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Home / FIshing Reports / Pacific Angler Friday Fishing Report: September 3, 2021

Pacific Angler Friday Fishing Report: September 3, 2021



Welcome to September!   Summer just flew by – who can believe that school is just round the corner.  We’ll start this week with our saltwater anglers – chinook fishing did open on the first of the month even if there was a little confusion without an official announcement but it is open and Jason has details on what we saw over the last couple days.  

On the river front, we have info on the Squamish where there are still lots of fish but the water has gotten dirty again.  We also have a Capilano update where the river fishing is poor and the beach fishing is good but we are looking out for the first big rains of the fall to flip this around.  

There’s a Skagit report and a Vedder report and if you are getting ready for the fall salmon season, Matt has a detailed piece on understanding the confusing world of salmon sink tips.  He also has a video on the same subject so if you want to skip the written version click here for the video:   

As we head into the Labour Day Long weekend, we are here regular hours all weekend and closed on Monday 

Friday September 3 | 10AM – 7PM 
Saturday September 4 |10AM – 6PM 
Sunday September 5 | 11AM – 5PM 
Monday September 6 | Closed  

On to the report!  


We’re Hiring!

We are looking for some fresh faces to join our retail team for the Fall.  The ideal candidate should be passionate about fishing with previous retail/customer service experience, have a friendly and outgoing personality, be reliable and responsible and possess the willingness to work.

We are looking for someone with a flexible schedule including weekdays and weekends. A strong knowledge of our local fisheries is ideal, but we are willing to work with the right candidate that might be newer to our fisheries, with the expectation that you will learn our local waters quickly.

If this is you read on for the full job description here  and email your resume to kathryn@pacificangler.ca


Introduction to Fly Fishing

This course is specifically designed to give the new fly fisher the basic knowledge, casting skills and fly fishing strategies to effectively fish our local BC waters. The course is comprised of two sessions; a 3hr evening Zoom seminar and a 3hr casting session. The dates below show the seminar date first and casting date second.
Seminar Date: September 21   Casting Date September 26
Cost: $150.00+GST
Seminar Time:  Zoom Seminar 6:30pm – 9:30pm
Casting Time(s): 10am – 1pm or 1:30pm – 4:30pm

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.  Upgrade your seminar to include a fully guided day on the water, putting into practice your new knowledge with a Pacific Angler guide.
Seminar:  Sep 27, 2021  Guided Portion:  SOLD OUT
Seminar Only Cost: $50.00+GST 
Zoom Seminar Time: 6:30pm – 9:30pm


Skagit River Fishing Report 

We had good reports this week and water temperatures continue to drop.  The lake temps are still a little high but the river is now at a safe level and we expect it to continue dropping.  Thanks to everyone who sent in temp readings this season so we could keep an eye on things.  

The reports of hatches were also better this week and though a couple of the “hatches” were small midges that are rather hard to “match”, the fish were looking to the surface and dry fly reports were good on small parachute patterns as well as the classic larger grey/green mayfly patterns we all love to fish.  

Bulltrout reports continue to come in but this time of year the bulltrout tend to get a little lock jawed.  It is still possible to hook a few with streamers or larger stonefly patterns but the days of hooking “lots” of bulltrout are behind us.  

When looking at the weather, we will see a mixed bag again of sun, rain and cloud with temps in the 20s during the day and evening temps in the low teen range.  I would like to see the evening temps get a little cooler to get the big fall hatches going but, overall, the weather looks good for an outing this weekend.  

Keep sending the reports  

Matt Sharp 

Squamish River Fishing Report

Another week and we’re still dealing with quite chaotic and unpredictable water conditions.  We’ve seen the river clear up, muddy up, rise, and drastically fall all over the last week.  These constant changes and the continuous draining from the Cheakamus and the Mamquam haven’t made life easy on the fishermen.  The good news is that there have been a ton of pinks in the system.  It’s simply a question of whether or not the fish can actually see the fly or lure.  It also has been a total toss up of whether or not the fishing has been good.  Some days the fishing has been amazing; some days the fishing has been pretty abysmal.  The major factor in having a great day on the water has been whether or not the fish push upriver.  Unfortunately, there’s no really telling whether the fish are going to push meaning you simply have to go and hope the fish play nice.  The same has been true on the ocean side.  Furry Creek has been fairly consistent over the last week with a lot of people filling up on their limit.  Buzz bombs and spinners have been the ticket while flies like smaller crystal flash chenille flies have been consistent producers.  There’s still a ton of fish out in the salt meaning that we’re expecting those final fish to make the push in the next week.  Hopefully, that push is consistent over a couple of days leading to some great fishing but there’s really no telling when that’ll happen.  At the end of the day, you just need to get out there and check it out for yourself since it has been chaotically unpredictable. 


It’s starting to get to the point where the major push has seemed to happen and it’s time to stock up on coho flies and lures. 

Sterling Balzer 

Capilano River Fishing Report 

This week there is very little to report on the river itself.  Water levels are extremely low and all the action is happening at the mouth.  In saying that, one big September rain storm can change that.  The first big rain that raises the water levels will push all the fish that are stacked at the mouth into the river.  

As for the mouth, while all the action has been centralized there, it still has been hit or miss.  Some days are solid while other days are lousy.  While there typically is a pattern for fishing tidally influenced areas, reports of success have been all over the map.  Incoming tide, outgoing tide, or low tide didn’t seem to matter as much as whether a school of fish was moving past at that particular moment.  Coho and pinks are predominantly the species you will encounter though there have been a couple of springs hooked up as well.  Fly fishing has been extremely effective with small crab and krill patterns being the go tos.  Gear chuckers have also been successful on buzz bombs, spinners, and spoons.  

A few regulars of the shop have been hitting this fishery frequently and we look forward to hearing their reports next week!  

Vedder/Chilliwack Fishing Report  

There’s not a whole lot to report about on the Vedder/Chilliwack this week.  The first wave of pinks and white springs seemed to have arrived, but it’s still a bit early, and with the current conditions being what I would describe as “painfully low and clear”, targeting them can be a bit tough.  The good news is that things will start picking up very shortly as more fish make their way up the Fraser every day.  There’s also some rain in the forecast for the weekend, which would be beneficial.  

If you’re heading up to the Vedder to check it out, you’ll want to focus your efforts on the lower section of the river- it’s so low that I doubt many fish are pushing into the mid or upper right now.  All the gear that Alex discussed in his excellent Vedder River report last week will work, but downsizing presentations is certainly not a bad idea right now.  First/last light will be your best bets, as the lower light conditions should make fish less spooky and more willing to bite.  

Coho opened up for retention on the 1st, (4 hatchery fish per day), but they won’t be around in significant numbers quite yet.  Chinook retention changed to 4 per day, with only 2 being over 62cm, Chum are non-retention until October 1st, and pinks are closed until further notice.  Any in-season changes will be posted by DFO in a fisheries notice, so keep an eye on those for updates and, as always, be sure to familiarize yourself with the regulations before you head out.  


Understanding Fall Salmon Sink Tips  

This week we released a video going over the often confusing world of sink tips for salmon fishing.  If you want to sit back and have Matt walk you through all the options in detail along with his go to setups, be sure to watch his latest video here. 

If you want the Coles notes written version, here we go….  

Sink tips for salmon are confusing and we have many options.  If you are a new fly angler or an angler who is targeting other species and just wants a way to turn your classic floating lines into a sink tip setup, the Versi leaders are great.  They come in measurements of IPS (inches per second).  The goal of the Versi leader is to be as light as possible while still being dense enough to get down in the water column.  

Why light?  Well, any time you add to the floating line you change the grain window and how it casts.  In simple terms adding more weight to a floating line will load your rod too much.  It will make your cast sloppy and in the extreme case could break your rod.  Versi leaders are designed to not overload the rod.  The caveat here is they still add weight, they don’t turn over well and they do make your cast “sloppy” 

What’s Better than Versi Leaders?  

This is where the Versi Tip comes into play.  This line is a floating line that has weight cut off the front so it keeps the line weighting the same when we add a sinking tip into it.  This can also be achieved with a standard floating line if you cut 8-13 feet off the front to subtract the same weight as the sink tip you plan to add on.  

Again, these tips come in types with measurements of IPS and they also come in different weights so they can be matched to the amount of weight you have subtracted off your floating line.  Break out the calculators or just purchase a Versi tip matched to the weight of your rod and you are in the game. These lines cast much nicer than the above Versi leader options and because the sinking portion of the line has more weight than the Versi tips, the current pushes it around less and you get a more consistent sink in different water speeds.   

The last add on option is T material.  This stuff is dense.  It is actually the densest material they can make for a standard fly line.  It comes in T8, T11, T14, T17 and T20.  It is the same fly line coating material but it is extruded over the core in different amounts.  The T number is how much of the material is extruded and it is measured in grains.  T8 has 8 grains a Foot T11 is 11 grains and so on, all the way to T20.  

These tips are popular for spey and switch anglers but if you are willing to break out your calculator again, they can be added to a Versi tip or cut back floating line but, remember, if you add more weight than the line has been cut back you will over load the rod.  For most 7-9wt fly rods with a Versa tip we do not recommend more than 10ft of T11 or 13 ft of T8.  

Here is the Math 

6wt – 15ft cut = 65 grains removed – 9ft T8 = 72 grains 

7wt – 15ft cut = 95 grains removed – 12ft T8 = 96 grains or 9ft T11 = 99grains 

8wt – 15ft cut =109 grains removed -10 ft of T11 = 110grains  

Lastly, is the Integrated sink tip line. This is the best casting option because an integrated sink tip will balance your rod for casting.  You also don’t have to worry about pesky loops in the middle of your line when stripping for bull trout or coho.  The downside is you are committed to one sink rate.  

What do I Use?  

When I am out fishing for other species and might want a sink tip option but don’t want to carry a second rod, I carry a heavy 5-7ips Versi tip leader in my pack for a quick change.  

When I am guiding, I love the Versi tip system because of the versatility.  It is common for me to change from the type 6 to the intermediate tip depending on the water and also, as we have discussed in the Squamish report over the last few weeks, if you are snagging fish, being able to lighten up is the angler’s responsibility.  If you are a good caster start the day with the type 6. I f you are a new caster, run the type 3 until you are comfortable with the cast and controlling depth with the angle of your cast.  Hold back the type 8 or intermediate tip for specific situations.  

All this said, I tend to have an idea of the water I plan to fish the night before.  In these situations, I love the new multi density type I type 3 type 6-7 integrated sink tip for most of my river fishing.  The Rio Elite Predator is the line I am running right now.  I also have Float/1ips/2ips rigged on my second rod for the beach, slower moving rivers or areas that require stealth.  

Hope this helps you wrap your head around the confusing world of sink tips.  I you want to look at what leaders we use off the front of these sink tips check out this video on leaders for salmon fishing:  

If you want some fly ideas for the upcoming coho fishing check out this video on what’s in my coho fly box: 


Vancouver Saltwater Salmon Fishing Report 

Well, opening day was slow for the most part, pretty much a you should have been here a week ago story, and if you want the politics on why you weren’t able to fish a week ago, look at last week’s report.  Better yet, go to this link and listen to me on the Jill Bennet Show. 

Go to 29:16 and listen to Jason talk about Fraser chinook” 


Although opening day was slow, don’t fear, as more fish are on the way.  The abundance of pinks didn’t make things easy either.  The pinks will thin out and there are a lot more chinook on coming, predominantly the larger white chinook headed to the Harrison and Chilliwack/Vedder. 

The best way to target the next wave of chinook is bait, and we have some at Pacific Angler.  We have the smaller “red” herring that fit perfectly into an anchovy teaser head and we the larger “blue” herring that fit perfectly into the super herring teaser heads.  We have both style of these teaser heads in stock with another shipment showing up on Monday.   

I went into detail on depths and colours of teaser head and flashers in last week’s report.  That info will serve you well in the next 3 weeks as the large white springs roll in.  Make sure you leaders are in good shape after each pink or coho because these are the biggest chinook of the year.  There will be some 30 and 40 pound fish caught in the next few days, so bring you’re A game. 

If you aren’t going to fish off the mouth of the Fraser, or it’s too windy, give West Van a try or the Cap Mouth on a flood tide.  There are some coho and chinook being caught.  The fishing will be steady as long as we don’t get any huge rains.  More and more chinook will show up in the next 3 weeks as well, so the Cap Mouth is always a good flood tide option in mid to late September. 

See you in the shop or on the water, 

Jason Tonelli