Martin C - England
Now that I have slept/properly recovered, I would like to record – on behalf of myself & all in my fishing party – our thanks to everyone at Cascade Fishing Adventures.
The week we have just spent @ Chilliwack being guided on the Fraser River has truly realised for the 8 anglers involved, the fishing trip of a lifetime for all of us…………….both individually & collectively.
The fishing was “out of this world” + we recognise just how fortunate we have been. Over the 6 days, the final tally was 134 fish landed; of these, a staggering 24 involved sturgeon of 300lbs plus. 4 fish were estimated at over 400lbs each – with a top weight of 500lbs for a single fish of 10 feet in length, with a girth that measured at 50 inches !!
However, being a veteran of many fishing trips, I realise that catching fish is only a part of the experience. All of your guides, boats, tackle + organisation were first class and summed to an unforgettable Canadian adventure.
Many thanks to all of you (& to Maggie) – we shall return, as discussed. Best wishes
Chris Babbage - England
Barclay Schlosser, Kennedy Schlosser, Wyatt Schlosser - Saskatchewan
Michael Taylor - England
Craig Green - Scotland
Chris Klaassen - Chilliwack, B.C.
I just want to really thank you for the wonderful sturgeon fishing trip Joyce and I had with you on Friday. This was a lifelong dream come true for Joyce, and you made it perfect. From the moment we stepped on board, till being dropped off at the end of the day, you were very professional and relaxed, something Joyce commented on several times. Your experience on the river, knowledge of the fish and their environment, and obvious passion for what you do really shone through, and made it a day to remember. We will be recommending you to friends and are both looking forward to fishing with you again in the future.
Richard H. - Wales
On behalf of everyone on the trip I would like to thank you both and Clayton and Rob for a fantastic trip! It was a real privilege to spend time on the river seeking out those incredible sturgeon.
The effort and hard work that was put in to make this trip successful was greatly appreciated and has to be the best organized trip I have ever been on.
If you want to send me some more of your small brochures Pete will display them in his tackle shop and I am sure Mike will display them in his fishing hotel on the River Wye I am positive that you will receive a great deal of inquiries on the back of our trip as all of us will only have positive things to say.
Good luck to you all.
Michael Taylor - Hereford - England
I was looking forward to this trip so much, and it more than lived up to my expectations. Any one who loves fishing should give it ago with these guys. Great fun, great service, very professional and the whole trip was just excellent from start to finish.
We will definitely be recommending Cascade Fishing Adventures.
Martyn Page - England
As evidenced in this short video, Martyn loves to fish, and loves Fraser river sturgeon! He has visited our river 26 times over the years, fishing 8 days each time. There is no number of fish we need to catch when we fish together. Instead Martyn enjoys the hunt for sturgeon – we enjoy finding them in unusual locations, catching them with different techniques, and searching for that “one” fish, a sturgeon over 10 feet fork length. To enjoy the pursuit of these amazing fish and the sport of every sturgeon regardless of size as Martyn does, is an example of the pure enjoyment that fishing offers each and every time we are on the water. We hope you feel the same enthusiasm and respect for these fish as Martyn does should you have the opportunity to cross paths with these unique fish.
Doug Summers - England
Battling With White Sturgeon
On Sunday afternoon 1st June Sue, my wife, and I flew into Vancouver Airport in Canada’s British Columbia to start our six day holiday to fish for the White Sturgeon that inhabit the Fraser River. This was the first time we had been to Canada and we were looking forward to the challenges in front of us – we hoped!
We were met at the airport by Verne, our guide’s stepfather, who is a real character. We chatted with Verne and got a feel for the place while he drove us for the one and a half hours through some beautiful countryside to our hotel in a place called Chilliwack.
This is a lovely small town right by the Fraser River and where our guide Marc Laynes of Cascade Charters lives. Verne told us that Marc would come to the hotel in the morning to collect us at 08.30hrs for our first day on the river. So all that was left for us to do was to have a shower, go for a meal and get a good night’s sleep and contemplate the days to come.
Marc promptly arrived the next morning to collect us and he too is a great character, making us very welcome and making sure that we had everything we need for the trip ahead. He picked us up in his 8 liter Ford diesel pickup truck with his pride and joy behind; a custom-built all aluminum jet boat powered with a V8 engine. These boats don’t have a propeller, they suck water in underneath and pump a large jet out of the back to power them along, it is absolutely amazing the speed they can travel at, but it also has very comfortable seating for the passengers which is as well as you spend approximately 8 hours a day on the boat.
As he drove the short distance to the boat launch we chatted away getting to know one another. He has done a lot of work for the fisheries department, studying the White Sturgeon in great detail and is a leading authority on these fantastic fish. He is also an angler himself and has caught many of them up to 800lbs in weight whilst doing the survey. He is also a conservationist, caring very much for the river and its inhabitants. These fish are totally protected and every fish that is caught is measured and tagged (if not tagged already). The tags used are inserted under the skin behind the head and are the same type that we use for tagging our pet dogs and cats. Once in they are there forever. The White Sturgeon can grow to a length of 18 to 20 feet and weigh as much as 1800lbs.
We arrived at the boat launch and launched the boat and it was only now that we realized what a big powerful river the Fraser is. As we headed up river a short distance to our first spot of the day Marc started to tell us about the way we would fish and what to expect on the day. When we arrived he dropped the anchor and told us about the tackle we would be using.
Tackle Rods are 9ft long with a test curve of approximately six pounds, similar to an uptide rod but with an all-through action. The reels were large multipliers backed with heavy nylon and topped off with 300 meters of 160lb breaking strain braided main line. This might seem very heavy but when you actually fish the river and catch some of these fish you can understand why such line strength is necessary. The terminal tackle is very simple, being a link swivel running on the line to clip the leads onto, which allows the leads to be removed easily before lifting a fish into the boat. The link swivel is stopped by a bead against the swivel that joins the mainline to the hook trace which is 80lb breaking strain nylon. At the end of this is a 7/0 stainless steel barbless hook. The leads vary in weight from a few ounces up to 1lb, depending where on the river you fish and how fast the current is, because the Fraser is a very fast river in places.
The bait was Brook Lamprey, usually three were put on the hook and then tied round the shank of the hook with some thin cotton. We also used sections of Sea Lamprey and also Salmon roe; the latter was placed into a piece cut off a pair of black tights, made into a small ball about the size of a golf ball, put on the hook and then some roe was tied around this with cotton to secure it in place. Now that caused a few frowns and laughs when Marc pulled a pair of these out. “Hang on a minute, I’m not into that game!” I said.
Now, would the sturgeon be interested? The hooks were baited and finally put out to the spots and the rods placed in the holders. All we could do now was wait to see if the sturgeon were interested. While we were waiting Marc explained how a bite would look and I was surprised how delicately these fish bite, showing only very gentle taps on the rod tip.
Marc explained that when this happens you have to take the rod out of the holder and lower the rod slightly to take the tension out of the line, and then the Sturgeon should start to move off with the bait. When this happens you don’t strike in the usual accepted manner but sweep the rod back and hook into the fish. However, if the fish swims towards you, then you reel into it, only pulling the rod round when you actually feel the fish.
We did not have to wait long for the tell-tale taps to appear on one of the rods, so I lifted it out of the holder and waited to feel the rod go over. I then pulled into the fish, which shot off on a short run at an alarming rate, but within a few minutes I had landed my first White Sturgeon. Although only a small one it gave a good account of itself and its colors were absolutely stunning. They looked like an opal in the sunlight with all the colors of the rainbow from different angles and I could not wait to play another one. Marc told us that on average we should catch five fish a day but we would have to wait to see how things panned out. But sure enough, by the end of the first day we had boated five fish with the biggest at 55lbs. This fish took some 80yds of line on its first run and came right out of the water twice, which was an awesome sight. We hooked several other fish during the day but they are experts at getting rid of the hooks. Marc said he was disappointed with the result and could not understand why so many fish picked the bait up only to drop it within seconds, but apparently this is what they sometimes do so you just have to persevere and be patient, which was very easy to do when fishing in such beautiful surroundings.
The second day was much like the first. We fished a different area of the river and landed a few fish and lost a few but they were still being very finicky. At the end of day two Marc said he would take us to his favorite part of the river the next day and hopefully the Sturgeon there would be more obliging.
Day Three and some spectacular scenery and wildlife
Marc picked us up at 8.00am and we set off. We arrived at the boat launch and set off up river, which was surrounded by some of the most spectacular scenery I have seen in my life, with snow-capped mountains rolling right down to the riverbank. There was also a lot of different wildlife, including seals, otters, deer, bald eagles and osprey, which made the day even more interesting.
We caught one or two fish in different spots going upriver and saw Sturgeon to about 300lbs rolling through the surface, which is an awesome sight when a fish of that size lazily rolls a few feet away from the boat. Unfortunately it happened so quickly we couldn’t get any photographs of it and the fish were still being very finicky.
We arrived at our final spot for the day, put the rods out and sat back, waiting, and in the meantime watching a few fish roll. Eventually I had a good take and was into a fish that just tried to pull my arms out of their sockets. It took about 70yds of line on its way up river, came back and then set off again. Marc couldn’t understand why it hadn’t jumped clear of the water as they generally do very soon after being hooked. He was beginning to wonder if it was foul hooked.
The fight was a dogged affair but the power of these fish is unbelievable. But after 20 minutes I managed to get it to the surface and we could see that it was cleanly hooked in the mouth. Marc removed the lead and told me what to do to get the fish into the boat and safely into the stretcher that he carries to put the fish into. The fish was checked for tags and it had an old tail tag in it from 1997 and had not been caught since. So Marc duly measured the fish and inserted a new tag behind its head and then after a few pictures she was released none the worse for her experience. She was a beautiful long nose specimen and weighed 90lbs.
We fished some of the spots we had fished previously and caught a few and lost a few fish during the day but no big fish put in an appearance apart from rolling near the boat, much to our frustration. To end the day Marc decided as a last ditch effort to go to a spot he only fishes on rare occasions. We arrived and anchored the boat in about 25ft of water and put the rods out. Within minutes the tell-tale knocks started and stopped just as quickly. After about half an hour we decided to call it a day so I picked the left hand rod up and, remembering what Marc had told me on day one, not to just pick the rod up but pull it round just in case a fish was sitting with a bait in its mouth, which apparently is quite a common occurrence. As I pulled the rod round everything was solid. I told Marc I was snagged, which he said was odd because there were no snags there. “Pull hard,” he said. “It must be a fish sitting with the bait in its mouth.”
I did as I was told and then all hell broke lose as the fish came straight to the surface like a dolphin and then proceeded to power across the river, taking nearly 300yds of line off the reel in under 60 seconds. Marc was frantically pulling the anchor up, asking me all the time what was happening and just before the knot that joins the braid to the nylon went out he got the boat engine fired up and in reverse and chased after the fish.
I slowly gained the line back that the fish had taken on the first run when off it went again and jumped clean out of the water. Then it headed back upstream. At one stage it was swimming upstream so fast against the current Marc had to speed the boat up quite a lot to stop it overtaking us. Marc asked how big I thought it was because he had not seen it so I told him I thought it was bigger than the one I caught yesterday. After some 25 minutes the fish eventually surfaced and Marc managed to remove the lead but, because the current in the river where we were was so strong, we had to tow the fish across the river to the slacker water. It was 35 minutes later when the fish was boated. It was a short nose fish that measured 191cm (six feet three and three eighths inches long). The sturgeon had never been tagged before, which meant it had never been caught before that day, so I was a very lucky angler in more ways than one. The fish weighed 130lbs and was absolutely awesome and stunningly beautiful, with amazing markings. After a few pictures she was returned to the river and then the emotions of what had happened set in. Anyone who has caught something that they have really been hoping for and determined to catch will know what I mean.
The last two days we fished hard and managed to catch some more fish up to nearly five feet long. I had 24 Sturgeon in all but Marc was disappointed that I did not catch a fish over 250lbs. Maybe next time – yes I will be going back and have already booked to return next year. It was a wonderful holiday in beautiful surroundings with a great guide and if anyone reading this would like to go and try and catch this wonderful fish contact Anglers World Holidays on 01246 221717 and ask for Martin Founds. He will be able to advise and book everything for you, I can highly recommend it.
S.P - England
We’ve been back in the UK for about a week and I’m just about through the jet lag period now and getting back to some normality.
I have to thank you both for providing me with another spectacular and exciting trip to the Fraser and didn’t I just pick the right straw, to land a 300lb fish! I’m waiting for Colin to send me the photo’s so that I can boast about this good fortune to a number of my friends to whom I shall of course put the achievement down very heavily to my own unrivaled skill and ability!
We all know that this is of course not the case and I have to really credit the catch to Marc’s unquestionably superb guiding skills and a large dose of good fortune!
I also really enjoyed our last evening together and It was a great pleasure at last, to meet you Maggie and your charming daughter Jessica. Hope you like the attached photo.
Thanks again for a great time, take care of each other,
All the best
P, G, N, C, K, N, J and D - Ireland
Marc, you really did us proud while we were with you, the guys appreciate the effort and your company. I have not seen anyone try harder to make sure that their guests have a good time. The circumstances as we all recognised were difficult but you kept going until the end. It is a shame the fish did not play ball despite the rivers being carpeted with Salmon. Your persistence is a credit to you as is your sense of humor for putting up with “The Paddies” and “Johnny English” is to be admired!
We understand from another group from Ireland that the fishing improved after we lest, well that is fishing!
Joking aside, this is the third time we have had the privilege of fishing with you and it will not be the last, we will be back in two years and look forward to seeing you then, I will be in touch to make the arrangements next year.
D.M - England
Paul is an old friend but he’s also a good judge of character – he said we would like you and get on well – he was absolutely right. it was great meeting you and spending time together fishing something we would all very much like to repeat .
Keep well keep fishing.
D.H - Vancouver, British Columbia
Just want to say my husband Kenn and our son Perry had a very wonderful – fun time with Mark on their day fishing for sturgeon!
My son said it was the best present I bought !!!
Yours in fishing
H.N - Sweden
Thank you for a wonderful fishing trip and for the fish of a life time for us both. This was the with no doubt the best day on our trip to Vancouver and i really hope that i can come back some day.
M.C - England
Did Jon email you pictures of our three 7 footers & my 8 footer we caught on our last day? I know you have a pic of Jon’s 8’10” from Chris.
I’m hoping to fish with you again next year.
All the very best.
J.A - England
Everything was well beyond my expectations and I can’t wait to get out for another trip. Lots of people in the shop will ask me about my holiday and I’ll be sure to pass on your details. I have attached pictures of some of the bigger fish Mike and I were lucky enough to catch.
All the very best to you and thanks once again.
E.E - British Columbia
We had an absolutely incredible trip with C.J. All four of us had the rare privilege of landing a sturgeon. It was a unique and surreal experience hooking and battling those magnificent animals and looking prehistoric time in the eye. Their jumping and breaching makes for an incredible display. After surrendering their freedom to us for a short time, we were pleased to see them go off and return to their dark and watery environment of the mighty Fraser. The whole trip was an incredible thrill and experience for us.
C.J. is a great guide, and in spite of not feeling well, he did an outstanding job of guiding us. We’d go out with him any time.
Thank you for making the arrangements. Everything worked out very well.
Thanks again and best of luck to Cascades Fishing Adventures for the rest of the season.
L.M - California
As far as the extra adventure went – please know we were not disappointed. The down time – sitting idle and soaking in the glorious scenery, sharing stories and laughter – could not have been more welcomed. Andrew and I felt badly for Marc about the fuel pump breaking. I expressed to Marc that we were happy to pay full fare for the day, however he insisted the credit to be given as it was the right thing to do. Your professionalism and generosity are appreciated.
If you ever find yourselves heading down to California, please do not hesitate to look us up. We would love to return the joy you gave us and show you our neck of the woods (San Francisco to Big Sur, the Wine Country to Tahoe).
Thank you both again for one amazing adventure! We are already trying to see when we can return.
(EDIT from Marc at Cascade Fishing Adventures: We broke down after 6 hours of the 8 hour trip. This is an unfortunate reality with boats – some components give you no warning. In this instance, the high pressure fuel pump ceased to operate. Thankfully, our Fraser river sturgeon were obliging and hospitable! We made our way back to town at the end of the day, no worse for wear.)
M.D - Saskatchewan
Well Mark that was an awesome time. Awesome fish, but a good visit as well. Was good to meet you and this trip was no comparison to my first one. Not only because of the fish but because of you.
I mean that and we shall keep in touch.
B.M - Ontario, Canada
Here are a few pictures we picked out but as you know, we took a million or so and we’re having a great time looking at all of them and showing them to family and friends.
What a great trip!!! You made it all happen for us, and you exceeded our expectations tremendously.
Thanks so much from the both of us, and we’ll look forward to the next time.
We’ll also refer anyone to you at every opportunity. All the best.
J and J.D - England
The Fraser river is just so beautiful and so varied, the sturgeon are a great fighting fish and we thoroughly enjoyed ourselves hanging on to the rods for dear life. Both Marc and CJ were excellent guides, all our mistakes carefully corrected- we only dropped one fish and landed 18. The whole Cascades Fishing is a very professional outfit, nothing is too much trouble and they really work hard ensuring you catch fish. They supply top notch rods and reels which make the experience even more pleasurable.
The Chilliwack Coast hotel was very comfortable and friendly place to stay. We ate out most evenings but the hotel food is good. Locally we had the best Indian meal outside of India ! cannot rate the Shandahar Hut high enough. Everyone recommended the Capital (Chinese)-the peppered halibut and coconut prawns were superb.
T.P - British Columbia
I have just returned home after fishing with Marc on Monday. We had an incredible day. Thank you for all of your assistance. Everything worked out just like you said it would. We enjoyed our stay at the Coast.
Thank you again for a great day on the water, we are certainly bragging up the day and recommending Cascade to all our friends.