From our office staff… Leanne, Alyssa, Dean and Rick… and the rest of the Great River Fishing Team… We truly wish you a Safe, Healthy and Happy Holiday Season and a Prosperous New Year!
This time of year finds us winding down from another fish filled season. We would like to take a moment and reflect on the memories and stories of the 2020 fishing season. It’s these stories that make our jobs so rewarding as we feel privileged and blessed to be able to be a part of them and share in the inevitable excitement. From mile stone fish; like your largest sturgeon, to epic firsts; like a steelhead on the fly, what we take for granted so often can be seen in the faces and emotions of the people we get to fish with. It is for this that we thank you and invite you to come along on the season that was.
Although a little cooler than normal, at least for our west coast blood, the winter of 2020 started off with fantastic numbers of fish coming from traditional wintering holes as fish were concentrated in the low water. As we moved into March guide extraordinaire Istvan File landed the largest specimen that we have seen in quite a few years. This 11’2” behemoth of a sturgeon made a valiant effort and the battle that ensued was one for the ages. Once subdued it was quickly photographed, released and is now waiting for you to have another go at it… just a little bigger and whole lot wiser. Continued Below…
Istvan File and the crew from Three Corners Health with their outstanding catch… an eleven foot, two inch giant of a white sturgeon. With a girth of 52 inches this monster is estimated to weigh over 800 pounds! Wow, congrats guys. Well done!
Spring found the world changing in our neck of the woods as the pandemic took hold of the world. With travel restrictions, and the like, many of the plans of our guests had to change and we were unable to see them, however for those that were still able to make it the fishing was again stellar.
Even with higher than average water throughout the spring and summer the fishing remained strong. With the lack of fisherman on the river the sturgeon remained fairly uneducated and often the bites were stunning as many fish simply devoured our offerings. This seemed to go on and on as we really didn’t experience many, if any, true lulls in the action.
As you can imagine, with the higher water throughout the summer and then bleeding well into the fall, the Fraser Canyon was absolutely on fire for fish and held on well into November!! The Canyon fishes particularly well in high water and those luckily enough to get out on this special piece of water made some serious memories as the fishing was epic. If you haven’t fished this area its truly a bucket list experience and we encourage you to drop us a line and find out more about one of the best secrets on the river.
As noted, Fall found us still battling high water as the salmon started their annual spawning migration and the sturgeon started to switch gears and target them. As we moved into October the Chum Salmon, which are a particular delicacy for sturgeon, showed up on mass and with them many a bent sturgeon rod. In particular the Harrison River absolutely went off and both numbers and size were realized on almost every outing. This action held on for an extended time and we are just now starting to switch over to our post salmon baits once again… drop us a line, it’s still fishing strong
SALMONID YEAR IN REVIEW:
We started the season out on steelhead fishing by rafting the Vedder River and plying its water with both, the tried and true float fishing method as well as fly and spey fishing. Water levels fluctuated a lot this season as the river received more than its usual share of rain. Having said that, the Vedder is very stable system and would not stay high for more than a day or two. This Yo-Yo effect on the water really pushed in a lot of fish and after each surge and we had some fantastic action on fresh fish whenever the river was on the drop.
May rolled around and we started our annual Pitt River Bull Trout fishery. This system typically needs higher water not only to bring the fish in but also allows for us to run the jet boats further upstream, accessing more fish lies. The early summer saw the big trout roll in and even with the higher water they continued to push in and move around the river right up until mid-July. This is when we saw the first salmon, which was earlier than anticipated, and they held on until late August.
With September came the much anticipated Fraser Basin salmon fishery. Coho came in on time, about mid September, and pushed quickly through the lower rivers as, you guessed it, the high water made for easy travel. Sprinkled in with the Coho were Chinook salmon in good numbers which also followed suit and entered their natal streams and rivers quickly.
Chum were a surprise as numbers were slightly higher than anticipated, however they did not really show up in on mass until about the 2nd week of October. This made for a fabulous late season fishery on the Harrison River and they were in huge numbers right through November. High water levels played havoc with beach space to get out of the boat and fish, however, those that were willing to fish from the boat had some spectacular action.
Once again Thanks’ every one for making the 2020 fishing season such a success and we look forward to seeing you all in 2021… hopefully with a bent rod in hand. Have a splendid holiday season