Well we saw some decent weather mixed with some wet weather this week and though we are absolutely due for some more sun, there is not much of it in the forecast. Putting the lack of vitamin D depression aside, the good news is that the fishing forecast looks pretty good. The warmer mix of rain and sun has kept the fry hatching and water temps relatively warm on the river front and it is also keeping river levels at good heights. With a little rain in the forecast today and tomorrow, but no major storms on the horizon, this should continue and Sunday looks like it will be nice. What day will be best? It’s hard to tell and everyone shouldn’t go rushing out Sunday. Sometimes sun can put the fish off. That said with the warm weather all week the next 2-4 days all look good.
On the saltwater front we had some great fishing up Howe Sound earlier last week but it slowed considerably last weekend. The good news is that this Wednesday was “hump day” in more ways than one. We heard of the first solid reports off the “Hump” south of Bowen. Check out Jason’s Saltwater report for all the details.
Andre has been out chasing cutthroat up the Fraser Valley with some success but also some challenging days mixed in. Check out his reports on the cutthroat fishery below.
Last but not least we have heard that some of the lower elevation lakes around Kamloops have iced off and a few brave soles have been toughing out the weather and finding fish. We are not starting our lake reports just yet because it is still a little early but this means that if the weather continues to improve lake fishing is just around the corner! It is time to gear up and start preparing. We are receiving shipments of flies almost every week loading up to make sure we have all the lake essentials in time. If you are not going out this weekend it might not be a bad time to do some tying for your lake box or take a look at your punt or inflatable to make sure everything is ready. Come down if you need any supplies or advice. Lake fishing reports will start SOON!
If you need to stock up for your long weekend fishing don’t forget we are open today!
Our full Easter Long Weekend Hours are below:
Friday April 14, 10AM – 7PM
Saturday April 15, 10AM – 6PM
Sunday April 16, 11AM – 5PM
Monday April 17 – Closed
CLASSES AND COURSES
There are a couple of spots left in each of our upcoming courses this month so give the store a ring today and grab your seat!
Introduction To Fly Fishing Lakes
This course will give you an in-depth look at the fundamentals of fly fishing lakes. We explore equipment, techniques, major insect hatches and ideal lakes to begin with. You will learn all you need to plan your next successful lake trip to one of BC’s 5,000 lakes! This course is comprised of one 3hr evening seminar.
Dates: Apr 18 or May 30
Time: 6:30pm – 9:30pm
Instructor: Matt Sharp
Introduction to Chironomid Techniques
Chironomids are the number one food source for trout in BC’s lakes; however, few anglers have taken the time to become true masters of this discipline. Those that do are often rewarded with the largest fish. Trevor is a former member of the Canadian Fly Fishing Team and an excellent chironomid angler. Dedication to his sport has helped Trevor become one of the top fly fishermen in the province as well as a fisheries biologist working for Hemmera. This course is comprised of one 3hr evening seminar. Content is for beginner to advanced.
Dates: Apr 19 or May 2
Time: 6:30pm – 9:30pm
Instructor: Trevor Welton
Do you have a passion for fishing? We’re looking to add to the team here at Pacific Angler. Check out all of the details in the job posting here and come join the Pacific Angler team.
FRESHWATER FISHING REPORTS
Vedder River Fishing Report
The Vedder is slowly winding down; the odd fresh fish is getting caught. Anglers have been starting to encounter spawned out Steelhead, which are heading back to the ocean. These fish must be treated with respect. Play them quickly, keep them in the water, and give them an appropriate amount of time to recover before releasing them. With reduced crowds this time of year and less fish then earlier In the year you definitely want to cover as much water as possible to find that biter. Colorado blades or little shavers fished under a float can work well with the presence of fry in the river. Definitely hasn’t been a banner year but maybe we’ll see a push of late fish after this full moon.
Squamish River Fishing Report
With some nice weather upon us a ton of people hit the water this last week and though reports were things were a little crowded, there was also some solid fishing reports. Anglers caught a mix of rainbows, cutthroat and bulltrout using fry patterns and small spoons and we heard of a handful of steelhead to make things interesting.
The outlook for the weekend is good. River levels are medium, low and getting a little clear so make sure you have light leader for your fry patterns and if you can fish fluorocarbon I recommend it. This is about the time of year I like to have a sink tip rod setup and a floating line setup in my arsenal. With the sink tip, I fish short 8-12lb maxima leaders with sculpin patterns and steelhead style patterns. With the floating line setup and 6-7lb, 10ft fluorocarbon leader, I fish fry patterns. Sometimes if it gets cold I will put the fry on the sink tip to get it a little deeper. Seeing bulltrout, rainbows or cutthroat slashing at the surface is pretty cool though, so most times I just stick with the floating line presentation.
Though I always like to keep this report positive there are two things I would like to cover this week that are a little depressing. Let’s see if we can turn them into positive notes and learn from them. The first is the worst. We had a customer find a dead steelhead on a very prominent run on the upper river. Though the river gods only know for sure, from the location and what I saw in the picture, it is likely that it was killed by an angler. I wont speak to how it happened because I was not there but it is a good reminder to all of us that these beautiful, rare creatures are fragile and need to be treated with the utmost respect when we are lucky enough to catch one. Do not hold them over rocks or land them in water that is so shallow that they might bash their heads. Minimize handling as much as possible, and do everything in your power to make sure they swim away from the encounter unharmed. If the hook is deep, cut your leader. The second less than positive note from this week is there have been a number of complaints about crowding. When we are at peak season, lots of people are going to be out enjoying the river. It is just a symptom of having such a cool resource so close to a large population. It is our responsibility to keep it cool. Make sure to respect your fellow angler and try your best to give everyone space. If you see another angler on a run, do not crowd him out, never walk below the angler, or better yet keep hiking and find another spot. If you are fishing across the river from another angler in a narrow run respect his space, if he was there first try to keep behind him and do not fish his water. On the Squamish there is lots of room to hike and the more ground you cover the more likely you are to find fish so move on and give everyone respect and space.
Ok guys, good luck this weekend, respect your fellow angler, make sure your barbs are pinched, practice catch and release and remember everyone is out to have fun and enjoy the resource.
Capilano River Fishing Report
We have seen some good water levels on the Capilano this week thanks to this rather wet April we’ve been having. From what we’ve heard fishing has been slow on the Capilano for Steelhead but there is the odd fish here and there and water conditions are favourable. Drift fishing with bait and artificials or swinging flies may entice a fish or two since we have some decent current. In about a month from now we will start seeing the first few Coho Salmon show up, so this lull should be short-lived.
Fraser Valley Cutthroat Fishing Report
Despite the crazy weather patterns we have been having the fish have shown themselves quite a bit. I have been on the river personal fishing and guiding and found fish 7 days out of 9. We had the students out last weekend, Saturday was wind gusts and whitecaps on the river and fish were caught and Sunday was beautiful calm day and couldn’t hook a fish so you never know how the day is going to turn out. Figuring out which fry pattern is the hot one that day could take a while before you get a reaction from these fish but the anticipation of a strike is what keeps you on your toes until that line pulls out and there is a cutthroat on the end of your fly line.
Be sure to keep your eyes on the surface and follow the bugs that are drifting down with the current and see if they are taking dries. On certain days you will catch a few on fry and there will be a quiet period where the fish are ignoring the fry, this is a good time to see if they are eating mayfly or stone fly nymphs. There is no shortage of fry, that’s for sure, there were a lot of fry with light golden/olive backs and now you will see the ones with darker backs as well. So be sure to have numerous patterns with you on your next trip.
I still think that there are more cutthroat that have not come down yet to the lower part of the river. As long as the levels stay under 9.325 m you are still able to walk and wade. It all depend how cold or hot the rest of this month is going to be, hopefully the freshet won’t start to early so we can fish for another few weeks before it ends.
Stave River Fishing Report
If you’re on the hunt for cutthroat trout, the Stave River should be on your list of locations to scout out. It is a short river with limited access so it is a great place to kill a couple of hours. It is also dam-controlled so it is not as susceptible to water level fluctuations as other rivers. Bring your fry patterns or even small spoons and spinners to cover water effectively; the cutthroat are highly migratory and if they are not there one day, they could be there the next. You may also come across resident mountain whitefish and steelhead, which are currently in the river to spawn. Reports are that parking is limited right now due to construction so please be mindful of “no parking” spots.
LOWER MAINLAND STOCKED LAKES FISHING REPORT
Every year Go Fish BC stocks lakes throughout British Columbia with catchable trout. A number of these lakes are in close proximity to urban centers, affording those of us stuck in the city somewhere to wet a line without having to drive an hour or two from home. In the lower mainland there are multiple lakes that receive these stockings, with a few of the popular ones being Rice Lake (North Vancouver), Lafarge Lake (Coquitlam), Green Timbers (Surrey), Buntzen Lake (Port Moody), Browning Lake (near Squamish), and Sanctuary Pond (Vancouver).
The stockings typically occur in the Spring and Fall with rainbow trout in the 10-13 inch range. On occasion larger fish can be caught but these are usually remaining fish from the previous year. There are many different ways to catch these fish and not only is this a great fishery for adults but it is also an amazing introduction for kids and families into the world of fishing. A plethora of baits, lures, and flies will work. That’s not to say that it is an easy fishery; it can be downright frustrating when they key in on something specific. But, once you’ve figured out what they want it can be like shooting fish in a barrel. There are a few tried and true methods that I will outline below.
Bait fishing for these stocked trout is a simple yet effective way of catching them, especially right after they have been released. Nothing screams “fishing” like casting out a bobber and worm! Powerbait is a popular choice among bait fishermen and there are many different options within the Powerbait brand to choose from. My favourite is the Powerbait Power Egg as they are easy to rig and I have seen them work in every lake I have fished at (barring those with bait bans), so I highly recommend these. Other popular baits to use are deli shrimp, marshmallows, and krill. Certain baits work better under a float, while others like the Powerbait Power Egg and dough products work best fished on the bottom.
A more active way to get them on gear is to cast and retrieve small spinners and spoons. I personally like fishing Rooster Tails, Mepps Black Furys, Gibbs Crocs, and Dick Nites. Having a variety of these lures at your disposal is a good idea, as sometimes they will key in to a specific shape, action, or colour. This is an enjoyable way to fish for them as it allows you to feel the bite but at the same time you can take in the scenery around you. Not to mention it is as simple as casting the lure out and reeling it back!
The third method of catching these stockers is to fly fish for them. Chironomids under an indicator can buy you many bites, especially once the fish have settled into the lake and are feeding on more natural food sources. This is when a stomach pump can come in extremely handy, as you will be able to dial it in to match the exact size and colour of their food. In addition stripping flies such as micro leeches, dragonfly nymphs, wooly buggers, and muddler minnows on a sink tip can be effective, or troll these flies on a full sinking line. Browns, olives, and reds are all go-to colours for the aforementioned streamers though don’t be afraid to experiment a bit.
As for the gear you will need, it can be as simple or complex as you want it to be. Light to Medium powered spinning rods in the 5’6” to 8’ range will suffice, and we offer many combos that fit that bill. For those that want to get into more “specialty” trout spinning setups we have a couple that stand out. First is an ultralight Fenwick 10’6” HMX that would be a wicked bait rod or “noodle” rod. We also have a light action 6’9” Fenwick River Runner that would be a fantastic small spoon and spinner rod. On the fly fishing side setups in the 3wt to 6wt range are ideal. The 5wt Redington Path or Crosswater combo package makes for a fantastic setup that is ready to fish out of the box, all you need to do is add flies and water! For the more technically savvy fly anglers, we have 3 and 4wt options from Redington, Sage, and G. Loomis and a full range of full floating, full sinking and sink tip lines to match your technique.
While this is definitely a fishery that can be thoroughly enjoyed from shore, a watercraft can be a great way to reach those trout in spots that shore-bound anglers can’t (if the lake in question allows watercraft of course). Float tubes are a relatively cost effective way to get into the water and we have a few great choices at the Shop to choose from. The Dragonfly Venture float tube is our cheap but cheerful option that will get you to deeper water without breaking the bank while we also carry the beefier and more ergonomic Outcast Fish Cat 4 in both standard and deluxe editions. Not only are these great additions to any lake fisher’s arsenal but having the option to paddle around the lake will help you locate more fish and elevate your fishing game to the next level.
For a full list of stocked lakes, visit www.gofishbc.com to see the most recent releases. Also remember to check the regulations of the lake you plan to fish and familiarize yourself with these regulations before going fishing. If you have any questions regarding this fishery feel free to call the shop or better yet, come on down to talk to us in person and we can help you get set up!
SALTWATER FISHING REPORTS
Vancouver Salmon Fishing Report
Well things are happening out on the ocean, good things, like lots of fish showing up in multiple locations. It has been an interesting past couple of weeks actually. Here is a quick recap.
Last week we had great fishing all through the weekdays and myself and other guides were anticipating good fishing on the weekend. We aren’t sure what happened, but the fish really turned off on Saturday. We could see them on the sounder in multiple locations but they just weren’t biting. Multiple guide boats had 1 bite all day, including myself, as we were all keeping in touch with each other, trying to figure out what the heck was going on. Captain Eddie did get on a decent bite that day for about 45 minutes and put a couple nice ones in the boat, but for the most part the fish were just not in the mood! I guess that is what keeps it interesting. Maybe the fish turned off because of the barometer change, the storm the night before, the algae bloom, we will never know. Sunday was a little better and we did box a fish and have some more bites, but it was right on the tide change and the bite only lasted 45 minutes.
Fast forward to this past week and boom! The fishing is back on. There have been multiple good reports from the Hump this week, pretty much right on schedule. Basically there have been fish encountered on the Hump, some over at Gower, Roger Curtis, Cowan, off the QA, and off the Bell Buoy. There have also been some fish in Howe Sound. Basically you have schools of chinook in the area swimming around looking for bait. Are they going to be on the Hump? Are they going to slide into Howe Sound? Are they going to get pushed towards the QA and Bell Buoy? The answer to all these questions is yes. It depends on the tide and the winds and where the bait is. Pick an area and stick it out, these are open water fisheries and you have to put your time in. Once you do find the fish you will usually be rewarded with some pretty decent action.
Best depths for this fishery vary, but the most productive zone on the riggers is usually somewhere between 90-120. Stacking is essential for this fishery as it allows you to cover a lot more water and get a feel for how deep the fish are. We like to use 18 pound cannonballs to keep the gear down while stacking and still troll at a good quick pace. We have been doing well on a variety of glow flashers and glow spoons as well as bait in glow teaser heads. Salty Dawg, Green Onion Glow, Yellow/Green Kinetic are all excellent flashers for this fishery. Top spoons have been Pescas with glow and green, blue or black on them and top Kingfisher spoons have been Irish Cream, and Homeland Security.
This is a great time to book a charter because we are usually get multiple bites, multiple keepers and these are tasty feeder chinook. Crabbing is also decent right now. I would recommend an 8 hour charter as sometimes it takes awhile to get on top of the fish and this can be tough on a 5 hour charter.
See you out there!