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Vedder River October 2006

5736 Views 66 Replies 27 Participants Last post by  young gun
Well, as most of us have already read thus far from all the other posts, the current water levels leave much to be desired...but never the less here is my report from the flow.

My friend Vic and I arrived at the river just about first light and started by fishing the canal...hard to believe it, but we were the only people there at the start...then the crowds began to form. We fished parts of the canal for the next hour or so, we hooked into a few chum, a few white spring, but no coho hooked...although scanning the shoreline in and amongst the debris and logs down in the canal I did stop and watch one nice large chrome coho cruise around for a bit in completely slack water, so I know there are some trickling in....and so we decided to move on in search of the elusive pre-rain coho that we thought must be hiding somewhere in this trickle of a river...

We drove upriver, and after a brief stop for coffee, we decided it would be wise to try and find a deeper pool with some cover in which the fish might stack up, even though we would likely have to fight some crowds. Well, by now it was obvious to us that even if we did find such a pool, with the relative higher numbers of whites and dogs in the river compared to coho, that any such pool would be filled with mostly these fish and maybe a few coho mixed in...so it would be tough fishing wherever we went...

So, I remembered a spot I had scouted out during steelhead season where the water levels were far too high and the pool way too deep for efficient steelheading, and thought that it might be perfect under these low water conditions for coho....and as we drove up to it, and got out and looked down at the pool, we saw, much to my disbelief, there was absolutely nobody fishing this big beautiful pool!!!!

We fished this pool top to bottom and, as expected, the majority of the fish were chum and whites... we each hooked into several white spring in and amongst the dogs, and my buddy Vic did keep one nice clean little jack spring for our efforts...I didn't manage any to the beach but did lose one nice super bright chrome fish that was not identified...my 6 lb leader popped on me more often than not, and I think next trip up I'll stay with 8 lb to compensate...

As for the nitty gritty of the report, we fished everything from single eggs, blades in brass and silver, roe, wool, spoons, etc....and really didn't have much to show for it. We fished several good runs in the river without much competition, and came across crowds at several other good spots that we didn't even bother to fish...

We walked some trails into some more secluded spots...

and took a few pictures of successfull habitat restoration projects that provided refuge for various fry...

But with the very low water levels, it was obvious that the fish were stacking in what few deep pools there were and even once you found quality water, the numbers of coho were minimal, in fact I would estimate that the average ratio of coho to chum and springs is likely close to 1 in 100...
These deep pools are also quite crowded, we drove all the way up to the ranger run, as I call it, and there must have been 20 cars parked there....now if any of you know that pool, you know that run can't support that kind of fishing pressure even during high water!!!!!

So, although they are in there right now, the numbers of fish are very low, and you have to find them, as the only coho I saw all day was hundreds of feet away from any other fish, and in slack water, which makes enticing them very tough with gear.

I am sure the fish will keep trickling in, despite the low water, and eventually even if we don't get rain for a while, there will be some coho to be had, but right now there aren't a significant number of coho around. The effort required to find one is far greater than most would be willing to put in, but if you work at it, sooner or later, pockets of coho will begin to move in more and more frequently....and you just might get rewarded with a fish in addition to a beautiful day.
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hey rib same here i agree 100%! few fish to be had! you get a few people on here who actully find where the coho are hiding and get a few but for the rest of us like me! i'm 0-3 this year on the vedder for coho and this is spending many hrs all over the river without hooking one! like you said lots of chum and springs but coho are tight liped! i think waiting for rain is out for the weather report call for NO RAIN in the next week! but i'm out there again this sunday to try again! then if no luck i'll wait for rain!!!! nice pic's of your day at least you got to play a few fish during your day!

I am still hearing reports that the coho are still outside at the banks. there sure isnt much going on off sooke yet in the chuck and port renfrew was pretty lame for thier derby, rain should help out a lot. keep plugging, they are either late or not coming at all :?
lets hope what's happening with the socks isn't the same for Coho-- 5 Million fish missing :shock: Last year was dismal for ho's, by the time we had decent numbers they were dark.
Oh well more important things to do like BOAT SHOPPIN :D
Hey I know that trail Rib! :D

Finder :wink:
Hi my name is Jeff, can someone please help me catch a fish!!! :(
hey Jeff aka piglicker

will you be out this weekend at the river

i will be out saturday and sunday

let me know

I know where you were rib. You should of drove down that road a little further, much better runs upstream :D
I did drive that road a bit further....more cars than a parking lot at a hockey game... :lol: I'm not much for crowds, especially out there on the river....Goin' to fish the vedder on holiday monday though, so I'd better get used to it quick I guess, well one day won't kill me....maybe. 8)
how did it go rib?

Hey rib, how was the river today? I'm going to head up tomorrow. I was up a couple times last week and landed a few springs but nothing too shiny.

I'm not really familiar with the river though so I'm sure I'm missing some of the good pools. Plus I'm a little out of practice as my name states.
Hey adecadelost....Well, here it is...hit the flows on the holiday monday today with the girlfriend and my buddy and had a really great day...

This little venture out to the vedder was more like a part 2 to last weeks trip...last week my friend and I had fished the canal, and various lower to mid river pools with limited success, and so this week the girlfriend tagged along with us, and we decided to start at the upper river under a watchful moon...

It was a crisp and cold morning to start...glad I brought the thermals today...and my patience. Holiday mondays can be just about the worst time to hit the vedder, especially when the water levels are so very low, and fishing spots are so limited...but I was still confident we could find water that was isolated and uncrowded with a decent chance at a coho or two...so we arrived at the upper river with a brief stop in at the hatchery to view the spawning channels and give the girlfriend a little crash course on identifying fish...there were quite a few fish in the channels, mostly coho, with a few springs mixed in...

We then hiked down from our parking spot at about the cement block and fished pocket water until I found a nice little pool with a good trench down the middle of it that NOBODY WAS FISHING! I told the girl that this looked very promising and she immediately scurried down the slope to the rivers edge....
Now, some background info is necessary here, my girlfriend is new to this whole river fishing thing but she loves this kind of stuff, so I have been showing her the ropes so to speak...She's using a little Trophy XL centerpin on a nice lightweight shimano drift rod and is starting to cast it really, really well!!! She's also working on watching the water to spot fish, and read the bottom structure to identify good holding areas, etc...

Well she wasn't too optimistic, but I had her short floating tiny little roe sacs through the trench and sure enough she hooks into a tiny, but manageable, chum salmon for her first ever salmon and plays it quite well until this little doe throws the hook with some acrobatics...now my girlfriend is really keen, and you can tell her intensity level has stepped it up a notch...
next she gets into a little jack spring that was surprisingly clean for that high up river under these low water conditons, but she loses it as well when it swam in between some rocks and wedged her line in tight...by now she was beaming, she really had the nack for this down pat, she was sharp! Nice controlled drifts, no flossing or float dragging, just clean short floated presentations that were rewarding her quite well...

By now she was even getting cocky about the hole fishing thing...and meanwhile I hook into really nice clean white spring, big and almost chrome...I was even more shocked at how clean it was than I was the one my girlfriend hit... well needless to say the girlfriend wants to get a shot of me playing and landing a fish - showing her how its done, so to speak...and well my little 8 lb leader pops after quite a spirited fight...and she pipes up at me and says that she wouldn't have lost it!!!! Here's the look I gave her...

...and my reply was very simply, after lunch we are going to hike into some pools where I know very few people will be fishing, and conditions aren't going to be so easy as they are here, dear 8) , so then we'll see how well you do... :wink:

I want to make special mention to a young boy named Travis that I met today as well...I showed him how to get his snags undone without spooking the fish and then showed him a good spot to short float in and tried and hopefully succeeded in explaining to him how short floating not only prevents future snags, but also doesn't spook the fish if you miss a hook set, or bump a nice fresh coho with you pencil lead...he shortly after that hooked a nice little jack spring, short floating with great skill...nicely done my man! Well, on with the story...

After a brief lunch up by the cement block, and a nice chat with a young guy who had a hatch coho on the beach, we decided to head down towards some pools in the mid river...

There were crowds around, but not in the nice little run I had in mind...the only problem was we were going to fish it from the side that was toughest to cast from...and I mean tough. The three of us were right up against a wall of rocks and dirt and trees with no room for a back swing to cast with... so I taught the girl all about the little flip / tight quarters cast that works well under these conditons, and by the time I was into my first fish, she was slinging that setup right out to the perfect little slot with no difficulty and dropping her presentation right down into the run like a pro!!! I cannot possibly express how awesome it was to see her pull off this technique so soon after being shown how, man was I proud!!!!!!! She didn't manage to get any to the beach, but I know that is just a matter of time...next lesson will be on some of the subtle nuances to playing a fish on the centerpin...
She hooked into several springs, some jacks, some mature...as did I and my friend bubba, but all were quite dark and similar to this one bubba is holding up before release....the cleanest we saw all day, were those mentioned earlier and I think those were an exception to the typical condition of fish in the upper river.

The nitty gritty of the report is fairly simple...In that last pool I was in I saw two very nice coho break water in nice clean jumps that left no mistake they were coho and in very good shape...but the coho are few and far between to say the least, and finding them, right now is the hardest part. Those were the only two I spotted in the river all day. I suspect I lost one in that pool on a small brass blade that was so short floated it was almost not in the water, but the fish did not show itself and was off in under a minute of some coho like thrashing about so it was impossible to know for sure...

If you are going to fish the vedder river under these low water conditons, carefully choose your spots, as the coho are isolated and the real key is finding them, otherwise you will likely only hook springs and chum most of the day.

Fish away from the springs and chum, short float with determination, and you will not waste as much time playing out fish that should be left alone. Not to mention you'll likely be more successful at locating and even catching some of these low water, overly harrassed coho that have thus far managed to run the gauntlet of rods on the vedder right now. There are a few in there, and more to come with our much needed rainy season...but keep in mind, crowds of people on a pool is not a good sign of coho!!!!!!!!!!! In fact I would stay away from these spots, as many of the techniques used by novices here will more than likely spook coho and deter them from taking your presentation....fish spots away from crowds of people thrashing the water with viscious hook sets and scaring the scales off your targeted prey... your chances of success will likely improve dramatically. Now that I have done my first couple good exploratory trips of the year, I will be waiting for the rain, but that's not to say success cannot be had with persistence and good technique...
Good luck to you!

(PS: For those fine fishermen here who already know the truth in the last paragraph....pass it on.)
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hey rib sounds like all in all you had a better day hooking fish than i did at the stave! excellent read man! nice pic's and hats off to ya for getting your girlfriend to enjoy a fishery right now that in these conditions makes fishing very difficult! i bet she's hooked and pumped for your next outing! good job!

Hey do you guys know where the "Ashley Pools" are?? Supposidly they are to the left of the bridge at the vedder?? any ideas?

There are quite a few bridges on the vedder...hard to tell which area you are talking about. How were these pools described to you, that might help in narrowing it down a bit...? As for "ashley pools", haven't heard any pools called by that name.
Hm the main bridge I think it is on Vedder Road it has a three way stop and a parking lot on the right hand side. Ill try to get some more information.
Your reference is likely "Allison Pools" or the Canyon Pools. If you are coming from highway #1 turn left at the river at the stop sign and travel up Chilliwack River Rd. and cross the river again at Tamahi Rapids. Continue up the south side of the river and you will come to a forestry sign on the left that refers to Allison rec site or something similar. It may be gated. This is the bottom of the Canyon and there are pools all the way up the river for about a half mile, then the river opens again....This area is generally referred to as Allison Pools..........Ortho 8)
Yup Allison Pools..(Allison Ashley...)) same old HA
thanks !
it is quite the drive up to allison from the vedder crossing...but the sign is very prominent. Lots of other pools along the way, not to mention a hatchery further up if you want to see where most of it all begins.
good luck,
how many KM do you estimate it is past the vedder bridge ? ? I heard the pools are deep and lots of Spring are in em??
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