Saturday, November 9, 2013

Low water coho

I fished the Stave today in what was supposed to be a rainy day. Much to my surprise the day was warmer than I thought and not a drop of rain fell. When I arrived the water was very low as the tide was out. My first destination was almost dry except for a smallish pool below some shallows. In the pool were many chum and coho swirling around. I tried a few casts into the tail out, steering clear of the main body for fear of simply snagging fish but I soon moved on. As I walked the river I found a few nice spoons someone had snagged on various stumps that had previously been submerged. I walked down stream and found more coho holding in what little water was left. Many of the coho were colouring up but there were some nice chrome fish in there too. I fished a few side channels on the fly, holing a small presentation would be the ticket. Alas, the fish were too spooked by the lack of water. I waited until the tide started coming back in and went back to my original spot. A few casts in and I was into my first fish. It was a hatchery coho, about 7 lbs but was more coloured up than I like to keep so I let it go. The day progressed and the tide rose. By the end of the day I had landed another coho (wild and released) and a handful of chum.

The season is winding down and at this time of year I often take some time off from fishing until steelheading gets into full swing. Although... I may get out for one more trip before that happens...

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Rain, Wind and Coho

After a fantastic summer, and a very good fall, we finally have the rain Vancouver is known for. Today it rained quite heavy and the wind was out to make things worse. I left the fly rod and spey rod at home today. I didn't want to fight the wind. I also didn't drift a float, I decided to stay below the surface and try something different. I was casting spoons and spinners. Despite targeting coho, I did manage to land more than 10 chum salmon. Fghting through the thick schools of chum wasn't easy but I finally found some nice slow water and hooked 2 nice coho. The second of which was hooked on a silver hammered croc with an orange stripe and was easily in the double digits size range and was as chrome as they come. The fight was fantastic with lots of acrobatics and long runs. Unfortunately for me the fish spat the hook about 8 ft from my feet.

When I left the river it was still raining hard, the wind was viscous and my hands were numb but I would do it again in a heartbeat.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

First things first.

Last night I got a text from my brother in law asking if I wanted to go fishing today. My answer was of course "yes", and luckily I had the day off. I dropped my daughter off at school and drove out to meet him at the boat launch. The sun was shining and there wasn't a cloud in the sky, we hoped in his boat and set off for the Stave River. I had a few productive spots we could visit and I knew we would be able to hook into a few fish there. My brother in law had never caught a chum, never landed a salmon from his boat and had a new rod and reel to break in. We beached the boat on an island and fished a side channel. Before he had even set up his rod I was into my first fish of the day. I landed the fish and went over to talk to him and explain a few things about his new rod and reel set up (how to cast/adjust it). His third cast and his float plunged under the water. On the end was a nice chum doe. We landed the fish and sent it back on its way. This was his first chum ever and his new rod and reel were now broken in; he was quite pleased. As the day progressed we both caught many more chum at a couple of different locations. Each place we moved to produced fish. It was neat to be able to access different parts of the river by boat and to see the large school of fish swim around us. The last place we stopped we switched things up a bit and fished it for about half an hour targeting coho with spoons. I managed a couple of chums on the spoon I used and he hooked and landed a beauty chrome coho! His first coho ever. Again, his smile was big and we agreed it was the nicest fish of the day. A quick picture and the wild coho was released to do its thing.

It's always nice to get people into fish they haven't caught before. I know I get excited when I catch a new species.

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Coho fly

Tonight I was tying a few flies and jigs and I thought I would add a little substance to this blog, so I decided to add a productive coho recipe. This fly is easy to tie and I am not sure if it has a name already. I created it from some supplies I had and it seems to work quite well. I have had sucess with it on a few flows in the past. Enjoy!

Hook: Size 4 Tiemco 7999
Tail: Rainbow crystal flash
Under body: Medium copper crystal chenille
Body: Medium UV Copper UV polar Chenille
Head: 3/16 hot red bead

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Low water; chum fishing; and spey casting

Today began with a late start. I didn't get to the Stave river until 9:15am. My wife dropped me off and went off shopping with my daughters who chose shopping over fishing. When I arrived at the river I was surprised by how low it was. I started down low and due to the low water I was able to cross the braids to acess a few islands. It wasn't long before I found some fish. I was drifting jigs and swinging a fly on my spey rod. Both methods produced and I was able to land my first ever fish on the spey; a nice chrome chum doe. I was very happy with the performance of my spey rod and reel. The reel was silky smooth with the fish on peeling line. I now feel like I am able to cast half decent. With a little fine tuning I will be looking at increasing the distance of my casts. I did recieve some good advice on casting that proved to be very valuable. I was told to take a look at my grip on the rod. Apparently it is common for beginners to over grip (too tightly) the cork. I was told to be gentle and hold it loosely, let the rod do the work. The advice paid off and I felt much more competent casting today. The casts layed out on the water much better.

As the water rose more fresh fish pushed in. I was happy to catch quite a few chrome fish barely showing their bars. I even retained two for the smoker and some fresh roe.

Get out and enjoy the beautiful fall weather we are having. It won't be long before the weather turns and the salmon begin to die off.

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Salmon and Sturgeon

Yesterday I once again braved the dry October weather we have been having to fish the Stave river. It has been so tough this fall with all the Sunny and dry weather we have been having (insert sarcastic grin here). Yesterday was dry and quite foggy on the river. I arrived when it was still dark and was greeted by the hordes of people that had beat me there, or possibly had slept at the river. Either way it was looking like it would be a busy day of fishing.
I fished for coho for the first hour or so and managed only one jack on the roe I was drifting. When the crowds began to get too much for me I went for a walk to find more seculded water and caught a bunch of chum salmon on purple over pink jigs.
It was then time to head for sturgeon. When I arrived at the location there was someone in the spot I wanted to fish. He was fishing for salmon. I fished further up and had a couple small hits but no fish. When the guy left I moved into my preferred location and switched up to chum roe (I was using chum belly strips). Chum roe was the ticket as I was soon getting bites. The bites began soft and then turned to strong hits. I proceeded to land two 4' sturgeon and one 3' sturgeon all on roe within 5 minutes of each other. The action was fast and effective. So important, when sturgeon fishing, to have the right bait!
I left shortly after landing the third fish as I ran out of time and had to head home. Another good day out.

Monday, October 14, 2013

A day on the Stave River

What a beautiful day today! It was foggy at first but that soon burned off. The sun was out and the sky was clear. I fished the Stave River from first light until the afternoon with my drift rod. The morning proved productive for coho jacks with three hooked drifting roe in some slack water. As the morning progressed and the hordes of people arrived I started my trek to more secluded areas. I don't like fishing crowded spots and boy were most spots crowded. The Stave is getting busier and busier every year.

My next stop was further down stream tight up against a bank. I rigged up a jig under my float and began dead drifting it through the run. It wasn't long before I was into the first of many chum salmon. I lost count of how many chum I caught by the time I left. My arms were tired and my smile was big.

It was a great day on the river.

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Stave River

The sun was out and I was on the river fishing, I couldn't ask for a better day. The fishing was a little slow though.  I started off well, catching a large pikeminnow, a wild coho jack and a resident rainbow. All three were caught on the fly rod using a blue body muddler minnow at first light. Alas, that's where the catching ended. I switched over to my spey rod and targeted chum. Unfortunately they were not going to cooperate with me. I did hook one but it spat the hook half way in. Nothing I threw at them would convince them to bite.

Despite the lack of fish it was a beautiful day out and I can't wait to go again. Next time I will give the spey and fly rod a  break and the gear rod will make a reappearance. 

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Float fishing for salmon

Today's post is brought to you by the letter 'E' for 'ethics' and 'effective'.

After visiting the river last weekend and seeing so many people bottom bouncing for salmon that are very willing to bite, I thought I would post on how to properly short float for salmon. I am not going to get into the whole bottom bouncing/snagging debate except to say that I don't do it. I have decided to take an educational approach to prevent new anglers from being caught up in this method of fishing by carrying a 'float fishing kit' with me when I go to the river. This kit will be given to random bottom bouncers who may need a little education in a better way to target salmon. The following is a brief introduction to short floating for salmon. There are many wonderful videos and resources on the internet so if you want to get more detailed information, Google or YouTube are a great start.

Float fishing for salmin is a very effective way of fishing. You will find you will lose less gear and snag leess fish. Remember a snagged fish must be released, so for those of you that like to take their fish home float fishing is a better way to fish.

Float fishing in its simplest form involves a float, a few split shot weights, a swivel and a hook. One thing to note is I used a bright yellow braid for the purposes being able to see the line. I use a mono main line although some people do use braid. It is a matter of preference. I tend to use anywhere from 8 to 25 pound main line depending on what species I am targeting. Obviously a larger fish requires a larger pound test.

To begin with, slide your float onto your main line starting from the top. In these pictures I chose a simple foam float. These types of floats are quite popular. There are also two main kinds. There are straight through ones where the line passes directly through the middle from top to bottom. There are also the wrap around kinds as seen in my pictures. I prefer these over the straight through because the line comes out the side of the float before leaving through the bottom. This allows the float to be gripped by the line for easy set up and adjustment of fishing depth.

The tag end of the line will come out the side of the float. Next wrap it around the body of the float one or two times then through the side of the float near the bottom.

The tag end will now come out the bottom of the float. Pull some line through so you can add the swivel and the weight.

The next step is to attach the swivel and weight. I usually tie on the swivel first and then attach a couple split shot just above it. However some people like to use different weights such as pencil lead. It is a matter of preference. The main thing to remember is that the lead weight needs to be heavy enough to stand up the float but not so heavy that it sinks it under the surface.

The last part is tying a leader from the swivel to the hook. The leader should be a lighter pound test than the main line so in the event you snag up, the leader will break before the main line which prevents you from losing all your gear. The hooks I use for salmon are usually between a size 2 and a 1/0 hook. On the hook many people attach a small piece of wool in a bait loop or they fish roe. Other alternatives are drifting a colorado blade under the float or jigs  I prefer to drift jigs. At this tine of year there are lots of chum salmon coming into our local waters and jigs can be deadly. They don't just work for chum though. Different colour variations work well for chinook, pinks, and coho too. The purple pink and chartreuse jigs pictured are my favorites for chum. The best part about fisuing jigs is they  are weighted and stay in the zone and they ride hook side up. Having the hook facing up helps to reduce unwanted snagging of fish or debris.  For chum I like to drift them just above the fish as chum can be quite aggressive and will move to a jig drifting above them.

When fishing a float cast to your favorite spot on the river and let the float drift upright down stream. It is important to get a natural drift. Do not hold back on the float and do not let too much slack out. Too much slack prevents a solid hook set. Watch your float and when it dips under the water, set the hook. It really can be just that simple.

Lastly,  don't forget this has only been an introduction to float fishing for salmon. There are many other ways to fish this method but they all have commonalities.  They all have a float, weight, a short leader and a hook of some sort. Now get out there and fish. Don't forget your licence and salmon stamp!

Saturday, October 5, 2013

First time spey fishing

A mixed bag of inconsistencies, triumphs and failures; that's what my day looked like.

I fished the Stave river this morning from first light until around lunch time. I arrived at the river to find parking at a premium and ended up having to walk a long way up stream to find my first spot to fish. I began with a muddler minnow on my single hand fly rod. The target species was coho, of which I had no luck. I did manage to hook a big chum but it broke off my lighter leader I was using to attempt to fool the coho. Other than the chum, nothing else was interested in my fly so I moved on to the method of fishing I  come to the river to try. I was going to attempt spey fishing for the first time.

I rigged up my two hander and tied on a pink and purple chum fly. This trip was more about learning to spey fish than actually catching fish. It took me a while to get used to it but eventually I was able to cast half decently, fairly regularly and inconsistently had a good cast I could be fully proud of. I managed to hook into one chum but it spat the hook. I was concentrating so much on the propper cast and drift, analyzing the last cast in my head, that I was slow on the hook set. Oh well. By the end of the trip I was pleased with my progress and I feel more confident for next time I spey fish.

At around lunch time I put away the salmon gear and went off to try for sturgeon. I had some lamprey and some pink salmon belly to try for bait. When I arrived at my location on the Fraser River I was disheartened to see someone in the spot I wanted to fish. Not wanting to crowd them I went up stream. Unfortunately it was a bit of a snag fest and I kept snagging bottom. A few casts and some lost gear later my rod started to dance.. I set the hook and did manage a 6 footer to hand... however the species was not sturgeon. .. it was a stick fish... *sigh* The afternoon continued as it started with more snags and more lost gear. Taking the hint I decided to pack it in and head home. No sturgeon for me today.

Can't wait until next weekend. I may take the spey rod out for round two.

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Here come the chum!

It has been a windy and very rainy weekend but I managed to get out fishing today. The Vedder was blown out today, high and muddy, so I decided to check out the Stave River. When I arrived there were already some people fishing and right away I saw a few fish surface.
The rain fell continuously but it was not going to stop me from having a good day. I was using my center pin again today and at first I was drifting roe in some slack water hoping for an early coho. Unfortunately the only thing it produced was a coloured up pink salmon. After flinging roe for about an hour I decided to change up to drifting one of my go to stave river jigs under a float. That was the ticket! I proceeded to hook into a handful more pinks and 3 chum over the next hour or so until some knobs decided the small barely accessible pocket I was fishing had their name on it. The two guys moved in 10ft up stream of me on a river that had plenty of space and proceeded to bottom bounce their 10ft leaders with pink wool through where I was fishing. Sigh... why people bottom bounce for a fish that readily and whole heartedly attacks offerings sportingly drifted beneath a float is beyond me. After a couple times of them snagging my line I reeled in and left. On my way out I politely thanked them for joining me and leaving so much room because I know how there was such a lack of good water to snag fish in... I don't think they got the sarcasm and i didnt have the energy to educate them in the ethics of fishing.
Anyway, I didn't let it ruin my day. It was a great day out, despite the rain. I think next week I will go back and take my spey rod out for its debut. We will see how long it takes me to learn to spey fish....

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Thick with fish

Set my alarm for an early start this morning. The plan was to get to the Vedder river in Chilliwack for first light to try hook into some springs and coho. That was the plan anyway... unfortunately my body decided to sleep through my alarm and I didn't wake up until 7:30 am. Well.. better  late than never. I grabbed my things and drove the long drive to the river.

Fishing today was interesting. The river is so loaded with pink salmon it is difficult to get around them and target other species. I managed to land a few pinks, which was inevitable,  but no springs or coho. I was drifting procured roe again, as my shoulder is a little sore. On a more positive note the rain held off for the most part. There were only a few sprinkles of rain here and there. I didn't even take my sunglasses because of the rain in the forecast and then of course the sun came out and it would have been nice to have them.
I am now looking forward to increasing numbers of coho and the arrival of chum salmon. I need to try out my new spey rod.

On a side note. I stopped off at the Stave  river on the way home to seeing any fish were showing. They were letting out a ton of water out of the dam so the water was not as low as I thought it would be. I didn't fish the river but watched the water for a while, looking for risers. Nothing was showing. I'm sure they will be there soon though.

Monday, September 16, 2013

Vedder pinks video

Over the weekend I stopped at the Vedder and took some underwater video of some pink salmon. I have now uploaded the video to youtube so I thought I would post it here too.
The video shows the salmon in the shallows of the river as well as some juvenille salmonoids and a whitefish. At one point in the video a male pink salmon swims by with what appears to be a lure in its mouth.
Kind of a cool video. I may try it again this year and see if I can get some other species on camera.

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Fall on the Vedder

I noticed something today while fishing the Vedder river. The leaves have begun to fall off the trees as the season changes. Thus marks my favorite time of year, when all the salmon return to their natal rivers to spawn.
Fishing began early and in the fog again today. The weather was calling for showers but luckily they did not show up. Although, the sun decided to make an appearance. The river was low and clear, just the way I like it, and there were plenty of pink salmon in the system. I hiked past the crowds to a more secluded spot and managed to land a few pinks and hooked a nice spring which spat the hook before I got it to hand. I was fishing with my center pin, drifting procured pink salmon roe under a float.
Unfortunately as soon as the fog began to burn off the fish went tight lipped where I was fishing. I tried a few other spots but the fish were not cooperating. I don't like the whole fishing shoulder to shoulder scene so finding decent water away from the crowds can be a little difficult.
I would have liked to have got into a few more fish but I guess I can't complain. The weather held and I did get into a few fish on a beautiful day on a beautiful lower mainland river.

Saturday, September 14, 2013

A quick stop

It was a dark and stormy night..... .. .. well no.. actually it was a foggy morning and an early start today due to baby sitting duties in the afternoon.

I thought I would check out the lower Fraser River to see if there were any pink salmon moving through. I arrived at the river in Langley at around 7:00 am, and I was back in the car and driving again within half an hour. Langley was dead, no fish showing and only one other fisherman. Could have been that the tide was still heading out and was quite low, but I didn't feel like sticking around to find out. Off to the Vedder river in Chilliwack I went.

I arrived at the Vedder river after battling Saturday morning traffic caused by what seemed to be an unnecessary lane closure on the highway due to "construction". The vedder was looking in good shape and the fog was beginning to lift by the time I got there. I parked and walked in to a few spots and was met with mixed emotions. I was both excited and disappointed at the same time. I was excited to see the large quantities of pink salmon in the river but I was disappointed to see an equally large population of fishermen too. I had forgotten how busy that river gets during salmon season. The last time I was there was the winter steelhead run where the average angler stays home instead of braving the cold for so few fish.

I half heartedly fished a couple runs on the fly, hooking into a couple pinks and filming a little bit of under water action with my gopro camera.

Tomorrow I may go back with my center pin and some roe to see if I can find some springs and coho mixed in with the hordes of pinks.

Friday, September 6, 2013

On the list

I have had some time away from the river this week. It hasn't been away from fishing, as my brain always seems to gravitate towards something fishy. I have been busy reading and tying flies and I even played the odd fishing video game. As I read and tie my mind wanders and it always wanders to where I would like to go fishing.  I usually take a fly fishing trip to the West Kootenays in the summer and it is always a great trip. However I think I would like to expand and try somewhere new.

So as my mind wandered I began thinking of all the places I would like to venture to with my fly rod. Some are more local than others, some require flights and lots of money. The list is endless.

One such place is the Skeena and Bulkley rivers. These rivers have been on my list for quite some time and I think it is time I begin to look into it. I don't think this will be a solo trip, I think this trip is going to be much more fun with a couple of friends. There is much research to do and I don't mind doing it. The idea is in the works and it will be to be continued for now...

Saturday, August 31, 2013

On the river again.

Slipped out early this morning to target pink salmon on the Fraser river. The Fraser has been closed to salmon fishing for a few weeks now due to warmer water temperatures and low return numbers of sockeye. Yesterday they re-opened the river so I thought I would see how things were looking.

When I arrived at the river the sun was just coming up and there were a few fish rising. It was not the best time to be there as the tide had switched and was now heading out. Despite the tide there were still fish moving through and my hopes were high.

I started on the fly and it only took a few minutes before I was into my first fish, a nice little male pink salmon. The fish put up a nice fight and in the end was released to continue on its journey. I fly fished for a while longer, enjoying the solitude of being the only person there fishing on such a beautiful morning. The action on the water died down and less and less fish were surfacing. I decided to switch to gear and began casting a pink lure. I fished the gear for about half an hour and whike I was paying attention to the scenery around members are had another fish whack my lure. I instinctively set the hook and it was game on. After a short but aggressive battle my second fish came to hand. I unbuttoned the hook and sent the healthy female pink back on her way.

I fished for an hour or so more and did not see many risers. More people joined me at the river and began fishing. With the lack of action and lack of schools pushing through I decided it was time to head home.

The fish are there, and it is still early in the run, the big numbers and big schools of fish have yet to push up the river. Next weekend should improve and I anticipate that it will be quite a sucessful time on the river. This fishery is an excellent opportunity to get someone interested in fishing or to take the kids out for their first salmon. Enjoy it and don't forget... respect the fish, treat them gently and obey the rules.

Friday, August 30, 2013

Rainy day out

Yesterday was a wet one. The day started early in the morning on the Vedder canal to see if any pink salmon or coho had made their way up to the river yet.

We went up just above the highway bridge and beached the boat on an island bar. We fished the river for about an hour. The river was looking in great shape and we did see a few risers. However we did not fish it long and did not hook anything. Hopping back in the boat and heading down stream we discussed where we would fish next. The plan was to drift the river to the mouth and then zip out to the fraser to target sturgeon. On the drift the only action we saw was from a greedy pike minnow that couldn't manage the larger hook and spat it out half way to the boat.

Sturgeon was looking promising. We were soaking wet from the on and off rain we were having in the area but full of anticipation. First stop was up near Cattermole in a spot that had proven fruitful in the past. We anchored up and dropped our lines. The baits we had were pink salmon pieces, pinks salmon roe and eulechon. The pink salmon pieces were the ticket early on. After a couple of early bites the action died... then out if the blue my rod danced and I set the hook. I love that feeling of setting the hook with authority only to have your efforts siezed by a tremendous weight at the end of the line. A smile instantly hit my face as I felt the weight of the fish and the head shakes. This fish felt big. The fish began peeling line, reel screaming and rod bent in half i held on tight. The head shakes were boucing the tip of my rod and then... POP... nothing.. slack line and all I could feel was the lead weight on the end of my line. Sigh.... oh well it was early and there was bound to be another chance.

Despite my optimism we only had a few more bites throughout the day, tried a bunch of different locations and came up empty handed. The day ended with us defeated by the mighty sturgeon of the Fraser river and soaking wet from the down pours we experienced. However there is always next time and plenty of fishing adventures in the future. A day without fish doesn't keep me off the water. After all, every day out is a good day.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Squamish Pinks on Green.

Today started early. Today started with a trip to the Squamish River to chase pink salmon on the fly. I arrived at the river early in the morning and stayed away from the handful of people who had beat me there.
Out came my fly rod and I tied on a small pink fly. It took two casts for me to realize pink was not going to show up well in the coloured up water. A change of fly colour was on the menu. I opened my fly box and pulled out the same fly, different colour. I went with bright chartreuse and it paid off. I fished a nice section of the river where the fast water met a slight bay creating some slack water and a nice seam.

It was not long until I was into my first of many fish. Throughout the morning I proceeded to land 23 fish and lost many more. The river was full of fish and it took some concentration to not foul hook the fish. In the end I only foul hooked 3 fish. Not bad considering how thick the schools were in the river. The majority of the fish "caught" around me were foul hooked. At one point I even heard a guy up stream yell "Hey! Look at this, it's even hooked in the mouth!"

The fish were traveling tight to the shore and there were plenty of fresh fish pushing through if you knew where to look for them. It was also good to see many dads out there taking their kids fishing. The smile on the faces of the kids as they caught fish was priceless.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Unsucessful hunt

Today I spent about 8 hours on the Fraser hunting sturgeon. We launched the boat at the Fort Langley launch only to turn right around due to my lack of brains.. I had forgot my life jacket. In fact I had left it in Coquitlam. I was not going to drive all the way home and waste time fishing so off to Army and Navy to purchase a new one... 

After the little detour, it is back on the water. At first we tried pink salmon belly (as it has proven sucessful a few days ago). We had a few quick hits but could not stick the hook. A few location changes up stream and trying roe and even eulechon produced the same results.. nothing... a couple of quick small hits but no love from the mighty sturgeon.

We decided to head back down river after scouting up the Stave river for future adventures. We were cruising along down stream when I spotted a couple of seagulls bobbing along and pecking at something. FLOATER!  A Quick detour across the river and we have located what we hoped to be the golden bait. A very dead, bloated and very stinky sockeye floating down the river. We quickly grabbed it over the side of the boat. Lacking a decent sized bag we opted to cut chunks out of the bad smelling floater rather than dragging into the boat.

The next drop of our lines had lots of promise. We now had what we thought was the bait of the day... the ticket for us to catch some sturgeon.  This however was not to be as we again came up empty handed in another three locations that have produced fish for me in the past.

The day ended with no fish and some nice sun burns from the beautiful weather. However we laughed it off and vowed to return another day to find more sturgeon. Another good day on the water.

Sunday, August 18, 2013

West Vancouver Beach

Fished a West Vancouver beach this morning on an outgoing tide. There were plenty of fish surfacing but no matter what I threw at them (flies and gear) they were not interested.  Just one of those days I guess. It was a bit frustrating to see all those fish around and no action but it was still a nice morning out. I'll get them next time. ;)

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Fraser River Sturgeon

Tonight I went for a quick trip out on my brother in law's boat looking for sturgeon. We put in at the Fort Langley launch and went up stream from there.

I knew of a few local spots to try so we set out in hopes of hooking up with some hard fighting fish. He was casting spoons for salmon as the Fraser was set to be closed later tonight for all salmon fishing.

My first drop of the sturgeon rig had eulechon as the bait. Nothing fancied the bait. On the other side of the boat, my brother in law was soon into a small pike minnow  which he landed and we converted into bait for the sturgeon rod. Again nothing wanted the new, fresh, bait....
A while passed and I decided to change up baits again. This time I tried to entice the sturgeon with a nice piece of pink salmon belly I had kept from previous salmon fishing adventures. The reason I didn't use it first was it had not poduced the day before when I went sturgeon fishing from shore the day before. Anyway, this bait seemed to be the right bait on the menu. A couple of minutes later my rod tip starts dancing and it was fish on! The bite was aggressive and the fish was full of energy. After a few good runs I had the little guy to the boat. It was just under 4 foot. Took a quick pic and sent it back into the river.

Not a bad trip to the river. Only landed one sturgeon but we were not out there too long. I guess with the closure of the whole fraser to salmon fishing there will be a lot more room to go for sturgeon....

Monday, August 12, 2013


Yesterday I had the opportunity to head out to T10 to fish for springs. T10 is just off the coast near the Vancouver airport (if you are unfamiliar with it). This was my first trip out there and my first trip fishing with down riggers. I'm more of a lakes and rivers kind of guy. Anyway, we arrived at the boat (not my boat unfortunately) and loaded up our gear. A quick trip out, drop the crab trap, and we went to the fishing destination. There were a few other boats out but it wasn't too busy. I started with a herring on the end of my line and on the other down rigger we tried a green and #4 silver coyote spoon.

We didn't stay out too long as the light was steadily fading but we did manage to hook a wild coho jack on the coyote spoon ( which was gently released) at about 40 ft in around a hundred feet of water.  That was our only fish of the day, but we were happy we got something.

It was a pleasant evening out and proved to be a good learning experience. On our way back in we picked up the crab trap to find four undersized crabs. Back into the water they went and we were on our way back to the shore.

Monday, August 5, 2013

Another beach day.

Hit Furry Creek again today and fished the high tide that was heading out. I began the day with my spinning rod as there was a bit of a breeze and I was feeling lazy. Second cast... fish on. A scrappy battle and the pink salmon on the end comes to hand. I pop out the hook and he is on his way back into the ocean. The early hookup was a sign of things to come. It wasn't long before I was into fish number 2, 3 and 4.

As exciting as it was to be hooking pinks on my spinning rod I kept looking at my fly rod, wanting to change up. But as the saying goes.. "if its not broken, why fix it"... well I ignored the saying and "fixed" it. I grabbed my fly rod, stripped some line off the reel and sent my fly out into the unkown. First cast... nothing..  second cast... fish on! Smart move on my end! I hooked fish after fish on the fly. Pretty soon my arm was getting tired and eventually the fishing died a bit. I switched back to the gear rod and was back into fish again.

As the morning progressed the bite died. No one was catching much from shore. A few of the boats were pulling in the odd fish but I couldn't entice any. Then, out of the blue I get a bite... a different bite.... my rod tip slams down and my reel screams... suddenly a big (I'm guessing around 25lb) spring thrashes at the surface!! My poor little rod doubled over as it peeled the 10lb test off my reel... there wasn't much I could do and before I could stop the freight train the hook popped out.. :(

All in all it was a fantastic day on the water. The sun was shining and the fish were biting. What more can you ask for?

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Early start

Today I got up super early to go midweek pink fishing. I drove out to furry creek to fish the end of the outgoing and into the incoming tide. I started on the fly and had one hit and one hook up. Unfortunately it spat the hook pretty quick.

There were BIG schools of pinks swimming through the area, unfortunately too far to fly cast to from shore. Luckily I took a gear rod too. It didn't take long on the gear and I had a fish to hand using the usual Croc spoon. Got some video on my gopro and released the fish. The excitement was followed by a lul in the action u til the tide started to really come in, then the action picked up.

Today ended with over ten fish hooked (lost count) but only two to hand. For some reason I would get them a little over half way in and then they would spit the hook. I blame it on the fact I was using a gear rod and not on the fly.

Beautiful day out and lots of fun catching those

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Furry Creek

A bit late with this post, but better late than never.

My adventures in fishing took me to a couple new loctions this past weekend. I fished Howe Sound at Furry Creek from the beach on the fly. The target species was pink salmon and I got there rather early in the morning, just as it started getting light out. The ocean was calm and the tide was out. A few fish splashed giving me hope and making me excited and eager to cast my fly into the unkown territory. I waded out into the shallows and stripped some line off my reel in preparation of my first cast. It wasn't long before I got my first strike. Unfortunately for me it didn't result in a hook up but shortly after another strike resulted in a pink salmon trashing on the surface with my pink clouser fly in it's lip. A few brief headshakes and a couple of splashes and the fish came unbuttoned and said goodbye.
Not many fish were being caught on the beach, a few here and there but nothing consistent. My mind wandered to the beautiful scenery around me only to have my attention snapped back by the feeling of weight on the end of my line. I reactively set the hook and the battle was on. My fishing partner did a quick false cast and shot his line out to hopefully connect with others in the passing school... then WHAM.. we now had a double header. After a well fought battle we both got our dime bright fish to hand and snapped some photos.
The rest of the morning resulted in one more brief hook up and a couple of missed strikes. Things died down and we decided to head to the Squamish river, 15 minutes down the highway, to see if there were any fish there.

I had never fished the Squamish river but had heard about how beautiful it was. The tales were not wrong. It is a fantastic river with spectacular views all around. The fishing was a little difficult as the water was high, fast and dirty as well as the difficulty of an increasing wind. We fished it for a while,  saw now risers and only saw a couple of fish caught by other anglers. However, despite the lack of fish in the river, the experience was a positive one. I got to fish a beautiful new river and I will have a  better idea of where to go next time.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Beach fishing

Well yesterday I went out to fish from the beach in West Vancouver in hopes of hooking into some early pink salmon or a coho. I arrived at my destination and put on my waders in the blistering heat. I was instantly over heating but soon I was standing in the nice cool ocean. There were not many risers around but I knew there should be fish in the area. I have been doing a lot of Fly Fishing lately so I opted for a change of pace and went with a spinning rod and a lure to try entice the fish.
The fishing was slow, I saw one other guy catch a pink further down the beach and a couple on the nearby boats.
However, the day was not a total loss. I did manage one pink that put up a quick scrappy fight only to spit the hook right at my feet. I also managed to find a five dollar bill floating along (what are the chances of that?). I instantly had thoughts of all those movies where the character in the movie notices a single bill floating in the ocean along a beach only to look a bit further and find a briefcase full of money washing ashore... no such luck for me but I did pick up the five

Over all a beautiful evening to be out fishing. I think this weekend I will head a little further up the coast to try find greater numbers of money... err .. fish

Monday, July 22, 2013

Summer time heat

The West Kootenay trip was a blast. I caught plenty of beautiful trout in the river and even caught my first ever bass in one of the lakes. Sadly I had return to the busy city.

On a positive note. My return is just in time for salmon season. This week I have been tying flies for the inevitable onslaught of pink salmon that will soon be gracing us with their presence as well as some flies for coho beach fishing. I look forward to trying a few out and hooking into some nice chrome fish.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Kootenay Caddis

Currently I am on a 5 day trip fishing the West Kootenay region of BC. I am staying in Castlegar, right on the Columbia River. At this time of year there is an amazing caddis hatch that goes on in the river and the trout know it. In the evenings the water boils with rising trout and I bounce with excitement and anticipation. I fished the latter half of the day yesterday after a long 7 hour drive. Upon arriving I found the river to be quite high so casting a fly from shore would prove difficult, although not impossible. I unpacked the car and went straight to the river and set up my 6wt fly rod to the sounds of trout slashing at caddis on the surface. The fly rod proved to be frustrating as the fish apparently did not want any of the flies I was trying so I thought I would try   something completly different. Out came the spinning rod with a small silver hammered croc spoon with an orange stripe. Well it didn't take long for these aggressive trout to take a whack at it and I was soon into some fish. Biggest for the day was 20 inches and put up quite the aerial acrobatic display.

Today is another day and we will see where it takes me and my fly rod.

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Cap Coho

Well there is a first for everything, and today was the first day I had fished the Capilano River (aside from fishing the mouth,  which I have done a few times). I got to the river at an ungodly, early hour in the morning and hiked in to find a spot. I did a lot of walking and found some beautiful places to fish but alas I could not hook into an early run coho on the fly or drifting roe. I know the coho are in there,  I saw a few splash and a few shadows swimming in the depths. Not to mention when the day was done I took a walk into the hatchery and saw some beauties in the fish ladder.
It was a nce peaceful morning out and I was fortunate not to see any rain. Maybe next weekend I will head back there and give the river a second try.

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Busy weekend

Well this weekend was a busy one. Saturday was my daughter's 4th birthday and Sunday was Mother's Day. The birthday girl requested a fishing trip with her dad... obviously I "reluctantly" accepted... Ha! Actually I was excited to take her. Taking my kids fishing is so much fun and very rewarding when you see the look on their faces when they catch or help catch a fish. This weekend was no different. We caught two fish. The first was a 3 foot sturgeon,  a rather scrappy one,  which my daughter eagerly pet and said hello with before we sent it back into the river. The second was a 5 foot sturgeon that she did not want to go near. I suppose when the fish you land is bigger than you,  it can be a little intimidating. Both fish were caught on eulechon and put up a great fight. I'd like to thank my youngest daughter for helping me land the fish by lending me her strong muscles and holding the rod with me.

Sunday, May 5, 2013

A hot day on the river

Last week was one of those rare weeks that I dont get out fishing. So this week I was eager to get out. Currently we are experiencing our first batch of hot weather for 2013. Boy was it hot on the river today!  I decided sturgeon would be the target species of the day so I went to my usual spot in Maple Ridge. Unfortunately,  despite getting up early,  someone beat me to my usual spot so I had to make due with a more snaggy spot just up stream. Well fortune was on my side as I hooked and landed a 3 1/2 footer on half an eulechon within 15 minutes of wetting my line. Then.... nothing... so I switched baits to roe... nothing. .. so I switched to lamprey... nothing... back to eulechon.... nothing... The day went on and it got hotter and hotter. Despite the fact I slathered myself in sunscreen a few times during the day,  I could feel myself burning. The guys who beat me to my spot were now leaving. They were skunked. I decided to move down stream to my usual hole,  right where the other two had been all day. I told myself one cast to see if they missed anything and then im heading home. Long story short, I pulled a very healthy,  plump, 5 footer. I had hooked it in less than twenty minutes of trying my usual spot. Again,  the bait was eulechon. And that is why I like that location,  it seems to produce some decent sized fish on a regular basis. Anyway,  next weekend is going to be a busy one but hopefully I will get out. I might take my kids sturgeon fishing if the weather cooperates.

Monday, April 22, 2013


Yesterday was a sturgeon fishing kind of day. I went out with a fellow angler on his boat with the thought of giant sturgeon nibbling on the 9/0 hook I had tied on. I got to the launch early in the morning  just as the rain began. Where had this rain come from?  I thought it was supposed to be a nice day!  At least I have a good rain jacket,  considering the boat had no cover,  it looked like I would need it. We anchored up in the mission area and the rain fell harder... then the wind picked up. It was bitterly cold.
Long story short,  the weather for most of the day was cold,  windy and wet. Although it did get beautiful and sunny for the last couple of hours on the water. Over all we landed 6 sturgeon. The biggest was 5'2" which I caught with freezing cold and numb hands. All the fish were caught on chum roe which was surprising considering the eulechon run should be happeing right now and is usually the bait of choice at this time of year.

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Whonnock on the fly

Today I went to Whonnock Lake for a bit of trout fishing on the fly from my float tube. When I arrived at the lake I was pleased to see it void of any other fishermen. The lake was as smooth as glass and there was quite a few sparrows dipping down across the lake low and fast, feasting on the hatch that was taking place.
With great anticipation I started out onto the lake. My fly of choice was a red doc spratley, which has been my go to fly for this particular lake and has caught me many cutthroat and rainbow trout over the years. The day turned out to be fairly productive on the lake with a few nice rainbows to hand. On my way back to the launch I noticed a lot of consistent surface action in the shallows. The fish were not large but they were hungry. Upon further inspection I noticed the surface action was leaving small bubbles being, a sign the fish are feeding on something on the surface of the water. I changed lines to a lighter tippet and tied on a size 16 mosquito dry fly and lightly casted it towards shore. The fly landed softly on the surface and rode high. After giving the fly a couple small hand twist retrieves to give it some movement a small rainbow rose to the fly. I pulled up lightly on the rod and .... ...  missed the fish. However, now I know their game. They were drowning the flies first before they took them. Next cast landed just as softly, a couple of hand twists and then the fish rose again. This time I waited. A second later the fish hit the fly again and I hooked it. I stayed for a few more fish and then returned to shore and my car.

The day ended with me heading to the Fraser River for a little bit of sturgeon fishing. This time of year is when the eulechon begin to return to the river and the sturgeon feed on them. Unfortunately for me the sturgeon did not get the memo and my eulechon went untouched. I also tried some lamprey eel for bait and that failed too. No luck fishing for sturgeon today, maybe next time.  I can't complain though. Any day out fishing is a good day.

Monday, April 8, 2013

Tying flies

Today I am at home sick. I wish I was well enough to get out fishing but it wont be time wasted. I decided to tie some flies for a trip I am hoping to take in the summer to fly fish the West Kootenays. The trip will hopefully land me in the thick of the caddis hatch on the Columbia river. In preparation for the trip I started tying some caddis flies. Of the two flies in the picture,  the one with the red butt section has proven a productive emerger pattern. The other foam head emerger is one I would like to try this year. These two flies are just the start of the variety of flies I will be taking.
Here are the recipes if you want them.

Red butt emerger caddis:

Hook - size 10 or 12 nymph hook 2xL
Butt section - red polypropylene yarn
Body - Lt. Olive hare tron dubbin
Hackle - speckled brown hen saddle hackle
Head - 1/8 gold bead (or peacock herl depending on desired sink rate)

Foam head emerger caddis

Hook - size 8 mustad c49s
Underbody - Lt yellow polypropylene yarn
Body - clear medium v-rib
Under hackle - brown cdc
Head - black hareline dubbin
Hackle - natursl grizzly soft hackle
Foam head - tan sheet foam

Saturday, April 6, 2013

New Gear

Well I did not manage to get out fishing today because it was the local fly shop's (Sea Run Fly and Tackle) annual spring sale. I camped out in front of the store to try get one of the door crashers. Well it paid off. I got a VERY good deal on a new spey set up. I bought a Loomis NRX 13' spey rod and a Galvan Torque (T-12) reel. I'm quite excited to give this a try and all I need now is a line and I am good to go.
Not bad for a first spey rod and reel...

Sunday, March 31, 2013

Last day of steel

Well today is March 31st. Licenses expire today, it was beautiful,  sunny and warm. So what better day to end my season chasing steelhead. Actually, catching one would have made the day perfect but that was not in the cards. I fly fished the river from the clay banks down to Lickman road without a bite. However,  it was a beautiful day to be on the river and it is now time to say goodbye to the Vedder for a while as I move on to other fishing adventures.

Sunday, March 24, 2013


Another beautiful day on the Vedder River. The sun was shining,  birds chirping and the water was just about perfect... unfortunately the fish didn't get the memo.. No fish for me today, I only fished for three hours in the lower river. I did see one hatchery fish caught before 7:30 am,   but that was all I saw all day.

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Como family fishing

A bit late but better late than never.

Well Como Lake was stocked with about 500 rainbow trout on Thursday, so I decided to take my two girls fishing yesterday. We set up on one of the docks and cast out. It was a nice day out,  with a bit of sun,  but the weather was playing tricks that day. There had been a bit of unexpected snow earlier in the day and the weather seemed to be a little bipolar.
Anyway,  embracing the up and down weather we sat and waited for the fish to  bite. Now these are stocked fish,  so they aren't too bright. We fished just off the bottom with a sliding weight,  a size 10 hook and a bit of red and chartreuse power bait. It didnt take too long and we had a bite. Unfortunately we were not paying close enough attention and my eldest daughter just missed on the hookset. Shortly after the other rod produced the only fish of the day which my youngest reeled in. She was quite excited and eagerly touched the side of the fish with her outstretched pointer finger and a giggle. The fish was unhooked,  a quick picture was taken and it was promptly released  back into the lake.
We stayed another hour and had a few more  bites until it was time to go home for dinner.
All in all,  not a bad day on the lake.

On a side note,  I was glad to see they changed the retention limit in that lake for the upcoming season to 2 instead of 4. It gets fished out by the meat fishermen far too quickly after it is stocked and the local kids dont get much of a chance.

Thursday, March 21, 2013


For those of you that dont know me i live near Vancouver British Columbia (Canada). This blog is about fishing. For the few of you (if any) that are reading it, the blog will follow some of my fishing adventures. It will chronicle where and when I am fishing, if I am catching fish and maybe a little blurb about the area and my experiences within. I primarily fish in the Vancouver area, but I do take the occasional trip to other locations.
I have been fishing on and off for over 25 years and I have been engulfed in the sport for the last 10+ years.
I learned to fish from taking trips to the local lake as a kid with my dad. We used to go and fish from shore,  targeting carp and the occasional rainbow trout on light tackle. Since then I have evolved to targeting everything from trout and char to salmon and sturgeon in rivers lakes and oceans. I fish using a variety of setups including spinning rods/reels,  level winds,  center pins and pole fishing. My absolute favorite is fishing with my fly rod, and this year I plan on giving spey fishing a try.
I feel very lucky to live in such a beautiful province with so many fishing opportunities. I also feel lucky to have such a wonderful and understanding family who have supported me in my fishing endeavors. A beautiful wife and two fantastic daughters who occasionally accompany me on my outings but always support my love of the sport.
Anyway, enough about me. I hope you enjoy the blog.