September 16 | 10AM – 5PM
JOIN OUR RETAIL TEAM
If you missed it last week – we’re looking for add to our retail team! If you’d like to join the PA team check out our job posting here!
CLASSES + COURSES
We’ve got a couple of spots left in this month’s Introduction to Fly Fishing and Introduction to Fly Tying. If you were thinking of signing up for these courses – don’t delay! Call the shop to sign up today.
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.
Seminar: September 18, 2018
Seminar Time: 6:30pm – 9:30pm
Casting: September 22, 2018
Casting Time(s): 10am – 1pm or 2pm -5pm
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.
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.
This course consists of 3 sessions; each session is 3hrs.
Dates: Sep 19, 26 & Oct 3, 2018
Time: 6:30pm – 9:30pm
Fall Salmon River Fishing: Floats, Spinners + 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.
Seminar: October 2, 2018 – NOTE NEW DATE!
Seminar Time: 6:30pm – 9:30pm
FRESHWATER FISHING REPORTS
Vedder River Fishing Report
Another week and another Vedder River fishing report! We are into the second week of September now and every day there are some fish trickling in. I hit the river for a few hours on Tuesday and results were pretty much as expected; I got into a couple on twitching jigs and spinners but only because I lucked out and happened to be there when they moved through. If you put in the legwork (or if you visit any of the popular holes) you have a high likelihood of finding fish as they are traveling in small pods. The water was up a bit from what we normally see at this time of year and the fish aren’t necessarily stopping very long at the typical holding points, at least on the day I was there.
Stay in the lower river and you will have an easier time finding these schools. The first light guys are still doing best so if you can get there early, do it. By next report there should hopefully be more consistent action.
Squamish River Fishing Report
It is still a bit early but we were out scouting on the Squamish last week. We saw some decent river levels before the rain hit on the weekend so we decided to take advantage of the high but fishable levels. This time of year is great to get out before the cold weather hits and it allows you to see how your favourite spots are shaping up for the upcoming season. Jordan was out on Wednesday and managed to get into a few fish. He noticed that the main stem was still too high and too coloured to fish so he stuck to the smaller tributaries to try and find some fish. Usually in high water we stick to the smaller tributaries, as they are usually a fair bit lower and we can find fish that are resting from the heavy currents in the main stem. Jordan noted that the water levels in the tributaries he fished were a bit low. He fished streamers and spoons and managed to get into a few fish. With that knowledge in mind I was hoping for a bump in water levels for my trip on Friday. I was in luck as the river went from a 2.6 to a 2.9 on the graph. Again, the main stem was too high and dirty to fish so we stuck to the smaller tributaries in hopes of finding some fish.
I brought along my egging rod as well as my heavier streamer rod so that I could cover all of my bases for what we might find. We have heard reports of some early coho already being caught so my hopes were high for getting into some nice fish. The water was still coloured in the tributaries that I fished but the visibility was still fairly good at 3-4ft, perfect streamer water! I started fishing the runs by drifting solid coloured beads that were darker orange and peach in colour. This early in the season you will notice that the eggs from the salmon are darker and more solid in colour. As the season progresses we get into the more pale coloured eggs. It’s always a good idea to have a good assortment of beads on hand to “match the hatch.” I managed to get some smaller rainbows and bull trout on the beads, which was a good sign that some salmon have already started to, make their way into the river. I even had a monster bull chase one of the smaller rainbows that I had on my line, which was fun to watch.
After drifting beads I would head back to the start of the run and swing big streamers through. This is the more obtrusive presentation so it’s best to do it last through a run. With the coloured water, larger and darker patterns are the ticket. You want flies that contrast with the coloured water, if you choose flies that are big but lighter in colour they will just blend into the milky flow and the fish will have a hard time finding your fly. The pattern I fished was a new one that I have been playing around with and it was purple and black, stay tuned for next weeks report for a step-by-step tutorial on it. We found some nice bulltrout that were hitting on the swing as well as the strip. Some of the regular runs that I fish have completely changed since the last time I was there in the spring. Keep in mind, these spots will likely change again once the heavy rains come and blow the rivers out. That being said it is still a good time to get out and figure out the lay of the land at your favourite spots. Keep an eye on the river levels if you are planning on going out right now. The rain is always a tough one to predict and some days you get the little bump of water that you need and other days the rivers blow. There is fish around and worth giving a go if you want a break from salt or stillwater fishing. You might have to cover ground to find them but it’s still better than a day at the office!
Capilano River Fishing Report
Even with the good amount of rain we had over the past week, the water level did not change too much. We still might have some rain over the weekend so keep your eye on the water level. With the low and clear water fish are pretty much lock jawed and won’t commit regularly.
Downsize your rig. Swinging spoons and spinners or twitching jigs can be effective. As for fly fishing, use full sinking line to get the fly down to where the fish are.
Remember there is bait ban on the system and to release any wild Coho or Any steelhead.
Stave River Fishing Report
We will soon start to see small pods of chum showing up at the Stave. Typically this fishery starts in the fourth week of September, now in saying that the bulk of the run will really show themselves in October. This is a fantastic fishery for beginners and advanced anglers alike as there are enough fish to make even the greenest of anglers feel like a hero, but it can also be broken down into very technical techniques for those more technically inclined. Short floating with jigs is best (and easiest) here, either on their own or tipped with a prawn tail. The fly guys can get them on big intruders as these fish are typically aggressive and will grab something that gets in their face. As for colours, think purples, blacks, and chartreuse for both your jigs and your flies.
Regardless of which method you go with make sure you have heavy enough gear to take on these beasts as they are big, mean, and very capable of busting rods and reels. Our Fall Salmon Sale is this weekend so if you don’t know if your setup is adequate for Chum Salmon, this is the time to save on a brand new setup! We also just got a huge shipment of jigs, flies, and the material so come get stocked up!
Fraser River Bar Fishing Report
The Fraser fishery is still going strong and we are pleased that anglers are not bottom bouncing. This method hooks too many sockeye and if DFO sees anglers bottom bouncing after the sockeye closure they will shut the entire river down to salmon sports fishing. So put the bouncing weights away and keep up the good work!
Many ask us how to fish with bottom bouncing off the table. Bar fishing with wedge weights and spin n glows is very effective for chinook. Sturgeon fishing has been excellent as well so if you’d like to give that or bar fishing a try come down to the shop and we will walk you through the setups.
Harrison/Chehalis River Report
With salmon moving up the Fraser we will start hearing reports from the Harrison and Chehalis soon. The Harrison is a large slow moving river with lots of great chum and coho water. It is relatively easy to access and offers lots of fishing opportunities for fly fishing, float fishing, spoon angling and even sturgeon fishing.
The Chehalis is a major tributary to the Harrison. Though they are the same fish, the river is completely different. It is a medium to small sized river with high gradient. It runs through thickly treed areas and tight canyons. It traditionally fishes better later in the season but we should start seeing coho soon.
For both these systems October is the time to really fish but as we said in the outlook of the report the guys out scouting now are hooking fish already and they will be the ones who hook the most when the bulk of the run comes through. If you are planning on fishing this system this season it is worth a scout now and we will keep you up to date on the latest reports as they come in.
SALTWATER FISHING REPORTS
Vancouver Saltwater Salmon Fishing Report
The late portion of the run was upgraded and that is what stalled the closure by about a week. Now we are being told that the announcement of a marine closure will likely come out on Monday, which means that it will be closed on Wednesday of next week at midnight. The upgrade in the late portion of the run allowed for a commercial opening and there were reports of as many as 35 seine boats out on Wednesday. That combined with the rain and low pressure (causing many holding fish to go up the river) definitely slowed down the fishing. It is pretty scratchy from the North Arm down to Iona and T-10 isn’t much better. If you are looking for some decent fishing you will need to head down to the South Arm to find some schools, but the sockeye season is winding down, just as it should be as we approach the third week of September.
If you are looking for some chinook action I would also head down to the South Arm in search of the big white chinook that are headed to the Harrison and Chilliwack/Vedder Rivers. They show up right about and are often the biggest fish of the year. They don’t hang around as much as the reds do, so don’t wait for a hot report, just go down and put in your time. Bait is the name of the game as always for chinook in this area. Fish 30-75 on the riggers with your favourite teaser head and flasher combos. There is a good chance you will get into some coho as well, so be on the look out for a bonus hatchery coho that is likely headed to the Chilliwack/Vedder.
Coho fishing in the harbour has slowed considerably from the last few weeks. The fish have been hit pretty hard and are starting to enter that “lock jaw” phase that staging coho are so famous for. We still managed some these past few days but the fishing slowed dramatically from earlier in the week.
The Cap Mouth is starting to produce some fish, right on time. We saw a handful of chinook taken there yesterday on the morning flood tide. The fishing is not hot yet but it should get better in the back half of the month as usual.
See you in the shop or on the water,