from some of the BEST PLACES TO FISH !
12th October 2012: 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
fall summer like weather has continued in much of British Columbia. Most
Vancouver Island areas have been experiencing warm wonderful days with day time
temperatures ranging between twenty to twenty-five degrees celsius. The
Thanksgiving weekend saw Port Alberni at 27 degrees on one day during the three
day weekend which often marks the end of summer camping and Saltwater angling.
The 2012 summer sport fishing season has come to an end for most saltwater
locations in British Columbia. Chum fishing is often a hit in a few areas.
Browns Bay close to Campbell River is experiencing a good return of Chum salmon
and is one area where sport fishing has continued with excellent results. We can
only look forward to the 2013 saltwater fishing season which many anglers are
forecasting and/or predicting to be very good in most Pacific Rim areas. Ocean
conditions have been very good for stocks returning next spring and summer.
Mortality rates have been low and food for salmon stocks out in the North
Pacific Ocean have been fairly abundant. This is often a great indicator for the
salmon stocks returning to Pacific Rim rivers, creeks, and streams is well under
way. The salmon are wanting to quickly move to their spawning grounds but there
has been a general lack of water in most of the area. The region is suprisingly
experiencing drought like conditions with little percipitation since early in
the summer. It is hoped that the forecast for rain in the next few days occurs.
Chinook and Coho returning to the Somass-Stamp system for example have not been
totally haulted but rain will bring in the many fish holding in the inlet and
Somass River mouth. Rain finally is in the long term weather pattern with heavy
rain forecast to hit the Pacific Coast during the weekend of October 13th. This
should help the migration of the salmon not only in the Stamp but also the many
other systems in this area and the rest of British Columbia especially those
areas in the Pacific North West. Fresh salmon are however entering the Somass-Stamp
River system daily (even with low water). Over the last five or six days the
mornings and late evenings have had a good push of bright silver Coho. With rain
in the immediate weather pattern there should be a large migration of salmon in
all of the river systems.
The Stamp River is one of British
Columbia’s premier fishing rivers. There is an opportunity to fish almost twelve
months of the year. Sockeye salmon begin in May and continue into August.
Usually the last week of August the Stamp River will open for Chinook and Coho
stocks which continue into November. The Summer, Fall, and Winter Steelhead
fishing occurs from July, for Summer Steelhead, right through until late April.
The Winter Steelhead season usually begins in mid December.
The Stamp River is divided into
three sections. The Upper River is above Stamp Falls. The Mid River is below the
falls and above “the bucket”. The Lower River is below “the bucket”. Usually by
this time of year most of the salmon except for Chum have moved from the Lower
River to the Upper portion. With the current dry weather pattern only sixty to
seventy percent of the Chinook and possibly half of the total expected Coho have
pushed through into the Upper Stamp. To Date approximately 11,000 to 12,000
Chinook have gone through the fishway counters and 21,000 to 22,000 Coho salmon
have passed through. Many of the Chinook and Coho are hatchery fish and will
make their way to Robertson Creek Hatchery. The Hatchery needs approximately
2,000 females to obtain an egg count of fifty-seven million. There is also a
natural spawn of Chinook and Coho on the river. It is expected that if heavy
rain occurs the river will fill with much needed water and many new fish will
quickly move to the hatchery and upper river.
current conditions on the Stamp are not that favorable for salmon migration. The
water is at the lowest level in twenty-five years. The water temperature in the
afternoons is about fifteen or sixteen degrees celsius. The salmon however have
not been impeded and are making their way slowly to their “final destination”.
For many guides and guests the fishing in the Lower River over the past ten to
fourteen days has been quite good. Guests have been hooking into many Coho and
have been landing limits aboard jet boats. Most of the Coho are averaging eight
to eleven pounds and are quite bright. The Chinook have been hanging around in
the system a little longer but there still are a few bright Chinook in the mix.
With low water conditions the best lures have been what one would call
“hardware”. In the lower and upper river the Coho have been hitting kitimats,
crocodiles, and the Gibbs Coho spoon---has been a very good lure. Of course in
the lower river roe or roe bags have both been doing very well. Bait is allowed
to be used in the lower portion of the river below “the bucket” ONLY. With low
water and a natural spawn taking place this time of year could be called fly
fishermens haven for those fishing especially for Fall Steelhead which are also
in good numbers especially in the Upper River. The conditions are pretty much
perfect for those avid fly fishermen. The Steelhead are becoming very lively
with the loose eggs that are floating. The once sedentary Steelhead are now
becoming very active and are not only hitting flies for those avid fly fishermen
but also gooey bobs, white, pink, orange, and combination colors of wool for
conventional anglers. Those not using a guide or boat the walking access is
favorable for those fishing conventionally or fly fishing. There is a lot of
private property and using these spots is not allowed. One can enter the river
at the rifle range or use Service Road and walk the river down to Dolans Pit.
The Slide Pool and Eagle Rock are both excellent spots as is Stamp Falls Park,
Black Rock, and Moneys Pool. If the weather does change and the area experiences
a healthy amount of rainfall the fish will make a very quick push to the Upper
River. The salmon one might say are very tempermental and want to spawn either
at the hatchery or naturally in the system.
With rain definitely on the way
anglers and guides with guests will begin to concentrate fishing the Upper
River. If the water rises guiedes with more than likely switch to colorados and
continue using gooey bobs and spin glows. Fly fishermen should continue with
some great fishing on the fly into the Remembrance Day Weekend.
Port Alberni Inlet | Barkley Sound
in the Alberni Inlet is all but over even though there is a substantial number
of Coho waiting in the Harbor-Inlet area for rain to help them easily move to
their spawning grounds. We are expecting next years Sockeye fishery to begin by
mid June or earlier. This years Sockeye returns were slightly less than
predicted with just over 825,000 Sockeye returning to either Sproat Lake or
Great Central Lake. Final Chinook and Coho returns will not be known until later
in November. Sockeye fishing is a fantastic family fishery and most years begins
in mid June through to the beginning of August.
Barkley Sound has had some
wonderful days on the water over the last few weeks but the fishing has been
slow. There have been a few big straggling Coho along the surf line and also the
Bamfield Wall, Sarita Bay and Fleming Island. The last weekend of September and
the first day or two of October we had two boats fishing Meares and Austin
Island where eight nice Feeder Chinook weighing up to fourteen pounds were
landed by guests from Saskatchewan. These fish were deep close to Austin Island
and were hitting Anchovy behind a Rhys Davis chartreuse or halloween teaser
head. Leader lengths were six feet behind a green or chartreuse glow hotspot
flasher. Three Coho all weighing fifteen pounds were also landed. The Coho in
the sound have been hitting white and green hootchies and also a halloween
hootchie and several four inch coyote spoons. We are expecting some reasonable
feeder Chinook fishing to occur in the Sound during October if sufficient
amounts of bait move in. There are some good sized schools of feeders just
offshore and if the sound has bait these salmon will move in to feed. Good
Winter or feeder Chinook fishing usually occurs from late February into May in
Barkley Sound. Next summer should once again see some excellent Chinook and Coho
fishing. The summer of 2012 had the best fishing in June, July, and the first
part of August. Every year is different and obviously we will see what next year
Ucluelet (West Coast)
have been some fantasitc days out on British Columbia’s extreme West Coast. The
weather has created brilliant sunshine and warm afternoons with flat water. The
various banks have produced some nice Feeder Chinook weighing six to ten pounds.
There have also been a few late
Coho that have been eight to fifteen pounds. The Turtle Head, Jenna Reef,
Lighthouse Bank and a few areas close to the Harbour have been fairly decent.
The Chinook have been close to the bottom as they are feeding on needlefish.
Coyote spoons in the 3.5 inch size and needlefish hootchies have been the best
lures. Ucluelet is one area on B.C.’s rugged coastline that anglers have
opportunity to land a twenty pound salmon twelve months of the year. Naturally
when weather patterns change during the late fall and winter months it can be
very difficult to get out on the open water but there are some wonderful days
between weather systems and many anglers take advantage of this and have some
wonderful opportunities fishing salmon on the coast.
Over the past month a few charter
boats from the Bamfield area and Ucluelet have been taking advantage of the warm
water current and beautiful flat water and have been going out to the Barkley
Canyon which is fifty nautical miles offshore to fish Tuna.
There have been some excellent
results with many limits of tuna averaging twenty-two pounds. As the weather
changes in the fall this will be a difficult fishery for sport anglers.
For more information
Slivers Charters Salmon Sport Fishing
+1 250 724 2502 (h)
+1 250 731 7389 ©
Toll Free Number: 1-
888 214 7206