It’s the last week in September and the weather looks awesome! At least on the rain front but we are seeing some wind over the next couple days. This could affect saltwater anglers, so make sure you check your marine forecast but at least for the river guys and girls she looks solid!
With temps in the mid-teens during the day and then 3-6 degrees in the night with no rain after today, we expect all of our rivers to fish well. We have info on the Harrison, Chilliwack and Squamish in this week’s report. One minor exception to this statement is the Squamish. She is fishing “ok” right now but it is still quite coloured as we write the report. With temperatures around 3 degrees in the night it might not be cold enough to really clear up the mainstem. We have our fingers crossed because it will be close. Jordan has more information in the Squamish River report below and Matt talks a little about how to look at freezing levels on the Squamish to gauge water clarity in the report video.
For the saltwater anglers there will be wind so like we said, watch your marine forecast but we have had solid fishing off the Capilano Mouth as well as down near Sandheads. Jason has all of the details in his report today.
Lastly the weather looks awesome for interior lake fishing. It will get warm next week in Kamloops and with the hit of cold this week to drop water temps the warmer weather next week is perfect for heading to the interior. Aidan has info in the interior lake report.
As always if you want to see the report in Video Format check it out here.
INDUSTRY EVENTS AND UPDATES
Sport Fishing Institute of British Columbia – Policy Conference and Big Splash Gala and Fundraiser
On Thursday, November 15th, 2019, the SFI will hold its Annual Industry Policy Conference and Fundraiser at Vancouver Convention Centre – West in Vancouver overlooking Burrard Inlet.
Join us on November 15th for presentations and timely dialogue with experts from our sport fishing and scientific community and DFO at the SFI Policy Conference – Striving for Certainty & Stability. Stay on for the evening Big Splash Fundraiser, a lively and social evening that begins with a cocktail hour, includes live and silent auction items, raffles, some brief presentations and a superb sit down dinner planned by the innovative and talented chefs at the Vancouver Convention Centre. This event is expected to draw more than 300 guests and supporters from all over BC.
Get your tickets here!
CLASSES AND COURSES
October is just around the corner and we’ve got a great lineup of courses. Andre is back teaching two of our most popular river fishing classes. Call the shop today at 604.872.2204 to get your spot!
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 Only Cost: $50.00
Seminar & Guided Walk’n Wade Cost: $275.000 per angler, minimum of 2 anglers per guided day on the water.
Dates: Seminar: Oct 23 Guided: Oct 26, Oct 27, Nov 2 or Nov 3 (custom trip dates available)
Seminar Time: 6:30pm – 9:30pm | Guided: Full Day
Fly Fishing for Coho in Rivers
Catching a coho salmon on the fly in BC’s many coastal rivers is a bucket list item for any fly fisherman. Our course is designed to educate you on the very specific techniques used to catch coho salmon on the fly in the Lower Mainland. After your 3-hour evening seminar put your skills into practice – upgrade your seminar to include a fully guided day on the water, putting into practice your new knowledge with a Pacific Angler guide.
This course is suitable for intermediate anglers.
Seminar Only Cost: $50.00
Seminar & Guided Walk’n Wade Cost: $275.00 per angler, minimum of 2 anglers per guided day on the water.
Dates: Seminar: Oct 15 Guided: Oct 19 or Oct 20 (custom trip dates available)
Seminar Time: 6:30pm – 9:30pm | Guided: Full Day
FRESHWATER FISHING REPORTS
Chilliwack/Vedder River Fishing Report
We have had great conditions this week on the Chilliwack. Even with all the rain we got the water heights have been reasonable and clarity has been on the greenish to clearer side. Good numbers of chinook salmon are throughout the river now and a few coho are showing up in the lower river. Pinks are starting to taper off although there are some fresh groups still moving through the system.
(Last minute Update: We didn’t expect it but the Vedder blew out mid day yesterday. The fishing was good in the morning but water colored by mid-day and was a challenge to fish. It should come back into shape – look at the levels and base your plans off this knowledge)
The best fishing continues to be in the lower river below the Vedder Crossing Bridge, however there are some fish in the mid and upper sections now as well. Roe has been king for a couple weeks now for both chinook and coho, although there have been a few fish taken on spoons and twitching jigs in the appropriate water. As the water continues to drop and clear it will make for some good fly fishing conditions too, especially for early coho. I have heard of a couple whispers of chum spotted in the river too and while they won’t be in thick for a couple weeks still, this would be a great time to load up on chum jigs if you like to tug on these river tigers.
Capilano River Fishing Report
We have heard from quite a few happy anglers from the Capilano recently with solid reports of both coho and chinook throughout the river. The water has dropped but fish are still making their way through. This is one of the most urban streams in the Lower Mainland so get there early if you want a decent spot or be prepared to scout around a bit. There is currently a bait ban on the Capilano but there are many presentations that will still entice both coho and springs legally. These include beads, wool ties, jigs, spoons, spinners, and colorado blades. There are also some fly fishing opportunities as well in the upper canyon pools as the fish that have stacked up there can be more receptive to small sparse flash flies fished on a fast sinking line than gear. We still have about a month left of prime salmon fishing on this river so if you don’t have time to head out further to rivers like the Chilliwack, check this one out.
Squamish River Fishing Report
The Squamish has been in and out of shape as per usual at this time of year. Depending on rain and temperatures it can be great or blown out, so keep an eye on the graph and weather channel. As we write this report the main-stem of the river is dirty. We need to see the temperatures at night up in the mountain drop to freeze things up and slow the snow melt. Though there are fish in the system it doesn’t look like we will see those temps this weekend. Matt talks about freezing levels and how to watch them in the video version of the report so check that out and know that we are close to having the entire river at a nice fishable height and color but we are not there yet.
It is still worth getting out though and targeting areas like the mouth of the Mamquam or side channels were the water clarity will be better. Char and trout fishing is picking up for those fishing lighter rods, while coho are starting to trickle in.
Anglers have been finding a lot of stale and dirty pink salmon, making fishing tough sometimes since we want to leave them alone. If you can find nice water downstream, that would be a great place to drift beads or flesh flies.
Bears have been spotted throughout the system, including Grizzlies on the Mamquam and Cheakamus. Please be careful and respect the wildlife.
Be safe and have fun,
Harrison/Chehalis Fishing Report
The Harrison is a very interesting system. In terms of water, it is made up of the slow waters that are almost like a lake below the Lougheed Highway bridge, the waters above the bridge to the lake that have some flow and then the Chehalis, its major tributary, is a classic coastal river. We can also not forget the number of sloughs and lakes that are closely connected to the system that offer great fishing opportunities.
The lower river is a great fishery for all skill levels. When you go above the bridge you have some great beginner float fishing water where you can target chum and coho. The Chehalis is more technical and harder to access but a beautiful river to hike with a float rod.
For float fishing the water above the bridge make sure to bring your pink and purple jigs for the chum. If we get a good chum year, the river will be blanketed with them. For coho in the lower river spoons produce best but if you love float fishing and get bored of catching chum, try a Colorado blade in copper or gold. Other good coho tactics are to use spoons, twitching jigs or sparse flies like the naked muddler or olive flash bugger. Look for deep spots of slow water. Many anglers will also fly fish on the lower river. It is perfect for stripping coho flies and you will hook a bunch of chum if you switch to chum style patterns. Blue fox spinners in orange and gold in #4 are another great choice but the more variety you have the better the chances are of enticing a coho to bite.
This system historically fishes better a little later. We love fishing it the last week of October all the way until December. If we get some prolonged nice weather these 2 areas are worth a hike and scout to see how things are shaping up.
We have heard reports of coho over the last couple days. Chum fishing has not ramped up yet but it is well worth a look this time of year.
Come into the shop and let our staff walk you through what you need and more importantly the mentality and overall concepts you will have to think about when fishing the 3 unique parts of the Harrison/Chehalis.
Good Luck and we will see you in the shop.
STILLWATER FISHING REPORTS
Interior Lake Fishing Report
The lake fishing is staying hot as water temps plummet. We’re seeing highs of 15 in the day going down to negative temps at night consistently in the interior. This is exactly what we’re looking for and it kicks off some of the best still-water angling of the year. It also looks like things are going to heat back up a bit in Kamloops early next week. This is very good news because after a little cold spell to drop water temps like we have just seen and then a mild rise in temp, lake fishing can be exceptional.
A lot of the higher elevation lakes are fishing well, they are also seeing the lowest temps and are at risk of overnight snow, so plan your trip accordingly. Constant great reports are coming from all of the usual suspects. Roche, Tunkwa, Lundbom, Stump and Pennask have been popular destinations that are producing fish. Be sure to bring plenty of leech and bugger patterns and fishing balanced leaches under an indicator in the shallows is a great late season technique. A final note, as the temperature continues to drop, the fish will become increasingly opportunistic. This allows us to fish larger or brighter patterns to attract a strike and cover more water. If you are struggling put on a brightly coloured attractor pattern or a large leach presentation and then cover ground either by wind drifting, trolling or simply fishing at anchor for 10-20 mins, pull anchor, move and repeat.
This is approaching the final stretch of the season, so get out while you can!
SALTWATER FISHING REPORTS
Well finally it looks like the rain is gone until late next week and with the sun comes the NW winds. If the winds aren’t as strong as forecast, you might want to take a look down at the South Arm. There are still some of the larger white springs pushing through, and right about now we will see some good numbers of coho starting to show up. You can keep 2 hatchery coho a day and the odds are pretty good you will find some clipped fish. There are large hatchery coho programs on the Vedder/Chilliwack River and Chehalis River. Most of these fish seem to stage off the South Arm in the next couple of weeks before they head up the Fraser and onto their parental stream. Usually we catch these fish while using herring or anchovy while fishing for chinook, but if you want to target them, try trolling with white hootchies and picking up your speed a little bit. In the past I have down well with this technique and productive depths are generally in the 30-75 zone on your downriggers.
If the winds are too much for you to get to the South Arm, the Cap Mouth can be a good place to hide. So far I would say the fishing off the Cap Mouth this year has been pretty consistent, especially with all the rain we had this September. A lot of fish did make it up the river on 3 separate high water events, but despite this, we have had some pretty good days. If we didn’t have such a wet September I think we would have had some of the better Cap Mouth chinook fishing we have seen in a number of years. This is pretty congruent with what we have seen all spring and summer, chinook fishing has been good to great. As we finish September and go into the first week of October, the Cap should be decent. There are no large rain events in the forecast and there will be more chinook showing up this coming week. So it’s not over yet!
Earlier this week I was over in Sooke at Vancouver Island Lodge where I attended some Sport Fishing Institute meetings. We were lucky enough to squeeze in a quick morning coho fish and I am glad we did! We got into all sorts of coho and there was a good number of hatchery ones in the mix. There is a lot going on at SFI leading up to the election. Expect some hard hitting messages to be coming out soon. This organization is on the front lines everyday, working for your right to have access to our fisheries and promoting sustainable management of our ocean resources for all Canadians. Here is the latest SFI Member Update and if you would like these emailed to you directly, head to the Home Page and scroll to the bottom and sign up. If you want to support this organization, please come to the Big Splash Gala and Fundraiser on November 15th. This is our main fundraiser and your support is needed and greatly appreciated!
See you in the shop or on the water,