Sunday, July 19, 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
July 19, 2021
Walk-and-wade trip reservations are now available. Please contact either location for details.
It has been an exceptional couple of weeks fishing for red chinooks so far this season on the Chilliwack/Vedder River. The river level is awesome, with no end in sight to the dry weather. Lots of fish rolling as the sun goes down, but the best time is certainly first light. The red chinook run is relatively small but has been growing in population over the past few years. This run usually starts to peter out by August.
Aside from the staple method of float fishing roe, big beads, gooey bobs, etc., with the right flow, casting big spoons can also be effective.
Another option is to back troll the Sumas portion near the confluence to the Fraser - Kwik-Fish, Mag Lips, T-Spoons are all good options and make for a relaxing day.
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
July 14, 2021
Nothing like spending the day on the mighty Fraser waiting for a big sturgeon to climb on board. Fishing has been good with a good number of large untagged fish in the sturgeon sling. Bates have ranged from eulachon, lamprey, and roe, to pike minnows and stinky salmon parts. Basically, anything goes.
The river has peaked and is beginning to drop. There's still going to be debris working its way downriver from collapsing banks, so keep a watchful eye.
Warm summer days also mark opportunities to fish for carp and other assorted species that hang out in the Fraser River sloughs. Everything from a worm and bobber, to setting up a rig off the bottom with Fireballs or PowerBait can make for an enjoyable and relaxing time for the whole family. You definitely don't need the latest and greatest in gear to enjoy this method of fishing.
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
March 6, 2021
It's cuttie season on the Harrison. Alevin and small fry are working the shorelines which means it's feeding season for the roaming cutties, rainbows, and char. Work the shore with small fry/alevin patterns, and small Dick Nites or spinners.
Keep an eye out on the Freshwater Salmon regulations for retention opportunities and boundary restrictions.
Chehalis River Report
March 21, 2021
It's cuttie season on the Chehalis. Alevin and small fry are working the shorelines which means it's feeding season for the roaming cutties, rainbows, and char. Work the shore with small fry/alevin patterns, and small Dick Nites or spinners. This is a relatively short season, as the fry will work their way out to the Harrison quite quickly.
Stave River Report
March 21, 2021
It's cuttie season on the Stave. Alevin and small fry are working the shorelines which means it's feeding season for the roaming cutties, rainbows, and char. Work the shore with small fry/alevin patterns, and small Dick Nites or spinners.
Dewdney/Norrish Creek Report
March 21, 2021
It's cuttie season! Alevin and small fry are working the shorelines which means it's feeding season for the roaming cutties, rainbows, and char. Work the shore with small fry/alevin patterns, and small Dick Nites or spinners.
Local Lakes Report
March 21, 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.
The Freshwater Fisheries folks have been stocking many of the local lakes. This is a great opportunity to get out with the young ones and teach them to fish.
Kawkawa Lake in Hope is open now for kokanee. Jigging in about 40' of water, or a deep water chironomid pattern are good options. Check out Fishing with Rods video on this tactic.
The other local lakes are just starting to warm up as bugs get more active.
Interior Lakes Report
March 21, 2021
Countdown to ice off is well underway. Tunkwa Lake is showing dark areas around the shoreline which is a very good indication we may be in for an early start to the season.
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.