Summer finally seems to have arrived, and I sure hope it ends up being nicer and longer than the short "non-summer" we had in 2007.
The 3 weeks since my last newsletter have provided some interesting local fishing. We never saw the activity pick up around Hutt Island like it did over this period of time last summer, but we had some very good results from Salmon Rk. (near Gibsons). When we've had fairly calm water conditions, this location produced several nice fish every day, and some days the "bites" were quite hot for short stretches. Most of the fish have been from 10 to 19 lbs, though the odd one has topped 20. I would have expected a high percentage of the larger fish to be whites, but we have seen roughly a 50/50 mix of whites and reds. In addition to Salmon Rk., Hutt Island has produced some nice fish, and Hole in the Wall's action began to pick up significantly during the past couple weeks. The only problem with this place is the seal who REALLY likes us to hook fish for him.
I don't know how much longer Salmon Rk. will continue to produce (it seemed to drop off this past weekend), but we should start to see numbers building up off Porteau Cove as these returning fish stage off their release site. A buddy got one there yesterday morning, and DFO has started to beach seine for their brood stock for the Tenderfoot Hatchery. Hole in the Wall will always be a decent option for the next few weeks anyway. Bait will likely be the best producer in howe Sound, though the odd one is hitting hoochies (spackleback, green/white, purple haze) at the "Hole". The past few days has seen the 50 to 90 foot range produce most of the fish.
I haven't managed to get over to the Gulf Islands too often during the time since my last report. Murphy's Law seems to be interfering, as every time the water is calm, it seems a trip across Georgia St. isn't an option for my customers, and when I have someone who wants to go across, we have rough seas. Hopefully this trend will change over the next few weeks, as Gabriola Island and Thrasher Rk. continue to be a really good option for longer charters (minimum 7 hours) if the waters are calm. We experienced very good results over there through mid-August in 2007, and I see no reason why a similar pattern wouldn't repeat itself in 2008. If anything, there has been even more feed over there this summer, so any Chinook looking to "strap on the feed bag" one last time before heading up river should find this a nice place to stop for a while. Associates who have managed to get over there during the past week had good results when they managed to get out fishing. Rough seas often made fishing difficult, or kept them at the dock in Sylva Bay for much of the time.
We are also starting to see some Coho getting caught off West Vancouver, and as usual, there are a few nice Chinook thrown into the mix as well. As of now, most of the Coho are still entering the river shortly after arriving, but numbers should increase significantly in the near future, as the water level in the Capilano River drops with this warm, dry weather. I would expect to put in a bit of time down here in the next week or so, as many people consider Coho to be their favourite salmon species to eat. White hootchies in the 20 to 45 foot range are a good bet if you wish to target these Coho.
On the subject of good eating salmon, I guess I should mention Sockeye since their run will be starting in early August. At this time, we have no indication that we will even get an opportunity to fish for Sockeye this summer (it is a small return year in the 4 year cycle), but the possibility of a short opening (a week or 10 days??) during the middle part of August has been left open by DFO. I'm not holding my breath, but it is a possibility if the summer run stocks comes in at a size near the 50% probability level. The Early Stuart run has come in at the 50% probability level, and could potentially pass it, so let's keep our fingers crossed that the other later runs have similarly good returns. I'll keep watch on the test catches and if we do get an opening, I'll be sure to put out a newsletter ASAP with the timing of the opening, and my available dates.
With the summer upon us, I am beginning to get quite a bit busier, though I still have some open days during July. At present I have the following open days: Wed. July 16th, and Thurs July 17th (possible pm openings, though my morning trips may end up going longer than 5 hours), Mon. July 21st (pm), Tues. July 22nd (am, pm), Wed. July 23rd (am, pm), Sat. July 26th (pm), Sun. July 27th (am, pm), Mon. July 28th (pm), Tues. July 29th (am, pm), Wed. July 30th (am, pm), Thurs. July 31st (pm). In the first week of August, I presently have Mon. Aug. 4th (pm), Tues. Aug 5th (am, pm), Wed. Aug 6th (am, pm), and Fri. Aug 8th (possible open afternoon).
As always, feel free to pass this information along to any associates whom may appreciate the report. If you have any questions, or wish to book a charter, e-mail me [email protected]), or call me at (604) 329 - 8642.
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