from some of the BEST PLACES TO FISH !
10th November, 2009: FISHING REPORT: Port Alberni
Inlet, Barkley Sound, Ucluelet (West Coast), Somas-Stamp River System.
by Doug Lindores of
Salmon Sport Fishing
Toll Free Number: 1-
888 214 7206
November rains, wind, and first real winter storm have come. Basically the 2009
saltwater sport fishing season has come to an end. The fall weather for the most
part has been magnificent. Some great fishing on the coast and out in scenic
Barkley Sound continued well into October. This is not to say that there will
not be some great early winter days of feeder Chinook fishing, bottom fishing
and prawn fishing for those anglers keen to be on the water. The Stamp River
Coho fishing in October was fantastic as well over 60,000 Coho entered the
system through the Stamp Falls counters. Currently the Stamp in the Upper
section of the river is experiencing terrific Steelhead fishing which will
continue well into March of 2010.
The Last Somass River Escapement
Bulletin was released on November 3rd. The Somass system is a “key stream” for
Sockeye, Chinook, and Coho. Sockeye and Coho returns to the system were much
higher than the preseason forecast. Chinook returns were unfortunately much
lower. Fisheries and Oceans Canada in partnership with the Hupacasath First
nation run a counting operation at various sites from late May through October.
“In September all salmon passing through the Stamp Falls fish way are counted by
trained and experienced observers. The observers identify the fish to species
and estimate the portion of jacks by relative size and estimate the portion of
marked fish.” “The migration through the fish way is videotaped for later
verification of daytime real-time counts. Real-time observations are typically
greater than 95% accuracy.” The counting is very close but on days of high
rainfall the river dramatically rises and visibility becomes very poor which
often means the fish way is closed. This has been a recent scenario.
duration of the last week of counting at the Stamp Falls counters saw very few
salmon come through. The high day for Chinook was 66 with the seasons’ total
escapement into the river for natural spawn and to Robertson Creek Hatchery hit
11,600. The high day for Coho was 236 with a total escapement of 63,184. Sockeye
escapement to Sproat lake and Great Central Lake is approximately 400,000.
Escapement of various salmon
species to other key streams around the Greater Alberni Inlet and Barkley Sound
reported by the DFO are as follows:
Nahmint River- 84 Chinook, 1160 Sockeye, 296 Coho, and 4, 775 Chum.
Sarita River - 425 Chinook, 414 Coho and 6,000 Chum.
Clemens Creek- 52 Chinook, 19,245 Sockeye, 2,765 Coho and 182 Chum.
Port Alberni Inlet / Barkley Sound
Port Alberni Inlet has been relatively quiet in terms of any sport fishing. At
times during the latter part of January and into February the Franklin-Nahmint
area often has some winter Chinook that come up to feed on bait fish. A couple
of local anglers each year seem to do well at this time using anchovy and
various hootchies. One local Port Alberni Fisherman had a few good sized feeder
Chinook last winter in the mid-twenty pound range. Most of his success came
between Bells Bay and the Franklin Wall. The 2010 Sockeye season early reports
and reviews are looking very promising. If conditions in terms of water
temperatures in the Inlet and Somass River are ideal the Sockeye sport fishery
will often get underway by mid-June. Mid August through September is ideal for
Chinook and Coho. Expectations for the 2010 sport fishing season in the Port
Alberni Inlet is looking very good.
Barkley Sound and areas around
Bamfield are now slow. Up until a week to ten days after the Thanksgiving
weekend there were still a few Coho swimming the waters and some anglers were
targeting Chum around the Sarita Bay area. We will begin some guiding for Winter
Chinook in December. Often the best fishing occurs later in January and
continues through March or even early April. The Herring spawn brings in a good
number of fish. The largest feeder Chinook picked up last year by one guide was
26 pounds. The best spots for winter Chinook are Vernon Bay, Swale Rock, Canoe
Pass Area, Pill Point and quite often there is some good fishing in Samateo and
Sarita Bay. The Winter Chinook are in deeper water. Most sport fishermen have
their gear from 110 to 140 feet. Various white, green and bluey colored
hootchies and bait are often the best lures. Samateo and Sarita Bay are at times
the two spots where the salmon are not as deep. Often these two areas have fish
from 50 to 80 feet. Sarita Bay was in fact one of the best spots to fish for
feeder Chinook last winter.
The summer of 2010 is expected to
be as good as this past summer. There should be a very good migratory flow of
Chinook and Coho. This often means that the fishing along the surf line of the
Sound is very good in June, July and August. Of course in early August salmon
returning to their natural streams in the Barkley Sound/Port Alberni Inlet area
begin to arrive.
winter storms have arrived and most residents and guides have been winterizing
their sport fishing and guide boats. We will have availability all winter for
those wishing to fish the west coast. The Ucluelet Harbor and areas very close
to the harbor like the “red can” are very easy and often productive areas to
fish during the winter. There are often some great days out on the ocean also.
The area has a lot of rich natural bait fish which attracts the feeder Chinook.
On those great winter days we will fish Great Bear, the Lighthouse Bank, Mara
Rock, a couple of the closer banks and also parts of Barkley Sound. Guides Mike
and Bob had some great fishing last winter in the quiet waters located around
Mayne Bay and the back side of Swale Rock both located in the waters of the
Sound. Bottom fishing, prawning, and crab fishing is also excellent during the
winter. There are some DFO restrictions which will be posted. It is important to
read all regulations before venturing on any fishing trip. Our Seafood Safari
will begin in late March or early April.
Somas - Stamp River
fishing is currently on fire especially in the upper river. Guide boats are
entering the river at the hatchery and doing very well. Guests from Edmonton
during the past week did well in three boats playing up to twelve fish in each
of the boats. On Friday and Saturday (November 6th and 7th) two novice fishermen
who were a father son pairing landed nine Steelhead and two very chrome Coho.
November in the Stamp River is the month that the Steelhead begin a feeding
frenzy. They really pound the gravel beds eating freshly dropped eggs from
mainly Chinook. The Summer Steelhead fatten up for their winter stay before
heading back out into the North Pacific in the spring. The Ministry of
Environment will often truck the earlier Summer Steelhead that come to the
hatchery back to the lower portions of the river. When this occurs the fishing
in both the Upper and the Lower River becomes very good. This should happen in
the next week or two.
temperature of the water in the Stamp is about 11 degrees. We are now fishing
conventionally. There is a bait ban in the upper river. This ban is year round.
We are using all artificials including Alaskan beads, artificial eggs, wool fly
patterns that look like eggs and various small numbered spin’n glows. The Stamp
Falls Pool will open up on the 15th of November. This should be a great area for
many to fish. The rain and the water released from the Great Central Lake Dam
has put a lot of water in the river and has made it difficult to fish for those
not using a jet or drift boat. Many avid fishermen who are on the banks are in
disbelief of the boats that pass them and each time the fishermen aboard seem to
be hooked into a fish. Summer Steelhead fishing can often continue until mid
December or even longer. The winters often begin to show up about the 20th of
November. We are expecting some unbelievable Stamp River Steelhead fishing for
the rest of the fall season and the early part of the winter and carry right on
For more information
Slivers Charters Salmon Sport Fishing
+1 250 724 2502 (h)
+1 250 731 7389 ©
Toll Free Number: 1-
888 214 7206