We are just past the midpoint of the month and all and all 2015 is off to a great start. It is still early for steelhead but I think everyone can say that the reports are all very encouraging and if things continue at this rate we are in for a very good season.
We can say the same thing for the winter chinook season in the Vancouver harbour. For those who got through the fog, fishing has been very good over the last week and based on past years things should only get better as the season progresses.
One challenge that fisherman have faced this season has been the weather and it looks as though another winter storm system will be moving in. Thursday was wet and the rivers rose. We will see more rain this weekend and some wind in the harbour from the south east. This can make things a little interesting. The good news is it will be warmer than normal and if you can change tactics for the conditions it should be a good weekend to get out on the water.
The team at the shop has been out fishing this week. Jason has had some great days on the ocean for winter springs, Dimitri and Sam have been hooking steelhead on the Vedder and Matt is out to the Squamish this weekend, indicator fishing for bull trout. Check out the detailed reports below and if you are thinking about a saltwater charter or guided trip on the rivers give us a call. Our guides are chomping at the bit to get out guiding because the fishing has been so consistent.
Give us a call at the shop (604-872-2204) or on the 24 hour charter line (778-788-8582) to book a trip.
Was one of your 2015 Resolutions to learn how to fish? If so, then our Introduction to Fly Fishing and Introduction to Spey Casting are the perfect courses for you! Join us this February and get the basics you need to get out on the water and one cast closer to fulfilling your New Years Resolution.
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
Seminar: Wednesday, February 11, 6:30PM to 9:30PM
Casting: Sunday, February 15 either 10:00AM to 1:00PM or 2:00PM to 5:00PM
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.
Your instructor’s Matt Sharp and Jason Tonelli have well over 25 years of spey fishing experience with thousands of hours of guiding on some of the most famous spey rivers in the world. The key to their instruction style is to focus on building a solid base of fundamental skills that can be put into practice for immediate fishable results.
The first part of this course is comprised of a 3 hour in-house introduction to rods, reels, lines, proper outfit set up and balancing, custom sink tips, custom heads, and leaders. We will cover what set ups are used for the different applications and fisheries and the reasons behind these. The second part of the course will have you out of on the water where we will cover all of the major casts needed to fish on each side of the river in a variety of wind conditions.
Note: For more seasoned spey caster’s we will be offering an advanced courses later in the season so stay tuned for dates!
Cost: $150 per person
Seminar: Tuesday, February 17th, 6:30pm – 9pm
Casting: Sunday, February 22nd, 10am – 4pm (Location: Squamish)
The International Fly Film Festival (IF4) 2015 consists of short and feature length films produced by professional filmmakers from all corners of the globe, showcasing the passion, lifestyle and culture of fly-fishing. The variety of films at this event are sure to peak the interest of all anglers. IF4 contains exclusive content not available in any other fly-fishing film event and is a must see experience.
Date: February 5, 2015
Time: Doors open at 6:30 PM. Film begins AT 7:00 PM. Rush Seating
Location: Landmark Cinemas Esplanade (200 West Esplanade N. Vancouver)
Drop by the shop and pick up your ticket for $15. If available, tickets may also be purchased at the venue on the day of the event for $20.00 per ticket.
This week was another confidence booster. Good numbers of fish have been entering the river for the last 4 weeks. With the coming rains, the river will spike again and will need a day or so to settle and drop. This has been the trend this season and each spike of water makes it easy for the fish to enter the river without having to expend energy running shallow rapids.
Moving fresh steelhead are the most eager biters. Covering water and fishing fast in order to find as many different fish as possible is the best approach to this fishery. It becomes a numbers game and eventually the more fish that see your presentation the more likely you are to get a strike. Far too often I see anglers stand in one spot or stay in one run for much too long and not thoroughly cover the spot and keep moving. In certain places this may mean 1 or 2 casts, in others 5 or 6.
Match your baits to the conditions. The higher and more colored the river, the bigger and brighter your bait should be. The 6 inch pink worm, Gooey bobs, died prawns, and large roe presentations matched with fluorescent yarn combinations are great choices when faced with a high and colored river. As the water drops we begin to dial down our baits to more natural colors, in smaller sizes. For the fly fisherman try 3-4 inch pink bunny patterns with T 11 sink tips. As the water clears, town down your fly selections to purples and blue combinations. We have heard of a number of early fish caught on the fly.
Best of luck.
We are still hearing good reports from the fly fisherman targeting white fish with indicators, eggs and nymph flies. If you are heading to the Stave, remember to fish small hooks for this species as their mouths are small so standard hooks are too large.
The weather looks wet and warm for the weekend. The big question for the Squamish angler will be how wet. Historically we love to see a dump of rain this time of year. It raises river levels, colours up the water and gets the fish moving. Another added benefit and one that is very critical to fishing the Squamish system is a bump in water will shift gravel and flip over rocks. This washes eggs down the river into trout feeding lanes. There has been some concern that the majority of eggs have already been washed out of the system from the constant barrage of storms. I am heading out this weekend and am optimistic that there will still be a good number of eggs in the river. I will have a detailed update on what I find in next week’s report. From everyone I have spoken to the fishing has been solid. The road has some issues with snow and ruts but nothing an SUV and a shovel can not solve. Go slow and be smart.
Focus on two styles of fishing if you are heading out. Fish sink tips with 8-10lb 4ft leaders with olive and tan style streamer patterns. This imitates the sculpin that are naturally found in the system. This method is very effective at covering ground. The other method that we recommend on the system is using the Alaskan style bead rig to nymph/indicator fish imitation salmon eggs. Take a look at last week’s report for a detailed overview of how to set up you egg indicator system.
At this time of year you are going to find bull trout, rainbow and the odd cutthroat in the system. We have heard the odd whispering of steelhead but the large majority of the steelhead show up later in the season.
All of these species are strictly catch and release and the entire system has a bait ban in effect. That means no scented baits of any kind. If you see any people fishing illegally make sure you call the ORR (observe, record, report) line 1-800-465-4336.
Good luck and I will see you out on the water.
We can expect the rain in the upcoming forecast to cause the river to rise which should bring some fish into the system. We did hear of a couple nice ones being hooked this week, that said this time of year fishing is by no means stellar. The Cap is a great place to get away from those weekend chores for a couple hours and who knows you may even cross paths with the mythical Capilano steelhead.
If you do, don’t forget to catch and release all steelhead
The Chehalis has been low for awhile so this rain should bring in fish. This system fluctuates very rapidly. Take this into consideration when you are planning your weekend trip and while you are out on the river for safety reasons. Single eggs, roe bags, and 4 inch pink worms will be the ticket if you decide to head out that way. Release all wild steelhead.
It’s hard to believe it is only January 16th with the kind of winter chinook fishing we have been having the last couple of weeks. We made it out to the Gulf Islands a few times this week with the flat seas, and it was well worth the run. We were into multiple chinook on our trips and we look forward to heading out there some more as the season progresses and conditions allow.
Top producers have been the Green Onion Glow and Purple Onion Glow flasher with a 6 foot leader to a Pesca Gut Bomb spoon in 2.5 or 3.5 or a Kingfisher Homeland Security spoon in 3.0 or 3.5. The water is so clear right now you can even run a spoon, a herring or anchovy without a flasher. We gave this try on the last couple of trips and it produced some nice fish.
Most of the fish we have landed have been in the 7 to 12 pound range. We have had a few bigger fish on the line and we have also seen pictures of some fish just shy of the 20 pound mark. There has been lots of bait around, so these fish should continue to pack on the pounds over the next few months.
There has been some chinook in the harbor as well, mostly off the mouth of the Capilano up to the Pink Apartment, and out in the freighters. There has been a few pesky seals that have been stealing chinook off our lines. If you have a seal following you, the best thing to do is pick up and move because when you do hook a nice size chinook you can kiss it goodbye.
We haven’t heard much from Howe Sound this week, as most of us that fish up there were running across to the Gulf Islands because it was so flat calm out and the fishing was good.
If you want to catch some of the best eating fish of the year, give us a call at 778-788-8582 and we will set you up with a charter for winter chinook and fresh Dungeness crab or call the shop at 604-872-2204 for any questions about the report.
On behalf of the Pacific Angler staff we wish you the best in your fishing endeavors and we hope to see you either at the shop or on the water. To check out the latest Pacific Angler news view the Pacific Angler Facebook page.
Jason, Matt, Andre, Sam, Eddie, Dimitri, Kathryn