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Tunkwa Lake

Vancouver BC Fishing Report

By Rodney Hsu, Fishing with Rod | Last updated: November 24th, 2014

Late season coho salmon

After just over a week of sub-zero temperature around Vancouver, we are finally back to the normal mild and wet weather for awhile. The fall salmon fishing season is winding down and what a fantastic season it has been. Coho salmon return appears to be fairly abundant like the previous season. If you still want to catch some, then you may want to try the Fraser Valley streams which should still be somewhat productive for a couple more weeks. Anadromous trout and char become quite active during this time of the year as they stage and feed on salmon eggs behind spawning salmon. Guides are still doing well on white sturgeon on the Fraser River. Catchable rainbow trout stockings in the Lower Mainland are coming to an end, there should be some fish available for all to catch throughout the winter months.

Recently we collaborated with Carl and Alex Fishing and produced a video featuring fall fishing opportunities in the Fraser Valley. Check it out below! You can also read the story behind this project.

Please make sure you go to our Facebook page and click on "like". I am constantly adding updates such as latest fishing reports, new videos, articles and contests on it.

Upcoming Events and Promotional News

Here are some of the latest news and upcoming events in the Lower Mainland and Fraser Valley!

Lost and Found

Capilano River

Capilano River's fall salmon fishery is no longer productive as majority of the run is now in the system. Most fish staging in the river are now old and ready to spawn. Bait is once again permitted for fishing since November 1st.

While you have some opportunities of encountering the odd steelhead between now and April, fishing is generally pretty slow in the winter months for the Capilano River. The good news is that angling pressure will be minimal in the next few months, so if you enjoy fishing alone with the possibility of catching a nice fish, then this is perfect for you.

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.

Chilliwack River

Chilliwack River late chum salmon

Chilliwack River is still producing some coho and chum salmon. Coho salmon, particular fresh ones, are rare now that we are nearing the end of the season. You may still find the odd small schools at some spots but overall it is difficult to have a mult-fish day now. Fresh chum salmon have actually been quite abundant in the lower section of the river lately. Float fishing with jigs can be quite effective, which also gives you a good chance of hooking one of those early winter steelhead. You can check the river condition updates by going to this page.

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.

Chehalis River

Chehalis River is still somewhat productive for coho salmon. The river is low and clear due to the cold weather. Float fishing with roe is best but if you can find some deeper, slower water bodies, then spinner fishing can be quite deadly. Lower section of the river near the Harrison River can also be good for cutthroat trout as they stage and feed on chum salmon eggs.

Squamish River

Chum and coho salmon can be found in the Squamish River system, but fishing is pretty slow overall. River condition is reasonably good due to the cold weather. Cheakamus River has been quite clear and low. Chum salmon fishing in the lower river is fair as fish are pretty scattered out. Coho salmon can be caught throughout the system by casting and retrieving spoons and spinners. If fly fishing, try large streamer patterns as they stand out better in the murky water.

This is also the time of the year when fishing for trout and char becomes productive. To target these fish effectively, drift a trout bead or any presentation which imitates a salmon egg. Side channels where spawning salmon are found is most productive as trout and char like to stage behind them and feed on eggs.

Please note that bait ban is in effect year round and retention of fish is limited to just one hatchery marked coho salmon in certain area, so please read the regulations.

Stave River

Chum salmon

Stave River still has plenty of chum salmon but one has to be quite selective to find some clean fish. Because we are now nearing the end of the salmon season, most fish are now in spawning mode and are quite coloured. With that said, anglers are still reporting catches of some rather fresh fish on a daily basis.

Float fishing with a piece of wool or jig can be very effective for chum salmon. Tipping your jig with a small piece of cured shrimp also works excellent. Adjust your float depth so your presentation is suspending above the fish, this avoids foul hooking any fish or snagging onto the bottom.

Coho salmon can also be found in the system but fishing for them has been slow. There seems to be a good abundance of coho jacks lately, freshly cured roe usually works well for them. River level has been higher than normal due to rain as the dam is letting out quite a bit of water daily.

Please note that BC Hydro is currently upgrading the dam so the day use area is closed and parking is limited in the area.

Tidal Fraser River

Tidal Fraser River white sturgeon

Water visibility of the Tidal Fraser River is still improving but still not as good as what it normally is for this time of the year. Hatchery-marked coho salmon fishery is pretty much coming to an end now as most fish have passed through the Lower Fraser River. It has been an excellent season as many anglers reported catching their daily limits during their outings. For more information about this fishery, please read this page.

It is also possible to encounter

Sturgeon fishing remains very good 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, but fish up to 8 feet have been reported. Chum salmon roe has been working well.

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

With poor water clarity in the Fraser River between Hope and Mission, salmon fishing has not been great. Usually bar fishing for chinook, coho, chum salmon and even steelhead can be very productive in October and November.

Hatchery-marked coho salmon fishing opened on October 1st from Mission to Hope, October 6th from Hope to Sawmill Creek. Please see this fishery notice for more information. These can also be caught by bar fishing. A small amount of roe tipped on the hook below the spin-n-glow can work well at times. If you are fishing at the mouth of a slough, try casting and retrieving a spinner.

Overall, fishing is now quite slow as we are nearing the end of the season.

Sturgeon fishing is still very productive. Many fish up to 10 feet have been reported this season. Chum salmon roe has been working well for most guides. We recommend the following guiding companies for your sturgeon fishing trips.

For more detailed reports on sturgeon fishing in the Fraser Valley, check out either Vic Carrao's report or Dean Werk's report.

Lower Mainland Lakes

Lower Mainland's catchable rainbow trout fishery resumes

The Region 2's trout stocking database is usually updated once rainbow trout are stocked by the Fraser Valley Trout Hatchery. Fall stockings resumed on October 2nd. A couple more stockings are expected before the program ends for 2014.

Water is now quite cold in most lakes so fish are less active. You should still be able to catch trout throughout the winter months, some patience is needed as bites are not as frequent.

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!

Rodney Hsu
Webmaster, Fishing with Rod Production