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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey guys,

I recently had the chance to fly fish on the upper Shuswap River above Sugar Lake and fell in love with the setting. After a bit of research I found out that there are actually salmon that spawn here and thus offer a great fishery, of course, they cant make it past the Shuswap falls, so my experience for them will be limited to the lower part of the river.

Has anyone had experience fishing here, and if so is the system worth fishing?

Moreover, what size of fish could I expect to catch? The Backroads Mapbook fishing guide suggests that the fish "can reach up to 20 Lb's", but this seems contradictory to the 40lb'rs that were being caught in Mable Lake over the past few years.

On another note, I have two rods that I could use, a medium (8-14 lb) spincaster, and a heavy (30-50 lb) conventional setup. I realize that the quality of the gear is important for the safety of the fish, but if possible I'd really like to stay with what I have already.

I also realize that there's a fair number of places that can be fished even with remaining inside the regulatory boundaries of Mara Bridge and Mabel lake. Is it a good idea to try between Enderby and Grindrod, or would I have better chances of catching if I wend East of Enderby?

The last question on this long winded post, is concerning which method of fishing is the best for this occasion? Drift fishing with roe, lure fishing, or bottom bouncing? I realize that it's necessary to make deep presentations to get to the fish, so I though that bouncing with a pink bucktail jig might work, but I wasn't sure.

Any help would be fantastic, thanks!
 

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Hey SDPI. Some big Dollies in the river above Sugar. Spent a lot of time up there myself. Fisheries does trap a few pairs of spawning Chinook each year, and releases them above the dam. If you can, check out the Shuswap falls recreation site. You can sometimes see salmon if you hike to the bottom. I used to fish the river quite often. It can be good but a lot of people some times and only a few accessible spots if your on foot. Someone on here described once it as "combat" fishing. Once in a while you can go down in the afternoon and there will be nobody there. Better have a look at the regs as I think it might be closed now. Biggest fish I heard of out of this end of the river was 28lbs this year. Average though would be 15-18 maybe. A while back some guys dog killed a couple of sheep and the farmer put up a fence. Fisheries has closed the river from that point down. Reducing the access even more, BC Hydro has fenced off a good section of the river to protect the public from themselves. A couple of the best holes are in that stretch. There's a strong run of whitefish in there starting in late feb. And I once caught what I'm sure was a steelhead one time fishing in early January. All types of fishing techniques. Roe fishing with a float was most productive for me though.
 
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Roe or jig under a float works best, in some of the deeper holes you can take the float off and if the bottom is gravel and sand, bounce the bottom. Some good access around the hatchery. Fish first light if possible to avoid all the divers and tubers. And yes, check the regs as the middle section of the river are closed as of two days ago. Lots of great little holes between Mabel and Enderby. Have only seen boats bar fishing below Enderby.
 

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It has paid off to toss a blue body/ silver blade willow leaf style spinner in fish looking seams for me in the past. I have used these in rivers as far north as Prince George over the years. Don't be afraid to toss big lures either. Just another option to try get into some deeper holes/ faster seams without snagging bottom.
 

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Just read your post again and noticed you are talking about the upper, sorry. I have never fished the upper.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks a ton guys. I was a bit clueless at first, but now I have an idea as to what i'm up against. I might be heading out tomorrow so I'll let you know what success I've had when I get back.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Alright, so I got back from the river last night after having a great time despite not catching a thing. I tried around the Enderby area and wanted to share some of the wisdom that the locals gladly parted with.

1. When it comes to fishing it's better to wait in one spot then to chase the fish in boats all day. Lol, a lot of the guys really hate boaters and prefer fishing right from the Enderby bridge. It has a few difficulties primarily the fact that you have to wait for the fish to start running up the river before you have a chance of hooking one of them, nevertheless it gives you some experience with some exciting sight fishing.

2. "There's no such thing as overkill when it comes to Chinooks" a direct quote from a lurefisher that I met up with when I asked him if my boat road (30-50lb test) was too big for the fish. Later in the day a lot of the guys were working the area with surf rods rated for the same, so I guess it's ok. Just make sure you have a sensitive tip on the rod or you won't be able to set the rod properly when you can't see the fish.

3. Spin'n'glows.....I'll leave it at that.

It seems like a majority of the fish head up river during four major times. Early morning before sunset, noon to two, sunset, and midnight. Most fish that have seen angling pressure travel during the night when regulations prohibit fishing, but it's not uncommon to see groups of 3-6 fish during the other times. If you're on the bridge drop your presentation fifteen to thirty feet in front of you where theres a shallow or saddle in the bed of the river. The Kings will cruise up these flats where the waters deep yet slower than the deepest parts. Don't be mistaken in thinking the salmon will only go through the deepest parts, "they prefer slow moving water over deep water as long as its the same temperature".

Another note on the choice of lures, you don't need to bust the wallet to catch a big fish, I saw one guy using a piece of a plastic bag tied to his hook with a bit of bait on the end. Here's the surprise, he was the first guy to hook a fish in the evening, unfortunately it gave him the slip when it made a quick run.
Other presentations were hooks tied with green and pink flashabou paired with a spin'n'glow on their leader while others were toying with big flashy spoons, hoochies (paired with a spin'n'glow) and etc.

When the day was coming to a close one of the fellows hooked into a beautiful Chinook that weighed probably 25 + lb's, and here's the key, that was the second caught that day, the former being slightly smaller.

It's a bit of an ear full all that, but let me know what you guys think and chip in some wisdom as to what you think.
 

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Alright, so I got back from the river last night after having a great time despite not catching a thing. I tried around the Enderby area and wanted to share some of the wisdom that the locals gladly parted with.

1. When it comes to fishing it's better to wait in one spot then to chase the fish in boats all day. Lol, a lot of the guys really hate boaters and prefer fishing right from the Enderby bridge. It has a few difficulties primarily the fact that you have to wait for the fish to start running up the river before you have a chance of hooking one of them, nevertheless it gives you some experience with some exciting sight fishing.

2. "There's no such thing as overkill when it comes to Chinooks" a direct quote from a lurefisher that I met up with when I asked him if my boat road (30-50lb test) was too big for the fish. Later in the day a lot of the guys were working the area with surf rods rated for the same, so I guess it's ok. Just make sure you have a sensitive tip on the rod or you won't be able to set the rod properly when you can't see the fish.

3. Spin'n'glows.....I'll leave it at that.

It seems like a majority of the fish head up river during four major times. Early morning before sunset, noon to two, sunset, and midnight. Most fish that have seen angling pressure travel during the night when regulations prohibit fishing, but it's not uncommon to see groups of 3-6 fish during the other times. If you're on the bridge drop your presentation fifteen to thirty feet in front of you where theres a shallow or saddle in the bed of the river. The Kings will cruise up these flats where the waters deep yet slower than the deepest parts. Don't be mistaken in thinking the salmon will only go through the deepest parts, "they prefer slow moving water over deep water as long as its the same temperature".

Another note on the choice of lures, you don't need to bust the wallet to catch a big fish, I saw one guy using a piece of a plastic bag tied to his hook with a bit of bait on the end. Here's the surprise, he was the first guy to hook a fish in the evening, unfortunately it gave him the slip when it made a quick run.
Other presentations were hooks tied with green and pink flashabou paired with a spin'n'glow on their leader while others were toying with big flashy spoons, hoochies (paired with a spin'n'glow) and etc.

When the day was coming to a close one of the fellows hooked into a beautiful Chinook that weighed probably 25 + lb's, and here's the key, that was the second caught that day, the former being slightly smaller.

It's a bit of an ear full all that, but let me know what you guys think and chip in some wisdom as to what you think.
thank you for sharing your advice and telling us about your trip! Good luck next time you go i hope you catch one
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Hopefully going back out today. The colder weather should bring a better turn in the bad turnouts I've been having lately.
 
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