Vedder River 2014.09.13 — Finally we start the season!!!

After many many weeks of searching, the first sign of fish in the system was in previous weeks.  But there is nothing you can do to entice the handful to bite.  Searching high and low but the water is at an all time low since i have started fishing the vedder.  It’s been really tough as we have been fishing since the last few days of August but i don’t post unless i have something to show.

Today started with somewhat the same feeling as last week since there was no change with the weather.  But instead of searching the lower reaches of the river, it was time to search Lickman and above.  After wasting about 2hrs on the hwy this morning with a trucked flipped over.  We had to pick up the pace a bit.  Peach road parking, waders on, geared up, let’s go!  We normally fish this stretch early in the season when the red springs are around.  Nice and high but today, i can probably walk right across from the Peach Rd parking lot.  I would have to say, Hook, Kemal and I walked from Peach from pool to pool, working our way down.  Not many pools that was even worth more than a dozen cast.  So now at Lickman, lots of sun bathers so we thought it wasn’t worth going any further down.  Well, the back of my mind was thinking, if we did go down, lets grab the car first.  I don’t want to have to walk back even further as it already is.  Your probably thinking, it’s not that close but it was hot today.  With the waders, not so comfy.  I burnt myself during red spring so today, or actually all the outings after that, i was always wearing long sleeve.  Simply just hot.

We decided to move up river thinking if the salmon actually came into the system, they will just have to find deeper waters.  There are lots of spots down in the lower section that could have deeper pockets but let’s go upper anyways.  So after a short drive, we are in mid river.  The river looked okay but i know a spot that would have some deep water.  If nothing was there, then we would have to walk some more.  But thankfully, there were some small fish milling around so we thought we could just mess around for a bit.  But as we scouted more, we saw more and more flashes of silver.  Ranging from smolts to something in the 3lbs range.  There you go, hope at last.  So we worked the pool without much success but as i lost my float, yes, my handmade float we made our way to the other side.  Everything happens for a reason.  So only Hook and I ventured forward with Kemal on the opposite side.  After using bait after bait, i was only able to connect with a couple of smolts.  What a waste of perfectly good bait.  So with one of my last few pieces, i had a huge takedown.  But as i set the hook, the float just pops back out.  Debris, not 100% convinced.  Anyhow, used up the last piece and got a pretty nice hatchery something (either rainbow or steelhead) 10″.  But wasn’t going to keep it or anything, just wanted a picture.  But it popped off as my camera man was too slow to snap a quick one.  Oh well.  Even if the day was to end like that, i’m still 3 smolt vs 2 smolt.  Hahahah.  Until…. this one came along, on yarn!!!
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My first jack spring of the season.  How i miss the smell so so much, hahaha.

Anyways, i’m too tired to keep writing.  Hope we get some rain, the river is really drying up and fish are queueing up at the mouth waiting to come in.  I love the sunshine but we need to do what is best for the fish too, right?  Normally by this time of year, the river is plentiful but now it’s just a bunch of lost souls.  Anyways, i have to rest my foot so keeping it a 1 day a week fishing right now.  Hoping more action will come our way next week but either way, enjoy the sunshine cause when it rains, it will pour.  Happy fishing everyone and a big thanks to my camera man Hook!!!!

Chehalis River 2014.06.21 — Zero’s first steelhead!!!

Haven’t been able to fish much the last few weeks due to a busy schedule but mainly we haven’t had any substantial amount of rainfall. We would normally fish the Capilano River this time of year but the river is just way too low. We’ve gone here and there but gotten nothing so that is why you haven’t seen a post. For those of you that love the sunshine that we are having, great. But i wouldn’t mind a few days of rain just so i could stay a bit closer to home, the Capilano that is.

Anyways, let’s give a bit of focus to Zero here. After a late planning the night before, we decided to hit a river that we haven’t really fished this time of year. I was dying to do some salmon fishing and didn’t really want to do too much work paddling the kayak. So we decided to drive a bit further and fish the Chehalis River. It’s a mix feeling for me about this river. I love the salmon fishing during the fall here but dread the long walks to a fishing spot just to find out that you are 15mins too late. Let me tell ya, we walked A LOT today and did some really dumb sh*%. Well, i did it but it was all good. Ok ok, i have to stop ranting here. We walked for roughly 20mins to get to the first spot. It was hot, especially in waders but i cooled off sitting in the water, allowing small amounts of water into the wader from the crack in my knee area. Damn waders. So we geared up, roe for me and blade for Zero. I had hits on almost every cast but they were not significantly strong so i knew, i was not going to have enough roe for the day. The purpose of this trip was to see if we could get some early red springs as this river is opened for retention June 1. Anyways, Zero sees me getting a couple of bites so he moves up above me to get a drift into my spot. First cast, BAM!!! Fish ON!!. I look at him with disbelief as he drifted into my spot. There was noone around and he literally takes my spot as i was re-baiting. Man, that is something i would do to him just to piss him off. Oh well, time to pull out the camera and help him record the, uh so exciting battle, hahahah. So here is the first steelhead for him but it slips to freedom before i could take a proper photo.
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He always holds his fish in that manner where it can slip out of his hands. He wasn’t too upset as it was a wild anyways. We stayed for another 20mins with nothing except for smolts so time to move on.

Bush whacking is quite common here as greens have covered the old trails. Just have to watch your step as fallen branches try to get the better of you. Next spot, a bit more life on the other side of the river. We only saw a handful of people fishing during this trip. Still a bit early for the springs. As we were walking, i spotted a nice deep slot from a distance and i knew instantly that i was going to cast into that first. I picked up the pace to head over and baited right away. Didn’t want Zero to chuck his blade in just yet. Also trying to get away from the trash talking. Made my first couple of cast. Realized that it was deeper than the 2ft depth i had. Re-adjusted to the correct height that i thought. Next cast…. float takes a dip…. and another dip…. Man, all this little guys. Let’s just set the hook. Fish on, but it felt like it was only a pound. Slowly cranking it in while Zero had a smirk on his face. Then it starts to tug a bit more. What is this trout doing, trying to put up a fight? As it goes back into the deep water, i pulled it back and closer to shore. Zero spots it and says its HUGE!! That feeling comes back to me with my first and second steelhead. Starts out weak but goes crazy as it comes closer. It starts leaping out of the water about 5 times before it decides to settle down. Had it close enough to touch but takes off again. Finally get a good grip on her tail and this is what i got today. A bit bigger than Zero’s. Hatchery too but was not sure if i was able to keep it, so a quick photo and sent her on its way.
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Steelhead #4

The rest of the day was spent bush whacking some more and jumping into the river to get completely soaked, hahaha. Didn’t want to slide down the side like Zero, so i decided to jump in instead as i thought i could land vertically. Which is not entirely false as i did land on my feet but i kinda bounced a little and fell backwards allowing more than i should into my waders, hahaha. It was a hot day and that is a nice way to cool off.

Anyways, i’m done here with the story and i hope there is some rain in the forecast. Otherwise, i wont have a chance to fish the Capilano when July 1 opens the vedder up for some springs. Like what my daughters keep on saying to me, “Peace out rainbow trout”.

Capilano 2014.05.25 — Damn Zero

Early season coho is a challenge. First you have to find them and the limited number makes it hard as it is. Then you have your 1 chance to hook it and land it. Well, i don’t really want to post this one as it will raise some egos and expose some flaws. It was hard to think of a title for this one. Didn’t know how to show the frustration with words but mostly from Zero’s trash talking. Doesn’t matter now, GAME ON!!!

It’s been a very, very wet day. Started nice and early this morning, 3:30am! I couldn’t really sleep last night, wasn’t really thinking about fishing but just seem to be energized after 2 something hours of rest. So i got up and started to make some breakfast and headed out at 4am. This has been a first for me, fishing the capilano at that hour in the early season. Well, a quiet ride to the first spot, under HWY#1. Parking was loaded but only 4 angler casting away, not surprised as i got a report from Dice yesterday that fish was rolling everywhere. But it was the complete opposite today as the river dropped from level 5 to level 2 on the capcam after a day. Nothing for me for the first few of hours but i did meet a buddy of ours when we fished the valley system. Great guy and we fished beside each other for the golden hours until he decided to venture off. But i told him i might head into the canyon after a bit and hope to see him again in the future.

Climbed down the canyon by myself today, normally i wouldn’t do it if it was this early in the day but i need to know if there are fish around. As i arrive, i see my buddy again, small system. There were quite a few guys fishing already but they had fish to the bank so that was promising. I know i’m rambling on and on cause i don’t want to bring up the part where Zero schooled me today, hahaha. Anyways, here is the picture.
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I can’t believe i actually spent time in editing this image to make it look nicer, hahaha. The pink fingers is not my fault, it’s the roe that he was using. But the bottom line is, he did good today. He only fished for 5hrs today and he did get one. And i was fishing since 4:30am. But i did get one, but it was raining so hard for such a long time, my hands got numb and wet. It’s really hard to apply drag to the centerpin when that happens and mine was much bigger than his but i couldn’t control it. Oh well, can’t win them all but i need to seriously be on top of my game. I can’t afford another loss to Zero, he told me to bring a chair so i could sit there and be his camera man. Damn, that just sucks, hahahah. But anyways, he did save the day so i’m glad for that.

Hope the rain keeps up for the rest of the week and sunny skies for the weekend if you want more fish to move into the river. Make sure you bring your “A” game, otherwise karma is a bitch. Anyways, everything is slippery when wet, bring extra clothing for the drive back, but more importantly, keep safe!!

Capilano 2014.05.04 — Let’s start the SEASON!!!

A long awaited chance to start the journal as i have been fishing at the Capilano River for 2 weeks now.  Nothing to show for with only 1 miss hit and like i always say, you might only get that one chance for the day.  It’s still quite early in the season so i didn’t expect too much with the couple of outings prior to this one.  I have seen others get into fish but with the dozen of people casting away, only a few would get the silver shake.

Let’s start with yesterday first, my miss hit.  Things seem to happen when you least expect it and this time there was no difference.  After making 2 hours worth of casting, i was getting a bit hungry and wanted to eat something.  So i made my usual cast into the slot i normally do, i turned around to get some bread to eat.  As i was trying to wrap up the bag after sticking a bun in my mouth, rod tucked under the arm, i notice a peculiar bouncing of my float.  I was thinking, please don’t do this to me, i was so focused for 99% of the time.  When i finished my retrieve, yup, stripped with skein as well.  And that is why i don’t eat when i’m fishing cause i can’t afford the time to.  But you may think, why don’t you just stop fishing for a second and get what is needed before continuing, hahahah.  I always believe, your odds are greater when your gear is in the water, longer. I fished for as long as i could yesterday but there comes a time when you just have to let go.  And i also ran out of bait and my pants where wet.  No, i didn’t pee in my pants.  When i started the day i fished under HWY #1, the river that divides the battle grounds was a bit high.  Lots of green on the rocks and talking on the phone at the same time doesn’t help either.  My buddy always calls me at the wrong time, so i slipped and went knee high in water.  Ya, that was not good, i left my waders at home.  By the time i went home, my legs were getting numb cause i went for another dive as well.  My leader spools dropped out as i was trying to put it back into the pouch and how lucky can you get.  Dropped on the rock below me which for the most part was sand, bounced forward about 2ft to hit another rock and skipped a few more times and into the water.  I was a good 5 – 7 ft from the water line, so i had to react quick, jump, jump, and splashed.  Luckily my phone didn’t get wet otherwise, that would have been a bad trade off and I need my music.  Anyways, lots of rain by the time i left so i don’t think i missed much.

Today, i started off nice and early.  With the alarm set for 6pm, yup, that’s right, don’t set the alarm when you are half asleep, i got up at 8am.  C’mon, i’m tired from yesterday.  Anyways, fishing in popular spots has its advantages sometimes.  I met some really nice people today, some were from previous trips but met another fella and his brother in law.  We had some good laughs while fishing together but he offered me some of his roe as he was leaving.  He noticed that i wasn’t getting any bites but actually, noone else was except for him.  With multiple hook ups and only 1 to shore, he was probably the best rod out there today.  So he gives me a good chunk of roe as he was leaving and with that, i got another miss hit within 3 cast of using it.  Pretty good stuff.  But i would have to thank him for his kind gesture as he has gotten me into this.  Thanks buddy!!!
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i never stopped fishing even when the rain was telling me to go home.  Persistence pays off.  A quick photo and off she went.  My 3rd steelhead!!!  And i want to take this opportunity to thank my camera man, Zero.  Thank you for helping me with all the images and videos.  Fished for another 2hrs after the steelhead and then decided, it’s time to move on. Moved to the next spot and couldn’t seem to find a way to get the cohos to bite.  You can see them surface from time to time but what is the deal with these little critters.  I was thinking, i got a steelhead today and i can’t get one of these buggers to bite, i can’t believe.  By this time last year, i would have at least a few in my tummy already.  As i was starting to lose concentration, i made a really lousy cast.  Whatever, only about 10ft out from where i was, with slack line running out of my pin.  i slowly wind the line back into my reel and all of a sudden, the float starts dancing.  Silver flashes.  BAM!!!  My first coho of the year.  Oh ya, Zero had 2 dancing but none would want to come home with him.
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Small but tasty.  Just finished eating sashimi from this little guy and the meat was fabulous.  Split the head and pan fried with a bit of seasoning and honey.

Anyways, the water is quite mighty even when you have waders.  With more rain in the forecast, watch your step and take your time.  I hope you all get a chance to get out and get your fair share of this delicious salmon and if you haven’t tried Capilano Coho Sashimi, i would definitely try it.  But if you think that its not safe, then you can freeze it for a longer period of time.  

Hope you all enjoyed this. Stay dry and happy fishing.

No.2 Steelhead

It’s been a long time since i have posted but we have gone out a few times in January with nothing to show for.  February was a complete write-off in terms of fishing as i had a hectic schedule traveling to Asia.  Anyways, no one wants to hear about my business trip.  It’s all about fishing here.

Snow from the previous week, warmer weather this weekend, rain warning in effect, only 1 steelhead under the belt.  It’s time to head out.  Even though we knew that the elements of nature isn’t on our side, we didn’t care.  Wet, cold, numbness and miserable are all so familiar as these are days that near the end of each type of fishing season.  No difference here but this is our winter here in the lower mainland during this time of year.

Excitement + Faith + opportunity is what keeps us doing what we enjoy most in the great outdoors.  But really, it’s the post from the previous weeks of others having success keeps me wanting a piece of the action.  Today, was a great day for the both of us.  We arrived just minutes after 8am and next to the water by 8:30.  Nope, the walk wasn’t that far, most of the time was spent trying to dress ourselves.  With the down time, we couldn’t figure out which leg to put in the wader first, hahaha.  Nah, just kept on forgetting to put the thermal on first so everything had to come off.  A couple more times, we will get right back into it.  Anyways, back to the water, nice little run about 200ft, with all your key ingredients.  Fast, slow and slack water running in harmony.  Thinking to myself, does it look fishy?  Only one way to find out.  Started at the top with blade while Kemal on the bottom with jensen and white wool, nothing, then Kemal and i switched places.  With the cooler air near the water, it’s typical this time of year to have toques and hoodies on.  Blocking out as much wind and nature as possible to the head.  But also, i couldn’t hear Kemal yell, “Fish On!!”  Absolutely no sense of direction on where the voice was coming from.  But later, got a wave from him to come over.  Pointed out exactly where he had the take down but spent another 30mins with nothing.  Quite unfortunate that it got away but with a glimpse of what could have been put a smile on his face.  Time to move on to the next run.

Playing within channels of channels due to the high waters did yield something little.  Here is what Kemal got on his 3rd cast.  Fishing is fishing regardless of size.  :D
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A whitefish that would have been great for a little snack on the fire, hahaha. But too bad the rain just wouldn’t allow it.

I moved on from where Kemal was fishing to a familiar spot that i have fished during the coho season. Made myself a mental note at the time to come back when steelheads were around. Luckily, my memory serves me well when it comes to fishing, not so much with everything else. I had switched to yarn by this time already as the clarity of the water was about 6″. Needed something bright, larger and more juicy. Pink yarn, didn’t have a pink gummy worm with me, otherwise that would have been my first choice. Drifted in the slot which i thought would be my best chance but noticed that it was just going a wee bit too fast. I need to slow it down. Added another 1.5″ of depth in hopes to slow it down as it drags the bottom every so often. First cast after the adjustment, slowed it down to a speed which i liked. About 3 seconds in, BAM!!! FISH ON!!! HOOK SET!!! I know it’s solid, but with the ease, i thought it was a bull trout. That’s okay, a fish is a fish. But as it comes closer to shore, it gets heavier and starts to pull line. What? At that time, i was taking no chances. I yell for Kemal. Got a sore throat because of that, he didn’t hear nothing. Took out the gopro, set it between some rocks and continued to fight the fish. After about 5-7mins, the fish is to hand. A steel with some color dressing. Here is the highlight of my day, :D
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Because of the absent of chrome, i decided i wanted to try for another one. Released hatchery which i didn’t think i would do since this is my second steelhead ever. But it felt good to release something of such beauty.

More rain for the next couple of days but sunshine for the next weekend. Should be good but unable to hit the flow as i’m heading out of town again. Hopefully the week after provides even more opportunities but it’s just so soothing to be out again. The water is high and fast, almost lost my footing at one point. Visibility is limited so be careful when wading, even in well known spots as things have changed. Anyways, keep dry and play safe!!!

Making Balsa Floats

Had a bit of time on my hands over the holidays so i decided to make my own floats.  I’ve lost quite a few this season and it is costing a fair bit so i thought i could make a bunch and save some money.  Well, that’s not really going to happen because i spent more money on the material than it thought.  Oh well, fishing is expensive.

Here is a few pics.
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This took a few days to get to but the hardest part was the painting of the top. I don’t have an airbrush yet so this was painted with a sponge. Took me at last 6 – 8 coats to get it evenly covered but if you look closely, there are a few lines. But whatever, that is the best i could do by hand. You might be thinking that i could just dip it but the paint is a bit too thick and i didn’t want to have such a thick top. So, by hand it was.

Here is the finish product after 8 coats of gloss to bring out the shine.
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Vedder River 2013.12.15 — A Fish of a Thousand Casts

Haven’t been out fishing for 2 weeks now and i find myself from time to time reminiscing about the good old days which recently passed.  Depression is starting to set in and i know it’s time to make a trip out for whatever is in the systems.  I know it’s a bit early for the winter steelheads but i just need to be out casting the day away.  I can’t sit in front of the computer playing games all day nor can i sleep in past noon.  Those days are over now.  My body naturally wakes up at around 5 – 6am on the weekends with the anticipation of head east on HWY#1.  Time to plan a trip.

Over the week, we talked about the possible trip we could do this weekend as the weather was quite warm.  I really don’t want to be out there in sub zero temperatures.  It’s just not fun and not how i remember fishing to be.  It should be fun and relaxing not cold and painful.  Anyways, at close to double digit temperatures today, we set out on something that i haven’t done for a long time.  Steelheading!!  For some, an exciting time of the year but for many others, lots of wasted gas.  Which category do i fit in?  Unfortunately, the ladder.  That’s right, i have spent many trips to the vedder over the course of 5 years with nothing to show for.  And many years have just stopped trying for it as i had no idea where to begin with these so called “fish of a thousand casts”.  Today, Hook, Kemal and I started the adventure at 8:30am at the Vedder River.  Trying our luck to see if we could get something but we just wanted to be out next to the river.  With little to no expectation of catching anything substantial.  Catching a trout would be an awesome day in our minds.  We are opportunistic hunters in a sense or we just suck when it comes to steelheads.

Worked the flow down by the canal for approx. 4hrs.  Multiple stretches of water and i think i got 1 hit but it wasn’t there when i set the hook.  I was using a blade and it could be a trout as they are quite aggressive towards silver flashy objects in the water.  I was starting to feel there was nothing in there but i did see a fish in the above run that i couldn’t get to bite.  We sat down and talked over the game plan and decided to head up to another spot.

Arrived shortly after, enduring a bumpy ride on the way out.  My car is as low as it can be and the dyke road is just filled with potholes.  Some so big that i would have bottomed out my ride and Hook would need to push.  But anyways, got to the next stop without too many under scratches to find a hand full of guys thinking the same thing.  It’s such a nice day out so i’m sure there are going to be anglers out there to try, just like we have.  We all worked very hard at trying to save the day and i even crossed a stretch of water to see if the grass was greener on the other side.  I’m glad i made this leap of fate.  I must have made my 1000th cast to finally land this beauty of a fish.

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The next weekend will be close to zero degrees and i think i might just opt out this one but you never know.  I hope i don’t have to make another 1000 cast before getting another steelhead.  The feeling i had with this one was like the first time i ever hooked a salmon.  I can’t even express with words but hopefully many more to come which would allow me to formulate some sort of theory behind it all.  And i will share with you all on how to catch these beautiful fish on the Vedder River.  I love this place.