Submitted by Lee Mac
The weather is HOT and so is the fishing! We have seen great conditions over the past week to get out on the water and anglers have been taking full advantage.
This past weekend we saw a mass exodus of anglers and boats from Prince Rupert with chinook retention closing for the rest of the month. I was driving back from Prince George on Sunday and passed no less than 100 boats heading east. It seems as though there are some anglers that are not willing to stay and play without the ability to retain chinook. For those of us that live in the area this is troubling from an economic perspective, but is also welcome by many anglers that are happy to target the many other species that are available in the northwest. Fewer boats on the water mean smaller crowds and less pressure on the remaining available stocks which is great from a conservation standpoint.
In Rupert we have seen a few early coho landed in the Dundas area. These super scrappy fish put up a great fight and are fantastic for the BBQ or the smoker. These fish can be great on light gear, but be weary that there are still a ton of big chinook around that will be feeding on the same herring, anchovy and candlefish. Running any spoon that imitates these baitfish can be very successful and running a cut plug herring or anchovy can yield very good results.
In Kitimat, we have seen way more anglers than we normally do, but this is to be expected with the fact that you can still retain chinook in Area 6. We have seen good fishing around the south Sue Channel area all the way down to Money Point (and beyond). I find that an anchovy fished in a bullet head can be lights out down the Douglas. This time of year a hoochie fished 36-48 inches behind a flasher can be very effective.
Groudfishing on the coast has been very good this past week and with good weather comes the ability to access these offshore shoals where groudfish like to hang out. We have seen some flat calm days this week and have seen some very nice halibut and lincod landed. Oscars has a full supply of jigs and spreader bars for any outing where groundfish is the focus. Stop by and talk to the staff and they can let you know what has been the hot lures over the past week.
Crabbing and prawning remains good and consistent. The prawn numbers are starting to come back after the commercial opening in May. When setting crab traps, I like to put my bait in the wire cages that Oscars has in stock. These cages allow your bait to fish longer as crab can clean off a salmon head in a matter of hours.
In next week’s report, I'll be talking a little about targeting inshore rockfish which can be tons of fun on light gear. Stay tuned
Until next week.......tight lines.
Babine Lake and Rainbow Alley in particular seems to be between smolt season and dry fly hatches. The Alley is fishing ok, but should be transitioning to dry fly season pretty quickly. With the wonky weather it has put a hiccup in normal fish patterns, so any day can be a good day it seems.
The smaller lakes around Babine (Tanglechain, Doris, Chapman) are fishing well. When on these lakes, ultralight spinning tackle or a 4wt fly rod with weight forward sinking line set up with a leech pattern works well around the shelves of the lake. Always take a look at the bathymetric maps available online before you go. Pick the tight contours, aka, structure and try to work that. If you have a GPS or Navionics on your phone, it can help put you on the structure, and hopefully the fish. A lot of these little lakes have their aquatic vegetation already so it can be snag-city if you aren’t careful, however a lot of trout use these lillypad covers as protection.
On hot days, try fishing later in the evening when the shadows are starting to land on the water. When the shadows land it helps cool the water down and put more oxygen into the water. With more oxygen, the trout will start to feel less pressured and start to feed again. Until that point they will hand low in the higher oxygen and cooler water which makes it difficult to entice trout to come to play. In the summer doldrums, it is recommended to use a leech pattern on the fly.
Big thunderstorms kept us away from Rainbow Alley, but one would say it was a blessing in disguise. Instead of going to a safe bet, we ventured onto the Fulton River from the Granisle direction. The forests roads meandered back and forth, but we eventually found the river and some fish taking the dry fly. We shouldn’t say that it is fishing hot, but it certainly looks like it is warming up. If you are looking for a local river to fish, try the Fulton on a stimulator for a fly rod set up. Light gear tackle might also work, but the fish are starting to pull on the fly as the river levels subside and warm up with this recent heat snap.
If you aren’t sold on stillwater fishing, Kitimat is where you should head for river fishing fun. Chinook fishing has been solid out on the Kitimat River and in the estuaries as well according to Tracey Hittel from Kitimat Lodge.
Ron Wakita from Reliable Guides and Charters also mentioned for those anglers who are interested into venturing to the Kitimat River that it is still running high, so be alert and cautious in the current. Even with the hot weather and the high level, the Kitimat is fishing solidly with many chinooks cruising through in these high waters. Looking forward, one the melt subsides more and the river stabilizes, the river should be a good bet to chinook fish.
Oscar’s has partnered with one of the longest serving and hardest working guides to offer guided Steelhead trips on the Bulkley River and on five different Nass River Tributaries.
Offered trips range from one day guided trips on the Bulkley River to week long holidays on the Bulkley River & Nass Tributaries.
Please contact us at Oscar’s should you have any questions or to check on availability!