Salmon Fishing British Columbia
Also known as king or spring salmon, the Chinook is the largest of the five Pacific salmon species. They are well known for their outstanding strength and stamina, as well as their terrific table qualities!!
There are two major salmon runs of Chinook that are targeted by anglers; the Fraser river summer run fans out into the major interior tributaries, and the fall run migrates into the Harrison River near Chilliwack. Summer run chinook are commonly caught from May through early September and will range in size from10 to 40 pounds. Since we are a short distance from the ocean, the Fraser’s chinook are in mint condition. They are commonly caught by bar-fishing (a static method that employs the use of spinning glos),
or by float fishing with a variety of natural or artificial baits. Pulling plugs and hanging spoons will also work at the right time and in the right place.
Salmon fishing the Harrison river for the fall run of chinooks is very productive. In general, the Harrison chinook are larger than their summer counterparts and can reach weights of 60 pounds or more! These Chinook salmon are also caught by bar-fishing during October, hanging spoons or pulling plugs. With the right conditions, the fall run of Chinooks can be targeted by fly anglers – a seriously worthy challenge for the ardent fly angler.
WE REFUSE TO BOTTOM BOUNCE FOR CHINOOK SALMON! The technique that Fraser river anglers and the sportfishing industry call “bottom bouncing” (also called “flossing”) that is widely practiced, is simply a sanitized phrase for snagging. Unfortunately, due to legal and technical issues, not to mention lobbying by fishing industry groups, this methodology has not been prohibited. We are not interested in participating in this fishery.
The sockeye salmon is a highly sought after commercial fish that is netted in the ocean, river approach areas, and in-river. Sockeye are not known for being easy to catch due to their diet – they generally target zooplankton in the ocean, which is not easily seen by the human eye, but occurs in vast pods.
The methodology employed to catch these fish in the Fraser river is known as “bottom bouncing” (also called “flossing”). Using this method, the sockeye are snagged. This technique is not species selective and unfortunately any fish passing through the area can be snagged.
This fishery is an “adventure” all unto itself, mostly for the wrong reasons. Because of the technique, reckless nature and heavy crowding by many anglers, we do not participate in this fishery.
Unlike other anglers, we feel no fish is so worthless that we can condone snagging as a technique to catch them.
A smaller salmon ranging in size from 4 to 12 pounds, the Coho salmon are a favorite fish by all anglers on the Fraser. Also known as silver salmon, fishing for coho generally occurs from September through November using bar fishing, spin fishing, float fishing, and fly fishing techniques. Many of the area's tributaries have Coho returns, however, we choose to concentrate our efforts on the Fraser mainstem and the Harrison river.
Ranging in size from 8 to 20 pounds, the tenacious chum salmon, or dog salmon as they are commonly called, are the "water buffaloes" of the river. The chum will color up when it enters the freshwater in mid to late September, but that does not deter it from attacking anything in its path! A very strong salmon, most anglers will agree that the chum is hard on tackle and provides a worthy challenge. The chum is easily identified by the purplish vertical bars on its sides and, on the bucks, by rather large teeth,
hence the nickname dog salmon. Occurring in good numbers, chum can be found almost anywhere in the lower Fraser and its tributaries.
Chum salmon are caught using every fishing technique we employ including float fishing, spin casting and fly fishing. The best chum fishing occurs in October and through to the middle of November. Not widely known for their table qualities, a fresh chum is excellent eating using a variety of cooking methods, and is an excellent fish to smoke or pickle.
Pink salmon are found in the lower Fraser and its tributaries on odd numbered years (2011,2013, 2015,etc.)Commonly called “humpies” because the males develop a conspicuous hump on their backs, pink salmon can be taken on every type of tackle and will bite readily. This makes fishing for pinks fun for everyone including the younger anglers. This fishery provides an excellent opportunity to introduce angling to children and to those who have never picked up a fishing rod before. Nearly certain success is imminent
when fishing in the peak time for pink salmon.
Pink salmon on average are the smallest of the five salmon species with the median size being 5 pounds. Pinks are best eaten fresh and provide a delicate fish texture and mild taste.
Pinks enter the Fraser river system in late August and continue into mid-October. The next run will begin in late August 2015!
For Identification purposes, see what these salmon look like, click here