Mountain peaks are white once more with the onset of the Fall weather this week and the salmon are here. The Squamish, Mamquam and Cheakamus rivers are all running low and clear, however, within a few days we should see an increase in flow. When the weather stays below zero up in the mountains, the rivers generally stay in good shape for fly fishing. In fact, a bit of colour wouldn’t hurt right now not to mention that the additional flow will draw in more of those feisty chum salmon hanging out in the Howe Sound.
Coho have been coming in regularly with seals having fun hunting them down throughout the lower part of the Squamish river below the Cheakamus confluence. Targeting these coho on the fly with the low water requires smaller flies and perseverance. Look for slower water with signs of happy fish! Happy fish are the ones that jump out and give you a wave with their pectoral fin every 15 minutes or so. If you don’t see any, move faster through that section of water! keep your leaders short and your retrieves fairly steady…stay above the fish. If you are hitting the bottom your are not fishing your fly fast enough!
As far as targeting chum this early, they tend not to be very aggressive until there are a lot of fish in the system or there is more water. Stay with smaller flies in the skinnier water conditions and use purple, chartreuse and orange with some flash.
Good luck out there and see you on the water!