Wow it is cold out! Just a little warning we are going to say the word “cold” a lot in this outlook. I am getting shivers just writing it. The cold doesn’t have to ruin the fishing and we have seen some nice sun this past week which made for some great days on the water.
Over the next 10 days we will see more below average seasonal temps. This week we are getting a mixed bag of cold sunny weather and cold snowy weather. This Saturday and Sunday are actually going to be the warmest of the next 7 days. So if you want to get out look at Saturday and Sunday.
Though some of the fisheries have been a challenge because of the cold weather but a few are doing really well.
Steelhead reports on the Vedder have been solid. Even though cold and clear days can make steelheading hard, steelhead are not as affected by the cold as bulltrout. Jordan was out and Alex has more details in the river report section.
The Squamish is going to be a challenge over the next couple days, we won’t sugar coat it, but Matt has some details on how to best fish in these conditions and what you should focus on. Cold, crisp days might not be the best for fishing up the Squamish but they are good for hiking and scouting knowing that good fishing is just around the corner.
Saltwater fishing has been solid again and even if it is cold, bundling up and heading out on the ocean for some winter spring fishing is very productive right now. See more details in Jason’s report.
Last but not least though this cold has put a hold on the salmon fry hatch but we expect it to start the second we get a few days of warm weather. If the long term forecast is correct we should see some warmer temps in about 10 days. To get us ready Andre has brought in his famous epoxy fry and has an overview of the Fraser Valley cutthrout fishery. It should be worth a scouting trip now and the second it gets warm, the fishing should be on. Hopefully we will have a better season than last year! See Andres report in the Harrison section below!
We used the word “cold” 11 times – Again we are sorry! Hopefully next week we will get to over use a more positive word.
Good luck out on the water!
CLASSES + COURSES
Escape the cold and join us in the classroom! Check out our upcoming March classes.
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.
Dates: Seminar Mar 13 & Casting Mar 18
Seminar Time: 6:30pm – 9:30pm
Casting Time(s): 10am – 1pm or 2pm -5pm
Cost: $125.00 +GST
Tying Epoxy Fly 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.
Date: Mar 6
Time: 6:30pm – 9:30pm
Tying Chironomid Fly Patterns
80% of a trout’s diet consists of chironomids whose patterns vary from lake to lake. This 3-hour evening seminar will teach you how to tie a variety of the most effective chironomid patterns used in BC’s world-renowned lakes. You will finish this course understanding the very specific technical aspects ranging from beads, ribbing, colors, and body shapes. 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: Mar 12
Time: 6:30pm – 9:30pm
Cost: $45.00 +GST
FRESHWATER FISHING REPORTS
Chilliwack River Fishing Report
Despite the freezing temperatures the Chilliwack continues to fish moderately well for steelhead for those willing to brave the inclement weather. We have had a fair number of lucky customers come in and regale us with tales of chrome this week.
Water has become gin clear so downsize your presentations accordingly. This can make fishing a bit more technical but on the flip side it also means lots of access to fishable water throughout the river now, so definitely cover water from the top all the way to the bottom (or vice versa). We are moving into the peak of the season soon so bundle up and get out there!
Jordan was out on the river this week and has a few notes for you in his report below.
I went and poked my nose out at the Vedder after hearing some reports of a few fish moving through. The fish caught earlier this week came from warmer days as I will say that the temperature played a role with the lack of fish and people that I encountered when I went. With the temperature hanging around -6 for most of the day, with wind-chill dropping it to -16 here and there, the fish were definitely tight-lipped. We drifted a variety of presentations, but Lady Luck had other plans.
The conditions were quite nice, with the water being a nice “steelhead green” we all look for. I would definitely say that one will want to look for a warmer day this upcoming week if they are looking to get out.
Those who did get in to few fish this past week did so by having a well-stocked kit to match the varying conditions. Beads, roe, worms, and jigs are always a great choice, as well as Colorado blades for those warmer days when fish are more aggressive.
If you’re just starting out, or looking to upgrade your kit, come on in and see any of our friendly and experienced staff!
Capilano River Fishing Report
The Capilano River is maintaining a low water level. The report is that many steelhead are now in system and the number looks healthier in historical comparison. Move around the river to find fish and when in doubt try a few cast and you might be rewarded. In the low and clear water downsize your gear. Try flies like smaller shrimp patterns and give it a nice swing. As for the gear guys try smaller worms, single eggs, or even regular bait. Again downsize your leaders, floats weights and etc. Using clear float will give you an advantage as well.
Release All steelhead with care.
Stay safe and warm out there and swing by the shop to show us some pictures.
Squamish River Fishing Report
This is a interesting time of year to be fishing the Squamish. Every February we usually see a 1-3 week shot of very cold weather. We seem to be in the middle of it right now. It is one of the most challenging
times to fish the Squamish because the river drops like a rock and gets very clear. If you are heading out, get technical with your presentation. Fluorocarbon leaders, small drab colored streamers or small gear fishing presentations will catch fish if you go very slow when you are in deep spots and move very fast when you can see the bottom of the river. The fish will almost always be in the water that is deep enough were you will not be able to see the bottom – finding this water is hard because there isn’t much of it when the entire river is low.
The good news is that on most years right after the February cold spell fishing really picks up. It is still worth getting out now to scout, you can see all the structure under the water and hiking/crossing the river is easy. This may not be the time of year when I catch a ton of fish but it is the time of year when I identify “hot” spots and discover hard to access pools.
When the temps rise even a little and we get some overcast warm drizzly days the bulltrout and rainbows turn on hard and will be super hungry. There will be more steelhead in the system as well.
The fry will hatch after we see about a week of this warmer weather. This usually happens around the end of the month or early March but as we talked about last week it is all temperature dependent. Andre has brought in his famous fry patterns for the cutthroat fisheries but they are equally as effective on the Squamish. Come down and stock out now so you are ready for when things warm up.
Fraser Valley Fly Fishing for Cutthroat Primer
If you are eager to get out sooner than later it is a good idea to have some alvin patterns in your fly box as the cutthroat will feed on them near the bottom, later on as the fry emerge to the top look for any signs of fish slashing fry on top. The next two months is an exciting time for die hard cutthroat fisherman who love the thrill of the tug on your light tackle. Although little spinners sometimes work, ideally you want to fly fish for these voracious sea-run cutthroat as they key in on a certain hatch, which you have to figure out while fishing. The ideal set up is 4 or 5 weight rod with a floating line and a 10-12 ft 4lb leader.
Make sure you have a variety of salmon fry patterns (mostly coho) and march browns in your box as they are known to get picky sometimes. If you can, refrain from blind casting and look for a rise, anything as a small dimple or if you’re lucky, the ultimate thrill, a chasing hungry cutthroat gorging and slashing fry on top of the water. Please handle these fish gently as there are not many around and unlike salmon they are heading out to the ocean to come back again in the fall for a few years to come.
Please checkout the “Fly fishing for sea-run cutthroat ” course if you like to learn more in depth on how to catch these elusive fish.
Stave River Fishing Report
It is snowing in the Valley again and things look like it’s going to be very cold. The Stave will be very low and gin-clear. The water temperature will be quite low and fish will be less active. However, if you walk around the river and find some fish holding you might be able to trigger them to bite bait, lures or plastics. Try to look for walking speed to slow water. Downsize your gear and using clear float will increase the chance of getting steelhead on end of your line.
Release wild steelhead with care.
Stay safe out there.
SALTWATER FISHING REPORTS
Vancouver Saltwater Salmon Fishing Report
It’s a winter wonderland out there today so it might be a good weekend to tie leaders and get ready for when the weather finally warms up. On the other, if you are a diehard the forecast for the winds doesn’t look too bad for this weekend and the colder weather definitely keeps the crowds down.
The fishing continues to be steady, with consistent action in Howe Sound, Vancouver Harbour and Gulf Islands. As usual, the fish are moving around a lot, with one day only some small fish and the next day mostly keepers. It is a highly variable fishery so the best thing to do is just go when you can, as even a report from the day before doesn’t mean much for the next day.
If you are going to tie some leaders this weekend, tie up some of these. We just got our Gibbs shipment and if you don’t have Skinny G spoons in your winter line up you are missing out
Stay warm and see you out on the water or in the shop,