May 2018 FISHING REPORT
PORT ALBERNI, BARKLEY SOUND, OFFSHORE WEST COAST
Area Report Doug Lindores SLIVERS CHARTERS SALMON SPORT FISHING
The summer of 2018 is fast approaching. Fisher men and women are preparing for another fantastic saltwater season with excitement and enthusiasm. Anglers like many others see May as the month that is full of “promise” for the summer season to come. May is that month when there are many cool but mostly sunny days out in Barkley Sound, those areas along the surf line, offshore waters, “when weather and any winds are low”, and areas close to the Ucluelet Harbor mouth. This is the time of year when there are many more boats out on the water than what people actually think. Locals from Port Alberni, Bamfield, Ucluelet, and others from various Vancouver Island communities motor by boat out to the Sound to take advantage of the excellent weather and the pristine, protected and calm water of beautiful and scenic Barkley Sound. Fishing in the Sound and along the coast is often very productive as there are often some bright and very chrome Feeder Chinook in the eight to fourteen-pound range. These winter Chinook are really feisty and very hard fighting. They are in deep water and the flesh is very deep red in color. There are also many migratory Chinook in the mix as the early summer run of salmon headed to the big watersheds to the south begin to show in relatively good numbers. Some of these salmon are ranging in weight from fifteen to twenty-five pounds. The Alberni Inlet in May is very quiet but many local anglers are gearing up with their red and pink gear in anticipation of Sockeye fishing which historically gets underway by mid-June. Sockeye fishing is a wonderful family fishing event for all ages.
The winter and early spring feeder Chinook fishing has been productive for those fisher people who have ventured out on the water during the late winter and early spring. The Bamfield Wall, Sanford, the Trevor Channel Whistle Buoy, Vernon Bay, Mayne Bay, Swale Rock, and the Canoe Pass area have all had some great Feeder Chinook fishing days. The previous mentioned areas as well as Cree Island, Meares, Sail Rock, Kirby Point, and Edward King are excellent salmon fishing locations as we get into the Month of May.
May is the month that the “early summer run” of Chinook are migrating to the big watersheds to the south and swim down the coast line outside of Ucluelet and the surf line areas of Barkley Sound. As mentioned May historically has plenty of Winter springs in Barkley Sound and the Bamfield area. Kirby Point up to Edward King and also the Whistle Buoy all the way down to the Bamfield Wall have these hard fighting Chinook sitting normally in one hundred to one hundred and fifty feet of water. A variety of spoons tend to be the most productive. Spoons in chrome and also cookies and cream and Irish cream are very productive. Bait is also an excellent choice but if there are a lot of small undersize Chinook in the area that anglers are fishing then spoons or hootchies are definitely the way to go.
The migratory Chinook salmon sit out on the various offshore banks and also come into many areas of Barkley Sound and feed heavily on the rich resources of bait fish. The bait fish are needlefish, herring and pilchards. Some of the best gear to use at this time of year inshore and offshore is three and a half and four inch coyote spoons in green and blue nickel, green glow, Irish Cream, and silver horde. The best plastic is the white AORL12, green spatterback, army truck, and a variety of blue and green needlefish hootchies. If fishing on the troll in Barkley Sound with hootchies fish in deeper water from 100 to 140 feet with a leader of 40 to 44 inches behind a green glow or a chartreuse hotspot flasher. Bait is often a favorite choice with anchovy in a green haze, purple haze or chartreuse Rhys Davis Teaser Head with six feet of leader behind a glow hotspot flasher or various UV patterns. The Chinook are not terribly fussy in May as they are feeding heavily especially on the tides. The best fishing is often “where the bait fish are located”. Find the bait and you will find some nice Chinook Salmon. May is a fantastic salmon fishing time with beautiful weather conditions.
For those avid halibut fishermen May is the month that the halibut migrate from the deep into the shallows. The various banks offshore have plenty of halibut by Mid May. Often areas around Bamfield and Swale Rock inshore are very good. This is the time of year that some of the larger halibut are landed. Fishing halibut before and during the slack tide is a great time. Trolling the bottom or using drift jigs on the bottom can be most effective. Many individuals will use very large herring, salmon bellies, and octopus for bait. Some will use a spreader bar with large spoons or a Mudraker. All can be very effective methods of fishing Halibut.
In the Stamp/Somass Rivers the Steelhead fishing has slowed down. There can still be a few Steelhead around but one has to put in time. In May the water is often very clear in the river. The best lures are often small Jensen eggs or small corkies in rocket red.
As the weather warms in May the trout fishing does improve. When fishing in various streams and rivers only single barbless hooks are permitted. The two large nearby lakes which are Sproat Lake and Great Central Lake are usually quite productive in the early and mid- spring months. There are often some very nice cutthroat and rainbow trout. Fly fisher persons usually are casting or trolling a crystal hair black leach or a variety of artificial lures that resemble small fry as the trout are often feeding on small Sockeye fry.
It is May and it is time to get out on the water. Good Luck and Tight Lines.
Slivers Charters Salmon Sport Fishing
1 250 731 7389 mobile
1 888 214 7206 toll free
Area Report For March and April 2018 and Seasonal Outlook for Alberni Inlet, Barkley Sound, Bamfield and West Coast (Ucluelet)
1 888 214 7206
PORT ALBERNI AND AREA
It is a new year and hopefully some new and wonderful sport fishing opportunities will fall upon us in 2018. The Spring, summer and fall of 2018 are looking very favorable for Chinook, Coho, and Sockeye Fishing in the Alberni Inlet and Barkley Sound. Chinook and Coho numbers in 2018 returning to West Coast Vancouver Island Rivers and Streams should resemble the fantastic returns that we witnessed in 2017. Sockeye salmon returns to the Somass River should be better than average. Approximately 300,000 Sockeye returned to the Somass system in 2017. This was a very low return of what is termed the “Number 1” salmon of the five salmon species. The early season forecast for Sockeye is approximately 600,000 or better which historically is an average return. More data will be provided as we get closer to mid-April.
The winter weather on the West Coast and inland Vancouver Island has been “stormy”. Big winds and rain has battered the coast and inland areas especially in November and January. Spring will be welcomed by many. We can expect weather conditions to change in late March and April and allow opportunity for some warmer air temperatures which should allow for some productive fishing days out on the water of Barkley Sound and the various islands outside the Ucluelet Harbor mouth. March provides the first of many salmon fishing derby’s in this area. The first March weekend is the annual Sproat Loggers Derby. This Derby is hosted out of Poett Nook located at the bottom end of the Bamfield Wall in Sarita Bay. This Early season derby has had Winter Chinook in the mid-twenty pound range weighed in as derby winners. The Sproat Lake Winter Chinook Derby has been attracting well over four hundred entrants over the last few years. This derby usually marks the beginning of the salt water angling season in the Barkley Sound area. The derby has many outstanding prizes for those many entrants that travel from afar to take part. There will be plenty of information online regarding the derby. Entrant tickets are usually available at the Gone Fishing store locations.
Winter Chinook fishing has been slow through late January and early February. That being said the weather has not cooperated for anglers except for those local anglers in Bamfield and Ucluelet to get out on a nice winter afternoon or morning. The feeder Chinook fishing should improve dramatically if the herring spawn is as fantastic as it was the last two years. For those fisher people getting out on the water there have been a few afternoons where there are some feeders in deep water right in the Bamfield Harbor mouth, Scotch Bay, the Bamfield Wall, Whistle Buoy, and the stretch of water from Kirby to Edward King. The front side of Fleming Island and Sandford across from Bamfield has also provided some nice salmon up to ten and eleven pounds. The fish are in very deep water up to one hundred and fifty feet. March, April and the first half of May can also be excellent for avid anglers outside the Ucluelet Harbour. Many will troll right alongside Beg Island and to the Red Can. Sail Rock, Great Bear, Mara Rock, right back to Mayne Bay and over to Swale Rock can also provide some great winter Chinook opportunities. In the early spring many anglers will fish very close to the bottom. Coyote spoons, or spoons in Irish Cream, Cookies and Cream or other various spoons in the three and three and a half inch size. If there are not a lot of undersize Chinook in the various sport fishing areas anchovy will often out fish spoons. Chartreuse, Cop Car, green or blue nickel, and green haze are often good anchovy teaser head colors. Those who prefer trolling with hootchies purple haze, green spatterback, and various glow whites tend to work well behind green and blue flashers.
Early Season fishing in late April, May, June and July often will rely on returns of Chinook and Coho to the very large watersheds to the south. The biggest watersheds are the Columbia, the Kalama, Willamette and Sacramento. The Salmon often travel along West Coast Vancouver Island as if travelling on a hi-way. The sandy banks off the west coast out to twenty miles provide rich resources of bait fish. The salmon will stop and gorge themselves for days before moving on in large schools. Barkley Sound also has huge amounts of rich nutrient filled bait fish that these migrating salmon will come in and feed on. For anglers the fishing for Chinook up to thirty pounds can be first class sport fishing. The West Vancouver Chinook and Coho will begin to show in early August and begin to peak later in the month and into September. The 2012, 2013 and “2014” that went to sea have had a few years with a La Nina weather system in place. This has provided for relatively excellent salmon survival which should provide for good returns to West Coast Vancouver Island Rivers, Streams, and Creeks.
Trout fishing on the lakes has been slow. Some have fished Dog Mountain and just up from the Ski Club but success rates have been minimal. Great Central Lake has had a few anglers have a little success fishing from shore using power bait and even worms.
Over the last few weeks Stamp River conditions have been very poor due to very high water. When the water is low and clear anglers in the river have been on average hitting a few fish per day. Steelhead fishing has been in both the upper and lower river. There are Winter and Fall Steelhead in the system. These fish will spawn in the spring. Hopefully when conditions warm up so will the Stamp River fishing.
Slivers Charters Salmon Sport Fishing
1 888 214 7206 toll free
1 250 731 7389 mobile
October 20th 2017
The 2017 summer sport fishing season has pretty well come to an end for most saltwater sport fishing locations around British Columbia. The weather in many of the Pacific Rim areas was unbelievable until the early part of October. Conditions have changed over the last few days and heavy rains have hit coastal British Columbia with severity. Some avid sport fishermen who had not put their boat to sleep for the winter took advantage of the early great fall weather and spent some wonderful sunny days with gorgeous warm afternoons in Barkley Sound up to the October Thanksgiving Weekend in attempt land one or two big Coho that were late returning to their natal streams. Coho beach fishing continues on the East Coast of Vancouver Island. Areas such as Browns Bay, located close to Campbell River and Sarita Bay situated in beautiful Barkley Sound have had some great Chum sport fishing. Chum salmon are a wonderful sport fish and put up a great battle. They are also great on the barbeque. The Browns Bay Chum Run usually peaks just after the middle of October. This year the Brown’s Bay Charity Chum Derby took place on October 14th and 15th with the largest two Chum coming in at over seventeen pounds. This is often one of the last fishing derbies on Vancouver Island each year. Chinook and Coho salmon returning too many of the streams, creeks, and rivers have been very good to date. The return of Somass River Chinook salmon stocks up to the 15th of October are just over twenty-eight thousand. There are over twenty-eight thousand through Stamp Falls. Adult Coho migrating through Stamp falls are at approximately twenty thousand. The Sproat Lake Chinook returns are only at fourteen. The Adult Coho returns to the Sproat are also low and are at about 1,500. The numbers of Chinook and Coho salmon passing through the counters are currently quite high. The peak numbers per day usually occur at this time of year. It is fantastic to see that the Chinook returns are excellent which helps develop a natural spawn in the river system. The drop in the river water temperature and the high discharge of water over the last few days has definitely helped the migration of the salmon to their natural spawning grounds.
The heavy rains in October have put an end to any late Coho salmon fishing on the West Coast of Vancouver Island. The Coho and Chinook have quickly migrated to the many rivers and streams as the various water systems have filled with water. A few areas in Barkley Sound continued to have some mediocre fishing into early October especially along the Bamfield Wall, the backside of Fleming Island, Pill Point and Swale Rock. The offshore fishing continued to be quite good with some great Coho and feeder Chinook fishing out at the Rats Nose and Big Bank. The sport fishing continued to be relatively good to the end of September. Hatchery Coho on the outside waters definitely dominated.
Now that we are past mid October most sport fisher persons are looking forward to the 2018 sport angling season. Hopefully any early indicators are favorable for next year. In the Port Alberni Inlet for example the returning Jack Sockeye during June and July of 2017 to the Somass system were a little above average. A high return of Jacks often reflects the following years run size. Sockeye returns in 2017 hopefully will be of average or better and create a wonderful sport fishery for the number one commercial Pacific salmon. Ocean conditions have been very favorable for all five salmon species almost for a full year. The mortality rates have been lower. The food sources for the salmon stocks in the North Pacific Ocean have been relatively good. The sport fishing season in 2018 on the British Columbia West Coast should be very exciting with plenty of opportunity for everyone.
For those people that know the Stamp the sport fishing for Coho and Chinook during the fall has been relatively good. Guide anglers have been doing a great job to date for most of their guests. The Stamp was a little tricky to fish until the end of September and even the beginning of October only because the water levels were at record lows making the salmon migration a concern. The heavy October rain over the past few days has dramatically changed this. Many of the guides at some point will continue fishing for salmon but will also begin to fish for Fall Steelhead. This is the time of year that the fly fishing for fall Steelhead is fantastic. The very high water that we are now experiencing can be detrimental to fly fishing and many will fish with conventional gear. The fly fishing most years occurs from the mid of October into the first ten days of November. Guides are hoping to salvage some of that great fly fishing for later in the month. The best fishing for those fisher people in jet boats on guided trips or for those walking has been in the Lower and Upper River. Entering the river at the rifle range is often a good choice for many. Also driving out to Service Road and walking the river too Dolan’s pit is another excellent fishing spot when the Water levels are not high. One needs to find an area where the water is slow. The river has already had close to 22,000 Coho migrate into the system. There should be a continued migration of Coho right into December. The Coho in the lower river have been fresh and still very bright. Most of the Coho landed for guests, who have been averaging limits on a daily basis, are from 8 to 12 pounds. The best method of fishing Coho has been conventional using spinners, blades, and the Gibbs Coho spoon. If and when the levels of the water drop the Steelhead in the system should become very active as they search for loose eggs during the natural spawn. Fly fishermen can of course use flies of their choice but anglers who are wishing to fish conventionally can use gooey bobs, or wool that is white, pink, or orange. When the water does come down other areas to fish are Stamp Falls Park, Eagle Rock, Black Rock, Moneys Pool, and the Slide Pool. The Stamp is a very healthy river system and is fishable 12 months of the year. There is still plenty of time for Coho salmon fishing and also Fall Steelhead. Winter Steelhead fishing begins in December and continues into late April.
Port Alberni Inlet Barkley Sound
The sport fishing in the Alberni Inlet was relatively good in 2017. Sockeye fishing turned out to be quite good. Originally Sockeye were closed for the year but with good numbers returning in June sport Sockeye fishing opened on July 1st. The Chinook and Coho fishing up to the Labor Day Weekend Derby was quite good. After that time things slowed as the salmon coming into the inlet were interested in hitting the river. The Inlet does have a few lingering Coho and a few Chum salmon in the system but no one is currently targeting them. The 2018 season looks very promising. The indicators for early season projections of Sockeye salmon are good. Sockeye fishing many years last for mid June into the first week of August. It is a wonderful family fishing trip and is a wonderful sport fishery for those from five years of age to ninety-five. The Chinook returns in 2018 could very well be much higher as Chinook Jack returns have been high. Most years the Chinook fishing gets underway by the 15th of August and limits per angler per day is two. We will be looking forward to that sport fishery as well as Coho next August and September.
There have been some wonderful fall days on the water in Barkley Sound right through to the Thanksgiving weekend. The afternoons, especially, have been gorgeous with great warmth from the autumn sun and water that was just magically smooth. The sport season has dramatically slowed down but with some perseverance up to just over a week ago a few anglers have had opportunity to land the last stragglers of the incoming or migrating Coho. Two anglers had a great time also in the Sarita Bay area with Chum salmon up to seventeen pounds. The Coho that have been late arriving have been found at Swale Rock, where there continues to be a lot of bait fish, the backside of Fleming Island, and the Bamfield Wall. The Coho have been hitting shorter hootchie lengths from 32 to 38 inches. The best colors have been purple haze, jelly fish, AORL12 and the green spatterback. Bait throughout the 2017 sport fishing season was a very good choice for anglers. The migratory salmon targeted in Barkley Sound in June and July headed to southerly watersheds were average or just below normal for Chinook. West Coast Vancouver Island Chinook and Coho returns were terrific. We offer great lodge accommodation and are looking at extended trips into Barkley Sound for the summer of 2018. Take advantage and organize your fishing trip into Barkley Sound and offshore early for a 2018 sport fishing adventure.
Ucluelet (West Coast)
Ucluelet is one of those areas along the British Columbia West Coast that has opportunity every month of the year to get out on the water inshore, or offshore, or into Barkley Sound and fish for salmon and bottom fish. For many months of the spring summer and early fall there are huge numbers of migratory salmon swimming their way to natal streams, creeks and rivers to the south. These salmon are right outside Ucluelet’s backdoor and they stop on the various banks to rest and feast on herring and sardines. The salmon are usually in relatively big numbers and create a great sport fishing opportunity throughout the years more favorable months for anglers. There is also a good number of local salmon that feed close to the beach on the rich resources of bait fish. Each and every year there is a return of different salmon species to local streams and rivers that extends from mid August until early November. The fishing out of Ucluelet this year did not disappoint. The best fishing was out at the Rats Nose and the egg. The salmon fishing out in these locations was very good. We are expecting the summer of 2018 to once again be very good out on the various banks and also inshore outside of the Ucluelet Harbor mouth.
WE have been organizing our three and four day and night lodging for 2018. Join us in a comfortable and fun environment next summer from early June through early September.
For more information, contact:
TOLL FREE: 1- 888-214-7206
250 731 7389 (cell)
2017 Alberni Valley Labor Day Salmon FESTIVAL (Sept. 1st to Sept. 4th)
Labor Day weekend is upon us and that means it is Salmon Festival weekend in Port Alberni. The Derby takes place on Saturday, Sunday, and Monday with fishing beginning each day at 6 am. The derby will close on Labor Day Monday at 3 pm with final weigh-in at this time. Derby Headquarters for the 2017 Derby has CHANGED and is NOT at Clutesi Haven Marina. The official weigh-in center will be at Tyee Landing which is very close to Harbor Quay and Fishermen’s Wharf. There is a total of $55,000 in prizes for those people participating in the Salmon Derby. The largest salmon landed is valued at $15,000. Daily prizes each day are $5,000 for first prize, $2,000 for second prize and $1,000 for third prize. All contending derby fish are to be weighed in at Tyee Landing. Other weigh in centers for qualifying hidden weight prizes are China Creek Marina, Poet Nook, and Mckay Bay Lodge in Bamfield. The cost per Rod this year has moved to $50.00. From this $50 there is a donation of $10 given to local enhancement. The Derby for 2017 should be a great success. Returns for Chinook and Coho salmon are above average. Last year’s winning Chinook salmon landed by Dan Weatherby weighed in at 53.2 pounds. This year’s winner could possibly come in with more weight.
The Alberni Valley and all of Barkley Sound has been experiencing very warm and dry weather conditions during the summer months. The Chinook and Coho will need fresh water before entering some of the smaller streams and creeks. There has been some migration of Chinook and Coho into the Somass system. Water on occasion has been released to help the migration for this year spawning fish. Fresh Chinook and Coho are moving into Barkley Sound daily. These salmon that have recently reached the waters of the Sound will migrate up into the Alberni Inlet or they will hold outside various streams and creeks. The fresh Chinook and Coho will continue to be eager to bite the variety of lures put out by many anglers in the sound. There are currently plenty of Chinook and Coho Salmon in the system.
The best salmon fishing currently is in Barkley Sound. The Alberni Inlet has also had some very good days of fishing. There has been some commercial fishing at the beginning of this current week which has slowed the sport fishing opportunity. However The Inlet will fill with fresh salmon in the coming days. Weather conditions are forecast to continue to be warm and very dry. warmer air is in the immediate forecast which will continue to slow the salmon migration. This will also be very true of the salmon down in Barkley Sound locations. The ample Chinook and Coho at Swale Rock, Harbor Entrance, Pill Point, and the Bamfield Wall should continue as new salmon come in from the ocean. The Bamfield Wall has been consistent for the last week. Pill Point, Swale Rock, Meares, Cree and Austin Island and Harbor Entrance have all had very consistent sport fishing over the past two or three weeks. The salmon in the sound have been feeding very hard around tide changes. The Chinook and Coho have also been active between tides. The same scenario has been true for those anglers sport fishing in the inlet. The salmon are in fairly shallow water in Barkley Sound and also the Alberni Inlet. Fishing between thirty and fifty feet has not been uncommon. The best lures in the Alberni Inlet are the O-2, 0-15, 0-16, spatterback and AORL 12 hootchies. Anchovy in the Inlet is also working. In Barkley Sound anchovy in a variety of Teaser Heads seem ideal and for many is working the best. Cop Car, green haze, purple haze, army truck glow and bloody nose have all been working. Leader lengths from five and a half to six feet behind gold, green, or burgundy flashers with a gold or mirror face are working very well. The AORL 12 hootchie and the spatter back and Halloween hootchies with 38 to 42 inches of leader behind a burgundy and gold flasher or a kinetic flasher is ideal for Coho in Barkley Sound and the Alberni Inlet.
Entries for this year’s Salmon Festival Derby have been very encouraging. There will be many boaters on the water. Safety precautions are always of importance.
For More information:
Contact Doug Lindores
250 724 2502
August 8th 2017
1 888 214 7206
The summer months are quickly moving by and the salmon fishing in many areas of Vancouver Island just seems to be getting better as we move closer into mid-August. The salmon fishing in Barkley Sound and the West Coast out of Ucluelet and Bamfield for Chinook, Coho, and Pink Salmon has been extremely good. Unfortunately the Alberni Inlet Sport Sockeye fishing has dried up. There were three or four good weeks of unexpected sport fishing which was very much a success. The Chinook and Coho on the surf line and the various banks are beginning to become a little more abundant and larger by the week. Many of these salmon continue to be migratory fish moving to destinations or watersheds well to the south. We are expecting some of the salmon returning to Pacific Rim rivers, streams, and creeks to appear by the second week of August. This should in fact help develop a much stronger sport fishing opportunity considering that the returns of Chinook and Coho to West Coast Vancouver Island are above average and will be mixed in with the migration of salmon to the south. August and the early part of September should have fascinating sport fishing out on offshore waters, most of Barkley Sound, and the Alberni Inlet. The Alberni Inlet is expected to have a good return of Chinook and Coho. Usually by the 15th of August good numbers of these Chinook begin to show in Inlet areas close to China Creek and the Port Alberni Harbor.
Port Alberni Inlet
The sport fishing in the Port Alberni Inlet for Sockeye has pretty much slowed to a stand-still. The sockeye return forecast was to be approximately one hundred and seventy thousand. Returns through the counters by the end of June reached well above that number. On July first sport Sockeye fishing opened and on July eighth the per day catch limit jumped to four. The total escapement to Sproat and Great Central Lakes to date is approximately two hundred and seventy thousand. The catch by all user groups is close to one hundred thousand with sport fishing landing close to thirteen thousand. The Chinook return to the Somass system should begin with salmon showing in good numbers in Inlet areas by the 15th of August. Pre-season forecasts are showing above average returns of Chinook returning to the terminal area of Barkley Sound and the Alberni Inlet. Most of these fish will be returning to the Robertson Creek Hatchery. The age class of this year’s return is predominately in the forecast issued four and five year olds. With this in mind there should be a good number of Chinook in the twenty to twenty-five pound class and some weighing over thirty pounds.. Coho numbers are expected to be above average. Coho returns to the Pacific Rim and the many creeks and stream tributaries of the Somass system through conservation have become very strong over the past years. We should see Somass-Stamp River Coho begin to show in Barkley Sound close to the middle of August and peak during the second week of September before moving into the inlet.
Parts of Barkley Sound have had some good fishing through June and July and the first few days of August. However if one were to sum the fishing up the word “inconsistent” could be used. The fishing at times has been wonderful and has often been followed by a lull. Meares or Effingham Island, Austin and Cree have been very good and have provided the most consistent sport fishing to date with good Chinook and Coho fishing. The salmon have been out in the deep water on the low tide and often on the flood move in towards the rocks and feed on the huge quantities of rich resourced bait fish. Chinook have been in 70 to 120 feet of water and have been averaging from the mid-teens to a few in the mid-twenties in terms of weight. The Coho have been in twenty-five to eighty feet of water and are gorging themselves putting on a pound a week and are currently averaging eight to ten pounds. Most of the salmon continue to be migratory fish moving to watersheds to the south. Recently there has been a few West Coast Vancouver Island salmon landed. We are expecting the local salmon to begin to show in abundant number almost now. This is not to say that some Somass Chinook and Coho have not already arrived as there have been some fairly early returns to the Somass system over the past ten days. When fishing the waters of Barkley Sound it is ideal if sport fishermen have some anchovy on board. To this date anchovy has not been essential as the salmon have been hitting various coyote spoons, Coho killers, and hootchies behind glow and kinetic flashers. In Coyote spoons, silver glow, lime green, green and blue nickel, watermelon, and cop car have all been working. In Coho Killers the Herring Aid, Cookies and Cream and Kitchen Sink have all been good. The bait in the area has been small so the smaller spoons are currently recommended. If using anchovy have at least a six foot leader using teaser heads in army truck glow, purple haze, green haze and cop car. We are expecting Barkley Sound to have some continued great salmon fishing. With the late summer run of migratory salmon and local salmon returning to their natural streams and creeks there should be some terrific sport salmon fishing right into mid-September in all of Barkley Sound.
Slivers Charters Salmon Sport Fishing
There has been some good fishing but again in an “on and off” situation close to the Ucluelet Harbor. The best fishing however has been out on the Big Bank with the Rats Nose, the egg, and the gully providing some of the best overall opportunities. The salmon have been in the midwater and also in the sand at the bottom with the halibut. Halibut and salmon have been really consistent on the Big Bank. When bait fish are in the different areas during the summer months the sport fishing is normally extraordinary. The inner and outer south bank and the turtle head have seen most sport fishermen fishing in the fifty foot level down to almost the sandy bottom at 135 to 150 feet. South Bank like Barkley Sound has been on and off. Hootchies and Spoons have been working. The Sonora, Blue Meanie, Jack Smith and the white mini Turd have all been working very well. Some sport fishermen are using bait and having great success but like Barkley Sound bait is not essential. Over the past week those guests using our guided boats have been landing Chinook salmon that have started to get a bit larger with a few Chinook getting up to the twenty and twenty-five pound weight class. Sport fishermen in their own boats have also been landing some bigger fish. The hatchery Coho offshore are also getting up and over the ten pound mark with a few fish in the low to mid teens being landed. August and September are really exciting months to be on the water. These are the two months that bigger Chinook and Coho begin to arrive along the west coast of Vancouver Island, B.C. as they have been spending weeks during their long migration feeding constantly on bait fish.
The saltwater sport fishing in 2017 has been relatively good on the surf line and offshore west coast Vancouver Island locations. We are really expecting the inshore areas of Barkley Sound to pick up as well as the Alberni Inlet by mid-August. If you are thinking of a fishing trip there is still time to organize. August and the early part of September is a great time to come.
The Stamp River September and October salmon and summer steelhead fishing should be unbelievable again this fall. Coho returns are looking extremely good with Chinook returns being above average. For those that enjoy fly fishing the 10th of October right through until mid-November is often the best time. Space for guided trips in the river during the fall is very limited so organize early so there are no disappointments.
For more information
July is a wonderful month for sport fishing in the Alberni Inlet and Barkley sound. The area begins to fill with travelers and various anglers world-wide. The Alberni Inlet was to be an area where perhaps during July there would be a lack of fishing opportunity. Sockeye Salmon numbers returning to the Somass River were forecast to be very low. However the numbers are much more than what was thought and on the FIRST of JULY Sport Sockeye Salmon fishing opened. The early results have been phenomenal with many anglers limiting. The current bag limit per person per day is two salmon. On Saturday the 8th OF JULY the Limit for sport ANGLERS will be FOUR per day. That number could change. Over the next few days there will be a variety of test fishing which may indicate a new run size. With the current environmental conditions Sockeye Sport fishing should continue in late July. There is still plenty of snow in the mountains which has created a fairly steady flow of cool water which attracts the Sockeye to the River. How-ever the area has had several days with air temperatures over thirty degrees celsisus. These higher temperatures have helped the temperature of the river water and the inlet water rise substantially. With this the Sockeye are slowing their migration down and are schooling out in the inlet.
Barkley Sound has had some fairly good Chinook fishing in May and especially the last two weeks of June. The “early” and mid- summer run of migratory Chinook headed to the big watersheds to the south have been relatively decent. Barkley Sound has had ample amounts of rich nutrient bait fish which are bringing the salmon in from offshore waters to feed. The surf line areas and inshore areas along the Bamfield Wall, Austin and Cree Island and Swale Rock are excellent locations for some of those chrome Chinook which are make their long journey to their natal rivers and streams. There have also been a good number of Coho up to seven pounds in many of the areas.
Port Alberni Inlet
Anglers have the best opportunity to land Sockeye when they school in big numbers. This historically occurs when the water temperature in the Somass River and Alberni Inlet hits eighteen degrees Celsius. The Sockeye school from Cous Creek out to the Nahmint Franklin area. With the projected outlook for Sockeye returns to the Somass River being really unknown until there is more data there should be a fantastic opportunity for some tremendous Sockeye fishing. On July 1st Sockeye fishing opened in the tidal waters of the inlet. The retention is currently at two Sockeye Salmon per person per day with a two day limit of four per person.
The Sockeye in the Alberni Inlet are currently sitting in thirty-five to fifty feet of water and as the water warms they will swim down into deeper and cooler water. Sockeye hit short leader lengths from eighteen to twenty-five inches in length behind a variety of hotspot flashers. The mp2, mp15, pink and blue, pink and black, and the pink with either the green or white head hootchies all seem to work very well for most sport anglers. Sockeye are attracted to the boat by color. Many sport fishermen will often have eight flashers behind their boat. Four are often dummy flashers and the other four with hootchies of choice. The Sockeye will average four to eight pounds. Sockeye are the number one commercial salmon. They are wonderful for summer barbeques and when vacuum packed properly last the winter for those special occasions.
Sockeye fishing is a wonderful fishing opportunity for the whole family. It is a fun fishery for young and old. Don’t miss out on this opportunity in the Alberni Inlet this July and early August.
Barkley Sound and Ucluelet
The salmon fishing in Barkley Sound has been relatively inconsistent. The best fishing has been out on surf line areas. The islands close to the Ucluelet Harbor Mouth, Meares, Austin, Cree Island, Kirby Point, Edward King and the Bamfield Wall have all had times during the past few weeks with some hot Chinook and Coho sport fishing. Areas close to the Ucluelet Harbor that have had a few fantastic fishing days are Great Bear and Sail Rock. The inner and outer South bank and Long Beach have had some of the transient salmon linger creating some good sport salmon fishing opportunity. Florencia and Way Point have been two hotspots as of late. The salmon in the Sound and inside waters have been hitting anchovy in green glow, army truck, and green haze Rhys Davis Teaser Heads. Needle fish hootchies and hootchies in green (spatterback), blue and white have worked well. Small Coho Killer spoons in the cookies and cream and white pearl have been working very well. A few guides have done very well with the army truck glow hootchie and the cuttlefish J-79. The Sonora cuttlefish, Jack Smith, and Blue Meaney Hootchies have been very good out on the banks. Anchovy and a variety of four and five inch coyote spoons have also been working. We are looking forward to some great sport fishing opportunities during the second half of July and August in Barkley Sound, the Alberni Inlet and offshore. The numbers of transient Chinook and Coho headed to the big watersheds to the south are forecast to be average which should provide some very excellent sport salmon fishing.
June 1st, 2017
June has arrived with some very warm weather which has created a relatively heavy run off into the many rivers and streams. With the current warm weather the rivers in the area are very high. For the early returning salmon moving to the big watersheds to the south and also the various local areas the early migration flow has been very smooth and fantastic for conservation purposes. The long term forecast is for the weather pattern to be normal or above normal seasonal temperatures. For the many people coming to sport fish on the west coast in the month of June this is great news. The sport salmon fishing in Barkley Sound, the Bamfield area, and inshore and offshore Ucluelet has been relatively good. Many of the Chinook that have been either feeders or migrating salmon headed south or to the Fraser River are averaging eight to eighteen pounds. There have been a few clipped migratory salmon landed weighing from twenty to up to twenty-eight pounds. The Somass River has had some early Sockeye enter the system. These salmon are making their way to either Sproat or Great Central Lake where they will sit in deeper water until the fall. This is actually good news as Somass River Sockeye returns are not in abundance for the 2017 season. Numbers of returning Sockeye in pre season forecasts are very low. There is currently NO Sport Sockeye fishing in the Somass or Alberni Inlet for the 2017 season. There will be further and more current updates in later June and early July.
Over the last number of years we have witnessed some world class salmon fishing opportunities on the West Coast of Vancouver Island. The current 2017 season is forecasting some better than average Chinook and Coho returns to the various rivers and streams located on the West Coast and inland waters. This will definitely be a fantastic year to take opportunity and sport fish in the pristine and protected waters of the Port Alberni Inlet, Barkley Sound, and the more open water of inshore-offshore Ucluelet-Tofino especially from the last ten days of July through early September. Chinook and Coho salmon will definitely be returning to natal rivers in good numbers. The returning Chinook are forecast to be in the four to five year old class. With this in mind there should be great salmon fishing days in the 2017 season.
Port Alberni Inlet
The sockeye salmon fishing consistently gets underway by mid June. However 2017 will be a very different year. The current forecast is reporting that two hundred thousand Somass River Sockeye will migrate their way back to the river system. These low numbers are not even close to what is needed for conservation levels. The Alberni Inlet will be very quiet in late June and July. Sockeye Sport fishing is a fun fishery for everyone. Updates will occur in later June and early July. If there are improvements and Sockeye numbers returning to the Somass become higher than the current guideline rules may change.
The Barkley Sound Salmon fishing has been what most guides and sport anglers would say as fair to good. Recently sport fishermen have often needed to be at the right spot at the right time. The Chinook salmon for the most part have been feeder springs and weigh on average eight to fifteen pounds. There have been some migratory Chinook coming in and feeding on the rich based resources of bait fish. Some of these migratory Chinook salmon have weighed from twenty to twenty-five pounds. In the earlier spring the Bamfield Wall, Kirby Point, Sanford and the Whistle Buoy were quite good. Lately the best fishing has been on the opposite shoreline from Pill Point all the way out to Cree Island. Cree and Austin Island locations are out on the surf line and the best fishing has been in tight to the rocky shoreline fishing in shallower water from thirty to sixty-five feet. Some anglers however have done better and have landed larger Chinook fishing in deeper water up to 120 feet. A couple of other hotspots in Barkley Sound have been Vernon Bay, Swale Rock, and the Bamfield Harbor mouth. In these locations the fish have been as deep as one hundred and forty-five feet. Small coyote spoons at the three or three and a half inch size have been working. Coho killers have also been an excellent choice for many fisher persons. Needle fish hootchies as they normally do during this time of the year in blue and green colors have been very good. Anchovy in a Ryhs Davis chartreuse teaser head, green haze, army truck glow, and purple haze have been the top producers. At this time of year one will always find the salmon where there are great quantities of bait. The biggest bait balls have been on the broken group shore lines. For those that prefer water that is protected Barkley Sound is the ideal fishing location as the east and west coast lines are protected from the prevailing winds and for the most part the water is calm and very flat. Barkley Sound will definitely have some fantastic salmon fishing during the upcoming summer months.
Ucluelet (West Coast)
The fishing in Ucluelet has been very consistent during the spring. Of course weather can still play a major role in early June but generally the water is very fishable inshore and offshore as the weather patterns change. There are a good number of days where the wind and water is calm and flat. The first of the migratory fish have showed up on the outside water on the inner and outer south bank and up toward Long Beach. Inshore there is still a good number of feeder springs plus a few of the early clipped fish that are headed to the big watersheds to the South. The Ucluelet Harbor during the month of May around the Red Can has been very good.
The forecast in terms of returning salmon to the Columbia River and Puget Sound watersheds are expected to be a little better than average. The areas around the Ucluelet harbor producing Chinook have been Great Bear, Beg Island, Sail Rock and the Ucluelet Harbor Mouth. The salmon have been in deeper water and once again when the bait are in big schools there are good number of feeding salmon up to twenty pounds. The lighthouse Bank has also been good as has the turtle head and Long Beach. One of the best days over the past week saw four guided guests pick up eight Chinook averaging thirteen to twenty pounds fishing at one hundred and fifty feet or close to the bottom using needle fish hootchies which have been working very well during the spring. Small green glow and greennickel coyote spoons have also been good lure choices. The fishing on the west coast will only get better as we get into June and July. In August the Chinook and Coho as they make their way to their natal rivers will have put on a lot of weight as they feed on the rich resources of bait fish provided along Vancouver Island’s illustrious coastline. The 2017 summer sport salmon fishing will definitely be a fantastic season and one to remember for many years.
For more information:
Slivers Charters Salmon Sport Fishing
April 4th 2017
The spring and summer salmon sport fishing season for 2017 is closing in on us ever so rapidly. March on the Vancouver Island’s West Coast has been a rather wintery month with a lot of snow, especially in higher elevations, and below seasonal average temperatures. We are now turning the calendar over to April which is very much a welcoming thought. April on the rugged but scenic West Coast coastline is most often looked at by a variety of sport anglers as the true beginning of saltwater fishing opportunities. The last two summer sport fishing seasons for Chinook and Coho outside the protected harbors of Ucluelet and Tofino, along the surfline of beautiful Barkley Sound, and also the protected waters of the Sound itself were relatively good in terms of salmon fishing. The 2017 season according to the many indicators in pre-season forecasts are predicting that the current years fishing opportunities for salmon along West Coast Vancouver Island will be what can be termed average sport fishing in May, June, and July and better than average opportunities in August and September. Many of the indicators in the preseason forecasts expect that returns to the Columbia River and Puget will be relatively good. With this in mind those returning fish do stop on the various banks outside of Ucluelet and Barkley Sound and of course also migrate into the various Barkley Sound areas and feed on the rich resources of bait fish. Of course as the summer movers into July and August returns of migrating Coho salmon really adds to sport fishing opportunities. The big migratory return of salmon normally arrives in three large waves. They are termed as being early summer, mid-summer and late summer runs. The early summer run often begins in April off the west coast of Vancouver Island and continues into June and creates some early fishing very tight to Ucluelet, Tofino and the pristine waters of Barkley Sound. The transient salmon feed aggressively on the rich resources of bait fish as they make their long journey to their natal streams. The late summer run in late July and running through August and early September usually produces for avid anglers some beautiful Tyee in the high thirty pound range.
West Coast Vancouver Island pre season forecasts for Chinook and Coho are looking relatively good. Good returns of Chinook in the four and five year old class are forecast in 2017 which means there will be some very nice salmon in the high twenty to mid thirty pound range. The Chinook often begin to show the first week of August in the Port Alberni Inlet and actually peak in the third or fourth week of the month. The Coho follow the Chinook and begin showing in the later part of August and continue well into September. Chinook returning to West Coast Vancouver Island are often showing up in Barkley Sound in the second half of July. The salmon come in close to the surf line and feed heavily on bait fish in the waters of Barkley Sound. Barkley Sound and the Alberni Inlet should have a fantastic sport fishery during the summer of 2017 for those who enjoy fishing in calm, pristine and relatively scenic water. Anglers world-wide will be treated to some world class salmon fishing along Vancouver Islands West Coast and Inlet areas. The Port Alberni Inlet, the inshore and offshore water of Ucluelet and Tofino and Barkley Sound will be all fantastic areas for sport fishing in those so called “hotspots” in 2017.
Port Alberni Inlet
Barkley Sound has recently provided some great winter Chinook fishing. The fishing in the Sound has been quite good through the full month of March. The Sproat Loggers Derby occurred during the first weekend of the month and produced some nice feeder Chinook up to TWENTY pounds. Local angler Morgan Steede had the winning salmon which weighed in at Twenty and a half pounds. Morgan won a fantastic prize dontated by Port Boat House which was a Yamaha Power Washer. Wayne Crossfield finished second landing a sixteen and a half pound Chinook. Gone fishing donated a Scottie Prawn Puller and two traps. Third place went to Brent Rose another local angler who landed a fifteen plus pound Chinook at Sandord using needle fish. Brent won an Islander Reel donated by JW Berry Trucking. Derby organizer Don Deforest was very happy with the weekend. Don remarked that “The overall weather was great and many anglers landed some nice feeder Chinook”. This was the derby’s twenty-ninth year and four hundred and seventy-seven entrants participated. In 1988, the derby’s first year, forty fishermen joined Don in that first winter derby. Don described the fishing for himself as “quite good”. Even though he did not win one of the top three derby prizes he landed four or five very nice Winter Chinook using anchovy in a chartreuse Rhys Davis Teaser Head. In early March and April anchovy often seem to work very well. Needle fish hootchies in blue and green, silver hordes, and a variety of small three and a half and four inch spoons also work well. All of these favorite lures were definitely working well in the derby and also throughout the full month of March. The best Winter Chinook fishing in the Sound has been along the Bamfield Wall, the Whistle Bouy, Vernon Bay, the Bamfield side of Fleming Island and Sanford, and the “Back Door”. The salmon have been in one hundred and thirty to one hundred and eighty and even up to two hundred feet of water with the bigger fish in the deeper water. Fish have been coming in daily feeding heavily during the herring spawn. The best fishing has occurred between tides as of late. April should really turn on as residential fish will continue to be in the area and the first of the migratory salmon should begin to show as they make their way to the southerly watersheds in the Pacific North West. Look for fantastic fishing from May through September. Always carry bait and ones favorite summer spoons and hootchies. As the summer moves on switch to bigger spoons but also remember to adjust to the size of the bait.
Ucluelet (West Coast)
The offshore and inshore fishing during the spring is often very good around a variety of areas in the Ucluelet and Tofino areas. As the herring spawn approaches in mid to late March the local Chinook or more commonly known as feeder or winter Chinook move close to the beach and are abundant in local areas such as Great Bear, Mara Rock, Sail Rock, Forbes, the Alley and Beg Island. Over the last few weeks it is these spots that have been quite good for the local sport fishermen and guides. Small three and three and a half inch coyote spoons in army truck, chartreuse, glow green and knight rider have been working in deeper water from 90 to 160 feet. Also a variety of regular octopus hootchies and needle fish hootchies are working quite well behind green glow and purple haze flashers. It is important to find the bait which is becoming more abundant. Those out on the water will do relatively well when finding the bait balls. This past three weeks Vancouver Islands west coast has had some good fishing for a few local guides and avid fishermen. Great Bear had some good sized bait balls and some good sized feeders up to sixteen pounds. Needlefish hootchies and the three and a half inch green glow coyote spoon were working very well and should be two items in ones tackle box over the next few weeks. This summer’s fishing is expected to be very good as migrating salmon make their way to the big watersheds to the south. Chinook beginning in the middle of April and continuing through August will swim right outside the Ucluelet Harbor and will feed out on the various sandy banks before continuing their long journey. Coho salmon should also be in good numbers and will add variety for many sport fishermen those guests on many guide boats. The summer of 2017 should definitely be a time when all fisher persons will have an opportunity to land a salmon.
For More Information
Slivers Charters Salmon Sport fishing
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Alberni Inlet, Barley Sound, West Coast Vancouver Island
It has been a relatively long and colder than average winter in all areas located in Central and West Coast Vancouver Island. Spring and summer are coming and when finally arriving we can expect the weather conditions to improve and allow for some productive days out on the water. Winter Chinook fishing in Barkley Sound and close to the Bamfield Harbor has been slow but should improve if the herring spawn is anywhere like 2016. Over the past six weeks there has been some opportunity for a few avid anglers to get out salmon fishing in the afternoons when there has been some warmth from the sun. There have been reports of a few feeders being landed around Kirby Point and all the way up to Edward King Island. There have also been a few feeders landed around Scotch Bay and up at the whistle buoy. Those few anglers on the water have been fishing depths from sixty to one hundred and fifty feet. Anchovy and herring on the troll in various glow teaser heads with a six foot leader have been working. Three and a half inch spoons in Irish Cream, Cookies and Cream, cop car, and a four inch Gibbs green glow are great choices. Hootchies in purple haze, green spatter back and glow whites should also be excellent choice of lures. The key regarding Winter Chinook fishing is finding the bait. When one finds bait there should be some success. There are herring balls close to Bamfield and many areas of Barkley Sound. The Herring spawn normally occurs in March which should provide for some greater improvement in the Winter Chinook fishing.
The first weekend of March will see the areas first salmon fishing derby. The annual Sproat Loggers Derby will be hosted out of Poett Nook (also derby headquarters) which is located at the far end of the Bamfield Wall and in Sarita Bay. The last few years have seen over 400 entrants and there have been fish historically weighed in over twenty pounds. The derby is usually marked as the beginning of the saltwater season in Barkley Sound and has some wonderful prizes. Information can often be found online and derby entries can be obtained at Gone Fishing Stores.
At the time of this writing we are still waiting for an update on projections for Sockeye returns to the Somass River. The various indicators and early pre season reports are not looking favorable for a good return. The last two years have been from 1.2 to over 2.3 million pieces returning to the Somass River system. On the other hand West Coast Vancouver Island Chinook returns where stocks have been enhanced have a fairly good outlook status for 2017. The 2012 and 2013 salmon stock that went to sea have done very well in terms of survival and the return of a good number of four year olds and some five year olds to the West Coast should provide for some relatively big fish in what is termed “TYEE” size.
The 2017 Chinook returns to the big watersheds to the south were released in December 2016. The returns of what might be termed “early summer and mid-summer” are not bad and are on par with the TEN year average. The big watersheds are the Columbia, Kalama, Cowlitz, Sacramento, and Willamette. The Chinook travel as if on a highway along the coast of West Vancouver Island and sit out on the many sandy banks and feed on vast amounts of bait fish. These salmon also migrate into Barkley Sound and rest and feed on the rich resources of bait in many of the favorable Barkley Sound salmon fishing areas. With this in mind the salmon fishing for Chinook in late May, June and July should be relatively good for all anglers fishing the sound and offshore.
Over the last few weeks Stamp River conditions have been favorable. The water has been at the time of this writing is clear and low. Anglers have been using longer leaders and very light tackle. Those in the river have been on average hitting a few fish per day. Steelhead fishing has been in both the upper and lower river. There are Winter and Fall Steelhead in the system. These fish will spawn in the spring. Hopefully when conditions warm up so will the Stamp River fishing.
Slivers Charters Salmon Sport Fishing
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November 9th 2016
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Slivers Charters Salmon Sport Fishing
It is almost mid-November and the great memories of the past salt water salmon fishing season are very fresh. The summer of 2016 had many memorable days of fishing in many of the local fishing areas. The Sockeye fishing in the Alberni Inlet from mid June through the first week of August was excellent. Barkley Sound had an abundance of salmon in August and the first part of September. Coho salmon which were forecast to be poor were actually in very good numbers and by mid August were weighing up to fifteen and sixteen pounds. Chinook numbers forecast to return to West Coast Vancouver Island were not what was expected. Returns to the Somass River system are currently close to fifty thousand. The forecast return was more than double that number and never materialized. However on the bright side there were definitely enough Chinook in the system to make the Chinook salmon season a success. The forty-fifth Labor Day Salmon Festival during the 2016 Labor Day Weekend was definitely remarkable. There were many registrants and plenty of salmon landed and weighed in. The fourth largest Chinook recorded in the history of the derby was landed. The fifty three pound salmon was the largest Chinook since 1991. The salmon derby was definitely a terrific boost for Port Alberni. With all of the great 2016 salmon fishing results still memorable we are now slowly preparing for the summer of 2017. The summer and fall salmon Season is now over and salmon returns, even though the Chinook were not as strong are still relatively healthy for conservation measures. Pre seasonal 2017 forecasts for local West Coast Vancouver Island Sockeye, Chinook, Coho, and the salmon runs migrating to the big southerly watersheds have not yet been forecast. The various fishing departments will likely begin to share returning numbers in the early part of 2017.
November and much of October has had more wind and rain than usual. The Stamp River has had very high water conditions through much of the fall and at the moment is at an above average level. There have been times that fishing the Stamp for Fall-Summer Steelhead has been difficult because of the very high water conditions but it is hoped that the rain will become less and the river will get to normal levels so that the Fall Steelhead will go into a feeding frenzy on the dropped naturally spawned river eggs. Less rain and less water entering Stamp River will reduce water levels and will allow for some great Steelhead fishing for the second half of November and into early December.
Salmon returns to the Somass system were better than what was forecast for 2016 especially for Sockeye and Coho. Over one million Sockeye Salmon returned to the Alberni Inlet with four hundred and forty thousand escaping to the Sproat and Great Central Lake systems. Coho which were looking dismal have had over thirty thousand pieces return to the Somass River. Chinook Salmon were not close to pre season forecasts but with a return of just about fifty thousand there are excellent egg counts for Robertson Creek Hatchery and for a natural river spawn. The Somass River system is a key stream for Sockeye, Chinook, and Coho. The Chinook numbers in terms of return still allowed for the necessary 57 million egg count at Robertson Creek Hatchery. Fisheries and Oceans Canada in partnership with Hupacasath First Nations facilitate a counting operation from late May to early November. The fish way is open daily and the salmon are counted by video and computer and trained observers. The salmon migration in the River system as mentioned is video-taped and counts are better than 95% accurate.
Water levels in the Stamp are currently at an average level for mid-November. The Summer-Fall Steelhead fishing for the past few weeks could be described in two words as “mediocre” or slow. Water levels are too high and there is currently severe flooding along the Somass. The Upper Stamp fishing pressure is very “LOW”. The best angling opportunity when water levels come down will likely be just above the Ash River. The Chinook and Coho wild spawn has thinned out but there are plenty of eggs in the river system. The problem is that with the severe flooding the gravel beds and natural egg spawn may be washed out. The Lower River has seen little fishing lately but expectations are that in the next few weeks or when water levels decrease that some late Fall and Winter Steelhead will begin to show and pick up the Stamp River fishing.
With the Coho spawn being very strong with the fairly decent Coho returns anglers when it is possible to fish the river should mimick what the Steelhead are feeding on. A bait ban been in effect from “the bucket” so fish egg imitations are a must. Guides are using single egg imitations. Jensen eggs are the most popular. Also gorkies, and spin-n-glows will do well.
When the fishing in the Lower River picks up especially below the bucket sport fisher people should use gooey-bobs, pink worms, and spin-n-glows in bc orange and regular orange colors. We are expecting the Stamp River which is British Columbia’s premiere fishing destination river to have some terrific Steelhead fishing right through March of 2017
The Alberni Valley hosted the forty-fifth Labor Day Salmon Festival in early September. The fourth largest Chinook, in the derby history, weighed just over fifty three pounds was landed by Dan Weatherby of Chilliwack B.C. This big Chinook was landed close to the Bamfield Harbor mouth at Brady Beach. A small cookies and cream spoon in fairly shallow water landed this fish which won the Chilliwack residence fifteen thousand dollars. The Bamfield Wall was definitely a hot area to fish during the derby and most of the month of September. Daily first place finishes were Brian Lawrence landing a twenty-seven pound Chinook on Sunday and Justin Kumagai of Port Alberni landed a twenty four pound Chinook on Sunday. Both anglers won $5,000 for landing the biggest fish of the day.
Sport prawn fishing will have openings in the Alberni Inlet. It is important to check with the regulations and check with the DFO for winter openings. The openings are often for 15 days. Again it is important to check all DFO regulations and openings. Most individuals at this time of year will prawn close to China Creek, the narrows and Cous Creek. Currently salmon in the Alberni Inlet is slow but often Winter Chinook will travel up as far as China Creek if there is bait in the area.
Barkley Sound is one area on the west coast that is protected on the east and west shorelines. It is an area that can often be comfortable for winter fishing. Winter or Feeder Chinook fishing usually picks up in December and carries on well into early April. The rule is often where one finds the bait the salmon will be there. The Chinook are usually in deep water from 115 to 140 feet. Good areas of the Sound to fish are areas close to Poett Nook and Sarita Bay. Vernon Bay, Swale Rock, Mayne Bay, and the back end of Canoe Pass can also be excellent areas to fish. Often hootchies in blue, green, various whites and blue-green colors are the best lures. Of course there are days when the fish will touch nothing but anchovy. Winter Chinook trips also include some prawn and crab fishing.
Ucluelet has already experienced some good Feeder Chinook fishing. The Inner and Outer South Bank earlier in October allowed sport fishermen to have success on salmon up to 17 pounds. This is unusual for the fall but a couple of terrific days for weather permitted a few keen anglers to get out a few miles offshore. Earlier in the fall the T-Rex hootchie was good but recently those anglers fishing on good weather days and close to the Ucluelet Harbor at the “Red Can” Mara Rock, and The Lighthouse Bank have been using white hootchies and also a green needlefish hootchie. A four inch cop car and cookies and cream spoon have also been good lures behind a green or chartreuse hotspot flasher. During the winter Ucluelet offers some of the west coasts best prawn and crab fishing. The Bottom fishing is also very good. One must remember that the Pacific Ocean during the winter can have some magnificent storms but also there are superb days for fishing as the ocean can be completely flat. Winter fishing is often very close to the harbour. Safety of course is always a priority. Ucluelet hopefully will once again be a fisherman’s paradise in the summer of 2017. The migratory fish headed to the large watersheds to the south begin showing as early as late May and continue into late August or early September.
For more information
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