Tofino / Nootka / West Coast Vancouver Island
by Jason Mohl - Clayoquot Ventures
Tofino B.C. Offshore Fishing Report Jul/14/2011
So far, the month of July has provided outstanding offshore fishing conditions, with light to moderate winds and swell conditions for most days. One major NW blow left us tied to the dock for an afternoon, but the next day the ocean provided great conditions once again. Chinook Salmon numbers have been very strong, with average sizes increasing to the 18-26 lb range. The past three days have provided a new "wave" of Chinook Salmon feeding hard along Tofino's coast, with a number of these "King" Salmon breaking the Tyee class. Saturday July 9th provided the Rivard party from Colorado with a memorable double header of Trophy sized Chinook, that were near identical Twins at 35 and 36 lbs.
After fishing in Tofino for the past 14 years, Dave Rivard said that the Salmon action was the best he had ever seen...The most consistent action has still been within 5-6 miles of Tofino's outer coastline near areas known as Portland Pt and Three Humps. Tofino's northern boundary area known as Raphael Point has also provided exceptional action this week. Clayoquot Ventures guides have been averaging between 15-20 Chinook Salmon per day, along with numerous Coho and Pinks, so there has been lots of action and many beautiful Salmon photographed and released.
Halibut Fishing has been excellent in these same areas as well, with the average size of Halibut noticeably increased over the last year as forecasted. Many Halibut have been weighing in the 25-45 lb range, with a few this past week tipping the scales at 60-90 lbs, providing plenty of battle and exceptional table fare for the seafood lovers....North from Tofino outside of Hot Springs Cove area has also provided very good fishing Halibut and Bottom fish species such as Ling Cod and Yellow Eye Rockfish. The travel time is a little longer but the fishing and scenery make it a worthwhile venture. Coho Salmon and Pink Salmon have arrived in very strong numbers offshore this past week, with huge numbers anticipated to arrive just ahead of the major Sockeye salmon runs that should be upon us by the third week of July. Overall rating and forecast for Tofino's Offshore Fishing; Excellent - Really doesn't get much better!!!
Tofino B.C. Inshore Fishing Report Jul/14/2011
July is the month when Tofino's inshore action really turns on. Coho Salmon numbers have been sporadically good throughout the last month, with preliminary signs of the strong numbers forecasted for this popular Salmon species. Much of the Coho fishing action is focused on anglers using very light tackle or Fly patterns trolled or "Bucktailed" on the surface. Not many of the Coho Salmon to date have been exceeding 8 lbs, but they will often double in size by the end of the season so as the Coho get more plentiful, they will also get far bigger. Fishing for Chinook Salmon on the inside waters has also been excellent in most common areas, but has seen less angling effort overall due to favourable offshore conditions and very strong numbers. Productive spots for Coho and Chinook Salmon have been near Monk Rock and Burgess Island, as well as Catface area. This week, Blundan Island also produced Salmon Fishing action that we have not seen in years. As July progresses, the inshore action will continue to be in prime time, with the mentioned areas around Blundan, Bartlett and Tibbs Islands a good focus for success. Overall rating for Tofino's inshore fishing; Very Good and forecasted to be excellent.
Tofino B.C. Freshwater Fishing Report Jul/14/2011
As the annual downstream Salmon fry migration occurs in local streams and Rivers, July is still an active time for Sea Run Cutthroat Trout to focus on these small fry in lower rivers and estuaries, varying their diet slightly from Stickleback and Euphasids. The Trout fishing can be exceptional during this time, with small streamer style Flies or small spoons and spinners that mimic the Salmon fry. Areas like Grice Bay and streams that feed into Kennedy lake are popular. Some streams also see small runs of late spring and early Summer run Steelhead that are not easy to catch, providing great challenge for Fly fishermen who venture into the remote rivers of the area. Anglers are reminded that all Trout and Steelhead in the ocean and local streams are 100 percent Catch and Release, so please release them carefully. Overall rating for Tofino's local Freshwater Fishing; Good
Tofino B.C. Fly & Tackle Gear Tips
With the peak of the Saltwater Season upon us, and our two main Salmon species arriving in strong numbers, here are a few suggestions to consider for your next fishing trip in the Tofino area. Chinook Salmon fishing offshore has been going as strong as we could expect, with larger fish arriving with each tide. Many of these larger Salmon have been consuming Pacific Pilchards (Sardines) in the 5-8 inch range, so anglers are advised to match the bait size with 6-7 inch Spoons and 5-7 inch Tomic Plugs. When trolling baits, larger Herring are recommended as well, to avoid the numerous Pink Salmon and smaller Coho that are often hard to avoid with needlefish size gear. Halibut options are not often varied from the reliable White Power Grubs or Salmon bellies fished on a spreader bar, bouncing the bottom in 140-150 feet. If Octopus is available, this is highly recommended as well. Coho Salmon focus should include 5-6 inch Polar Bear Bucktails in Pink or Orange, trolled within 15 feet of your motor. Terminal gear for Coho should include chartreuse Clayoquot Candlefish Spoons trolled on a 40 inch leader behind a mini flasher. Don't hesitate to troll the largest Bucktail flies you have offshore, as the Coho and Chinook have been pushing the Sardines and Herring to the surface this week, and numerous big Salmon have been caught on the Fly out there.