It’s the last fishing report of April and it finally feels like spring has arrived. With the arrival of spring we’re thinking lake fishing! We had a packed house this week for Matt’s Introduction to Fly Fishing Lakes course and we’re looking forward to our Introduction to Chironomid Techniques course taught by guest instructor Trevor Welton next week. Andre has the first Interior Lake Report of the season this week as well. Be sure to tune in to next week’s report as we will be taking a detailed look at some new fly lines that you will definitely want to check out this season!
Saltwater fishing has been nothing short of exceptional this week. We have enjoyed the sun and good numbers of chinook from all of our favourite spots. Now is the time to get out there!
With the warmer temperatures our river anglers should watch water levels. The Squamish has come up this week and we’re hoping it’s enough to bring in a bit of colour to the river! For those out in the Valley on the Vedder, the gear fishing season is coming to a close. As of May 1st the Vedder is fly fishing only from the Vedder Crossing bridge down.
Looking forward to seeing you in the shop, at a class or on the water this week!
CLASSES + COURSES
May is almost upon us and so are our May courses. Reserve your spot by calling the shop today!
Introduction to Chironomid Techniques – SOLD OUT – call the shop to add your name to the waitlist.
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.
Cost: $45.00 + GST
Dates: May 2 – SOLD OUT!
Time: 6:30pm – 9:30pm
Introduction to Fly Fishing
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.
Dates: Seminar: May 9 Casting: May 12
Seminar Time: 6:30pm – 9:30pm
Casting Time: 2pm -5pm
Tying Beach Fly Patterns
Join Pacific Angler for a 3hr evening seminar of tying flies specific to catching salmon on our coastal beaches. Without a doubt, fly selection is critical while beach fishing.
These flies are often not commercially available, so successful beach anglers learn to tie their own patterns. Your instructor will walk you through each fly pattern step-by-step.
This Tying Beach Fly Patterns course is suitable for fly tiers with a basic knowledge. Students are required to supply their own vise, tools and materials. A 10% discount is available on fly tying materials and tools purchased for the course.
Dates: May 28, 2018
Time: 6:30pm – 9:30pm
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.
Cost: $45.00 + GST
Dates: May 29
Time: 6:30pm – 9:30pm
FRESHWATER FISHING REPORTS
Chilliwack River Fishing Report
This marks the last pertinent Vedder report and is basically the book-end for gear fishers for the 2017-2018 Steelhead Season. It was definitely an interesting season; it started off slow in December and January but picked up in the second half with some great fish being caught. I hope those of you who are reading this got to experience some Steel at the end of your line.
As of May 1st the Vedder is fly fishing only from the Vedder Crossing Bridge down. If you still plan to swing a fly in these waters do it sooner than later as once we get consistent warm temperatures the river will hit freshet mode and will be unfishable. Water is currently at a low to moderate flow with good clarity, but this will change when the late spring/early summer heat finally kicks in. Try swinging big bright streamers on sink tips for the fresher fish still coming in.
It’s been a great season and we will resume weekly Vedder reports when it reopens in July for Red Chinook. There are other cool fisheries starting up now and I know I’ll be partaking in them, so get out there and have fun!
Capilano River Fishing Report
It’s already that time of the year. Capilano River will maintain the water level around 1.5m so that early coho can swim up to the hatchery. This will go on until the dry season hits and remaining steelhead in the system will start their trek back to the ocean. You can still target some of the steelhead that are in the system, however, we are seeing the end of winter runs for the year.
We are hearing of more sightings of early coho in the Cap. One key thing to keep in mind is that you will have more luck when they freshly hit the river or at first light. To target coho, fish at high tide as more fish are likely to show up with the incoming tide. These coho aren’t that big as they don’t take the time to stack at the mouth of the river and feed. You won’t need a regular salmon set up, light to medium/light rods will provide enough power and fun when fishing for these blue backs. As for fly guys a 5 – 7 weight rod is more than enough.
Try fishing with small leeches (egg sucking, conehead, beadhead etc.). Wooly buggers and Cap buggers are also great options. Keep in mind that coho prefer colours such as blue, copper, olive and chartreuse.
Fishing spoons and spinners are also viable options, however with the water level and speed you would have better luck fishing with roe, or colorado blades under a float.
Look for structures like big boulders or log jams as they will like to rest in slower water when moving up the river.
Please release all WILD coho and any summer run steelheads you run into. Remember the importance of identifying the species of fish not to confuse one with another.
Stay safe out there and have fun.
Squamish River Fishing Report
This week saw the Squamish River bump and drop, and then bump again, and it looks like it’s going to continue to do so. This may end up being the bump we’ve been needing to colour up the water and make it that ‘steelhead green’ we all dream about. It has been pretty clear the last little while making fishing tougher, but anglers who are willing to wander and explore have been finding bulltrout and rainbows. There isn’t anything too much different for this week’s reports in regards to gear or tactics. A lot of the same tackle and flies we’ve talked about the past few weeks are going to be at the top of the list if you head out this week coming up, with the key being to cover water to find the fish.
At this time of year, it is important to mark water levels. I’ve mentioned this before in past reports, usually always around this time of year: if you have to cross any braids or channels to get to where you are going, an easy way to mark water height is to place a stick in the sand near the water. While fishing that run, if you notice that the water has come up, it may be time to start thinking about crossing back, or exploring options and routes to safely return to your vehicle. With these hot temperatures, you can expect to see some change in the coming week.
Be safe, have fun, and tight lines.
STILLWATER FISHING REPORTS
Local Lake Fishing Report
Even with temperatures rising the local lakes are still a great option. Lakes that were stocked first have slowed down but lakes that have just been stocked are a good choice and we should continue to see consistent fishing for the next few weeks. Hot temperatures can put the fish down but we don’t expect it to get too hot any time soon. You can check your local stocked data on: www.gofishbc.com . As we mentioned last week this website is a great resource for stocking as well as some basic information on access and amenities for local lakes.
How to target rainbows on our stocked lakes – Finding where the trout are is the key. Look for surfacing fish and understanding structure of the lake will lead to a great success. Try everything from flies, lures, bottom rigs and float style rigs as trout can be keying on specific technique. For fly fishing, you can match the hatch for a better success.
Please respect others fishing around you and do not leave any garbage behind when you are done.
Interior Lakes Fishing Report
Lake season is upon us and the ice is coming off quickly on some lakes in Merritt and Kamloops, the ones that are 100% ice free are Jaco, Six Mile, Morgan, Corbett, Courtney and by next week more lakes should be ice free after this warm weather. Sometimes it only takes a couple of days for the wind to make the ice disappear. Although the water temps are still below 45 degrees in most of the lakes there are some minimal hatches of chironomids during the warmest part of the day. They are usually in the size 16-18 range so make sure you have some this small in you box. The fish will also be in the shallows so fish leeches under a strike indicator and also try your luck fishing scuds with a floating line or a clear intermediate line hugging the shoreline. This should sum up the food source for now until the lake temps rise.
SALTWATER FISHING REPORTS
Vancouver Saltwater Salmon Fishing Report
Fishing has been nothing short of exceptional this past week with good numbers of chinook being taken in pretty much every spot I can think of. There are now chinook off South Bowen from Roger Curtis to Cowan both inshore and offshore, from the Bell to the QA, out on the Hump and off Gabriola and Nanaimo. The when and where is simply a factor on how much time you have and how windy it is and perhaps the size of your boat. Either way, the results have often been the same with great catches being the norm, not the exception. How long will this hot fishing last? That is hard to say, but there is still a lot of time left in this “spring time” chinook fishery, which often sees fairly consistent fishing until mid June. Just like we have been anticipating, some larger fish are now starting to show up and we have seen some fish in the high teens and low twenties. The average fish are in the 8-12 pound range but I know some more big fish are on the way and that trend will continue all through May.
In terms of what is working and how deep, that really depends on the colour of the water. Locally the water is pretty dirty from algae blooms or Fraser River water and in general this means the fish are relatively shallow with 60-120 being good on the riggers. Brighter flashers and spoons have been working well like chartreuse glow, and green glow, green onion glow, and Salty Dawg. Irish Cream, Homeland, and Kitchen Sink have been good spoons in 3.5 and 4.0.
On the other side of the pond the water is a lot cleaner and sometimes you can see your flasher down as deep as 45 feet. The same gear just mentioned will work but definitely fish deeper, from 130-200 and another spoon that seems to be hot over there is the Pink Sink. Splatter back hootchies in green, chartreuse and blue are also producing well.
Crabbing has been good and so has prawning, so if you have the time we recommend dropping traps.
See you in the shop or on the water,