2016 is almost over and we are looking forward to 2017. We had a great year at the shop. The weather was interesting for our boxing week sale but lots of guys braved the snowstorm and got great deals.
On a whole, weather was interesting for the entire year. We had a cooler summer and a very wet fall. This hampered some of the salmon river fishing and chinook fishing out in the harbour was admittedly nothing to write home about.
That said there were some moments of great fishing. We had a record chum return and lots of anglers had fun pulling on chum on the Squamish and Fraser Valley rivers. It was nice to see that jigs became the go to method for targeting chum. May anglers learned the benefit of a proper drift and we saw a noticeable decrease in the number of anglers snagging fish. It is an encouraging trend.
Summer trout fishing was excellent this year and it was great to see new fly anglers learning how to dry fly fish and nymph on the Skagit and Thompson trout fisheries.
Lake fishing was also another highlight and the interior lakes fished well throughout the season.
All and all it was a pleasure to share all of the highs and lows with all the Pacific Anglers out there.
Looking ahead to 2017 it is going to be a big year both for the shop and fishing in the lower mainland. It is a pink year! Love ‘em or hate ‘em it is one of the most exciting fisheries in the lower mainland. Anglers of any skill level can enjoy targeting these fish from a boat or beach in the saltwater or later in our rivers.
For chinook or sockeye it is still way too early to tell but winter chinook fishing is already off to a great start. The amount of bait in the Georgia Straight is impressive and this bodes well for all saltwater species.
At the shop we also have a big year planned. We are coming up on our 10-year anniversary! Ten years. Wow! It seems like just yesterday. We have been through a lot, have fished some crazy places and had the pleasure of doing it with some amazing people. I won’t give away too much but can you say “Anniversary Sale!” Look for news of this in the New Year. It’s going to be a party!
Nearly a decade of doing the fishing report is something we are also very proud of and with that in mind we have gone back through the reports and pulled out some of the best articles, fishing information and stories for the upcoming winter season. I assume that many of you will be reading this over the weekend while recovering from New Year’s festivities. This one is for you. You can sit on the couch and read up on your favorite fishing method or look at a destination or new technique that you may have missed. See the special feature section below for synopsis of some of our favourite reports over the years.
We know many of you will be taking it easy this weekend but we have not forgotten the hard-core guys that are going to hit the water. We have an up to date fishing report. It is going to get cold next week but today and this weekend looks pretty darn good if you are planning to get out.
We have info from the Vedder Steelhead derby and numbers were good. It is good news for the upcoming season and if you want to go out it could be good this weekend. Check out the details below.
It is forecasted to hit 5 degrees today in Squamish. The weatherman could be wrong but with snow melting and temps warmer than they have been in awhile, today and tomorrow should be a very good for bull trout fishing. The river was very low as of yesterday but a few anglers found fish. Read on for Matt’s full Squamish report.
Our boats have been out in the saltwater quite a bit over the last week and fishing has been very solid. Check out Jason’s report for more details.
There are still two more days left in our famous Boxing Week Sale. If you’re planning on coming down to take advantage of these great deals remember that we are closed early Saturday December 31 for New Years Eve. We’ll be closed at 4PM Saturday and also closed on Sunday January 1. We’ll be back on Monday January 2 at 10AM. Happy New Years!
CLASSES AND COURSES
Start the New Year off with one of our great classes and courses! Our full 2017 Course listing is available online here. Some of our upcoming January courses include the following. Call the shop to sign up today.
Fly Fishing Egg Patterns
This course is designed to teach you the secrets to one of the most productive presentations in the BC fly fishermen’s arsenal; nymphing egg patterns. This deadly method can be used for different species of trout, char, and salmon. During a 3-hour evening seminar we will teach you key concepts, strategies, and gear that will give you a well-rounded foundation during the seminar portion of the class. Then you will put those skills into practice during a fully guided day on the water.
Dates: Seminar: Jan 11, 2017 Guided: Jan 16 or 17, 2017
Seminar Time: 6:30pm – 9:30pm
Guided: Full Day
Steelhead Float Fishing
In this fishery, 10% of the anglers catch 90% of the fish. This is your chance to learn from the 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.
Date: Jan 23, 2017
Seminar Time: 6:30pm – 9:30pm
Tying Essential Steelhead Patterns
This course is designed for the fly tyer looking to get the best start on tying steelhead patterns. In the 3-hour evening seminar your instructor will cover everything from tying techniques, material and colour choices, size and weight. They will walk you through 3 essential patterns that will build a well-rounded steelhead fly box. If you’re looking to get yourself into tying your own flies for steelhead, this is the course for you. 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.
Date: Jan 24, 2017
Time: 6:30pm – 9:30pm
Introduction to Fly Tying
There is no greater satisfaction than catching a fish with a fly you tied yourself. This Introduction to Fly Tying course was specifically designed to give you the fundamental skills needed to tie proven fly patterns used here in BC for trout, salmon and steelhead.
This course consists of 3 sessions; each session is 3hrs. 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: Jan 25, Feb 1 & 8, 2017
Time: 6:30pm – 9:30pm
FRESHWATER FISHING REPORTS
Vedder River Fishing Report
This week was the annual Boxing Day Derby on the Vedder. This derby has been going on for the last 73 years and is put on by the Chilliwack Fish and Game Club. Quite a bit of history with this derby as it does go back to the early days of steelheading on the Chilliwack Vedder. Approximately 286 contestants angled for the Ferguson Furnell Trophy. With a total of 15 fish weighted in, the biggest being just shy of 14lbs, compared to last years 6. Hopefully this means we will see more fish in 2017.
The expected forecast for the upcoming week looks like we have some more subzero temperatures in our future. Even though the river is on the low side it still has a nice colour due to the snowmelt. This time of year match your presentation to the water clarity. Early season fish are very aggressive so make sure they see your presentation. Jigs, pink worms, Jensen eggs, and roe bags are all productive baits.
Squamish River Fishing Report
The Squamish has been very low for the past few weeks. This makes the water very clear and cold. This makes egg fishing challenging, as bull trout are hyper sensitive to cold clear water. Their metabolisms shut down and they don’t eat. That said, today is going to be one of the warmest we have seen and the other cool thing about bull trout is that when we get even a little colour to the water and temps increase they go from being a very picky challenging fish to hell bent feeding machines.
It is hard to tell if this little warm spell will turn them on but when it happens it is worth gambling and getting out. Some of the best fishing days of the year are this time of year when it has been freezing cold and then warms up a bit.
If you are heading out watch the river levels. If they stay low use 5lb fluorocarbon tippet and very pale beads. If we get some colour to the water pick beads that are a little brighter up your tippet to 7lb fluorocarbon and get ready for an awesome day.
As always cover lots of ground. If the conditions are good it is very common to hit five runs, catch only a fish or two in four out of the five runs and then find a refrigerator sized bucket that pumps out a dozen fish. If you don’t move you won’t finds these hot spots.
Good Luck out on the river!
Capilano River Fishing Report
Another week of low and clear water has made for technically difficult fishing on the Capilano. There are a few steelhead in the system but they will be easily spooked in the current water conditions. Downsizing your presentations and using fluorocarbon leaders can help negate some of that spook factor. Drifting egg patterns or small 3 or 4 inch rubber worms can be a great downsized presentation in water where there is enough current. Otherwise, you can try casting small spinners or spoons. Fly fisherman focus on small flash flies or streamers such as muddler minnows and egg sucking leeches.
Stave River Fishing Report
If you want to get away from the city but don’t want to hit one of the more popular rivers then the Stave would make for an interesting day trip. Steelhead will start to trickle in over the next couple months while resident cutthroat trout, rainbow trout, and mountain whitefish can make for some fun light-tackle fishing. Drifting beads or casting spinners and spoons can produce some nice fish. For the fly anglers, don’t be afraid to try a few streamers in white or olive.
With the weather this past week showing winters true colours, anglers may have a few extra moments to spare by the fireplace to do some light reading while drinking a scotch or hot chocolate.
To help cope with these winter doldrums, I’ve compiled a short list of articles and primers from past fish reports/blog entries that are sure to be of interest over the next few months.
From fly fishing and drifting roe for steelhead to nymphing beads for trout, all the way to the south Pacific, we’ve got a great selection of articles to keep you warm.
Why We Swing: No matter how experienced you may be, whether you are a beginner or veteran, you will learn something that will help you with this article. Tug is the drug, fish the swing.
Advanced Egging: This technique is one of the best ways to dead drift a bead or egg pattern. It is specifically designed for ‘nymphing’ eggs in the winter and helps combat a number of issues that challenge anglers who are trying to attain the perfect dead-drift presentation.
How to Cure Roe for Float Fishing
This article is a great primer for both beginners, as well as for those trying to find an easier and effective way to cure roe for this winter season. Not just for steelhead, this technique can also be used for preparing roe for coho and chinook fishing as well.
Warm Water Primers
Though most of us have traveled quite extensively with our pescatorial pursuits, Hawai’i is one of our favourite spots as it’s close, fairly inexpensive compared to other locales, and offers a very humbling experience to those who may be chasing a trophy bonefish.
It also offers great opportunities for some less-than-common freshwater species such as various cichlids and peacock bass.
Starting here, you can follow me along on some adventures I took through the month of January a couple years ago.
This trip was put together while the lot of us were guiding up north at Langara Fishing Lodge, but it wasn’t a ‘guides only’ trip- good friend and customer of the shop, Isaac, came along for the adventure as well and even hooked into some of the biggest fish!
Heading somewhere warm? Matt did a write-up on some of our favourite travel spinning rods- and since then, we’ve added even more to our selection here in store!
Tight lines and loops,
SALTWATER FISHING REPORTS
Vancouver Salmon Fishing Report
Well the good fishing has continued. Looking back, it has been good since mid November now so I can officially say this was one heck of a start to the winter season!
The winter chinook are definitely around in full force this year and we have been very busy with lots of charters and the season is just getting going! We have had some local clients out as well as some clients from the USA and other parts of the world. Everyone is having a great time enjoying the winter scenery and fishing!
Eddie has been on a hot streak, with keeper size chinook in the boat on all his charters for the entire month of December. He has been doing mostly 8 hour trips up Howe Sound, but also has done well on some 5 hour and 6 hour trips in Vancouver Harbour. Prawning has also been good!
If you are heading out in your own boat, fishing close to the bottom with your favorite glow flasher and glow spoons will get it done. Some of our favorite flashers are the Green Onion Glow and Chartreuse Glow. For spoons we have been doing well on Pesca spoons in 3.5 that have some green and glow on them as well as Kingfishers in 3.5 in Homeland Security, Irish Cream, and Kitchen Sink.
If you would like to book a trip, give us a call at 778-788-8582.