Another week of heavy rain but all is not doom and gloom. The rain has made condition challenging but for winter river fisherman when you follow the water levels, every bump of water will bring windows of brilliant fishing.
Early in the week we saw one of these windows. The boys were putting up good numbers float fishing and fly fishing for steelhead on the Vedder, and we had some great reports from the Squamish and Stave trout fisheries when the water came down from last weekend’s blow out. Most of our rivers blew out mid week and with more rain in the forecast they will be probably be blown out into the weekend but keep your eyes on the river levels. When the water starts dropping it is time to get out fishing. Check out the River Reports for more info.
With a solid month plus into the steelhead season it looks as though we are going to have a good year. There is no better time to book a walk and wade trip with Dimitri. If you want to learn from someone who is on the water a ton and really understands the ebbs and flows of the steelhead migration, call us today to book a walk and wade on the Vedder or a drift on the Squamish. Dates are filling up fast so get a hold of us soon if you are looking at days in February and March. Call to book. 604-872-2204.
On the saltwater winter scene, guys were consistently finding fish but it wasn’t as hot as last week. The full moon may have had something to do with it. Check out Jason’s saltwater fishing report below for the details.
The Fly of the Week – The Stinger Prawn
A great primer for our 2 night Intruder Course February 22nd and 23rd
This week we have an awesome fly tying video from Dimitri, featuring his famous Stinger Prawn. It is a steelhead catching machine and in many regards a work of art. Dimitri has spent thousands of hours on the vise with this style of pattern and the art is in the proportions. This video gives a clear picture of how he achieves the “right” steelhead profile. Check it out and don’t forget to Share, Follow and Like our Vimeo page! We have a bunch more great video’s coming down the pipes or check out the Pacific Angler Media Page!
Materials for the Stinger Prawn
- Opst #1 swing hook
- 50lb Tuffline
- UTC 140 Thread
- Size small lead Eyes
- White seal fur
- White polar bear
- Pink UV ice dub
- Black-barred round orange rubber legs
- Natural Grizzly Hackles
- Pink Ostrich
- Pink Crystal Mirror Flash
- Natural Amhearst Tail Fibres
- Lagartun Flatbraid Pink
- Pink schlappen
- Orange tipped white rubber legs
- Natural guinea fowl
- Pheasant Rump Feathers
February Fishing Courses
Introduction to Spey Casting with Matt Sharp – Wednesday Feb 24th and Sunday Feb 27th
It’s the Perfect time to learn Spey Casting! Join us for our introduction to Spey casting course with Matt Sharp. This is a 2 part course we go over everything you need to know to tackle casting in the classroom and then head out on the water for a full day of casting practice. Matt Sharp has been Spey fishing for nearly 20 years and has seen the progression of the Spey rods from the eyes of a full time steelhead guide. He is a master at taking a new caster and getting them fishing effectively on their first day with a Spey rod. Let him show you his tricks and get you started off right. Call to sign up today. 604-872-2204.
Steelhead Float Fishing Course – Monday Feb 15th
We have another addition of out steelhead course on Monday Feb 15 with on the water fishing days open for Feb 20, 21, 27 or 28. If you missed out on our last sold out course this is your chance to learn from one of the most dedicated float fisherman in Vancouver and then get out on the water in prime time. Call today to book your spot in this very popular class. 604-872-2204.
As you saw in his the Stinger Prawn Video, Dimitri is a master. His Steelhead flies have been featured in Magazines and many top guides rely on him to fill their boxes. In this 2 day course learn the intricate skills needed to take your steelhead flies to the next level. With a large focus on the ideal silhouette for a steelhead pattern, this course is one you don’t want to miss. If you are getting into tying steelhead patterns or want to take your skills to the next level, sign up today. Call to sign up. 604-872-2204.
Winter Steelhead on the Fly NEW Dates! Saturday Feb 12th and Sunday Feb 13th (in house Feb 29th)
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 be work on casting, reading water and swinging the fly. Call to sign up. 604-872-2204.
ON TO THE REPORT!
Vancouver River Fishing Reports
Squamish River Fishing Report
We had good reports from Sunday Monday and Tuesday this week but yesterday the river decided to launch itself into the stratosphere. It went from 2 meters to well over 5 meters in a 12 hour period. You can write her off for Saturday and it will be interesting to see when it comes down. It looks as though the weekend guys will have issues but the guys hitting it Monday – Tuesday might walk into perfect conditions. Hard to call it today so watch the river levels and have fun!
With high water, make sure you have some brighter eggs in your kit and it may be a good week to start swinging larger streamers. Olive’s, whites and blacks in the 2.5-3.5 inch range are recommended. In dirty water I have had great success combining the two presentations. Peg a bead an inch or two above a sculpin pattern if you are worried about fish not seeing your presentation in colored water. Dimitry has tied some awesome white tube flies that are a guide staple for us and are very rarely available to the public. Get them while supplies last!
Good Luck, respect your fellow angler and follow the rules. The Squamish is a 100% single barb-less catch and release fishery.
Vedder – Chilliwack River Fishing Report
We saw some decent fishing earlier this week. Then the rains came. The clay slides have been a huge factor on the clarity of the river so make sure you are equipped with appropriate presentations such as jigs, pink worms, and spin n glos in bright orange pink, and red shades. Dimitri has tied up some custom steelhead flies in a variety of colours which are lights out for steelhead in all conditions. The cooler temperatures next week should make for some good fishing as the clarity improves and any fish in the river will be rested and willing to bite. Keep an eye on the river graph if you’re trying to squeeze in a trip this weekend. The upper river above the slide will come into shape first. Make sure to keep walking and cast often.
Good Luck on the water
Chehalis River Fishing Report
The Chehalis will be high with all the rain which will bring in some fresh fish. Expect the river to drop quickly once the cold weather arrives next week. Finding slower holding water will be key to finding fish as the river will be moving quickly.
Stave River Fishing Report
This past week saw a good amount of rain, meaning the dam levels will be fluctuating. This means that at any given time, the dam may release water and that anglers should be aware and careful. When this happens the fishing usually picks up so it is a fine balancing act.
For those making the trip out there, anglers this past week have reported some fairly decent trout and white fish action on egg patterns and beads. There have also been whisperings of fry being spotted, so keep that in mind as well when selecting flies or small micro-spoons.
Sparsely dressed flies such as rolled muddler minnows with both gold and silver bodies, or the classic Dick Nite and Hildebrand spoons are a great choice for those using spinning gear.
Another thing we can all do as anglers is be good stewards of the river, and to take out any trash left by others; when water levels rise, any garbage left on nearby banks are washed into the water.
Vancouver Saltwater Fishing Report
Fishing continued to be decent this past week but you definitely needed some luck on your side when it came to picking your locations. Last week on our guided trips and personal trips we fished Vancouver Harbour, multiple spots throughout Howe Sound, Coal Ports and Porlier. I feel like we got a pretty good sampling of what is going on out there and some spots were decent, others were very quiet, but none were what we would call on fire. Some of that slower action likely had to do with the full moon around the 23rd. Now that we have that out of the way, we expect things will pick up a bit more.
In Vancouver Harbour it was relatively slow and there are lots of seals following you if you are fishing the West Van shoreline on the flood tide. That being said, we did see some pictures of nice fish taken in the freighters. This spot usually fishes best on the ebb tide, so keep that in mind if you are going to give the freighters a try.
There were some nice fish taken in Howe Sound but it was pretty spotty with short windows of activity. We did manage a few nice fish on the tide changes.
Coal Ports was pretty busy this weekend and for the most part it was slow. We knew a good number of the boats down there and it seemed most of them got one or none. Jordan was fishing there on Sunday and they were one of the lucky boats and boated a nice chinook.
I decided to take advantage of the sunny weather and flat calm seas on Sunday and head to Porlier with my guests. Unfortunately it was very slow. Not a lot of bait and only a few undersize fish to show for our efforts. Regardless of the lack of fish, the day on the water was as nice as it gets for this time of year. I have been over to Porlier a few times now and for the most part it has been relatively disappointing. There has been as good or better action closer to home. Porlier is usually pretty good this time of year, so of course this could change at any moment and we were also dealing with a full moon, but those are our observations so far.
As far as productive gear goes, not much new to report. The usual glow flashers have been productive, like the Green Glow, Chartreuse Glow, Green Onion Glow and Purple Onion Glow. Spoons are the go to this time of year and the smaller Kingfisher 3.0 spoon in Irish Cream has been hot and honourable mention goes to the Homeland Security and Kitchen Sink. The Pesca spoons have also been very productive. We find they work especially well for winter chinook because we are fishing so deep and the Pesca spoons have such a strong glow. There were a number of fish taken this week on the Pesca spoons in the 3.5 and 2.5. Hot colours have been Uncle Bob, Gut Bomb and Leprechaun.
If you would like to book a charter please give Jason Tonelli a call at 778-788-8582 or call Pacific Angler at 604-872-2204.
See you in the shop or on the water,