Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Low and clear fly fishing at the Capilano

Four o'clock in the morning is so early!

After only getting about 4 hours of sleep the night before, I was up and ready to hit the Capilano river with my fly rod for some early season coho.
When we arrived at the river we were happy to see it was quite void of the usual crowds of fishermen.  This was probably due to the early hour and the fact it was a weekday. Not to mention we were in for some tough fishing due to the very low and clear water. In these conditions it is important to go with small size offerings. Today I was using size 10 and 12 flies.
We started off near the highway bridge, a popular run I had never visited before. I can see the attraction to that run, there was a decent pool and some nice water to fish with a few boulders u der the water to provide structure. However, with the low clear water there were no fish holding there. So after giving it a try and coming up empty handed we moved on and up stream to find some more water to drop a fly in.
At our next stop we found a nice deep pool that had some surface action with a variety of sizes of fish from little smolts to decent sized coho. The main pool with all the action proved to be full of tight lipped fish. I went for a bit of a walk down stream and managed a couple small fish (4 and 6 inches). Not wanting to bither the little guys I moved on and found some nice pocket water. The water was deep and slow enough and a slightly agitated surface so I could not see down into the clear water. Perfect... except it was quite the technical pocket to fish with varying currents, tight quarters and the challenge of etting the fly down deep without the rest of the line getting caught in the heavier current and sweeping the fly out. At first I tried it with a bead head fly (as seen in the picture) and a heavy sink tip, but it wasn't enough to keep the fly deep. I felt my fly was not in the zone fast enough or long enough. The pocket was no more than about 8-10 feet long and maybe 2-3 feet wide of slower water. Nothing was tempted to try my fly. My next step was to secure a tiny splitshot to the leader to help keep it in the zone. No sooner had I done this and i could see a coho follow my fly up on the retrieve ( which was more or a slow lift upstream than a strip) but trn away last second. This happened two times before it slammed the fly. The coho took to the air with a couple jumps, some vigorous headshakes and then snap.... my leader broke just above the fly. I was disappointed but excited at the same time.
Unfortunately, that was the only other fish we touched this morning and it was the only one we saw hooked. The water needs to come up a bit to bring in some fresh fish.

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