FALL FISHING AND 2023 SPORT FISHING REVIEW
SLIVERS CHARTERS SALMON SPORT FISHING——–DOUG LINDORES
NOVEMBER 28TH 2023
The 2023 summer sport fishing season has come to an end for most saltwater sport fishing locations in mid and West Coast Vancouver Island locations as well as the many other saltwater angling areas around British Columbia. The weather during much of the fall in the Pacific Rim areas has been unbelievably dry. There has been ample rainfall to help the migration of the returning salmon to their spawning grounds. There have been many wonderful sunny warm afternoons in many parts of Vancouver Island’s west coast and Barkley Sound. Right up to the beginning of November keen anglers have been able to enjoy the last salmon fishing opportunities for 2023 in many local rivers where the last of the Chinook, Coho and Chum salmon have migrated to their natal streams, creeks, and rivers.
Chinook and Coho salmon returning to the many streams, creeks, and rivers were fantastic. The return of Somass River Chinook and Coho salmon stock in 2023 were historically high. The In-Season forecast of one hundred and twenty-five thousand returning Somass River Chinook was quite accurate. The Chinook escapement was close to forty thousand. Coho escapement was over twenty thousand and Sockeye returns to Sproat and Great Central Lakes were close to Two hundred and forty-five thousand. Chinook and Coho salmon usually pass through the counters until early December.
Barkley Sound areas and those areas close to the Ucluelet Harbor had mediocre sport fishing from mid-September into October. Wya Point was likely one of the best spots as were areas offshore. The Big Bank was on fire for many days with plenty of hatchery Coho dominating the sport fishing in rather shallow water. In Barkley Sound the best fishing during the Fall months was the Bamfield Wall and Fleming Island.
Now we are into late November and most sport fisher persons only have fond memories of the fabulous 2023 sport fishing season and look forward to the 2024 salt water angling year. Anglers are hoping the 2024 Sockeye Sport fishery in the Alberni Inlet is as good as 2023. Chinook returns to West Coast Vancouver Island in 2024 are hopefully like the last few years. Coho returns continue to improve to the Somass River system and numbers to the many streams located in the rest of West Coast Vancouver Island continue to get stronger. One very important positive is that Ocean conditions have been favorable over the past few years. The mortality rates have been lower. Food sources for salmon stocks in the North Pacific Ocean have been relatively good. The sport fishing season in 2024 on British Columbia’s West Coast should be very exciting with plenty of opportunity for everyone.
Stamp River Fall Fishing
For those fisher persons that know the Stamp River the sport fishing especially for Chinook during the fall has been very good. The river until the first heavy rain was extremely “LOW”. Sport Anglers and guides taking guests out on the river did however have great success through October. There has been ample rain to keep the river at a reasonable level for salmon migration. Those on the river will likely continue to fish for the late Chinook and Coho coming into the system but also are now targeting Fall Steelhead. The fall season is normally a fantastic time for fly fishing enthusiasts. Fly fishing usually occurs on the Stamp River from mid October to mid November. The best fly fishing to date for those on guided trips in jet boats or for those walking has been the Lower and Upper River. Entering the river close to the gun range or driving out to Service Road which is just off Hector Road and walking to Dolan’s Pit is another terrific fishing spot when the water levels are at a normal level. The key is finding an area where the water is not moving too quickly. The river has had over twenty thousand Coho migrate into the Somass River System. This migration often continues into December as Coho continue to trickle in. The late Chinook and Coho are in a natural spawn and drop their eggs in the river bed. With the fresh egg drop the Steelhead in the fall become very active as they search for loose eggs. Fly Fisher persons can use a variety of flies of choice. Anglers who are wishing to fish conventionally can use gooey bobs, or wool that is white, pink, or orange. Other popular areas to fish when water conditions are normal are Stamp Falls Park, Eagle Rock, Black Rock, Moneys Pool and the Slide Pool. The Stamp is still referred to as a very healthy river system and is fishable twelve months of the year.
Barkley Sound & Alberni Inlet
The 2023 salt water sport fishing was remarkable in both Barkley Sound and the Alberni Inlet. The Sockeye returns to the Somass River were much higher than originally forecast. This made for a terrific sport fishery of four Sockeye salmon per person per day. The Chinook fishing in the Inlet and Barkley Sound was phenomenal for fisher persons up to the end of the Labor Day Weekend.
One of the best sport fisheries and enjoyed by all in the Alberni Inlet is Sockeye fishing. It is a great family fishery and is fantastic for all ages. Sockeye Fishing when numbers are high in terms of returns can last from mid-June through until the beginning of August. Most years Chinook Fishing historically gets well underway by the tenth of August and continues through until Labor Day.
There were some beautiful fall days on the water in Barkley Sound, areas around Ucluelet, and for some as far away as the Big Bank and South Bank. There were many wonderful afternoons that were gorgeous with great warmth from the sun and water that was magically smooth. Coho salmon fishing was best in the Sound from Whittlestone to the Bamfield Harbor. The Islands close to the Ucluelet Harbor had some fantastic Fall fishing but the best area was from Little Beach up to Way Point. The sport season has dramatically ended. A few local and very keen anglers have taken opportunity to search for some of those late Coho and Chum Salmon in Barkley Sound.
We look forward to another Fantastic Sport Salmon season in 2024. In late May, June and July we will target the migratory salmon headed to the southerly watersheds to the south. In late July, August and September we will target returning West Coast Chinook and Coho.
We offer great day trips in the Inlet, Barkley Sound, and West Coast offshore fishing. “WE ALSO OFFER FANTASTIC” lodge accommodation where people take opportunity to experience extended trips in Barkley Sound, West Coast, and offshore for sport fishing. Take advantage early and organize one of these extended trips for the summer of 2024. These trips are often for three or four days and nights. You will not be disappointed. Join us in a comfortable and fun environment in the 2024 summer from early June through early September.
For More Information, contact:
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250 731 7389——-mobile