Summer is now in full swing! July is a very exciting time for most anglers in the Lower Mainland. Summer salmon fishing is going to start to heat up in our local waters, both fresh and salt. We are looking forward to chinook salmon fishing in the Chilliwack River which will open July 1st. For the trout enthusiast, the Skagit River will also open July 1st. Keep your eyes on the graphs!
The unseasonably low water level on the Capilano should make for an early beach fishing season. Be sure to sign up for Andre’s beach course before its too late!
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 15 and July 23
Time: 6:30pm – 9:30pm
Kite Tail Flashers
With the first good reports off West Vancouver for Coho, I thought we should try a few new presentations this year. The Coho are tons of fun but fighting them with a big flasher and heavy rod is not always ideal. For this reason when I saw a couple samples of the new Kite Tail flashers I got interested. This small half moon disk is designed to minimize the “buck” of a large flasher and should work great on heavy or light rods for smaller fish. This flasher is untested but we are going to run them over the next couple weeks and see what happens. We have them in stock and if you want to give them a try come down to the shop!
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 a100% catch and release, single barbless fishery so play by the rules and have fun!
The next river fishery to get excited about starts on July 1st when the Chilliwack-Vedder River opens for fishing. Anglers can expect to encounter Red Springs. These Chinooks are prized for their red flesh and touted as being the best tasting salmon. The “Reds” average 8-15lbs but fish in the 20 and 30lb weight class are caught every season. The run size isn’t as large as the White Springs that enter the river in the fall so it is recommended to cover lots of water throughout the day to be successful. Chinooks are brutes and will hold in all types of water, a general guideline is to look for walking pace water “classic steelhead water” but don’t over look deeper runs. Chinook tend to hold in slightly deeper and heavier water.
The fishery is best fished with either a drift setup with a 10’6” medium heavy casting rod paired with a level wind reel or a centerpin reel matched up with one of our custom centerpin rods. 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, it will hover around 1ft to 2.5ft of visibility most of July so stick with loonie and toonie sized baits. Check the www.wateroffiec.ec.gc.ca before you head out to be up to date with the latest changes to the river level.
Please familiarize yourself with salmon identification as you may encounter Cultus Lake Sockeye which MUST BE RELEASED WITH CARE.
Check http://www.pac.dfo-mpo.gc.ca/fm-gp/rec/fresh-douce/region2-eng.html for regulations on salmon fishing in Region 2.
Note: The Chilliwack river is closed to fishing for the month of June.
Opens July 1st. Catch and release, bait ban.
We have been looking at the graph patiently for the past week or so. It looks like river is in similar shape to how it was last year around opening day. We don’t expect things to drop down and heat up until mid July, however, this could change! I did fish the Skagit last year the day after opening, and was it ever high! The river was not cross-able at any point, and it was minty green. You can imagine our disappointment as we crossed 26 mile bridge, only to see a river still in freshet. We didn’t expect much, but the fishing for rainbows with large weighted nymph patterns was actually quite good in some spots.
Early season rainbow.
We are looking forward to dry fly fishing once the water drops down.
The Chehalis River is now open to fishing. We have not heard anything from this system yet. If you are in this area, we would love to see a picture of the water or get a first hand report.
The Capilano continues to be very low. The fish that are in the river are now quite stale and the fishing has tapered off. The river needs a lot more water before the fishing gets better. It could be an early beach season if it stays like this. Fresh fish are the most willing bitters, so when the river bumps up, the fishing will improve. The fly fisherman seem to be having the most success, which is a product of the low water.
A limit out for Max from seasons past. A season when there was water in the river!
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 (Andre’s Cap Coho Bugger), 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.
The lakes should be heating up now as we get into July. If you still like to fish chironomids, it is better to choose lakes that are 4500 FT and higher. This is the time to expect a major caddis hatch especially in the evening when the fish are less weary to come to the surface. Make sure to have plenty of adult caddis fly imitations. Tie your fly to a short 6-8 lb leader about 6-7 FT and strip the fly fast on the surface with little twitches to imitate the natural behavior. This is an exciting fishery if you encounter a good hatch. The fish go wild on the surface and many flies are broken off. At this time of year dragon and damsel flies should not be ruled out, anchor yourself near the shore and with short strips bring your fly towards you to imitate the nymph trying to swim to land. If you want to lake fish all through the summer Tunkwa Lake is your best bet as it stays cool with several feeder creeks.
We have heard some better reports from Sheridan this past week. Deep water chironomid fishing and mayfly nymphs in shallow water have been the ticket. We had a good report from Corbet this past week as well. Dragon fly nymphs and adult caddis!
For more in depth information and getting set up for your trip please drop by the store.
Andre & Max.
Rice, Lafarge, Como, Buntzen, and all the other local lakes are fishing well.
It is a good idea to play around with different techniques to find the most effective method on any given day. When experiencing slow fishing with stationary bait rigs like float fishing or bottom fishing, a spinner or a spoon can really change your luck.
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.
We have also heard decent reports from the Pemberton Lakes recently.
Beach: (West Van)
The Capilano river level has been low for a long time due to lack of rain. This has not been so good for the river fishermen as the fish haven’t been able to move up the river, as a result of this the fish started to stack up at the mouth of the Capilano river earlier than usual. I would start checking the Ambelside area regularly for the next few weeks. Schools of Coho will come in all through September. This is a tide dependent fishery so you want to be there before the low tide into rising tide for best results. Be persistent and you will be rewarded. Don’t lose hope as this is a challenging fishery. If you like to have a better understanding of the beach fishing for our local area sign up for the “Fly fishing on the beaches” course. We have 2 dates left with availability. Next week I will be bringing in my custom beach flies so make sure to stop by the shop to see the latest creations.
Happy fishing and see you out there,
We have been hitting Thrasher hard the last few weeks in search of chinook. Dimitri, Eddie, and I have had the Grady’s busy this past week and fishing has been hit or miss. One day we hit Thrasher and the fish are co-operating, the next they seem to disappear. The best depths have been 120-180 and fairly close to shore, up on the structure. The best lures have been spoons and hootchies. More specifically the Pesca Leprechaun and Bogart in 3.5 and 4.0 when it comes to spoons, and for hootchies the spatter back in green, chartreuse, or blue have been working well. When the water has been clean we have been doing very well using the Oki Tackle Green Onion and when the water is dirty a chartreuse flasher with glow tape on one side or even both sides has been doing well. We have had a few trips when we have not been at Thrasher and have been fishing locally off W. Van and at the Bell Buoy. Off W. Van the first coho have now been caught and we are starting to see the odd jumper. Things will pick up this week as more and more fish are starting to show up and the Capilano is now very, very low. Fishing is still pretty slow for the coho, but all it takes are a few more schools to show up and things will pick up. Off the Bell Buoy there are some Fraser Chinook being caught and the test sets in the Frasrer are actually looking pretty good, much better than last year. There actually hasn’t been too much fishing pressure off the Bell as most of the hardcore Chinook anglers have been running over to Thrasher. This will change soon as this area will slow down over the coming weeks and more and more Fraser Chinook start to show up. For these fish we like to use Green Onion and Chartreuse flashers with glow tape, a 6 foot leader, and a glow green teaser head for anchovies or herring.
It only takes one chinook like this to turn a slow day into a day of good laughs and big smiles, as evident by guide Jason and his guest holding a truly beautiful chinook.
All smiles from Dimitri’s guests!
Fishing for the most part has been great with a few slow days in the mix across the Georgia Straight at Thrasher. On one of those slow trips we had hooked fish but they got away or were undersized. We were going to pull the lines and head back to Vancouver from the Island at 3:30pm but at exactly 3:27pm a rod bounced and we landed a nice fish for dinner! Talk about a last minute buzzer beater. I had another slow day yesterday where we came back with no fish but 2 nice ones were stolen by a nasty black seal off Thrasher. I have only ever had one fish grabbed by a seal there and couldn’t believe he got 2 from me and 1 other from another boat later on. Where are the transient Orcas when you need them. Over the last week and a half I’ve been able to treat my guests to 5 Orca sightings while fishing and numerous Dall’s and Harbour Porpoises, White Sided Dolphins and 2 Humpback whale sightings while crossing the Strait. When fishing Thrasher the fish are anywhere from 120′ down to 185′ but just to try something different at the end of a trip I dropped a line down to 260′ and found one down there after seeing some bait deep. I’ve been using a mix of Spatter Back hoochies and the 4″ Cookies & Cream, Homeland Security, and Leprechaun being my top choices for spoons. This side of the Georgia Strait is now starting to produce as well. I heard of the first coho caught last Friday and even a few large chinook salmon have been taken as well of the West Vancouver shoreline. I have a few local trips booked and will have more details for you by next week. I have also heard of a few nice chinook taken in the Howe Sound areas as well. It’s all shaping up to be an excellent season not to mention the huge Sockeye run due in August!
Eddie’s guest with a beautiful chinook!
We should start to get some numbers trickling in regarding the size of the projected sockeye return in about 2 weeks. The phones are already buzzing as people are calling in to book dates in August for sockeye and chinook. There are already some days in August when all our boats are booked so if you are looking to experience what will likely be some of the best salmon fishing in the past 100 years, you should phone and book a date now.
To book your trip give Jason a call at 778-788-8582. If you are heading out in your own boat, stop by the shop for the latest up to the day report and info on the hot flashers and spoons.
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.