We were hoping spring was on its way but if the weatherman is on his game we are going to be seeing another winter storm. For today and the weekend this could mean good fishing. There is quite a bit of rain in the forecast and it will bump up many of the local rivers. These rivers have been low, clear and cold all week but the precipitation should change things.
Into next week things do not look as optimistic, with snow and cold weather on its way. Push to get out before this storm. Though the forecast does not look hopeful for early next week the long term has some promise. With any luck this will be a last big winter storm of the season and we will see warmer temps by the end of next week.
Winter chinook fishing continues to be solid with good reports coming in every day. Check out Jason’s report for more details.
With more snow in the forecast, the debate of vibram vs felt wading boots will once again become front and center for the angler who loves hiking in the snow. Felt is undebatably better when wading in the river, vibram is better for hiking trails and it shines in the snow. With this in mind Simms Freestone Vibram and Felt boots are this Week’s Friday Feature product and on sale for 1 week only. With the drop in Simms prices this season this is a very good deal. To help you make up your mind, vibram cleats and felt cleats are also on sale. Check out the feature on the 3 kinds of cleats you can use to up your wading game.
CLASSES AND COURSES
We are already heading into our first weekend of March and as we mentioned last week and in our March 2017 Classes and Courses email we have a TON of great courses coming up this month.
- Tying Chironomid Patterns
- Tying Epoxy Fry Patterns
- Introduction To Fly Tying
- Tying Intruder Patterns
- Introduction To Fly Fishing
- Winter Steelhead On The Fly
- Fly Fishing For Searun Cutthroat Trout
Check out all of the details here and call the shop to sign up today.
FRIDAY FEATURE PRODUCT
Simms Freestone Wading Boots
It looks like we might have another week of tough conditions and more snow to hike through to get to the river! So to make things a little easier we’ve got Simms Freestone Wading Boots on sale!
If you are looking for a good all round wading boot the Freestone is the way to go. It has a very similar design in support and ankle protection as the famous G3 boot but it is made with more cost effective materials to keep the cost down.
Available in either felt or vibram sole you can choose what best suits your wading needs. At this time of year and in these conditions vibram is definitely the way to go! They are great for hiking in to rivers and in the winter conditions we are seeing this season you can’t beat them. They help prevent the snow from building up on the bottom of your boots, which is what you often see with a felt bottom. Felt soles have long been a popular choice for anglers given the ability to provide extra traction in wet rocky bottom rivers. This week all sizes of Freestones in felt and vibram are on sale at 10% off. If you want a good back up boot for your regular felt boots for snow days or taking long hikes, this is a good time to get into a pair. If you have vibram and have been happy in the snow on the trails but would like a little more stability in the river, choose the felt option.
Come down to the shop they are regular $179.99. For this week only they are $161.95.
What Simms Has to Say about the Freestone
Reengineered from the studs up, Simms’ hard-working Freestone® Boot features superior traction and support at a comfortable price. Source classic style and bomber durability via a synthetic full-grain leather and scratch rubber upper. A neoprene-lined collar enhances all-around hiking and wading capabilities. And navigate the slick and unruly with the appreciated agility of Simms’ proven StreamTread™ platform.
If you’re thinking about boots it’s also time to think about cleats. Cleats are king if you do want to not slip. While they have some downsides – marked up boats, the odd slip on dry rocks when the metal catches an edge, obvious concerns of getting in and out of vehicles and of course having to replace them if they get worn there are a great way to up your wading game.
We have cleats designed for felt. They make for probably one of the best wading experience you will ever have but they do fall out of the felt more commonly than the cleats in vibram. So you will have to be prepared to replace them. If you want to try them or need some replacements, now is a good time to do so as they are on sale for 10% off.
Vibram Hard Bite Star cleats are the most commonly used cleats right now. They provide great grip and sit perfectly in the groves of Simms vibram soled boots.
Last but not least are the new aluma-bite cleats. These are monsters and the soft aluminum bites rocks better than anything else.
Come on down to the shop this week and we’ll give you a hand to pick out the best boots and cleats for your needs.
FRESHWATER FISHING REPORTS
Vedder River Fishing Report
There is still some cool and wet weather coming down the pipe for this weekend so anglers should keep an eye on the water office graph for the most up to date river levels. We’re coming into the last month of the license year and fishing on the Chilliwack will still be happening until April.
This time of year you will encounter fish that have been in the system since January and have been hooked a few times. These ones need a little bit of coaxing to bite, sometimes that is the addition of bait, a few more casts into the spot or subtler presentations. Sometimes the upstream cast is the ticket. Eye out your spot that you want to drift over and cast upstream of it allowing there to be absolutely no tension from your reel and you achieve a true drag free presentation. We have had reports of fish being hooked throughout the whole river so get out there and start casting.
Squamish River Fishing Report
After a tough day last week, we did hear some more positive reports from last weekend but nothing to write home about. It was relatively low and clear. The river dropped more all week. We have still not heard reports of fry and do not expect it until the upcoming storm passes and we see more warm weather. The good news is with this dump of water I expect the river to rise and color. This should make for better bulltrout fishing and it might bring in some steelhead.
Though it is getting late in the season, egg fishing is still an option. Especially if the water rises but does not blow out. Swinging sculpin style patterns in olive, white and black should also be a good choice if the water clarity gets colored.
We will see what next week brings with the snow. Follow the river levels and freezing levels. If the river bumps up get out there for the bulltrout fishing. If it stays low, look to the lower river for steelhead that are “stuck” and cannot move up in the lower water. We do not encounter many bulltrout on the lower river this time of year so swing brighter pink, orange or black and blue flies. Float fishing the lower river with pink worms and gooey bobs are a good option. K3 and K4 Spoons swung on the lower river are also a great way to cover water for aggressive fresh fish.
As we are heading into our first weekend of March, we’re eagerly looking ahead to some prime time stealheading. While mother nature has made things tough this season we have high hopes that the river will be in great shape near the end of the month. If you’re thinking of getting out there on your own or with one of the Pacific Angler guides book some time off at the end of March/Early April! Call us at 778.788.8582.
Capilano River Fishing Report
The Capilano is still relatively low despite the dump of rain we had on Thursday. The next good high water should bring in a few fish, and there is likely a few hunkered down in the canyon. If you do head out, you will see a lot more dark fish now that it is March.
Between now and the end of March, the odd winter steelhead can be encountered in the Capilano. The run of winter steelhead is quite small in this system, but it can be worth a look if you have a couple hours to kill or want to stay local. You may use bait on this system from November 1st to July 31st. Float fishing is the most effective method to target steelhead in canyon water. Natural baits such as roe and prawns are good choices. Natural baits in combination with artificial baits such as gooey bobs, jig, and spin n’ glos add more presence in the water. Colorado blades and spoons are also effective.
You must RELEASE ALL STEELHEAD in the Capilano, which means hatchery fish must be released as well as unclipped fish.
This is a very small and sensitive run of steelhead, so please take this into consideration and handle fish with the utmost care and attention.
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 delayed the fry hatch. While it is not uncommon for things to be cold in early March we were just spoiled as the last couple winters have been pretty mild and everything was early. 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 “normal” season. Trust me I would be out there if it was happening but so far I have heard from other die hard cutthroat friends that it’s really slow and there are no fish to be seen.
The water temperature is around 2 degrees and the air is no more than 5 degrees but looking at the forecast ahead it looks like warmer weather is due end of 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 river beds you need way warmer water temperatures. I am glad that I made the right prediction and pushed the cutthroat course to a later date than last year, we will have a better chance to hopefully find these beauties slashing fry somewhere on the river.
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 Salmon Fishing Report
Eddie was out on a number of trips this past week and for the most part the fishing was solid. There were a few nice fish that managed to get away, a few that hit the deck, and a good number of undersize. We have been focusing our efforts in Vancouver Harbour and not too far up Howe Sound and both areas have been productive. Crabbing and prawning has also been very good. There has been solid reports from further up Howe Sound as well as over on the other side at Gabriola and Galiano, but winds have kept us closer to home most days and the fishing in our local waters seems to be as good, sometimes better.
The usual flashers with some glow tape and some spoons or hootchies with glow on them have all been productive. There is a picture in last weeks report of some productive gear, so you can check that out for specifics, but in general, most flashers with some blue or green and glow tape will work and the same goes for the hootchies and spoons. We are fishing deep, usually just off bottom in 130-230 feet of water and green, blue, and glow are productive colours at those depths.
See you in the shop or on the water.