Fishing Report – Vancouver & Fraser Valley 07-26-13
The fishing, river conditions and weather have simply been as close to perfect as anyone could hope for in the past weeks. Whether your up with us fly fishing the Upper Pitt River or on the Coqihalla swinging a dry for those amazing Steelie’s or Sturgeon fishing in the Mighty Fraser Canyon or Mid-Fraser River the fishing has been nothing short of fantastic.
The Vedder /Chilliwack River is back open and fishing quite well these days for the red Chinook run, seems to be some good numbers of fish around and most can be targeted in the slightly deeper runs with wool, roe and even prawns under a float. If you are targeting these fish with a bottom bouncing style, try to use a shorter leader for better effectiveness. Most think that bottom bouncing with long leaders work better, but you will actually stay closer to where the fish are with a shorter leader and you will not foul hook fish.
A good recommended length would be 24 inches and less. Please remember there will be Sockeye now coming into the system and some of these are adipose clipped and are Cultus Lake Sockeye , these fish all need to be released as fast as possible and kept in the water to give them the best chance at survival. Chilliwack Lake Sockeye are also in the system – please note that these chrome silver bright fish are not Chinook and nor are they coho Salmon. It’s always good to know your fish species and how to quickly recognize them so do your homework before getting out for your fishing days.
The Upper Pitt River has been fishing and producing very well again this season, the sea run Dolly Varden have been crushing the intruders and tube flies. It seems the average fish weights have been much higher than other years and the traffic on the river has been almost non existent which makes our guides and clients super happy while enjoying this scenic paradise. In the next week or two we will start to see the Sockeye coming in, these are the largest Sockeye in the world in this river and they also literally chase the fly, if you haven’t ever had a chance to see this you need to join us for a day or two. It is not uncommon to see double and triple headers on both the double and single hand rods. Spey fishing can be enjoyable with some of these fish reaching nearly 15 pounds in weight.
The Fraser River has been excellent for Sturgeon fishing lately with the water dropping like a rock. Tides are starting to play an affect and you need to be fishing the upcoming tides and turnovers in the areas below Chilliwack mountain to the ocean, this will give you the best results always. It won’t be long as well that the fishing will be picking up from Mission to Vancouver and sometimes this can be a nice area to fish to stay out of the busy areas like the Chilliwack to Mission spots. Getting out and venturing around not only strengthens your ability to adapt but it is always very rewarding to find fish in places no one else may look. These cool fish will surprise you with some of their feeding and hiding spots and even the amount of water you find them in.
The Fraser Canyon has been very good and should be ramping up for its peak nearer to the end of August so if you are considering a adventure up this way, you need to get hold of us soon. We have just recently filmed there for the My Destination “biggest baddest bucket list” and team guide Dave really showed them what Sturgeon fishing is all about. Hooked up many nice fish and the best was a 8 footer that jumped 4 times on film, can’t wait to see more footage and we were thrilled to be asked to be part of this contest. Our clients have been able to see some of the First Nations dry racking which is very historic and cultural, and to have them share this with us has been much appreciated.
Building strong ties and relationships with all that share the river helps all of us. Many times over the years we have needed a hand or lent a hand in this fast moving torrent canyon waters, knowing others are looking out is a nice feeling. Baits producing the best have been roe, salmon and lamprey eels. So many great places have been fishing well it would be hard to go wrong. We are also glad to share with all our clients that there has been little or no to boat traffic in the Fraser Canyon this year, our team at GRFA Crew has been fishing the reaches very much exclusively and our clients have really enjoyed this. Most recently Geoff Love’s group was here for 14 days of which we spent 10 in the canyon, hooked up and landed some awesome fish and only seen two other boats 4 other boats – 3 of ours and DFO. Geoff, mark, Alan and hook can all agree that they may never come in the fall months again after how amazing of an experience the Fraser Canyon provided them – nice sunshine, amazing scenery and virtually untouched fishing grounds, it does not ever get many better than this. If you have never done this trip before it truly needs to be on your too do list for the upcoming years!
Salmon fishing opens tomorrow on the mainstream Fraser River and with the water clarity this is excellent timing for bar fishing with family and friends. The Chinook stock was protected well this year and we all hope that escapement was good for early Chinook Salmon to the grounds so that we can all keep this stick group coming for many years. We need to try to keep our opportunities for days on the river and using selective fishing methods is a good way to work with DFO to do what is right for the fish. If you insist on bottom bouncing for Chinook Salmon try to keep to a short leader this is the key to getting where the fish are and also that they are not foul hooked. A good recommended length would be 3 feet to 1 meter. This also helps to keep down your interception on Sockeye that are migrating through to the Stewart River which is nearly 900 miles, getting these socks to the grounds is very important for their survival. Get out there and enjoy fishing and spending time together with family and friends. The GRFA Crew will be out bar fishing starting to target Salmon in the next weeks. We are so excited to share this with you – 5 species of Pacific salmon and we can even have days when we catch all 5 in one day ” our GRFA Grand Slam”.
Chilliwack lake is also nearing its prime of the year, a great scenic nearly private venue that is a very under utilized fishery. Amazing Dolly Varden, Bull Trout, Rainbow Trout and Kokanee fishing. Some of the best fishing is done at Dolly Varden Creek and Glacier Creek or by trolling apex lures and atomic plugs over the ridges and drops, this lake has some big fish in it. There should be some nice viewing of Sockeye in the next month at the far end at glacier creek, always enjoyed seeing the Kokanee and sockeye spawning side by side in the river. There is always lots of bears around when there are fish so be careful when out hiking around. Roe on the bottom works best and seems to be very productive and also loads of fun on light tackle. Get out and enjoy it only 45 minutes from Chilliwack.
The Coquihalla River is open and provides some nice water for swinging a dry fly for Steelhead, this river is a nice walk and wade system that if you are where the fish are and out super early in the morning can make your day a big success. Evenings just before dark can also be productive and swung flies like intruders work well again my favorite is the Ferguson Rock stars.
The Fraser Valley Salmon Society has been out on its cleanup day on the Vedder/Chilliwack River and there are some great photos and write up on their Facebook page. Please support the FVSS with signing up for your annual membership for a mere $10 or buying a lifetime membership for only $100. The FVSS has a mandate and believes in *Conservation*Opportunity*Family – giving you representation in many levels of fisheries planning and keeping your fishing rights in check. Your support is greatly appreciated and try to encourage others as well.
Well that is another round of great fishing info and pictures and we hope you look us up for your next fishing outing and stay in contact with us through our social media.
Keep our rivers cleans and always take out more than you bring in and we will, never have a problem with garbage on, in or around Beautiful BC and Canada. See you out there
Cheers and Great Fishing, forever, Dean <“)))><