Start rigging up the rods! The crazy weather this week is flipping on its head and turning from cold snow to warm rain and then some sun early next week. This is awesome for the winter fishing scene.
In the next 48 hours we will probably see some flooding, blown out rivers and treacherous driving conditions but when things settle down it looks very good for fisherman.
This week we saw some fish being caught out in Chilliwack and some bull trout in the lower Squamish but it was slim pickings. The snow made things risky last week and we saw some awesome pictures of guys braving hip deep snow to fish the rivers. Check out all the river reports below.
On the saltwater front we had some fun in the snow last week fishing for winter chinook. It was definitely winter conditions out there with the snow and some high winds. Fishing was slower but we’re hoping with better weather and marine forecasts this week there will be more opportunities to get to some of our usual spots.
For all of you who are thinking for getting out this week and are looking to upgrade their float, center pin rod, or downrigger rod, our feature product this week is the famous Trophy Titan line of rods gear rods. We have a good overview of what makes this series one of the best rods for our local fisheries and all in stock rods are 10% off for this week only!
Last but absolutely not least, for those who are just fed up with this weather in general you can live vicariously through another episode of “Where in the World is Jordan Simpson!” On this episode he is night fishing in Florida. It is a very cool report with some epic urban night fishing pics. Check it all out below!
CLASSES AND COURSES
INTRODUCTION TO SPEY CASTING
This 2-part course is designed to introduce you to the art of Spey fishing and establish the fundamental techniques required for basic Spey casts used on our local rivers.
Seminar: Feb 15, 6:30pm – 9:30pm
Casting: Feb 18 (Squamish)
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. The dates below show the seminar date first and casting date second.
Seminar: Feb 20 – 6:30PM – 9:30PM
Casting: Feb 25 10AM – 1PM or 2PM – 5PM
ADVANCED WARM WATER FLY WORKSHOP 201
Join us for this 2-night workshop designed to teach the best commercial techniques and productive patterns for any Warm Water Destination. Dennis Gamboa from The Fly Box will be your Instructor for the Workshop. Dennis has been teaching fly tying classes for over 15 years all over the Lower Mainland. His specialty is Saltwater flies from local waters to exotic destinations he is a Master of the art of commercial tying with over 20 years experience on his Regal Vise. His creativity and design has earned him a spot on The Lagartun Pro Staff Team and has also been selected as a Partridge Pro Member of Redditch to represent the West Coast of BC Canada.
This advanced class will teach you modern and up to date techniques using, epoxy, uv resin, advanced tubing techniques, ep fibres and new modern materials to make that perfect fly. We will be working with premium quality hooks and materials that will cover patterns for Bonefish, Triggerfish, Permit, Giant Trevally and other warm water game. Even though the class is centred around Warm Water destinations the techniques taught can be applied to local waters. 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: Feb 21 & Feb 22
Time: 6:30pm – 9:30pm
FRIDAY FEATURE PRODUCT
TITAN by Trophy XL
In British Columbia, we have some very unique fisheries, which demand specific tackle. Many companies do not cater as much to the British Columbian market as they do to anglers in Washington, Oregon, and the Great Lakes. They do not offer many of the lengths and actions of rods favoured by anglers in B.C.
Titan rods by Trophy XL are modelled after Sage gear rods in terms of their length, power, and action. Sage gear rods are revered as some of the best rods by anglers in B.C., however, they come with a heavy price tag. Brian Babcock of Babcock Custom Rods designed the Titan line of rods; bringing you the same full flexing action that anglers love about Sage gear rods at a much more affordable price. Titan rods are made from a blend of different graphite, which gives the Titan rods their soft, full flexing attributes, while remaining faster in recovery than the traditional Sage gear rods. Many of the guys in the shop own Titan rods, and fish them hard. They are very durable and have great manufacturing supports with warranties.
If you want to step up from the standard gear fishing rod but do not have 7-8 hundred dollars for the sage the trophy rods are a perfect blend of high performance and cost. This week only they are an even better deal at the shop. All in stock rods will be 10% off. Come down to the shop and check them out!
Some of the more popular models include the CP2106 (CP meaning centre pin, 2 meaning 2 power, 106 meaning 10’6”), CP3113, CT2106, CT3106, SA3106, and SA4110.
All in stock models are 10% off today through Thursday February 16th!
In stock saltwater models:
- TTSA3106 regular $299.99
In stock casting models:
- TTCT2016 regular $279.99
- TTCT3106 regular $279.99
In stock centre pin models:
- TTCP2106 regular $299.99
- TTCP3113 regular $299.99
Don’t see a model you want? Let us know and we can special order that in for you!
FRESHWATER FISHING REPORTS
Vedder River Fishing Report
Looks like we have some warm and wet weather scheduled for this weekend, which should help improve the river conditions, we’ve been dealing with tough low and clear conditions this past week. Chilliwack got hit with quite a bit of snow, making access on most parts of the river tough. I would suggest that you have 4WD, winter tires, and a shovel if you’re thinking about heading out this weekend. If the warmer weather comes expect the snow to melt as well as the Slesse slide that will turn the river from there down brown. As we write this report the graph is going vertical.
A couple fish were still getting caught this week throughout the snowstorm but this change in the forecast should mean good fishing once the river comes back into shape. Keep your eye on the water office graph for the most up to date river height. With the possibility for reduced clarity in the near future it would be wise to have a couple larger and brighter presentations in your vest i.e. Mad River Roe Eggs, Rubber worms, and jigs. Fish are spread throughout the whole system and fishing will continue into April.
Squamish River Fishing Report
The Squamish area has been getting pounded with snow all week and as I write this report the river is rising fast. It is raining out that way right now and the temps are rising. I expect things to get very high over the weekend but just like the other rivers out in the valley, when it comes back into shape it is time to fish!
Though it is still very early I would not be surprised if we heard of a few steelhead after this warming trend. That said prime time steelheading fishing on this system is at least a month out.
Bull trout fishing should be very good when the water clears. We are close to the time of year when I switch to sculpin patterns but I bet this weekend will still be very productive with the egg. Bring both and cover water. Brighter eggs should be in the mix with the colored water and larger sculpin. Switch back to pale colours and smaller sculpin when the water clears. Still bring a shovel and use a good 4-wheel drive if even considering the upper river.
Capilano River Fishing Report
With all this snow it’s no surprise that the Capilano was at dirt low levels this past week, but all that is changing with this warming trend that we are seeing. Watch for extreme water levels in the next few days as we get heavy rain mixed with lots of snow melt. Once the river starts to drop to a level 4 through 1.5 (on the Capilano camera), this will be prime as some new fish will have come into the system and the higher water will make the already staging fish much less wary. All the classic Steelhead baits, lures, and flies will work; cover as much water as you can to hopefully get your presentation in front of a fish.
Please keep in mind that if you do intend to fish the Capilano for Steelhead it is a catch and release system only. It is a much smaller run than the other popular local steelhead rivers so please treat any fish you come across with respect.
Stave River Fishing Report
If you are looking for a cool alternative for wetting a line besides the larger and more popular rivers in the Lower Mainland while still staying relatively local, check out the Stave. While there isn’t a ton of water to access, this short river is great for an outing if you have a few hours to spare. Resident trout, mountain whitefish, and steelhead all are in the system currently and it’s sometimes just the luck of the draw as to which one will end up on your line. Bring a bunch of different presentations with you and cover water. For the gear guys that includes spoons, spinners, jigs, and bait. For the fly fishermen break out your egg sucking leeches, muddler minnows, beads, and popsicles.
Chehalis River Fishing Report
With warmer temperatures and rain, this system may be on the high side with a possibility of flooding. Access will be difficult until the snow melts. Be careful if you head into the canyon, go with a friend or make sure you tell someone where you are going, as one misstep could be the last mistake you make. Like the Vedder is should be good once the river comes back into shape.
Where’s Jordan – Pt. 3 – Florida Keys
With an invitation down to the Florida Keys being too good to pass up, I ended up spending an entire day travelling. After flying from Vancouver to L.A, then to Miami, and then finally Key West, I was finally in the Florida Keys!
With no real plans except to relax, drink beer, and fish, me and my friend Bobby ended up fishing that first night in the canal behind his house until 4am. Using live shrimp, we caught a variety of different snappers until we were too tired to make one more cast.
The next day, we connected with a gentleman originally from Victoria, BC, who now lives in Jupiter, Florida. We packed up our gear and drove up to Jupiter where we spent two days and two nights (we barely slept!) fishing for jacks, tarpon, and snook. Though the tarpon were elusive, we did end up catching a ton of jacks during both the day and night, including a few fish called a ‘Look Down’. At night is when we focused on the snook using a method called ‘Dock-lighting’. This method is highly effective and is a very visual fishery as you’re casting to ghostly shadows of laid up snook that cruise in and out of view of the lights that are shining down on the water.
Heading back down to Sugarloaf Key, we ended up spotting a night canal/pond/culvert behind a furniture store and gas station. One thing about Florida that can appeal to the urban angler is that pretty much every body of water has some sort of fish, be it bass, gar, snakeheads, snook, or baby tarpon. After stripping off line and tying on a small chartreuse clouser minnow, I cast to some lily pads and was rewarded with a small but scrappy largemouth bass. Mission accomplished, we headed for dinner and continued the drive home.
Down the road from the house is a small landing/point with a boat launch that drops in by a bridge. Fishing this bridge during the day produces a ton of mangrove snapper, which are easily, fooled by any live bait, as well some small barracuda, one that I was able to fool on a small white fly. One night while fishing from the shore, we could hear these popping, swirling, and gulping noises. Since this was after our night-time snook missions, I was quite confident these weren’t snook as it didn’t have the distinct ‘POP’ that snook often produce. These fish were large, and seemed to ‘gulp’ more than anything. Throwing a live shrimp on a TFO 3-Piece travel rod (the ones featured in last week’s report) into the shadows, I hooked up to this mystery fish…one jump in and I knew it was a tarpon! I ended up going 0-3 that night, while my partner went 1-2 using live pinfish. Talking to the folks at the local tackle shop, going 1-5 isn’t a bad number and we were told we didn’t do too bad. The next night, we went back with more pinfish, as well as some Berkley Gulp shrimp. The first fish I got to eat was on and off just like that, but my second fish connected well and ended up fighting quite well in these shallow water conditions. After a few initial jump and runs, it ended up hunkering down and wrapping me up on a piling. Well, into the water I went to go try to unwrap it. Once I gained control of the fish again, I was able to bring him in and grab the leader. Tailing him, I estimated this fish to be around 15lbs. Unfortunately, while trying to take a photo it flipped and flopped, and gave me a face wash as it swam away.
Once the tide turned, we crossed the bridge and fished from the other side of the river. Running out of pinfish, I rigged up a white Gulp shrimp on a bare hook. I found that using these unweighted gives the soft plastic a natural and very shrimp-like drift. When retrieved, if hooked a certain way, it will swim with a short and erratic darting motion just below the surface. Drifting into the tarpon zone, I connected right away but never got a good set. While retrieving it in, I had a fish swirl on it and miss. This got me thinking that I can fish this two ways, one on the drift through the zone, and then ‘swim’ it back through them. A few casts later, while I was retrieving, a big shadow emerged and a set of jaws opened up. With the water disappearing below the gulp shrimp! I drew tight and hooked up to another tarpon. This one did the same as the first and wrapped me up. Not being able to reach this piling, I opened the bail on the reel and let the slack take pressure off the fish. Once relaxed, the fish ended up unwrapping itself and I was back on. Multiple jumps and a few runs later, I was able to grab the leader and tail the fish. At around 20lbs, I was relieved and happy, and sat down to breath and re-tie my gear. After this fish, we had our shots at many more and ended up landing a few more.
Suffice to say, this past week has been one I will not soon forget, and with one more week still to go, I’m hoping to catch a lot more ‘firsts’ as well as a few more good buzzes.
SALTWATER FISHING REPORTS
Vancouver Saltwater Fishing Report
Well it has certainly been true winter chinook fishing this past week with the freezing temperatures and all the snow. That didn’t keep us off the water though, as we picked our days to head out in search of chinook, prawns, and crab.
The fishing was decidedly slower for the most part this week with a decent number of small fish around, but not too many keepers. That being said, there were some spots that might have had bigger fish, but with the huge outflow winds most of the week it was hard to get up Howe Sound or to the Gulf Islands for the most part. The winds look more reasonable for the weekend and for the beginning of next week so this should open up some more options.
The water remains very clear, about 45-50 feet before you lose sight of your flasher as it drops down with the rigger, so the bait has been pretty much on the bottom trying to hide, as usual. So fish deep, just off bottom, and that means lots of glow. Most flashers that have some glow tape will work well. Some of our favorites are the Green Onion Glow and Chartreuse Glow. We are primarily fishing spoons in the 3.0 to 4.0 range with some green, blue, chartreuse, and glow on them.