The weather coming up is good to amazing! When I went online to check the forecast I did a “double-take” as I was not used to seeing so many days with little sun icon as the main icon! More fish have been pushing in to your local favorite rivers so get out there and get a tight line!
If you are heading out onto the salt chasing winter chinook, prawning and crabbing you will also be treated to some great weather. As always with the ocean, check the Strait of Georgia Marine Forecast before you go as those conditions can change quickly.
With the steelhead season upon us and bull trout fishing across lower mainland in full swing we loaded up the fly trays this week. Come check it out; you won’t see a better rounded selection!
On Saturday, January 18th at 2pm there will be a public forum regarding the proposed toxic waste treatment plant on the banks of the Fraser River. This forum will be used to educate the public on the dangers of allowing this to happen.
Date: Saturday, Jan 18th
Location: Evergreen Hall in Chilliwack (9291 Corbould St, Chilliwack)
Here is a link to a news article regarding the proposal as well. http://www.theprogress.com/news/236278011.html
The International Fly Fishing Film Festival (IF4)
The International Fly Fishing Film Festival (IF4) consists of short and feature length films produced by professional filmmakers from all corners of the globe, showcasing the passion, lifestyle and culture of fly-fishing. From capturing the beauty of northern steelhead rivers to giant bull trout in British Columbia, the variety of films at this event are sure to peak the interest of all anglers. IF4 contains exclusive content not available in any other fly-fishing film event.
Date: February 6, 2014
Time: Doors open at 6:30 PM. Film begins AT 7:00 PM. Rush Seating
Location: The Esplanade Empire Theatre ( N. Vancouver)
Tickets also available at both Michael & Young Fly Shops, Pacific Angler and Riverside Fly & Tackle. If available, tickets may also be purchased at the venue on the day of the event for $18.00 per ticket.
Here are some of the official feature films you will see at the IF4 in N. Vancouver!
Click’n Watch “Destination Spain” Trailer
Click’n Watch “Landed” Trailer
Click’n Watch “Mending the Line” Trailer
Click’n Watch Stream Fishing Addiction Trailer
Click’n Watch “Unbroken” Trailer
STEELHEAD TIP OF THE WEEK – Matt Sharp
Mend your line constantly working to maintain a dead drift and to keep you indicator over top of your fly. Don’t get lazy. Some people have said that indicator fishing for steelhead is cheating and easy but if they knew how attentive you have to be to your line, leader and indicator they might change their tune.
At this time of year the slightest bounce or twitch of the Indicator can be a fish. You do not always need an aggressive hook set but each time you think there is a bite or something odd happens to your indicator make a hard check mend. If the line does not lift properly off the water turn the mend into a fast hook set. The rule is faster the better.
The rig: For steelhead run 3ft of heavy butt section 20-25lb then with blood knots, taper down quickly using 2ft of 15lb and 4 feet of 10lb. This fast taper allows the fly to sink without drag. A standard 9ft leader will work but building your own with a faster taper will cut down on drag. From the end of the leader tie on a #12 crane swivel and place 1 AAA or 2 to 3 #1 split shot just above the swivel (note: the weight should not have wings because they tangle). Some guys will also put a single #1 split shot at the 15lb to 10lb junction to get a straighter presentation.
Tie on 14 inches of 12lb fluorocarbon leader to the terminal end of the swivel. We then use a bead pegged 3 inches above a # 4 black Gamakatsu hook. (We use a 1.5 inch spread and a #8 Gamakatsu for small species). Peg a small amount of white wool into the bead with the toothpick to add a moldy veil. Good luck and tight lines!!
Flats Fishing in Hawaii – Jordan Simpson
Straight from the flats of Hawaii…Jordan keeps us tuned in on his stalking progress!
Sunny skies and warmer weather saw a shift in fish activity with the most noticeable happening on the east side of the island. Lots of microbones were spotted which is a good sign. Those microbones (in the 1-4lb range) indicated that the fish were hungry and were coming up out of the deep to hunt for the many crabs and stomopods that make up their diet on the flats.
Skipping over the smaller fish we finally came across a small group of 3-4 fish in the 7-9lb range. My guest from Georgia, Andrew, made a great cast and got two of the fish to turn. One rushed the fly and did the ‘helicopter death hover’, indicating he had eaten. Being a trout fisherman from Georgia, he trout-set after I shouted “hit ’em!” That tight connection lasted all but a fraction of a second as his line went tight, shook, and then slack as the fish broke off.
Tying on another Spam and Eggs fly developed by my good friend and Hawaiian flats pioneer Coach Duff, we practiced the strip-set over and over in preparation for the next fish. Not too soon after, another fish weighing about 8lbs was spotted. Another good cast and strip set amounted to another tight line but this fish was smart and instantly flashed under the water as he wrapped up around a coral head and broke off.
Fishing has been slow with the cold weather leading up to this week but with sunny skies in the forecast we are predicting the fish to show up in better numbers in the weeks to come.
Tomorrow I’m on the lake fishing for peacock bass with a gentleman from Washington who is originally from here. Hopefully the fish gods smile upon us and bless us with warm water temps to get them active!
Squamish / Cheakamus Rivers:
We went out last Saturday for the famous Pacific Angler’s “Fly Fishing w/ Egg Patterns” Course and the report is simple.
It was freak’n wet & cold!
The guys did a valiant job of toughing out one of the larger storms of the season and between warming up cold fingers and trying to stay dry we actually managed some “OK” results, catching 8 or 9 nice fish. Check out the beauty that Luke got below.
In the morning the Cheakamus was already blow out with grey high water but when we reached the upper Squamish the water still had some clarity and in the morning we managed to hook a decent number of fish with the egg rigs. As the day progressed the rain continued and the river turned brown with about 1-2 ft visibility. It wasn’t a great day but under the circumstances we did quite well and everyone learned a lot and had fun.
The lesson from the day is that the numbers on the river levels graph are a little different right now. Historically numbers in the high 2s and into 3 have been a blow out. As you can see below we were out on Jan 11th. The river was out Jan 12 and was coming back into shape Monday the 13th. We don’t know if this trend will continue through the next few months but it is something to keep an eye on. The flow has been consistently low for the past few weeks. During an extended period of low water, debris will build up on the banks waiting to be washed into the river when we finally see a rise in water and this is exactly what we saw on the weekend.
The forecast looks great for this weekend and we are heading out on Sunday for another attempt. We are expecting a much more pleasant day on the water and the river should be at a pretty good level.
This time of year we still focus heavily on the nymphing presentation using egg beads. Come into the shop and the guys will walk you through the set up. It is a little complicated but very effective when you gain a little experience using it. The other technique to try is the swung fly technique using a 10-15ft medium/heavy sink tip a short 8-10lb leader and a sculpin, leach or bait fish imitation. We just received a massive order of intruder style sculpin patterns. This technique will start to work well this time of year but will really become effective later in February.
Max was on the Cheakamus on Thursday and reports that the egg fishing has begun to taper off early this year for many anglers. Although fish are still being taken readily on egg patterns, swung sculpins have started to out perform in some situations.
A few optimistic anglers have started to fish for steelhead, but we have yet to hear of anything affirmative. Some fry have started to hatch due to the stable warm temperatures. Try an epoxy minnow or alevin pattern as a change up from the egg!
The Squamish and Cheakamus systems are a 100% catch and release – no bait/scent – barbless fishery so play by the rules, give other anglers space and have fun!
The river is dropping and reports have already been better this week than last. The rain, as predicted, brought in some fresh fish and moved around the ones already in the system. We heard of a couple fish caught on gear and confirmed a couple nice ones caught on fly. The full moon was on Wednesday and big tides should bring in more fish.
As you can see in the feature product section, we have brought in a massive fly order and now have a great steelhead selection. Come down and check it out!
Again we have heard of a couple fish caught. Things will only get better as we get closer to March. The river dropped fast after the rain last week. 3 egg roe bags, small jigs, Jensen eggs and Colorado blades should be in your vest for clear conditions.
We are still hearing reports from the Stave with guys fishing for white fish and cutthroat with egg patterns and nymph rigs just down from the dam. We haven’t heard of any news on how the access is right now and we would love to get some first-hand info about where it is safe to park and fish. Let us know!
We had a couple reports from the cutthroat guys but at least from what we heard the fishing has not been as good this last week as it has been during late December. Harrison area sloughs and Fraser back channels are where you want to target these fish. The reports have not been great but that can change in a heartbeat. Cutthroat move and one day they will be in and the next gone. With only a few guys heading out each week it is hard to really gauge how things are doing. Historically, mid-January to mid-February can be slow but then things start really picking up late February.
Winter cutthroating is a great fishery to look at this time of year and the key is to cover ground and keep your eyes peeled for surface activity. Most anglers will use a floating line or slow clear sinking lines matched to a 4, 5 or 6wt rod with light 5-6lb tippet.
We heard about a rod getting broken on a steelhead in the Capilano early in the week but haven’t heard anything as of late. Still the Capilano is a great little fishery to look at if you have a couple hours. We don’t recommend fly fishing because the layout of the river is not conducive to the cast fly. Float fishing is the most productive method.
Things have picked up this week as predicted. The full moon and big tides seemed to perk things up and there have been consistent catches off the mouth of the Capilano on the flood tide and out towards the QB and the freighters on the ebb tide. The go to flashers like Green Onion and Purple Onion have been working well and the go to spoons like the Kingfisher or Coho Killer in Irish Cream, Cookies n Cream, Glow Green, Homeland Security, and Kitchen Sink, have all been working well. Cover water, fish fast, and keep your gear close to the bottom and you will hook fish. There hasn’t been a lot of pressure lately but with more fish showing up and a nice forecast, there will be more boats out and some more fishing getting caught.
This is great time of year to book a charter and get some prime eating chinook, some fresh dungeness crab, and some BC spot prawns! Take advantage of the weather and book charter today. Call Bryce at 778-788-8582.
One of the regulars was out this week and had some action late in the flood tide at the Cap. There wasn’t much bait around but they did pick up a nice legal fish on an Irish creme spoon at 105 ft. There was also one other pop off on a kitchen sink spoon. It was a red and must have just gone on the bite as there was nothing in the stomach.
Pacific Angler Fishing Courses
First, for those of you that may have missed the introduction this past Monday, we have FOUR NEW COURSES!!
Pacific Angler is thrilled to partner up with Aaron Goodis by expanding our courses in 2014. Aaron is on the pro staff for Rajeff Sports and G-Loomis. His photographs & articles have been published for major magazines such as North West Fly Fishing, Fly Fusion, BC Outdoors Sport Fishing, Canadian Fly Fisher and Hatches to name a few. Below is a full bio on Aaron in relation to the courses he will be teaching for PA!
Aaron Goodis – Bio
First off, Aaron is very passionate about nature, grew up and is still currently living in Vancouver so growing up he has enjoyed the benefits of being on the rugged South Coast. Aaron was introduced to the environment at a very young age and this prompted a lifelong active relationship with our wild environment. Aaron loves to fish, particularly fly fishing, and he loves to take pictures.
Aaron has developed a career out of educating others like himself in both fly fishing and nature photography. Aaron believes that the enjoyment of working and playing outside steers a person towards being more knowledgeable and protective of our environment.
When it comes to fly fishing and fly casting Aaron holds both a Federation of Fly Fishers Casting Instructor Certification and an Adapted Fly Casting Institute Certificate. By earning these certificates Aaron has broadened his knowledge, grown a lot as a fly fisher and more importantly as an instructor.
A number of years ago Aaron Goodis Photography was born. As Aaron merged his interest with photography together with a love of fly fishing he found a new light, so to speak. By showcasing the sport he loves, through photographs, his goal is to not only promote fly fishing but also the mindset of conservation and the importance of low impact.
A major stepping stone and career highlight for Aaron was working at the 2010 Winter Olympics held in Vancouver. He was a photo supervisor at the curling venue which put Aaron in the front line working alongside seasoned pros. Aaron looks forward to sharing his experience and knowledge with all of the Pacific Angler clients that will be taking his courses in 2014!! Aaron can also be followed (by liking) on his Aaron Goodis Photography Facebook page!
Pacific Angler’s FOUR NEW FEATURE COURSES (Aaron Goodis – Instructor)
Spey Casting – “The Modern West Coast Skagit Style”
This class will focus on “The Modern West Coast Skagit Style” of Spey casting. Students will be taught the ins and outs to all things Skagit Spey, they will be taught with thorough demonstration and one on one time how to overcome the challenges associated with two handed fly rods. Aaron’s students should leave this class with a much better understanding of Skagit Spey casting and fishing, they will be able to overcome the obstacles faced during a real fishing day.
Class Size: 8-10 NOTE: ONLY 2 SPOTS LEFT!
Cost: $125per person
Seminar Date & Time: Thursday, January 30th / 730pm – 9pm
Casting Date & Time: Saturday, February 1st / 10am – 4pm (Location TBD)
Topics will include:
- The Theory
- Your Equipment – Understanding the Gear
- Casting Methods: The Skagit Poke, The Skagit Circle Spey, The Skagit Double Spey
- River Right versus River Left
- Running Line Management
- Dealing with the Wind
- Sink Tip Selection
- Mending Techniques
- Two Handed Spey Rod 12-14 foot
- Skagit Spey Head and assortment of Sink Tips
- Waders/Rain Jacket
- Sunglasses or Eye Protection
Single Hand Fly Casting – Advanced Distance
This is for the fly fisher with experience looking to improve their accuracy, distance and over all style and control over the fly cast. Learn “the double hall” for improved distance, casting angles to help with pin point accuracy and dealing with the elements such as wind, line drag, and running line management. Aaron’s students should leave the class with a much better understanding of how to achieve better distance and accuracy with their fly casting.
Class Size: 6
Cost: $100per person
Date & Time: Sunday, March 2nd 10am – 1pm (local park TBD)
- Fly Line Loop Control
- The Double Hall for Increased Distance
- The Drift
- Power & Tempo
- Casting Stroke Angles for Accuracy & Distance
- Dealing with Wind
- Single handed fly rod 5 – 10 wt
- WF Floating Fly Line
- Sunglasses or Eye Protection
Sacred Coast Photography Workshop © 2014
The Sacred Coast Workshop is a photography class helping photographers from all levels learn how to create and capture unique and dramatic images worthy of a frame and wall space. Aaron is a well published photographer from Vancouver shooting primarily fly fishing, nature, landscape and active outdoor lifestyle. Aaron leads this class through a series of slides aiming to showcase proven techniques in order to help students understand the fundamentals of photography.
We encourage those who are interested in photography at all levels from beginners to advanced to take this workshop. All cameras welcome from phone camera from point and shoot to pro DSLR.
Class Size: 20
Cost: $40per person
Seminar Date: Tuesday, March 11th / 6:30pm – 930pm
- Cameras and lens selection (point & shoot versus pro dslr)
- Camera settings that help you achieve the look your after
- Shutter speed, Depth of field and ISO
- Framing and Composition – Make your images stand out
- Packing your gear – keep your camera dry
- Proper fish handling for catch & release photography – fish first every time
Single Hand Fly Casting – Faults & Fixes
This is a course designed for beginner to intermediate fly fishers looking to learn without “the bad habits” or anyone looking to tune up their fly cast. We look at and break down the bare basics of fly casting. Aaron’s students will leave this class feeling much more confident about their fly casting, they will have a much better sense of how to overcome and correct their bad habits.
Class Size: 6
Cost: $100per person
Date & Time: Saturday, April 26th / 10am – 1pm (local park TBD)
Topics will include:
- The Casting Loop – Size & Shape
- Loop Control
- The Casting Stroke and its Relation to Fly Line Length
- Speed, Power & Tempo
- Single handed fly rod 5-10wt
- WF Floating Fly Line
- Sunglasses or Eye Protection
These 4 courses are all taught by Aaron Goodis. Pacific Angler will continue to seek the counsel of our clientele and other industry experts in the creation and addition of more courses in 2014!
OTHER UPCOMING COURSES (Jan – Feb)
INTRODUCTION TO FLY TYING – Andre Stepanian
Class Size: 7
Dates: (Jan 21, 28 & Feb 4 SOLD OUT), (Apr 8, 15 & 22), (Jun 9, 16 & 23) & (Sep 8, 15 & 22)
Time: 6:30pm – 9:30pm
TYING JIGS FOR STEELHEAD & SALMON – Maxwell Stickel
The use of jigs for catching steelhead and salmon is not a new idea; however, in the last few years we have seen a revolution on our local rivers. Fisherman using hand tied jigs are accounting for record numbers of steelhead! Join us around the tying tables and learn how to tie jigs for steelhead and salmon! If you have never thought of making your own lures don’t feel intimidated, Pacific Angler will help you with each step. For those who have lots of experience we will hone your skills and show you the tricks that make jigs the choice of top rods across the Lower Mainland. Students are required to supply their own vise, tools and materials. A 10% discount is available on materials and tools purchased for the course.
Class Size: 7
Date: Jan 22
Time: 6:30pm – 9:30pm
INTRODUCTION TO FLY FISHING – Matt Sharp
This course was specifically designed to give the new fly fisher the basic knowledge, casting skills and fly fishing strategies to effectively fish our local BC waters. This course is comprised of two sessions; 3hr evening seminar and a 3hr casting session. The dates below show the seminar date first and casting date second.
Class Size: 12
Dates: (Feb 12 & 16), (Mar 19 & 23), (Apr 7 & 13), (May 20 & 25), (Jun 3 & 8), (Jul 8 & 13), (Aug 12 & 17), (Sept 23 & 28) and (Oct 14 & 19)
Time: 6:30pm – 9:30pm
Casting Time(s): 10am – 1pm or 2pm – 5pm
TYING INTRUDER FLY PATTERNS
Happy students with their intruder flies after Dimitri’s course!
This course is designed for those that are interested in tying steelhead flies in the “Intruder style”. This style of fly is extremely productive for steelhead and salmon due to its profile and movement in the water. During this two night (5hr total instruction) tying series, you will learn the very specific techniques and unique materials used to tie this fly. This course is suitable for intermediate to advanced tiers. Students are required to supply their own vise, tools and materials. A 10% discount is available on materials and tools purchased for the course.
Class Size: 7 (5spots left)
Dates: (Jan 14 & 15) (Feb 17 & 18) (Nov 4 & 5)
Time: 7pm – 9:30pm
STEELHEAD FLOAT FISHING – Jason Tonelli
Class Size: 20 (8 spots left)
Seminar Only Cost: $45.00 (before taxes)
Seminar & Guided Walk’n Wade Cost: $400 for one person or $500 for two people
Date: Feb 19th (Guided trip dates are flexible)
Time: 6:30pm – 9:30pm
In this fishery, 10% of the anglers catch 90% of the fish. This is your chance to learn from the Jason Tonelli who would be in that preferred 10%! Our 3hr evening seminar will educate you on the gear, water types, conditions and other key variables that put veteran steelhead anglers in that 10%. Mastering this fishery will make you the envy of your friends. Upgrade your seminar to include a fully guided day on the water, putting into practice your new knowledge with a Pacific Angler guide.
To review the rest of the current courses that are upcoming please view them by downloading the Pacific Angler 2014 Course Schedule PDF.
Additional course dates are added throughout the year due to demand. Please contact the store for additional information or to be added to a wait list.
Pacific Angler Retail: 604-872-2204
On behalf of the Pacific Angler staff we wish you the best in your fishing endeavors and we hope to see you either at the shop or on the water. To check out the latest Pacific Angler news view the Pacific Angler Facebook page.
Jason, Matt, Andre, Max, Eddie, Jordan and Bryce