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Fishing Report for Chilliwack to Vancouver – September 17, 2019

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Fishing Report for Chilliwack to Vancouver – September 17, 2019

Hi and welcome to the GRFA fishing report updated on the 17th of September 2019.

September is the time of plenty and this year it has been incredible thus far. With salmon returns coming in better than forecasted and the sturgeon fishing being insane of late, if you haven’t already, it’s time to get the rods out and stick some fish!

The 8th Annual Duck’s Unlimited Sturgeon Classic Fundraiser was held last weekend here in Chilliwack and what a wild ride it was… John Buus along with family members Angie, Ken and Kim, were guided by Istvan File and managed to land the largest sturgeon of the fundraiser, a very thick 9 footer with an estimated weight of 501 pounds!! This fish as well many others were caught during this 2 day event which raises awareness and funds to help support wetlands through the efforts of Ducks Unlimited Canada. GRFA is a proud sponsor of this fundraiser along with many other local Chilliwack businesses and individuals. Our thanks go out to all the businesses and volunteers that made this year such a fantastic success.


The last 2 weeks have been some the hottest sturgeon fishing we have experienced in a few years!! With all the Pinks in the Fraser the sturgeon have really put on the feed bag and are aggressively looking for protein. Double headers and even a few triple headers are a daily occurrence right now. It’s been simply awesome…


The Buus’s with their mammoth sturgeon that won the 2019 Ducks Unlimited Sturgeon Classic. Congrats!! Beautiful fish…

With all the Pink salmon in the river the bait of choice at the moment is fairly obvious. Both fillet strips and the roe of the Pinks have been the ticket. Sturgeon really have a certain infatuation over these fatty little salmon and will be on them right through the month now.

Fish have been stacking up in the deeper holes and if you find a few, stick around, there’s bound to be more. Some guides have been doing very well fishing the shallower edges of the holes, especially for larger specimens.


The river is 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.


Even with the lower water the Canyon continues to produce both numbers and size.  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!! 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.


What better way is there to spend a stunning 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 fall rains have come and with them the much anticipated return pf the Pink Salmon. These aggressive battlers only return every other year and they have done so with a vengeance. With over 8 million fish expected to return, and an estimated 5+ million already in river, this is a far cry from dismal returns of 3 million total in 2017. Great to see them bounce back in such a short period of time.


Keep in mind that the Fraser remains closed to salmon fishing from the Alexander Bridge to the Mission Railway Bridge. This measure was put in place to protect migrating interior steelhead, ie Thompson and Chilcotin Steelhead stocks, which are currently at dangerously low levels. We all need to do our part in protecting this fragile fishery and understand that conservation must be at the forefront of our way of thinking.


Do not despair other opportunities for salmon still abound locally. In fact all other rivers remain open including the Harrison, Vedder, and Stave which are all experiencing excellent returns of fish at the moment. Please consult your fishing regulations for specific quota’s and openings.


Pinks are being caught on all sorts of tackle of late. Pink jigs worked in twitching motion have been the best producer in the calmer slack waters where they have been holding well. Also one can try different spoons and spinners and have a chance at an early coho or even a chinook. Fly fishing is also very effective and stripping in a pink colored streamer style fly on a slime line has been the ticket.


 “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 and let us help you experience the thrill of salmon on the rod.”

Keep our fishery alive – How can you Help?

We encourage everyone to write letters to ask for a recreational 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:

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…



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