Hi and welcome to the GRFA fishing report updated on the 16th of September 2020.
With smoke from the forest fires in the Washington filling our skies this past weekend we find ourselves once again fishing with a backdrop like a scene out of an apocalypse movie. With rain slated in the forecast and wind hopefully switching we should see much of this “haze” disappear soon and we’ll once again be back to clear skies. Luckily the fish don’t care about the smokey skies, here’s what’s going on…
Although it can be a little to day to day the sturgeon fishing has been very consistent lately. With the end of the sockeye near, sturgeon have been very much fattening up for the lean months and you can really tell, most of them look like butterballs and are very girthy… almost all fish are 10 to 20 percent heavier than a month ago!! Good size average and decent numbers have been the norm lately.
Sturgeon have been primarily targeting salmon in the river. At the moment sockeye parts are definitely working however in another week or two they should really start switching over to Chum salmon as they should be starting their annual spawning run shortly. Oddly as of late, coarse fish, such as pike minnows and pea mouth chub, have been seen outperforming salmon parts as sturgeon look for something else to tickle their palates.
Fish have remained fairly spread out and the norm has been a few bites per anchor drop and your best to keep moving to find feeding fish. Typically a half hour to 45 minutes per anchor location and then move somewhat, 100 feet can make all the difference at the moment. Also of note: some guides have been doing very well fishing the shallower edges of the holes, especially for larger specimens.
The river is very low and one really needs to be careful out there right now, we have seen a few boats high and dry on the gravel bars. Of particular note the old Five Fingers stretch of river (Wellington Bar to Bowmans Bar) is very touchy and a prop driven boat should steer clear of this area. Definitely want to keep an eye out for shallow bars and watch your sounders as your running even in a jet boat.
The Canyon is on fire at the moment and continues to produce both numbers and size on every trip! If you are thinking of running this special piece of water keep in mind that is very “heavy” water and not for the timid or unexperienced jet boater, especially in low water. Please be very careful! Also keep in mind that anchoring in the Canyon is much different than the lower river and one can find themselves stuck very easily as the big water surges and pushes their boat. If you’re interested in trying your hand at biggest of the big in one of the most spectacular venue’s in the world drop Rick a line and he’ll be more than happy to help organize one of our Ultimate Fraser Canyon Sturgeon trips with you. email@example.com
What better way is there to spend a warm autumn day than sitting in a comfortable covered jet boat waiting on another bite from the almighty sturgeon. With limited fishing pressure on the river this is a great time of year to get out and experience these dinosaurs of the deep. We offer half and full day outing’s via jet boat with nothing but the finest in guides and tackle. We pride ourselves in ensuring your day is as comfortable, safe and enjoyable as possible. Whatever your speed, we will cater to your needs. Call or email today.
The Fraser is officially closed to salmon fishing above the Mission Bridge until further notice. Do not despair other opportunities for salmon still abound locally. In fact all other rivers remain open including the Harrison, Vedder, and Stave. Please consult your fishing regulations for specific quota’s and openings. For quota regulations check out https://www.pac.dfo-mpo.gc.ca/fm-gp/rec/fresh-douce/region2-eng.html
The Vedder has been producing some nice Coho and Chinook already. Most anglers are targeting the lower river as the runs have just started. The mouth has been producing well on the slack tides with anglers working spoons and spinners. Others have been targeting the canal during low light conditions float fishing roe, jigs, wool combo’s and spinners.
The Dewdney Slough, Harrison, Stave and Chehalis Rivers should start seeing some fish in the next few weeks and for all accounts the numbers look strong and we should be in for a great season!! Stay tuned and we’ll keep you posted.
“GRFA has decades and decades worth of knowledge when it comes to targeting salmon Fraser Valley. If you would like to learn more about this fishery or simply want to get out on the river for some salmon fishing we can help. Please contact Rick at firstname.lastname@example.org and let us help you experience the thrill of salmon on the rod.”
We would like to take a moment and mention the Salmon Bar Fishing Demonstration fishery last Wednesday September 9th and Thank all those that participated. As many of you know the Fraser River above Mission remains closed to recreational salmon sport-fishing. Keep in mind that the mouth of the Fraser is open to the recreational angler, with retention of salmon allowed, and other groups are permitted to gill net upstream almost all the way to the spawning grounds. This two tiered approach by DFO leaves our neck of the woods without any opportunity on the Fraser for the sport/recreational fisher.
Last Wednesday a host of groups (Fraser Valley Salmon Society, Fraser River Sportfishing Alliance, Fraser Valley Angling Guide Association, BC Federation of Drift Fishers) gathered together in Chilliwack and partook in a bar fishing demonstration fishery. The point of the fishery was to showcase that with the right tackle it is possible to target salmon other than the much depleted sockeye. Participants used traditional bar fishing methods which virtually eliminates the chance of hooking sockeye and specifically targets the stronger returning Chinook and Coho salmon. This is arguably the most selective way to fish if you wanted to avoid sockeye and still have a chance at Chinook, Coho and Chum salmon.
DFO was present and some fines were handed out as well as a few rod and reel outfits were confiscated. The individuals that received the fines and confiscations will be unwaveringly supported by all the Sport-fishing Groups at hand and hopefully we’ll see some sort recompense from this move on DFO parts.
Bar fishing use to be a tradition handed down from generation to generation with huge social and economic up sides. It’s time to stand up and fight for our fisheries, especially one such as this which is selective and extremely low impact.
We encourage everyone to write letters to ask for a recreational bar fishing opening on the Fraser River. It is a shame that the largest user group, which has the least amount of impact on the fishery and brings the highest dollar value to the fish on a per piece basis, has to sit on the side line while other sectors are given opportunities. These are outdated policies that need to change and without a loud and unified voice we, the recreational angler, will always play second fiddle to political interests. Please write your concerns to:
Hon Bernadette Jordan Minister of Fisheries email@example.com
Hon John Horgan Premier firstname.lastname@example.org
Doug Donaldson Minister FLNR doug.donaldsonMLA@leg.bc.ca
Terry Beech DFO Parliamentary Sec. email@example.com
Todd Doherty Conservative fisheries critic Doherty@parl.gc.ca
Rebecca Reid RDG DFO firstname.lastname@example.org
To all of those who have written letters, thank you so very much – the future of our Fraser River fishery depends on each of you and your efforts.
That’s it for now. Conserve our waters and here’s to great fishing, forever…