If you're evaluating the Chinook forecast for all of BC, Ucluelet is definitely the HOT spot to catch salmon this year.
We have great news for 2014: The Columbia River forecast is 1.6 million Chinook, which is the largest forecasted return since 1938. That is up from 1.2 million actual return last year. We also have a great forecast for the local Barclay Sound Chinook returns from DFO. This means we should have very good fishing from May to September for Chinook salmon.
Coho Forecast Update:
The west coast of Vancouver Island is listed as abundant for Coho returns. In terms of numbers, the Columbia forecast is 964,000, 3 times all 2013 returns. The west coast of Vancouver Island forecast is listed as abundant for coho from DFO.
These forecasts are very good news! If you are looking to come fishing in 2014 please let us know soon and you can look at our fishing packages here.
If you are looking to come to an all inclusive fishing resort in BC, there are many along the coast to choose from. There are both fly-in lodges and those resorts that can be driven to. Many of the drive-in locations involves hours on gravel road and sometimes a boat ride after the drive. Ucluelet hasn't ever had a drive-in fishing resort with a dock right out front, but you can stay at Black Rock Resort and fish with us which is a 2 minute drive to the dock in the morning.
Black Rock Resort is has a restaurant and even a spa on the property making it an easy option for your vacation. All your fish can be vacuum packed and frozen and you can have your dream vacation while not spending the price of a fishing resort while getting 4 star amenities and boats. All our boats are 27-29 foot boats with toilets and we usually fish 8 hours per day since the fishing here is just that good and consistent and our guides have all been here a long time!
For more on how we compare to fishing resorts check out our BC fishing resort comparison page.
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Chinook Forecast 2014
The forecast for the 2014 Columbia River return is higher than 2013 was. In 2013 the Bonneville dam estimated more than 1.1 million Chinook went through and this is the highest number of Chinook since 1938 when the Bonneville dam started recording! Normal years have seen returns in the 500,000 to 800,00 mark the past decade, so this is a huge jump. Forecasting is a hard game and there are many variables, but right now we are expecting a very strong run again. This means we will have great Chinook fishing through June and July with lots of Columbia Chinook around Ucluelet.
The Chinook return forecasted for Southern BC rivers and the Fraser river are very good which means we should have great August and early September fishing for Chinook in the 15-40lb range with the odd 50lb plus Chinook. The Canadian forecast is often quite conservative, so we are looking forward to a good August which means the reels will be screaming and there will be lots of high fives!
Thanks to everyone who has booked with us this past summer and for all those who couldn't make it this year be sure to check out our past fishing reports! Below are some of the pics from the 2013 season and the Bonneville Dam Counts the past few years. The Bonneville Dam is the lowest dam on the Columbia River and the dam where the greatest number of Chinook salmon will pass through.
Early Season Chinook
March to May fishing was up and down with a range of 2-8 Chinook on most days. The weather often kept us in close but we still had decent success around Beg Island and Great Bear.
Summer Season Chinook
June started with reels screaming accompanied by good weather. There had been a great forecast for the Columbia River's returning Chinook and they had a great return which we benefited from in June and July.
There was excellent fishing off South bank for most of June with catches mostly in 12- 25lb range.
We want to congratulate guest John Salcido for catching the largest Chinook in July for the local salmon derby weighing in a 29lbs 7 oz. We were all surprised that we didn't see the usual 40lb+ Chinook taking the July derby and 50lb+ for the August. However, we do expect to see them next year for good reasons (see 2014 forecast below). July had very consistent Chinook fishing with many 30+ Chinook days in the 10-25lb range.
We weren't sure what was going to happen in August based on forecasts, but we still had some good days for getting Chinook. There are lots of feeders as well as mature fish scattered in as well. During September feeders were the norm with a few mature Chinook taking the line.
Halibut fishing was good all summer and we only had a couple days where we had to spend more time than usual on halibut. We spent a good part of the summer on Big Bank, so that meant we often trolled up halibut while salmon fishing.
We had fairly steady Coho fishing inside Barkley Sound. We had very good Coho fishing in July, August and early-mid September around Alley Rock. For all of you that are prone to sea sickness, this is a good option if you want to stay in protected waters.
The weather has been great and we have been getting some beautiful sunsets while out fishing! September busyness is winding down giving us some time to get out and have some fun fishing while taking some nice scenic pictures. Coho fishing is still good around Alley Rock and we are getting some nice size Coho from 8-14lbs. We are fishing 25-50 ft on the downrigger using small 3 inch Silverhorde and 3.5 inch Coyote spoons. Hutchies will also work.
Enjoy the pics!