Tofino Fishing Report – November 2016

Captain Josh Temple Steelhead flyfishing in Tofino, BC.

It’s been a wet, wild headlong slog into fall this season thanks to a more traditional return to La Nina weather patterns. A constant parade of southeasterly gales has buffeted our coast, negating any real chances of a foray or two offshore in hopes of landing a late season salmon or halibut. While offshore saltwater fishing hasn’t been an option for the past while, these storms have brought a steady supply of rain to our local watersheds and that has created fantastic conditions for freshwater fishing.

The rivers are literally teeming with fish this November!

Most of the chinook and coho salmon are now well on their way to finishing their spawning run, but several river systems have excellent runs of chum salmon that are still fresh from the ocean and eager to test anglers skill on fly or light tackle. Chum salmon offer fantastic sport and should be considered one of the hardest fighting fish in our local rivers. Often topping twenty pounds, these magnificently coloured fish will pounce on a fly or spoon swung through the depths of a favourite pool. Anglers targeting chums are well advised to use fifteen or twenty pound test leaders as these fish are dogged fighters and sport a mouth full of nasty choppers that are quite adept at sawing through light lines.

Trout fishing in both rivers and lakes reaches it’s peak this month as hordes of sea run and resident trout gorge on salmon eggs and pieces of salmon flesh that wash down stream.

Some of the largest, most aggressive trout of the year can be found right now in just about every river or stream in Clayoquot Sound deep enough to hold them. It’s not uncommon to enjoy remarkable action with huge numbers of trout hooked on days when rivers are clean and clear. Fly fishing or light tackle spin casting are favourite methods to target both sea run and resident cutthroat and rainbow trout.

November trout fishing is also excellent in the lakes that dot the alpine in the Tofino area. Trophy class rainbow and cutthroat trout are feasting on the last few hatches of the fall before winter sets in. Fly-in trips with a float plane or helicopter are the best way to enjoy this remarkable fishery where it is sometimes possible to garner a bite from a hungry trout on nearly every cast.

Steelhead fishing is by far one of my favourite activities during November, and this year has offered some incredible fishing for these big, wild ocean running rainbow trout that often top fifteen pounds.

There’s a multitude of rivers here in Clayoquot Sound that offer steelhead runs and November is one of the best months to target these aggressive giant rainbows on the fly. Skating a dry fly on the surface of a glassy run and watching in awe as a ten pound steelhead boils on the fly and tears off downstream in a series of catapulting jumps is one of the most exciting experiences in fishing. If you have a day or two in the area I’d highly suggest looking into one of our helicopter steelhead trips. We can provide you with all of the necessary tackle, waders, and gear, and whisk you off to some of the most stunning locations in Clayoquot Sound where big fish lurk in pristine rivers, just waiting for a well presented fly or lure.

Inshore saltwater fishing options this month include winter chinook salmon fishing in calm, protected waters and there’s plenty of action to be enjoyed. A four or six hour inshore fishing trip is the perfect way to spend a day in the sound, harvest a few fish for dinner, and pull up the crab and prawn traps to round out a seafood feast.

Don’t let the wind and the rain fool you, there’s still plenty of opportunities for adventure out there. Stop by our location at 368 Main Street and ask about the myriad of fishing itineraries that are just waiting to be enjoyed this November.

- Captain Josh Temple