Fraser River Fishing Report for Sturgeon, Steelhead and Trout from Chilliwack to Vancouver British Columbia April 27
Well another week or more has past and there have been lots of changes on many of the local rivers we fish. It looks as if the Springtime freshet is really playing an effect on our chances to go out for anything more than Sturgeon fishing on the Fraser River. We have now seen water levels jump over 1 meter on most Rivers like the Harrison and the Vedder and Chilliwack Rivers making them virtually unfishable for this weekend for some of our groups. All trips were cancelled and rescheduled for a week or so. We find this disheartening with our team roaring to be on the river, but we have spoke to a few of the groups and they will now be Sturgeon fishing and others all re-scheduled. The Fraser River is up almost 4 vertical feet or more but this should not tamper too much with the fish and the ability to catch some great Sturgeon in the next weeks.
We have a big group flying out from Edmonton and we will spread them throughout the Fraser from the Fraser Canyon near Hope to Vancouver to see where the best fishing is. One thing about having a large team of guides and boats, this gives us the ability to spread out and to survey the river in many area’s to give our clients the best coverage and the best fishing. So in a nutshell here is the reviews and week on the local rivers
The Fraser River was consistent through the past week, yes the river is on the rise but the fish are still biting and now it is all about your location and getting out of the debris trail. Cleaning your lines often makes a big difference so the leaves and things don’t pull your lines down too much bringing your lines up from the bottom and that makes you not in the zone to catch fish. Usually I try tucking in behind gravel bars in the mid River area from the Vedder and Sumas canal to Hope. From Mission to Vancouver you need to go to the edges of the river or slide in behind the larger Islands like Crescent, Matsqui and Barnston Islands, you have to think like fish. Would you want all that debris coming down on you and would that be a good place where food settles? I predict if you stick to these basics of Sturgeon fishing in rising water and higher water you will have great success. Use the baits that are in season, so Eels, Dew worms, Roe and especially Eulachon as we are only 1 week away from peak migration of this tasty Sturgeon favorite.
The Vedder and Chilliwack River levels are too high for fishing this week but hopefully we will see some relief with a cooling trend coming for after the weekend. There are still lots of great Steelhead to catch for the fly fishing fanatic in the weeks to come. So cross your fingers and hope for the freshet coming from high in the Chilliwack Lake Mountains to slow a little. I know we have a number of Spey fishing trips coming up and single hand instructional days. With the big water it is good to run search patterns with intruders and shrimp fly’s like the Squamish Poacher for Steelhead as we did early in the week, big fly’s and cover lots of water. Thus the Spey fishing with the long lines and the ability to send out great long loops really works well. Ben did get a really nice fish early week on the Spey rod with some clients and they were sure blown away with this incredible fishing method that looks magic to onlookers.
The Harrison River fished great on Monday and Tuesday this week but there was very little area to walk and wade once our guests were out of the boat. Curtis found some good spots to target and catch fish near the Aquarium and the back bay near Chehalis but the fish were sure spread out with all the new water to explore. It is now at a water level where the migrating fry will be stacked against the edges near cover and targeting area’s even like Harrison Bay just up from the train bridge, the water is quite calm and this is a good spot for Cutty’s to chase and capture fry without too much current. The Mountain in this area is also good for keeping down the wind which makes the experience much better. Most anglers will now have to fish from the boats as there is no area’s to walk and wade left as of yesterday when Ben was up there with clients. Fry patterns are really the best right now but other imitators will also work good as well. Don’t be afraid to think outside the box and try something big, we have had some great luck with a few Zonkers tied down on smaller hooks. Hopefully this river will come down in the next week.
Harrison Lake should now really start to come on for some good fly fishing in the creek mouths and also 20 Mile Bay, this is the timing for some of the best fishing of the year for Rainbows chasing fry from the Lillooet River as well as Cogburn Creek and the Silver River and a few others we won’t mention.
Again, prime time on the Columbia River and with this river being withheld by dams really helps it to not be as affected by the high freshet at this time of the year. The dams hold back and keep the flow rate mainly steady so the fish really are and stay active. This is a brilliant scenic river in and around Trail British Columbia that should never be overlooked on the fly fanatic’s must fish list for 2012. You wanna see a dry fly fishery that is probably the best in the world, come fish the Columbia River with our guide Bruce Kruk in July to early September for a real eye opening experience.
Okay enough from me for the week as I need to get ready to be back on the river with great friends and clients this weekend. Wash the boat, fuel the boat, tie new leaders and prepare some super bait to chase hungry White Sturgeon.
Remember to always try to think of others while out using this great wonderful resource in British Columbia, so we can share it with others for many more years to come.
Cheers and great angling, forever, Dean <“)))><