We are finally experiencing consistent rainfall here in the Lower Mainland. Most of our rivers are flowing high and more rain is on the way. We may see the rivers blow out from the rain scheduled for the start of the weekend. As long as the clarity does not degrade too much, fishing on the Chilliwack should be excellent all week. Unfortunately for the Squamish system, the cold weather is still a ways off and the water will likely remain silty until it arrives.
Interior lakes are always an option if you are looking to get out of the city. The next few weeks should offer some excellent still-water opportunities in Merrittt and Kamloops, as well as the Cariboo region.
Saltwater fishing is still worth a try before November. The South Arm should be producing some nice northern coho and some chinook as well.
We have a few spots left in our October/November courses. Spend some time with us here in the shop and on the water and brush up on your techniques for fall fishing.
TYING INTRUDER FLY PATTERNS
Class Size: 7
This course is designed for those that are interested in tying steelhead flies in the “Intruder style”. This style of fly is extremely productive for steelhead and salmon due to its profile and movement in the water. During this two night (5hr total instruction) tying series, you will learn the very specific techniques and unique materials used to tie this fly. This course is suitable for intermediate to advanced tiers. 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: Nov 4th & 5th
Time: 7:00pm – 9:30pm
FLY FISHING FOR SALMON IN RIVERS – Andre Stepanian
Class Size: 8
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!
Dates: Seminar on Oct 28 Guided Nov 1 or 2
Time: 6:30pm – 9:30pm
FLY FISHING EGG PATTERNS – Matt Sharp
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. Let us teach you the techniques, key concepts, strategies and gear that will give you a well-rounded foundation during the theory portion of the class.
Dates: Seminar on Nov 18, Guided Nov 22 or 23
The water clarity in the Squamish is still very poor. Unfortunately, the 14 day trend does not look too promising and we may not see good water clarity until November. That said, there are a few fish around, and a few anglers have had some success. We are still waiting for the temperatures to drop which will improve the conditions. Be sure to check out the water levels before heading out.
This is an excellent river to target salmon with a fly rod. The coho can be more aggressive in the Squamish than other lower mainland rivers and will often take big marabou flies swung on a tight line. The chum like pink and purple flashy marabou flies which will also catch coho in the same run. Chartreuse patterns can also be a deadly choice.
The Squamish System is 100% catch and release for all wild species. Retention of one hatchery coho (adipose fin clipped) is permitted. Be careful when identifying your catch, hatchery coho are rare on this system.
With all the rain we had Tuesday and Wednesday, the river finally has some higher flows and colour to the water. Hopefully the 20-30mm of rain predicted for Friday does not degrade the clarity too much. With light to moderate rainfall in the forecast for almost all of next week, we should see some higher water conditions.
There is definitely more coho present in the river compared to previous weeks, and fishing should improve once the clarity hovers around 4ft of visibility. If you are heading out this weekend, make sure you have some larger loonie-toonie sized presentations. Bigger and brighter baits such as cured roe, jigs, and Blue Fox Spinners are a good bet.
Float fishing is the primary technique used to catch chinook and coho. The proper setup for float fishing is a 10-11′ medium power casting rod. Light action rods are excellent for coho, while those who are targeting chinook will benefit from a medium-heavy action rod. Roe, wool combinations, and colorado blades are all great float fishing presentations. Spinners and spoons are also deadly effective, especially for coho. 8-10’6″ spinning or casting rods are ideal for retrieving lures. Gibbs Koho and Croc spoons are good choices, as well as Blue Fox spinners.
You can also use a fly rod to target these fish. Coho can be readily caught on flies where as the chinook can be quite challenging with the fly rod. An 8wt single hand fly rod lined with a versi-tip system is ideal for this fishery. The versi-tip line allows you to quickly change out different sink tips to cover different speeds of water more efficiently. Small flash flies, muddler minnows, wooly buggers and even marabou popsicles will all work for coho.
Please familiarize yourselves with species identification as you may encounter Cultus Lake sockeye which must be carefully released.
Sam Graham, Max Stickel, & Dimitri Roussanidis
This system is definitely worth a look over the next month or so. There are coho and chum present and fishing is typically much better after a decent rainfall. This is an excellent river to float fish in, but carrying a second set up for the frog water is recommended. Fly fishing for coho with an intermediate sink tip line is effective in the slower water.
The Capilano is still worth a look. The coho and chinook salmon fishing usually tapers off towards the end of October. This is typically a very busy fishery because of its proximity to the city. Mornings and evenings are definitely your best chance at hooking fish. We ask you to please handle fish with care. Do not pull a fish onto the rocks until you are 100% sure that it may be retained.
Because of the bait ban, we must use artificial baits to catch fish. Spoons, colorado blades, wool ties, rubber eggs, and jigs all catch fish. Salmon will readily take artificial baits when they are fresh from the ocean and we advise everyone to keep your float or lure on.
Please note: ALL steelhead (adipose clipped and unclipped) must be released with the utmost care.
Bait ban as of August 1st
All the lakes in Merritt and Kamloops are on the way to fishing well. I have heard of good reports from Salmon, Dardanelle, Plateau, Harmon, Knouff, Dot and Upper Kane. The main staples at this time of the year are big leeches, dragonfly nymphs, scuds, and water boatman. For deeper water use a full sink line with 6ft of 6-8lb tippet. The key is to find were the thermocline is and try to keep the fly in that zone and you should get some aggressive strikes. If the fish are in shallow, you can use a floating line with a strike indicator to suspend the fly at the desired depth. Indicator fishing with both leeches and scuds is a popular method in the fall months. Fish will often forage in shallow water as they fatten up for the winter, making for some excellent sight fishing opportunities.
Fall can be an excellent time to fish the Whistler lakes. As the weather cools off, the trout seem to really turn on the feed and move into shallower areas. For cutthroat trout in Alta 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 well for the bull trout on the drop offs.
Please remember that Alta and Green Lake are catch and release/bait ban fisheries.
It seems that fall is here with the steady rains starting up. We had a few nice rain free days last week despite the gloomy forecast. The fishing has been a little slower over the last 2 weeks, but you can still hope to hook up to at least a couple of nice chinook.
On my last trip out, we hooked up on our very first pass. It was a nice fish that gave some good head shakes before it spat the hook. Then it wasn’t until the very last pass that my guest landed her first hard fighting chrome chinook ever. What are the odds of a first pass hit and a hail Mary hit. I was already warming up the engines to head back! Not all the boats out there are hitting fish, but the Capilano river mouth is still producing a few chinook. Anchovies and Herring work but spoons will work if you run out. Another boat reported a couple of fish on with a 4″ Cop Car.
I have started to hear the odd reports of coho, chinook and chum being taken at the South Arm of the Fraser river. We should hear more reports as boats start to head south. I’ve had pretty decent late season action there in the past. White hoochies, spoons and bait fished in the 40′-60′ range is the way to target coho. Overall it’s been a pretty good season and I expect a few more fish yet!
The P.A. Saltwater Guide Team: Jason, Eddie, Dimitri
Give us a call on our charter phone at 778-788-8582 to book a charter or come by the shop for all the right gear and some friendly advice. The shop number is 604-872-2204.
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, Eddie, Dimitri, Kathryn