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Home / FIshing Reports / Pacific Angler Friday Fishing Report: March 11, 2016

Pacific Angler Friday Fishing Report: March 11, 2016

Well here comes another storm. That said the weather man was a little off last weekend. We predicted that rivers would blow out. On Saturday we were not far off the mark and the Squamish coloured up by mid morning but we missed the call for Sunday. The river was very high but the clarity was ok. We had to reschedule one trip but Ryan was fishing on Sunday and had limited access but solid fishing in the upper river. This just goes to show that watching river levels and taking a gamble can pay off.

This weekend we are seeing another big storm. The wind ripped yesterday and and there is quite a bit of rain in the forecast but with most of the debris already washed off the banks it will be hard to call how much the river will colour up. Mid week we heard some great bulltrout reports and we heard of a few more steelhead as well. Check out Matt’s Squamish report for more details.

Out in the valley, Dimitri had some great days guiding this week for steelhead and we heard of a good number of successful anglers catching fish. The river started rising yesterday but again it will pay off to make the call the night before with a close eye on the 12 hour forecast and the water levels. Check out Sam’s report below for more details as well as a good overview of how to prepare steelhead roe. As we get into the middle of the season the steelhead can get picky. Having good steelhead roe can make all the difference. Check it out!

On the saltwater scene we heard of a number of good reports before the heavy wind mid week. Guides in the harbour and up Howe Sound caught some very nice winter chinook. Check out Jason Saltwater report for more details!

We are offering guided raft trips on the squamish and walk and wade trips on the Vedder. With prime time fishing happening right now. If you want to book at trip call the shop to get a day out on the water! 604-872-2204

Raft trip


  The Squamish Drift, Spring 2016

Squamish Raft Trip

Each year we wait in anticipation for the months of March and April. These are the months that we drift the Squamish River with the expectation of catching a chrome steelhead on the swung fly or feisty bulltrout or rainbows feeding on fry patterns.

The Squamish is a magical river flanked by snow capped mountains and glistening glaciers with mountain goats gazing down from the cliffs above. As it drains the Squamish and Elaho Valley it forms numerous runs and pools that are ideally suited to fly fishing, but equally exciting if you prefer tossing spinners or float fishing!

Join the Pacific Angler Guides as they man the oars of the raft and guide you in search for bull trout, Dolly Varden, rainbow and the elusive but rewarding wild Squamish steelhead. This trip is great for anglers using single hand fly rods as well as Spey rods as we swing intruder style flies for steelhead and follow up with fry patterns for the aggressive trout. All this in a tranquil and majestic environment only hours from Vancouver.



We can meet you in either downtown Vancouver or Squamish, and from there we will take you up the logging roads of Squamish Valley in our Ford F-150 Lariat to the “put-in-point” for the raft. Our 13 and 14 foot rafts are specifically designed for guiding coastal streams and will transport you safely down the river. You will stay warm and dry as you drift the river and access some of the most productive runs by raft, enjoying the amazing scenery along the way. Keep your camera ready in between runs as we have seen mountain goats, elk, deer, wolves and bald eagles on previous trips!

This full day package includes:

  • A full day (min. 8 hours) of guided fishing on the Squamish by raft.
  • Instruction on single hand casting and Spey casting.
  • Instruction on techniques for trout and steelhead.
  • Cost:  $650 for 2 anglers.

Not included:  Price does not include GST, freshwater fishing license, gratuities and lunch.

To book your trip please call us, at 778-788-8582. Pacific Angler is also proud to offer walk & wade trips throughout the Squamish River.



With cutthrout fishing heating up don’t miss your chance to learn how to tie Andre’s famous epoxy fry!

Tying Epoxy Fry 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.  Dates: Apr 4 Cost: $45.00 Time: 6:30pm – 9:30pm

 Fly Fishing for Searun Cutthrout – Date 2: Seminar Mar 29 Guided April 2nd (1 Spot Left!)

This spring make sure you 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. Call to sign up today. 604-872-2204.


Vedder Chilliwack Fishing Report

There were some fish caught this past week and overall fishing was good. Check the water levels before heading out as the rain may affect the river conditions for the weekend warriors. There is sun in the forecast for next week, just in time for Spring Steelhead fishing. March is a great time to get out and hike the river for steelhead.

We’ve had a few questions this past couple of weeks regarding steelhead roe and what to do with it. Steelhead roe is a great bait but it is hard to come by. Personally the best way to cure this is with a straight borax cure. There isn’t too much of a curing process with this, the borax keeps the eggs a natural colour and does not change the natural scent. This is critical for picky fish.  There are cures available that add colour and can be helpful when dealing with reduced water clarity but in standard green or clear water conditions keeping things natural is important.

Steelehad vedder 3

Guide Dimitri and Steelhead Float Fishing Course student Erin with a nice steelhead caught this week. Congratulations Erin on your first steelhead!

Why use just Borax? It toughens the skein and eggs up enabling you to make more casts with this bait. Prepare your skein by opening it up (butterflying it) with scissors. Cover the butterflied skein with a heavy dusting of borax making sure to get it into all the folds. Then put it in a ziplock bag. Add some more borax if needed and gently shake it around in the bag.  This will turn the roe from a wet, soft consistency to a firm product that can be fished on your next outing. Feel free to fish it in loose chunks or cut it up and tie it into roe bags. Store this in the ziploc bag or a mason jar. I like to put some in the fridge if I am using it in the next 2 weeks and some in the freezer to save for a longer period of time.

Cureing Steelhead Roe

This is a brief overview on how to borax steelhead roe, feel free to add your own spin to the recipe. Some guys will add scents to boost the flavor and some will use colored borax. Colored borax is not as strong as the color in Pro-Cure but for fishing dirty water it can add a nice hue to the roe. That said the standard Nature’s Freshener, Mule Team Borax from your supermarket is the go-to for many anglers. 

Steelhead Vedder 2


Squamish River Fishing Report

The weather wasn’t kind to me last weekend. We had a number of trips scheduled and the weather man made things interesting.  On Saturday the river was in shape first thing in the morning but blew out late morning and was hard to fish. On Sunday, though still very high, the river came in to shape and for those who gambled the fishing was good. Take a look at the river levels from last week and commit it to memory. If you see the same numbers of the river cresting mid 3s and then coming down to low 3s it will probably be in shape and worth fishing.

squamish bull

This weekend we are in the same boat as last weekend. The river started rising on Thursday and with a shifting forecast and lots of wind moving the weather system around it is tough to say if the amount of water they are predicting will actually hit the river. The river was in shape before Thursday and we had some great bull trout reports and saw a couple steelhead pictures.  We also had some reports of fry coming out of the gravel but the sightings were few a far between. It will probably be a couple more weeks before big numbers of fry start hatching.

Good luck out on the water



Fraser Valley Cutthrout Report

Well the river level was going down nicely last week but with the rain it is rising again. The Harrison river can still be fish able on the golf course side as long as the river levels hover under 9.5 meters and under. The opposite side might be a little tricky but it should be wade-able just before the dock at French creek. This is a good time to take your boat up the river and explore other locations. It is good to checkout the back waters of the Fraser and the sloughs that feed into it this time of year. The Stave river is a long shot as there is no water level station for this system so you have to take a chance and go for it. If they don’t open the dam then you can find yourself walking to more spots on the west side otherwise the space is very limited and the hunt for these elusive fish becomes harder. On a positive note the fry are out in full force everywhere so make sure you have plenty of fry patterns along with some nymphs and dries for your outing as you never know what kind of mood the cutthroat will be in. Lets hope for less rain and high pressure to get these fish active. I will be out there somewhere regularly every week now until the end of the season.

Happy fishing,


Stave River Fishing Report

With this weeks weather forecast showing rain in the next few days, river levels should be fluctuating as they may be releasing water from the dam. This season has not been as consistent for steelhead as it was last year but there have been a good number caught. Anglers are still finding trout throughout the system in the usual spots, as well as the odd char.

Being March, we’ve already seen the start to the salmon fry emergence and can expect concentrated numbers of fry over the next little while. Trout, Char, and steelhead all eat this naturally occurring food source- meaning anglers should be prepared with matched offerings. Small spoons and spinners are all great choices, as well as Andre’s Epoxy Fry fly pattern. Sparsely tied rolled muddler minnows in silver and gold are also great flies.

If the weather continues to be warm, fly anglers can also expect the odd hatch of stone flies with both black and gold being in the mix. This is a great opportunity to break out the lighter rods for cutthroat as well as white fish.

Anglers who choose to float fish should consider roe, worms, and other similar hardware matched under the appropriate floats.

For flies, if the water comes up, anglers may consider going larger with their presenations in pink, white, and orange (or a combination there of). If it drops or clears up, smaller and darker (Black and Blue, Purple/Black, etc.) are always great ideas.

Remember to always respect your fellow angler, pick up unwanted trash left behind by others, and have fun.

If you’re unsure or have any questions about anything else, feel free to give us a ring, or bet yet, come on in!


Vancouver Saltwater Report

Well the wind and the rain is here but so are some fish!  There has been good fishing for winter chinook in the harbour this past week.  There have been fish along W. Van on the flood and there has been fish off the Mile Markers and Bell Buoy on the flood and the ebb.  Howe Sound continues to produce some fish, but classic winter chinook fishing, hot one day and cold the next.  If you are in the right spot at the right time, the fish are getting big!  We have seen some fish in the 10 to 20 pound range this week.  The top baits haven’t changed much.  Pesca Spoons and Kingfisher Spoons that have some glow and some green in them are all working well.  Much the same can be said about flasher colour choice.  If it has glow tape on one side and some green it, well you are probably on the right track.  Remember these are about as aggressive a chinook salmon as you will ever fish for, so tackle choice is important, but not nearly as much as certain other fisheries.   Fish what you have confidence in, troll fast so you cover lots of water, keep your gear close to the bottom, look for bait, and let the fish do the rest.


It looks like these nasty winds from Thursday and Friday are going to back off by Friday night and we will have SE winds over the weekend for the most part.  You guessed it, lots of rain as well.  If you can handle the rain, the SE winds shouldn’t be too bad in the harbour and it should be fairly calm up Howe Sound as well.  You might want to go check your boat out after the winds on Wednesday night, it was cranking hard and I am sure lots of boats were bouncing  around all night Wednesday.


We are looking forward, the fishing off S. Bowen will likely pick up right on schedule around mid April.  Last year was awesome and we had good catches of chinook starting as early as April 10.  That is less than a month away!  So time to get the boat ready and get your tackle up to snuff for the first big wave of chinook salmon.  There were some brutes caught last year off S. Bowen at “The Hump” including this 30 pounder we caught on a charter.  So make sure have fresh leaders and fresh mainline!


If you would like to book a charter for winter chinook or later in April on “The Hump”, give us a call as April dates are filling up fast.


Jason holding a 30 pound chinook caught on The Hump last year

Jason holding a 30 pound chinook caught on The Hump last year


Good Luck out on the Water and call in any hot reports!

If you would like to get out on the water this week, give us a call at 778-788-8582.

Or for any questions on the report call Pacific Angler at 604-872-2204.