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Home / FIshing Reports / Friday Fishing Report: Feb 21st, 2014

Friday Fishing Report: Feb 21st, 2014


Long distance forecast is for more GOLD in SOCHI!!  We want to wish a huge Canadian CONGRATULATIONS to the Canadian Women’s Hockey Team for their amazing comeback on Thursday to steal the Olympic Gold medal from the USA!!

Canada Womens Gold_2014

GO CANADA GO – Canada v.s. USA in the men’s hockey semi-final right now!!!

Now for the local “outlook”, from pouring rain early in the week to a day of gorgeous sunshine followed by more rain mixed with snow in some areas.  Vancouver winter per usual.  Over the next week you can expect the same so check the weather prior to heading out and be sure to dress accordingly whether you are heading to the Fraser Valley or towards Squamish.

In the Georgia Strait the winds are consistent over the weekend.  Thursday saw whitecaps in the harbour with 20-25knot winds with gusts up to 70km.  Over the weekend winds continue at S.E. 10-15knots.  Be sure to check most recent updates before going out on the local salt.

Max is on his way over to Vancouver Island today for some fishing on some of his favorite rivers over the weekend.  Stay tuned for his report next week on how the fishing is over on the island!

We will be carrying John Kent flies again this season.  Stay tuned for when they arrive but rest assured, they will be here in time for ice-off on your favorite interior lakes.  If you are stillwater fisher then you know that February & March are great times to schedule in some fly-tying nights so when the ice comes off you are prepared and ready to hit the lakes with a fully stocked fly box.  For some inspiration in your tying, please feel free to check out JK Top 10 Chironomid Patterns as featured in an article on Flyguys.net.

John Kent - GNR Chironomid

John Kent – GNR Chironomid

2014 Stillwater Ice-off Reports:

If you are interested in tracking ice-off reports in the interior one of the sources we rely on is the Flyguys.net blog.  They recently posted the feed where people from around the province will be posting info on incoming BC interiors 2014 Ice-off Reports. Check the link out and bookmark it!

Pacific Angler Feature Courses:

We have two phenomenal courses coming up in the first 2 weeks of March that still have space available (our other 4 courses in early March are sold out).  One of these courses is the “Sacred Coast Photography Workshop” taught by Aaron Goodis.  This is newest and first of its type here at PA and from what we understand, first course of its type taught by anyone in the fishing industry here in BC! This is not simply a “photography” course as Aaron has designed it to also include teaching you how to capture a “memorable” fish picture when you get that prize catch.  How do you hold the fish? Lighting to be aware of and of course how to take the picture so that when you release the fish it will survive.

The 2nd course is Andre Stepanian’s “Tying Epoxy Fly Patterns”.   This course is timed perfectly for the infamous spring cutthroat fishing in local rivers and estuaries as these voracious trout hunt for the salmon fry start showing up in numbers.

Sacred Coast Photography Workshop © 2014

The Sacred Coast Workshop is a photography class helping photographers from all levels learn how to create and capture unique and dramatic images worthy of a frame and wall space. Aaron is a well published photographer from Vancouver shooting primarily fly fishing, nature, landscape and active outdoor lifestyle. Aaron leads this class through a series of slides aiming to showcase proven techniques in order to help students understand the fundamentals of photography.


We encourage those who are interested in photography at all levels from beginners to advanced to take this workshop. All cameras welcome from phone camera from point and shoot to pro DSLR.

Calander Submit

Class Size: 20
Cost: $40per person
Seminar Date: Tuesday, March 11th / 6:30pm – 930pm

Topics include:

  • Cameras and lens selection (point & shoot versus pro dslr)
  • Camera settings that help you achieve the look your after
  • Shutter speed, Depth of field and ISO
  • Framing and Composition – Make your images stand out
  • Packing your gear – keep your camera dry
  • Proper fish handling for catch & release photography – fish first every time



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.

Class Size: 7 (5spots left)
Cost: $40.00
Dates: Mar 4 or Mar 26
Time: 6:30pm – 9:30pm

NOTE:  If your course is SOLD OUT.  CALL TO BE PUT ON RESERVE LIST FOR NEXT CLASS – customers on reserve list get contacted first for new courses.

To review the rest of the current courses that are upcoming please view them by downloading the Pacific Angler 2014 Course Schedule PDF.

NEW PRODUCT – Skulpin Bunny & Bugger Fly Patterns

We have some NEW sculpin patterns that arrived this week!  These are brand new flies to Pacific Angler and these flies have won awards at the International Fly & Tackle Dealer show!  These new sculpin patterns hit the store at the perfect time as the trout in the Squamish will continue to focus their feeding on sculpins as the salmon flesh and eggs have run their course.  Priced at $3.99 they are a great value for a well tied fly that mimics the real sculpins so realistically!  These flies come in both sculpin & bugger designs.

sculpin bunny patterns sculpin bunny_yellow belly

DDB Canada – Classic Fly Tying “LOGO” Contest WINNER IS….

Our good friend and customer Lance is the Managing Director of DDB Canada’s Vancouver office.  When he approached me about asking either the PA staff or some of our other customers about tying a “classic” salmon fly with a “twist”, I was very interested.  The twist was that the fly he wanted would be designed using the colors and symmetry like that of the DDB Canada Logo.  We turned this into a contest open to anyone that was interested.  We ended up with some amazing flies being entered showcasing some obvious skills!

To compliment the winning fly design we also offered up a “Tiers Choice” prize as well.  We posted the flies on FB and the fly with the most “LIKES” was the winner!  We are happy to announce we have two separate winners, one being the fly that Lance and his team selected to be used as their “logo” and another fly was selected as the “Tiers Choice” winner on FB.  You can view all the flies on our Pacific Angler Facebook – DDB Canada Fly Tying Album.

  1. Adam Meade – Winner of the Logo Fly Design for $100 PA gift card
  2. Julian Reedel – Winner of the Tiers Choice for $50 PA gift card

All those who entered the contest will also receive a DDB Canada branded moleskin journal as a thank-you for taking the time to enter the contest!  Here are the winners!

DDB Canada WINNING LOGO FLY DESIGN – Tied by Adam Meade



Julian Reedal_2


Freshwater Fishing Reports

Squamish / Cheakamus:

With a mixed forecast things will be interesting. We are not sure about snow levels in the upper river and would love someone to call in a road conditions report. We still think it is too cold for fry to start hatching but keep your eyes peeled for fry and alevin wiggling in the rocks. This should happen soon depending on the water temps. I will always take a close look at shallow gravel areas that have high sun exposure. This is where the water is warmest and we will see the first signs of fry activity. Andre is bringing in his Pacific Angler exclusive epoxy fry on Monday so make sure to come down and stock up.

The river levels are very low and we had a good friend and customer show us another resource for analyzing conditions. Below are the snow pack level graphs for the Squamish watershed and the Fraser water shed – Interesting information – You can see that we are just above historical low snow levels. This is going to make the next few months very interesting and we expect low water levels for the foreseeable future.  Thanks Greg!

Snow Graph_1 Snow Graph_2

If you are out this weekend focus on sculpin patterns in olive, white and tan. Because of the low clear water, keep them small (one to two and half inches). We just received a big selection of the new sculpin head fish skull patterns. These flies ride deep and have great action. Check them out in our feature products section of the report.

Fish these patterns with a sink tip line and short 8-10lb leader. The sink tip and short leader will keep your fly in the zone. Use the swung fly technique with a short erratic strip at the end of the swing.


Steelhead – Though we have not had any reports we should start hearing some soon. This is the time of year to be prepared and start focusing on fishing bigger rods 7-9wts with pink, black and blue, or orange intruder style patterns. Float fishing is also going to pick up and fishing the Cheakamus with gooey bobs and pink worms can be effective.  I would run sculpins in the upper river but because of the low waters there should be steelhead consecrated in the lower river and its worth taking a shot with single hand fly rods, Spey rods and gear rods.

The Squamish and Cheakamus systems are a 100% catch and release – no bait/scent – barbless fishery, so play by the rules, give other anglers space and have fun!


The river has been up and down lately due to the sporadic weather we`ve experienced in the lower mainland. The clay banks have made things very finicky this season as well. Last weekend we saw high brown-ish water with it clearing up nicely by mid week. The river should be in nice shape for the weekend. There was a noticeable push of fish that came in around the full moon which was reflected by higher catch rates. We are in the thick of the season now so get out there and enjoy this fishery!

Steelhead_MX_Feb 18_2014

Some of our favourite baits for steelhead green water (3-6ft vis) include 4inch pink worms, gooey bobs in medium and small, nickel sized chunks of prawn or roe, and no.3 colorado blades.

Harrison / Harrison Sloughs:

Our reports have been poor in the last week and the larger cutthroat are still in a spawning cycle and should be left alone. The fry are very close to hatching if not already poking their heads out of the gravel. Historically this happens right now and the fishery lights up. If you are making plans for next two weeks we fully recommend the Harrison system. Depending on the weather this weekend my still be early but it might not be a bad scouting weekend to prepare for the next month of solid fishing. Andre is bringing in his epoxy fry next Monday and we have a good section of cutthroat patterns. Fish 4-6wt rods or use light spinning gear with small spoon and spinners. The second we get some rain/water the sloughs should flood with cutthroat but right now they are too low and I would focus on the main stem of the Harrison.


We have finally seen the higher flows that this river desperately needed. Although the river hasn`t bumped above a 4 on the scale, it came up to a 2-3 for a few days. The steelhead fishery on this river is nothing to get too excited about, however, it is a great place to spend a couple hours. Focusing your efforts around high water periods will improve your odds. Between now and late march you have a chance at encountering the elusive North-Shore winter steelhead.

Saltwater Fishing Report

The big winds have pushed through and we are looking at SE winds for the weekend of around 10-15 knots.  As usual, the SE winds bring in the low pressure system and that means cloud and rain.  At least it will be pretty much flat calm out at the mouth of the Capilano, and that is good news as we have some nice high slack tides this weekend.  If you get out in the morning you will be able to fish the flood tide off the Cap mouth and W. Van most of the morning with the high slack on Saturday around 10:00 am and 10:45 am on Sunday.  If you are thinking of heading out in the afternoon you can slide over the freighters and fish the flats in 90-120 feet of water on the ebb tide.

There have been some undersize fish hit this past week and also some keeper chinook.  We are starting to see some bigger fish.  Not monsters, but at least some fish that are not “just legals” and are starting to get into the 80 cm and over range.  Overall, the fishing this year has been consistently average.  The boats that are out there covering water and fishing hard have been consistently hooking fish.  There is still a good portion of the winter season left so it will be interesting to see how the next 3-4 weeks shape and hopefully we see more of these larger fish enter the area.

The water is still very clear and we have been doing well on the Oki “Green Onion” and “Purple Onion” flashers, with a 5-6 foot leader attached to a 2.5 or 3.5 Pesca RSG spoons in “Uncle Bob”, “It’s Not” or “Bogart”.  Cover water, look for bait, and keep you gear close to the bottom.

See you in the shop or on the water,

Jason Tonelli

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, Andre, Max, Eddie, Jordan and Bryce