Merry Christmas Everyone! We know you are all eagerly awaiting the arrival of our famous Boxing Week Sale list in your inbox but you will have to wait one more day for that to arrive. If you have loved ones hounding you for gift ideas it is not too late to send them to the shop for that special something on your list or have them get you a gift card (we can do it over the phone!) We’re open until 7PM today and tomorrow and from 10-4 on Christmas Eve. So plenty of time to check off those last items on Christmas list or just come by to say Merry Christmas!
On the report front, it was an excellent week on the Squamish with perfect conditions coming off the medium storm last weekend and though the snow made things cold the bulltrout/egging fishery was excellent. We expect this to continue into this weekend so check out Matt’s report for more details.
The Stave also saw some good reports and is worth looking at if you do not want to head to Squamish. While we have not heard of steelhead on the Stave yet, but with the positive reports off the Vedder it could be any day.
The Vedder has had some confirmed steelhead reports and though it is still way to early to make any assumptions, at least from the number of reports we have heard it could be a solid Boxing Day Derby and a great start to the New Year. Check out Alex’s report for details on the Derby!
We continue to hear very sold winter chinook reports and good prawning reports up Howe Sound and even in the harbour.
Be sure to check your inbox again tomorrow for our BOXING WEEK SALE LIST. As you know it is the biggest sale of our year so you won’t want to miss it!
Christmas is almost here! We’ve extended our regular hours so there is lots of time to visit us here in the shop and pick up something for the favourite fisherman on your list or a little something for yourself! Our Boxing Week Sale hours are also noted below!
CLASSES + COURSES
Learn How with Pacific Angler
If you are like us and already planning your 2018 now is great time to check out our Jan – Jun 2018 course schedule and sign up for some of the great classes we are offering this year. Call the shop to reserve your spot today and don’t forget a Pacific Angler class makes a great gift to put under the tree!
COMING NEXT WEEK
Jordan has been experimenting with some cool new products and techniques – stay tuned for an overview of what Jordan was working with to create this beauty fly.
FRESHWATER FISHING REPORTS
Chilliwack River Fishing Report
Man it’s a cold one this week! With the first snowfall of the season in the Lower Mainland, if it didn’t feel like steelhead season before it definitely feels like it now! Christmas is only a few days away and right after that we have the annual Boxing Day Derby on the Chilliwack River! If you aren’t coming down to the shop to stock up on gear for awesome prices on the 26th then definitely consider wetting a line in the Derby. Things are happening a little differently this time as the Chilliwack Fish and Game Club is under renovation. Anyone already entered in the Wally Hall Junior Derby (starting December 1st) will be automatically entered and for those looking to join, all you have to do is enter the Wally Hall Junior Derby before the 26th. The Boxing Day Derby will be held at the Tractorgrease Cafe (48710 Chilliwack Lake Road). The event starts at 5:00am with coffee and food and the fishing will be held between first light and 2:00pm.There will be prizes for all fish that are weighed in, so get out there because you never know if you will find a winning fish on your hook! Please remember that only 1 hatchery steelhead can be retained on this system and once you retain your daily quota you must stop fishing for the day. You must also have a steelhead stamp on in addition to your Freshwater License regardless of whether you plan to retain Steelhead or not.
Now on to the report that I know many of you are eager to read. There are fish in the system now but we haven’t heard of any good numbers showing up yet. While it is a slower start to the season I hope this report does NOT deter you from going; it’s all about getting out there and as long as your line is in the water you have a chance at those “fish of a thousand casts”.
Best of luck for those heading out this week! Bundle up, fish hard, and if you aren’t fishing in the Boxing Day Derby then I hope to see you in the shop for some great deals at our Boxing Week Sale
Capilano River Report + Season Overview
Salmon season is over on the Capilano and as of today we still have not heard of any solid steelhead reports. It might be worth a look as they did open the dam on Tuesday and let some water out. This should bring a couple fish into the system but it is still early. See our overview of the season below to learn more about the seasons on the Capilano.
The first steelhead start trickling in around the end of December. We do not see many steelhead on the Capilano but it is a fishery worth looking at it you do not have time to travel farther. They can be targeted with spoons, spinners, flies, or drifting colorado blades, jigs, shrimp, roe and plastic worms but the most popular method for the high banked deep pools on the Capilano is with a gear rod and a float. Come talk to us and we will show you the right setups. Steelhead are expected to be in the system until mid-March.
After the steelhead fishery, around may we will see early Capilano coho come in. It’s a smaller run and the fish aren’t that big. However, they are known as one of the best-tasting coho. These fish usually shoot straight up as the water from the dam is released quite often. The best way to catch them is swinging cap buggers at the cable pool. You can also target the moving fish with spoons, spinners, or drifting with roe.
After the early coho season, the fall salmon season is upon us. Only a small amount of fish trickle in when the water is low. Most of the fish will stack at the mouth of the river and wait for the river to rise up. Once the water goes up, the river is filled with salmon. You can catch these salmon by casting lures, swinging flies, twitching jigs or drifting. Remember the bait ban comes into effect from August 1st until October 31st.
There is the overview of the 2018 season. Hopefully, everyone had an amazing year. Even if you didn’t let’s start thinking about what can be done better next year for a successful season.
Come in the shop and our knowledgeable staff will help you gear up for all the upcoming fishery.
See you on the river when the steelheads are in
Squamish River Fishing Report
We nailed the report last week. As predicted a number of the hard-core guys and girls braved the weather and had excellent fishing all week. We heard lots of positive reports of good numbers and big fish for the guys and girls who know how to bead fish. There were even a couple late coho hooked on eggs. The leader boards were in full affect as it was freak’n cold. If you want to see how we set up a leader board to make fumbling with beads in freezing weather a much more manageable process then check out our video on it here.
This will probably be key over the next week if you plan to get out for some Christmas egg fishing. It is going to get colder and drop below seasonal norms at least until the New Year. Though we don’t expect it to be as good as it was after the storm this last week, it should still be solid. There are still quite a few fish in the system and as long as it doesn’t drop too much we should still be catching fish. As the water drops you will have to go down in size on your tippet 5-7lb. Also go to paler colors beads and some anglers will go with smaller beads to fool picky fish in clear water.
This fishery is good until February as long as you look to the weather forecast and try to fish after warm rain events. 7+ days of sub zero clear weather makes this fishery very challenging but the second we hit warm 4+ degree weather will a medium amount of rain (just like this last weekend) it is go time!
Come down to the shop if you have any questions, we love this fishery and will help.
Winter months on the Harrison and Fraser Rivers
We have heard no new reports off the Harrison but here is an overview of the winter season and what you can expect.
There are more fisheries available than just steelhead fishing in the winter months or if you just want to take a break and mix things up. If you can brave the cold on the Harrison River or the Fraser you can fish for resident cutthroat, white fish and the occasional dolly varden. After the salmon have spawned these fish will gorge on salmon eggs for a while in the early part of December. If we experience a colder winter, river levels will drop to a extreme low levels and this could be quite good for walking the back channels and hunting for cutthroat. In the month of January when the eggs are already embedded on the bottom it is best to fish attractor patterns such as small woolly buggers in different colors and for those who fish gear very small spoons and spinners work best. The resident cutthroat that you might encounter are the pre -spawning fish meaning that they have not reached their cycle to migrate to the ocean before returning back to their native river to spawn. They are usually smaller than the ones called “sea-runs” that make they way up the creeks to get ready for spawning during the winter months. March and April is a magical time on the Harrison as the cutthroat migrate down from the spawning areas into the Harrison and the Fraser rivers to bulk up on salmon fry before heading down to the ocean for the summer months. Please handle these fish with care and release them gently as we are always trying to increase the population, as they are already hard to come by. If you are interested in this fishery we provide a course “Fly fishing for cutthroat” where you can get a more in depth understanding of this exciting fishery.
I will be back with more Harrison Reports mid to late February when things warm up so stay tuned and good luck if you get out on the water.
Stave River Fishing Report and 2018 Outlook
The weather was perfect for egging on the Stave this week and we did hear a number of positive reports. Just like the Squamish, we should see good fishing this week as well but if this cold spell lasts it will slow considerably going into the new year. Watch the weather and look to get out on a warmer overcast days. We have not yet heard any steelhead reports but it could be any day. It is absolutely worth getting out if you want to target cutthroat whitefish and bulltrout with egg patterns. If you get out let us know how it went. Take a look at the overview below to learn the cycle of this fishery and we will be updating this report when we start to hear more.
We saw a solid salmon season on the Stave in 2017. We heard some great coho reports and consistent chum reports. There are still some very old salmon in the system, however, they are now quite stale and it is best to leave them alone on their spawning beads.
During the winter months on the Stave beading/egging for trout and whitefish is a great fishery. There are good numbers of trout and whitefish in the system as they are gorging on eggs. If you drift with Jensen eggs, beads or egg-shaped wool in riffles behind spawning salmon, you can get these fish.
Steelhead are also trickling into the system in late December. Over the next few months, we will be able to catch them by drifting with steelhead rigs such as plastic worm, gooey bob, corkies, colorado blades or spin-n-glos. You can also use roe or shrimp. Fly fishing is also a viable option; try steelhead patterns in different colours.
The egg fishing trout fishery will last until mid February and steelhead will be in the system from now until May.
At the end of the steelhead season, we will see another trout fishery in the stave river. Fly fishing with fry pattern or tossing little spoons or spinners will attract the trout that are in the system to feed on the salmon fry. This fishery goes from March to May. The river usually gets high in May and though there are still resident fish in the system all summer it is not a go to destination until fall.
Early September marks the start of the salmon fishery. Once the chum salmon start coming in you can expect to hook them left and right because there are so many. Drift with jigs and if they don’t bite, play with your depth a little bit. Coho salmon will show up as well and they can be targeted with flies, spoons, or spinners. Look for frog water or structures when looking for coho as they like slow moving water.
That sums up the 2018 overview of the Stave river. If you wish to try any of the fisheries mentioned above, come to the shop and we will be glad to help.
Stay warm on the water,
SALTWATER FISHING REPORTS
Vancouver Saltwater Salmon Fishing Report
Well the snow finally showed up this week. Despite that, there has been some activity out on the water. Not much has changed from last week, except the temps are colder. There continues to be fish caught in Howe Sound and Vancouver Harbour and the odd report of fish over in the Gulf Islands.
It is officially time to break out the heater if you are heading out this weekend. With daytime temps of 2-3 C expect it to be cold out on the ocean! Might not be the best weekend to head up Howe Sound either. The outflow winds look like they will be in full force and the wind chill will make it pretty darn cold. This would be a good weekend to try a little closer to home like from Cap Mouth up to the Pink Apartment on the flood or the Bell Buoy and Freighters on the ebb. The Bell is a good choice on the flood too for that matter. Either way, dress warm, bring lots of hot coffee, and don’t forget to drop some crab traps too. Lars threw some prospect pots out the other day and did quite well.
In terms of gear, we have covered that in depth on previous reports. So the usual flashers and spoons fished close to the bottom are the way to go. If you are looking for some, we have our Boxing Week Sale coming up and there will be some good deals on popular flashers and spoons, as well as crabbing and prawning gear.
We are getting lots of calls for winter chinook charters and don’t forget that a fishing trip makes a great gift. If you would like to book a trip or purchase a trip as a gift, please give Lars a call at 778-788-8582.
Have a great Christmas and we will see you out on the water or in the shop.