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Home / Fishing Courses / Friday Fishing Report: January 24th, 2014

Friday Fishing Report: January 24th, 2014


Jason tried 2x in the last week for a day of local heli-fishing and both days could not get more than 5min from the airport due to heavy fog banks hanging around the Fraser Valley.  Makes for gorgeous pictures but not so much for heli-fishing.

N.Vancouver Fog Blanket_2014

The GVRD weather forecast including Squamish is calling for moderate temperatures for this time of year with little rain in the next 7-10 days.  The Georgia Strait weather is great for this coming weekend!  Winds from 5-15km SE so with the winter chinook fishing getting better and better, do not hesitate to fill that thermos with coffee+baileys and get out there for some amazing fishing and very little boat traffic.

Being that we are constantly selling out of our hand-tied roe bags for you steelhead enthusiasts, I thought some of you may be interested in viewing an “archive” article (Make Your Own Roe Bags – by Dimitri R.) created by former employee Dimitri on how to make your own roe bags.  The timing seems perfect to re-publish this article!


We are excited to see which one of our readers/customers will come up with the winning design of this contest!

DDB Vancouver, a local advertising agency is looking for a “Classic Salmon Fly” that can be used to identify their West Coast (Vancouver) office and differentiate it from their other local offices across Canada . The idea is to incorporate the circular elements of their corporate logo into the design.

Here are the details and I recommend you study these to have a clear understanding.1. Fly must stay within the color palette for DDB. Black, yellow, white or silver are the colors in the DDB corp logos. (gold/black fly is shown below as example of correct colors to use although the design itself is not correct)

2. Critical to the winning fly design will be the ability to create a strong visual of a yellow circle rimmed in black as seen in the top right corner of DDB logo below.

DDB_POS_RGB[2]3. Contest Timeline:

  • Contest Starts Wed, January 22nd
  • Contest Ends @ 5pm on Wed, February 4th

4. RULES of Engagement:

  • Email pictures of flies to bryce@pacificangler.ca
  • Limit of two fly entries per contestant
  • Winning pattern will be chosen by Lance Saunders & his team at the DDB Canada, Vancouver office. Pacific Angler does not have any voting influence in this contest
  • Winning fly pattern receives $100 gift card to Pacific Angler
  • DDB Canada owns exclusive rights to chosen fly design as it will be used in marketing/branding initiatives for DDB.
  • DDB reserves the right to choose more than one fly that is submitted to the competition. Any fly chosen in addition to the winning fly will also receive compensation from DDB.
  • Additionally DDB may commission a series of actual flies [6-12] to give out to employees at an agreed to price per fly with the winning tier.

Winning Fly(s) will be posted on FB and announced in PA newsletter!  Good luck to all you talented tiers that want to enter!!

Industry Events

The International Fly Fishing Film Festival (IF4)


The International Fly Fishing Film Festival (IF4) consists of short and feature length films produced by professional filmmakers from all corners of the globe, showcasing the passion, lifestyle and culture of fly-fishing. From capturing the beauty of northern steelhead rivers to giant bull trout in British Columbia, the variety of films at this event are sure to peak the interest of all anglers. IF4 contains exclusive content not available in any other fly-fishing film event.

Date: February 6, 2014
Time: Doors open at 6:30 PM.  Film begins AT 7:00 PM.  Rush Seating
Location: The Esplanade Empire Theatre ( N. Vancouver) 

Tickets also available at both Michael & Young Fly Shops, Pacific Angler and Riverside Fly & Tackle.  If available, tickets may also be purchased at the venue on the day of the event for $18.00 per ticket.

To view official feature films you will see at the IF4 in N. Vancouver please feel free to check out last weeks Pacific Angler Friday Fishing Report – Jan 17th, 2014.  In last weeks report you will find links to each feature film.

New Product Review – Matt Sharp

In the steelhead fly tying world I won’t say I have seen it all but it is a rare day that something really jumps out at me. Yesterday we received our first shipment of silver fox from Heritage Angling.  All I can say is WOW!!!!

Artic Fox_2014

I have never seen the length and quality in any other silver fox product and the colors are perfect. The  tips are dyed black to help ascent the silhouette of the pattern. The kingfisher blue could make a great black and blue pattern by simply tying it on a hook. We have purple, pink, orange, black, and blue in stock but I don’t think it will stay on the wall long .

Come on down and grab it before I end up buying it all. – MS


Our first Spey casting course with Aaron Goodis sold out in 72hr so we have been taking names and creating a wait list.  We are pleased to announce a new course that will be taught March 13th / 15th, 2014.  The timing of this course is fantastic as this is prime-time for steelhead fishing in your backyard.  We confirmed the date with Aaron at 3pm yesterday and have already sold several spots from our wait list.  Please call ASAP to reserve your space as they are first come – first serve.

Spey Casting – “The Modern West Coast Skagit Style”

This class will focus on “The Modern West Coast Skagit Style” of Spey casting. Students will be taught the ins and outs to all things Skagit Spey, they will be taught with thorough demonstration and one on one time how to overcome the challenges associated with two handed fly rods. Students should leave this class with a much better understanding of Skagit Spey casting and fishing, they will be able to overcome the obstacles faced during a real fishing day.


Class Size: 8-10
Cost:  $125per person
Seminar Date & Time: Thursday, March 13th / 730pm – 9pm
Casting Date & Time: Saturday, March 15th / 10am – 4pm (Location TBD)

Topics will include:

  • The Theory
  • Your Equipment – Understanding the Gear
  • Casting Methods: The Skagit Poke, The Skagit Circle Spey, The Skagit Double Spey
  • River Right versus River Left
  • Running Line Management
  • Dealing with the Wind
  • Sink Tip Selection
  • Mending Techniques

Equipment Recommended:

  • Two Handed Spey Rod 12-14 foot
  • Skagit Spey Head and assortment of Sink Tips
  • Waders/Rain Jacket
  • Sunglasses or Eye Protection

DON’T MISS OUT – These courses have limited space left!

The following courses highlighted here have 3 or less spots available.  If you have any interest, I recommend that you call the store (604-872-2204) to reserve your spot ASAP.

INTRODUCTION TO FLY FISHING – Matt Sharp   (2spots left)


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.   The dates below show the seminar date first and casting date second.

Class Size: 12
Cost: $125.00
Dates (Feb 12 & 16 – 2 spots left)
Seminar Time: 6:30pm – 9:30pm
Casting Time(s): 10am – 1pm or 2pm – 5pm

TYING INTRUDER FLY PATTERNS – Dimitri R.    (3spots left)

Dimitri_Intruder Course_Jan_2014

Happy students with their intruder flies after Dimitri’s course!


This course is designed for those that are interested in tying steelhead flies in the “Intruder style”.  This style of fly is extremely productive for steelhead and salmon due to its profile and movement in the water.  During this two night (5hr total instruction) tying series, you will learn the very specific techniques and unique materials used to tie this fly.  This course is suitable for intermediate to 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 (3spots left)
Cost: $45.00
Date: (Feb 17 & 18)
Time: 7pm – 9:30pm

Single Hand Fly Casting – Advanced Distance   (2spots left)

This is for the fly fisher with experience looking to improve their accuracy, distance and over all style and control over the fly cast. Learn “the double hall” for improved distance, casting angles to help with pin point accuracy and dealing with the elements such as wind, line drag, and running line management.  Aaron’s students should leave the class with a much better understanding of how to achieve better distance and accuracy with their fly casting.


Class Size: 6 (2spots left)
Cost:  $100per person
Date & Time: Sunday, March 2nd 10am – 1pm (local park TBD)


(3 spots left)

AS_Cutthroat_Course Image_2014This 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.  This course consists of a 3hr evening seminar and a fully guided day on the water

Class Size: 8 (3spots left)
Cost: $225.00
Date: Seminar Mar 12  & Guided Mar 15 or 16
Seminar Time: 6:30pm – 9:30pm

WINTER STEELHEAD ON THE FLY – Matt Sharp   (3 spots left)

Steelhead on the Fly_Course_2012

Fishing for winter steelhead on the fly (single hand or Spey) is arguably one of the most challenging and rewarding fisheries in BC.  Let our steelhead gurus help you unlock the mysteries of these magical fish with their decades of steelhead guiding knowledge.  This course consists of a 3hr evening seminar and 1 full day of guided fishing on the water.  In the seminar we will go over rods, reels, lines, sink tips, flies and reading water and swung fly techniques.  The fully guided day on the water we will be work on casting, reading water and swinging the fly.

Class Size: 6 (3 spots left)
Cost: $250.00
Dates:  Seminar Mar 5th & Guided Mar 8th or 9th
Seminar Time: 6:30pm – 9:30pm

View full Pacific Angler 2014 Course Schedule online and see the 20+ courses we teach.  Some courses are available throughout the year with multiple dates in the calendar.

Jordan’s Hawaiian Fishing Saga – The Hunt Continues….

With vacation time with the girlfriend taking up the first week, a second week of cold water and unpredictable wind patterns then a third week that seemed to warm things up or so I thought. Then a MASSIVE storm came in this week so the hunt for the giant bonefish continues. The largest bone being seen so far is on the island of Molokai, there’s only a few short days left to try to hunt ant stalk the fish of a lifetime.

This past week on a day that was predicted to have variable winds (a good bonefish wind is an Eastern Trade blowing around 15-20mph), I organized a day with my good friend Stan Wright of Hawaii Bass Fishing to spend a day on Lake Wilson, also known as Wahiawa Reservoir.

This lake is known for being the only other home to tucanare (commonly known as peacock bass) in the United States – the other being Florida. Tucanare are Amazonian cichlids that hunt and feed voraciously.


Peacock Bass

Launching on a cool and misty morning, the sun came up, along with water temperatures, and the fishing turned on. Lake Wilson is also known as “The Aquarium”, and rightfully so: with so many people dumping their home aquariums in the lake, you honestly have no idea what you might catch when blind casting to structure.


5 Bar General

From casting to red devils, 5-bar cichlids, jaguar cichlids, to sight-fishing large-mouth, small-mouth, and peacocks, one is always curious to know what really is on the end of their line.  Lots of red devils were caught, as well as bluegill, largemouth, peacocks, and a host of mystery fish.


Jaguar Cichlid

Tying up to a log around noon, we hiked up the bank to the highway where we went for lunch at Kemo’o Farms (a local must-eat place) known for their giant burgers.

JS_Hawaii_Kemo Farm Burgers_Jan_2014_2

If you’ve ever wanted to complete the Lake Wilson Slam, consider spending a day on Wahiawa Reservoir/Lake Wilson for your chance at the red devil, large mouth, small mouth, and peacock bass all in one day.

JS_Hawaii_Red Devil_Jan_2014_2

Red Devil

With a giant storm hitting us the night before yesterday (weather graphs showed it as PURPLE- not red), flats are muddy, winds are variable, and the water is cold.  I’m hoping to get out a couple more times but if the conditions aren’t right, there really is no point in going out and wasting a day when you could be doing other stuff.

Today I’m going to hike into the jungle to look for some small mouth bass in the many blue-line streams of the Ko’olau Mountains. If there are any pics to come from that (fingers crossed), expect to see them in next week’s report.

Aloha and Mahalo!


River Reports

Chehalis River:

The River is in good shape but a little low. 3 egg roe bags, small jigs, Jensen eggs and Colorado blades should be in your vest for clear conditions. We have not had any reports as of late so email us or call it in if you have been on the water.

Stave River: 

If you want to try a fishery other than chasing steelhead or bull trout pick up your 3wt outfit and fish for white fish in the stave river. Although  the fish are on the smaller size it is relatively a challenging fishery if you are not concerned with a heavy fish pulling on the other end of your line, having said this I have caught white fish up to 4lbs and on a 3wt which is really fun.

You can use egg patterns with the strike indicator rig but I find at this time and throughout February that small nymph patterns such as caddis and stones more productive fished with a floating line and a 12ft – 3lb tapered leader. Cast upstream and close to shore and use the high sticking method to present your nymph straight down stream instead of swinging your fly.

One of the challenges that occurs is to not strike hard upon excitement as these fish have soft mouths therefore keeping them on and landing them is not easy. The take is generally soft as these fish mostly fee of the bottom unless they are taking flies of the surface which they will come up and turn upside down to eat. They do this because the mouth is just like a carp so it is easier for them to suck in food from the surface. You might encounter a cutthroat as well. Give this a try if you like to wonder on a river and have a peaceful day with hardly anybody around.

Happy fishing,


Squamish River:

The river has dropped back to low levels and the water is very clear. We were out last weekend egg fishing and the low, clear, sunny conditions made it difficult. This said we still managed to drum up some nice fish. We have noticed that when it is low and clear the bull trout are more picky but the resident rainbows do not seem as affected by the water clarity. We hooked 3 or 4 nice rainbows and a couple good bull trout. One of customers Gordon is pictured below with a great looking rainbow and we also love his hat.

Rainbow trout

With the conditions changing, make sure to fish light leader.  5lb test is recommended for your egg rigs and fluorocarbon is nice because it is more clear and has a smaller diameter. The weekend will be sunny and clear but there is a little rain in the forecast early next week and the cloud cover will help even if we don’t see a rise in the river levels. Fish light colored beads but be prepared to switch to small sculpin patterns. With low water the eggs stop becoming disturbed from the gravel and fish will start keying in on other food sources or worse, stop feeding entirely.  This time of year can be difficult but egg fishing is not over.  From now until the fry start hatching (usually end of February) there will be times when the eggs are on fire. This is usually right after a good rain, high water event or cloudy day after a long period of sun.

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!

Harrison/Fraser Rivers:

Reports from the cutthroat guys are still coming in.   Harrison area sloughs and Fraser back channels are where you want to target these fish.  The reports have not been great but that can change in a heartbeat. Cutthroat move and one day they will be in and the next gone. With only a few guys heading out each week it is hard to really gauge how things are doing. Historically, mid-January to mid-February can be slow but then things start really picking up late February.


Winter cutthroating is a great fishery to look at this time of year and the key is to cover ground and keep your eyes peeled for surface activity.  Most anglers will use a floating line or slow clear sinking lines matched to a 4, 5 or 6wt rod with light 5-6lb tippet.

We have heard that there are still some people catching sturgeon on the lower Fraser. This time of year it is usually too cold but with the warm winter thing have been a little unpredictable.

Capilano River:

The River is back to being very low. This is not good for fishing but the second we get some water this river is defiantly worth a looking. Until then we wouldn’t recommend fishing it but keep a close eye on the river levels and be ready. To fish this system we don’t recommend fly fishing because the layout of the river is not conducive to the cast fly. Float fishing is the most productive method.

Saltwater Reports

We are right in the middle of winter chinook season now and things have been pretty good out there.  Overall the seas have been amazingly calm and anglers have had the opportunity to choose any destination they would like, from the mouth of the Cap at W. Van, to Howe Sound, even over to Gabriola and Porlier.  The fog has been a little unnerving on some days, but this last week has seen some good fishing, flat seas, and beautiful sunny days.

The winds look like they will behave this weekend and the sun is out so this will be a great weekend to get out fishing.  Later in the week the SE rolls in and the rain comes back so the time to go is this weekend if you can make it.

There have been fish getting caught off W. Van on the flood tide, right off the bottom in 85-110 feet of water.  The usual go to flashers for clear water, like a Purple Onion or Green Onion have been doing well.  A variety of spoons in smaller sizes have been working like the Coho Killer and 3.0 Kingfishers and Coyotes.  Some of the more popular ones are Green Glow, Irish Cream, Night Rider, Kitchen Sink and Yellow Tail.  The fishing a little further south towards Gabriola and Porlier has been lack luster so far.  Definitely not as active as this time last year.  I have made 3 trips down this way and have not seen much bait and had sporadic fishing at best.  Hopefully this changes as February approaches.

The crabbing has been good in the harbour and the prawning has also been good up in Howe Sound.  It’s a great way to spend the day, some chinook fishing, some crabbing, and some prawning, all with flat calm seas and sunny skies!

To book a charter please call Bryce at 778-788-8582.

We have a great selection of all the top flashers and spoons in the shop, so come by and take a look.

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