With May almost upon us things are warming up a bit. This means that some of our local river fisheries are winding down for the season. That said the Squamish is still producing decent numbers of fish so be sure to get out now while you can! While the river season may be coming to a close things are just getting going on the lake fishing front. Get tuned up for lake fishing season with our Introduction to Chironomid Techniques Course or our Introduction to Lake Fishing Course. See the classes and courses section for dates and further information.
It has been another stellar week on the saltwater front. With fish being caught locally and across the straight there are plenty of places to fish so its safe to say now is the time to get out on the water. Jason has all of the details in this week’s saltwater fishing report. Want to make sure you have the right gear for a successful trip on the water – we’ve got you covered as this week we’re featuring all our favourite gear for a number these hot producing areas!
See you in the shop or on the water.
CLASSES + COURSES
May is only days away so it’s time to start thinking of our May course. Get ready for lake fishing with guest instructor Trevor Welton’s Introduction to Chironomid Techniques Course and Matt’s Introduction to Fly Fishing Lake Course. It’s also not too early to start thinking of beach fishing. Get a spot at the tying table and learn from the beach fishing expert, Andre Stepanian.
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: May 2
Time: 6:30pm – 9:30pm
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 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 materials and tools purchased for the course.
Dates: May 24
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.
Dates: May 30
Time: 6:30pm – 9:30pm
FRIDAY FEATURE PRODUCT
With so many reports of The Hump, QA, and Bell Bouy fishing well, this week’s feature products are going to be based around some of Pacific Angler’s favourite gear for these areas.
As many of you may already know from being out on the salt, the water has started to colour up quite a bit due to freshet and algae. When this happens it is key to fish with scents and glow. You’ll see us out there fishing glow flashers in both green and chartreuse, as well as glow teaser heads. Our spoons: GLOW!
Some of our favourite flashers are the Salty Dawg as well as Club Dub, and for those days when the fish may be shallower or when stacking rods, Green and Purple Onion are also on our list.
In regards to scent, we almost always use Smelly Jelly or Super Sauce rubbed onto our spoons or squeezed up into the bell of a hootchie. And guess what colour our hootchies are? Yup, you guessed right: GLOW green or chartreuse.
When fishing hootchies while the water is as coloured as it has been, we will sometimes run the Yamashita cuttlefish instead as it provides a larger profile which can be easier to see as well as provide a bigger meal.
As some of you may have noticed, the bait is starting to get bigger. This gives good reason to start bumping up spoon sizes into the 4.0 area as well as not being scared to drop down a herring or two if you’re currently running anchovies.
Below is a selection of some of our go-to gear that we always reach for when we are headed to The Hump or out to the QA, Bell, and Mile Marker
For this week only, all items on our ‘Guides Choice’ wall will be 10% off! Come on in and get stocked up- you’ll definitely want to have this gear while out there fishing our local waters.
FRESHWATER FISHING REPORTS
Squamish River Fishing Report
The Squamish and Cheakamus are hanging in there for the time being, but this could change any day and when it does it will happen fast. It looks like it will be 12 degrees C on Friday and about the same on Saturday with 15 mm of rain, so this combination of warm air and precipitation will likely be the beginning of freshet.
A few fish from this week’s guided trips.
In the meantime, the fishing has been pretty decent with bull trout, rainbows and cutthroat feeding on salmon fry and a few late run fresh steelhead around too. So bring your 5 weight and some fry pattern for the trout and your 8 weight, some heavy tippet and big pink flies for the steelhead. This will likely be your last kick at the can as the first few days of May it will be around 15 C in downtown Squamish and that warmer weather will really get the snow melt going.
Vedder River Fishing Report
I was guiding on the river last Saturday and the river was in perfect condition with hardly anybody around, unfortunately the river has risen since then and it is continuing to do so. If it hits 2.2 m then it is fair to say things are pretty much over for the season.
So keep an eye on the weather and the graph. If you do go, the fish are really aggressive at this time of the year so fishing spoons is a very effective method to fish as they will chase and strike your offering really hard. Don’t forget that from May 1st it is fly fishing only from the crossing down.
Harrison River Fishing Report
I didn’t have a chance to get out to the Harrison this week but as I mentioned in last weeks reports, the river was at 9.23 and at that level access along the banks was limited. Since then the river is at 9.35 and rising so it is pretty much over from a walk and wade perspective but if you have a boat then you can still head out to chase down some cutthroat. As the river goes into a full freshet the cutthroat will be heading out to the Fraser and end up in the ocean for the summer.
With that in mind it is safe to say its time to get ready for lake fishing, which is just around the corner. Stay tuned for lake reports in the coming weeks.
Fraser River Sturgeon Fishing Report
Sturgeon fishing has been consistent throughout the whole Fraser, good numbers and size of fish. Eulachons, dew worms, and lamprey are good options for bait. We are fully stocked on all sturgeon tackle and bait. Give us a call or stop by the shop for a chat about sturgeon fishing
STILLWATER FISHING REPORTS
Local Lake Fishing Report
Reports have continued to be good from our local lakes for stocked rainbow trout. These trout typically average 10-13 inches and can be caught on a bunch of different setups, though the predominant winners have been those either fishing bait (such as Powerbait) on the bottom or fly fishers using chironomids and leeches. On the right day the trout will also smash small spinners and spoons. All of the lower elevation lakes have been stocked this month, though we are still waiting on news about stockings up the Sea to Sky. If you want to give this fun local fishery a try, good starting lakes are Rice Lake, Lafarge Lake, Green Timbers, and Sanctuary Pond.
Visit www.gofishbc.com to see whether a lake near you has been stocked with these catchable trout!
Interior Lake Fishing Report
Well it’s finally (almost) upon us! After a long cold winter things are starting to warm up and ice is starting to come off of our favourite Interior Lakes! The water is still cold but there have been reports of some okay to decent fishing on those lakes that have iced off. Here is a list of the more popular lakes that we heard are mostly or totally ice free at this point:
- Six Mile
This is definitely not an exclusive list so if you plan to do some scouting, anything less than 3700’ in elevation should yield you some soft water. As for what to use once you get up there, the typically productive flies at this stage of the season are leeches, scuds, and chironomids. If the water is still very cold, leeches and scuds will be a staple food source for trout and they can be deadly either under an indicator on a floating line or slow trolled on a sinking line. We also have a full board of Andre’s Mini Leeches tied up and ready to catch fish! Chironomid fishing can be good in the afternoon once the sun has warmed the water a bit and it will continue to get better and better as we see the temperatures rise.
The lakes are not quite in full swing yet, so NOW is the time to stock up before you head out there! Fly rods in the 4wt-6wt range that are 9’ or longer range are ideal. Don’t forget to stock up on your tippet material, split shot, swivels, and of course flies!
Have you heard about the chironomid fishing on our Interior Lakes but don’t know where to start? Sign up for our Introduction to Chironomid Techniques course on May 2nd; just in time for this lake fishing season! Call the shop to register as the class is filling up fast.
SALTWATER FISHING REPORTS
Vancouver Saltwater Fishing Report
The fishing this past week at Thrasher was nothing short of world class. Double-headers and triple-headers earlier in the week kept our guides and guests busy but it did slow down a bit these last few days. This was to be expected as it was absolutely red hot for about 10 days in a row, so it has to slow down eventually. Even on the slower days, it was still very good fishing, we just got spoiled there for a week, so what we were calling slow is actually very good on a normal season. The fishing should remain solid as we enter May. We usually have some of the best fishing mid May and into June, so we are only just getting started. If you are heading over to Thrasher, we have been doing well offshore in 600-800 feet of water and 120 to 160 on the downriggers.
On our shorter trips this week we were doing well closer to home around the Bell Buoy, QA and the Hump. These areas will continue to produce all of May, in particular the Hump. Our best depths in these areas have been 90-120 on the downriggers.
In both of these fisheries we have been doing well on a variety of flashers and spoons. Our top producing gear for these fisheries are this week’s feature product. Check out the feature product section above for details and be sure to come the shop to get all the gear on sale on our “Guides Choice Wall”.
As if we didn’t have enough options for fishing spots right now, there are also fish up Howe Sound! I wont’ get into specifics as the spots are small but it is nice to see so many chinook in all these different areas.
Crabbing has been decent as well and we have been dropping traps on all our trips. If you would like to head out and catch some nice chinook salmon and some Dungeness crab, give us a call at 778-788-8582.