Capilano River Fishing Report – September 25, 2011

The next two days the low tide is relatively good for this time of year. Of course not excellent but you can get to the big island if you’re doing some Capilano beach fishing.

The day was a bit wet, a bit windy, but scenic none the less. Of course this is a fishing report so let me break it to you.

As with last week, I saw no schools of fish milling about. What I did see where about 4 to 5 seals in and around the river mouth at all times during my couple hours today. I saw no native fisherman on the opposite side of the Capilano river mouth. I would be accurate to say I saw at most 10 fish jumping in about 2 hours. I didn’t see anything for the first hour! That is discouraging to me. Seals, but no fish? I’ve said it before but I haven’t seen seals in the river like I have this year. They are scouring all the waters around the mouth like I haven’t seen in years past.

There were a number of fisherman this morning but I didn’t see anyone catch a fish. Again, there weren’t fish jumping or showing. Usually native fisherman indicate that the fish are around. Sure the weather wasn’t ideal, but I’m sure they would have been fishing if there were any salmon around.

So right now I don’t know if it’s worthwhile going down to fish the Capilano river mouth. I’m inclined to throw in the towel for the year down there and head to the Vedder river instead. I’m not trying to be a downer, I’m just reporting what I saw down there. I have been expecting to get into some pinks at the very least but I’m not seeing any schools. Are they in the river already? Perhaps.

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Who’s heading to the Vedder River?

I must say for a beginner fisherman, the Vedder river in the fall is a fantastic option. Tons of action! Pick a year when the pinks are running and you will not have a shortage of catching and as we know, patience is something that is learned. New fisherman need more action than us veterans. Just explain that fishing isn’t always like a fall day on the Vedder.

I have had some great experiences on the Vedder river over the years. Catching chums might be a hassle to those coho seekers, but they still keep things interesting in between catching coho.

The nice part about fishing the Vedder in the fall is that the fish are throughout the system and you don’t have to fish side by side. Sure some of the rock runs see some good coho fishing and can get a bit crowded but there really is no need to pack into spots.

What are your experiences fishing in the fall on the Vedder? You get frustrated catching chums when you’re just there for the coho?

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Capilano River Fishing Report – September 15, 2011

If you’re still waiting for great news about the beach fishing at the Capilano river, sorry I don’t have any. But still read on!

A few natives were on the other side but they weren’t doing very much casting at all. The tide wasn’t great and I was down there as the tide was heading out. The low tide was not low at all but allowed for enough beach to cast into decent water. Only one other fisherman who showed up only to make a few casts. Pretty much myself in the area which may be another indicator of how the fishing has been going.

Were there fishing jumping? Yes, but way out. The only jumper I saw in shallow was a misnomer because shortly after the jump I saw the seal surface. That explains the odd area where the jumper was.

So what’s down there at the Capilano mouth right now? Seals. In shallow and in almost up to the train bridge. That puts a real damper on things that’s for sure. Think those are schools of fish moving around? Tempted to cast? Every time today was just a seal near the surface causing ripples. Honestly seeing 3 or 4 seals in that area at one time is something that I haven’t seen before. I’m not blaming them for the slow action and lack of fish, but certainly it may be contributing to it.

I will keep heading down to hopefully get into some fish. It’s mid September and I know the best days are still ahead. Where are the pinks? That’s what I’m asking. I know they may be out along Ambleside, but surely there should be some fishing showing in along the mouth of the river.

Stay tuned, as Arnie says, I’ll be back.

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Capilano River Fishing Report – September 11, 2011

I spent a few hours at the Capilano river mouth today. The tide was in the process of going out and I stayed until the turning of the tide. Certainly not a very low tide, but low enough that a few people showed up to fish the beach area.

First observation was the native fisherman. Must be fish here! Sure there were lots of fish jumping around the Capilano river mouth and area. The problem was that no fish were biting and I didn’t see any of my fellow fisherman catch anything this morning.

I did notice the typical seals in the area and they did their job of spooking the salmon and causing many of them to jump. A salmon isn’t going to bite your lure when they are just trying to run away from a pursuing seal. I like to cast at jumping salmon but I was realizing the jumping was being done as a survival instinct.

I did talk to another fisherman this morning who said yesterday a few fish were caught. He also mentioned there were more fish around the previous day.

If you go to the Capilano river mouth just expect to see a good number of jumping salmon, but you shouldn’t expect to get your limit. Some real experienced beach fisherman didn’t have any luck and for sure those fish saw those lures.

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Capilano River Fishing Report – August 28, 2011

I spent a few hours down at the Capilano river mouth fishing from the beach. The tide was medium and I was there up until the low slack.

There were a fair number of jumpers, but in my experience there was not a lot of fish showing. Considering it’s the end of August I expect to see much more activity. With that said I saw four fish caught and landed in an hour. Three coho and one pink. These fish were caught at time when fish were not showing by jumping or surfacing. Remember this detail. Even though fish aren’t jumping you might as well be casting. I just need to starting listening to my own advice!

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Capilano River Fishing Report – August 22, 2011

I spend a good hour down at the mouth of the Capilano river today. The tide was medium and coming in. With all the rain today the water was really pumping down the river into the mouth.

I have a good eye for the water so you should be able to trust what I’m telling you. I saw only one other sports fisherman who showed up as I was leaving. I saw 2 native fisherman across the mouth and they both took off after about 30 minutes. These are indicators of how the fishing is.

What I saw was next to nothing. I would say that I say perhaps a handful of fishing grazing the surface. And even those were sketchy. I saw some, but not enough to get me casting a line for them. No jumpers, no finners.

It’s a bit discouraging, but this seems to be a result of the wet summer and the high Capilano river levels. I would suspect that the coho have made their way into the river system. There simply aren’t the numbers of schools milling around the mouth that I’m used to seeing. I won’t be back there for 6 or 7 days from now. Trust me, I didn’t see any jumpers and for this time of year, that’s discouraging.

Stay tuned for the next Capilano river fishing report!

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Where are the BC salmon going? Another theory emerges

There was an interesting story in the Globe and Mail yesterday about the disappearing BC salmon. You know, another theory as to where the salmon of British Columbia are dying. It’s been years and years the discussion around the low salmon returns in BC. Always finger pointing and it’s been a big unknown. Recently there was a story about the adipose fin removal and the effect that has on salmon trying to swim. It hinders the salmon in a big way when they don’t have the adipose fin. So yesterday I read of another theory.

This theory involves massive toxic algae that covers a massive amount of space in the ocean. It can last weeks and it’s been an issue in other countries around the world. It is a proven fact that salmon and fish who travel through these toxic algae blooms are affected. These blooms can take up to 30,000 square kilometers at a time!

It’s still early but according to the story, DFO was notified of this issue a while ago and essentially disregarded it. I think that is about to change. Scientists can’t say for certain the effect directly these toxic algae have, but they suggest that any salmon or fish dying in the ocean would simply sink to the bottom of the ocean. In other words, this is a theory at this point. Hopefully DFO will take this seriously and we can get some more scientific studies.

Can anything be done about the toxic algae? Not sure. This isn’t a solution discussion it’s a culprit discussion I suppose.

[Original Story at]

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Capilano Fishing Report – August 15, 2011

I spent a couple hours yesterday at the mouth of the Capilano river. My first time this year and when I arrived there were a few fisherman along Ambleside but nobody at the mouth of the Capilano river. That should have been my first indicator of how the fishing was! Perhaps it’s the good pink fishing in Squamish? In addition, I noticed only 1 native fisherman on the opposite side of the Capilano river mouth. That pretty much told me what to expect.

So in about two hours, I observed 1 fish which showed itself in the last 20 minutes that I was there. That’s not good odds I’d say. My feeling is pretty simple. If I don’t see fish showing at the Capilano river mouth, then I feel they just aren’t there.

A few fisherman did show up as the tide got lower. I’m sure everyone enjoyed the views and the fresh air but nobody was enjoying landing fish. They simply weren’t there. I was a bit surprised as I would have expect some pinks to be around at the very least. With all the rain this year and the colder weather, it appears the traditional stacking of salmon at the Capilano river mouth hasn’t happened. Either that or I just had really bad timing. I tend to think it was the fact there are no fish there right now. Afterall, if I’m not seeing the regular mob there, that tells me people have moved to different locations to fish. Heck it’s the middle of August!

So stay tuned for more Capilano fishing reports. I’m sure I’ll be back there in the very near future.

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BC Pink Salmon Fishing Reports – Cates Park

Update: August 14, 2011 – Was there for another visit to see if pink have shown up and once again, disappointment. Not a fisherman nor a fish showing.

It’s that time of year when you need to start thinking about fishing for pinks if you’re so inclined. I’ve posted previously that the BC pink salmon is a true underdog yet they provide great action. Perhaps getting skunked is more enjoyable than landing a couple pinks? Not in my books.

With that said, let’s start talking BC pink salmon fishing reports. I can report back about Cates Park that there are no fish there at this time. I spent about an hour studying the water and my eagle eyes didn’t spot anything. I was there on the rising tide, but if anything was there I would have at least seen something. Sadly I didn’t! So you can save your gas and time for now.

I will say about Cates Park that two years ago was a real disappointment. I’ve enjoyed decent pink salmon fishing there in the past, however in the last cycle they didn’t stop at the beach or pass the beaches at Cates Park. Very disappointing and wasted gas, time and money! I did hear from others, not verified, that from time to time the pink salmon don’t come on the Cates Park side. Hard to argue that as nothing was there to catch two years ago.

I will update this post as pinks start showing at Cates Park. Or should I say “if” they show up at all this year.

(photo: Clive C)

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Where did the BC fish go? The story of the missing hatchery fish continues…

If you are unaware, there has been perhaps a big breakthrough regarding those disappearing stocks of salmon. Of course I’m talking about those BC hatchery fish. You’ve seen the news stories for years and years now. They keep release BC hatchery fish but the returns kept getting more and more dismal.

Well I was watching CTV BC news the other night and thought nothing of a story about a scientist who made some discoveries regarding hatchery vs wild salmon. In particular, this scientist wondered what the effect was on hatchery salmon and the adipose fin that is removed. Essentially he set out to answer the question, “What effect does removing the adipose fin on BC hatchery have”. He found a startling discovery.

He discovered that BC salmon with the adipose fin worked less than those fish without. So it essentially makes swimming harder for a salmon when that adipose fin is removed. Of course they also included an interview with a fellow from the hatchery who said the removing of the adipose fin is the most efficient and harmless method to keep track of hatchery vs wild salmon. He defended the practice by saying we’ve been doing with with hatchery fish for 50 years. Okay, let me challenge that.

I think this is a huge discovery and I do not think it is out there yet. These findings are not out there quite yet because I feel that this is actually the answer to the age old question. Where do the salmon go? But to counter the argument by the hatchery fellow, I would strongly suggest he’s thinking about it too simplistically. Sure for years the hatchery program worked by removing the adipose. Seemed perfect. Then what? BC hatcheries kept releasing fish and the returns were terrible. So look outside the box here. Perhaps those outside variable, as in water temperature, actually putting extra stress on the hatchery fish. More effort to swim, more succeptable to prey like whales and seals. Can’t escape? Get caught. But who knows out there. The fact is the water temperatures in the BC waters has increased. It’s quite possible that the feed the salmon need was close, but the warmer water means they have to travel farther. So those variables could play right into the theory that removing the adipose fin means those fish have to work a lot harder to get where they want.

Beyond the analysis, and to get a bit deeper, it would seem that most creatures in this world are built the same way. Most of our parts have a purpose. You might get away with removing something, but when you do, you’re messing with nature. I don’t think we are created with “removable” parts. Our hatchery BC salmon may be the living proof of this.

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