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OVERVIEW – Trout fishing is IMPROVING and bass fishing has been GOOD on the local lakes. Trout fishing is SLOW on the Cowichan River. Salmon fishing is GOOD on the Nitinat River if you don’t mind the crowds. Fall stocking of local lakes with catchable rainbows has started this past week.

Nitinat River – It’s the usual gong show on the Nitinat as anglers are pounding the pools for big springs. There are lots of fish and lots of anglers.

Cowichan River – The water level on the Cowichan River is still near the summer lows. When the water level rises there should be an influx of salmon. Right now try fishing small nymphs and/or streamer patterns for the Rainbows and Browns. Early in the morning or late in evening would be the best times for trout fishing the river.

Local LakesTroutfishing is IMPROVING on most lakes in the south island area. In the coming weeks, the fish will be feeding aggressively in preparation for winter. Also, the Vancouver Island Trout Hatchery has begun their fall trout release program. On September 20th, shawnigan Lake received 3, 500 catchable rainbow trout and Dougan Lake 600 catchables. On September 24th, both Prospect and Langford Lakes received 2,000 catchable rainbow trout weighing around 210 grams each. Early releases last week were in Lakes further up the Island.

Fly fishing has been good in Elk Lake recently. Fly anglers are hitting fish while trolling black leeches and Wolly Buggers or black & red or purple micro leeches and general searching patterns such as the Carey Special. Anglers fishing Powerbait or worms from shore have also been doing well. Fluorescent Pink and Chartreuse Powerbait Eggs have been the hottest bait recently. Trollers have been doing very well with the Rhys Davis Baitrix Trout lures and UV Mini Strip Teasers for larger fish. They have also been doing well trolling Apex Trout Killers with the police car one of the best and the black with silver glitter spots taking second place. Flatfish and/or Kwikfish have also been effective in sizes 7 and smaller in Frog, Yellow with Red Spots or Blue/Silver. Smaller Rapalas in Rainbow Trout or Brown Trout patterns also work well. Guy Hebert landed a nice 18” cutthroat from Cowichan Lake on a trolled green flatfish. Lastly, Willow Leaf Lake trolls with a worm-tipped GIBBS Wedding Band will almost always catch some fish. By the way, all wild rainbows and cutthroats over 50 cm must be released in Cowichan Lake.

Bass FishingBass fishing was GOOD this past week. Anglers had success in most of the local bass lakes. Suspending Rapalas (X-Rap, Husky Jerk) are working with a bit slower retrieve and a lot of twitching action for the bigger fish. Bass are also biting near the drop offs in deeper water, especially on soft plastics. Some anglers are doing well with spinner baits too. Langford Lake, Shawnigan Lake, Prospect Lake and Elk and Beaver Lakes are the best local bass lakes. St. Mary’s Lake on Salt Spring Island is also a great lake for bass fishing. Look for the bass to really start aggressively feeding as the weather cools.

Notable Catches – Jeremy Thomassen reported catching a 4lb 10 oz bass from Shawinigan Lake on September 19th. If you have any fishing info, notable catches, digital photos (please send as attachments) or tips that you would like to share or have included in our fishing report, please email us at [email protected].
FISH TIP OF THE WEEK
Lots of anglers are now targeting hatchery coho as the fish of choice. Be sure to increase your trolling speed, shorten your leaders and fish shallower if you want to get in on the coho action. Coho feed much closer to the surface and like a much faster moving lure than Chinook. And for some real excitement, try trolling bucktail flies right on the surface in the wake of the boat.


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Written by: Tom Vaida
 
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