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?