- Cascade Fishing Adventures
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Many of our trips key in on Fraser river sturgeon, but we enjoy plenty of other angling opportunities on our rivers such as fishing for chinook salmon.
Chinook salmon are the largest Pacific salmon, with weights exceeding 90 lbs. in some North American rivers. The commercial catch record chinook is 126 pounds, caught near Rivers Inlet on the west coast of British Columbia.
Chinook salmon can be readily caught using several angling methods in both salt water and fresh water. On the Fraser river and tributaries, chinooks can be angled by bar fishing spinning glows, casting spoons, hanging spinners, float fishing roe and other natural baits, and they will take a fly with the right water conditions! Fishing conditions generally dictate which method will work better over another.
The best time to fish for chinook has varied over the years. Current regulations allow anglers to fish for chinooks on the Fraser river around the 3rd week of July.
July, August and early September provides some of the best summer chinook salmon, particularly the latter part of the season. With turbid (silty) water conditions, the best option to utilize is bar fishing. Bar fishing is simply anchoring a spinning glow approximately 6 – 12 inches off the bottom. A sedentary fishing option, it requires patience and a comfortable place to wait. However, when there are numbers of fish moving through the system, an experienced bar fishing angler will easily out-fish those employing other methods, including the dreaded bottom bouncing snag-fest that has plagued our rivers. Traditionally, anglers would fish from shore, knocking in rod holders on the beach to hold their rods while the spinning glow did its work in the river. Anchoring off the bar in the flow with a boat is a much nicer way to fish in my opinion and allows the angler a quick get-away to try another area. There are numerous tricks to bar fishing that improve the odds of success, but that is where the use of a crafty guide or seasoned angler comes into play.
Another run of chinook salmon begins in late September and moves through the Fraser into the Harrison river until the end of October. The Harrison is a short but reasonably wide river that flows into the Fraser at Chilliwack, BC. The Harrison river is a beautiful clear river that offers tremendous spawning habitat for adults and rearing habitat for juvenile fish. In addition, the Harrison supports good numbers of cutthroat trout, rocky mountain whitefish and dolly varden. These fish are the Harrison river chinooks and are white fleshed with a slightly different build than their summer counterparts. The summer fish are a little more torpedo shaped while the Harrison white chinook are shorter and stockier. The Harrison white chinooks also grow larger on average than the summer run chinooks. These days, a good summer fish would range in weight from 20 -25lbs. Sure, they get bigger but we don’t see those bigger fish that often anymore. On the other hand, a 25lb Harrison river chinook would be rated small or just average. Harrison river chinooks reach 40lbs often, and there are many even larger!
For the fall run chinook, you can troll plugs, hang spoons and spinners, and bar fish with spinning glows.
On our charters, you can fish for both chinooks and sturgeon on the same day, and it won’t cost you anything extra. We do recommend taking an 8 hour day to get the best chance at success. If you wish to keep a chinook, you will need to add a freshwater salmon supplement tag to your basic licence. If you are going to catch and release your fish, you will only need a basic angling licence – no salmon tag is required. The daily limit for chinook is one adult per day, with a possession limit of two.
Whether you are looking for a day trip fishing or you want to stay longer, we can arrange everything from your pickup at the airport in a limo, to your hotel accommodation and the best guided fishing tours in the Fraser Valley. Please contact Marc or Maggie on Toll Free: 1-877-887-4366 or use our contact form.