Summer is coming to a close and our Nanoose area residents have been gifted a banner season for ocean fishing. While it’s true that Chinook fishing may have been a little less productive, some of the local runs are staging near the Little Qualicum and Big Qualicum rivers. Our local Coho fishery has been keeping anglers entertained as fisherman sift through their many catches in hopes of finding hatchery fish (clipped fins).
Our region provides access to many of Vancouver Islands’ favourite fishing rivers. The Englishman river, from the estuary to the falls, is considered to be the most accessible and favoured location for Nanoose area fisherman. Pink salmon come to the river in mid to late July and are best targeted from the beach at the river mouth. The fish move upstream soon after their arrival, so there are some nice fish to be caught in the lower section of the river near the end of August. The stocks of fish on the Englishman River are inconsistent year over year, but they generally move upstream in large numbers mid-to-late September.
Shortly thereafter, we see runs of Coho Salmon and Chum Salmon begin to enter the river. These late season salmon runs generally start in the first week of October, and provide a productive fishery right up until the mid-November when rains allow access to upstream spawning areas. It is important to note that high temperatures throughout the summer, and the associated drought conditions we’ve seen this year, may require that many of the Island’s river fisheries be closed to allow for the successful spawning during this time of low flow. Be on the watch for notifications.
Tip: While fly fishing in the late season on Vancouver Island, we suggest using a modest weight rod and line set-up (6/7 weight rod and line). Though you may be challenged if you hook a large-sized Cutthroat Trout, keeping a light set-up allows for proper action on your rod tip to set hooks and keep tension tight when you have a fish on the line. Nymph flies seem to be the hot ticket, especially ones with a smaller or sparse pattern. Remember, nymphs are inherently slow-moving so keep a comparable speed of retrieval as you play your line. The fish are deep within the river so use either heavy flies or a sinking tippet.
In addition to late season Pink, Coho and Chum salmon runs, bottom fishing remains a good option, with the season open through until the end of September.
~ Dave Kratt, Marina Manager
If you have any questions about Marina Operations or just want to come and chat about fishing the Marina Office is open 7 days a week from 9am to 5pm.