- Cascade Fishing Adventures
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The current conditions on the Fraser river are certainly not in the normal mode for this time of year. Water temperatures are higher than normal by approximately 3 degrees Celcius and water volumes are down 30% for this time of year. This is a direct result of a very easy winter with low snowfalls and an unseasonably dry spring. We have not had any significant rainfall since early May it seems!
All that aside, our fish seem healthy and chinook and Early Stuart river sockeye salmon are entering the Fraser river on their upriver migration. On the topic of chinooks, we won’t see a Fraser river chinook opening until August 1, the latest chinook opening I can ever remember. This is quite surprising, considering the good numbers of chinooks that are returning at this time! Politics have again entered the rationale for the timing of the chinook opening, with the main issue being the bottom bouncing snag fishery that starts up with a salmon opening which means sockeye salmon will be intercepted. For those unaware, bottom bouncing is basically a snag fishery and is unquestionably a non-selective fishery. This year’s Early Start river sockeye are in their lowest year of their 4 year cycle and are meeting some abnormal water conditions. It is important to avoid encountering these fish. Unfortunately, bottom bouncing does not avoid sockeye encounters. Tackle restrictions are a viable option and I have been told by a very reliable source that Fisheries and Oceans will support tackle restrictions. A plan was in place that would allow a July 17 chinook opening which would easily avoid sockeye interception. Bar fishing would be allowed and bottom bouncing would be restricted to a 3 foot leader. However, the majority of the “anglers” and “businessmen” that sit on the angler advisory committees do not want to see tackle restrictions. Their common cry is “stay out of our tackle box”. This lack of support from the main board shot the fishing opportunity down. Not because they COULDN’T fish, but because they couldn’t fish they way they wanted to and allow their so called “constituents” to snag fish all day long. Had this tackle restriction been implemented, there would be a salmon fishery on the Fraser river right now, for chinook salmon. It is unfortunate that a lack of angling knowledge, all important tackle sales and the majority of the guiding industry cannot see its way out of the horrendous snag fishery it desperately is trying to maintain ($$$$$) and that has such a negative effect on our once upon a time, regular fishery openings. Pat yourselves on the backs, boys! You know who you are! You win again. Until August 1, you can’t snag fish, and we can’t actually fish for chinooks.
To be clear, I have sat on all of these local fishing boards and committees in the past. Nothing has changed since I left (to maintain personal sanity) – the same people are taking care of “business”, and anything positive for angling at these meetings is shot down behind the scenes or by the squeakiest, whiniest wheel.
Bar fishing with spinning glos is a great way to target chinooks. This year’s water conditions are perfect for bar fishing, particularly the clarity of the water. As well, some of the best chinook fishing is August through the first week of September. The anglers in the know are anxiously waiting for the bar fishing season to begin.
Sturgeon fishing has been pretty spotty over the last couple months. We are all scratching our heads over what makes these fish do what they do, however, this is not the first time I’ve seen them be difficult! Its called fishing, and when you fish sturgeon for 30 years, you begin to see some of the long term cycles within the river. It looks like sturgeon fishing is starting to pick up again, and this is right on schedule! We still have some availability for selected dates for late July and August, so if you are interested in trying sturgeon fishing, its a good time of year to be on the water.
If you are a new angler, September is a great month to get involved in fishing as the pink salmon horde moves through the Fraser river. It is anticipated that 15 million pinks will return to the Fraser river this year. Pinks are aggressive and therefore easy to catch with a variety of methods. This fishery provides a great opportunity to take kids fishing! We have some limited availability for September pink salmon fishing, so if you are interested, give us a call or send us an email.
Thanks for your time and we hope you enjoy the beautiful summer weather out there. Be safe and have fun.
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.