West Vancouver Beach Fishing
About two weeks ago I started scouting the beach for early coho, getting excited for the start of the season. Customers in the store have been asking me when I thought the coho will be here and I kept saying jokingly June 24 or the 25. Turns out I was right! On Wednesday I went to the beach for early morning low tide and the coho were swirling 20ft in front of me. My heart was pounding with excitement to finally see some good numbers of fish. I noticed two different pods of fish that were moving around.
The fish were extremely picky and I had to change flies several times to see what they would take, finally after briefly hooking up with 3 fish I had a solid take on the 4th one which I landed. The winner fly that day was my “AKF” fly. Also I had to find the right strip to get them to bite.
The tides are really good starting Saturday the 27th of June so make sure you are there at least an hour before low tide. Come by the store and we will set you up with the right gear to increase your chances in catching these finicky fish. There are also 2 more dates available in my Beach Fly Fishing course so call the store and sign up if you are interested.
See you on the beach,
It must be summer because we are forecast to hit 28 degrees this weekend and the coho are now consistently showing up off West Van. Although the fishing is far from hot yet, you can definitely see the fishing build up almost daily. There have been a few fish from the beach as well as fish being caught by anglers trolling. Most of the fish have been been caught trolling from the “Capilano Mouth” up to the “Pink Apartment”. The fish are usually pretty shallow, about 20 to 60 on the downrigger and if you can get out really early in the morning it can often be the best bite of the day. No need for glow flashers at these shallow depths, try these flashers that we have found to be very productive in shallower fisheries. The Oki Tackle Betsy, Green Onion, Purple Onion and the UV Jelly Fish Kinetic Yellow Green Mist (aka Club Dub). On the business end of things a UV white hootchy or a white hootchy with a 28-32 inch leader is one of the top producers. Spoons on a 5 to 6 foot leader will also produce well, like the Kingfisher Irish Cream, Pink Sink, and Wonderbread (white with multi colour dots). The Pesca spoons are also working well like the Gut Bomb and Skittles (white with multi colour dots). Something about white for these fish, the white hootchy, white flies, white spoons like the Wonderbread and Skittles, just seems to work. Perhaps because a lot of the fish are feeding on crab larvae this time of year and they have a white hue to them in many cases.
The other fishery you should be thinking about this time of year is the Hole in the Wall area up in Howe Sound. Around the end of June and the first 2 weeks of July there is a distinct push of chinook salmon that enter Howe Sound on their journey up to the Squamish and Cheakamus rivers. Although you can run into these fish in a variety of spots, trolling around the rock walls of Howe Sound seems to be the best. In particular Hole in the Wall by the Horseshoe Bay Ferry Terminal up to Sunset Marina is a popular stretch. The hot depth is usually somewhere from 60 down to 150. Shallower on darker days or early in the morning and deeper on sunny days or later in the day. Bait is usually the best producer in this fishery and a good flasher that has some UV and glow in it is hard to beat as it works well at a variety of depths. Try a Purple Onion Glow or Green Onion Glow flasher with a 6 foot leader to a glow green teaser head with an anchovy or herring in it. Make sure your line is fresh and your knots are solid as there have been a few fish over 30 pounds taken already this year and I guarantee the biggest have yet to be caught. Yes I said 30 pounds! We have seen pictures of fish that were 36, 34, and 32 from the past few weeks. This is often not a fishery where you will catch a lot of fish, although there are days when it is pretty active, but on most days a few fish is a good day but the fish are often in the 20 pound class. We have only been up here a few times this month, on days we couldn’t get to Thrasher because of NW winds, and the days we were there it was really tough fishing, but fishing will be much more consistent this coming week and if I was looking for a big one, this is where I would go.
Is Thrasher done? That has been a popular question this past week. The answer is no, there are still some good days to be had. It has remained spotty though. Eddie and Dimitri were out this week and one day a boat had 3 bites all day. The next day 7 bites on one tide change. Sometimes the bait is there and the fish aren’t. Other days the bait is there and so are the fish. Somedays there has been neither. The pressure has definitely dropped off as it has been a spotty June for Thrasher, but this is still my personal choice for the rest of this month and I will be guiding there this weekend. Deep is the name of the game as all the bait has generally been on the bottom. 18 pound cannonballs in glow coating give you an edge and allow you to keep that 170-250 feet of cable down there and troll fast so you can cover water. Glow flashers are a must, the blue glow with a blue splatter back hootchie has been hot as well as a chartreuse glow flasher with a chartreuse and green glow teaser head with anchovy or herring.
So as you can see, there is lots to do! Thrasher Rock, Howe Sound, and the Cap Mouth or West Van. We have all the right gear, and some specialized gear for all these fisheries, so come by the shop and we can give you a hand. We also have a good selection of bait and the salt and bait coolers as well.
See you on the shop or on the water!
Jason Tonelli, Eddie Matthei, Dimitri Roussanidis