Vancouver BC Fishing Report
By Rodney Hsu, Fishing with Rod | Last updated: November 1st, 2016
The video above is our latest episode, featuring Stamp and Somass River’s fall salmon fisheries with Murphy Sportfishing in Port Alberni on Vancouver Island. This 25 minute video feature will hopefully show you what our fall fishery is really all about, just a really happy experience.
November brings lower air temperature, shorter days but the salmon fishing should continue to be productive for a few more weeks. We are still seeing lots of fresh coho and even some chinook salmon coming through the Chilliwack River. This year’s Lower Fraser River’s chum salmon return is also estimated to be quite healthy. With 1.5 million fish returning, anglers are enjoying catching them in the Stave, Harrison and Vedder Rivers. Lower Fraser River is still producing coho salmon if you hit the tide right, except the days whe commercial fisheries took place. No more commercial openings are expected for the rest of this year so you can expect some good bar fishing days ahead of us. Sturgeon fishing in the Fraser River has also been excellent. Fish up to 8′ are regularly caught.
Upcoming Events and Promotional News
Here are some of the latest news and upcoming events in the Lower Mainland and Fraser Valley!
- Fraser Valley Salmon Society is hosting an used fishing tackle swap meet and sale on November 19th.
- Have you seen the new Freshwater Fishes of British Columbia guidebooks which our friends at UBC Zoology have produced? You can now order a copy!
- Follow us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter
Above is our last video tutorial, featuring Gill Steele from Highwater Tackle in North Vancouver talking about the Capilano River salmon fishery and the basic setups which you need for it.
Capilano River level has been good due to the amount of rain which we’ve received. Because of the higher river level, plenty of fish have been moving into the system. You should be able to find lots of coho salmon, as well as some chinook salmon whenever you are going. Bait ban is now lifted so you can use roe again. Salmon fishing is expected to wind down in the next couple of weeks. Please remember that ALL steelhead (wild and hatchery clipped) have to be released with care.
Stave River has no shortage of chum salmon right now. Float fishing with a jig tipped with a piece of shrimp can work extremely well. These fish will always bite so keep your float depth short and avoid foul hooking them. While majority of the fish are coloured, you will get chrome ones from time to time in the lower part of the river especially during an incoming tide.
Anglers have also been reporting a good amount of coho salmon in the system. The toilet bowl close to the dam has been producing early in the morning for both spin and fly fishermen. Coho salmon tend to shy away by the presence of chum salmon so it is best to explore and find spots which do not have too many chum salmon.
The chum salmon fishery in the Lower Squamish River is starting to pick up but overall this fishery has not been what it used to be due to the lower returns and poor river conditions. Water clarity has not been great and we really need a few nights of cold and dry weather to change that. Cheakamus River’s condition is better and you should be able to catch both chum and coho salmon in it. Please remember this is a catch and release fishery with the exception of limited hatchery coho salmon retention opportunities and a short chum salmon retention season, please check the regulations for complete details. If you are fishing the upper river, between Ashlu Creek and Elaho River, you should be able to target bull trout and rainbow trout by using a trout bead. These fish should be feeding on salmon eggs right now.
Harrison River is seeing chum salmon throughout the system. You should have no problem catching them. This system is wide and lack shore access so it is best to access it by a boat. Float fishing with a jig is the best method. You’ll also find schools of coho salmon at slower parts of the river. Harrison River can be an excellent fishery for fly fishermen who wish to target coho salmon.
Retention of chinook salmon is closed for Harrison River due to low return. See fishery notice
Chilliwack River has been very productive, the river has also been very fishable despite of the heavy rain at times. Coho salmon can be caught throughout the system. There seems to be a much higher percentage of wild coho salmon which is great to see for future recruitments. In the lower river, anglers have been focusing on fishing the newly dug out ponds between Peach Road and the canal. Coho salmon can be found in these ponds and first light can be excellent. We are also now seeing more consistent bites throughout the day finally. The go-to method is casting and retrieving a spoon or spinner, or jigging with a marabou jig. In mid and upper river, anglers have been doing very well by float fishing with roe. The river level is a bit higher than preferred, so finding small and slow pockets of water is key. Surprisingly, some anglers have been getting into some fresh chinook salmon as well. Chum salmon are very abundant throughout the river system, but if you want fresher ones, definitely focus your effort in the lower river.
I’ve started an update page for this fall fishery as usual, check it out!
For hands-on information, be sure to visit Fred’s Custom Tackle where you can also pick up a map of the Chilliwack/Vedder River. Fred has reopened a NEW Chilliwack location at 45150 Luckakuck Way.
Pitt River’s no salmon fishing closure has been lifted, but non-retention still applies. See fishery notice
Tidal Fraser River
Tidal Fraser River is now open for hatchery coho salmon retention. Please pay attention to the specific regulations by reading this fishery notice. Fishing has been reasonably good since last week’s commercial openings. Many are doing well by bottom fishing with roe, and getting into both coho and chum salmon. Incoming tide can be good, but it seems like outgoing tide has been better for most anglers. Water clarity is not great, so casting and retrieving lures has not been done. This doesn’t mean they will not grab a lure. A big spoon or spinner can be deadly in dirtier water.
Please note that in spring 2016, Fisheries and Oceans Canada has issued a night time fishing closure for all finfish species in the Tidal Fraser River. To fish the Tidal Fraser River (downstream from the railway bridge in Mission), you are required to have a valid saltwater fishing licence.
If you would like more information on fishing in the Tidal Fraser River, please stop by Berry’s Bait and Tackle in Richmond. Mike, Len and Michele have a team of knowledgable staffs who regularly fish this area and they can help you out.
Non-tidal Fraser River
Sturgeon fishing has been excellent due to the abundance of food in the river. These fish are now feeding on salmon roe and spawned out carcasses. Above is a 8′ long fish which we caught with Lang Nguygen at Lang’s Fishing Adventures last week.
Bar fishing with spin n’ glow is still reasonably good. The odd chinook salmon are still being taken, but majority of your catches will be coho, chum and possibly the odd steelhead.
Lower Mainland Lakes
Fraser Valley Trout Hatchery has been stocking most of the urban lakes in the Lower Mainland since late September so they should be full of rainbow trout. Now that the weather is fairly cold, fish will be less active. Bait being fished on the bottom is the most effective method when water temperature is low. Bait commonly being used include salmon eggs, shrimp, krill, dew worms. Stocked rainbow trout are generally around 250g, so all you need is a light tackle setup when targeting these fish.
These articles may assist you:
- Lower Mainland and Fraser Valley Lakes
- Bait Fishing for Stocked Rainbow Trout
- Lure Fishing for Stocked Rainbow Trout
Please remember that for lake fishing, if you are fishing from shore, you are only allowed to use ONE rod. If you are fishing alone in a boat, then you are permited to use two rods. Only one hook is allowed on your rod. Please note that single barbless hooks are required to be used at some lakes. You should note the daily quota of trout for the lake where you are fishing. Catch and release is required in some lakes, please check regulations.
Before heading out, please read the freshwater regulations in Region 2 first. For more regular updates, make sure you follow our Facebook page. If you witness violations, please contact the nearest conservation office or phone 1-877-952-RAPP (7277). Conservation officers can not attend all calls, but they do their best to catch those who do not choose to play by the rules.
Good luck and please conserve your catches!
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