The first week of September is in the books! This is a time of flux for anglers around Vancouver, both on the life front with work and school getting back to a fall routine but also on the fishing side of things. The major salmon runs of coho, chum and white chinook are either ramping up or just around the corner, interior lakes will start cooling off and it is a great time to be river trout fishing.
All of the details on what is currently going on and some things we are looking forward to are in the report below as well as in our Pacific Angler TV video report. We have been loving bringing you the report in this format and want to thank everyone for their support on this front. Check out this week’s video report below.
In the video report this week Matt has a fun look at our staff outing on the water Labour Day Monday. The boys pulled on some salmon out in the chuck and then some sturgeon on the Lower Fraser. He is also looking at an interesting science piece relating to Hydro Acoustic Tracking a tool used when looking at fish populations and numbers. It’s a little longer video so bear with us but if you have ever been interested in where those salmon numbers come from it is worth looking at. Did you know that they can tell the difference between species by listening to the thump frequencies of their tails? Crazy, right?
As we head into fall Alex is taking a look at pink fishing on the Vedder while Zach is sharing an alternative to pink fishing – egging! Bulltrout reports have been very good so be sure to check out the Squamish Report for that information. Andre’s got a great new fly that every lake angler should consider to have in their box. Matt has an overview in the youtube report and Andre’s video on the fly is in this week’s lake report.
We have great tides this weekend for beach fishing and it look like some bigger fish are rolling through for the down rigger anglers. Jason guided a beauty yesterday and you will want to check out the details he has in the saltwater section at the end of the report.
Last but certainly not least be sure to check out our upcoming fall classes. Lots of great options to choose from!
CLASSES AND COURSES
There is still time to grab a seat in any of our upcoming fall courses. Call the shop today at 604.872.2204 to sign up!
Introduction To Fly Tying
There is no greater satisfaction than catching a fish with a fly you tied yourself. This 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 materials and tools purchased for the course.
Dates: Sep 18, 25 & Oct 2
Time: 6:30pm – 9:30pm
Introduction To Fly Fishing
This course was specifically designed to give the new fly fisher the basic knowledge, casting skills and fly fishing strategies to effectively fish our local BC waters. This course is comprised of two sessions; 3hr evening seminar and a 3hr casting session.
Dates: Seminar Sep 24 seminar & September 29 casting
Seminar Time: 6:30pm – 9:30pm
Casting Time(s): 10am – 1pm or 1:30pm -4:30pm
Fall Salmon River Fishing
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.
Dates: Seminar: Sep 23 Guided: Sep 28, Sep 29, Oct 12 or Oct 13 (custom trip dates available)
Seminar Time: 6:30pm – 9:30pm | Guided: Full Day
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.
Join our growing team! We’re looking to fill two awesome positions – another retail sales associate as well as an office administrator.
Retail Sales Associate – Part Time:
The Retail Sales Associate position is responsible for providing an unparalleled shopping experience by delivering legendary customer service and exceptional product knowledge to every customer. We are looking for a self-motivated team player with previous retail or related customer service experience and a passion for fishing to join our team.
If this is you, read on for more details!
Office Administrator – Part Time:
We are seeking an experienced office administrator who is a multitasker to join our growing team! The incumbent will be an integral part of the team and working alongside the Operations Manager and our Retail and Guiding Teams. This role includes handling many tasks and jobs that pertain to the effective running of the back end of our business along with assisting in the coordination of exciting in store and out of store special events, classes and sales. This is a flexible part-time role with the opportunity to grow into a full time position in the future for the right candidate.
For the full job description click here!
To Apply: Email a PDF resume + cover letter to email@example.com
FRESHWATER FISHING REPORTS
Chilliwack/Vedder River Pink Fishing Report
Now that the kids are back in
school, it is time to start looking east towards the Fraser Valley and,
specifically, the Chilliwack River. Typically, early September is slow on this
river as we wait for the first batches of fall coho and chinook to show up. However, on pink years this void is filled with pinks! They are already in the river right now and
though the run has just started and the fishing is currently very slow, the
first large push of them will enter the river any day and if you are the first
one on them you could have a banner day. They are a ton of fun and when the
other species of salmon aren’t cooperating the pinks can salvage an otherwise unproductive day.
Pinks are typically shallow water travelers and are not the strongest swimmers, so they are usually found in slower waters on the edge or in tail outs. Often they will mix with coho as their travelling lanes overlap. Because of this, you don’t want to fish anything too heavy as heavier presentations will be more likely to snag up on the bottom. With the clearer water at this time of year, don’t be afraid to fish small but bright presentations. Downsizing is especially effective if you find a pod of fish but they are in a negative biting mood. You can catch them on a lot of different things including spoons, spinners, jigs, beads, wool, and flies, so pick the method that is best suited to the spots you are fishing. Right now you will find the vast majority of Pinks to be staging in the bottom of the river in the Canal up to the Crossing area. Right now the water is a little low and most have been seen in the lower river with only a few filtering into the mid and upper river. If you want to fish some more defined water with a bit more solitude don’t be afraid to go explore and know that there are also a few Coho in the system already.
I get asked a lot about the quality of the pinks once they reach the Vedder. While there are definitely a fair number of fish that have already started to turn once they hit the river or will turn very quickly, there are still quite a few that are very clean and definitely would be still good for the barbeque. I am typically very picky with my pinks but as long as they are (very) silver, they are still table worthy. Currently the daily limit for Pinks is 2 on the Chilliwack so go get ’em.
Squamish River Fishing Report
For those of you that are fishing the Squamish you know that the pink fishing has been excellent this season so far. Even though we are coming to the tail end of this fishery there is still fresh fish pushing in and the amount of fish that we have seen roll through this year means that there are a lot of eggs in the river currently. When there is eggs in the river this kick starts one of our favorite fisheries of the year and that is beading for trout. If you have had your fill of pink fishing then now would be the time to start scouting different areas with a light weight spinning or fly rod and an arsenal of beads. We look for pockets of salmon that are grouping together and we fish in behind them with a simple nymphing setup and a single bead. This fishery kicks off about now and lasts through most of the winter and it is a very easy fishery that just flat out produces fish. Some of my biggest trout have come on beads in the past and it is always fun to watch a bobber go down on any kind of rod.
We like to fish a 9′ 4-6wt fly rod with a floating line and a 9 foot tapered leader that is about 5lb. You can run the same kind of set up on a light weight spinning or drift rod as well. There isn’t much of an insect population on the Squamish so when the salmon enter the river we can finally fish this system like you would the Skagit, but instead of fishing nymph and dry fly patterns we fish with egg imitations. Having a variety of colours of beads in a must throughout the season. Always keep your eyes peeled while walking the Squamish at this time of year as you will see real eggs floating down the river and this gives you a good idea of what colour to fish that day. Generally I like to fish darker beads at this time of year and I will slowly progress to paler and paler colours as the season goes on.
Currently we have a solid selection of beads in the shop with more on the way so I highly recommend coming into the shop to let us get you set up. We also teach a course on this technique and we still have some spots available. If you want to get ahead of the game we can walk you through a basic setup so you can try your hand at this simple fishery. We get pretty hardcore into this fishery so if you have done it a bit before come on in and we can walk you through our hardcore rigs to help you take your beading to the next level.
Skagit River Fishing Report
September is one of the best times to look at the Skagit. When temps drop a little at night bugs are programed to hatch. Some of the most intense hatches happen this time of year.
Reports from this last week were more focused on bull trout and or related char species. We have seen quite a few of these fish this year. Matt is going to be heading out next week so we should have more intel then. Right now, it is totally worth a trip and we will have more details in the next 2 reports.
Good Luck on the water!
STILLWATER FISHING REPORTS
Lake Fishing Report
Looking at the 14 day trends for the interior, it looks like we’re finally going to see some lower temps for an extended period of time.
That’s good news for any stillwater fisherman, in these next few weeks the lakes are going to be fantastic. We’ve already had good reports from guys in the Kane valley, and some very good days had closer to the Okanagan at Pennask and Hatheume Lake. As usual, I’ll be letting you know when the lakes really start to pop off but if you are getting out let us know and send in your pictures and reports. Late Lake season is coming!!
Most of you know that leeches are king in fall. It’s a major food source for these rainbows trying to fatten up prior to winter. Andre has tied us a fly specific for this season. It’s a large leech / bugger pattern, tied on large hooks. The fish tend to swallow these things whole, so the hook is sized up to increase catch & release rates, getting hookups in the mouth rather than in the throat and it also makes it easier to reach and unhook if they do take it a little deep. This pattern is wicked stripped over structure, or simply trolled. Run it with a full sinking line and 4-6ft leader. You will want to step up your pound test on the leader to 7-9lb at a minimum to both help turn the bigger fly over and handle aggressive strikes from large fish.
If you are a tier Andre has a video of how he ties them here:
SALTWATER FISHING REPORTS
Vancouver Saltwater Salmon Fishing Report
This past week we had decent chinook fishing but it has definitely slowed down a bit from the big number days of August. This is right on schedule as the bulk of the red chinook have pushed up the river and we are starting to see more white chinook. While there are less fish around, the chance at bigger fish makes up for it. These white chinook are destined for the Chilliwack and Harrison rivers and they are easily the biggest fish of the year. Getting fish in the mid twenties is common and there are always a few Tyee caught (chinook over 30 pounds).
Productive gear hasn’t changed much. We have been fishing green sized herring and 5.5 anchovies in Bullet Roll teaser heads and Anchovy Classic teaser heads. The colour really depends on the clarity of the water and how deep you are fishing. The water was pretty clear this week and the UV finishes and chrome finishes were good in the morning when the fish were up top, 35 and 45 on the riggers. Later in the day we seem to be getting fish a lot deeper, 60-90 on the riggers and then the glow teaser heads work well. It pays to have a variety tied up and adapt to the conditions. You need to change flashers accordingly as well. UV and chrome flashers up top in the clear water and glow flashers when you go deep. Some anglers and guides have also done very well on hootchies. When the tide is really ripping, and we did have some huge tides this past week, hootchies can be a good choice with all that current. If you are trolling fast into the current your bait is often rotating at a crazy speed and it usually doesn’t produce well. The hootchies have a fairly slow action, even in this scenario, and this is one of the reasons they work well. White UV and Glow versions have been working with a 32 to 40 inch leader.
A variety of productive teaser heads for chinook in our local waters.
A few hatchery coho were caught this week while chinook fishing and some pinks as well. With the chinook fishing being as consistent as it has been, we haven’t been off West Van looking for coho, nor have we been targeting pinks. As the chinook fishing slows down, this will change and we will start to spend a little more time off West Van looking for coho, and of course we will be at the Cap Mouth for the run of white chinook that are just starting to show up there. In the meantime, if the winds allow, we will be looking to run down to the South Arm for a chance at a few more reds and hopefully the chance to battle a few of the monster white springs. The next few weeks will see some of the biggest chinook of the year hooked, so check those leaders and get out there!
Some of you may have seen the recent article in The Star about First Nations wanting recreational fishing closed for chinook salmon. I will be talking about this on the Jill Bennett Show this Sunday at 8:17 am, so tune in.
See you in the shop or on the water,
Beach Fishing + The Capilano River Report
With summer starting to slow
down, the fishing continues to be steady off our local beaches.
Anglers fishing the Ambleside area have been doing fairly well, with the odd day where not much happens. We had some mixed report last week with a couple guys concerned about the number of fish and not having much luck. We talked with Andre this week who has been out religiously. He hooked a number of fish last week and also saw a number of fish. He counted 7 coho taken on one of his outings as well as multiple pinks. He said that there are a good number of fish jumping the last time he went out; this should increase if they do not open the dam.
The odd chinook is mixed in as well, so you never know what you might hook.
The tides are going to get better heading into the weekend, dropping below six feet in the mornings. This will allow anglers to access the sand bar that sits out front of the mouth. Be careful when fishing from the bar as the tide can switch and leave you stranded.
There has been lots of bait showing up as well, so hopefully that keeps them interested. Most gear anglers will toss small spinners, spoons, and buzz bombs for them. For fly guys, small krill and uphasid patterns are the norm, fished just in or below the surface but at the back end of the season you will see anglers upsize their presentations. The later larger fish key in on bait more than the early fish so small clousers and streamers should be in your box.
On the Capilano river front
things have not been strong. River levels play more of a role on this than fish
numbers. Watch your river levels and when we have rain in the forecast, I will
be worth considering.
Remember to be respectful of other anglers, and to give each other space.
Tightest of lines,