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Tofino B.C. Fishing Report mid July 2008

For the Tofino-Clayoquot Sound area, July has often been a popular month for local and visiting anglers for a variety of good reasons, and with current Sport fishing action and salmon numbers far better than the pre-season forecast, this July is no exception.
Local fishing opportunities for Chinook salmon are equally strong on the inshore and offshore waters of Clayoquot Sound, with different gear types creating the only variable for success rates. Many Chinook salmon are enticed by Anchovies and medium Herring trolled deep in the offshore waters from Tofino, in areas know as Three Humps, Portland Pt., Heisen Bank and the C&B. Inshore waters around Bartlett and Blundan Islands are a great option for those that are more fuel conscious or just want to stay closer to shore. The Chinook fishery near Blundan Island has been very strong for the past 3 weeks, and has likely been the best “inshore” area for Tofino waters, with Cleland Island a great option as well. Most guides and other anglers are fishing small/medium Anchovies or Herring on one side, with the other gear of choice normally artificial spoons or Needlefish hoochies. Coho action can be fierce in these same inshore areas by trolling shallower and faster, with small to medium spoons or needlefish hoochies.
Drift Jigging, Fly casting and Buck-tailing the inshore waters are also very popular light tackle alternatives, with action and surroundings that help create memorable fishing trips. The Catface bank near Tofino has been flat calm and packed with schools of Needlefish, attracting the season’s most intense action to date for Coho Salmon that have been large on average for July. Numerous Chinook salmon have been caught in this same area, with a few taking Buck-tailed flies on the surface, but most have hit artificial gear trolled shallow.
Anglers can anticipate this great Coho fishery to intensify through late September, with the numbers and sizes of these great sport fish increasing each week. This area and inshore Coho fishing options could likely be one of the most accessible and intense Salmon fishing opportunities on the B.C. coast, as it is not very weather dependant, and only 15 minutes from the Tofino’s protected harbour.
Anglers should be aware of the upcoming modified Chinook restrictions inside the “surf line” starting August 1st. Check on-line or stop in at Jay’s Fly and Tackle for updated details.
With an ever increasing interest in Halibut fishing, July is not the time to focus strictly on Salmon. The varied contours of Tofino’s near shore bank system provides ample habitat for Halibut in the 20-60 lb. range, within a safe proximity to the protected waters of the Sound. A local abundance of Sardines and Needlefish helps attract these hungry flat fish to the same areas, and for the same reasons as the Salmon.
The previously mentioned baitfish, as well as Octopus and Squid are all favourites of these sought after “flatties”. Sharp hooks and a Gaff hook are a must for Halibut fishing.
Freshwater opportunities for Rainbow and Cutthroat Trout are very strong for those who can access one of the many beautiful lakes or streams that spread throughout Clayoquot Sound area. Lake fishing is best during this time with flies like Olive Dragonfly or Damselfly Nymphs, Black or Maroon Leeches, as well as popular dry flies like the Mosquito or Adams.
Regular fishing updates for the Tofino/Ucluelet area are available online at www.tofinofishing.com
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