Pacific Angler Outlook
The big story this week is still the weather forecast with NO RAIN IN SIGHT! The good news for fisherman is that it looks as though the fish have realized that they can’t wait any longer. The Pacific Angler staff had a number of reports confirming that salmon are simply disregarding the low water. The Vedder, Stave and Harrison all had fish show up this week. The Albion test fishery blew up with good numbers of chum salmon this last week. Salmon have shown up in the Harrison, Stave, Vedder and Squamish Rivers. The numbers are higher than last year but similar to 2009 and 2010. Coho numbers are lower than normal. It can be noted that not many coho salmon are historically recorded in the Albion Test fishery.
Out in the salt chuck tides were tough this last weekend but with better tides carrying into this weekend we are predicting good fishing. Jason and Andre were out with some good friends yesterday and they hooked a number of nice springs off the mouth of the Capilano River in 80 to 100 ft running anchovies.
The Vedder has fished well this last week, despite the low water levels, if you are willing to get up early. The number of fish in the river good. As expected the low water has made the fish spooky. Fishing Andre’s Naked Muddler in the slack settling ponds has been good at first light and guys are doing well in the deeper pools fishing roe.
We want to warn everyone fishing roe that there is a major shortage of procured roe for sale in the lower mainland. The bait market has been slammed with buyers from overseas, purchasing large quantities. This means that it will be very hard to buy procured roe this season. Currently we are out of stock. A great solution is to cure and borax your own roe. Next week, expert gear angler Dimitri, will publish an article on how to procure and borax your own roe. So stay tuned! Pacific Angler has a great selection of cures and borax in the shop.
Although the Thompson is now closed we are still hearing of good reports on the Skagit River and with the weather this should continue.
Anglers fishing the Harrison River are also doing well on cutthroat trout. Ron was out 2 days ago and caught a good number cutthroat trout and a few bulltrout. He said that there are a number of spooky coho around the mouth of the Chehalis River but had no luck getting them to bite. The majority of the chum were down at the mouth and in Harrison Bay. I expect the side channels around the bridge to fill up quickly. With the big push of chums this week, heading out on the water with a salmon rod and a light cutthroat rod should make for a great day.
The Fraser River sturgeon fishing is starting to pick up with good numbers being caught from shore and from boats. We are also hearing that lots of chum are being caught while targeting springs so be careful to identify your catch.
For a detailed look at river, saltwater, and lake fishing please read the reports below. If you have any questions please do not hesitate to contact our friendly staff at 604-872-2204 or better yet, drop by our store at 78 East Broadway.
River Fishing Report:
For a detailed look into the local river scene read the river fishing report below:
Chilliwack River: October is here! We need rain. Lots of fish have made their way into the river now. First light and last light are the key times to focus on. There are plenty of jack and adult chinook salmon around, we are seeing big schools of coho & chum salmon moving through as well. As a side note, watch for late running Cultas Lake sockeye, they can be mistaken as coho from time to time. Rain will bring a big push of fish into the river so keep your eyes on the water levels and weather forecast.
Chehalis/Harrison River: The Chehalis is still low and clear, and generally unproductive. There hasn’t been much happening this past week. There will be some opportunity once the fall rains start. Because guys are hunting for good fishing in the low water we have heard some good reports of Cutthroat fishing on the Harrison. We have also heard of decent Chum fishing in the Harrison bay area. This fishery is probably the best option if you are fishing in the Harrison area.
Fraser River: We have been hearing mixed reports from the Fraser River. The river has some Harrison white chinook salmon as well as some coho salmon. Sturgeon fishing has been decent. The guides are admitting that catch numbers have been lower than seasonal norms but another monster came out of the river last week so it is still definitely worth getting out. There is a note of caution, there are fall steelhead and upper Fraser River coho salmon migrating through the river this time or year, so make sure to identify your catch prior to landing.
Squamish River: We rafted the upper river last Wednesday and though we only caught one bulltrout we did see a number of Coho jumping in the main stem. The fish were moving fast and unfortunately didn’t find any fish in areas that we could target. This should change soon. There is a warning that we found a number of log jams that require portaging and a steady hand on the oars to avoid danger. We checked out the Ashlu and Cheakamus both look to be in good shape and we have heard of salmon in both rivers. With the colder evenings the glaciers will tighten up and the river will soon drop and run clear. All wild fish are catch-and-release, and there is a strict bait ban on the river and its tributaries at all times.
Capilano River: The ‘Cap’ is low. Until the rains come, there won’t be much opportunity for fishing. There is a bait ban on the Capilano River in the fall, until November 1st.
Stave River: The Stave has good numbers of chum and some coho in it. With the construction happening on the dam, both road accesses for the Stave River from the East and West side are littered with ‘NO PARKING’ signs. Therefore foot access is a little difficult. Jet boating into the river is still an option and there will be some great fishing to be had.
Skagit River: The river is still fishing great with decent reports coming out every day. The big fat rainbows have been keying on emergers and the bull trout are lurking as always. Sculpin patterns have been the ticket this past week for the bullies. Come on by the shop and ask the guys for some advice on some flies, tackle, and techniques.
Skeena Region – Nicholas Dean Lodge Report
Rain, and more rain and high, muddy waters have unfortunately been the dominant theme this week in the lower Skeena region. Beginning Friday last week and Sunday through Monday this week, the region was hit very hard with rainfall in excess of 100 mm near Kitimat. The mainstem Skeena rose nearly two metres and the nearby Kitimat River came up three metres. Thankfully, warm sunny weather during the day and cool night time temperatures approaching the freezing mark have caused rivers to drop quickly and most should be in good fishable shape by the weekend.
Fall rains do contribute to one or two difficult weeks in a given season here, and while there is little to be done about it, there is no doubt that it makes fishing trips that much more difficult for both guests and guides. When it does happen, it’s best to keep an open, positive mind as much as you can and perhaps consider other fishing options. For example, while the majority of our guests are here to target the Skeena’s famous Steelhead (and rightfully so!), there can be excellent Coho (Silver) Salmon fishing for fish averaging 8 to 15 lbs, on several spectacularly scenic rivers. These rivers generally drain short, steep valleys, which causes them to rise quickly following rainstorms, but most importantly, drop quickly afterwards. When several Steelhead rivers are still high and flowing through the trees, these rivers are dropping into great shape and provide an opportunity to get out fishing when you’d otherwise be sitting indoors.
In situations like this following a high water event, paying close attention to hydro graphs (such as those on the Canadian Water Office site) is key to knowing when the rivers are dropping and approaching a fishable condition. And, while it might defy logic, fishing lighter sink tips close to the bank is often more productive than dredging with heavy sink tips. In high, off coloured water, fish are often pushed tight to the shore, so lighter sink tips that allow you to swing your fly within inches of the bank without hanging up are a better choice.
Largest fish landed this week were: Steelhead – 20 lbs, Coho Salmon – 14 lbs.
Chad Black, Operations Manager, Nicholas Dean Outdoors
The local Vancouver salmon fishing has picked up over the last two days. Pacific Angler saltwater guides, Jason and Eddie, reported fresh fish moving into the Vancouver harbour. This in combination with a good flood tide, a great looking Vancouver weather forecast and Georgia Straight Marine forecast could make this one of the best weekends of the year to be on the saltwater.
The mouth of the Capilano River has been the hot ticket for large chinook salmon. Eddie reported that he got into a fish which was the hardest fighting of the year. Yes, this means fresh fish that are eager to bite and peel lots of line off of your reel. The most productive rig for our guides have been a flasher, 6 foot leader, anchovy or herring teaser, and anchovy or teaser. The key for this fishery is to make sure you spend as much time being in the zone as possible, concentrating in the 80 to 100 ft water depth. It is important to have your rig as close to the bottom as possible. This is where the guides have hit the majority of their fish.
There are still coho stacked off the pink apartments that are rolling on the surface. Anglers have had intermittent success with flies and spoons but the fish are now getting lock jawed.
Make sure to stock up for the long weekend by stopping at the shop at 78 East Broadway. Our friendly staff will show you exactly what to use and how to use it! Visit the Pacific Angler Guide Journal for the most up-to-date weekly reports. Both Eddie and Jason will be out on the water this weekend, so they’ll see you out there.
Andre has reported that the local beach fishing has slowed down this week and is coming towards an end. It is time to start searching for salmon in our local rivers now.
Happy fishing and don’t forget your stripping basket.
BC Lake Fishing Report:
The interior is now cooling down and thus cooling down the lakes of the interior. You can have some amazing fishing on these lakes if you are willing to layer up and withstand a bit of cold. Leech and waterboatmen patterns are typically the most productive patterns for this time of year but this varies greatly from lake to lake. If you are heading up to the lake make sure to stop by the shop and stock up on flies and tippet. Our friendly staff will help you make an informed decision.
On behalf of the Pacific Angler staff we wish you the best in your fishing endeavours 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.