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Fishing Reports: Fraser, Harrison, Chehalis, Chilliwack, Vedder, Lillooet rivers.
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TIP: Salmon weight can be estimated by
using the following formula:
Length x Girth² (in inches) ÷ 800 or length x girth x girth (inches) ÷ 800 = lbs.
FISHING REPORT MAY 2011 this years Steelhead season was very good in the Vedder/Chilliwack system as well as the Chehalis river. Natural color rubber worms and roe were working best. The salmon season is delayed till July 15th for Chinooks in the Fraser. Sturgeon are mainly in the lower river and the salt water areas now, as the water warms up they will move upriver. freshet is just starting and will likely be rising into late June. Debris in the river will make main channel fishing difficult, so try the newly flooded areas away from the main flow.
FISHING REPORT MAY 2010 Chinook fishing has been delayed this year. With no salmon openings most fishers are targeting trout and White Sturgeon. Use eulachons or ditch eels for best results with the big sturgeon. Trout are biting now but as water rises fishing will be more difficult. Freshet will start soon so try lakes and feeder streams till it's over. Sturgeon fishing during freshet can be good in the shallows where areas are newly flooded. Worms work well also in the newly flooded back channels. The lower elevation lakes are fishing well, as water heats up go deeper. For current openings/closed rules click here http://www.pac.dfo-mpo.gc.ca/fm-gp/rec/fresh-douce/region2-eng.htm.
FISHING REPORT OCT 21 2009 Well so far 2009 was not a great year but it had it's moments. Lately Coho fishing in the Harrison and Fraser has been ok to good. Coho spoons or salmon flys have been working. Try closer to shore in about 2-4 feet. Sturgeon fishing has gotten a little better as they are still out to bulk up for winter. Roe and bellies or "stink bait" have been working when you find them. Chum are still around in great numbers and a a blast to catch. Fresher Chum's and Coho in the Chilliwack, Harrison, Stave etc. are the main target. Be stealthy if you can, as these fish are spooked from all the pressure. Best bets, Chum fishing with a jig or casting spoons for Coho. Fly fishers should be tossing egg patterns, bugs or big salmon flies.
FISHING REPORT AUGUST 31 2009 Pink season is near and hopes are high. Estimates run in the 10-15 million range. The river is in good shape and fishing has been ok to good for Chinooks. With no sockeye openings the Chinook are getting hit hard. DFO has been out a bit and the new RCMP boat is out too. Hopefully recent foolishness on the river will be stopped. Many fingers are pointing at user groups (wrong) for a remarkable drop in sockeye numbers. 130 million smolts in best ever shape went from the river to the ocean. They then disappeared. The commercial fleets in Alaska are having a great year. The western island is doing well (in parts). So what happened? FISH FARMS, DISEASES AND LICE , although the heavily subsidized farm industry denies any interaction with migrating fish, the proof is in the governments own studies. When farms were removed, the fish came back in record numbers, and when the farms were re-introduced they collapsed again. The Fish Farm industry is BC's number one agricultural crop! The fish produced is of inferior quality and costs the ecosystem three times what wild salmon do. (it takes three times their weight in other fish to raise them). Sturgeon fishing has been ok to good with some nice fish caught lately. Try fishing below bends along shorelines with deep troughs and slower water. People are still bottom bouncing even after DFO specifically asked them not to. Sockeye are also getting hit hard by FN as "bycatch" with so many drift nets in the river. All the bouncing ,drifting and hubub are spooking the Chinooks, so the poor bar and fly fishers have little chance. Thank our lucky stars no one bottom bounces Pinks!
FISHING REPORT JULY 9 2009 Sturgeon fishing has been good and steady with some nice fish in the 8-9 foot range. We are starting to see the first Sockeye coming into the river now and the Chinooks are running and open. The water levels are dropping and some of the bars are open. The Fraser will continue to drop and some new bars are showing up now. The river changes every year, and places that were good last year may not get the best results. Try looking for depressions in the bottom (with your sounder). Many times along a shoreline within 20 feet, small gravel bars have accumulated and have the right angle and depth to find Chinooks. You want a natural funneling action from deep water. The traveling Kings will follow along the guts and hold in the eddies. Try anchoring at places where the river turns and the water slows and cast outside the riffle water. Bottom bouncing and Bar rigs are best. When the water is heavily colored bouncing may be the only way. Remember Sockeye must be released until DFO opens it up (August 1-15 we hope).
FISHING REPORT JAN TO MAY 2009 Well the 09 season is here and fishing is good for Sturgeon and Cutthroat. The Pink salmon run this year will be a test to see what the impact is of the destruction of redds by gravel extraction, and beach seining by first nations. The Chinook season has been pushed back to June 15th instead of May 1st. Generally the run size estimates are good for 2009. If we see a large drop in numbers for Chum and Pink this year, D.F.O. must re-examine the new F/N beach seines. For May and the first part of June try fishing single eggs off the bottom for Cutty's and Ditch eels for Sturgeon. The high water should start to drop by June 15th. For Sturgeon try in the shallower back channels for your best chance.
FISHING REPORT NOVEMBER 5 2008 Well another season is gone and fishing has wound down. 2008 was unfortunately, the year for poor returns and poorer regulations. Numbers for Sockeye, Coho, Chinook and Chum are down. The most likely cause is poor conditions at sea due to damages from penned fish. Commercial fish farms and migrating salmon do not seem to mix. Virtually all runs of salmon that pass near the nets have been impacted. The only runs showing growth or holding their numbers are stocks that do not pass the pens. Our government seems unable to take the bold steps necessary to fix the problem. These businesses have not proven to be of any value to consumers or the environment. Shrimp production was successfully moved onshore and fish farms must also move onshore. Only by filtering the wastewater before returning it to the Ocean will they stop the release of diseases and parasites. Our future as sports and subsistence fishers is at stake.
Call your local MP and get behind anyone who is fighting against fish farms. White sturgeon are also impacted by the now 4 year old practice of beach seining for Chum and Pink (odd years). Removing this much of the sturgeons main food source and disturbing them with nets will inevitably bring them closer to extinction. 2009 is a Pink salmon year and a higher cycle year for Sockeye. We hope our Government will set the stage by giving us openings we can plan for, rather than react to.
FISHING REPORT SEPT 1 2008 Chinook numbers are up and they are fishing well. Rain and bank erosion have made Fraser river bar fishing difficult at times. Early Chum are in the river and new restrictions are in place. Fishing above the Harrison (3km) has been closed as of September 4th. Sturgeon are being careful and have been more difficult to hook of late. Best bet will be Chinook fishing till the last week of the month then Chum will be hitting well. Try chum fishing using a float with a jig about four feet under in (red and purple). Best locations will be the freshwater tributaries along the Fraser.
FISHING REPORT AUG 12 2008 Sockeye was open 5 days and then closed on July 30th. Fishing was great and limits were easy to get. 5 days was more than we expected, but probably not as much as we could have had if DFO got the numbers right. Chinook fishing has been dismal with less than normal numbers in the river. Sturgeon are spotty and hard to find some days. August looks to be poor for Chinooks but may improve as the "white" Chinooks come in. Best bet is later in August for Chinooks and Sturgeon fishing. Trout are available but are slow during the hot parts of the day.
FISHING REPORT JULY 2008 Due to salmon closures and restrictions on size for Chinook, fishing opportunities have been limited. As of today only Chinook from 30 to 77 centimeters can be taken. Sockeye are closed, and will most likely stay closed. Sturgeon fishing has been good but with the occasional off day. Fishing by First nations for Sockeye have been allowed recently due to better than expected returns, though D.F.O. says not enough for a recreational fishery. As usual we are at the bottom of the pile paying all the bills, and getting the shaft. Cutthroat trout can be found all over and are fishing well. The late runoff and slow drawing down of the Fraser has also impacted our early season. Water levels are just now dropping and will continue. By the end of July water clarity and lower levels will make the Chinook season kick in big time. Bar fishing will replace bottom bouncing (we hope) and maybe if the sockeye run gets bigger we might get a shot at Sockeye (don't count on it ). Best bet is Sturgeon fishing with fresh roe and fish guts.
FISHING REPORT JANUARY 2008 After a busy season, look back at 2007 as a good fishing year. Sturgeon were available all year and the Pink salmon run was good. Chum fishing in November into December was good also. Coho were thin again last year but some did find their way to us. The Sockeye season was never open and Chinook fishing was slower than usual. The Fraser river recreational fishery was limited by the beach seines for Chum and Pink salmon. Still, it was a good season. 2008 will kick off in April with the eulachon run and Sturgeon fishing in the saltwater area's of the Fraser. Trout fishing the Lillooet and Harrison systems will also start in April/May. The current best bet now is Cutthroat fishing at the creek/slough outlets. Sturgeon fishing in the deeper pools and runs with eels, worms, eulachons or prawns.
FISHING REPORT OCTOBER 11 2007 Fishing for Pinks was great again this year, but they have mostly died out and big Chum have moved in. For the rest of October into November Coho and Chum will be good. White Chinooks will be tailing off slowly but many are still moving up. Try bar fishing the Fraser for Chinooks and Steelhead. (if water is dirty fishing will slow down) Coho in the Chilliwack and Harrison will be holding in the pools during the day and mostly moving around in the early morning. Try floating Colorado rigs with Fluorocarbon leaders. The key for Coho is stealthy approach and cover all of the water the Chilliwack river is busy so the fish are spooky. The Chum will bite on Jigs or spoons but clearer water is needed. The Harrison is a good bet for Chums. Fly fishers are using medium fast or fast sink tips with flash patterns and brighter pink/green fly's for Coho. For Coho on spin gear croc's and Colorado's work.
FISHING REPORT AUGUST 30 2007 The river is in good shape and fishing for Pink and Chinook salmon are now open again. The salmon closure in August was a punch in the guts for the sport-fishermen and guides. We hope DFO does not again slap us off the river, for the people who continue to bottom bounce, even when selective methods are asked for. Sturgeon are biting on fresh roe and entrails but they have been targeted a lot lately, so look for less fished areas for the wise big ones. The mouth of the Vedder has been good for sturgeon and will be a focus for the early pinks in the next few weeks. The Harrison will come on later in September and the mouth of the Harrison will be good from the 20th on. Chinook are all over the Fraser right now and we will see a build-up as the "red" meat 12-20 pounders give way for the 25-? "white" Chinooks. The Chinook run will start big time at the end of September for the Harrison's monster whites. Bar fishing has been a reliable producer and anchored has also been good with the red cap chrome body and wings spin and glo working the best.
FISHING REPORT JULY 29 2007 Well high water is still here and the Chinook run has been a bust until now. Sockeye are not open yet and reports suggest they may be 2-4 weeks late. The best fishing has been for the big Sturgeon in the back channels and eddies. Water levels should keep dropping and the sockeye and pinks will soon be hitting the river in good numbers. Bottom bouncing method for Chinooks has been voluntarily closed till the Stuart run has passed. The best method for Chinook fishing is Bar fishing and it has been shown to be a selective method. People are still bottom bouncing for Chinooks but this method impacts the sockeyes and should be avoided. When Sockeye does finally open then everyone can bounce them. In August we will see the first of the Pinks coming in to the Fraser and Harrison. For Chrome Pinks fish pink hotshots and pink wiggly worm jigs at the river mouth of the Harrison and along the Fraser along at each riffle and eddie near shore.
FISHING REPORT MAY 14 2007 Well, fishing for Coho never really happened. We are now into the Freshet and rumors are that we may be flooded off the river. The high water is an opportunity in the freshly flooded back waters as predators will move into the newly flooded areas. Fishing with a worm on a float or single eggs will work or try casting small spoons for Cutthroat (where open). the Sturgeon are moving into shallows looking for easy meals and can be found very shallow. For the Larger Surgeon we are now into spawning time in the fast moving waters near Hells Gate. Fishing in the river is near impossible in the fast water due to flotsam collecting on your line. Best bet for May/June is way up a tributary or back water looking for trout. Chinooks are open but finding a bar to fish from or a place to anchor without filling the lines with junk will depend on the rise and fall of the river. Once the river falls off fishing should begin in earnest for Chinook.
FISHING REPORT NOV-JAN 31 2007 November was still good for Sturgeon but the Coho were a no show. December and January were particularly cold. Icy conditions and low water temps meant slower action on the Sturgeon. The Cutthroat are now coming out after egg on minnows. February should be good for Cutt's in the Fraser and Harrison systems. The Harrison lake and Lillooet river Cutt's will start in April and should be good. The Harrison had 15,0000 Cutthroat smolts released in 2006. The target of 25,000 was not reached, but is more than what was released in 2005. The plan is to release the full 25,000 in 2007 if the brood stock is available. The best bet is single eggs, or muddler minnows fished in the eddies and pools near the outlet of the Chehalis. White Sturgeon fishing will be good near the winter holes. Try fishing near Yale pool or Hatzic near Mission the water is still cold but as temps rise the action will pick up.
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