Thursday, August 28, 2014

Region 7 : Cobb Lake

Well our house move is done and we are now living in Vanderhoof BC. There's a lack of salmon fishing in the immediate area but I am closer to the Skeena system now, which I will visit in the future for sure. For now, there's supposed to be excellent lake and river fishing for other species such as rainbows, brookies and dolly varden (to name a few).

I got out for my first fishing trip up here in region 7 today. It was a late start and i didnt get to the lake until about 11:30. I went out on the lake with my fly rod and a black doc sprately (my go to lake fly). After rowing around a bit (i need an electric on my pontoon) and tiring my arms I anchored up near some fallen trees and began casting. I was hoping there were a few fish hiding under the tree.  I saw a few rise and one even rose to the fly just after it hit the water but I didn't hook into anything. I rowed back down the lake trolling a fly and at the drop off had a rainbow smash my fly. It hit hard and peeled line right away. I landed that fish and circled back. That stretch of water gave up about a dozen bright rainbows of varying sizes. I circled back a few more times before calling it a day.

Not a bad day out for a first trip in the region. The lake was deadly quiet and there was only one other person fishing this so called "urban" lake.

Next week I may take a trip to the stellako river. A class 2 river with a lot of potential...

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Fraser Sockeye

Up early and out the door, with no one hearing me leave. It was a typical fishing day with me heading out early.
I drove out to the Fraser Valley looking for Sockeye which had just opened in the non-tidal portion of the Fraser River yesterday. First place I stopped was in Chilliwack at the infamous Peg Leg Bar. It was 6:30am when I got there and the bar was predictably packed with combat fisherman everywhere. I snapped a few pictures and watched the show for a bit before I moved on and explored the Chilliwack area.

Eventually I found a nice bar to fish from and walked to the far end of it to cast a line. The far end had a soft current and bottom bouncing for sockeye but did look good for bar fishing (note to self: return with bar rod). I did fish the end of the bar for a while before I moved back up stream. Upon heading back up stream I saw a sockeye break the surface. Here is a tip for all you sockeye fishermen out there. If you see fish rising, it is likely that they are rising in a traveling lane so that is the approximate distance you want to cast. It's not set i  stone but it is a good indicator. As I had now seen a fish rise i decided to cast out to what i figured was the traveling lane. It took about 5 casts and I had my first sockeye of the season on the end of my line.
Ten minutes later I had a second one and thus ended my sockeye harvest for the day as the limit is set at two sockeye per day.

After cleaning the fish and getting them on ice in the cooler out came my bar rod and a spin-n-glow. I went back down stream to some nice looking water on a gradually sloped bar and sent out my rig. While waiting for the bell to ring I walked the bar a bit cleaning up loose line and rusty hooks. Unfortunately even the good karma of cleaning up the bar couldn't entice a spring to hit my bar rig.

The day ended with me taking home two beauty doe sockeye. The drive home was long but it was worth it for a great day out.

Sunday, August 3, 2014

First day of Sockeye

Fishing for sockeye salmon in local waters recently opened so today marked the first outting to target them. We launched in Ladner at first light and went down the Fraser River and out to the salt. As we got to the mouth of the Fraser it became evident that the forcast was not as good as we had expected. The rollers were rolling in and things were not only difficult for trolling gear but also playing havoc on certain sensory inputs. In other words, after attempting to troll for a while my face began turning green and i was praying I would not be heaving over the side of the boat sharing a partially digested McDonalds breakfast with the Pacific Ocean. Thankfully I was able to retain the particularly nutritious meal and save myself the embarrassment of regurgitating over the side. Unfortunately for us, the waves were a bit much and the sockeye were not cooperating either. We retired to the sanctity of the Fraser mouth where the wind and waves were diminished. Again, the sockeye were not cooperating.  Maybe it was the coloured up brownish water of the Fraser, maybe it was the 30 or so Native driftnets dredging the river, or maybe we just lacked the tidal water fishing skills. Either way, it was time to switch to sturgeon.

We went back up stream towards the launch and stopped by some very polite and generous Native fishermen who kindly gave us some sockeye scraps as they cleaned their catch. The scraps included some nice roe skeins and the guts of the fish.

We tried a few spots but the wind and the heavy incoming tide were not cooperating and the boat would not sit still when anchored. Finally we found a nice sheltered spot with a 30 foot hole. We anchored up and cast out. At first we tried some spring salmon pieces we had that were the ticket last week. No luck today with that. We switched over to the fresh sockeye parts we had aquired and the bite was on. I hooked up a sockeye heart and a liver in a mesh sack and dropped out my line. It didn't take long and after a few good taps I set the hook into a nice 4'4" sturgeon. We tagged the fish and sent it on its way. Two more fish came to the boat after that one, a 4'1" and one about  3 foot. Funny thing was, all three sturgeon were caught on the same piece of bait. I didn't bother changing it after each fish. It just goes to show you that you don't always need a fresh piece of bait, the same one can work for longer than you may think.

On a side note here is the gear I used today...

For sockeye:
A 10'6" Trophy Titan 3106 rod, a green/blue/purple flasher an 18" leader and a barbless sparse pink hoochie on the end (made sparse by removing half the legs). The reel was an Abu 7001 spooled with 30 lb mono line. The leader was a little stiffer with 40 lb line so that the flasher imparted more action on the hoochie.

For sturgeon:
An 8 foot one piece Shimano technium rod with an Avet HX reel spoed with 150lb power pro line. We used 14oz wedge weights on a slider to sit the bait on the bottom and a 96lb nylon leader attached to a barbless 9/0 Gammagatzu hook.