Pacific Angler Friday Fishing Report: August 21, 2020

OUTLOOK

It looks like it will be a little wet for today and though maybe not ideal for going outdoors it is probably good for keeping forests damp and rivers from getting low. We have had a very high-water year but things are now getting low so it is good timing.

If the weatherman is on his game the weather should clear up Saturday/Sunday with a mix of sun and cloud so you should be good to get out then. If you’re heading out we’ve got updates on the Skagit, Capilano and Vedder Rivers.  Jordan did some warm weather interior lake fishing this week as well so be sure to check out his report.

On the saltwater front many of you may have heard that the Capilano Mouth Area (28-9) was opened up this week to chinook fishing.  Jason has more details on that regulation change along with his full saltwater report.

Last but not least Matt’s got some time off this week so tune in next week for the video version of the Friday Fishing Report.

FRESHWATER FISHING REPORTS

Capilano River Fishing Report

Action in the Capilano has gotten a little quieter throughout the past week. With no big rains or increased water levels in the river, anglers were having some tough luck.  As of writing this report  the river is currently at 0.7 of a metre but that could change with the heavy rains predicted today (Friday). If you do plan to hit the river, focus your time in the upper pools. Again, using lures such as smaller Blue Fox spinners, Gibbs croc and koho spoons on the gear side and small olive and/or black (and other varieties) nymphs and leach patterns on the fly. Look for some rain, low light, and even try to time your trips with a high tide for a potential push of fish up the river.
 
Looking at the current conditions of the river and seeing how the rain today effects things, I would give the beach a try.  There have been reports of coho being caught during low tides at Ambleside Park. The fish are by no means actively feeding, but you may be able to provoke a reaction bite out of them. This is because they are staging to go up the river and are not looking to feed heavily before spawning. Small nickle, copper and gold Blue Fox spinners along with size 2.5 – 4.0 inch Buzzbombs would be good to try for those casting gear. The fly guys should still look at using small flashy shrimp and clouser like patterns.
 
The fishing at the Capilano is in a transition stage from the summer run into the fall push of Coho. Once the fall brings some heavier rains and allows the fish to get up the river, things will pick up again. So not to worry, fish are coming!
 
Good luck and stay safe out there,
 
Haiden MacDonald.

Skagit River Fishing Report

With the river now at a level where it is easily crossable, hiking is key. Most fish sitting in the runs in front of day-use areas have seen many flies now. Because of this pressure, some of these fish have become tight-lipped. Putting in the time to find less pressured water can help you excel on the river this time of year.

As per usual, I like to start my mornings nymphing on this river either under an indicator or euro-style. Don’t be surprised if you find yourself quickly switching over to dries as there have been reports of many fish starting look up. I have yet to hear any reports of a major hatch this year, however, dry fly fishing can still be productive when nothing much is going on. It only takes a few fish to rise to get things going.

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The dry fly attracted this one!

When fishing dries on this river unless there is a noticeable hatch where you can dial in your pattern, I love starting with larger green or grey drake style patterns. They are easy to fish as they float high in the water and almost offer a full course meal to a rainbow. If those fail, following-up with a smaller Lady McConnell or parachute style pattern can normally hook the more finicky fish.

Skagit_River_Fly_Fishing
A nice bulltrout from my trip this week.

There are good numbers of bulltrout in the river now with reports of many people hooking them on streamers and the occasional nymph. I find this time of year they can start to get a little tight-lipped and at times won’t take the typical swung fly. In that case I find dead drifting a larger stonefly at times can hook a few pickier fish and even an eager rainbow.

Good luck out there,

Brendan Guraliuk

Vedder/Chilliwack River Fishing Report

There’s not much to report about on the Vedder/Chilliwack this week. The fishing is tapering off as the last of the Chilliwack Lake Sockeye and Red Springs make their way into the upper reaches of the system and the water levels drop into low and clear conditions. We’ll have to wait and see what the forecasted rain does to the system; it could push a couple late summer run fish into the system.

As I said last week, there will still be the odd late Red Spring finding its way onto the system through to the end of August, but the vast majority of the run is over. Fishing for these stragglers will be tough as difficult water conditions come into play. Fishing will remain slow until the first push of Fall Salmon shows up in early/mid-September. Please don’t snag/floss the older fish.

The Chilliwack Lake Sockeye run should be done by now, but having said that, the very endangered Cultus Lake Sockeye should be arriving soon, so please treat any Sockeyes that you encounter as kindly as possible. I know I’ve said that many times now, but I can’t stress it enough- handle these fish as carefully as possible! In a run that averages less that 500 fish per year, every single fish counts and poorly handle sockeye is common you might see fishing closures.

Vedder_River

It’s mid-August, and that means that the first of the Fall run White Springs and Coho should be showing up in less than a month, so now is the time to stock up on twitching jigs, leader material, spinners, lead, your favorite hooks and respool your reels before everything inevitably sells out.  I’m hearing good things about the Coho fishing up the coast, so hopefully that translates to good local returns and another awesome year of float drops and spoon bites.

STILLWATER FISHING REPORTS

Interior Lake Fishing Report

This past week saw me do a quick day trip out of the city with a friend to help scratch my stillwater itch. With night time and day time temperatures staying fairly high, I didn’t expect any one thing to be going off, but rather took some flies to help cover most of the situations I might encounter.

That being said, I love watching indicators drop, so I set up for chironomids. The hatch was actually pretty decent as I pushed off, with quite a few smaller fish showing themselves. Moving away from where the evidently smaller fish were, we anchored up in a small bay and hit the odd fish here and there. After moving around a couple times, we finally found an area that proved to hold a few more fish, boosting our confidence.

interior_lake_fishing
Moving around was the key to getting into some fish.

These fish were suspended mid-column, with most fish being hooked at 14′-16′ deep in 20′ of water. Small gunmetal or ASB chironomids were the ticket, with the takes ranging from gentle swim aways to hard and aggressive smashes. I did try leeches and scuds for a bit, but all the fish came on chironomids.

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Brian releasing a rainbow.

If planning a trip outside the GVRD for lakes, come by the shop and we can help get you sorted out. Though it is not considered prime time for interior lake fish it can still be productive if you work at it.

Jordan Simpson

SALTWATER FISHING REPORTS

Vancouver Saltwater Salmon Fishing Report

Is it September 1st yet?   We are almost there, and we can’t wait to roll some shallow baits off the Fraser mouth for big springs, but in the meantime let’s look at some of your options for the rest of August.

As many of you have likely heard, the Cap Mouth area (Area 28-9) is now open for 1 chinook a day, no max size limit (min size limit is 62 cm).   Area 28-6 is also open for 1 chinook a day between 62-80 cm.  You can also retain up to 2 hatchery coho greater than 30 cm per day in these areas.   Coho fishing has been slower this week, but this low-pressure system and rain might bring in some more fish or concentrate the fish off the mouth of the Cap.  There are a few chinook getting caught, but it will be a few weeks yet before we start to see daily pushes of Cap chinook showing up.  So, if you want to keep it local and fish in areas where you can retain chinook, West Van to Cap Mouth is your best option.

We are still getting some decent chinook fishing over in the Gulf Islands, but it is starting to slow down, which really does make sense as we near the end of the month and some of the major pushes of chinook have passed.  Still, if you put your time in you have been rewarded with some nice fish.

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Our friend Andrew with a Gabriola chinook caught on a trip with Jason last weekend.

Most of the fish have been pretty deep and we have covered this in detail in past reports.  We will keep fishing the Gulf Islands until the end of the month.  Once September 1st hits it will be teaser heads and bait, fished 25-65 on the riggers from the Bell Buoy all the way down to the South Arm.  I would expect fishing to be pretty good based on what I am hearing in the approach areas.

The weekends in September are pretty much booked up, but we do have some availability mid-week.  If you would like some more information, please give us a call at 778-788-8582.

See you in the shop or on the water,

Jason Tonelli

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