Welcome to another edition of the Friday Fishing Report. Though the weather was a mixed bag of snow rain and sun it was not as cold as was predicted last week. The weather gods must have heard us ranting about the cold in last week’s report and decided to prove us wrong. Though it was not warm by any stretch of the imagination the cold clear conditions didn’t happen and the fishing was better than expected. The mix of rain and clear days didn’t affect river levels too much and though it was clear on the Squamish, Stave and Vedder the fishing was good. It looks as though the slightly cool temps with a mix of precipitation will carry into next week.
We have reports on all the major rivers and the steelhead outlook is promising. We are coming up on prime time for a number of the systems and though the early season was tough, at least right now we are seeing fairly solid numbers of fish. It will be interesting to see at the end of the season where the fish number estimations settle.
On the salmon fry front it is still probably too early and with the snow last week even when the warm weather comes out the melting snow will keep water temps cold. We don’t expect a noticeable fry hatch this weekend but depending on the weather and how fast the snow melts it could be as early as next week. We will keep you up to date on the cutthroating when we hear more reports.
We are hitting the mid point of the winter chinook season and it has been one of the most consistent on record. Maybe not crazy “hot” but consistent. Jason has more info in the saltwater report at the end of the post and we’ll be out on the water all weekend so look for more up to date reports and photos on our social media feeds!
CLASSES + COURSES
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. Students are required to supply their own vise, tools and materials. A 10% discount is available on materials and tools purchased for the course.
Date: Mar 6
Time: 6:30pm – 9:30pm
Tying Chironomid Fly Patterns
80% of a trout’s diet consists of chironomids whose patterns vary from lake to lake. This 3-hour evening seminar will teach you how to tie a variety of the most effective chironomid patterns used in BC’s world-renowned lakes. You will finish this course understanding the very specific technical aspects ranging from beads, ribbing, colors, and body shapes. Students are required to supply their own vise, tools and materials. A 10% discount is available on materials and tools purchased for the course.
Date: Mar 12
Time: 6:30pm – 9:30pm
Cost: $45.00 +GST
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.
Dates: Seminar Mar 13 & Casting Mar 18
Seminar Time: 6:30pm – 9:30pm
Casting Time(s): 10am – 1pm or 2pm -5pm
Cost: $125.00 +GST
FRESHWATER FISHING REPORTS
Chilliwack River Fishing Report
Conditions continue to be low and clear out on the Vedder and fishing continues to be good. The clarity has been good reason for downsizing presentations as to not spook fish that are holding in the run. Not only does this mean a smaller bait/lure/fly but also lighter leaders (possibly fluorocarbon if you aren’t using that already), lighter weights and smaller floats.
Finesse setups have a more natural appearance to them and are more likely to trigger reactions from finicky fish. This can give you that advantage you need when fishing behind other anglers. We are continuing to hear some great fishing reports from this river and as we are moving into March it should continue to be good from here on out.
We are set to see some sunny blue skies and slightly warmer temperatures going into next week so we should see some great fishing weather. The water clarity may take a dip as the snow melts but the river should stay in shape so get out there!
Capilano River Fishing Report
The Capilano has been low and clear the last couple weeks. The numbers of steelhead reports seem to be healthy compared to historical reports. With the relatively good number of fish in the system, we have heard good reports and anglers that are hitting the water hard are finding fish.
Again, as we have mentioned in previous reports it is very important to downsize your set up. Use clear floats and downsize everything from your terminal tackle, weight, hooks, bait and plastics. You will be surprised how much the size of your presentation will make a big difference. Also, swinging or stripping classic fly patterns such as GPs and small egg sucking leaches can be productive. This is the time of year that breaking out the heavy sinking lines and small flies in the deep upper pools can pay off.
Release all steelhead with care and stay safe out there
Squamish River Fishing Report
March is the time things start happening again on the Squamish and though it is still early, now is the time to start exploring the lower river for steelhead. I will be out casting this weekend and will have more intel next week. The melting snow and cool temps have put a damper on salmon fry hatching but we should see it soon. It usually starts in the Cheakamus then the upper river as things warm up. Fishing Alvin patterns this time of year are worth it if you are still nymphing but most anglers will be using small sculpin streamer patterns and small spoon or spinners. We had some better reports than expected this week but with the clear water is was not “hot”.
If you are out keep an eye on shallow areas with sun on them. This is were you will see the first indications of salmon fry and if you see trout boiling or jumping this is almost always an indication that they are eating salmon fry.
We have a good selection of fry patterns in stock so drop by the shop and I hope to see you out on the water this weekend.
Stave River Fishing Report
They are forecasting a mix of rain and sun over the next few days but the temperatures should not be that cold. The river hasn’t changed much, however, the snow made it hard to access. Not only that, the cold water from snow melt made fishing tough. That said there were still some reports of fish found in the deeper holding pools. The cutthroat started to show up and steelhead can be found around the river. Look for walking speed water or pockets.
Try anything from swinging flies, spoons or spinners to running bait or plastic rigs. Adding scent will greatly increase your chances. Once it gets warmer, we will see salmon fry hatch. If you see trout jumping or boiling you know its time to fish small spoons and salmon fry patterns. Check out Andre’s epoxy minnows as they are tied just like the small fry and are sure to produce.
Please release all wild steelhead and trout with care.
Stay safe and warm out there.
Harrison River & Fraser Valley Cutthroat Fishing Report
The Harrison river levels are dropping and it is at a perfect level to be out there chasing cutthroat but the cold temperatures (air and water) have put a damper on the fry hatch. We had a pretty warm winter and I was eager to get out and scout but that unexpected snow last Friday changed my plans. Usually the fry are out by mid March. With any luck we will see the cutthroat chasing them soon and we will be on track for a better season than last year. Trust me I would be out there if it was happening but so far I have not heard any positive reports from other die hard cutthroat friends. Your best bet is to start fishing the Stave River first as the fry hatch the earliest in this system because the warmth of the sun penetrates more to the gravel bed due to it’s shallow river level.
Looking at the forecast ahead it looks like sunshine and warmer weather for next week. You might see fry in the Harrison but don’t forget that there are 2 hatchery systems, Weaver Creek and Pretty Creek that might let out a few hundred fry at any time. For a natural “hatch” from the riverbeds you need way warmer water temperatures. Either way it is worth going even if it’s cold day.
If you want to do some scouting, hikes on the Harrison, Stave and Fraser sloughs could produce fish and it’s always nice to get away from the crowds. Fish attractor patterns like Micky fins and woolly buggers or sculpin patterns until we start seeing fry.
I will keep you posted as soon as I hear reports or get out on the water.
SALTWATER FISHING REPORTS
Vancouver Saltwater Salmon Fishing Report
Looks like the cold weather is gone for now. Do I dare say it is gone for the season? Time to start on the boat maintenance pretty quick. Don’t wait until April or May or you will miss some of the best chinook fishing of the season. We were working on our boats yesterday and at one point had the jackets off and short sleeve shirts on!
The fishing can be described in one word. Consistent. If you put your time in the rewards will come. The usual suspects have been producing well, such as glow flashers and glow spoons like the Skinny G, Kingfisher and G-Force. For details on flashers and spoons, scroll through previous reports as they have been covered in detail in the past. Where to go? Well there was fish in Howe Sound and Vancouver Harbour this week and with winds light in the forecast the Gulf Islands would be a good bet this weekend as well.
Captain Eddie’s guests had some great winter chinook fishing in some true winter conditions!
It is 5:30 in the morning as I am writing this report and just about to leave the house and head down to the dock. We have multiple boats out the next few days, so make sure to follow us on Instagram and Facebook for real time reports, photos, and videos.
If you are looking for some good deals we just setup a 40% OFF saltwater wall at the shop and there are some great hootchies and spoons on there. All good producers, but we are re-merchandising the saltwater section and we just couldn’t fit everything on the wall.
See you out there this weekend,