It is a big week! DFO has finally opened sockeye fishing in the ocean! Yesterday was opening day and our guide boats all came back with sockeye. It’s late in the run so fishing isn’t lights out but we are hopeful that we should have good fishing going forward. On the sockeye river fishing front, reports were not great when they opened it last week but we are still optimistic that this was because of the large commercial openings. With roughly 900,000 fish still in the ocean we expect better fishing this weekend if you are heading up to Chilliwack and Hope.
With all the confusing regulations, it is more important than ever that we support the folks who are working tirelessly through groups like the Sports Fishing Institute and the Public Fishery Alliance, advocating for access to sustainable public fisheries. With this in mind, we wanted to share a great opportunity for you to support the Public Fishery Alliance via their online auction that just went live! There are some cool things to bid on, including a guided raft trip with the PA team. All of the funds raised will go to holding the decision makers accountable when the decisions don’t follow the science or the best interests of the fish. Check it out here.
The last big news is it is a SALE WEEKEND at Pacific Angler! Everything in the store is on SALE! with a couple exceptions. This sale is specifically designed to get you ready for the upcoming river season, restock the gear you used through the summer and with the sockeye opening and saltwater chinook fishing still going strong it is a great time to you can make sure you have the trolling gear you need for the next couple weeks.
The Sales List came out yesterday but if you missed it, here is a link. Check it out and come down to the store Saturday or Sunday.
Saturday September 17 | 9AM – 6PM
Sunday September 18 | 11AM – 5PM
In the report below, we have updates on the Chilliwack. This is another big one as we are hearing very good reports and there are still lots of fish coming. Gavin has details on water levels that have been interesting – We also have a little update on when to fish the Stave because it is not time yet but it will be soon. Check both reports in the freshwater section below.
Last, but not least, Matt tunes in on all the fishing news in the Video Version of the report if you just want to sit back and listen to what’s going on in the fishing world around Vancouver. Check it out here:
CLASSES AND COURSES
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: Oct 5, 2022
Guided: Oct 8, 9, 15 or 16, 2022
Custom Trip Dates Available
Seminar Only Cost: $50.00+GST
Seminar & Guided Walk’n Wade Cost: $275.00+GST per angler, minimum of 2 anglers per guided day on the water.
Seminar Time: 6:30pm – 9:30pm
Guided: Full Day
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: Sep 27, Oct 4, 11
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.
In-Person Seminar: Sep 26, 2022
In Person Seminar Time: 6:30pm – 9:30pm
FRESHWATER FISHING REPORTS
Chilliwack/Vedder River Fishing Report
Ring the gong! The fall salmon season on the C/V has officially begun! This year, it seems like the chinook and coho are right on time! The first pushes of fish have made their way throughout the system. A large majority of fishing pressure has been focused on the canal area but there are fish everywhere now; a little bit of legwork goes a long way in terms of finding solitude and great fishing.
The river is sitting at a 2.04m on the NEW river level gauge. It is quite low, but don’t throw away your fishing record book just quite yet. As a rough estimate, I would say subtract 0.8m from the levels reading from the new gauge at Vedder Crossing, and that will give you a good idea of what the levels will look like compared to previous years.
Last week, we looked at our top 5 presentations for float fishing this system and the week before Taylor did a detailed report on spinner and spoon fishing for salmon. If you are heading out make sure to look at these reports for gear recommendations and come down to the sale if you need to add any of the recommendations to your fishing kit.
Stave River Fishing Report – Update – It’s Not time Yet But It Should Be Soon
“When will the chum start showing up in the Stave River?” It’s a question we get quite a lot around this time of year; the salmon are showing up in other systems, so surely the Stave should pick up soon too, right? Wrong.
Unfortunately, the Stave does not support a run of fall chinook and its coho tend to show up a lot later than they do in the Vedder, so there isn’t much of a September fishery. As such, the Stave tends to be a late bloomer- it typically starts picking up in early October, which is when the first of the chum and coho start making their way into the river. The upside to a late start is that the fishery carries on later into the year than it does on earlier blooming rivers… like the Vedder.
The main attraction on the Stave is the chum. They’re big, burly, and sometimes plentiful thus, making for a very beginner friendly fishery. The coho are also fun to target, but they’re much less plentiful and more difficult to catch, so they are certainly not the fish that the majority of Stave anglers are looking to target. The coho run is kept in good health by a large hatchery program, but there is still a huge amount of uncertainty around how this year’s chum fishery will shape up. We’ll have to wait and see if or when we’ll be able to target chum on the Stave this year.
If everything goes well, I’d expect the Stave to start picking up in early October, with peak being around mid to late October. Note that this year’s seemingly later run timing of chinook and sockeye might affect this but they are different species and it will be interesting to see if there is an overlap.
Squamish River Fishing Report – What To Look For But It’s Not Time Yet
The Squamish like the Stave and Harrison runs behind the Chilliwack fishery but also has to contend with water clarity issues to turn on. Historically the river is high and coloured until the first cool nights of the fall season. This can happen as early as the last week in September and we have seen it push out as late as the middle of October.
When looking at the 14 day Squamish forecast it looks as though things will stay warm. I would hold off if you are looking at an early scout this week or next. Watch the 14 day trend as we get closer to October and if you see a dip to low single digits in night time temps it is time to head up Sea to Sky. We will tune in more over the next few weeks to keep you all up to date.
SALTWATER FISHING REPORTS
Vancouver Saltwater Salmon Fishing Report
As most of you know by now, sockeye is now open off the mouth of the Fraser. Our guide boats were there opening day and all came back with sockeye, but in general the fishing was mediocre by sockeye standards. It is definitely worth putting the sockeye gear out to target these fish, but don’t expect easy limits in the first hour or two of fishing. It’s late in the run, the fish aren’t necessarily as keen to bite as fresh fish in mid-August, and the seiners have been scooping up the larger schools. All that being said, there is about 900,000 fish out there by DFO estimates and if you put down the sockeye gear and put your time in, you are going to have some success. The larger schools seem to be down by the South Arm, so if winds allow, that is your best bet.
Chinook & Coho:
Chinook fishing was good this week at the Cap Mouth, pretty much right on time. We usually see a good push of fish right now and into next week. With more fish on the way and no rain in the 14-day forecast, fishing should be solid for the next 2 weeks. There are some coho in the mix as well.
Off the Fraser Mouth from T-10 down to the South Arm chinook fishing has been great since opening day on September 1st. Quite a few coho showed up this week as well, some wild, some hatchery. Remember to release those wild coho carefully at the side of the boat and the limit for hatchery coho is 2 a day, min size limit 30 cm. Combined salmon limit of all open species, such as sockeye, chinook and hatchery coho is 4.
There were some strong test sets at Albion on the 8, 10, 12 of September so we are probably nearing peak migration of the fall chinook run. Most of these fish are white fleshed chinook heading to the Harrison and Chilliwack/Vedder River. There are still some reds around but the vast majority are now whites. Fishing should be good this weekend and into next week and then the chinook numbers will fade off but coho numbers will remain strong.
See you in the shop or on the water