We’re welcoming March in with another week of sun. There are a few showers forecasted in the early part of next week, which will bring the rivers up and hopefully another bump of fish with it. Cutthroat season is almost upon us and there is no better way to get ready for it then by learning the ins and outs of this fishery in a course. We have a couple of spots left in our Fly Fishing for Cutthroat and Tying Epoxy Fly Patterns courses. Don’t miss out!
Saltwater remains productive and we landed some nice winter chinook on trips this week. Adaptability continues to be the name of the game. Putting in the hours on the water, moving around and hitting a few of the hot spots ups your chances of success.
Finally we’ve got a fabulous promotion on some tickets for this month’s Fly Fishing Film Tour. Check out the events section below for all the details.
We still have room in the two great courses taught by the one and the only Andre Stepanian. This is your chance to get prepped for cutthroat season! Call the shop to sign up today.
Fly Fishing for Searun Cutthroat Trout in Rivers
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: Tuesday March 10 – 6:30PM to 9:30PM
Guided: Saturday March 14 or Sunday March 15
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: Wednesday March 11 – 6:30PM – 9:30PM
Cost: $40 + GST.
Click the link below for a full listing of the rest of our March classes and many more coming up in 2015.
Last week we announced the upcoming Fly Fishing Film Tour! We have some AMAZING incentives when you buy your tickets in store thanks to F3T sponsor Costa. For each ticket you purchase take your pick of one of three Costa ball caps. Not only will you go home with a free hat you will be entered to win a pair of Costa Cortez polarized sunglasses valued at nearly $300. These are great glasses for wearing around town or on your next fishing adventure.
Tickets for the March 28, 2015 film tour are available in store for $15 cash. Don’t miss out on this great event.
The Cap, like most rivers at the moment, is in need of some water. Fishing has been tough as the river continues to be low. Implementing some low water tactics that we touched on last week would be a good idea. Smaller more subtle presentations would be a good bet as fish are likely to spook in these conditions. There is some light rain in the forecast for this so we’re eager to see if it will be enough to affect the river height. If you’re heading out after the expected rainfall be sure to check the water levels to ensure the river is at a safe level and hasn’t blown out.
Its official, we are into the spring portion of our ‘winter’ steelhead season. With the full moon having just passed, big tides will hopefully push in some fresh fish and make for exciting fishing. Clear water conditions, warm weather, long days and ‘moody’ fish are upon us. With the weekend forecast continuing to be filled with clear sunny skies and cold nights, the river will surely continue to drop. This is the time to rethink your presentations. Scaling everything down to match the conditions will up your chances for success.
Small and natural are the two key points when considering baits, flies, and terminal tackle. Think about every aspect of your presentation – floats, weights, swivels, leaders, hook size and colour. It all matters at this point. The fish have seen everything and they have more than likely been tricked into biting already. Baits such as single Jensen eggs, small yarn ties, #14 spin’n glos & corky’s, natural roe or pieces of shrimp are all great choices. One side note is hardware, sometimes when all else fails; something flashy is what it takes to trigger the aggression strike from a fish. Other things to consider include timing, early morning and late in the evening can be key times and finding which runs fall under the shade of the mountains before others can help as well.
In the world of fly fishing, lighter longer leaders, with light sinktips and small drab flies is the way to go. Patterns like the ‘hobo spey’ in claret and black, small black GP’s, egg sucking leeches and marabou popsicles in burnt orange & red are all good choices. Having the fly at the right depth and swinging at the right speed are the tickets for success. There is no need to be dragging the sinktip, leader and fly through the fish along the bottom when its clear. This does no more than put off and/or spook the fish. Keeping everything above the fish and eliciting a chase response from them is the name of the game.
It’s been an interesting week on the Squamish River. We are seeing two different river conditions that are not commonly associated with each other; a low, clear river and warm weather. While both conditions are common, it is rare that we see both conditions during March at the same time.In the last two weeks we have had very little rain and the river has dropped and cleared substantially. During a usual cold March this would mean poor fishing as cold water shuts down the bull trout’s metabolism and the clear water makes them wary of only the most natural presentations. The trump card this week is the warm temperatures. We measured the river temperatures at 42-43 degrees. This is warm and things have only gotten warmer over that last few days.
We are hoping these temperatures will keep the fish biting and along with the rain early next week possibly start the salmon fry migration. We have seen the odd fry in the rocks on the upper river but have had no reports of substantial numbers yet. Keep your eyes peeled for them in the shallows this weekend and if you see fish rising it is likely they are “crashing” fry just under the surface.
This time of year fish olive and brown colored flies to combat the clear conditions close to the bottom but make sure to have some salmon fry patterns in your box encase you start to see fry in the shallows. We fish the skulpin (olive and brown patterns) on a sink tip line with 6-10b 4ft leader and the fry usually on a floating line with a longer, lighter 5-8lb 10ft tapered leader.
Good luck and remember that the Squamish is a 100% barbless catch and release fishery. Have fun, respect your fellow anglers and play by the rules.
To all the die hard cutthroat chasers who have been waiting impatiently the season is just around the corner. I have heard a few reports that some fry are out already. It is just a matter of days before the cutthroat leave their spawning beds in the side creeks and move down to the main stem river grounds and gorge on the salmon fry. This weekend the temperatures are forecasted in the higher teens, which truly affects the fry hatch in a positive way. I will be heading out next week to do my scouting and will hopefully come back with a good report and maybe some pictures as well.
One of the things I like about this fishery is that you don’t want to be on the river at first light so you can sleep in a little bit as in my experience this fishery heats up between 10:00 am onwards and wraps around 5:00 pm. That said there are always exceptions in different systems in the lower mainland don’t hesitate to give us a shout at the shop for some advice. Or better yet, if you’d like to have a better understanding of this fishery I will be teaching a course on Tuesday the March 10.
We are well into our winter chinook fishing season. March and April can be great months to get out and try your luck for some of the year’s biggest feeder chinooks. As per usual at this time of the year, the fish have grown in size and you can expect the fish in the later half of the season to be pushing the 16-20lb mark.
Recently, we have heard of and caught fish in the harbour, Howe Sound and the Gulf Islands. It is not unusual to go one day and have consistent fishing with multiple hookups and then to go back the next and not get a bite. A big part of the game of winter chinook fishing is being able to adapt and move around to increase your chances of success.
Heading out armed with a variety of tackle is a great way to approach this fishery. The light conditions, water clarity and depth of water that we are fishing in have been the biggest factors in our gear selection. Our favourite flashers have been the Oki’ Tackle Purple Onion, Green Onion Glow, Kinetic UV Jelly Fish Yellow Green mist, & Green glow with Silver Tape.
In terms of lures and baits we have seen both mature and immature herring and sand lance in the fish this past week. Needle fish and regular hootchies, have been hooking up, as well as coho killers, 3.5 and 4.0 spoons. Some of our favourite hootchies have been the faithful Chartreuse Spackle Back (OG140R), White double glow (OG11) and the Army Truck Glow (NG60R).
If spoons are the route you’re looking to go, the Silver Horde Homeland Security (#671), Cookies & Cream (#675) and Yellow Tail (#618) are great choices. We fished our favourite Pesca Spoons, the “Uncle Bob”, “Leprechaun” and the “Gut Bomb” this week.
Herring and anchovies rolled in a teaser head have also done quite well. With our giant selection of teaser heads, it’s hard to not find what you’re looking for. With the clear water, clear UV teasers, chrome teasers, and glow teasers will all have their place in the lineup. Matched with either an anchovy or herring on a 6ft leader, and a treble/trailer tandem hook system, this is another deadly presentation for hungry chinooks.
With the warm weather and excellent fishing, this is great time to book a charter. Give Kathryn a call on the charter line at 778.788.8582. If you would like to get out on your own boat and need a point in the right direction and some of the top producing lures, give us a call at Pacific Angler at 604-872-2204 or come by the shop.