We have another storm coming and though there will be some snow expected in various areas as the storm progresses over the weekend, things will warm up. This will mean rising rivers. We may see some blown out conditions over the next few days but most rivers are low right now and could use the rain. We expect periods of good fishing mixed in with the high water over the weekend and into early next week but when the rain ends and things start dropping the weather looks as though it will stay warm. We expect cutthroat fishing, bulltrout fishing and steelheading to pick up when this happens. Check out the river reports and plan your time out on the water appropriately.
Winter chinook fishing over the last 10 days has had a mix of both productive and slow days but Eddie had a good trip yesterday and we are hoping this will be the start of a trend. If yesterday is an indicator we might see things heat up again over the next couple days!
If you miss out on last week’s tying classes don’t despair! We have two great tying classes coming up next week as well as a few more of our most popular courses of the season at the end of the month. All of the information is in our classes and courses section below.
See you in the shop or on the water!
CLASSES + COURSES
This coming week is all about fly tying! There are just a couple of spots left in Andre and Max’s courses next week. If you’re looking for a class a little later in March we have Matt’s Introduction to Fly Fishing and you can join Andre out on the water for his Fly Fishing for Searun Cutthroat course. All of the details are below.
Introduction To Fly Tying
There is no greater satisfaction than catching a fish with a fly you tied yourself. This 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 materials and tools purchased for the course.
Dates: Mar 13, Mar 20 and Mar 27
Time: 6:30pm – 9:30pm
Instructor: Andre Stepanian
Tying Intruder Patterns
Steelhead fly fishing has been radically transformed in the past decade or so for two main reasons, Skagit style Spey casting and the Intruder style fly. This combination has proven to be absolutely deadly effective for catching steelhead. In this one night course you will learn about the specifics techniques and unique materials used to tie Intruder style flies. The way this type of fly is tied has evolved from the classic palmering style to a new composite loop style, and both techniques will be taught in detail in this course. In addition we will talk about why this style of fly is so productive and different ways to rig the fly from stinger hooks to the original Intruder rigging. At the end of this course you will have the skills needed to tie a variety of Intruder style flies from multi stage, monster flies for high water, average sized flies for everyday conditions, down to small, mini intruders for low water.
Note that this course is suitable for intermediate to advanced tiers. Course materials are not supplied but can be purchased at the course night or in advance at 10% off. A detailed list of what materials are needed will be supplied in advance of the course.
Date: Mar 14
Time: 6:30pm – 9:30pm
Instructor: Max Stickel
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.
Dates: Seminar Mar 22, Casting Mar 26
Seminar Time: 6:30pm – 9:30pm
Casting Time(s): 10am – 1pm or 2pm -5pm
Instructor: Matt Sharp
Fly Fishing for Searun Cutthroat Trout in Rivers
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 28 Guided: Apr 1 or Apr 2
Seminar Apr 3 Guided: Apr 8 or 9
Seminar Time: 6:30pm – 9:30pm
Instructor: Andre Stepanian
FRESHWATER FISHING REPORTS
Vedder River Fishing Report
The Vedder was in nice shape this past week and should stay that way for the weekend. Anglers that ventured out were rewarded with the odd fish. Conditions should remain good this weekend but the warmer weather and rain in the forecast may throw us a curve ball. Keep an eye on the water office graph for the most up to date river report.
March is a great time to get out on the Vedder; fresh fish will still be entering the river until April. Float fishing jigs, colorado blades, and pink worms are great options for aggressive spring run steelhead. This is also the time we hear of fly fisherman hooking higher numbers of fish. The only cure for not hooking steelhead is putting time in on the water and now is when you want to log the most hours. Get out and we will see you on the river!
Squamish River Fishing Report
We are starting to hear of the first consistent steelhead reports coming off the lower river. It is still early and there are never tons of steelhead in this system but if you love swinging flies in the lower river of float fishing, now is the time to start hitting the water.
With yet another snowfall warning in place accessing the upper river could be a challenge. We tend to target bulltrout more in the upper river so this may put a damper on the anglers fishing for bulltrout this weekend. The silver lining is that it will be warm and wet moving into the weekend and early next week. This will bump up river levels and with any luck, get the salmon fry moving.
There is lots of rain and much warmer weather in the 14 day forecast. This should beat down the snow and color up the river. It may blow out but after this storm passes and if things stay warm I expect excellent fishing. If you are thinking about a planning your own trip or you are interested in a guided raft trip or walk and wade, book now for late March early April trip and conditions should be good.
If you are out this weekend watch the river levels and the forecast. The river may blow so if you see a big spike in river levels you might want to hold off. That said if we can find a window of good water levels it could be very good fishing. I am planning on being out both Saturday and Sunday barring a major river level spike. I will have more info next week and hopefully some more pictures.
Capilano River Fishing Report
While the Capilano has been bone dry this week, we are in for some heavy accumulations of rain if the forecast can be believed so keep an eye on the water levels. This river typically fishes well after the water has risen and is on the drop. A small run of steelhead inhabit this system at this time of year and all the traditional Steelhead presentations on both gear and fly will work; the trick is to find them. It is strictly a catch and release fishery for this small run so please treat any steelhead you encounter here with care.
Stave River Fishing Report
The Stave can be a great place to swing by for a few hours if you are in the mood for wetting a line for a number of different species. While the river is short and access is somewhat limited, there are trout, whitefish, and steelhead all present in the system. This is one of the many possible locations that migratory cutthroat trout will pass through so look for surface activity, especially once the weather warms up and salmon fry start hatching. Whitefish can be taken on egg patterns and stonefly nymphs as well as bait. If you would like to target the steelhead, try fishing pro-cured roe, shrimp, jigs, spoons, intruder flies, and egg sucking leeches.
SALTWATER FISHING REPORTS
Vancouver Saltwater Salmon Fishing Report
Not much has changed in terms of fishing…..except for the weather. We’ve had one extreme to the other and I’ve been using my rain gear and sunglasses all in one trip some days.
Over the last week there was some pretty good fishing in some spots up Howe Sound and slow in other areas on any given day. The harbour has also been producing very well but again there have been good days and slow days. That said, on some of the slow days we’ve come back with stories of the big ones that got away! I wish I could have taken photos of some that almost made it to the net for the report. It’s funny in that just as I writing this I got a phone call from a fellow guide fishing on his day off who lost a very good fish. Just goes to show that even an experienced angler can have a hard time getting these hard fighting winter chinooks to the boat.
Overall this year has been one of the better winter chinooks seasons I can remember. I’m sure its due in part to the consistent abundance of bait signals I keep seeing on the depth sounder.
In terms of gear the spoons and flashers we have been talking about in reports the last few weeks continue to produce for us. Sadly the gear in the photo of last weeks report with the fish in the net was lost when a very strong gust of wind caused me to snag it on the bottom. It was a special spoon/flasher combo that was very successful for me on the water but as it was a prototype size variant of the new Pesca “Pacific Angler” I was test fishing I will have to wait until more are made! Fortunately whenever you loose good gear you usually find another if you keep trying different spoon and flasher combos. Lately spoons like Silver Hoard Irish Cream, Gibbs Green Glo, Army Truck and Pesca Uncle Bob and Pacific Angler in 3.5″ to 4″ matched up with Chartreuse Double Glo, Green Onion and Salty Dawg flashers have been some my favorites. Hoochies are also starting to come online with Spackle back, White, Glo, Blood n Bones and Army Truck being excellent choices.
Typically keeping the gear close to the bottom is the way to fish for Winter Chinooks but I am starting to get hits further up to about the first 1/3 from the bottom of the water depth.
Prawning has been “spotty” (pardon the pun) but crabbing has been pretty good. I’ll be on the water as this report goes out and we have back-to-back trips coming up so I’ll be able to gather more intel.
Good Luck and I hope our reports help bring you success out on the water!