With the past little while showing us some nice (and welcomed) weather, fishing has started to pick up across the board- in both the fresh and saltwater.
With the action on local lakes continuing to be good, rivers being rewarding, and the ocean being kind, one can only expect it to get better over time.
For those looking for salmon, the expectations over the next little while is that the Hump should start to pick up and produce, as well as keeping in mind that the crabbing and prawning has continued to be excellent.
For the anglers who are sticking it out on land, efforts should be focused on local lakes, rivers, and bodies of water that are icing off in attempts to target fish that are coming out of their winter doldrums and looking for food.
If you haven’t been able to dust off the rods or clean your reels- or simply won’t be able to go fishing any time soon- there are a handful of events coming up that might be of some interest, including the May 4th Squamish River clean up hosted by the Steelhead Society of BC, a two and three day River Rafting and Safety course put on by Kumsheen, and a fishing derby hosted by the North Shore Fish and Game Club on May 4th.
There are also some spots still open for the upcoming Conquering Chironomid Techniques course that is hosted by Trevor Welton that is being held this week coming up as well as for Andre’s Chironomid tying course (ONLY 2 SPOTS LEFT!)
Whats New at Pacific Angler
Our saltwater section is starting to really pop with all the new flashers, spoons, and hootchies we’ve gotten. This week we received a lot of all these items.
Pontoon River Course
This course has been designed to enhance the knowledge of river safety & dynamics in anglers of all skill levels. Some of the topics you will learn are: river features & terminology, hazards, and navigating. The two day course covers all of the essentials, while the third additional day offers boat repair & swift-water rescue, plus the option to run a section of the Nicola in your own pontoon. KUMSHEEN Resort provides great accommodation, abundant activities, amazing facilities, and easy access to some of the finest rivers in BC.
This two and three day course runs on May 17/18 (19th for three day course).
For more details, booking information, and to download the information filled PDF, visit
Kumsheen Pontoon River and Safety Course
Squamish River Cleanup
Next month the Steelhead Society of British Columbia is hosting its annual Squamish River cleanup on Sunday May 4th. In the past 3 years, volunteers have collected about 20,000 lbs of garbage from Squamish, Cheakamus and Mamquam river banks.
On May 4th, meet at Sunwolf, roll up your sleeves for a few hours, clean up a river, or three, then come join us for a beer and burger at Fergies Cafe afterwards.
SSBC Should have some top notch raffle prizes this year too, including some Dave Currie prints from Currie Artworks, Searun Fly and Tackle apparel, steelhead flies by Dimitri Roussanidis, Pacific Angler apparel, assorted tackle from Trophy Tackle, Chromer T-shirt from Yos Gladstone, and more.
Follow the event on Facebook!
North Shore Fish and Game Club
On Sunday, May 4th, the NSFGC is holding their 13th Annual Salmon Open Derby, with the prize for the largest salmon being $500!
The entry fee is $25/ticket and includes the BBQ that follows. For tickets, come by Pacific Angler at 78 E. Broadway.
The derby runs from dawn until 2pm, with all fish needing to be at the weigh-in line by 2pm.
For more details, contact Derek at 604-444-9117
I finally saw pictures of cutthroat around the highway bridge. The temps are nice and stable which is what we were waiting for. There has been reports of fish getting caught on the upper section of the river as well which has been boat access only. Having a small boat that you can drag around would be the best bet because of the water levels. With a small boat you can get into the side channels and creeks where hopefully cutthroat are hanging out before the much anticipated migration down to the Fraser. Looking at the weather for next week we are going to see a mix of sun and showers. With the last little while being sunny and daytime temperatures even reaching the mid-to-high teens, the snow has started to melt and the river levels are rising. My favourite level is at 9.0 m. Lets cross our fingers that the river does not go into freshet too fast and that it gives us a chance to catch a few fish before the end of the season.
Squamish & Cheakamus
The warm weather we had mid week actually caused the Squamish to muddy up on Wednesday. Despite this, there were a few steelhead and Dolly Varden caught this week. The fry are really starting to emerge now and anglers fishing these patterns have been having good success on Dolly Varden, cutthroat and a few rainbows. As usual, you need to put your time in to find a steelhead on the Squamish and Cheakamus systems- but those who are fishing the rivers hard are finding a few. When the river is higher and dirtier, don’t be afraid to fish really big flies in bright colors like hot pink, shrimp pink, and orange.
If you are float fishing, it is hard to beat a bright pink rubber worm in these conditions.
***Remember this is a catch and release only fishery so treat the fish with respect if you are lucky enough to find one and respect your fellow angler.
The Chilliwack spiked on Wednesday due to the warm spring weather. This is the first noticeable push of snow melt we’ve seen this year. The river dropped steadily all Thursday and should be in decent shape for the weekend. We are hoping for cooler temperatures over the next little while to keep the river in shape for the tail end of the season. We have had good reports of fresh fish being caught recently. Most of the fresh fish have been caught from the Vedder Crossing to the Keith Wilson Bridge. This is a great time of year to fly fish for steelhead. Swinging natural coloured flies like “Rick’s Parr” or an olive sculpin can be quite effective late season, especially when the fry are out. Gear anglers will find natural baits to be more effective this time of year. Roe bags in light coloured mesh, steelhead roe, ghost shrimp, and dew worms are all excellent choices. That being said, colorado blades and small spoons are also very effective this time of year. Please remember to keep moving and be respectful to all fellow anglers, and as always, please do not beach or shore-land wild fish.
We have not heard much from this system lately. A bump of late-winter steelhead usually enters the river in late March to mid April. Because of how clear this river runs, natural coloured baits are the most effective presentations. This is not a terribly easy river to access. Those who are willing to hike and explore off the beaten path can be greatly rewarded!
With the arrival of spring comes great anticipation of this year’s summer coho salmon fishery. The coho fishing in the Capilano usually picks up in mid May and can remain decent until the low flows of late July/early August. The most popular method for this fishery is short floating with light/medium power casting and center-pin rods. Productive baits include cured roe, roe bags, krill, dew worms, and Colorado blades. Fly fishing is also quite effective for these early run coho. 7-8wt single hand fly rods equipped with full sinking type 6 lines allow you to strip your fly reasonably fast while maintaining a deep presentation. The most effective flies are olive wooly buggers (Andre’s Cap Coho Bugger), muddler minnows, and small polar bear winged flies in sizes 8-12.
With the out-migration of salmon fry, warm temperatures, and the eventual higher river levels, fishing on the lower Fraser River can sometimes prove to be rewarding for those willing to fish it’s mysterious waters. Bull trout, cutthroat, and coarse fish usually make up the majority of Spring time catches with the bulls and Cutthroat usually taken on spoons and spinners, as well as streamer style flies- either small bait fish patterns such as fry imitations or sculpins.
Coarse fish such as the Northern Pikeminnow, Chub, and Whitefish are a great way to introduce kids to fishing and are also a blast on ultra-light fly and spinning gear. Though these fish usually average a few ounces or so with the biggest ones not weight much more than a half-pound or so, as with any species, there are always a few big ones that can prove to be a great and fun surprise. Dough and stink baits, small spoons, and small spinners are the gear anglers essentials, as well as a multitude of small buggy nymphs and streamers for the fly guys.
Always check the regulations for any special closures or seasonal changes to the regulations and have fun!
With the recent and continuing stocking of local lakes, nice weather, and longer days, one will start to notice that the local and easier to access lakes are going to get a little busier as the months go on. This can prove to be both good and bad. For example, if you notice that one lake is continuing to be busier than others, chances are that the fishing is good and has been rewarding to a lot of people, prompting the steady increase and constant numbers of anglers. On the downside, these fish could start to become heavily pressured, stressed, or sulky as they sit near structure or in troughs along the bottom. On lakes where you know there are fish but the action hasn’t been steady, try using something different- different from Powerbait, worms, eggs, or small spinners and spoons. These fish have seen hundreds of the same thing and have been put down, yet they still need to eat. Changing up to canned corn nibletts, mini marshmallows, crickets, and even small berries (carp like mulberries…) can be the difference.
Check the regulations in regards to water craft: a lot of the local lakes fish well with the aid of a float tube, pontoon boat, punt/tinner, or kayak. Whether kicking around with a sinking line and a Carey Special or trolling a Ford Fender and a wedding band tipped with a worm, being able to fish where others aren’t can sometimes lead to new discoveries of depressions, pinnacles, and structure that can sometimes hold fish.
Check out www.gofishbc.com for more info on recently stocked lakes, as well as suggestions on where to fish in the lower mainland and Vancouver Island.
With ice-off occurring at various elevations and spring fishing starting to pick up, one will want to have a wide variety of flies in their lake box or a good selection of spoons, spinners, crank-baits, and trolling lures in various sizes on hand for the varying conditions that can present themselves with the never-consistent Spring weather.
Examples of flies to have on hand would be Carey Specials, wooly buggers, Doc Spratleys, chironomids, and small nymphs. Adding some dry flies to match the nymphs would be a great way to round out this selection.
For those using hardware and gear, small Thunderbugs, Mepps, Dick Nites, Rooster Tails, and the Ford Fender/Wedding-band combination would be a good place to start. Small Flatfish and Quikfish should also not be forgotten when rounding out a great lake box.
After talking to Brian Chan earlier today as well as some other interior anglers, as of the last few days, Stump, White, Six Mile, Morgan and Barnes are fishable. Jacko should be fishable by the weekend and more lakes to come in the next 7-10 days. Brian reported typical ice-off conditions with success on leeches and the odd early chironomid hatch. Apparently it has been pretty windy, but at least there is some open water to fish!
-Jordan and Jason
Crabbing is really starting to get good in the harbour and we have seen some pictures of some pretty impressive prawn catches as well! It looks like the NW winds are here for the next 2-3 days so it should be pretty sunny out there and hopefully not too rough.
Where to go? There are still a few fish getting caught in Howe Sound but is seems it has slowed down there a little bit compared to the previous weeks. There were a lot of boats on the “Hump” (South end of Bowen) this past weekend but by most accounts, the fishing was pretty slow. This can change in a matter of one tide and without a doubt the fishing will pick up there as we enter mid April. Best depths for this fishery are from 60-180 feet but the go-to depths are often in the 90-120 foot range.
A variety of spoons, baits, and flashers will work in this fishery. Some of the most productive spoons are the Pesca RSG series with their amazing glow. Sizes 3.5 to 4.0 in “Uncle Bob”, “It’s Not”, and “Bogart” are top producers. Basically these all have some green and chartreuse on them, as well as some glow. If you like to fish bait, anchovies and herring are always a good choice on the “Hump”. For teaser heads, one might try glow, glow chartreuse, glow green, and bloody nose. A 6 foot leader to your spoon or bait teaser-head is the recommended length. For flashers, the Green Onion and flashers with some glow tape when fishing the deeper depths are both good choices.
We will be out on the water Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, so hopefully we’ll see you out there.
If you would like to book a charter and enjoy the excellent local chinook fishing in April, May and June, as well as the great crabbing, call our charter hotline at 778-788-8582
Pacific Angler Fishing Courses
INTRODUCTION TO CHIRONOMID TECHNIQUES – Trevor Welton
Chironomids are the number one food source for trout in BC’s lakes; however, few anglers have taken the time to become true masters of this discipline. Those that do are often rewarded with the largest fish. Trevor is a former member of the Canadian Fly Fishing Team and an excellent chironomid angler. Dedication to his sport has helped Trevor become one of the top fly fishermen in the province as well as a fisheries biologist working for Dillon Consulting. This course is comprised of one 3hr evening seminar. Content is for beginner to advanced.
Class Size: 20
Dates: Apr 16, Apr 29 and May 7
Time: 6:30pm – 9:30pm
TYING CHIRONOMID FLY PATTERNS – Andre S.
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.
***ONLY TWO SPOTS LEFT***
Class Size: 7
Date: Apr 30
Time: 6:30pm – 9:30pm
To view all dates & times for Pacific Angler 2014 course schedule, please view them by downloading the Pacific Angler 2014 Course Schedule PDF.
Additional course dates are added throughout the year due to demand.
Please contact the store for additional information or to be added to a wait list.
Pacific Angler Retail: 604-872-2204
On behalf of the Pacific Angler staff we wish you the best in your fishing endeavors and we hope to see you either at the shop or on the water. To check out the latest Pacific Angler news view the Pacific Angler Facebook page.
-Jason, Matt, Max, Andre, and Jordan