The holidays are over, kids are back to school and everyone is getting back to the grind. For some this can be a little depressing. If this is you, take some time, plan some trips, a vacation, heck just a day trip out to the river or out in the boat. Fishing has picked up this last week and the weather looks really good for this weekend and into next week.
If you are looking for a warm fly fishing vacation, we just had a customer drop out of our annual Christmas Island Trip. He broke his hip and leg so we won’t hold it against him but if anyone would like to join us April 8th to 17th we have spots available! If you missed the video from last year’s trip check it out here. Even if you are not planning a trip this season check it out! the footage it epic! If you are interested in the trip email Matt at [email protected] for all the pricing and fishing details.
On a product front we just received a massive shipment of Simms with all the new 2019 gear! We will highlight all of the cool new stuff over the next couple weeks. This week Matt has review of the new Midstream jacket. This is a product that Matt has been wearing for the last month due to a Christmas party mishap (story is in the review) and if you are looking for a layering jacket or standalone cold, windy day jacket, check out his review. There is a lot more to this jacket than meets the eye.
On the fishing front things are picking up for steelhead on the valley rivers. Alex has a Vedder report and with relatively warm weather in the near future we expect good reports from the weekend.
The nice weather should also work out for the Squamish area. River levels are decent and it is well worth it if you are looking for bull trout and rainbows.
Hope to see you in the shop and now on to the report!
INDUSTRY EVENTS + UPDATES
Steelhead Society of BC Annual Pub Night
Last week we told you about the Steelhead Society’s AGM coming up on Saturday January 26, 2019 (more details here) and this week we have the date for another great Steelhead Society Event – the annual pub night! We’ll see you February 20 at Mickey’s Public House in Coquitlam! Details below.
CLASSES + COURSES
Many of our January courses are already sold out but there are a few spots left in some of our most popular tying classes so call the shop at 604.872.2204 to get the last couple of spots at the tying table! For those of you looking at our saltwater course we’ve added a few extra dates to that course as well!
INTRODUCTION TO FLY TYING – 2 SPOTS LEFT!
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: Jan 21, 28 & Feb 4
Time: 6:30pm – 9:30pm
TYING ESSENTIAL STEELHEAD PATTERNS – 2 SPOTS LEFT!
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.
Dates: Jan 22
Time: 6:30pm – 9:30pm
MASTERING LOCAL SALTWATER SALMON FISHING
Over 50 million salmon migrate past Vancouver annually. Learn how to catch these fish with a Pacific Angler. This course offers an in-depth look at the local saltwater scene. We cover the local saltwater salmon fishing for the entire year, showing you the how, when, and where. This course includes a 6hr weekend seminar and a fully guided day on the water in one of our Grady Whites.
Dates: Seminar: Feb 3 Guided: Feb 8, 9, 10, SOLD OUT! Available dates Feb 11, 16 + 17!
Seminar Time: 9:00am – 4:00pm – with a one-hour break for lunch. There are two restaurants on site for students to have lunch at their cost. Coffee/Tea and water will be provided.
Seminar held at Pacific Gateway Hotel – 3500 Cessna Drive, Richmond, BC
Guided Day: Full day on the water
Simms Midstream Jacket – Way More Jacket Than Meets The Eye
With the Christmas season behind us we wanted to take the chance to share another product review with you all. I have been wearing the new Simms Midstream Jacket for the past month so it is first up in our 2019 product features. It has been something that has put a smile on my face every time I put it on. There are some very cool features that you will want to hear about if you are looking for a layering piece that can also be worn as a standalone windy day jacket.
For those who know me they have probably seen me wearing my black Simms Fall Run jacket around the shop or out on the water. I had it for 4 years and wore it pretty much everywhere. It was my default layering peace under my waterproof jacket and a great everyday jacket when it wasn’t raining.
Unfortunately, last month it was a casualty of a Christmas pub-crawl. If anyone found a nice black Simms jacket at one of our fine local microbreweries…. you are welcome.
Heartbroken that I had lost my go-to jacket, I went to replace it but Simms has discontinued the Fall Run jacket and changed the design for 2019. They moved away from the iconic quilted style of the Fall Run jacket to the smooth or flat front style in the Fall Run replacement, the Midstream jacket.
At first glance I wasn’t sold. I held off buying it for a few days but the weather cornered me on a particularly windy day in December. I had no warm jacket and I was forced to pull the trigger. Within 5 minutes of walking outside and braving the elements, I knew I had made a great choice with the Midstream Jacket. As I write this review, I have worn it pretty much every day for a month and I am almost thankful that my old Fall Run jacket has found a new owner.
If you have a Fall Run Jacket or any other Primaloft style layering jacket, the Midstream is a nice upgrade but I think you would need to wear it to notice.
The first big difference is they have kept the quilting to the inside of the jacket. This will serve to keep your PrimaLoft insulation evenly placed while no quilting (aka stitching) on the outside of the jacket ensures there are no extra areas for water to get in. This will keep you drier than traditional quilted jackets!
This jacket features Primaloft Gold, which is highest warmth-to-weight ratio available with synthetic insulation. With 60 grams of Primaloft Gold in the body and 40 grams the arms this jacket will keep you warm while it is very packable and allows for a good range of motion in the arms.
Another upgrade to this layering piece is the outer material. While the Fall Run was a nylon ripstop material the new Midstream is made of a material called Pertex which in my opinion really amps up the wind protection over the Fall Run. This material will also stand up to more wear and tear when you are out on the water. Combined with the Primaloft this jacket keeps me much warmer than the Fall Run did. Though the Simms Midstream is not waterproof, I have been stuck out in the rain with it. The new Pertex is a game changer. In light rain the water rolls right off and in a heavy rain it will get wet but it doesn’t turn into a wet sponge!
They also made a couple more very smart changes that may go overlooked when you’re just looking at it on the rack at the shop. Many PrimaLoft jackets will have a stitched cuff. So if you leave the cuff on your next layer, your waterproof jacket, open or you dip your hands in the water (something fisherman tend to do) the stitched cuff and insulating material on your layering piece acts like a straw and sucks up water into the arms. I don’t know how many times I have had wet forearms when out guiding because of this design. It sucks!
Again, the Midstream is not waterproof so if you hold your hand under water for an extended period you will get wet arms but they have doubled over the cuff and added elastic to it, which hides the stitching roughly 2 inches inside the jacket. This solves the problem of water creeping up your sleeves when worn under a waterproof jacket. Also, if you have to dip your arm, it is going to buy you some time before you are left with soaking arms.
On the pocket front they have also looked to make things more functional. They added a light fleece lining to the side pockets, upgraded the zippers and increased the size of the chest pocket. I love the fleece lined pockets for warming cold hands and I can now fit a standard fly box in the chest pocket where before this was a struggle.
Overall, I wanted to write this review because this jacket has a lot more going for it than meets the eye. It takes quite a bit to impress me when it comes to layering jackets and this one surprised me. If you are looking for a warm layer under your waterproof jacket that can also be worn as a stand-alone piece on a cold windy day, around town or on a pub crawl (just don’t loose it) come down to the shop and try on the Simms Midstream Jacket. We have a couple different colours and styles in the shop and they retail for $259.99+taxes.
FRESHWATER FISHING REPORTS
Vedder/Chilliwack River Report
We had some great conditions this past week and fishing continues to be decent for steelhead. A few spurts of fresh fish came in with the higher water and they have been caught pretty much throughout so they are spread through the system. Make sure to keep moving and to cover as much water as possible. Don’t be afraid to fish big and bright right now. The water levels are good and early steelhead are rare but aggressive. Later next week we expect lower and clearer conditions with colder temperatures and blue bird skies so adjust accordingly with smaller presentations. There are a lot of things that will catch a Steelhead but catering your presentation to your water clarity and height can give you an advantage over others.
Now is the perfect time to either bust out your drift fishing setups (don’t put them away after salmon season) or to get into the drift fishing game. Come into the Shop to fill any holes in your gear vest or to get set up for this awesomely rewarding fishery!
Squamish River Fishing Report
This week saw the Squamish and it’s tributaries move around a bit. Fishing has been consistent for char with the odd late coho still kicking around. Egging has been the most productive, with most anglers drifting beads on either a fly rod or drift rod. That said, it doesn’t hurt to change things up and swing streamers or toss spoons.
With warmer clear weather, it should continue to be good over the next few days. Watch for the river to drop and get a little clear. If this happens consider lighter leaders and smaller presentations. Covering lots of water until you find the fish is always key.
Remember to be safe and to leave the river cleaner than you found it.
Bendiest of rods,
Stave River Fishing Report
The Stave is a great option close to home right now. Egging has been the go-to technique for the system, but with a few reports of steelhead in the river, it may be time to start switching it up. Keep your presentation small and cover as much water as you can. If you’re not catching fish, it’s time to move. Drifting small Colorado blades and 4 inch worms are good option for you gear guys to try to get into some early aggressive steelhead, but it is still early and there are no guarantees. For the fly guys, use medium or light sink tips and either pink, or black and blue streamers if you want to target steelhead.
Of course this all depends on the dam, if they open it, you’re going to have a tough time getting into fish, but if it closes it should have fishy water throughout the system.
SALTWATER FISHING REPORTS
Vancouver Saltwater Salmon Fishing Report
It was a bit windy and rainy this past week but despite the weather we got out there and got into some fish! As per my past reports, there isn’t one particular spot that is out producing, it has been more about where you can hide from the wind. Then you need to put in your time, and as usual you will be rewarded with your fair share of opportunities.
Speaking of the wind and rain, it looks like this weekend we are going to get a break from that and the long term forecast looks pretty good as well with sunny days ahead. This might give you the opportunity to head over to the Gulf Islands in search of winter chinook, which is usually a pretty good bet this time of year. With the forecast the way it is, pretty much all the major spots will be fishable this weekend.
The water has gotten clear and stayed clear for the most part so the black and purple flashers are starting to come into their own. The PA Custom 50/50, Glow/Moon Jelly in the black blade or UV purple blade has been working well when paired up with Herring Aide spoons and Cookies n’ Cream spoons. The green and chartreuse gear is still producing, such as Lemon Lime flashers and Irish Creams or Outfitters, but the “darker” colour gear is starting to out fish it on some days. Some days its all about just finding the bait and the fish, but when you are having days with lots of bites from both legal and undersize fish, you can definitely see a pattern when it comes to which the colours the fish are preferring.
Prawning continues to be solid, while crabbing continues to be slow, so we are dropping prawn traps on our 8-hour trips. If you would like to book a trip, give us a call at 778-788-8582 and get out there and enjoy some fresh air, winter chinook, and BC spot prawns!
See you in the shop or on the water,