Vancouver BC Fishing Report
By Rodney Hsu, Fishing with Rod | Last updated: August 25th, 2014
Fraser River sockeye salmon fishing has been productive but can be inconsistent due to commercial fishing openings. You also might encounter the odd chinook salmon among the millions of sockeye salmon that are returning into the river right now. Lower Fraser River tributaries are quiet, but you can expect to see the odd chinook and coho salmon making the first appearance now. Skagit River is a good alternative for those who wish to experience some catch and release for trout and char. Sturgeon fishing is also very good in the Fraser River due to the high abundance of food in the system. While smaller lakes are somewhat unproductive right now due to the heat, larger lakes can produce big bull trout and rainbow trout. Enjoy the rest of your summer fishing holiday before school and work begin in September!
Check out our latest video feature below! We fished for rainbow trout and bull trout in the Skagit River by casting and retrieving Gibbs-Delta Tackle's Croc spoons.
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Upcoming Events and Promotional News
Here are some of the latest news and upcoming events in the Lower Mainland and Fraser Valley!
- We welcome our latest advertiser Lodestar Outfitters in Langley!
- Part time fishing expert sale associate job openings are available at Army and Navy
- Check out this gigantic sturgeon caught by Lang's Fishing Adventures!
- Check out our video feature Early Morning Coho Salmon with Gibbs-Delta Tackle pro staff Rick Clark.
Capilano River is low and clear. Fishing is very slow now. There are some coho salmon in the system but fishing will only pick up again if water level rises due to rain. Please note that bait ban is now in effect until October 31st.
Please note that ALL steelhead (both hatchery marked and wild) have to be released with care in the Capilano River. Be sure to identify your fish correctly in the water. This is a vulnerable stock and your action will decide its future.
When the river remains low, coho salmon have a tendency to hold at the river mouth and nearby Ambleside Beach. Beach fishing can be quite effective at low tide if this is the case. This article on beach fishing for Pacific salmon can be helpful if you'd like to learn more about it. Fishing has been spotty, mostly because these fish have been holding at the river mouth for quite some time now. Early morning yields the best chance for hooking into a fish.
Chilliwack River is very low and clear now. The islands in the Vedder Canal are showing up nicely. The odd reports of early fall chinook salmon have been floating around, but overall fishing is slow as expected. In the next few weeks, you should be able to encounter some chinook and coho salmon. Fishing at dawn is key due to the clear water condition, these fish are easily spooked. Float fishing with roe, casting and retrieving lures will all work well as long as you can find where the fish are holding.
Fred's Custom Tackle is your go-to store for the Chilliwack River fishery. Currently there are two locations, the original one by the Vedder Crossing in Chilliwack while a second new store in Abbotsford.
If you need accommodation or guide suggestions around Chilliwack, please take a look at the listing on Tourism Chilliwack's website.
Skagit River offers a productive catch and release fishery for rainbow trout and bull trout. Rainbow trout in this system are around 10 to 14 inches long, while its bull trout can be up to 4lb or bigger. The river is fairly low and clear, which makes walk and wade much more easily for anglers. At the same time it also slows the fishing down especially now that most fish have been caught a couple of times.
Squamish River is still experiencing freshet. Upper Cheakamus River offers some fly fishing opportunities for rainbow trout. This is a catch and release fishery.
Tidal Fraser River
Water visibility of the Tidal Fraser River is still improving as expected. Both chinook and sockeye salmon are open for recreational fishing.
Sockeye salmon are difficult to catch in the Tidal Fraser River but it's not impossible. Casting and retrieving a variety of lures will get you a fish eventually if a big school of fish is moving through the system. Water clarity needs to improve some more for this to work well.
This is prime time for chinook jacks in the Tidal Fraser River. Fishing roe on the bottom is the best way to catch these fish but you also have to deal with all the smaller fish pecking on your bait. Outgoing tide just after peak is best for this type of fishing.
Sturgeon fishing is very good right now and fishing pressure is very low as most boats are focusing their effort further upstream in the non-tidal section. Fish in the 3 to 6 feet range are the most common during this time of the year. Rotting dead sockeye salmon parts are the best bait to use right now.
Coarse fish such as peamouth chub and northern pikeminnow can now be caught throughout the system. These two species, as well as sculpin and a few other bottom species, are perfect target fish for kids who want to learn how to fish. If you are unfamiliar with this fishery, please check out these articles.
As water becomes clearer, you can also spincast lures for northern pikeminnow. You also have a chance to catch a cutthroat trout. Check out this video for more information.
To fish the Tidal Fraser River (downstream from the railway bridge in Mission), you are required to have a valid saltwater fishing licence.
For more information on this fishery and the latest updates on saltwater fishing around Steveston and the Tidal Fraser River, stop by the Berry's Bait & Tackle in Richmond.
Non-tidal Fraser River
The river is dropping steadily and clarity is reasonably good. Bar fishing for chinook salmon has been very good for this season. If you are unfamiliar with bar fishing, please read this article.
Sockeye salmon fishing is open for retention and should continue until mid September. If you have never participated in this fishery, please read this blog post. Fishing was good last week, but the next few days might be slow due to the commercial opening on Monday August 25th.
Sturgeon fishing remains good as expected. Lamprey and eulachon are the best bait for this time of the year, but some are also reporting good results by using salmon roe. If you are out fishing on a boat, then you should be aware of debris that are coming downstream. Book your guided white sturgeon fishing trip for this summer now. The best fishing months are August and September. We recommend the following companies in the Fraser Valley.
Carp fishing is good at Sturgeon Slough but the fish are not too big. A light spinning setup is adequate for these underrated fish. Carp found in Sturgeon Slough range between 0.5lb and 4lb. Fish on the bottom with corn or dough works well. If you are float fishing, try having the float depth adjusted so your bait is laying on the bottom.
Sumas River, which drains into the Chilliwack River, is a slough where carp fishing opportunities are available. The best access point is MacDonald Park at the north end of No. 3 Road in Abbotsford. Best fishing is in early mornings and late evenings. Further downstream at the Barrow Town Pump Station, you can catch northern pikeminnow and other related species.
Lower Mainland Lakes
The Region 2's trout stocking database is usually updated once rainbow trout are stocked by the Fraser Valley Trout Hatchery. Spring stocks have been completed and fall stockings will begin in late September. Trout fishing is quite slow now due to the hot weather, but you still have a chance of catching them in the early morning hours and late afternoon before dusk.
Mill Lake is another multi-species lake. You can catch rainbow trout, largemouth bass, black crappie, pumpkinseed and carp from it.
Crappie fishing can be good during this time of the year at Whonnock Lake.
Allouette Lake is also producing kokanee. Best method is by trolling in this large lake.
Cultus Lake can in fact be quite productive. This fishery produces a variety of species including cutthroat trout, northern pikeminnow, largescale sucker, peamouth chub and northern pikeminnow. You can fish from the public docks or beaches. Casting retrieving a small spoon/spinner, or float fishing with bait work well.
Hicks Lake at Sasquatch Provincial Park can be excellent for rainbow trout, cutthroat trout and kokanee. The weather has not been too hot so fishing should remain productive into the school summer holiday.
Weaver Lake is extremely productive for rainbow trout, but the gravel road to the park can be worn out after the winter. A boat is best for this lake, some shore access is available.
Ross Lake, where the Skagit River drains into, can be productive for bull trout, brook trout and rainbow trout.
Please note that the daily quota of trout has been changed this year for most Fishing in the City lakes, please check the regulations to see if it has changed for the lake where you plan to visit.
These articles may assist you:
Please remember that for lake fishing, if you are fishing from shore, you are only allowed to use ONE rod. If you are fishing alone in a boat, then you are permited to use two rods. Only one single hook is allowed on your rod. Please note that barbless hooks are required to be used at some lakes. You should note the daily quota of trout for the lake where you are fishing. Catch and release is required in some lakes, please check regulations).
If you witness violations, please contact the nearest conservation office or phone 1-877-952-RAPP (7277). Conservation officers can not attend all calls, but they do their best to catch those who do not choose to play by the rules.
Before heading out, please read the freshwater regulations in Region 2 first. For more regular updates, make sure you follow our Facebook page.
Good luck and please conserve your catches!
Webmaster, Fishing with Rod Production