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Weekly Fishing Reports (Smithers, Terrace, Kitimat, Prince Rupert and Meziadin North)

Noel Gyger
August 1 to August 8, 2010

Dear Fishing Friends:

SUMMARY: Weather has been good. Temperatures were very hot (28-29 degrees Celsius) until Friday. It is cooler on the weekend with rain showers. Fishing for Sockeye, Chum, Steelhead, Cutthroat Trout, Bull Trout and Dolly Varden Char using fly, spin and conventional gear has been fair. The Skeena River is on the rise and dirty, mostly from the Zymoetz (Copper) River run off. The Chinook (King) Salmon fishery closed August 7th for another year in a zone from Lakelse River mouth upstream to the Skeena River overpass (new Hwy 16 bridge) at Ferry Island. Sockeye fishing is slow due to the coloured water. Limit 2 per day, 4 in possession. I’ve had reports of a few Steelhead caught also. The Kalum River is in good shape. The whole river is now closed for Chinook. Soon the Coho and summer-run Steelhead will be coming. The Kitimat River is closed now for Chinook. Chums, Pinks, Sockeye and Coho are in the river. Chum are 2 per day limit, Pinks are closed at the moment. There are more Coho showing up. Watch out for bears on all our rivers. Pepper spray should be carried! Thank you to Bob Melrose for this important “safety” tip. Now in the Douglas Channel is one of the few times during the year you can catch Halibut in the Kitimat Harbour. The outer waters of the Douglas Channel are producing exceptional numbers of Coho and bottom fish. A 74-pound Halibut was weighed in at Home Hardware Tackle Shop. See pic below. Crab (Dungeness and King) fishing is excellent. Check out the detailed Ron Wakita report below. The Zymoetz (Copper) River is mud dirty but that should not stop the summer-run Steelhead from coming in. Prince Rupert has excellent Coho fishing now. There are still a few Chinook but mainly the Coho and Pinks. Bottom fishing is good as there are so many places to fish out of Prince Rupert. A 103-pound Halibut was landed last week. Meziadin Lake fishing seems to have slowed down a bit as most angling effort over the past few weeks has been focused on Sockeye, not Dollies and Rainbows. Check out the full report from Marvin Reid below. The Bulkley River is green, but a little murky. People are still getting Chinook but Coho and Pinks should be coming soon. The Kispiox River water is very low and clear. Locals have never seen the river so low. The Babine Lake has been full of Sockeye fishermen since it opened on August 1st. The Babine River also has been lined up with fishermen. Check out the detailed Bob Melrose report below. Cranberry River is fishing fair for Chinook. This week guide reports came from Ron Wakita, Marc Girard, Tracey Hittel, Gill McKean, Marvin Reid, Wes Owen, Serge Carignan and Jeff Carlson. Thank you to all of the fishing guides and anglers who have sent reports and photos. It is very much appreciated!

With the participation of some of the Best Dealers (Tackle Shops) in the Northwest I have distributed DVD players and Video clips featuring the Best Fishing in the Northwest highlighting several of the Best Guides and Charters in the Northwest using a variety of the Best Fishing Products on the Market today. The dealers that have the DVD players are: Home Hardware in Kitimat, J&E Tackle and Hunting Shop in Prince Rupert, Oscars Source for Sports in Smithers, Meziadin Park Store in Meziadin Lake BC and Fish Tales Tackle Shop in Terrace.
Please visit these Tackle Shops to watch the shows!
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River Reports Weather - Normal temp - Sunrise & Sunset - Tyee Test Fishery – Tides – Hydrometric Data

Bulkley River
The river is green, but a little murky. We had some rain last night that may bump up the water level and get some more fish coming in. People are still getting Chinook, but Coho and Pinks should be coming in soon – report by Bob Melrose

Kalum River
The river is now closed for Chinook (King) Salmon. The BIG Chinook are left alone to spawn without anymore fishing pressure. Soon the Coho Salmon will be coming into the river. I guess a few summer-run Steelhead will be coming in also but as far as I know most of the Steelhead are a fall run…coming in around September, October and November.

Kispiox River
Locals have never seen the river so low. Fishing has been tough because of the low, warm water. Great for swimming but not so great for fishing. Sockeye are in and a few Coho have been seen – report by Bob Melrose

Morice River
Water is low and clear. Fishing has been slow – report by Bob Melrose

Skeena River
The Skeena River is dirty, mostly from the Zymoetz (Copper) River run off. The Chinook (King) Salmon fishery closed August 7th for another year in a zone from Lakelse River mouth upstream to the Skeena River Overpass (new Hwy 16 bridge) at Ferry Island. Sockeye fishing is slow due to the coloured water. Limit 2 per day, 4 in possession. I’ve had reports of a few Steelhead caught also

Zymoetz (Copper) River
The water is dirty.

Meziadin River and Lake
Meziadin Lake fishing seems to have slowed down a bit as most angling effort over the past few weeks has been focused on Sockeye, not Dollies and Rainbows – see report by Marvin Reid

Kasiks River
Coho will be showing up soon at the mouth where the river joins the Skeena River.

Exchamsiks River
Coho will be showing up soon at the mouth where the river joins the Skeena River.

Babine River and Lake
The Babine Lake has been full of Sockeye fishermen since it opened on August 1st. The Babine River also has been lined up with fishermen. Check out the detailed Bob Melrose report below.

Fishing Guide and Tackle Shop Reports

Summary for Skeena and Tributaries
Fishing This Week
FAIR
Type of Fish Caught
River: Chum, Coho, Sockeye and Pink Salmon, Steelhead, Cutthroat Trout and Dolly Varden Char.
Ocean: All five species of Salmon, Halibut, Bottom Fish and Dungeness and King Crab for ocean.

Thank you for using barbless hooks! (This is a BC fishing regulation)

Largest Fish of the Week
River: 40-pound Chinook on the Kitimat River. 55-pound Chinook Skeena River. Ocean: 74-pound Halibut Douglas Channel. 103-pound Halibut out of Prince Rupert.

BOOKING NOW for fall Steelhead and Coho. Let me know if I can be of service to book you with the "best" fishing guide and/or fishing lodges for both river and ocean. There are NO extra charges to book through me, just a lot of free information and advice from a person with years and years of fishing and fish guiding experience. It is like hiring two guides for the price Your “dream trip” awaits. Contact Noel [email protected] anytime…to start planning your trip. Everything will be to your entire satisfaction.

Ron Wakita: Reliable Guide and Charters, Kitimat BC

Kitimat River

Kitimat River in Kitimat area air temperatures were incredibly hot early in the week. It was so hot that a few anglers abandoned their fishing rods and jumped into the river to cool off. The hole below the Haisla Bridge became a popular swimming hole. Due to the extreme heat many anglers preferred to fish in the early morning and in the evening.

Aug 1 My son Brandon and I drifted with my very good friend Doug Rumley. We hooked a bunch of Pinks and a Chum with our Spey Rods. Brandon was using a Loomis http://www.gloomis.com/GLX 14' 9/10 Dredger Rod with an Islander http://www.islander.com/LX4.5 Fly Reel. Doug was using a Sage 9150 Rod. These were a bit heavy for Pinks but the "right tools for the job" for Chum and Chinook.

Aug 2 Marc Girard fishing with his daughter Chrissy and his future son-in-law Johnny Southwick, landed 1 Coho, 1 Jack Chinook, 10 Chum and 4 Pinks during their drift. Wow! Congratulations on a great day of fishing! Special Congratulations to Chrissy and Johnny on their engagement!

Summary: Chinook retention closed on the Kitimat River last weekend unceremoniously as there were no big Chinook in the last hours of the opening.

Chum stocks to date appear to be low this year especially in the lower Kitimat River below Haisla Bridge. The only hole that has produced Chum consistently this week was the gravel bar below the Kitimat Hatchery. The other lower Kitimat River holes produced Pink and Chum sporadically. The upper Kitimat has pockets of Chum and Pinks stacked up but they seem to be a little difficult to entice to take a lure. Fly anglers have reported better success than the lures during the mid afternoon sun.

Pink stocks on the Kitimat River have been disappointing to many anglers. Those who have experienced the exceptional fishing for Pinks in the last few years have had to hone their fishing skills to catch their share of Pinks this season. The Pink closure may be what is needed to rebuild the stocks. Please release the Pinks with care.

Chum remains open to 2 per day over 30cms. Coho is open to 4 per day, 2 over 50cms. There were 4 more Coho reported this week and many anglers are waiting anxiously for the Kitimat River Coho season. It is still early for Coho on the Kitimat River but with the Gill Net fishery for Chum curtailed we may see more than average numbers of early run Coho in the coming weeks.

Douglas Channel

Aug 4 Merv aboard his boat the "Fantesea" reports catching Coho and Chinook in Fish Trap bay down the Douglas Channel. Merv's son also caught a Halibut in Fish Trap. I apologize for not mentioning all the names of the anglers but I did not have them at the time of this report. Congratulations on your catch.

Aug 5th Wes Owen caught a 10lb Coho trolling in front of Kitimaat Village in the Kitimat Harbour. Wes is always doing some pre client trips in preparation for clients we have booked for later in the month. Wes was using a Luhr Jensen http://www.rapala.ca/ Abe and Al #1 flasher with an Anchovie inserted into a Rhys Davis Anchovie head.

Aug 6 Tony Dunn weighed in a 74lb Halibut in our Home Hardware Instore Derby. Tony caught this Halibut just below Coste Rocks in the Kitimat Harbour. This is one of the few times during the year when anglers can catch Halibut in the Kitimat Harbour. Congratulations Tony!

Summary: The outer waters of the Douglas Channel are producing exceptional numbers of Coho. One charter boat reports boating 24 Coho with his clients and their limit of Halibut. Other boaters reported similar results fishing the outer waters of the Douglas Channel. With each tide more Coho will migrate into the Kitimat end of the Douglas Channel. Some boaters have already started to catch Coho at Jesse Falls. It is shaping up to be an outstanding Coho season.

Halibut and bottom fish catch numbers are also starting to increase in inner waters of the Douglas Channel. It is an exciting time to be fishing the Douglas Channel where you can catch Halibut and Coho on the same day.

Thank You to everyone for contributing photos and info for this fishing report.

Sincerely and Cheers
Ron Wakita
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Tracey Hittel: Kitimat Lodge, Kitimat BC

Hello Noel from the Kitimat heat wave, 35c is the normal temperature here these days and the camels are loving every minute of it, or is it a mirage. Well the 55lber in picture 1 (See Photo of the Week) is real as life as our latest guest from Grande Prairie Alberta set the hook on this Skeena Monster yesterday just in time before the closure on Skeena Chinooks. Marvin fought this bad bay for a good 20 minutes and with the help of his partner Brad running my jetboat while I coached Marvin for the victory and a beached whale some 1.5 KMS down river. When the monster hit it took most of Marvin's line, and he mentioned Iater that he could see the last few wraps of line on the spool, I quickly threw the anchor into the boat and pushed off shore for the chase, and would you believe I forgot the net on shore, what a l%$#@ I thought to myself, oh well what could I do now. When you have no net your not going to land the fish in the middle of the Skeena, so I decided to head to shore and do what all bank maggots (another name for shore fishermen) do, and that is skid the fish on the rocks and he will lay over on his side and it’s all good, well Marvin did just that and there you have it, a fish of a lifetime!

Also pictured in our next slide is Robert Anderson of Medicine Hat Alberta with a chrome bar from the Skeena. This fish pushed the 30lb mark and is a Tyee, not to mention another pair for the day landed. It’s the biggest fish Bob has landed as well his grandson Austin proved he could pull in Skeena fish too.

Our Missouri Circus Show owner Leonard and Company spent a day on the Skeena with us. Pictured is me with Leonard and another beauty. During August the Skeena produces a large run of fresh Steelhead and attached is Tom the Ukrainian necktie, with a Steelhead fresh from the sea. This was Tom's second trip this season as he was in Kitimat in June for Chinooks, landing a 30lber.

Also fishing with us this week was Greg Chacalias and Garth Stark. These guys had very good success and the story of the week was 2 days ago when Greg launched into a 70lb plus Chinook on the famous Kalum River. His guide Barkley said it was the biggest fish he has ever seen, having it elude his net on 2 occasions, unsure if it could even fit the large Salmon net. After a 1 hour battle, the beast snapped the 30lb test line and away it disappeared into the green emerald water. It’s always about the one that got away that keeps us going back out!

This weeks arriving guests are from the USA, Japan, Alberta, Switzerland and the UK. The run of Coho in the rivers and the Saltwater begins this week as well peak Skeena Steelhead.
Tracey John Hittel
Jeff Carlson: BC Style Fishing Charters and J&E Tackle Shop, Prince Rupert BC

Hi Noel, fishing in and around Prince Rupert is excellent. I heard of boaters getting their limits on Salmon and Bottom Fish at many of the popular fishing grounds plus limits of Crab and Prawns. Coho numbers are picking up.

Tight Lines and see you on the water.

Jeff Carlson – owner
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Jason Munday: Fish Tales Tackle Shop, Terrace BC

Hello Noel, Chinook fishing has slowed down as the season is nearing its end. More and more reports are coming in reporting Steelhead and Coho being caught. As one fishery comes to an end another takes its place! You gotta love this region for its run after run of fish all year long. Sockeye, Pink, Coho and Steelhead are gearing up! So get out there and have FUN!

Fish Tales has incredible deals on all of your fishing needs. We invite everyone to come in and check out our full inventory of equipment so you are properly prepared to catch your monster fish! We also have a complementary phone for our out of town guests to use to call home. Also, Fish Tales would love to display your favorite picture on our in-store BIG SCREEN. Please email your pictures to [email protected] so we can display them for all to see!

Happy Fishing to all from Fish Tales Fly & Tackle Shop!! P.S. We just received our shipment of Premium Roe!! Yes, That Roe!!!

Cheers!
Jason Munday
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Marvin Reid: Meziadin and Northern BC

Fishing seems to have slowed a bit on Meziadin Lake. I believe this is due mainly to the fact that most angling effort over the past few weeks has been focused on Sockeye, and not Dollies and Rainbows. The Sockeye that had been reported to be in the Nass River, have not entered the Meziadin system as of yet. Time will tell, if in fact this will happen. Dollies will be congregating at the mouths of the inlet streams, in search of salmon eggs, as the sockeye enter the streams to spawn.

There has been a lot of confusion over the past week as to highway conditions and road closures, due to forest fires at the north end of Highway 37. All services and Provincial Parks are open along Highway 37. As I have mentioned in previous reports, there are many great places to fish along Highway 37 for a variety of different species of fish. If you are travelling up this way, please drop into Meziadin Lake Provincial Park and I will be happy to share any information I have on the area with you.

I am now the operator of Meziadin Lake Provincial Park, as well as operating the Park which has a Store, and wireless internet to all sites. We also offer Travel Trailer Rentals to persons wishing to enjoy the outdoor experience.

I do guided fishing trips on Meziadin and other local lakes along Highway 37.

Meziadin if not the best lake in Northwest BC for Dolly Varden and Bull Trout, up to 11 lbs, must be very close to the top of the list. I supply all rods, tackle and bait. Care of catch and cleaning.

Best regards, Marvin Reid
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Bob Melrose: Oscars Source for Sports, Smithers BC

Staying Sharp

How sharp are you? Whoa, not talking about you losing it, talking about losing fish. The single, most important, thing you can do to having more success in landing fish is to have sticky sharp hooks. Yet, many anglers forget this critical bit of advice. Over the years, we have had many anglers say they had hooked but not held onto fish. When asked if the hooks were sharp or had been sharpened, a glazed, but familiar look comes over them. Without that sharp hook, you may make many passing acquaintances but no lasting friendships. In order for that hook to penetrate a fishes hard mouth, that hook needs to be sticky sharp. Sticky means grabbing, and not sliding, on an inclined fingernail. Sharp hooks are necessary for any fishing but especially so when it comes to Salmon or Steelhead. If the fish so much as sniffs your offering you want him/her hooked. Those hooks should also be checked and touched up every time you touch bottom. Many anglers do not take the time to do this. In fact, the majority of anglers do not own a hook sharpener.

Most hooks that come on the various lures are not sticky sharp and need to be touched up, or replaced, with the excellent Gamakatsu, or another of the premium hooks available. In BC we must use single hook only so we can replace the trebles or inferior single hooks with the open eye Gamakatsu http://www.rapala.ca/hook. These hooks have an open eye, so are easy to attach to the split ring. A WARNING here: Gamakatsu are very high tempered and if you close that open eye quickly, you may crack the hook. Close slowly to avoid breakage.

When using the Octopus or beak type hooks look at the size of the eye to see if the split ring will fit through the eye. Hooks are available with different sized eyes appropriate for the application. Our laws also demand barbless, and if your hooks are barbed you can squeeze those barbs down SLOWLY, to avoid breakage. Most of the hooks can also be purchased in the Barbless version.

There are many hook sharpeners available at your speciality retailer. The most common is the Luhr Jensen http://www.rapala.ca/Hook File in various sizes and with or without a handle. They are good but harder to finesse a hook if it needs just a minor touch up. The diamond sharpener by EZE-LAP are good in that they are pen-like and clip on your pocket. Pull out the sharpener, reverse it, and the round, diamond encrusted rod has a groove for aligning the hook. They work well and don't remove near as much material as the L.J. Hook File.

The best one I have found is the DR. SLICK diamond paddle. One side of the paddle is fine, and a medium on the reverse side. It is very easy to use and finesse even small flies. Clipped onto a re-tractor it is always available and should be used often.

Hook sharpening should be done towards the point, at three different, equal angles for best results. Test for sharpness on your fingernail.

If you want to "Hook and Hold" keep those hooks sharp.

Chumming Around:

Most of our salmon fishing for Spring/Chinook Salmon is now winding down or closed. Many anglers enjoy the great fighting qualities of the next biggest of the Pacific Salmon, the Chum. Chum are much maligned as "Dog Salmon" (for their canine teeth in spawning phase, and for there "only good for dog food" misnomer). However, with proper care they are good table fare.

Chum Salmon are short river travellers and deteriorate quickly on entering fresh water. Fresh Chum should be cleaned and iced immediately after catching for best eating or smoking. Many anglers have the salmon sitting in the water for hours on a hot day and then complain that the fish are soft or terrible. In fact some cynical recipes for Chum tell you to cook the Chum on a cedar plank and then eat the plank. Like I say they get a bum chum rap.

Chum have a low oil content and smoke up well as many First Nations folk will tell you. Best cold smoked or made into Salmon Candy. Chum Chowder is a great soup and many Chum recipes can be found on the net by people who take the time to get the best results. The most important thing is to use only the freshest fish that are cleaned and iced immediately.

They will readily take flies and this is becoming the most popular way to fish for them. A #8-10 weight rod is needed as they can reach the mid 30's in size (15-kg). They will also take spoons and Spin-N-Glos.

The Chum Salmon run in the Kitimat River is not a big run this year but they sure provide a great fight and more Coho are showing up daily.

Prince Rupert
Excellent Coho now out of Rupert. Still a few Springs but mainly the Coho and Pinks. Bottom fishing good as there are so many places to fish out of Rupert.

Babine
Babine Lake has been full of Sockeye fisherman since it opened on August 1st. Fishing has been fair-good. Fish are in, just not as many as there will be in another week. Fish with a red Gamakatsu http://www.rapala.ca/hook (barbs are allowed) a couple of red or green beads on a 18”-24” leader with a flasher, anywhere from 25-45 feet deep.

Babine River also has been lined with fisherman. Make sure you have a really heavy tip, you have to be on the bottom in order to catch any of these excellent tasting fish. Anywhere from a 9-11 inch-per-second tip is good. Make sure to give the bears their space, get out of the water at the first signs of any bears.

Kispiox
Locals have never seen the river so low. Fishing has been tough because of the low, warm water. It is great for swimming, not so great for fishing. Sockeye are in and a few Coho have been seen.

Bulkley
The river is green, but a little murky. We had some rains last night that may bump up the water level and get some more fish coming in. People are still getting Springs, but Coho and Pinks should be coming in soon.

Morice
River is low and clear. Fishing has been slow.

Enjoy your weekend.
Bob Melrose
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Guest Comments and Photos

*** If any of you have special fishing photos, testimonials, scenic river photos, wildlife photos or articles I would love to see them.

Fishing with Serge Carignan of Predator Fishing Charters of Prince Rupert (250 627-1993) on August 8, 2009.
The largest fish was a 103-lb halibut caught by Steve Dotto - on his first time fishing on the ocean. Shown left to right are Clarence Braam, Steve Dotto, Mike Folkema and Jim Mantel - all of Terrace, BC. Photo credit - Serge Carignan.

Catch and Release Formula

Chinook: girth squared x length x 1.54 divided by 1000 (inches)
Steelhead: girth squared x length x 1.33 divided by 1000 (inches)
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GOOD LUCK and GOOD FISHING!

Yours sincerely,

Noel F. Gyger

Guided Fishing Adventures and Weekly Fishing Report
E-mail: [email protected]
Home Page: www.noelgyger.ca
 

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