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Vancouver BC Fishing Report

By Rodney Hsu, Fishing with Rod | Last updated: November 15th, 2018

Our latest episode is "Girls vs Sturgeon 3"! This third installment features Kitty's best friend Allison who had never caught a sturgeon in the past. Check out this epic day on the Fraser River. Many thanks to Lang's Fishing Adventures for making the day possible!

Vedder River chum salmon

Coho salmon fishing has slowed down a lot in this past week, which is not surprising as we are now in mid November. You should still be able to get into some fresh coho salmon, but majority of the fish are now getting ready to spawn in rivers. Please practice proper catch and release so we can ensure the survival of these spawners. Chum salmon are still coming back into the Lower Fraser River and tributaries. This time of the year, you can in fact find some very fresh chum salmon. Sturgeon fishing in the Fraser River is still very good. Cutthroat trout fishing is just picking up now that salmon are starting to spawn.

Please note the following fishery notices:

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Upcoming Events and Promotional News

Here are some of the latest news and upcoming events in the Lower Mainland and Fraser Valley!

Capilano River

Capilano River was good for coho salmon fishing back in early October when river level rose which brought lots of fresh fish into the system. Very few fish are now in the system as most have gone into the hatchery for spawning. You might still get the odd ones. Bait ban is now lifted so you can float fish with roe when targeting these fish.

Please remember that you might encounter the odd steelhead in the system. ALL steelhead (hatchery and wild) have to be released with care. Please report individuals who choose to do otherwise.

Stave River

Stave River has chum salmon in the system as expected, but due to low abundance retention of chum salmon has been closed for this season. You can still catch and release them, so please release them with care once you bring your fish in. Float fishing with a jig kept at a foot or two off the bottom is the most effective way of catching chum salmon.

Reports of good coho salmon fishing have also been coming in lately. Look for these fish in slower parts of the river or back channels. Early morning is your best chance for getting into these fish. Casting and retrieving a small spoon or spinner, fly fishing with small streamers should all work well.

Hatch Match'r Fly and Tackle in Maple Ridge is your best one-stop shop on the North side of Fraser Valley. New owner Nick and his staff are always happy to help you, whether you are a beginner or a seasoned angler. They are open seven days a week.

Squamish River

Squamish River is dropping steadily after last weekend's rain, clarity is improving as well. Because of chum salmon low abundance, retention for them is closed but you can still catch and release them. Some coho salmon are around, casting spoons is your best bet. In another week or two, fly fishing with trout beads can be very good for targeting rainbow trout and bull trout. If you've never done it before check out the video below.

Chilliwack River

Chilliwack/Vedder River chum salmon

Chilliwack Rive's level has been a bit on the high side but remains pretty fishable. Water clarity is sitting at between 1 and 3 feet. It is murky at times which indicates that a clay slide has opened up further upstream. Coho salmon fishing is almost done. Some fresh coho can still be found throughout the system, but you'll also encounter some coloured fish, especially in the upper section of the river. Chum salmon fishing has been quite good, especially in the lower part of the river. Float fishing with a jig is the most effective method when targeting these fish. Many fresh chum salmon can be caught in the lower river, downstream from Lickman Road to the canal. This fishery should be good for a couple more weeks.

For ongoing updates, please see this year's fall salmon fishing updates in our discussion forum.

Check out the following video tutorial on how to tie a bait loop to secure your roe on the hook.

Fred's Custom Tackle has a new store in Chilliwack! The address is 6336C Vedder Road, just north of Promontory Road. The store has up to 70 parking spots so very convenient for those who are towing a boat. Opening hours are 7:30am to 5:30pm on Monday to Saturday, and 7:30am to 4:00pm on Sunday.

Harrison River

Harrison River has been producing chum and coho salmon. Coho fishing has been slow overall, while chum salmon are quite abundant but retention is closed for them this year.

Chehalis River

While the river level has been good, Chehalis has not been too productive for coho salmon overall.

Tidal Fraser River

Tidal Fraser River is now open for salmon fishing (see fishery notice). You should still be able to encounter coho salmon until mid November. Overall fishing has been quite slow. The river is also open for trout and char fishing (catch and release), which can in fact be quite good. Grab a light spinning outfit and cast spoons and spinners for these fish. Your best chance is to fish anywhere downstream from the Pitt River confluence. For more information, please check out this article. Water clarity has been a bit on the poor side. Lure fishing should still work, but you can also bottom fish with roe or dew worms.

Please note that in spring 2016, Fisheries and Oceans Canada has issued a night time fishing closure for all finfish species in the Tidal Fraser River. To fish the Tidal Fraser River (downstream from the railway bridge in Mission), you are required to have a valid saltwater fishing licence.

If you would like more information on fishing in the Tidal Fraser River, please stop by Berry's Bait and Tackle in Richmond. Mike, Len and Michele have a team of knowledgable staffs who regularly fish this area and they can help you out.

Non-tidal Fraser River

Fraser River white sturgeon!

Certain parts of the non-tidal Fraser River is now open for salmon fishing. See fishery notice

Overall the fishing has been on the slow side. Catching and releasing chum salmon can be pretty good. Coho salmon fishing has been poor. Please make sure all steelhead are being kept in the water when caught and gently released.

Sturgeon fishing has also been very consistent due to the abundance of food (salmon) in the river.

Lower Mainland Lakes

Catchable rainbow trout are released into Lower Mainland urban lakes

Catchable rainbow trout stockings have been happening in the Lower Mainland and Fraser Valley. These fish usually weigh around 250g and are usually ready to be caught. It can be a lot of fun for kids. I recommend Lafarge, Como, Rice, Green Timbers, Mill, Rolley, Sasamat and Buntzen Lakes.

These articles may assist you:

Please remember that for lake fishing, if you are fishing from shore, you are only allowed to use ONE rod. If you are fishing alone in a boat, then you are permited to use two rods. Only one hook is allowed on your rod. Please note that single barbless hooks are required to be used at some lakes. You should note the daily quota of trout for the lake where you are fishing. Catch and release is required in some lakes, please check regulations.

Before heading out, please read the freshwater regulations in Region 2 first. For more regular updates, make sure you follow our Facebook page. If you witness violations, please contact the nearest conservation office or phone 1-877-952-RAPP (7277). Conservation officers can not attend all calls, but they do their best to catch those who do not choose to play by the rules.

Good luck and please conserve your catches!

Rodney Hsu
Webmaster, Fishing with Rod Production