Pacific Angler Outlook
The salmon are coming! We are seeing coho in the albiane test sets and numbers are improving every day.
The Pacific Angler staff have heard of decent Chinook salmon fishing in the Vedder River and some reports of coho salmon but nothing hot yet. Dimitri is out scouting Saturday and we expect him to run across some fish. The “Salty Dawg” hooked a big chum yesterday off the mouth of the Fraser so they are on the way and should be showing up in the rivers soon. Across the Lower Mainland expect the coho to start showing themselves in the next 10-15 days. The Fraser River is fishing better for Chinook salmon and Sturgeon. There is a salmon fishing bait ban above Mission Bridge to protect the interior Coho but you can still use bait for sturgeon. The Chinook fishing should be good until they close it around the middle of October and sturgeon will only get better as more “bait” (salmon) hit the river.
We are excited about running our drifts on the Squamish again this year. We had some awesome fishing last year starting about the 1st of October and we were still having great trips in late November. Our guides are heading out on Sunday for a scout of the river. We don’t expect great fishing but if you want to hear how it went give us a call next week and if you want to lock down a day for a guided drift or walk and wade we would love to hear from you. Call Dave at 604-872-2204 before prime time spots full up.
There has been a great response for all of our September fly tying and fishing courses and they are filling up fast. Pacific Angler still has a number of spots available for Dimitri’s Salmon Gear course on September 26 and 29th and 30th. If you are planning to fish the Lower Mainland rivers for coho and springs this fall, this course is for you.
Out in the salt things have been consistent. We have not seen “hot” fishing but we have seen good fishing. Every charter has been finding fish.
For the next couple of days the weather will be warm in the day time hitting low 20s but the evenings are going to stay cool. We could use some rain to improve the river fishing. The lack of rain has made for some epic beach fishing opportunities with salmon stacking up at the mouths of rivers. Click to Check out the full Vancouver weather forecast
Trout river fishing is still good in the Hope/Thompson area and we have heard some great reports of dry fly fishing on the Thompson with orange Stimulators. Although we have heard mixed reports from the Skagit River, rainbow trout and bulltrout fishing has been awesome.
Overall, beach fishing has been good. Check out Andre’s update in the saltwater section. Also, check out some amazing beach pictures from Mike Z, Pacific Angler custom tier, from his trip on the island.
River Fishing Report:
For a detailed look into the local river scene read Dimitri Roussandis’s river fishing report below:
Chilliwack River: We are half way through the month and things are shaping up. The river has been low, and will stay low until we get some rain. Fish have been pushing through in small bumps at night. First light and last light are the key times of the day. There are lots of eager jack springs around mixed with adult chinooks. The odd group of coho has shown up, and there is some early chum as well. As a side note, watch for late running Cultas Lake sockeye, they can be mistaken as coho from time to time. The first good rain will bring a big push of fish into the river and kick off the season.
Chehalis River: The Chehalis is still low and clear, and generally unproductive. There hasn’t been much happening this past week. There will be some opportunity once the fall rains start.
Fraser River: We have been hearing good things from the Fraser River. The odd red Chinook is still trickling through, but the river has filled with the Harrison white Chinook salmons. Sturgeon fishing has been awesome. There is hint of caution, there has been a bump of fall steelhead and upper Fraser River coho salmon migrating through this week, so make sure to identify your catch prior to landing.
Squamish River: The Squamish River is sitting at a nice fishable level. Small movements of coho make their way into the system this time of the year, but the best days to come are in October. All wild fish are catch-and-release, and there is a strict bait ban on the river and its tributaries at all times.
Capilano River: The ‘Cap’ is low. Until the rains come, there won’t be much opportunity for fishing. There is a bait ban on the Capilano River in the fall, until November 1st.
Thompson River: The Thompson will continue to drop in water level all fall. Fishing for jack Chinook is consistent right up until closing day. Fewer adults are coming through now. Trout fishing has been good. The fish are a little more finicky now, being the end of the season and seeing pressure. But the further away you are from the road the more eager the fish get. There is a lot of fishable water. It’s a good time to go and explore, and maybe catch a fish of a lifetime.
Skagit River: The Skagit has produced a mixed bag of results this week. The big fat rainbows have been present all week, but seem to be a little picky from time to time. The bull trout are lurking as always, and have been feeding heavily. Come on by the shop and ask the guys for some advice on some flies, tackle, and techniques.
Skeena Region – Nicholas Dean Lodge Report
Simply put, it’s been a great start to our Fall Steelhead and Coho season here in Terrace. Water conditions have, for the most part, been clean and dropping – a stark contrast to the muddy, expansive flows in the same period last year that made fishing difficult. I’d mentioned in a previous report that the number of Steelhead returning to the Skeena system this year were forecast to be above average, and while this wasn’t necessarily translating to exceptionally high numbers of fish during our August mainstem Skeena fishery, there do seem to be a few more fish in some of the tributary rivers, which is a welcome and encouraging sign. That said, with most Steelhead fly fishing scenarios, if you set yourself up with the expectation that you’ll average 1-3 hook ups in a day over the course of a week, that’s about right.
Without a doubt, the highlight over the past week has been the dry fly fishing. With clear, green-blue water conditions, coupled with relatively warm air and water temperatures, the fish have been very aggressive and receptive to flies waked on the surface. We’ve certainly seen a few mayfly hatches that have the fish looking up, as well. The weather forecast for the next week calls for warm, stable conditions with little rain, so the window for good dry fly fishing should remain through the week. Our preferred patterns for this style of fishing are the Grantham Sedge (originated by Vancouver angler Ron Grantham), and other flies that incorporate foam extending in front of the hook eye, like Scott Howell’s Skaopper pattern. Whether fished on a slow, continuous wake across seams, or skittered through a glassy tailout as Scott demonstrates in his Skagitmaster II video, there is little arguing that this is quite possibly one of the most exciting freshwater fishing experiences around!
In summary, highlights this week were: Steelhead dry fly fishing – clients landed 5 in one day, and the largest fish landed were: Steelhead – 16 lbs, Coho Salmon – 12 lbs.
Operations Manager, Nicholas Dean Outdoors
Overall the saltwater salmon fishing has been hit and miss over the past week. The fisheries have now transitioned from the Fraser River chinook run to the mouth of the Capilano River. This is great news for the local Vancouver salmon fishermen as the mouth of the Capilano River is a short run for most fishermen.
This is a very technical fishery the “90% Rule” definitely applies, which means that 90% of the fish are caught by 10% of the fishermen. If you want to get into the “10% Club” then perhaps our famous “Master the Local Saltwater Salmon” course is for you. We’ve posted a new date for the end of September. A big focus on this course will be how to solve the riddle of the mouth of the Capilano River. Give us a shout if you would like to sign up (604-872-2204).
The Vancouver weather forecast for this weekend and next week is fantastic. Sunny Conditions and daily high temperatures in the low 20 degrees Celsius. The tides are shifting this weekend from a mid-afternoon high slack to a mid-day low slack. For the early riser there may be good opportunities on the high slack (6 am). The later afternoon also brings another high slack (6 pm) which would be another good option.
Our guides have been doing well with their favourite teaser heads, 6 ft. leader, and favourite flashers. Jason was out yesterday and got a nice fish on a new setup. It was a Purple Onion flasher, Purple Haze teaser head and a 6 ft. leader of 30 lb flourocarbon. Remember not to focus too much on your rig but more where you are fishing. The goal is to spend as much time in the “Zone” as possible. Our guides like to troll right at the bottom anywhere from 80 to 90 ft. And as always be persistent. You never know when the fish will get on the bite.
For an updated fishing report three times every week make sure to bookmark the Pacific Angler Guide Journal. As well, drop by the store and chat to our friendly staff or give us a call at 604-872-2204.
Though the tides are not perfect this weekend we are expecting awesome fishing. With the lack of rain, tons of fish are stacking up off the mouths of rivers around the lower mainland and fishing has been great. We had a pretty impressive middle of the day bite over the last couple days off the cap and the fly fisherman were out fishing the trollers by a large margin. The fish are very selective at this stage of their life cycle. Make sure to come into the shop to get Andre’s custom saltwater salmon flies.
Next weekend we will have some good tides again and with no rain on the forecast fishing for the next 10 days should be great.
Happy fishing and don’t forget your stripping basket.
BC Lake Fishing Report:
Things have started to cool down. We are still waiting for more September Lake reports. If you have been out please let us know how it went. We got one great report from of friends up a Skitchine Lodge. Skitchine is a great high country destination with over a dozen lakes within walking distance from the lodge. They guys said that the bigger fish are now coming out to play with lower temps in the high country. Skitchine is over 4000 feet so you can assume that most lakes around this elevation will be going off.
During September and into October the fish will start pushing hard to fatten up for winter. This time of year is awesome because fish forget about being picky and will travel into areas of the lake that they didn’t bother before. Look to the shallows and make sure to have water boatman and booby imitations in your fly box. Fish the boatman on an intermediate line and the boobies on a heavy full sink. Leeches and Dragons are another great bet in the shallows as soon as it cools.
The staff at Pacific Angler hope you enjoyed this report. If you have any questions about our fishing reports please do not hesitate to drop by our store at 78 East Broadway or give us a call at 604-872-2204.
Have a great weekend and tight lines,
Matt Sharp & the Pacific Angler Team