The Port Hardy Steelhead season started strong in some rivers and brutally slow in others. We have been doing far better when the rivers are dropping, keep you presentation close to the bottom. Fish the structure and if you think the fish are moving, fish the heads and tailouts of the runs. If the water is slow fish the guts of the deep pools.
Pink worm, yarns, maribou jigs and beads have all been producing. Pink intruders, and smaller bright flies have been doing well too.
Squamish fishing report
The mainstem Squamish river has been producing if you are willing to put the time in to drive a good ways up past the Ashlue bridge. Sculpin patterns, beads and the white Wolly have been hooking many fish in the 2-6lbs range. The Cheakamus has been very busy, but still producing many fish, mostly on the 6, 8 and 10 mm beads in pink, peach and off-white. The Mamquam has been a bit slow since the salmon finished doing their thing in December so we have not spent much time there. But running a bead through the deeper runs usually produces a nice bull or two.
Book your Port Hardy fishing Charter while spots last.
The rivers have been up and down like a yo yo this fall. We were doing very well for coho on yarn and flies this fall. We have now shifted our focus to Steelhead in the Port Hardy area.
The Squamish area still has some bright coho around, the chum have gotten very dark in the last two weeks. We are now focusing on big bull trout and rainbow. The 8 mm and 10mm beads in peach and pink have been the hot ticket.
The Chinook fishing has been great for the last two weeks. Some days you need to do a little searching but the determined salmon angler should be able to find bites. The chinook we have been putting in the boat have come on 3.5 inch spoons with white on them, White Hootchies and good old fashioned anchovies. We have also caught some large fish on the 4-6b inch herring as well.
Depths have been spot specific, but keep one rigger close to bottom and move the other one around until you find them.
The coho, pinks and chum have been caught while fishing for big chinook and have been caught on the same gear, although the pink squirt will put a lot of pink and chum in the boat if that is what you are after.
The large halibut have moved into the channels and islands, feeding mostly on the slack tides. The Ling cod and rockfish have been much easier to catch on the tide change and during smaller swings, but drifting over the structure has also been producing fish. Most of our bottom fish have come on lead heads and cod jigs tipped with salmon belly or herring.
The weather has been great and so has the fishing in Port Hardy! Although waiting for the tide change has been important some days. The Chinook have been feeding heavily on squid, herring and needle fish.
Most of our chinook have been coming right off the bottom but some days the larger fish have been hitting at shallower depths. Bright green and purple uv flashers have been the hot ticket, spoons, herring anchovies and hootchies have all been working. The Coho have been through out the water column, and they have been hitting everything, fish further off shore in the tide line and you will find them. No retention of wild fish in area 12 after July so get out there.
The Halibut have come on the drift, anchored and troll, herring, salmon parts and jigs have all been working. Put your time in on your favourite hump, bank or hole and you will be rewarded if you fish hard enough. The Lingcod and rock fish have been on the bite lately too, but we have been focusing on the great chinook fishing with most of our guests.
The Chinook fishing has been hot and heavy in Port Hardy for the last while. Many Boats having double digit days, at times it is tough to get two rods in the water. Many locations are producing nice fish. We have been finding our fish generally close to the bottom. White Hootchie, anchovy and small spoons have all been producing.
The Halibut fishing locally has picked up some nice halibut being caught in 220 to 330 feet of water.
The coho head has been the top producing bait for the last couple weeks. Trolling for them has also been producing if you are will to spend the time to drive to a location where they tend to hold in a bit shallower water. The anchovy has worked best on the troll for the halis lately. But large hootchies and Hearing have also produced some good flat ones for us.
Most of the chinook have been taken within 20 feet of the bottom, in 45 to 120 of water. They have been hitting the white hootchie, 4 inch spoons and anchovies. Green and purple flashers are working best. don’t be afraid to make your bait/spoon leader as long as 8 feet when things get tough. Work the tide line shallow, 30 and 40 have been working well for coho.
The halibut fishing has been productive to the north of port hardy, but things have been a bit slower locally due to the heavy commercial pressure. If you see the long liners working it is a good idea to move.
Spreader bars tipped with salmon belly herring and octopus have been working as well as the mudrakers.
The ling and Rockfish have really been feeding during the tide change, cod jigs, herring and mudrakers have all been working.
The Salt Water Fishing has been a little different every day we’ve been out on the water in the last 2 weeks. 2 weeks ago we were finding most of our #Chinook deep in the 90-120 range but the last week our larger fish were caught at 44 to 57 feet of water. The smaller tides made the Halibut fishing easier but the springs hard to find. This past weekend we saw a good push of much larger #Chinook in the 20-30 pound range, which was great to see this time of year. Looks like some of the fish held back last year due to the warmer water conditions. Hopefully we will see a good push of 5 year fish this season. We have been catching Chinook on almost everything in the last two weeks. One day it is a 6 inch Hearing the next it is a White Hootchie. What your running really depends on depth and what you see going on. There has been a lot of 4 inch Bait around, so Anchovy and small spoon is a good place to start.
Halibut were not hard to find a while ago, but this weekends strong tides made it a bit more interesting. We have been getting them on the troll and on the drift/anchor, just depends on water conditions. Mudrakers and spreader bars with hearing and salmon belly have been working well. 6 inch hearing and anchovies have been working well trolled right on the bottom in 60 to 120 feet of water.
Give us a shout if you would like to book a trip – http://fishhardercharters.com/tw-portfolio/contact/
May Fresh Water Report
The Steelhead bite was until solid until May 17th but has really been tough since then. Your best bet is to head to the Eve this time of year. Yarns, pink worm, and blades were working great earlier in the month.
The Columbia Chinook are running by Port Hardy and not many boats out there trying to catch them!
Fishing the 2-3 hours around the tide change seems to be key. The Chinook have been from 47 to 93 feet deep. Glow/green flashers and a 3 to 4 inch spoon in blues,greens and purples have been working well. (no need for bait right now)
There is not much kelp around this time of year so you are far better off fishing structure then shorelines. We have been getting a lot of fish on the backside of humps 10-30 feet off the bottom.
The Rockfish and Ling cod seem to be hungry, having not seen much gear this winter. focus your efforts on water in the 130 to 230ft range.
The Halibut are finally showing up in decent numbers. The fish are holding on deep soft bottom
structure in the 230 to 330 range. (that being said they will move onto the hard structure as well).
Salmon Belly, squid and herring are good baits this time of year. Always a good idea to have a big cod jig or mudraker going as well.
The Squamish System is in full swing for Steelhead. Numbers seem a bit lower then Normal but anglers willing to put in the time are still being rewarded with fish.
The tributaries are also fishing decent, fish the deep holes at low water and the tail outs and shallow inside seems when the water is up.
Pink/orange/White jigs and intruders have been fishing best for us lately but the 10mm bead is a go to if you want to stay busy. The big bulls and rainbow seem to be crushing them in the last two weeks.
Fry Patterns in the Squamish river have also been doing well. The nice thing about swinging a fry is they don’t need to be right on bottom.
The Lake fishing is off to a slow start with many of the small lakes frozen over, but the larger ice free lakes off been touch any go, the fry seem to be hard to find at times but move your gear around and cover water until you find fish then stay on them.
We will be fishing North Vancouver exclusively from April 15th to early September. (still offering Sturgeon trips through Dave Backcountry fishing adventures)
Port Hardy (North Island) Fresh Water Fishing report
The Lakes have been fishing very well for trout! Micro leaches in red and black have been fishing very well.
Many of the steelhead on the east side of the island with the exception of the Eve have return to the salt.
The rivers on the west side of the island still have some fish but they can be really tough to find when the water gets low, most of the fish will head under the log jams. Timing is everything this time of year!
White yarn, fry patterns and pink jigs have produced fish for us the last 3 weeks, keep your wear tight to the bottom and the undercut banks!