Sun and steady temperature is the story for most of this week. While it is still warmer than seasonal averages it is a touch cooler than we have seen in the last few weeks. This should mean some changes for a number of our river fisheries. Things look good for this weekend but we expect water levels to drop next week and we could see some of the first low and clear conditions of the season. Take a look at the river reports for more details on how to tackle these changes. Also look out for Andre’s first cutthroat update of the season! It is still early for cutthroat fishing but we are already seeing the odd fry hiding in the rocks and if the warm weather continues it should get good soon. The first batch of Andre’s custom made epoxy fry are in stock, hurry in to pick yours up before they are sold out!
Saltwater fishing has been interesting with some good size fish being caught so make sure to check out the full saltwater report.
March is just around the corner and it is an awesome time to fish in the lower Mainland. Because of this we have a packed schedule of fishing courses next month; steelhead, cutthroat and fly tying classes are all on the schedule and there are still some spots available. All of the specifics are below in the course section.
Lastly we have some warm water fly fishing news! As promised Matt has posted his report on bonefishing in Hawaii, check out the detailed report at the end of this weeks report. If you’re looking to do some warm water fishing of your own you’re in luck. One spot has become available for our Dream Cuba Trip this April. If you are interested check out the details in the Cuba section below!
Good luck on the water!
The lineup of great courses just keeps coming! We’ve got some great tying courses coming up; learn how to custom tie your own flies to chase steelhead, bull trout and cutthroat. If you’d like to head out on the water we have two great courses that have an in store seminar followed up with a fully guided day on the water.
Tying Intruder Patterns
This course is designed for those that are interested in tying steelhead flies in the “Intruder style”. This style of fly is extremely productive for steelhead and salmon due to its profile and movement in the water. During this two night (5hr total instruction) tying series, you will learn the very specific techniques and unique materials used to tie this fly. This course is suitable for intermediate to advanced tiers. 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 23 & 24)
Time: 7:00pm to 9:30pm
Winter Steelhead on the Fly
Fishing for winter steelhead on the fly (single hand or Spey) is arguably one of the most challenging and rewarding fisheries in BC. Let our steelhead gurus help you unlock the mysteries of these magical fish with their decades of steelhead guiding knowledge. This course consists of a 3hr evening seminar and 1 full day of guided fishing on the water. In the seminar we will go over rods, reels, lines, sink tips, flies and reading water and swung fly techniques. The fully guided day on the water we will work on casting, reading water and swinging the fly.
Dates: Seminar: Mar 3; Guided: Mar 7 or 8
Seminar: Mar 25; Guided: Mar 28 or 29
Seminar Time: 6:30pm to 9:30pm
Fly Fishing for Sea Run Cutthroat
This spring make sure to get out and take advantage of the world-class cutthroat fishing in the Lower Mainland. This cutthroat course is designed to educate you on the life cycle, location, seasonal feeding habits, and successful techniques and flies used to catch these elusive yet aggressive fish. This course consists of a 3hr evening seminar and a fully guided day on the water
Dates: Seminar Mar 10; Guided Mar 14 or 15
Seminar Mar 18; Guided Mar 21 or 22
Seminar Time: 6:30pm to 9:30pm
Tying Epoxy Patterns
Epoxy fly patterns were developed here on the west coast to capitalize on the large fry emergence every spring. Pacific Angler will help you unlock the secrets to applying epoxy, which can be a very tricky material to work with. During the course your instructor will teach you how to imitate the different salmon fry species, the different methods to shaping bodies, adding eyes, and other important techniques. Course is suitable for intermediate/advanced tiers. 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: Mar 11
Time: 6:30pm to 9:30pm
CUBA 2015 – ISLE OF YOUTH
We just had a spot for our 2015 Cuba trip become available. This is the dream warm water trip for bonefish and tarpon. If you have ever wanted to go to Cuba this your chance. Click here to check out all the details!
Cutthroat Warm Up
Due to the warm winter temperatures that we have been experiencing this year, you might find that a few salmon fry hatch earlier than expected. Having said that, the majority of the hatch (Alvin) is around the first week of March. By the second week of March the migration of the fry starts.
It is then that the cutthroat will leave their spawning beds and are ready to feast on the fry. In the meantime it is best to fish stone fly and mayfly nymphs if you happen to find a few cutthroats that are lurking around during their pre spawning years. Concentrate on little side creeks of the main stem of the rivers. The next couple of weeks might be tough to find these magnificent and elusive fish but you never know unless you are out on the river.
Therefore, in order to increase your chances of finding a few fish, you must cover a lot of ground. In the meantime, to get ready for one of the most exciting fisheries, you can tie coho and chum fry patterns as well as Sticklebacks and a few attractor patterns. Also, don´t forget to tie some dry flies (March Brown) as they hatch with warmer temperatures by mid March.
– Andre Stepanian
Lots of rain has caused lots of changes to the river this winter. It’s taken some serious fishing time to figure out what the fish are doing. With water bumps happening consistently, there have been lots of days where the fish are on the move. Finding little pods of fish stuck in a particular section or run has been the biggest key to success. The other side of things is the technique. Both egging and swinging have produced fish. The trout are on the feed whenever they can get it, so finding the fish has been more important than what you toss at them. In terms of fly selection, sculpins, matukas, zonkers, and large bead head muddlers have been the best producers.
We have seen the odd fry kicking around already, so you don’t have to go to big flies if the fish are keying in on the small stuff. We set up these flies on a polyleader or light sinktip with a couple feet of tippet to keep the fly in the zone, and swing away! In terms of eggs, the only eggs that the fish are going to see are dead, opaque in colour, either a washed out or solid white/grey tone. Think of ambush spots, and feeding lanes, places where the food is concentrated, whether it be a sculpin, or egg being pushed down river.
The Squamish is 100% catch and release and a barbless hook is a must.
The Cap is dirt low so downsizing your gear is a must. Smaller sized baits such as single eggs, roe bags, and a light pink 4” worm are good options for the gear fisherman. Same goes for the fly fisherman, sparsely tied intruders with drab colourations black and light pink. Based on the forecast, low water will be the theme for the next week.
Well the taps have turned off and the river is dropping and clearing. There is some rain in the forecast for Thursday and Friday but no +50mm dumping of rain, so the river will be in great shape.
Fishing smaller patterns such as Jensen Eggs, 4 inch Pink worms in a lighter shade of pink, and roe bags are all good options for this river clarity. Colorado Blades and Gypsy Spoons are great change up baits, fishing these over stretches of river that get fished heavily can wake up fish and trigger aggressive takes. For the fly fisherman keep up with the lighter shades of pink and black and blue. Don’t be afraid to think out of the box with your fly selection throwing something new can trigger a bite as some fish have been in the river since December and have seen a lot of the standard patterns. Keep moving and be courteous to your fellow anglers.
The good fishing continued this past week with reports of fish in Vancouver Harbour, Howe Sound and the Gulf Islands. The hard part is choosing where to go and having luck on your side. There were some days this week where the fishing was nothing short of fantastic with limits of feeder chinook to be had. The next morning in the same spot you were lucky to get some undersize fish. Such is winter chinook fishing, the fish are here one day and gone the next, but overall it has been consistent and definitely worth heading out.
The Oki’ Tackle Green Onion Glow and Purple Onion Glow continue to be some of the top producing flashers but sometimes when we have been fishing on the bottom in 180-240 feet of water a double glow flasher has been good. We have these custom made for us by Oki’ and we have stock right now. On the business end we have been using the usual productive spoons that have some green and glow on them like the Pesca 3.5 Gut Bomb, Leprechaun and Bogart and the Kingfisher 3.5 Homeland Security, Irish Cream, and Glow Green.
There are some big fish starting to be caught as well. Most of the fish are still in 8-12 lb range but there have been some fish in the 15-20 lb range as well. We still have a couple more months of this fishery to enjoy and some of the best days are yet to come. With the warm weather and excellent fishing, this is a great time to book a charter. If you would like to get out on your own boat and need a point in the right direction and some of the top producing lures, give us a call at Pacific Angler at 604-872-2204 or come by the shop. If you would like to book a charter please give us a call on our charter line at 778-788-8582.
Honolulu is known for epic surfing, Pearl Harbour, shaved ice and bad traffic, but for those who love warm water fishing it is known as one of the most challenging big bonefish destinations in the world.
For years I have heard stories of anglers fishing Hawaii and at first I didn’t put much stock in the hype. This changed when I began to notice that all the experts I talked to got a haunted look in their eyes whenever I brought up bonefishing in Hawaii. This winter when my wife and I decided to vacation on the island I knew that I couldn’t pass up an opportunity to see what that haunted look was all about.
What I found blew my expectations out of the water. I expected to see a few fish each day and if I made good casts I would catch them. I couldn’t have been more wrong. I was shocked at how many big fish I saw and even more shocked at how smart they were. As my guide Mike Hennessey put it “Hawaii is varsity level bonefishing. They are going to get in your head and it’s going to change you.”
He couldn’t have been more right. You have to cast softer, spot faster and move stealthier than any location I have experienced. I learned more about bonefishing in two days than I have in the last five years. I saw bonefish that I mistook for sharks and the glint of one tailing fish that was so big it’s tail stood 12 inches out of the water will be in my dreams for a long time.
“The Hawaiian bonefish environment seems to be hand crafted by the fishing gods to frustrate, captivate and inspire bonefishing anglers.”
This report will lay out what I learned, what you can expect and a few ideas worth considering if you ever find a way to visit Oahu and want to try your luck at this amazing fishery.