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Home / FIshing Reports / Pacific Angler Friday Fishing Report: September 29, 2017

Pacific Angler Friday Fishing Report: September 29, 2017



We have a good bump of rain coming this weekend. This is good timing for the freshwater fisheries. You will want to check out all of the river reports but in short the Capilano should bump up and the fishing will turn on. The Squamish will colour up even more and might make for more challenging fishing on the main stem but the egging should turn on where the pinks are spawning.

The big winner this weekend will probably be the Vedder. It is low right now but we heard some great reports mid week in the morning on the lower river and it should bump up and allow the bulk of the fish to push into the mid and upper river.

The rain is great for the freshwater scene but it might put a bit of a damper on the saltwater fishery. We are still in a great time of year for saltwater fishing. Waves of chinook, chum and coho are still rolling into the mouth of the Capilano and Fraser but the rain might encourage staging fish to move up the systems. Check out Jason’s saltwater report for more details and predictions but know that when the fish are stirred up there can be epic fishing but it can be spotty.


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!

Dates: Seminar: Oct 25, 2017     Guided: Oct 28 or 29, 2017 – GUIDED Dates sold out.  Custom trip dates available.

Dates: Seminar: Nov 6, 2017      Guided: Nov 11 or 12, 2017

Seminar Only Cost: $45.00

Seminar & Guided Walk’n Wade Cost: $250.00 per angler, minimum of 2 anglers per guided day on the water.

Seminar Time: 6:30pm – 9:30pm


We’ve got some amazing deals on Simms coming up! These deals are in effect October 1, 2017 until they are gone.  If anything on the list interests you come down or call in if you pay over the phone we can hold the item for you.

All Simms G3 Boots are 15% OFF Reg $249.99 On Sale $212.00 – Size 8 and 10 still in stock

 All Simms G3 Waders are 15% OFF Reg $599.99 On Sale $509.99 – Great selection in stock!

All Simms G4 boa boots are 30% OFF Reg $334.99 On Sale $234.46 – Size 10, 12 and 13 still in stock!    

All Simms River Tec 2 Boots 30% OFF $239.99 On Sale $188.99 – Size 13 in stock only!

All Simms Freestone Boots 15% OFF Reg $179.95 On Sale $152.95 – Good size selection still available

All Simms Slick Jackets 30% OFF Reg $599.99 On Sale $419.96 – 1 Size XL black in stock only

All Bulkley Jackets 30% OFF Reg $649.99 On Sale $454.99 – 1 Size large Black in stock only


We featured these rods last week – there are only 2 left – come on down and grab yours today!

Sage 890-4 Salt 25% OFF Reg $1105 On Sale $828.99 – 1 in stock only

Sage Accell 7126-4 Reg $1105 On Sale $828.99 – 1 in stock only

Give us a call or come down if anything on the list interest you!




Capilano River Fishing Report
As we enter the rainy season, it will be any time that they will release the dam at the Capilano River to help the stacked fish to enter the river. For now, we are seeing low and clear conditions. There are a few chrome fish in the system; however, they won’t touch a thing if the presentation is not laid out desirably.

Try to use smaller lures, and mimic the trout and other fish that are annoyingly following them around. Size 2- 3 Blue Foxes are perfect on this occasion as they will emit the most vibration and flash to trigger a reactionary bite. Twitching smaller spoons or a twitching jig will also greatly irritate them leading into attacking these lures. For the flies, try to swing streamers, cap buggers, Mickey fins, or leech patterns with a sink tip line. Remember that coho like blue, copper, white, and black.

If the waters rise, there will be good numbers of chinook, coho and the odd chum pushing up the river. This will be the perfect time to take your drift rig out. There is a bait ban effective in this system so drifting roe won’t be an option. But do not worry, as it can be quite effective drifting jig, small spoons like Dick Nites, and Mini Gs, unscented artificial baits or Colorado blades in various sizes. You can use bigger size lures with higher water, but if you are sure the fish are there and won’t bite, downsize your floats, leaders and lures, You can also use the clear floats as it will eliminate most of the shadows that spook the fish away.

Try swinging bigger flies, as the water will get murky. If the salmon get spooked downsize your flies again. Check out Andre’s Coho patterns, as they will be perfect for this system.

Keep checking the water level, If Kayakcam or Wateroffice site is down you can check the real-time water level on Metro Vancouver’s site.

Be safe out there,

Dustin Oh

Squamish River Fishing Report
With the weather being hot and sunny, the Squamish River was looking like chocolate milk this past Wednesday. The Cheakamus was in decent shape with many reports of decent coho and trout fishing  (both being taken on flies, beads, and spoons/spinners). The main-stem Squamish wasn’t too high, but was very dirty. My buddy Zach and I managed to find a small side stem that hadn’t been affected by the dirty water. Working our way down it, we managed to find a few willing fish that were keyed in on eggs from the spawned out pink salmon. It seemed they were keyed in on eggs in the “fresh dead” stage. When egging, it is important to have your three stages covered in a variety of shades to match the health and cycle/stage of the eggs. These three stages are fresh, fresh-dead, and washed-dead (the last usually happening from December through Spring). I have seen fish be incredibly picky, and the slightest shade difference can play a key role in success so make sure you have a couple options in your kit. Come down to the shop and we can show you some good options.


Zach with a hefty bulltrout caught on an egg pattern.

We didn’t see any coho, nor did we see any chums but that doesn’t mean they aren’t trickling in. From now until December we will start to see them show up. Besides flies and beads, many anglers will also find fish on spoons and spinners, as well as twitched or short-floated jigs in various colours- the most popular being pink and chartreuse for Coho, as well as purple for chums. But like anything in fishing, these colours aren’t the law or a steadfast rule- it always pays well to be prepared with a variety of colours, sizes, and tactics.


Jordan with a Squamish Cutthroat from his Squamish trip earlier this week.

May your rods be bent,

Jordan Simpson

Chilliwack River Fishing Report
Lots of fish are currently holding in the river as we come into October. They are starting to spread out through the system but the largest numbers of fish are still being found down low. We are getting some rain this week so hopefully this will bump the river up as the best is yet to come still.

Anglers are experiencing great success with pro-cured roe at first light and flashier presentations in the middle of the day like colorado blades. This can be a fun time to fly fish for coho as there are decent numbers of them now staging in slack water; small flash flies in blue, green, and copper and small sparse flash muddlers can do the trick. For those that want to push their gear to the limit against chinook your best bet is still in the deep pools and runs from the Vedder Crossing down. A few chum salmon have made their way up as well and in a few weeks they will become numerous as the pinks taper off.

Alex Au-Yeung

Harrison River Fishing Report
The river is still is on the drop which is nice to see, all we need now is a little rain to get more fish to find their way home, there is some rain in the forecast so hopefully it will stay in shape this year unlike the past three years. The Harrison is a clear and slow moving river, which is totally different than our other local rivers.

If you are fly fishing you need to use a clear sink tip line or a clear full sink line to have a chance at these coho as they spook really easy specially on brighter days. Small sparse flies are the ticket in this river and keep changing your offering as a pod of coho get bored of the same fly and lose interest very quickly. For leaders use 10-12 lb. fluorocarbon around 7 feet from the clear tip, if it is too long then the fly will not sink at the same rate as the tip. Vary the speed of the fly as you are stripping it; try small quick or long slow pulls to see which one works for that time of the day. My favorite choice of rod is a 7 wt. for coho but if you want to have a chance to land a chum as well an 8 weight is better over all rod.

If you like to fish with terminal tackle it’s better to fish the main flow of the river above French Creek as there water has a faster flow making it better for float fishing, the lower part just above Kilby bridge and below is too slow and shallow so it’s best to fish with small spinners and spoons such as Blue foxes and Gibbs crocks to name a few. If you have access to a boat there are some deeper pools just above Vincent’s spit that would be quiet good for fishing twitching jigs in various colors.

Andre Stepanian

Stave River Fishing Report
With the recent arrival of coho and chum Salmon to the Fraser Valley, it is time to start thinking about fishing the Stave River. What this river lacks in length it makes up for in sheer numbers of fish. This is a great place for beginners and advanced anglers alike; there is a large run of chum salmon that typically takes over the river by the second week of October that can be enticing for those looking to get into their first big fish. There is also a healthy population of coho salmon that can be caught from October through November.

One of the most popular and effective methods of catching chum from the Stave is to drift fish. Jigs are the big one here as purple and pink jigs under a float can get fish all day long. Wool ties and Jensen eggs can also produce big numbers but there is something about the jig that chum can’t resist on certain days. Similarly, big pink and purple popsicles and other large streamers can catch them too for the fly guys. Finding chum, especially once they get thick, will not be difficult. Finding the coho on the other hand is slightly more challenging; look for slack water in offshoots of the main stem and/or structure they can hide behind. Drifting roe, Colorado’s, small Dick Nites, or twitching jigs can all be effective for gear chuckers. For fly fishers, the standard coho flies also apply. Sparse flash flies for stripping through side channels/frog water or slightly bigger flashy patterns for swinging.

This can be a fun fishery and while it is typically very busy, it is a great alternative to the other more popular locations in the Fraser Valley. It is also dam controlled so the water is less likely to blow out after a heavy rain. This is the time to scout it out and possibly get an early fish or two.

Alex Au-Yeung


Skagit River Fishing Report
The Skagit is still pumping out good reports and as long as it stays warm, she will fish well right into October. It is closed November 1st but any time we have warm days from now till then the fishing will be excellent. In my early days of fishing this system (late 90s) we would always do a trip where we hit the Harrison early for chum and coho then race up to the Skagit for the evening bite if the weather was stable. I have memories of some epic fishing well into October.

From the reports the bull trout have gotten even tighter lipped as they ramp up for their fall spawn. Catching them is both an ethical and technical conundrum. I will leave the ethics out of it but because they are very picky I tend to focus more on the rainbows this time of year.

When a hatch goes off in October there can be a ton of different insects in the air and I won’t get into a laundry list of patterns but I will say that going prepared with a diverse fly box is critical.

This will be the last Skagit report of the year. Overall I would say it was a very good season that saw a return to a “normal” seasonal cycle. The water was high but just fishable in the early season and then dropped nicely over the first 2 months. Hatches were healthy and though I have no scientific data to back me up, I feel as though the rainbow size is increasing. Bulltrout numbers are still high but again with only a small sample size I feel as though the average size of bull trout seems to be decreasing ever so slightly. We can make a number of assumptions when talking about how the relationship between bulltrout and rainbow populations grow and change. I will leave this up to the biologist to try to turn it into fact, but it has been interesting and I am optimistic for next season.

Thanks for everyone who sent in reports and I will be reporting again in the end of June with season predictions for next year. If you have any epic pictures that you took from this season, email them to me at Msharp@pacificangler.ca if we get enough I will put them in to next week’s report as a “Best of Skagit 2017” Album.

On to Squamish Season!

Matt Sharp


Vancouver Saltwater Salmon Fishing Report

The fall rains are here and we are officially into the tail end of our summer salmon season. It does seem like things have slowed down a bit this past week but it wouldn’t surprise me if we saw one more push of chinook to the Cap with this low pressure system. Time will tell as always. Last Friday there were a lot of fish caught at the Cap and since that day it has been pretty sporadic. Most days we have been getting into a few chinook, but not any big number days. We have been getting a few nice coho while fishing for chinook as well.


Eddie’s guests from yesterday with a couple of nice coho and a chinook from the Cap Mouth area.

Down at the South Arm things have been relatively quiet as well. It’s hard to say if we will see one more push of chinook or if that is it for the year. We should see some more coho and chums showing up right about now and if you hit a good wave of coho it can be pretty active. Usually a mix of bait and white hootchies in the 30-70 zone on the riggers is productive. Remember you can only retain hatchery coho.



The Pacific Angler staff had a chance to sneak out for an evening fish on one of our boats on Sunday. Dustin landed this nice chinook. Still a few chrome ones rolling in.



Tom’s guests with a big one from earlier in the week. Not a bad “first salmon” of 26 pounds!

Jason Tonelli