Monday October 25, 2021
Message from Fred...
July 5, 2021
"It will be extremely important that the public takes this opportunity to ensure that healthy and sustainable fisheries will be a priority for all British Columbians."◊ Follow this link to read the latest message from Fred.
Chilliwack/Vedder River Report
October 25, 2021
Walk-and-wade trip reservations are now available. Please contact our Chilliwack shop at 604-858-7344 to book your trip today!
There are still lots of chrome bullet coho in the system to target. This is also prime chum season, however, due to extremely low returns, there is no retention of this tough fighting fish (see FN1102 for details). We are nearing the end of the Fall chinook run, with the odd chrome fish being caught, but that's the exception.
Float fishing remains the #1 angling method using soft beads, jigs, roe, or wool. Twitching jigs, or casting spinners / spoons are also effective options where the water permits. Fly fishing in the slower water, pools or backchannels where the coho hang out is also a super effective method (may we recommend something in olive?).
If you've got access to a boat, try back-trolling/plugging a size 14 or 15 Kwikfish on the Sumas. This is a great way to kick back and fish with very little effort. Remember to be patient and reel down to set the hook.
This is also a great time of year to pull out the fly rod to chase trout, char, and whitefish using beads. 6 or 8mm Troutbeads drifted under an indicator near the bottom imitate salmon eggs, and can be incredibly productive(see our blog post on Rigging and Fishing Troutbeads). Might even get a coho to climb on board. Check out our Troutbead selection for some ideas.
If you're new to the Chilliwack/Vedder system, be sure to pop into the Chilliwack store and talk to one of the boys (from 2M away) and see what they would recommend.
Please be aware of the regulations and how to identify your fish. Release all non-retention species properly. Do not take them out of the water. A single barbless hook is very easy to remove. Stay within your limit.
Fraser River Report
October 7th, 2021
There are currently no openings for salmon fishing on the Fraser River.
These monsters of the Fraser are moving around looking for food to bulk up for the winter. They can be aggressive, and what is really cool is that they are actively showing themselves - breaching, porpoising, and making acrobatic jumps.
With the salmon moving through the river, salmon parts have worked well. Nothing like a BIG sturgeon devouring a salmon head, and then taking off. Lamprey, roe, and pike minnows have also worked well.
About Sturgeon... The incredible power and strength of these unique fish are demonstrated with acrobatic jumps, long hard pulling runs, and most important the impressive durability. Making them one of the most exciting catch-and-release fisheries on the planet.
Many people have taken the time to educate themselves on the conservation and management efforts that the Sports fishing sector has dedicated over 20 years to ensure that these fish will be around for years to come. If you have never experienced a Sturgeon fishing excursion, we highly recommend you try this world-class fishery that is dedicated to conservation and sustainable fisheries for generations to come.
Please handle these prehistoric beasts with care and keep them in the water as much as possible. Our job is to keep an eye out for these fish and report your observations to the authorities immediately.
Harrison River Report
October 15, 2021
Coho and chum are moving through the Harrison, along with some sockeye and chinook. Please be aware there is a closure on retention of chum salmon effective Saturday, October 16 per FN1102.
Be sure to check the Freshwater Salmon regulations for retention opportunities and boundary restrictions.
There are always resident char, trout and whitefish cruising around during the off-season. However, they are far more abundant during the Fall salmon season, and when the late Winter / early Spring salmon fry are moving through.
Chehalis River Report
October 25, 2021
Coho fishing has been very good of late. There are also chum in the system, however, there is a closure on retention of chum salmon effective Saturday, October 16 per FN1102.
Stave River Report
October 25, 2021
IMPORTANT NOTE: There's a posting on Fishing with Rods forum that the local officials are cracking down on illegally parked vehicles.
Coho and chum are in the Stave right now. Please be aware there is a closure on retention of chum salmon effective Saturday, October 16 per FN1102.
Float fishing, twitching jigs, casting spinners / spoons, and fly fishing are all popular options. Swinging a big purple and black, or pink bunny leech with the spey is almost certain to get you into an angry chum.
Dewdney/Norrish Creek Report
October 25, 2021
It's coho season - flies, spoons, spinners, and jigs are all great options.
Please be aware there is a closure on retention of chum salmon effective Saturday, October 16 per FN1102.
Local Lakes Report
October 25, 2021
IMPORTANT NOTICE: Please read this notice and let others know the significance of invasive species in our lakes and river systems. They are not welcome and practicing catch & release is not recommended for the longevity of our native fish.
You could definitely find yourself alone on a local lake during the Fall. Unlike Interior lakes where trout have ample food sources and are actively feeding, the local lakes really don't offer much up so fish tend to go into hibernation.
Interior Lakes Report
Fall fishing in the Interior can be some of the most challenging and rewarding of the season. With the weather generally not cooperating, finding an opportunity can be difficult.
All that to say, if you do find yourself hankering for a last ditch lake outing, fly fishing the shallows is your best bet. This is where the fish are going to be looking for food (scuds, leeches, and other assorted nymphs) to bulk up on. Micro leeches, scud patters, vampire leeches, etc. (small, small, and small - size 18 - 14) should be your go to.
What about chironomids? Nope. If you're by yourself you could leave a line out but don't expect much. The water is cold, and that's not prime chironomid time.
Salt Water Report
July 10, 2021
Hello Fellow Anglers
Of course DFO announced this summer's Chinook fishing regulations during the time I was up in the East Kootenays for a 5 day trip, but if that is what it took to finally get an announcement, I'm glad it worked...lol.
After all that waiting to see what or even if we would get a Chinook opening this summer, they basically have gone with the same openings that we have had the last two summers. On July 15th we will open to the retention of one Chinook per day from 62 to 80 cm (either clipped or unclipped) west of the Gower Pt. to Shah Pt. on the Southern tip of Valdez Island. We will remain closed to Chinook retention off the mouth of the Fraser until September 1st like we did last summer. Upper Howe Sound opens to Chinook retention of one per day on August 1st (though they really aren't in that area at that time anyway) as well as the portion of Burrard Inlet along the West Vancouver shoreline (which does provide a few Chinook at that time).
The southern part of the Sunshine Coast from Gower Pt. up to Robert's creek usually does provide some decent to good Chinook fishing during the last half of July (especially closer to the middle part of July), so that does give us a closer option for shorter trips of 5 to 7 hours and/or on days where the winds may be just a bit too blustery to cross to Gabriola. This area is still quite exposed though, so if a big NW or SE wind is blowing, it would still be a rough place to fish...though we wouldn't have to run across the Strait in rough conditions to get there. We can run there in the calm waters of Howe Sound then pop out in the rough and put the lines down.
For the most part, the best Chinook fishing from July 15th through until August 15th (and maybe until the end of August) will be r located off Gabriola. It requires a minimum 8 hour charter to fish this area, and if you also wish to get Lingcod it may require an hour or two more since the Chinook non-retention regulations for the spring and early summemonths really puts a lot of pressure on the Lingcod stocks and some days it can take quite a while to get them....especially later in the summer. The last few years we have seen some absolutely spectacular Chinook fishing off Gabriola during late July with days where you bring 20 or more legal sized Chinook to the boat, not being all that uncommon. Yes, there are slower days due to tides, whales or the fact that someone didn't wear their lucky underwear, but even on those days we eventually seem to get into a handful of good fish eventually...we just need to work at it a bit sometimes.
Wind is the main factor in deciding if we can cross to Gabriola on any given day, as it requires close to an hour of running each way in the open waters of Georgia St., and the areas we fish are also quite exposed, so it isn't like we can put up with a rough ride then fish in calm waters. Typically I like to see winds of 12 knots or less for most trips as the majority of groups can handle those conditions. If you book a trip to go there and your date happens to be too windy, I am OK with postponing and trying to work out an alternate date for you if that works for your schedule (or if I actually have any alternate dates still open).
Locally, we have started to see the odd Coho show up off West Vancouver, and with this dry weather their numbers should continue to build as long as the Capilano river stays really low. We are also beginning to see some of the first Pinks destined for Howe Sound showing up off the south side of Bowen Island. These fish often hold in some pretty decent numbers just off Cowan's Pt. before heading up Howe Sound, so fishing this area on a local trip can be a great option on those days with a strong NW wind or a day when you want some younger kids to play fish. On that subject, if the Pinks build up on the beaches up Howe Sound, casting to them with light tackle is a lot of fun....and not just for younger kids. This fishery typically gets rolling sometime in the first week of August depending on the weather (rains), and is a great option for half day trips (mornings are best) and/or days when the NW wind is blowing.
As of September 1st, we open to 2 Chinook per day with no maximum size restriction (still the usual 62 cm minimum). By then the best options are the mouth of the Capilano River or Sandheads off the Fraser. Sandheads trips require a minimum 8 hour trip like Gabriola trips due to the long running distance, but even the mouth of the Capilano fishery can be best served with a longer trip on days when there is a good long flood tide to fish.
Both of these fisheries are best on the flooding tide (basically to the point of "don't bother fishing on the ebb"), so the time of the charter is dictated by the tides rather than the time of day. Off Sandheads, this fishery is typically best earlier in September rather than later, though at this time of year it is always dictated by the actual timing of when the Chinook arrive off the mouth of the river. With the Capilano, numbers will typically build off the mouth if the weather stays dry, and on the first day of rain after a dry stretch, the action can be very good, but the next day it will be totally dead as the majority of the fish will have entered the river. Down at Sandheads the fish will also enter the river with the rains, but the water levels are always high enough that they can always enter whenever they want to. Typically they are supposed to arrive off the mouth then hold for several days or even weeks before heading into the river, but if the Southern Resident Orcas arrive to feed on them, they will enter the river to escape, and the fishery will be severely impacted, so this fishery can be really hot one day and completely dead the next even without a change in the weather....it can be all about the whales down at Sandheads.
I presently still have lots of open dates in the last two weeks of July and during August as most people were waiting for the regulations to get announced before booking their trips. I have a little over half of the dates during the last two weeks of July still open, but they will book up quite quickly now that we know our Chinook retention regulations for the summer. If you are wanting to book a trip, it will be in your best interest to figure out your dates sooner rather than later. I've also already got about 1/4 of the dates in the first couple weeks of September booked, so figuring out your dates for September fairly soon would also be a good idea if you are interested in that fishery.
Though prawn numbers are presently not too great in the lower part of Howe Sound where I put my traps, it really isn't much different than before the commercial prawn season, so I will continue to put out my prawn traps most days.
Charter rates are not changing in 2021 from the 2020 rates, and are as follows: For one person the 5 hour rate is $600 + GST, for 2 people it is $635.00 + GST, for 3 people it is $670 + GST, and for 4 people it is $720 + GST. Additional hours are $100.00 + GST. Wth the rapid increase in the price of fuel lately we may need to add on a fuel surcharge (marine fuel is usually $0.15 to $0.20 per litre more than for cars. We haven't had a discussion about this yet, but may in the coming days.