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Home / FIshing Reports / Vancouver Friday Fishing Report, May 17

Vancouver Friday Fishing Report, May 17


Pacific Angler will be closed on Monday May 20th for the Victoria Day holiday, but will be open for business as usual on Saturday and Sunday.




The Vancouver weather forecast is calling for cloudy conditions on Friday, clouds and rain on Saturday and then a mixture of sun, clouds, and rain on Sunday and Monday.  The daily high temperatures through the weekend will range from 17 to 18 degrees Celsius while the daily low temperatures will range from 10 to 11 degrees Celsius.  After the big warm spell we had over the last two weeks things are cooling down a bit which will slow down the freshet a bit.  The Pacific Angler staff have noticed that some river levels have dropped significantly over the past two nights.  However, the majority of rivers are high and not fishable.  The cooler weather shouldn’t have much of an effect on local lake fishing.

For all you lake fishermen the Merritt weather forecast is calling for similiar conditions to Vancouver with the exception of warmer daily temperatures and cooler night temperatures in the Merritt area.

The marine forecast for the Strait of Georgia is calling for south to southeast winds on Friday and Saturday ranging from 10 to 15 knots.  The winds are then forecasted to switch to northwest on Sunday and Monday ranging from 10 to 15 knots.  This is looking like a promising forecast over the weekend but make sure to always check the latest marine forecast as conditions can change quickly on the ocean.

Steve was the winner of the Boxing Week Raffle for a full-day guided trip with Randy Beck of Ultimate Sport Fishing.  Randy delivered and was able to get Steve and Brian their first ever sturgeon.  Check out the picture!

Steve and Brian with their first ever sturgeon courtesy of Randy Beck from Ultimate Sport Fishing.

Steve and Brian with their first ever sturgeon courtesy of Randy Beck from Ultimate Sport Fishing.

If you would like to book a sturgeon adventure make sure to call Pacific Angler (604-872-2204) today!

To keep up-to-date with all things Pacific Angler and the local fishing scene check out Pacific Angler Facebook and on Twitter.  You will find our detailed river and saltwater reports below.  If you have any questions please do not hesitate to drop by our shop @ 78 East Broadway, Vancouver or give our friendly staff a call @ 604-872-2204.

Vancouver Stillwater Report:

Working at the shop we setup a lot of anglers for the very first time, particularly during the local lake season in the spring and summer.  So we thought we would share what we have learned about tackle setups for our locally stocked lakes.  Here is a quick overview:

Rods for the stocked lakes consist of 6-7’ft spinning rods, in the medium to light action range. With a reel to match that holds 100 or more yards of 6lb mainline is more than adequate. Most leaders used are 3 or 4lb test with #8 or #6 hooks. Some quality baits are dew worms, krill, single cured salmon eggs, and power bait.

The three techniques to target the trout are:

1) Float fishing: Consists of a bobber/float, weight, swivel, leader and a hook.

2) Bottom Fishing: Sliding weight, bead, swivel, leader and a hook.

3) Casting lures: Leader and the lure

The following lakes have been stocked by the Freshwater Fisheries Society of BC:

  • Browning Lake
  • Whonnock Lake
  • Elbow Lake
  • Mike Lake
  • Rolley Lake
  • Deer Lake
  • Mill Lake
  • Green Timbers lake
  • Como Lake
  • Gardom Lake
  • Lafarge Lake
  • Buntzen Lake
  • Sasamat Lake

To check the most updated list of locally stocked lakes visit www.fishingwithrod.com.

Click on the link for a detailed map of each lake, stocking report, and location – Freshwaters Fisheries Society of BC Fish Map.  You can also check the Freshwater Fisheries Society of BC Facebook page for the most up-to-date information.

Interior Stillwater Report:

Peterhope Lake:  We spoke with Fred of Nicola Valley Outdoors today and he said that some guys have been pulling 28″-32″ out of PeterHope…not a lot, but even one hog like that is amazing!  Fred is predicting ant hatch the next time the temperatures hit 28deg in the merritt area so be sure to watch the temperatures so you can plan accordingly.  Fishing during the ant hatch can be fast and furious…but the next day or two may as well be spent on another lake or tying flies while the trout recover from gorging on this difficult to digest meal.

Englishman Lake: Nestled up in the Kane Valley, Englishman lake has provided many great memories over the years then it began to winterkill almost every 2nd year.

Nice 3lb bow on chrome chronie!

Nice 3lb bow on chrome chronie!

This year we were thrilled to see it did not winterkill.  This means that it has been 3 full years since the last winterkill.  1000catchables were released in here last friday and the fishing ranged from slow/medium to fast depending on which side of the weed island in the middle you were anchored by.  Chrome chronies with copper ribbing #16 were the choice that day or grey #14 shrimp either stripped in or dangled under an indicator.  Fish from 2-7lb are being caught here again!

Here is an account of John Kent’s recent fishing trip to the interior lakes of BC, enjoy!

Hey Bryce,

John Kent ChronieWas great to meet you and the other guys in the store last week. I left the Lower Mainland
on Thursday morning and travelled to Tunkwa Lake which was to be my homebase. After spending 9 years managing Tunkwa Lake Resort I had a fairly good idea where to expect to find early spring fish on Friday morning. I headed straight for the south tip of Bird Island which borders Farmer’s Bay (named for the Farmer Brothers’ cabin) and sure enough the bay was loaded with fish.

I started out fishing a bloodworm 5’ below the indicator in 6’ of water. Because of Tunkwa’s substrate the bottom 8-10” is dirtied up with sediment and visibility is almost nil.

Managed to fool many smaller trout that topped out at 16” with the most popular pattern being the Redback Chromie pictured above. After an hour of that I made a move to the north mouth of the island, a favourite springtime spot. Early June this spot is void of fish due to the heavy weed growth. Managed another 6 fish here over the next hour and it was time to move again.

I made my way to the north end of the lake and anchored up between Goose Island and “The Knoll”. Sometimes the Tunkwa residents are so keyed into a particular depth that you have to experiment a bit to find the optimum depth. Absolutely no response in 7’ of water so I went shallower and found fish suspended off the bottom in 5’ of water and that is where I would stay for the rest of the day. Managed several trout to 18” with a surface temp. of 61F and little did I know this would be the last sunny warm day of my trip. The pattern illustrated below was the hot pattern of the day.

John Kent Chronie 2The next day my fishing partner was in for a treat. I was taking him to a high elevation lake that has a special place in my heart. Not for large fish but as the lake where I taught my two stepsons to flyfish and then a couple years later they discovered girls and that was the end of flyfishing for them. No sense of priority! This lake does not get a lot of pressure as was evident by the 25 trees we had to cut on our way in. Arriving at the lake, it was cold, windy and overcast. The day was anticlimactic as we managed about a dozen fish between us with the largest tipping the scales at 3 lbs. But the next day we were going to Island Lake and the anticipation for larger fish was almost too much to take.

Saturday night the wind just howled and we noticed a lot of smoke over top of the hills to the west of Tunkwa. We wondered aloud if someone was burning slashpiles and what a bad idea that was considering the velocity of the wind. Sunday morning we headed for Island but got turned around before the turnoff due to a raging forest fire that we had seen evidence of the previous night. Apparently the fire grew from a controllable 250 ha. to 850 ha overnight.

On Monday our plan was to hit another high elevation lake, Norman, in the hills above Tunkwa but the strength of the south wind would make it difficult to fish the white marl shoals situated at the north end of the lake. Instead we opted for Morgan Lake as there was some protection to the south and it was a good choice.

John Kent Chronie 3An hour after we put our boats in the water the chronie hatch started in an area we call The Narrows, an area at the east end that narrows from the rest of the lake. We were anchored up in 19’ of water and it took a while but found the fish 4’ off the bottom. The strong hatch continued for 4 hours and between the two of us we landed 50+ fish to 22” on various different patterns. The pattern most successful for myself was the One Eyed Jack (photo to the right) and the Interior Special which I don’t have a photo of but is a light ginger with rust brown thorax.

I left for home 4 days early due to the inclement weather and during my nightly conversation with my wife she said it was warm and sunny at home so the next morning I headed home. This morning I went to Swan Lake AB. An hour from my house and arrival at the lake made me very excited. First of all, the boat launch was revamped so I didn’t have to carry my pram down the steep incline. Secondly of all, when I got out of the truck the sound that first came to my ears was deafening! There were 2-3000 Bonaparte Gulls on the lake which means one thing to me……monster chronie hatch!

John Kent Chronie 4The burgundy and gunmetal (Guns n’ Roses) was the hot pattern and has proven itself yet again. This pattern has been in my flybox for 7 years and it never ceases to impress me and is always one of the first few patterns to get tied on.

All in all, a fairly decent trip to meet up with some friends and associates who I only see once in a blue moon.


John Kent

Andre’s Lower Kane Report!

Lower Kane Bow!

Lower Kane Bow!

After a 2 year break I was feeling pretty rusty. The first day with no sleep and tired I hooked 13 of which 3 broke off and 2 of them bent my hook out!  I  got my confidence back despite the fact that I missed over 10 strikes as they were taking the chronomids really lightly. The water temp was only 52 Celsius and the weather was unsettled and cold down to freezing at night. The second day I changed my leaders and was ready for battle.  I started earlier than usual, after a slow morning and moving every ten minutes to find fish, I anchored at 17 ft, set my chronie at 15 ft. where the chronomids where starting to hatch.  Almost immediately the indicator disappeared in a flash and almost my rod as well, the fish came out of the water like a baby tarpon! This is when I have regularily broken off big fish before…but not this time!  After a few long runs I finally netted a LK Lunker which measured 29 inches and another one at 28 inches.

Chironomids in Lower Kane

Chironomids in Lower Kane

I hooked another 7 or so and the wind died down early which is really unusual.  I am 100% sure there are 35 inch fish in this Lake!  I have hooked some monsters but have yet to land them. The hardest thing next to the fishing is to take pictures of yourself but I finally managed to get some and quickly released the fish to fight another line on another day!

Until next time,


Dragon Lake courtesy of Gordie M.

Gordie with a nice Dragon bow!

Gordie with a nice Dragon bow!

Arrived at Dragon Lake on the 16th and the Dragon is on fire! Was into 40+ fish today, some smaller fish, but lots of 4-5 lb fish. The indicator just kept sinking!!!  I’m dialed in now fishing at 17 ft with size 12 chromies tied with a blk wrap!  This fly has kicked some ass!


River Report:

The majority of rivers are now in full freshet and therefore not fishable due to very limited water clarity and high velocity river flows.  The one exception will be rivers that are dammed controlled, namely the Capilano River for early season coho salmon and the Stave River for whitefish and cutthroat trout.

The Pacific Angler staff have also noticed that the Cheakamus River level has dropped down significantly over the last 48 hrs.  While the water clarity will be questionable there should be a few bulltrout and maybe even resident rainbow trout hanging around.

A hungry bulltrout from previous seasons!

A hungry bulltrout from previous seasons!

The river level at this time of year can fluctuate daily due to water being released from the rivers respective dams so make sure to check the water levels before you head out.

Saltwater Report:

The Vancouver tides are looking excellent for the weekend with a beautiful morning ebb tide and then a great afternoon flood tide.  If the weather cooperates it could be one of those epic weekends on the saltwater.

The fishing continues to be good to excellent off the S. Bowen on the “Hump” and also over at Gabriola and Nanaimo.  I was working on the new Gulfstream yesterday down at our dock in Coal Harbour and had the radio on all day.  There were definitely some fish getting caught on the Hump and over at Gabriola and Nanaimo, aka “the other side”.  There was a large pod of Orcas that came through on the other side mid-day and this seemed to slow things down a bit, as one would expect.  I finally finished working on the boats around 4:30pm and decided to take our new Gulfstream out for its maiden voyage!  I phoned my friend Josh and told him if he could make it down in 30 minutes he could come along.  He fought traffic, made it down and after we fueled up, away we went.

Josh with first chinook on the new Gulfstream!

Josh with first chinook on the new Gulfstream!

The boat ran great, so we zipped out to the Hump and by 5:30 we had a nice 10 lb chinook in the box on our first tack!  Great way to break in the new boat!  We released an undersized shortly after that and then we got sealed on small chinook.  I was pretty happy with the action and the way the boat was fishing as I wasn’t expecting much on the flood tide.  Josh and I were just discussing what a nice night it was when the line popped off at 117 and a nice fish started taking some line.  Then it started really screaming and I knew we were sealed again.  This fish had some size to it so I decided to chase the seal down and get a look.  The seal was having a tough time as the fish was north of 20lbs.  We chased it around for awhile but eventually the line broke and the fish and gear were lost!

All in all a pretty active 3 hour session from 5:00 pm to 8:30 pm.  The best depths were from 83 to 117.  All but one of the fish came on hootchies, the Yamashita OG140R with a 32 inch leader.  The other fish came on a glow/green spoon with a 6 foot leader.  Flashers were chartreuse glow or double glow.

Eddie is out on the Hump today with clients, fishing the ebb tide, to the bottom of the ebb.  This has been the most productive tide for this area.

We are both out this long weekend, Sat, Sun, Mon, and will be at Thrasher and off the Hump.

The winds don’t look too bad so see you out there!


Fishing Courses:  Due to overwhelming support and interest in our series of fishing courses here at Pacific Angler we have decided to add 2 more courses focusing on Fly-Fishing on local Beaches!  These courses are set up on back/back evenings.  Both these courses were added as we have a wait list for participants already…so do not miss out.  Call NOW to book!

Small chinook on the fly

Small chinook on the fly

Fly-Fishing on Beaches:This one night seminar will cover the basic principles needed in order to be an effective beach fly fishermen in British Columbia, such as gear, flies, tides, and other environmental conditions. Andre Stepanian will be the instructor for this course who has been chasing salmon and trout on our local beaches for over two decades. You will be sure to gain lots of valuable information to help you become a effective beach fly fishermen on this once a year seminar.

Date: Tuesday, June 25th from 6:30pm-9:30pm

Cost: $30pp

Tying Beach Fly Patterns: Join Pacific Angler for a night of tying flies specific to catching salmon on our coastal beaches. Without a doubt fly selection and the use of the right fly is one of the major keys to catching salmon on the beach. Your instructor will walk you through each fly step-by-step, as you follow. This course is suitable to fly tiers with a basic knowledge.Date: Wednesday, June 26th from 6:30pm-9:30pm

Cost: $30pp

Pacific Angler is proud to be your source for fishing education. Call Pacific Angler today, 604-872-2204, to book your spot. All classes have limited availability.

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, Dimitri, Andre, Dave, Eddie and Bryce