Here comes the sun! It looks like we will have great weather for the next week with day time temps reaching into the high 20s! The heat will likely flush some melt into the rivers temporarily raising water levels. This is a good thing in the grand scheme of things, as when the rivers do come into shape, they will stay in shape. While the rivers in the valley may rise a little from snow melt, the Capilano in North Vancouver will remain dirt low. This is good news for beach and boat fishermen alike as the coho will stack up in greater numbers off West Vancouver. Watch out for the gypsy in the pink shirt!
Summer Super Sale
Our annual Summer Summer Sale is fast approaching. Join us in store Saturday July 19th and Sunday July 20th for incredible savings on all the gear you will need for your summer fishing adventure. Keep an eye out for a full listing of all sale items coming to your inbox on July 16.
FLY FISHING ON BEACHES
Class Size: 20
This single evening 3hr seminar will cover the basic principles needed to be an effective beach fly fishermen in BC from Howe Sound to the east coast of Vancouver Island. Topics covered will include rods, reels, fly lines, flies, tides, and techniques. Andre Stepanian, the instructor for this course, has been chasing salmon on our local beaches for over two decades. Remember, east coast Vancouver Island has a pink salmon run every year and last year the Capilano had 12,000 coho!
Book this course early as we sold out all 3courses in 2013!!
Dates : July 23
Time: 6:30pm – 9:30pm
There won’t be much to say about this river system until the fall. Resident trout can be targeted in the summer months once the water has dropped. These trout are best targeted with nymphs, streamers, and dry flies.
Squamish Cheakamus system is a 100% catch and release, single barbless fishery so play by the rules and have fun!
Fishing is expected to pick up this week with more reports of fish being caught and a good bump in numbers with the Albion test nets. This time last year 45 Chinook were counted, we are now at 381 and climbing! Fish are moving through the system quickly, so focus your efforts in resting spots until the water levels drops down. Slower water and side channels that are usually too skinny can hold big fish. With the increase in temperature these last couple of days we can expect the water to rise and colour throughout the day. Don’t let degrading clarity discourage you! These fish are very aggressive so don’t hesitate to go big. Cover lots of water and bring sunscreen if you’re venturing out this week.
Float fishing is the most effective method for these fish. Medium-heavy casting or center pin outfits are suitable for this fishery. Don’t be afraid to go big, 35g floats with hollow core pencil lead, 20lb mainline, 15lb-20lb Seaguar Blue label fluorocarbon leader, and 1/0, 2/0 and 3/0 octopus hooks. This heavy gear will not only help you land the fish but it will allow you to fish the heavier water more effectively. Productive baits are Pro-cured roe, Prawns, Wool combinations, Blades, and Spoons. Water clarity will affect the size of your presentation, typically it will hover around 1ft to 2.5ft of visibility most of July, however, the clarity is already greater than 3ft.
Please familiarize yourself with salmon identification as you may encounter Cultus Lake Sockeye which MUST BE RELEASED WITH CARE.
Max is attending the 8th Annual FlyBC Kettle/Granby drift this weekend, courtesy of Colonel Troutman and friends. River levels are shaping up nicely, he should be in for a memorable few days! Stay tuned for next week’s report as we will be featuring an article on his trip.
The first reports are in! As expected the high water has made wading the Skagit difficult and there is very little dry fly action on both systems. If you are planning a trip this weekend all is not doom and gloom. Even with the high water we had a number of good reports from both systems. We had reports on the upper Skagit were the water flow is not as heavy. Anglers fishing nymph rigs got into good numbers of fish. We also had reports from Ross lake, the mouth of the Skagit and up the first few miles of river where guys were getting bull trout and rainbows using sinking/sinktip lines with small nymph style patterns and streamers.
Pacific Angler “Good Guy” Max Cameron with an early season Thompson rainbow.
A few guys headed to the Thompson. The dry fly fishing was off but with black stoneflies they managed a solid day for good sized rainbows.
If you want classic dry fly action you will probably be out of luck but if you don’t mind adapting to the situations the water flow isn’t so bad that the fish are off feeding. We are not sure what this heat wave will do to the rivers. It may bump them up a little more. This is not a good thing in the short run but in the long run it will melt off more of the snow in the mountains and we will see optimal fishing conditions sooner than if it stays cool.
If you are not familiar with how to use an indicator, small split shot and stonefly rig (Nymphing Rig) check out last week’s post on our blog for a more detailed description of the presentation. Make sure you have black stoneflies, golden stoneflies, larger hare’s ear nymphs and prince nymphs in your box if you plan to head out this weekend and don’t forget classic big and ugly streamers for bull trout on the Skagit system.
Max with big shouldered Skagit bull!
The Chehalis is flowing fairly low right now. It isn’t in bad shape, but it would benefit from some more water. There are a few summer-run steelhead in the system, and the odd Chinook should be present. Things will pick up further into the month, especially if we get some rain. 20gram floats, split shot, 12lb fluorocarbon and #2-4 hooks will only help your cause in these conditions. Productive baits for steelhead in low water include smaller prawn tipped jigs, 3 egg roe bags, dew worms, and krill. For chinooks in these conditions, try toning your leader material down to 15lb fluorocarbon, and drop your hook size to #1-1/0’s. Productive baits for chinooks in low water include quarter sized pieces of roe, and wool ties in various colours.
The Capilano River has remained a trickle for quite some time. Fly fisherman are still hitting some nice coho in the big pools. Float fisherman have had minimal success due to the low, slow moving water. It is best to give these fish and yourselves a break until we get some higher flows, or head down to the beach!
Please note: ALL steelhead(adipose clipped and unclipped) must be released with the utmost care.
The most popular method for this fishery is short-floating with light/medium power casting and center-pin rods. Productive baits include cured roe, roe bags, krill, dew worms, and Colorado blades. Fly fishing is also quite effective for these early run coho. 7-8wt single hand fly rods equipped with full sinking type-6 lines allow you to strip your fly while maintaining a deep presentation. The most effective flies are olive woolly buggers, muddler minnows, and small polar bear winged flies in sizes 8-12.
Currently until July 16th there is no fishing for salmon. That being said the muddy Tidal Fraser should not be over looked. Coarse fishing for peamouth chub, Northern Pike minnow, and Sculpin is a great alternative to fishing our local trout lakes. Bottom fishing and float fishing with dew worms for these small but plentiful minnow species is a summer time activity which the whole family can partake in. One can also enjoy the world class sturgeon fishery we have either from shore or from a boat. Essentials for this fishery is a lawn chair and heavy gear. Productive baits are roe, dew worms, and finfish. Come by the shop if you have any questions and we’ll be more than happy to answer them.
We have heard some more great reports from Stoney Lake Lodge this past week. The fishing has been hot and heavy in the shallows as the fish are keying into the damsel fly emergence. Olive micro leeches fished on a floating line near the reeds has been a productive method. Chironomid fishing is still quite productive, although it has moved to deep water. A full sink line with a short leader hung off the side of the boat has resulted in some crushing grabs. This technique is a great alternative to fishing a 25ft+ leader on a floating line. Bomber chironomids will be coming off any day now!
The lake temps are rising as we head into to summer doldrums. If you still want to head out choose lakes 4500 ft in elevation and above. You might still encounter a damselfly hatch but the big ticket will be the Caddis hatch if you are lucky enough to hit it. Don’t rule out leeches in the morning and the evening as the fish are more active in the cooler part of the day.
For more in depth information and getting set up for your trip please drop by the store.
Andre & Max.
Rice lake is still fishing well. It was stocked on Father’s day, so it should continue to fish well into the summer.
We encourage people to take the introductory angler in their life to one of these stocked lakes. It is a great way to get people into the sport based on how willing the fish are and proximity to the city.
The Whistler Lakes are fantastic this time of year. We have heard good reports from Alta lake and Nita lake recently. The species of target in Alta lake are cutthroat trout and rainbow trout. Cutthroat are best targeted with woolly bugger and minnow type flies like muddlers and belly dancers or small spoons like a Dick Nite. The rainbows can be taken on a variety of flies. Chironomids fished under an indicator can actually work quite well on Alta for rainbows.
Beach: (West Van)
More and more fish are stacking up as the low water in the Capilano river continues. There have been a few reports already of coho getting caught on fly and gear. These is the best time to fish for them as the fish are more fresh and willing to bite. More waves of fish will arrive as we go to the fall from different river systems and mill around the mouth of the river so hooking up with a fish can vary from day to day. Have various different patterns and keep changing your offering and hopefully one day everything will line up in your favour. The tides are great the next few days so check the tides and try your luck. If you have any in depth questions come to the store and we can help you out.
The last 48 hours have seen a dramatic shift in coho action off W. Vancouver. It seems the strong NW winds helped push some fish into the harbor and we enjoyed some good fishing late this week with some nice coho coming to the boat and a few chinook as well. The coho have been from the mouth of the Capilano all the way down to Point Atkinson with bulk of the fish being just out from the “pink apartment” or just west of that area. The most productive flasher has been the Oki Big Shooter Green Onion. We have been doing well on white and white UV hootchies with short leaders in the 25-28 inch range and a fast troll. We have also been doing well on the 3.5 Pesca Gut Bomb (glow, green, black stripe) and the Kingfisher 3.5 in Kitchen Sink (glow, green, black stripe) with a 5-6 foot leader. With the extended forecast for hot sun and no rain, we expect the coho fishing off W. Van to continue and to get even better as more fish show up over the coming weeks.
There are still a few fish over at Thrasher but it was pretty tough to get over there this week with NW 20-25 knot winds. We were lucky enough to get there last weekend just before the big winds showed up and we landed two nice springs! The ladies had the luck this trip and played these 2 fish expertly. Both fish were off the Grande area right on the bottom and were caught on Oki Big Shooter Double Glow flasher with herring in a glow teaser head.
Victoria and Brittany with 2 nice chinook from the Grande!
The winds look like you might be able to make it over there this weekend, but for the most part anglers are looking to Howe Sound for a few springs or simply waiting for the Fraser Mouth to open on July 16th. The Howe Sound chinook have been caught from Hole in the Wall up to Sunset, usually pretty early in the morning, and from 60-115 on the downriggers depending on light conditions. As usual, bait is key in this fishery and the fish have been getting caught on anchovies and herring, 6 foot leader, behind glow Green Onion and Purple Onion flashers.
We are rapidly booking up in late July for the coho and chinook fishing and August is also booking up so if you are looking to participate in the sockeye fishery, make sure you call us at 778-788-8582 to book a prime time date.
On behalf of the Pacific Angler staff we wish you the best in your fishing endeavors and we hope to see you either at the shop or on the water. To check out the latest Pacific Angler news view the Pacific Angler Facebook page.
-Jason, Matt, Max, Andre, Sam, and Eddie.