Batten down the hatches; it looks like another storm is on the way. A big rain is always welcome at this point in the season but we’re hoping it’s not too much to make the rivers unfishable. With any luck it won’t blow them out and we expect a good bump of steelhead in all productive systems. Bull trout and cutthroat anglers should also welcome the rain. If the water doesn`t get too dirty we can expect a good number of aggressive fish hunting salmon fry over the next week.
On the saltwater, winter chinook fishing has been consistent over the last week and we should see another 2-3 weeks of productive fishing. We will start seeing a transition to fishing off the south end of Bowen soon. Check out the full report at the end of this post for more information.
Don’t miss out on our courses for the rest of the month. It is perfect timing to learn a few tips and tricks to get out for some great spring fishing. There’s a couple of spots left in each of the courses noted below!
Last but not least there are two not to be missed dates to add to your calendar. March 28 is the Fly Fishing Film Tour and March 31 your fishing licenses will expire. All of the details you need on the film tour and how to renew your licenses for the 2015/2016 season are below!
Introduction to Fly Fishing – THREE SPOTS LEFT!
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: Tuesday March 24, 6:30PM to 9:30PM
Casting: Saturday March 28, 2:00PM to 5:00PM
Fly Fishing for Searun Cutthroat Trout in Rivers – SECOND DATE ADDED
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. Course includes a 3hr seminar and a fully guided day on the water
Seminar Date: Wednesday March 18 – 6:30PM to 9:30PM
Guided: Saturday March 21 or Sunday March 22
Cost: $225 + GST
Tying Epoxy Fly 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.
Date: Monday March 30 – 6:30PM – 9:30PM
Cost: $40 + GST.
For a full listing of all our 2015 classes and courses check out the link below.
The F3T Fly fishing film tour arrives in Vancouver Saturday, March 28. Enjoy a night of great fly-fishing films, raffles, auctions and cocktails with other fishing enthusiasts. Proceeds from this event support salmon conservation projects managed through the Pacific Salmon Foundation
Drop by the shop and pick up your tickets and we’ll throw in a free Costa hat and enter you to win a pair of Costa Cortez polarized sunglasses from film tour sponsor Costa Sunglasses.
Tickets for the March 28, 2015 film tour are available in store for $15 (cash only please).
Check out all the trailers here
Don’t miss out on this great event!
It’s that time of the year again – time to buy your 2015/2016 fishing licenses. Spring seems to have arrived early and a lot of people are heading out to take advantage of the beautiful weather we are enjoying. Don’t forget to renew your fishing licenses if you have not already done so. Fishing licenses in BC expire on March 31st every year, and renewing only takes a few minutes.
Below are the links for renewing online for both fresh and saltwater licenses.
Freshwater Licenses – Click Here To Renew Your BC Fishing License
Freshwater Regulations – Click Here To Download BC Freshwater Fishing Regulations
Freshwater Regulations for Salmon Fishing (Non Tidal) – Click Here to Download
Tidal (Saltwater) Licenses – Click Here To Renew Your BC Fishing License
Tidal Water Regulations – Click Here to Download BC Tidal Fishing Regulations
Tidal Water Fishing in the Pacific Region Information – Click Here for More Info
We should see the Cap bump up this week if the predicted 50mm of rain expected for Saturday arrives. Make sure to check the Cap Cam before you head out, in case the rain blows the river out. Venturing into the canyon can be dangerous as the water levels can fluctuate quickly. We saw this last year during salmon season and some anglers were caught off guard by the rising water height. When fishing on coastal rivers after or during big rains, you should always be aware of the water levels. With the expected rise in water levels we can switch back to our standard setups, as fish aren’t picky in these conditions. Think bigger and brighter patterns. 4 inch pink worms, Pacific Angler custom tied jigs, and loonie or toonie size chunks of roe. Pink, black and blue, and orange intruders in the 3-4” size will suffice.
Based on the upcoming forecast, things look good for the long term. The short term is harder to predict. The river will jump up with the rain but with any luck we won’t see another major blow out. When it comes into shape we can expect very good fishing.
During high water, fishing large streamers in olive pink and black and blue should produce. The second the water clears up, expect the fish to be targeting fry and smaller sculpins aggressively. Last week we saw a number of fry in the shallows and though the numbers were low we hooked a few fish on Andre’s fry pattern.
When the water is coloured, we like to run 6-7wt rods for the bull trout. Use sink tips and 4ft,10lb leaders with sculpin style patterns. When the numbers of salmon fry in the river increase shift to lighter sink tips and ultimately a floating line with a 10ft, 5-7lb tapered leader.
Remember that the Squamish is 100% catch and release single barbless hook fishery. Play by the rules; respect your fellow anglers and good luck!
The stars have aligned and my famous rain dance worked its magic, the precipitation has finally arrived. This will only mean good things for the river. More fish are going to come in and there will be some more colour to the water. This is the perfect scenario, a late March water bump, just after a full moon, on a good year of steelhead returns. Only one thing left to do, grab your favourite rod and reel and go fishing!
I personally have never been one to complain about water height. Fact of the matter is, no matter where the water level sits, there are new spots coming into shape and others that become too high or too low. Being able to adapt and figure out a circuit of spots that fish well at a certain water height will allow you to be in the best spots for that particular day and the conditions present.
Fly fishing this time of the year can be a blast. You get to use lighter sinktips in the shallow riffles and tailouts, the water is warmer and there are fresh, aggressive spring steelhead to chase. Match your fly to the conditions, size and colour, and don’t forget about the ‘steelhead par’. Sometimes the spring fish will ‘feed’ on fry. They will be absolutely stuffed with fry, and you will see them slashing on the surface.
If you’re fishing conventional tackle, spoons and spinners can be absolutely deadly this time of the year. I never leave home without them once the fry start popping out. Pink worms are also deadly on super charged aggressive fish in stained water.
We have 6 weeks to go and they can be some of the best of the year. Remember to fish fast and cover water. This time of the year, the biters aren’t shy about grabbing at your baits, the key is to keep moving and find one.
We are expecting a lot of rain on Saturday which will raise water level both in the mainstem rivers and the side channels where the cutthroat have spawned and are ready to migrate down to feed on fry. This should launch the start of the season, which will keep going until freshet starts. I will be out there this week and will have a solid report from the Fraser Valley. Talking to a few friends that have been out, there have been reports of fry already so that is a good sign. While we have no reports of cutthroat yet, there are also bull trout and dollies that will feed on fry as well and are just as fun to catch. If you have the choice and a flexible schedule head out on an overcast or rainy day, as this fishery is best under these conditions.
We’re nearing the half way of March and we are still catching fish on a regular basis. The next 3 weeks are the last of the ‘winter’ chinook season, as we transition into targeting fish off the south end of Bowen Island.
Good places to concentrate on are the Vancouver Harbour and Howe Sound. There have been great amounts of bait inside the harbour so West Vancouver and the freighters have put out fish. We heard of reports of fish being caught off of the Bell Buoy and the mile markers as well. As for Howe Sound, it has been consistently producing have been fish.
As we have said in the past, fishing can and almost always is, hit and miss. The fish are there one day and gone the next. It’s a matter of going and putting some gear in the water. Putting in the time and grinding it out will almost always put out more fish than waiting for the ‘report’ to go and get them.
With “spring” almost upon us the water will get dirtier and dirtier, caused both by algae blooms and freshet. As the water colours, we switch to more glow in our flashers, spoons, and hootchies and we begin to fish bait more often. So make sure you have a variety of options on board so you can adapt and key in on the fish. We just received our spring shipment of bait and are well stocked with herring and anchovies so be sure to stop by before you head out.