Vancouver Island is a majestic geographical area of tall coniferous forests and breath-taking scenic views of rugged terrain and coastlines battered by winter storms. There is not only a continuous display of rugged coastlines but there are also wonderful exquisite and secluded beaches with pristine calm water in Barkley Sound and the Alberni Inlet. Not only does the West Coast of British Columbia have these unbelievable landscapes but the salmon fishing in many areas is nothing but “World Class”. This is one of British Columbia’s only areas that anglers have an opportunity of landing a twenty pound salmon twelve months of the year. Fishing is just like the weather and in June it really does start to heat up. The Salmon fishing for Chinook salmon and also some early Coho in Barkley Sound can be very consistent during June. In June large schools of salmon, mostly Chinook, will hang around Barkley Sound and feed on the rich quantities of bait fish before continuing their long journey to the large watersheds to the south. Lots of quality salmon linger around the surf line and anglers have excellent opportunities of landing some nice sized salmon at a variety of hotspots like Cree Island, Austin, Meares, Sail Rock, Edward King and Beale.
June is also a wonderful month for sport fishing in the Alberni Inlet. The many areas to fish can still be relatively quiet and peaceful in respect to the number of anglers on the water during July and August. The Alberni Inlet historically offers Sockeye salmon fishing in June. Predictions for 2019 are showing rather low numbers of Sockeye returning back to the Somass River system. With 350,000 to 500,000 Sockeye forecast to return to the Somass system retention for sport in June will be two sockeye per day with a two-day retention limit of four per person. With the current environmental conditions Sockeye Salmon fishing for sport should get underway by Fathers-Day Weekend. When the Inlet water warms up the Sockeye begin to School in good numbers. The Salmon usually school from Cous Creek out to Nahmint and Franklin River. The Sockeye in the Alberni Inlet in June will predominately sit in forty-five to sixty feet of water. As the water warms the salmon will swim to deeper water. Sockeye hit shorter leader lengths from eighteen to twenty-four inches behind a variety of flashers. The best lures are mp 15’s, the pink and blue, and pink and black small hootchies. To date approximately 4,000 plus Sockeye salmon have escaped into the Sproat and Great Central Lakes. The greatest percentage of these fish have gone into the Sproat.
Barkley Sound fishing during the first seven to ten days of June has been extremely good. Most areas of the Sound have been producing Chinook salmon averaging eight to thirteen pounds. However there have been several Chinook in the high teens up to the mid twenty-pound range. The largest Chinook to date was landed on the Bamfield Wall and came in at a whopping Thirty-eight pounds. Coyote, Coho Killer, and Gold Star Spoons and a variety of hootchies have been working the best behind green and blue flashers. Some Kinetic flashers have also been working well. Green and blue Nickel, Herring Aid, Cookies and Cream, and Maverick have been some of the favorite spoons in the three and a half to four-inch size. White and green colors in hootchies have currently been by far the best when using plastic lures. Some individuals have been using blacks and blues in terms of colors and have had some great success. Leader lengths when using hootchies are best at forty-two inches fishing at depths of eighty to one hundred and twenty feet deep.
The trout fishing in June is often extremely good. The sockeye smolts as example leave Sproat and Great Central Lakes and travel out through the Somass River. This smolt migration wakes the trout up and using flat fish and Kwikfish that resemble smolts in the frog and rainbow patterns work really well when trolling. If fishing from the various banks use power bait fish.
Tidal water fishing in 2019 for Chinook salmon and Coho should be very good. Pre season forecasts for these two species returning to West Coast Vancouver Island are extremely good. The migratory Chinook number are expected to be well above average and hatchery Chinook forecasts termed West Coast Vancouver Island are forecast also to be well above average. This has been recently termed as a year with the highest return of salmon in many years.