Howe Sound Pink Salmon
Every odd year during the middle of summer the Howe Sound (Northwest of Vancouver up to Squamish) sees thousands of Pink Salmon returning to spawn. These Salmon are returning to the Squamish River along with smaller connecting systems like the Mamquam River and Cheakamus River.
As part of this return the Pink Salmon will stage and run close to the shores of the Howe Sound. One particularly popular beach the Salmon run is next to Furry Creek. Late July and all of August there are many opportunities to catch a Pink Salmon while casting from the beach (see beach fishing tackle further below). These fish travel in massive schools and are usually close to the surface so they’re easy to spot. This visual makes for an exciting fishery as you can see the school moving close to the beach so you can cast right toward them!
Where are the Pink Salmon this Year?!
It’s now late July 2017, and I’ve already made my way out to Furry Creek three times with no luck. Forget luck, I haven’t see one fish rise or caught in any of these beach outings! Too be fair, each trip was quite short (approximately 2 hours or less) as my fishing time is shorter these days with 2 young boys! Anyway, rewind back to two years ago during this exact time and I was catching my limit of Pink Salmon well within those 2 hour periods!
Now, I’m not panicking or freaking out as the strength of the run typically doesn’t show up until early/mid August, but I can’t help but think Where are all the Pink Salmon in Howe Sound!?
I’ve talked with a number of friends and much better fishermen than me and they all have a theory/opinion which falls into one of these categories (or some combination thereof):
- Later start to the run
- Smaller run size
- Unfavorable tides at sunrise (and early morning)
- Salmon are not staging around Furry Creek and instead going right up the Squamish River
- The Pinks know I’m coming and have decided to give me the middle fin
I’m sure there are other theories out there, personally, I’m pretty sure it’s the latter. That said, I’m hopeful and believe we’ll see a big showing in early August. Check back soon as I’m looking to do another beach fishing journal post and video.
Furry Creek Map and Photos
Since I can’t show off any Pink Salmon photos or videos at this point, I thought some educational material is in order. Below is a Google Map of the fishing area along with photos (taken during low tide). I hope this gives you a greater sense of the area so that you can prepare well and hopefully do better than me this year.
The recent trip was not a complete failure as I did catch one little hatchery Coho Smolt. This feisty little guy must have just come out of the river into the saltwater in the past few months. Godspeed little guy!
Oliver’s Landing’s Boat and Kayaking Club Dock
Furry Creek Mouth
Green of the 14th Hole - "Tee to Sea"
Beach / Surf Fishing Tackle and Setup
This type of beach fishing tackle is not complicated. You should have a long rod and a small/medium sized reel that is rated for Saltwater. From the beach, you’re continually casting and retrieving so will want tackle that is light and easy to use, otherwise your arm/wrist will tap out before the morning is up! I recommend a spinning rod and reel setup, here are some specific tackle recommendations.
Check Best Price
Length: 9-10 ft
Line Weight: 8-20
Action: Fast / Moderate
Model Size: 2500-3000
Model Size: SUPXTSP40X
Line Weight: 30 lb – 50 lb
Line Weight: 30 lb – 50 lb
Successful Beach Fishing Trips
If you want to see what a successful fishing day looks like for Pink & Coho Salmon from the Beach, check out my previous journal: Pink Season & Beach Coho. This journal goes over 4 successful fishing trips on July 23, 25, August 6 & 9 in 2015.