2017 SEASON WRAP UP:
Before our thoughts turn towards Christmas and the upcoming new year we would like to reflect and look back at the 2017 fishing that was.
This years theme was definitely wrapped around the weather. With a mild spring and then an extremely dry and hot summer we saw the province burn up with forest fires and often found ourselves fishing in the red hue of the smoke that they produced. This eerie scene made for some surrealistic and beautiful back drops that seemed to come straight from an apocalyptic zombie movie.
The waters in rivers that were not fed by glaciers we unseasonably low all year. This helped us in some fisheries and hurt us in others…
Last year was a phenomenal year for all things sturgeon. Our earliest ever 10 foot plus sturgeon was landed and released on the 7th of April. This 10’6″ behemoth was followed by another 6 sturgeon over the magical 10 foot mark for a total of 7 up to date! That’s the most 10’+ fish ever in one season for GRFA!! …and we still have a month to go. In fact the average size this year very impressive with a plethora of 7 to 9 footers coming on what seemed like a daily basis.
With the summer being a hot and dry one the river stayed in excellent shape through out the freshet and into the fall. This made for above average numbers in sturgeon as well. With 2017 being a Pink salmon return, they only return every other year, we saw numbers only increase as the fall progressed.
October found the river still very low with little to no rain and the fishing stayed superb… and then towards the end of the month the rains came and boy did they ever. River levels jumped dramatically and the fishing was a little tougher than typical for the that time of year. As the water regressed we had some stellar fishing in between the swelling the ebbing of the Fraser’s turbid waters.
…More 2017 Sturgeon Pictures
THE FRASER CANYON:
The Canyon portion of the Fraser River fished exceptionally well in 2017. This special piece of water arguably produces more large sturgeon specimens than any where else in the world and it definitely lived up to it’s reputation this year. The consistency that 7 foot plus fish were being landed was unprecedented. It seemed that for very long stretches all of our boats that run the canyon were landing fish of this magnitude on a daily basis!
The Canyon also fished well right from April through most of October. This is where the mild spring and the dry summer/early fall really played into our hands. Fish that would typically move down river as the salmon came up were reluctant to do so and stayed. Numbers were above average right to the end of October.
…More 2017 Fraser Canyon Pictures
THE UPPER PITT RIVER:
The Pitt River started out with a bang at the end of May. Trophy sized Sea Run Bull Trout came in decent numbers through out June. July saw a size blip as the average size of the fish came down, however the numbers went up and then the salmon came towards the end of the month. This was definitely a decent year for both sockeye and chinook fresh from the ocean and eager to chase a swung fly. True trophy fishing at it’s finest.
With the dry conditions the river stayed very accessible through out the season due to higher than average melt off from the glaciers. Although every year is different, as the river is extremely spate, we were able to access the best fishing holes through out the season and were fairly unencumbered by log jams and extremely skinny water.
… More 2017 Pitt River Pictures
FRASER BASIN SALMON:
The Pink salmon runs were very low in numbers this season in all the systems. We still received over 4 million fish however in the world of Pink Salmon this isnot a huge number. DFO kept us closed until the middle of September due to these low numbers and we had a late start. In fact all of BC had a tough autumn with salmon in general this year. With the water levels extremely low, which made for great sturgeon fishing, the salmon really hung out in the saltwater for a long time and all returns were very late. Chum numbers were once again outstanding and, believe it or not, we’re seeing decent numbers of Coho now, very late. Chinook numbers along with the Sockeye were on the low side as predicted prior to the season.
Looking towards next year preliminary numbers look good for salmon. 2018 is the 4 year return of the largest return every recorded for sockeye in the Fraser. Couple this with a high cycle for many of the Chinook fisheries in the interior and we should be setting up nicely for a late summer fishery.
Looking towards 2018… Next summer is the brood return (4 year cycle) of the largest return of Sockeye ever recorded for the Fraser River!! We are hoping for an opening towards the middle of August and the fishing should be spectacular. This Next fall we will not see any Pink salmon but should see a very decent return of Chum and an upswing in local Chinook returns. Weather and ocean survival rates will ultimately decide how the fishing will stack up however at the moment we are very optimistic.
…More Salmon Fishing 2017 Pics
Looking forward we want to wish everyone a Safe Relaxing Holiday Season and a Joyous and Prosperous New Year. Thanks again for a stellar 2017 and we’re looking forward to seeing you in 2018.