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Home / FIshing Reports / Pacific Angler Friday Fishing Report: September 30, 2022

Pacific Angler Friday Fishing Report: September 30, 2022


We are in a funny spot when it comes to fishing around the Lower Mainland. The dry fall has extended the fishing in the saltwater as salmon continue to stage around the mouth of the Fraser and Capilano Rivers but, on the flip side, the river anglers are facing the challenges that come with low water and “late” fish.  

The focus for both the saltwater angler and the freshwater angler should be the 14-day forecast. We are seeing warm, dry conditions in the 14 day as we write the report. This should mean more great ocean fishing but, more challenging low water river fishing.  Below, Taylor goes into this in detail when looking at the river fishing across the Lower Mainland.  We also have a more detailed report on the Chilliwack and the Squamish Rivers. These two major systems are both seeing low water but, it is interesting how the unique characteristics of these systems, combined with low water, are affecting the fishing differently. 

Matt was a little under the weather last weekend so he is playing catch up and will be tuning in with the video version of the report next week. If you want to check out some of our older videos related to current and upcoming fisheries, we have a list here for you to check out! 

Best Sink Tips For Salmon Fishing – Sink Tips Explained for Fly Fishing for Salmon 

In this video we look at a the many sinktip options for fly fishing for salmon. From Versi leader sink tips to Versa Tip Sink tips to T material, Matt explains beginner fly fishing for salmon options all the way to advance fly fishing for salmon setups.  Click here for this video. 

Leaders For Coho // How to Fly Fish For Salmon 

In this how to video we look at how to make a simple salmon leader that you can adapt to your specific fly setup for coho salmon.   Click here for this video. 

The Poisoned Arrow Coho Fly 

This is one of the better slow water coho patterns for colored water.  If you’ve got some time to spend at the vice this is one, we recommend.   Check out the video for all the details. 

What’s in Our Fall Salmon Coho Fly Box 

In this video we look at what patterns you would want to put in a fall salmon box. This is an old video and we no longer have the custom prebuilt boxes for sale but we have most of the flies in stock and out staff can help build you something similar customized for where you are fishing and when. 


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
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

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.  After your 3 hr, seminar, you will then put the skills into practise during a fully guided day on the water.
In-Person Seminar: October 19, 2022
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

Fly Fishing Egg Patterns

This course is designed to teach you the secrets to one of the most productive presentations in the BC fly fishermen’s arsenal; nymphing egg patterns. This deadly method can be used for different species of trout, char, and salmon. During a 3 hour evening seminar we will teach you key concepts, strategies, and gear that will give you a well-rounded foundation during the seminar portion of the class. Then you will put those skills into practice during a fully guided day on the water.

In-Person Seminar :  Nov 16, 2022
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 Walk’n Wade: Full Day, Nov 19 or 20, 2022

Fly Fishing Egg Patterns Vancouver Fishing Course Instruction Tackle Flies


River Salmon Outlook for October  

The 14-day weather outlook for the Fraser Valley river systems is, at the time of writing this report, fairly grim. There’s virtually no rain in the extended forecast, which means we’re going to have to get used to fishing low, clear conditions.  The tiny amount of rain we saw on Wednesday was not enough to make a difference.  

That said, low water is not the end of the world; you can certainly do quite well in low water… it just makes things a lot more challenging. 

Systems such as the Chilliwack/Vedder, Harrison, Chehalis and Stave are all running very low, in some instances reaching the lowest levels ever recorded for this time of year.  Anglers will want to downsize presentations to suit the conditions; as mentioned in my previous report, now is not the time for your 25mm soft beads.  Unfortunately, low water inevitably encourages some folks to floss/snag fish, which makes things even tougher for those of us who fish ethically. Nothing spooks fish quicker than the repeated ripping of lines through a pool or the spastic, uncontrollable fight of a foul-hooked fish.  

In theory, we should be seeing the coho runs in most of the previously mentioned systems ramp up over the next two weeks, but this year’s weather may alter run timing; we’ll have to wait and see if the fish choose to wait for rain, or if they just push through the low water.  As of right now, it’s very possible that the peak of the C/V coho run could occur under the current conditions. 

The same can be said for the fall chinook runs in the rivers that support them. As of right now, we should be getting close to the peak of the run, but it’s looking like a lot of fish are still waiting for more favorable river conditions at the river mouths… or even in the ocean.  This may result in a slightly later “peak” of the run, or it may just spread the run out for a longer time.  Again, we’ll have to wait and see.  

The chum returns across all systems are still being managed with a high amount of uncertainty, but it looks like the first batch of chum has pushed through the Fraser and into some of the tributaries. I’ve heard reports of quite a few chum in the Vedder over the past few days.  I’ve been keeping an eye on the Albion test fishery numbers, and admittedly, they don’t look great right now. The numbers are tracking significantly below what was recorded at this time last year, and last year wasn’t what anybody would call a good year for chum. It is likely that the run is being delayed by the low water, but it is hard to tell if it is a late run or low number run. Be aware that chum are currently closed for retention in all Lower Mainland rivers until further notice… so please handle any chum you happen to encounter with care and release them unharmed as quickly as possible.  

There are reasonable numbers of chum showing up in some systems, be sure to handle them with care should you encounter one

The biggest takeaway from this outlook is that we need rain. The low, clear conditions aren’t going anywhere until we get at least 20mm of rain over the course of one or two days. Personally, I’d want to see the rivers blow out. Not a catastrophic or damaging blowout, but enough to raise water levels a fair bit, get fish moving and distributed throughout the systems… fishing would be simply epic as soon as the rivers came back into shape!  

Bear in mind that I’m not a fish, nor am I a biologist - these are merely the observations and predictions of somebody with 13 years of on-the-water experience who gets to hang out every day at the shop with dedicated anglers spending time on the water. 

Taylor Nakatani 

Chilliwack/Vedder River Fishing Report  

We are in prime chinook season on the Vedder River. A good number of chinook have made their way throughout the whole river.  With that said I personally expect the majority of the run has yet to come. River levels continue to be very low, as of time of writing the Vedder Crossing is reading at a 1.9m on the NEW gauge. To compare to years past, subtract 0.8m from the levels and you can get a better idea of how low it actually is. 

There has been a lot of action and pressure on the lower river. Fish have been getting stuck in the major choke points and will hold during the day as it is low, clear, and too low to move. Look for areas that are too shallow for fish to move through and you can bet there is group of fish holding somewhere below it.  

Mid-week, we saw good pushes of chum and coho make their way into the system but, at this time, they are primarily focused around the lower river.  As mentioned in Taylor’s report above, chum are closed for retention so, please handle any you encounter with care. 

Anglers have been having the best success float fishing with our low and clear conditions. Fish will tuck up into the faster water in search of refuge, making it difficult for a fly or lure to get down in time. Scaling down is key, beads, blades and yarn in the quarter to dime size have been highly effective. Anglers in the Canal area have been having success casting and retrieving spinners, spoons and jigs.  


Unfortunately, with the low water there has been quite a few boats that have beached themselves. Boating in the canal area can be very dangerous, as the low water level increases risk exponentially. Always familiarize yourself with the tides before taking your boat out. 

We are expecting some rain late next week which is a good sign that we can expect some excellent fishing to come once a proper rain hits the valley. 


Gavin Lau 

Sea To Sky Fishing Report  

Historically, we wait for frost to clear up the glacial snow melt on the Squamish River but the dry Fall is making the Squamish system a little more accessible. It is still early but it might be worth a scout if you are looking for salmon as there are bulltrout and rainbow opportunities that are doing better than normal because of the lower water levels.  

If you are going out remember that this river is 99% catch and release, meaning that there are opportunities to keep hatchery coho but the number of hatchery fish is low and all other species need to be released with upmost care.  

In water with colour, large searching spoons or spinners in bright orange or chartreuse colors are a great scouting presentation. If you are fly fishing for coho, large flash flies and bunny strip patterns in purple chartreuse or even pink are good options. On the trout front, egg or classic nymph patterns should be in the box with either a standard indicator rig or euro setup.  We will have more on this system over the next couple weeks because it is getting close.  

Matt Sharp