Wow, what a week of weather! Unfortunately it is not going to last and it looks as though we will get rain all weekend. Fortunately the rain is a good thing for a number of our fisheries. Some rivers are extremely low and could really use the rain, while some rivers need more dry weather to drop them into prime shape. It looks like showers will linger into Tuesday but it will be back to good weather on Wednesday. Looking at the long term forecast, it appears that we could have great weather right into the end of the month!
It was an interesting week of fishing for us. We have an awesome report from Max’s trip to the Kettle River where he had some great trout fishing. The Fraser mouth opened on Wednesday and the first reports are trickling in. A number of clients hit the Skagit and Thompson with success. We are starting to hear a few more positive reports from the Vedder Chinook fishery as well.
Summer Super Sale
In our Pacific Angler Friday Fishing report last week we announced the pending SUMMER SUPER SALE and now we will tease you with the list of the deals but NOT all the deals, come and see what else we have cooked up!!
Speaking of cooking, once again we will be whipping up a FREE BBQ (Donations to Steelhead Society of BC are greatly appreciated) with supplies donated by Vera’s Meats , because “you can’t beat Vera’s Meats!”
The entire Pacific Angler Team welcomes you to Our Biggest Sale Ever! This is your chance to get geared up for the summer trout and salmon fishing with some of the best deals in town on quality gear! Come down, enjoy the BBQ and take advantage of serious savings throughout the entire store. See something in the store that is not on this list? No problem, the time to ask for a deal is this weekend because we are ready to help you save big!
Everything in store is on sale at a minimum of 10% OFF. After that you can look for hand-picked items by the staff at PA which they have sale-priced from 15-50% OFF!
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, but they will also take dry flies.
Squamish Cheakamus system is a 100% catch and release, single barbless fishery so play by the rules and have fun!
Reports of fish have trickled in this last week but fishing is still far from hot, that being said we are expecting it to turn on any day now. Clarity has been great these last couple of days but expect that to change with rain in the forecast. This will affect the water clarity so make sure you have a wide variety of presentations in various colours and sizes. Fish are scattered throughout the system so cover lots of water and have fun.
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 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 species identification as you may encounter Cultus Lake Sockeye which MUST BE RELEASED WITH CARE.
The Annual FlyBC Kettle drift was held at the Victorian Motel, an awesome Motel/RV park located on the banks of the Kettle river in Grand Forks. If you are looking to stay in the town of Grand Forks, I highly recommend the Victorian.
This was my first time fishing this system, so I really didn’t have a past experience to compare it to. Some of the locals and repeat attendees told me that the fishing was a little slower than usual, however, I found the fishing to be anything but slow! It was not the kind of trout fishing that you can just aimlessly cast a fly out and expect a quick result. That being said, those who deliberately and thoughtfully worked a piece of water were rewarded quite handsomely.
We rose rainbows to a variety of different dry flies. Large hoppers in tan, yellow, green, and red were the go-to dry fly. Although large foam and rubber legged flies were productive, many fish were fooled with Stimulators, Goddard Caddis, California Blondes, Parachute Adams, and even mice! These are some of the most surface willing rainbows I have ever had the pleasure of fishing for. So much so that nymphs were almost less effective than dries, almost. Productive nymphs included black stone flies in sizes 12-14, copper johns in sizes 12-14, and hares ear particularly in size 16. I must admit it was near impossible for me to continue to nymph fish after having several trout boil on the indicator. The average fish was 12-16 inches, but we connected with several 18 inch rainbows and a few over 20 inches.
Besides the fishing, the landscape is absolutely beautiful. It is a semi-arid climate which means tall dry grass and more grasshoppers than you have ever seen. All in all it was a great couple of days and I am looking forward to next year’s event.
Notice the backing in my left hand. Photo Credit goes to Chris Noble. I am very thankful Chris was there to document this fish!
Big thanks to Bud and Laurence for putting on such a great event!
We had a few clients go up to the “T” this past weekend. It was slower for them than the week before. The water is still high but it is dropping hard! Fishing should improve dramatically in the next two weeks.
We haven’t heard anything from the Skagit in the past week. Max did check out the Skagit around Manning park on his way to Grandforks. He didn’t stop to fish as it was late and the water was still quite high. This river will also need a couple weeks to drop into prime shape.
The Chehalis is still quite low. It isn’t in bad shape, but rain would definitely help. We have heard of a few nice springs taken as well as some summer steelhead. 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 is still dirt low. Hopefully the rain in the forecast is enough for them to open the dam. The fishing should be good for a while after the next bump of water. 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.
One of the only decent lake reports we have heard recently was from Tunkwa Lake. It sounds as though the bomber chironomids have started to come off. Stoney and Minnie Lakes are also fishing quite well with both damsels and bomber chironomids. It is now very warm and many lakes are now into their summer doldrums. If you want to go lake fishing, go high elevation or stick to lakes with numerous cold creek inflows (ex. Tunkwa).
The smoking hot weather we have been experiencing in the Lower Mainland over the past couple weeks has taken a toll on the local trout lakes. Most lakes are now in their summer doldrums. While trout fishing is now slow, lakes that hold carp and bass can be fantastic this time of year.
If you are looking to do some lake fishing for trout, the Whistler lakes are your best bet. Alta and especially Green Lake can actually fish better in the summer months. For Alta cutthroat try olive wooly buggers, and muddler minnows in various colours and flash combinations. Don’t be afraid to crack out the big streamers for Green. Large flashy rabbit strip streamers work quite well for the bull trout on the drop offs.
Please remember that Alta and Green Lake are catch and release/bait ban fisheries.
Beach: (West Van)
The beach fisherman should definitely be on the water this week with great tides after this weekend. Fishing small shrimp and crab larva style flies with a floating line is all you need. If you need to get your fly a little deeper because of the sunlight use a weighted fly and wait a few seconds before stripping your fly. Vary the speed of your strips and change your fly pattern every so often until one works. Number 2 or 3 Blue foxes in orange and chartreuse are best for spinners. You can also use Gibbs Crocs in gold and copper with no weight added. If you have any questions about gear or fly patterns and how to tie them please don’t hesitate to drop by the store.
It looks like we are going to be changing from these very persistent NW winds and sunny weather to some SE winds and rainy weather. Hopefully there is just enough rain to help with any forest fires, but not enough rain to bring the Capilano River up too much! The long dry spell has helped the coho fishing off W. Van by making the Capilano very, very low.
There has been some decent catches, especially by those getting up at first light, for coho along the shores of W. Van. The top producers have been white or white UV hootchies on a 25-28 leader behind a Purple Onion or Green Onion flasher. We have also been hitting fish on small spoons like the Pesca 3.0 in Skittles (white UV with multi-colored dots on it).
There has been the odd Fraser chinook caught off W. Van by anglers searching for coho, but if you want chinook, start looking towards the Fraser mouth.
Speaking of chinook, the numbers are looking pretty good on the Albion Chinook Gill Net Test Sets. We haven’t heard any reports as it just opened on Wednesday and the winds kept most people away, but without a doubt, it is the place to go for chinook. We do well fishing from 30-80 feet on the downriggers with chartreuse or green glow flashers, 6 foot leaders, and anchovies and herring in glow, or glow green, teaser heads.
We have been spending most of our time off W. Van on 5 hour charters for coho but we are looking forward to chasing down some bigger chinook on 8 hour or 10 hour trips.
We have been up Howe Sound on a few days and there have been some chinook taken from Hole in the Wall up to Sunset on anchovies and herring from 60 to 150 feet down, with most of the fish coming from 70 to 90. This fishery can be hit or miss, but it is a nice place to hide from the wind and you can’t beat the scenery.
A nice evening troll off Hole in the Wall is a great way to escape the heat.
We are expecting some sockeye data next week, so we will let you know as soon as we find anything out. In the meantime expect the coho fishery off W. Van to get better by the day (unless the river comes way up) and the chinook fishing will build all month as well. If you are thinking of chasing down chinook with us in the next few weeks, or sockeye and chinook in August, please give us a call right away. We are getting a lot of calls and if you want to head out in August, you will definitely need to book now.
See you on the water or in the shop,
Jason, Eddie, Dimitri, Gordy
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.