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Archive for November, 2010

An extraordinary bite

Published on Sunday, November 21st, 2010



It is freezing outside, almost too cold to fish. I’ve put up this video to kill the fishing bugs for those who find it difficult to get out today. This was filmed a few weeks ago while I was out fishing for coho salmon in the Tidal Fraser River with my dad. I had the camera set up beside my dad and let it run while he attempted to hook one. You can read more about this trip in this previous blog entry.

Tricking egg feeders

Published on Wednesday, November 17th, 2010

With coho salmon season slowly coming to an end, it is time to switch gear and target species. Fishing in Vancouver does not end when the weather gets cold, it happens throughout the year.

Most salmon either have spawned or ready to spawn in their natal streams. This brings out another group of fish – Trout and char. They congregate behind spawners and wait for opportunities to feed on their eggs when deposited. The death of spawners also bring out scavenging animals and birds.





Yesterday, Nina and I decided to spend the day chasing these egg feeders. Most of these fish are between 1 and 4lb, so a baitcasting setup would seem like an overkill. The alternative is to fly fish for them, but we decided to try something different. We used a long light spinning rod to float fish for them. Normally spinning outfits can be a pain to use for float fishing in rivers because you constantly need to feed line to the current. Our fishing location was tiny side channels with minimal flow, so this was not an issue for us.

The terminal setup is fairly simple. A small float is fixed to the main line and around 5 to 7 grams of weight is added to balance it. The leader is of course not too long, to avoid accidentally foul hooking any spawning salmon that we may come across. Just above the hook, a trout bead is threaded on. This simple presentation aims to imitate single eggs that drift down from redds.





It did not take very long for us to connect with fish once they were located in a channel. The float dipped repeatedly with many misses, but we managed to bring in a few bull trout.





If you have packed up your salmon gear and are wondering what you can fish for now, definitely give this style of fishing a try. Even though this is primarily a catch and release fishery, it gives you a chance to appreciate the late fall beauty of our coastal salmon streams.

Weaver Creek spawning channel

Published on Monday, November 15th, 2010



During our stay at Harrison Hot Springs Resort & Spa
, we visited Weaver Creek spawning channel. This is another highlight that all should check out when visiting Harrison Hot Springs. It was developed by Fisheries and Oceans Canada in the mid 1960s, which aimed to increase spawning opportunities for salmon. Three pacific salmon species can be found at this spawning channel in September and October. They are sockeye, chum and pink salmon.

Better late than never

Published on Tuesday, November 9th, 2010

Last night, I had to attend the Upper Fraser Valley Sport Fishing Advisory Committee fall meeting in Chilliwack, so it only made sense to make a half-day fishing trip out of it. The Sport Fishing Advisory Committee is made up of representatives from the industry and community groups. Each year, two meetings are hosted with DFO to review the past salmon season such as issues and improvements. As a website owner, I feel that there is a need for me to be at these meetings so I have participated in this since 2005.

This year’s coho salmon fishing in the Lower Mainland has been spectacular. Although I have had my fair share of catches, none of the fish have been retainable because they were all wild. I must say that I envy those who have been lucky enough to catch their limits of hatchery-marked coho salmon and I am not embarrassed to admit it. Feeling the urgency of keeping a fish or two for eating, I kept returning for more failures. Last Thursday, I managed to hook seven beautiful coho salmon but only landed three of them, which were all wild.

From what others have reported, it seems like the fishing is winding down on the Vedder. Because the river rose a couple of feet late last week, it was likely most of the fresher fish had moved to the upper sections of the river. I decided to focus my effort in mid river yesterday.

Starting my outing around Noon, I met up with a couple others who had already been on the flow since first light. My friend Shane reported very little success in the lower river but some improvements at a spot in mid river. I arrived to find him with a coho jack on the river bank.

Because they had been fishing the spot for quite awhile, I suggested that we walk to a spot slightly further upstream where I have caught fish in the past. We walked up and found a prime piece of water unoccupied. It looked extremely fishy so I wasted no time to float a piece of roe through it.

There were a couple of misses first, which I thought were snags. I shortened the float depth slightly, put on a fresh piece of roe. With one cast, the float dove just after it started drifting. A coho salmon exploded on the surface once I set the hook. I guided it into the shallow bay but struggled to beach it for awhile once I saw the absence of the adipose fin. The 10lb or so doe was eventually slid onto the bank and I finally have a hatchery marked coho salmon in the bag.



The fishing only got better. Once I bled my catch and resumed fishing, I proceeded to hook another one on the next cast. It was another big coho salmon, but the hook popped out this time within seconds. The others also connected with their shares of adult coho salmon, but they all came off the hook.There were also chum salmon in the pool and a few also liked our roe. These were of course carefully released after each brief battle.







We spent about two hours at the first spot until the fishing gradually died off. With a couple more jacks landed by Itosh, there were no other coho salmon caught so it was time to make a move.

Our second and last spot of the day was flowing slightly faster, so it was difficult to say if we would encounter any fish. We fished along the shallows, hoping to connect with coho salmon that might move through.There were indeed coho. It did not take long for me to hook one, but it was the wrong colour. It is not unusual to come across fish that are much coloured in November.



The action did not end there. I had the float depth set at 2ft and the bites kept on coming. The next fish was much better, a silver wild coho that was around 4 or 5lb.



With a few more adult coho and jacks landed, we walked back to our cars with full satisfaction in darkness at 5:00pm. This is a peaceful time to be fishing on the Vedder, with the odd nice fish mixed in between. This was the most enjoyable trip for me so far this season.

Sturgeon and hot springs, part two

Published on Monday, November 8th, 2010



This is part one of our two-part video feature of a recent sturgeon fishing trip with BC Sport Fishing Group and stay at Harrison Hot Springs Resort and Spa.

Part two of this video feature can be found on this page.

For full story of this trip, please go to this page.

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