Friday, August 13, 2010

Latest Sportfishery Update from Oscar's Sports

Here is the latest sportfishery update from Bob at Oscar's Source for Sports in Smithers.

The Promise of Steelhead

Just glancing over the Tyee Index for Steelhead, and must say the numbers look encouraging. The 1998-2002 seasons were the glory years, and those of you fishing then probably have many fond memories of that period. The numbers this year show the closest to those wonderful times over the last ten years.

Of course, a lot of things can happen, and often do when it comes to fishing. But by nature anglers are more glass half full than glass half empty people and time on the river is really never wasted. As Roderick Haig-Brown so wisely said "If fishing is just an excuse to be close to rivers, I'm glad I thought of it." So, if the numbers look good, we think it is going to be good, and we always go out there optimistically.

Steelhead are now being taken in the Skeena system. Most of the Steelhead have been taken as incidental catches from those anglers targeting the Sockeye. However, from the first of August, Steelhead fanatics start to concentrate on their passion. Upriver on the Skeena, Steelhead can be caught by mid month. These first fish can be particularly predisposed to the dry fly and many anglers will only fish for them with the dry. It is heart stopping looking downstream and seeing that white mouth come up and inhale your waking fly.

Tyee Coho Index

Coho numbers according to the Tyee Index are close to the ten year average. Fisheries predictions were for a good or better season than 2009 and early catches down the Douglas Channel and out of Rupert seem to bear that out. We have had some great catches reported from both locations and it is still early in the season.

Coho in the saltchuck can be taken on a wide variety of tackle. Anchovies in the Krippled holders are always a favourite. However, many times blue or green hoochies or needlefish can outfish the bait and you don't have to worry about your baits condition or whether it is still there. Apex work well for Coho and at times they can't leave the Coyote type spoons alone. It is wise to have an assortment of all the above lures in the right colours. Check at the marina or your speciality tackle shop for recommendations on what is working.

Coho are now in the Kitimat and coming into the Skeena. Spin-N-Glos, jigs, Gibbs Koho spoons, Vibrax and Mepps Spinners. Pixee Spoons are proven Coho catchers. More Coho are entering the rivers daily, building towards the end of the month around Terrace and in the Kitimat.

Sockeye Circus

Although the Sockeye run this year is not a big run at least there were enough for an opening allowing for an acceptable escapement. The Sockeye bring out a lot of anglers around Terrace. The fish here are very fresh bright fish and great fighters. Most anglers use red, pink or chartreuse flies bounced along the bottom or fly fish with an appropriate sink tip line. Up on the Babine fish can be going through the colour change. The Babine River is fly fishing only meaning a proper fly rod, reel and line. Sink tips in the 8-11 feet per second range are recommended. On Babine Lake anglers generally use a red Gamakatsu #1 Octopus hook with green or red beads behind a red or green flasher. The fish have been running at 25-45 feet deep but your depthfinder will tell you what depth they prefer that day. You can use barbed hooks in the lake but our streams of course are barbless.

Fishing Report

Kitimat River

Springs are now closed on the Kitimat. Chums are open and although it is not a big year for Chums they are a great fighting fish and well worth the effort. Pinks are still closed on the Kitimat unfortunately as they are a very popular and co-operative target. Please take care with releasing these pinks so they can spawn and hopefully rebuild to those huge runs we were used to. More Coho showing up and early indicators point to good returns.

Douglas Channel

Some great catches on Coho down the channel and now a few being taken in the harbour. Looks like a good return as predicted. Halibut reports improving as the runs come in.

Prince Rupert

Again, like the Douglas Channel some really good reports for the Coho fishery. Love it when the Coho are jumping in every direction and they are taking whatever you want to give them. Good Halibut fishing with bait or jigs.

Terrace area

Weather has been very warm and the Skeena dirtied up from the Copper. Some summer run Steelhead showing up. Sockeye a little slow with the murky water but that will improve. Coho now showing up around Terrace and on all downstream tributaries.

Kispiox River

The river is clear, but it is so low that it is really tough fishing and fish will have a tough time making it over the gravel bar at the mouth of the river.

Bulkley River

River is green and super low. Some nice Chinook are still being taken. Coho and Pinks are moving in, and it is time to bring out your little trout rod and have some fun with the Pinks! A couple of Steelhead have already been caught. Overall, fishing has been pretty good.

Morice River

River is looking good, but fishing has been tougher this year. People are starting to bring out their Steelhead gear.

WARNING: BEARS on all our rivers. It is their time of the year. A smart angler is very BEAR AWARE and carries PEPPER SPRAY!!!

A note from BC Parks

“Grizzley Bears are wild and unpredictable, use extreme caution in this [Babine River] area. Please adhere to all Park Rules as noted below.

Bear Information for Anglers

A sustainable fishery at the Babine River is dependent upon a safe environment for both people and bears. To achieve this, BC Parks sets out some guidelines for fishing at the Babine River. Detailed information about bear safety is also available at

[Give] bears plenty of room. Leave your fishing spot if a bear is in the river and give them plenty of space. If approached by a bear, reel in, and leave the area. Cut your line if playing a fish. You may return to your fishing spot when it is safe to do so.

Food and other attractants are not allowed on shore. All garbage must be stored within your vehicle, not left on sight.

Fish must be returned to a secured location within your vehicle immediately after capture.

Dogs must be kept on a leash.

Children must be accompanied by and adult at all times.

During the peak salmon fishing season in August, please refrain from fishing from 1 hour after sunset until 1 hour after sunrise to provide an undisturbed period for the bears to utilize the river corridor.
Follow all regulations on posted signs

Aggressive bear behaviour resulting from failure to comply with these regulations could result in temporary closure of the area to fishing; this would affect many. Don’t be the one responsible for a park closure.”

Steve Hidber
Oscar's Source for Sports
Box 550
1214 Main Street
Smithers, BC
V0J 2N0

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