Pacific Angler Outlook:
Welcome to the Pacific Angler Friday Fishing Report. It is hard to believe we are already at the very end of July and looking straight down the barrel of August. For the fisherman August is a great month to spend time on the water. While lake fishing for the most part slows down, river fishing for trout and salmon and fishing in the saltwater for salmon really picks up.
Vancouver and the interior has seen another warm week. This has caused lake fishing to slow down with fish now holding in the deeper water. In the last few days the saltwater has picked up a little with fish being taken by Howe Sound and along the West Vancouver shoreline. We expect things to pick up near the mouth of the Fraser soon. The Rivers are dropping hard and we are starting to hear reports of good fishing for salmon and trout. Usually around the end of July and beginning of August marks the start of river fishing for trout in a lot of our river systems (click here to check out the most up to date river levels).
This weekend the forecast is calling for great weather. The high daily temperature will range from 19 to 22 degrees Celsius. You can expect mainly sunny conditions with a few scattered clouds. To view the official forecast for Vancouver and Kamloops click on the following links: Vancouver Forecast & Kamloops Forecast.
The Fraser River spring slot limit is scheduled to be lifted on July 28. The limit will be one fish over 32cm. The high water has been making things challenging but lots of fish are still being taken.
River Fishing Report:
The rivers in the lower mainland and interior are now dropping back into shape. This is great news but we are still probably another week away until the rivers are at an optimal level. We’ll keep you posted. The Pacific Angler staff has heard of mixed reports from the Vedder-Chilliwack River for chinook salmon. The consensus is that there is only so much holding water due to the higher than normal water levels. This seems to hold true for most of the river systems that we fish.
On July 28 the slot limit on the Fraser will open to one fish over 32cm. Anglers have been catching chinook salmon bottom bouncing. The river is still fairly high and dirty for fishing bar rigs. This means that you want to use larger bouncing weights in the 3.5 to 4oz. range. Concentrate on the softer water closer to shore. Wool and “spin’n glos” with a 3/0 to 5/0 hook works best. When the river clears we encourage running bar rigs with spin-in-glows.
The Pacific Angler staff is still hearing of limited success on the Skagit River. Anglers have been effective using large nymphs in the edge seams and swinging large bulltrout streamer flies. Dave will be fishing the interior rivers this weekend so we will have a fresh report for next Friday. Right about now is when we will hear of the first really good reports so he is pretty excited. Hopefully there will be a few big trout waiting to eat his stonefly patterns.
The Capilano River is now quite low. This actually makes fishing easier for the fly fisherman. The Pacific Angler staff have heard of a number of fish being caught on Andre’s “Cap Bugger” and some even smaller green flies. Because of the low water conditions, gear fishing has slowed down. Fishing very small presentations of roe has been successful.
Skeena Region – Nicholas Dean Lodge
With water levels dropping on the Skeena and its tributaries, fishing has been picking up this week near Terrace. The main stem Skeena chinook fishery – focusing on the really big chinook that can reach 70 lbs or more – is now well underway. This is predominantly a conventional fishery, which focuses on back trolling and back bouncing down through the Skeena’s deepest pools, where the largest fish often hold. Long-time repeat guest, Lloyd Martin, landed a 55 lb chinook last week, and lost one considerably larger! This is the largest chinook landed to date by our guests in 2012.
Chum salmon numbers on the nearby Kitimat River have increased significantly and produced great fishing for clients over the past several days. Large, hard fighting fish that average 12 to 18 lbs – and frequently reaching 20 to 25 lbs – chums unfortunately don’t get the credit they deserve. Hook a few of these on the fly, however, and you might change your tune! Pink salmon numbers have also been high, particularly in the lower reaches of the Kitimat.
Pre-season sockeye salmon forecasts put the Skeena return somewhere in the neighbourhood of 1 million fish, but the robust returns seen at the mouth of the Skeena have now put in-season estimates around 2 million. Consequently, local anglers and guides alike have been catching these fish in excellent numbers, by fishing shallow riffles on the edges of the main stem Skeena. In the midst of all these salmon, the odd steelhead is being caught as well. Steelhead numbers will continue to build and we’re eagerly anticipating our summer steelhead fishery on the main stem, just over a week away…
Chad Black (Operations Manager, Nicholas Dean Outdoors)
Please do not hesitate to contact Pacific Angler at 604-872-2204 and speak to Dave or Jason for enquiries into the Nicholas Dean Lodge.
Vancouver Saltwater Fishing Report:
The Vancouver saltwater salmon fishing scene has been quite slow over the past week. However, over the last day or so it seems to have perked up a bit with coho and the odd chinook salmon being caught around the shoreline of West Vancouver. This is very good news. Hopefully we are getting another fresh push of fish!
This is an official report from Pacific Angler head guide Eddie from Thursday July 26:
“There seemed to be a mid-day (12:30 to 1:00 PM) bight with a few fish being caught, and notably a nice chinook salmon of about 20 lbs. The bite slowed but again perked up a bit around the low slack (approx. 4pm). Bite died again, other boats left and I decided to stay and make pay. Had one follow the gear up and and soon hit 3 fish. I lost one coho, one wild coho was released and another in the box. I decided to do one last pass and boxed a chrome red chinook about 13-14lb and went home. Fish were taken at varied depths and different setups. The chinook salmon came on a Yamashita “Casper” coho set-up at 37 ft.”
The hot spot over the past week has been in the Howe Sound area at “Hole in the Wall”. This is quite typical for this time of year. These are Squamish and Cheakamus River Chinooks. Our head guide, Eddie, got his guests into a nice 20 lb+ chinook on a 8 hr charter on Tuesday. Productive setups has been a flasher with an anchovy on a teaser head set at varied depths (70 to 90 ft.). While this fishery has been somewhat productive there is a large seal that also likes salmon. Unfortunately, there have been a lot of reports of anglers being sealed.
The local Vancouver forecast and marine forecast for the Straight of Georgia this weekend is looking very favourable. Add the weather with some salmon fishing and fireworks on Saturday night and you’ve got yourself an epic weekend.
“Wind southeast 10 to 15 knots increasing to southeast 15 to 20 Friday morning then diminishing to southeast 10 to 15 early Friday evening. Saturday – wind southeast 5 to 15 knots. Sunday – wind southeast 5 to 15 knots.”
Note: make sure to check the latest forecast before you head out as conditions can change rapidly and without warning on the ocean.
The beach fisherman should definitely look to the water this week with great tides this weekend. We have heard a few good reports and André has been out the last couple days and we expect some fish stories when he gets back. Fishing Small shrimp and crab larva style flies with a floating line are best for the fly fisherman and an egg weight with an 18inch leader and blue foxes in orange and chartreuse are best on a stiff spinning rod.
BC Lake Fishing Report:
The Pacific Angler staff heard of a number of reports from lake country. With the heat most of the stories we heard were of slow fishing. “Most” is the key word. We had a few great reports of evening dry fly fishing and one report off Stump Lake of good mayfly hatches in the middle of the day.
These reports were the exceptions. Most of the fish we heard of were down deep with dragons and leeches. When fishing this time of year go deep with dragons and leeches in the middle of the day and look to focus most of your efforts on the evenings with sedge, mayfly and damsels.
If you have any questions about our fishing reports please do not hesitate to drop by our store at 78 East Broadway or give us a call at 604-872-2204.
Have a great weekend and tight lines,
Matt Sharp and the PA Staff