Saturday, May 24, 2014

Capilano Hatchery

I was in North Vancouver this afternoon for my daughter's dance competition.  Since we were so close, we made a last minute decision to visit the Capilano hatchery after the dance performance.
We didn't stay for too long, but just long enough to check out the fish ladder, the hatchery displays and the fish holding behind the viewing glass.
If you haven't been to the hatchery I highly recommend it. It is a great place for the kids to learn a little about pacific salmon and steelhead and also get up close to see adult fish as well as juvenile.
There were a few nice coho behind the viewing glass that had made their way up from the Capilano river as well as one lonely steelhead. My kids enjoyed seeing the fish and exploring all the exhibits. It was a proud father moment when my youngest walked up to a display and promptly said "That's a sockeye daddy, it is red with a green head. And that's a chum, because it has purple stripes." Not bad for girl who just turned 5 two weeks ago.

After the hatchery we took a walk down to view the carnage at the Cable Pool. There were plenty of rods fishing the water and after speaking to a guy, there had been a couple of coho caught earlier that day.

The coho run in the Capilano consists of smallish coho typically and is an earlier run than the rivers of the surrounding area. The coho in the river are notoriously tight lipped and often shoot up the river quickly after the water level rises. When the water is low, they stage at the mouth of the river circling around in the ocean water waiting for the next heavy rain.

On a side note, in case you are planning on fishing the river, there is NO RETENTION OF STEELHEAD on the Capilano river and you would be wise to familiarize yourself with the proper identification of these fish.

Monday, May 19, 2014

Weekend Pictures

As promised here are a few pictures from this weekends excursions to Sawmill Lake (rainbows) and Vaseux Lake (smallmouth bass).

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Hot sun and wind on Vaseux Lake

Yesterday brought me some excellent trout fishing so today I tried something a little different. I went bass fishing on the fly.
I drove out to Vaseux lake in Oliver from where I was staying in Osoyoos. It only took about half an hour to get there and the drive was an easy one.
When I arrived i loaded up my pontoon and set out on to the calm lake. I went straight for an island at the south end of the lake hoping to find some structure.
Now let me begin with this, I am not a bass fisherman. I very rarely target them and I don't have a lot of experience fishing for them. Today I decided to try a nice big black wooly bugger with a bit of flash on the sides and a gold bead head. Upon arriving at the island and finding some over hanging trees I began casting. About five casts in and I had a bass slam my bugger. The bass put up a decent fight, I snapped a couple of quick pictures and it was on my way. I believe (and again I dont fish bass often) it was a smallmouth bass, and it was a solid 12" long. A personal best when it comes to smallmouth  bass.
I continued to work my way down the island and ended up hooking into and landing a few more and loosing a couple as well. Unfortunately the wind began to pick up and there were whitecaps forming on the lake. I fished my way back down the island towards the car, allowing the wind to drift me along. Fortunately the car was in the direction the wind was blowing or I would be too tired to be writing this blog post.

I also saw a few nice looking carp cruising the shallows. The looked to be easily in the double digits. Unfortunately they didnt want to play with me and my fly. Although probably for the best as it would have most likely broken my rod or at very least broken the leader and stolen my fly.

The day ended with a half dozen fish to hand and a few long line releases. Again, not a bad day to be out.
Pictures will be up when I get back to Coquitlam.

Saturday, May 17, 2014

May long at Sawmill

It's May long weekend and I am in Osoyoos. We drove up Friday after work and I couldn't leave my fly rod at home, it would have got lonely. Despite the long drive and lack of sleep last night I was up early to try out a new lake. With my pontoon strapped to the roof I was on my way to Sawmill lake. I heard there were some good size rainbows in the lake and that spring is a good time to fish it. The road up to the lake is a little rough and I wouldnt want to drive a car up it but i made it up with no problems in my SUV. Upon arriving I took a look around. There is a rustic campsite up there and some beautiful scenery. Standing on the shore looking out over the lake I see what I came here to find. A rotund, good size rainbow launched itself up out of the water  right out in front of me. I was getting even more excited and quickly returned to my vehicle to gear up and get on the water.
I had never fished Sawmill before so my first order of business was to tour the lake to look for fishy spot sporting structure and dropoffs. The lake is a small lake and quite shallow for the most part. I rowed around and trolled a black leech paying attention to what was under the water.
After about a half hour of putting around I found myself a nice shoal on the edge of deeper water where there was plenty of surface action. I anchored up and continued to cast my black leech pattern. No takers, knowing that there were fish feeding in the area I changed patterns to a green sparkle leech with a gold bead head. Two casts later I felt the familiar tug of a rainbow devouring my offering and I set the hook. By setting the hook I mean I simply lifted the rod as the fish had absolutely hammered the fly. A couple jumps and a great fight later I had my fist Sawmill rainbow to hand. Just a note, to anyone wanting to fish the lake it is currently artificial fly, barbless hooks and catch and release only (but don't take my word for it, check the regulations before you go).
As the day progressed the swallows began to show up. They must have known there was a hatch about to happen. Soon after they arrived mayflies began to hatch and the fish responded by sipping them off the surface. I was cursing myself for forgetting to bring mayfly dries. It would have been amazing to watch the trout rise in the clear water to a mayfly dry sitting on the surface. Fortunately, the trout continued to enjoy the tantalizing green sparkle leech I had on and I continued to catch many more rainbows, none of which were under 16" and many much larger ones.
Sawmill is now on my list of lakes to revist and fish again in the future. It was a successful day full of big rainbows and good times. On a side note, due to the warm climate in the area and the shallow lake, this lake is probably best fished in the spring and the fall  before and after the hot summer weather.

Pictures to come, when I get home.