Early Season Chinook
March to May fishing was up and down with a range of 2-8 Chinook on most days. The weather often kept us in close but we still had decent success around Beg Island and Great Bear.
Summer Season Chinook
June started with reels screaming accompanied by good weather. There had been a great forecast for the Columbia River's returning Chinook and they had a great return which we benefited from in June and July.
There was excellent fishing off South bank for most of June with catches mostly in 12- 25lb range.
We want to congratulate guest John Salcido for catching the largest Chinook in July for the local salmon derby weighing in a 29lbs 7 oz. We were all surprised that we didn't see the usual 40lb+ Chinook taking the July derby and 50lb+ for the August. However, we do expect to see them next year for good reasons (see 2014 forecast below). July had very consistent Chinook fishing with many 30+ Chinook days in the 10-25lb range.
We weren't sure what was going to happen in August, but we still had some good days for getting Chinook in the 18-22lb range. We knew the local returns weren't forecasted to be great, however the offshore fishing was consistent. During September feeders were the norm with a few mature Chinook taking the line.
Halibut fishing was good all summer and we only had a couple days where we had to spend more time than usual on halibut. We spent a good part of the summer on Big Bank, so that meant we often trolled up halibut while salmon fishing.
We had fairly steady Coho fishing inside Barkley Sound. We had very good Coho fishing in July, August and early-mid September around Alley Rock. For all of you that are prone to sea sickness, this is a good option if you want to stay in protected waters.
Chinook Forecast 2014
The forecast for the 2014 Columbia River return is higher than it was for 2013. In 2013 the Bonneville dam estimated more than 1.1 million Chinook went through and this is the highest number of Chinook since 1938 when the Bonneville dam started recording! Normal years have seen returns in the 500,000 to 800,00 mark the past decade, so this is a huge jump. Forecasting is a hard game and there are many variables, but right now we are expecting a very strong run again. This means we will have great Chinook fishing through June and July with lots of Columbia Chinook around Ucluelet.
The Chinook return forecasted for Southern BC rivers and the Fraser river are very good which means we should have great August and early September fishing for Chinook in the 15-40lb range with the odd 50lb plus Chinook. The Canadian forecast is often quite conservative, so we are looking forward to a good August which means the reels will be screaming and there will be lots of high fives!
Thanks to everyone who has booked with us this past summer and for all those who couldn't make it this year be sure to check out our past fishing reports! Below are some of the pics from the 2013 season.
For everyone going to the westcoast make sure you check out www.tofino-info.com for info on beaches, trails, restaurants and more.
Salmon Fishing Guide Ucluelet