Pacific Angler Friday Fishing Report: July 24, 2020

OUTLOOK 

Summer is finally showing herself and we hope you are all having a chance to enjoy it responsibly.   This week we have an update on Interior Lake fishing.  Matt was up last weekend in the Kamloops region and Zach also make a trip at the end of last week.  Matt will share his observations and a little on the strategies used in the lake section as well as in the video version of the report.  

On the river front, we will look at reports from the Vedder, Skagit and Capilano.  Water levels are coming down and for the Vedder and Skagit we are hearing better reports.  The Capilano is getting low.  For river anglers this is not great but it is exactly what the beach anglers are looking for.  

With rivers getting lower, the saltwater coho anglers are hooking more fish and though they are still focusing on areas just outside of the harbour, we’re starting to hear consistent coho reports from the North Shore and have had some great local trips there with our guide team this week.  When the winds allowed, we have been across the strait and enjoying steady chinook and coho fishing.   Jason has more details in his report below.   

We also have a fly tying video for all the beach fisherman.  This week Jordan tackles the classic Cali Neil pattern with a twist.  This is probably one of the most productive beach patterns and can be tied in many variations.  Check out his video out here:  

As always Matt has more details in the full video version of the report.  

CLASSES AND COURSES 

We’ve wrapped our courses for the summer but we will be back in September with some of our favourite classes – Introduction to Fly Fishing and Introduction to Fly Tying.  

FRESHWATER FISHING REPORTS 

Capilano River / North Shore Beach Report 

We have some less than ideal tides this weekend with high tides in the morning.  This limits the areas you can reach with a cast from shore.  It’s probably not the best weekend to go for fly anglers but the gear guys have more reach and the fishing reports were good when we had better tides last week.  If you are fly casting, look at the afternoon tides but know that early mornings are way more productive.  Take a look at the tides below and pick a day with lower tides in the morning.  

On the river, the water is low but it is still worth a look  at first light. It’s time to get up early and have a crack at it before you head off to work or start your work day at home for those still working from home.    Also, we are heading into our last week of July so that means it’s the last week before the bait ban takes effect on August 1.   That said, bait is often not the most effective method in lower conditions.   Lures and flies are often our choice for lower water conditions.  Feel free to drop by the shop and we can help you pick some out.   

Skagit River Update  

This week, we hit similar river levels to opening day last year.  Unfortunately, this is still not good news.  If you remember from last season, opening day had challenging river heights but it was fishable and in some limited spots it was crossable.  Expect similar conditions this week if you are heading out.  

Last week, we heard reports that fishing was solid but again limited access can hamper a trip. We are getting close to good levels and if you are only planning one trip this year we would still recommend holding off for a week or two.  

From the reports we’ve had, most anglers found success nymphing with golden stones and prince nymphs with limited dry fly action.   So be sure to have some of these in your fly box for your trip. 

Vedder River Fishing Report 

We heard much better reports this week and like many of our rivers, the Vedder is high but coming down.  Fish are throughout the system now so be ready to cover some ground.   As we mentioned last week, the red chinook in the Vedder are not numerous; this is not an easy fishery but definitely worth the trip, especially with the water coming down.  

If you’re looking to head out and not sure where to start Alex put together a great  review of his top choices for bait, lures and flies for this system. Be sure to read that  report  from the start of the season last year if you’re needing a refresher.  Just scroll down to the Vedder section.   

Last but not least, a friendly reminder that there are also Chilliwack Lake sockeye in the river currently and they are completely catch and release so please handle them with care.  

STILLWATER FISHING REPORTS 

With things warming up we are seeing lake fishing slow but there are still great options to get out.  You will probably not see consistently focused hatches but you will see lots of varied bug life and if you can cover ground, watch what nature is telling you and adapt as fishing can be excellent right into August.  

Matt was up this weekend at Skitchine Lodge, north of Kamloops https://www.skitchine.com/. It is a beautiful lodge and well worth checking out. The observations and tactics were simple. He found the larger fish in 17-22 ft range.  The most productive tactic was fishing shrimp patterns under indicators or dragons and Boobies on sinking lines.  

Skitchine_Lodge_Rainbow_stomach_pump_sample
Lots of small shrimp and daphnia in the fish this weekend

Zach was also up lake fishing and though he got hit with some crazy weather he did see some deeper water chironomid fishing.  When you arrive at the lake look for husks on the water from the day before.  If you see lots of chironomid husks you know the directionin which your fly selections should be focused.  

If you don’t see any sign of mayflies, damsels or chironomids, meat and potato patterns like dragons, leeches and shrimp should be on your radar when selecting flies.  If that doesn’t work, go for attractors like boobies or spratlies to get a fish then make use of your stomach pump to provide you with further direction on your fly selection.   

Good Luck!     

SALTWATER FISHING REPORTS 

Last week’s report was a long one with lots of pictures, so this week is going to be short and sweet.  The fishing is good, so get out there!   

Coho fishing was probably the most consistent it has been so far this summer.  We did well and so did many customers, fishing along Point Atkinson, West Van and the Cap Mouth for coho.  

Coho_fishing_local_ saltwater_fishing
A nice hatchery coho for Courtney and son Braxton on their 5-hour trip along West Van on Thursday.

If the winds allow, or you have more time, there have also been good catches of coho from Gower Point down to Cowan Point.  Each day is a bit different with the fishing being anywhere from tight to shore in 100-150 feet all the way out to 600-700 feet of water.  It depends on the currents and where the bait is.  Tide lines and current seams are a good place to start. 

I covered the gear for coho in detail in last week’s report and all the items listed there are working well.  

The chinook fishing over at Gabriola up to Nanaimo has also been consistent.  On our longer trips and when winds allow, we have been making the crossing and coming back with some nice chinook.  Chartreuse, green, and blue splatter back hootchies with glow flashers have been our top producers. 

If you didn’t do it last week please sign this right now, and let’s get thousands behind this and show DFO and the politicians we won’t stand for these chinook closures.  Get your friends and family to sign it as well, tell them to forward it on as your and their access to this public resource depends on it. 

SIGN THE PETITION HERE 

Petition to the Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard 

Whereas: 

  • The public fishery in British Columbia depends on predictable access to marine and aquatic resources; 
  • The public fishery in British Columbia is a source of benefits, including food security, cultural traditions, recreation, mental health, employment and economic opportunity for hundreds of thousands of British Columbians; 
  • The Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and Canadian Coast Guard and the Government of Canada have chosen to ignore viable and sustainable proposals from British Columbians for managing fisheries that may encounter Fraser River Chinook; 
  • The Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and Canadian Coast Guard and the Government of Canada have failed to implement a coordinated, properly funded, comprehensive, ecosystem-based recovery plan and strategy to rebuild stocks and habitat for Fraser River Chinook; and 
  • The Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and Canadian Coast Guard and the Government of Canada have failed to acknowledge the presence of other abundant Chinook stocks. 

We, the undersigned, citizens of Canada, call upon the Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard to amend the Department of Fisheries and Oceans’ 2020 Fraser River Chinook salmon management measures to acknowledge the existence of abundant Chinook stocks elsewhere on the coast and allow avoidance zones and mark selective fisheries that have been proposed for times and places where endangered Fraser River Chinook are absent or unlikely to be present, and provide details to Canadians for the immediate development of a comprehensive recovery strategy and plan for Fraser River stocks of concern to be implemented as soon as possible. 

See you in the shop or on the water, 

Jason Tonelli 

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