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Home / Fishing Courses / Friday Fishing Report: March 21st, 2014

Friday Fishing Report: March 21st, 2014


As the weather continues to be unstable so has the fishing.  This means that those of you that are able to put the time in on the water will eventually hit it right and have success.  As you can see below, the weather will be a little unsettled over the weekend but that the temperatures seem to be rising and stabilizing around that 12-13 C mark that Andre mentions further down in his report and how it relates to cutthroat fishing at this time of year.

Vancouver weatherSquamish Weather

This is an extremely exciting time of year at Pacific Angler.  We can feel the energy levels lifting in the store from our customers as the expectations for steelhead fishing peaking in April and lake fishing is just around the corner.  Not to mention the chinook fishing in the ocean that is only a few weeks away.

Stillwater fishing will be starting in the next few weeks and the prime ice-off reports will begin in mid-April as well.  Chironomid tying is upon us as we get our lake boxes stocked up with these staple items in the trouts diet in a variety of size and colors and of course your early season micro-leeches as well!


Featured Pacific Angler Courses

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

Pay special attention to upcoming courses that are scheduled to directly assist you in upcoming fisheries!  The epoxy fly tying course gets you ready for fishing for cutthroats from end of March and into April.

Lake fishing is just around the corner.  Do not miss out on our intro courses covering lake fishing, tying chironomids, chironomid fishing techniques etc…get a head start this year!



Max with a nice bow!

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: (Apr 7 seminar & April 13th casting)
Seminar Time: 6:30pm – 9:30pm @ Pacific Angler
Casting Time(s): 10am – 1pm or 2pm – 5pm



This course will give you an in-depth look at the art of fly fishing lakes. We explore equipment, techniques, major insect hatches and ideal lakes to begin with. You will learn all you need to plan your next successful lake trip to one of BC’s 5,000 lakes! This course is comprised of one 3hr evening seminar.

Class Size: 20
Cost: $45.00
Dates: Apr 23 or May 6
Time: 6:30pm – 9:30pm

Customer Testimonial:

Hi Jason

Please will you convey my appreciation to Matt for last night’s workshop on “Intro to Fly Fishing Lakes”. I learned a great deal and look forward to the next workshop. Maybe now I can finally start fishing in Canada.

Kind regards

Eden J. – May, 2013


Chironomid Tech_Trevor_Rainbow_2010

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
Cost: $45.00
Dates: Apr 16 (10spots left), Apr 29 and May 7
Time: 6:30pm – 9:30pm




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


Intro to Fly Tying

There is no greater satisfaction than catching a fish with a fly you tied yourself. This course was specifically designed to give you the fundamental skills needed to tie proven fly patterns used here in BC for trout, salmon, and steelhead. This course consists of 3 sessions; each session is 3hrs. 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
Cost: $75.00
Dates: (Apr 8, 15 & 22)  3 spots left!
Time: 6:30pm – 9:30pm


John Kent Chronie 3

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.

Class Size: 7 (4spots left)
Cost: $40.00
Date: Apr 30
Time: 6:30pm – 9:30pm



Wes_Cantor_dec 17_2013

Over 50 million salmon migrate past Vancouver annually. Learn how to catch these fish with a Pacific Angler. This course offers an in-depth look at the local saltwater scene. We cover the local saltwater salmon fishing for the entire year, showing you the how, when, and where. This course includes a 3hr evening seminar and a fully guided day on the water in one of our Grady Whites with guide Jason Tonelli.

Class Size: 8
Cost: $250.00
Seminar Dates: Seminar Apr 9th (Guided Apr 12th or 13th) – SOLD OUT
Seminar Apr 28th (Guided May 3rd or 4th) – SOLD OUT
Seminar Time: 6:30pm – 9:30pm @ Pacific Angler

Customer Testimonial:

Hi Jason,

I just wanted to thank you again for an incredible day fishing and sharing all your knowledge with us during the “Master the Local Saltwater Salmon Fishing Course”. It was amazing how much info there was. I am busy at work and just dying to get out again. It’s driving me nuts. I can’t stop going back and looking at the photos! Obsessed just a bit!

Maybe I’ll see you at the shop when I stock up on the right stuff!


Joe Campo (Executive Chef from the Westin Bayshore)


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
Cost: $250.00
Dates: Seminar Mar 25 Guided Mar 29 or 30 (SOLD OUT)
Time: 6:30pm – 9:30pm

Aaron Goodis Fly Casting Courses

When it comes to fly fishing and fly casting Aaron holds both a Federation of Fly Fishers Casting Instructor Certification and an Adapted Fly Casting Institute Certificate. By earning these certificates Aaron has broadened his knowledge, grown a lot as a fly fisher and more importantly as an instructor.

Spey Casting – “The Modern West Coast Skagit Style”

NOTE: NO current course date set.  We have SOLD OUT both of Aaron’s spey courses and we are looking to see if there is enough interest to book a 3rd and 4th course for the spring and summer.

CALL 604-872-2204 to be put on our wait list

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

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

Single Hand Fly Casting – Faults & Fixes

This is a course designed for beginner to intermediate fly fishers looking to learn without “the bad habits” or anyone looking to tune up their fly cast. We look at and break down the bare basics of fly casting. Students should leave this class feeling much more confident about their fly casting, they will have a much better sense of how to overcome and correct their bad habits.

AG_Phil G_Hicks Lake

Class Size: 6 (1 spot left)
Cost: $100per person
Date & Time: Saturday, May 3rd / 10am – 1pm (local park TBD)

Topics will include:

  • The Casting Loop – Size & Shape
  • Loop Control
  • The Casting Stroke and its Relation to Fly Line Length
  • Speed, Power & Tempo

Equipment Recommended:

  • Single handed fly rod 5-10wt
  • WF Floating Fly Line
  • Sunglasses or Eye Protection

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

Freshwater Fishing Reports:


Ice-off reports and status’s are beginning to trickle in now.  Here at PA we rely quite heavily on the blog “flyguys.net”.  On their Flyguys.net 2014 Ice-off Report Blog you will find weekly contributions from fellow anglers that are willing to share updates on lakes that have become ice-free and also turnover reports once those begin as well.  Bookmark, subscribe or visit their blog to get the latest news!

Harrison river:

We had the cutthroat course last weekend on the Harrison. The fry are out, the river level is perfect but unfortunately the cutthroat were not there yet. We need a steady temperature of around 13 deg and up to get the fish moving. When it’s cold ,wet, windy and the barometer is dropping, the fish tend to move around less and therefore can be harder to find.

It is a little bit of a late start, but have patience as the weather report for next week is looking good. I will say this again as a reminder to make sure to have march brown nymphs and dries with your fry patterns. The fry that I saw in the river were mostly coho fry but have a variety as they will key in sometimes on a certain salmon fry so if you see them slashing the surface and not taking your fry, keep changing until you hook one hopefully.

Squamish / Cheakamus Rivers:

The Squamish River has been giving us nightmares over the last couple days/weeks. Hit and miss has been an understatement. We had a few reports of great success with bull trout but we also had quite a few unexpected skunks. We also saw a couple of steelhead photo’s from the last few days of fishing but all and all its been a tough week. The good bulltrout reports have been using sculpin patterns and we are still waiting for the salmon fry to come out in force.


We keep saying “any day” but the average temperatures in the headwaters are 5 degrees below seasonal norms and that is why things feel a little “late”.  River levels look good for the weekend. With a mix of sun, cloud and rain we shouldn’t see them shift dramatically. The temperatures are starting to rise and early next week we will see above historical temperatures in the 10 -14 degree range. This should kick start the trout fishing.

Andre was fishing this region yesterday and also reported:

I went out on Wednesday to the upper Squamish and did not hook a fish. The river level was good and  snow free. I saw a few fry around but not enough yet to get the bull trout excited. Besides the steelhead fishery or  if you would like to take a break from double handed rods and sink tips, fish a fry pattern, on a 5 to 7 weight single hand rod with a floating line if you see bull trout hitting the salmon fry on the surface. The presentation of the fry is another key factor as you have to pay attention to the piece of water you are fishing. Sometimes you need to high stick, swing the fly or strip your line in to mimic the fry.

Ryan O’Connor was guiding on the Squamish yesterday and got into a couple fish and got some nice pics of the fishing that day as well!


If you are heading up make sure you have fry patterns or small spinners but be prepared to focus on sculpin fly patterns, brighter steelhead patterns, or classic steelhead gear.

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!

Capilano: The Cap has had quite a bit of colour to the water lately. It seems like the general consensus among local anglers is plenty of effort with little return. We are really looking forward to this years coho season!


Jason wrote:  I have been fishing this river the last few weeks and have been rewarded with a few nice fish.  It has been a pretty tough steelhead season overall on the Lower Mainland & Vancouver Island, so it was nice to see some fish show up.  We just had a full moon (big tides) and some rain (high water), this is the “perfect storm” for fish to show up into any river. Combine that with March when we usually get a decent amount of fish showing up and, you guessed it, the fishing has picked up.  Let me put this into perspective though.  The fishing is not nearly as good as it usually is this time of year, it is still a very tough steelhead year, but I was relieved to see some fish show up so at least there will be a few fish on the spawning beds this spring!


Steelhead have a very high fecundity (ability to reproduce) compared to salmon.  This means they carry a lot of eggs and can rebuild their numbers quickly if presented with the right conditions.  Let’s hope ocean survival for steelhead picks up in the future and we get some better returns next winter.  In the meantime get involved with Steelhead Society of BC.  They do some great work, including fighting for steelhead habitat so the fish have good places to spawn, so when ocean survival does turn around, the fish can take advantage of it.  We encourage you to learn more by investing some time on the Steelhead Society website!

If you are heading out this weekend, the river is high but it’s a nice colour as it has been slowly dropping all week.  I was up on Wednesday and the snow line is pretty low (we even got blasted by hail) so by the weekend there will be plenty of visibility in the lower river and even more than that in the upper river above the clay banks.  Looks like there might be a touch of rain on Saturday, but not nearly enough to blow the river out.  The float fisherman have been catching fish on pink worms, gooey bobs, roe bags, ghost shrimp, prawns, and colorado blades.  We have heard of and seen some pictures of some nice fish caught on the fly.  Most of these fish are fresh, aggressive fish which have been caught lower down, below Vedder Crossing bridge.  Due to the recent high water and 2-3 feet of vis in the lower, anglers have been swinging larger intruder patterns in pink and orange.


Jason was guiding Darcy a few days ago on the Chilliwack and Darcy hook and landed his first steelhead.  Congrats Darcy!

Saltwater Fishing Reports:

Saltwater Report:

We haven’t heard much this week on the saltwater front.  Some windy days have kept us off the water for the most part.  There have been a few fish in the harbour and a few fish up Howe Sound, and by that I mean a few fish!  Not much to report.  Most anglers are getting their boats ready and perhaps banking some hours at work or getting some house work done so they can get out more in mid April.  Mid April is the time of year when the chinook magically appear off S. Bowen as well as the Gabriola/Nanaimo area.  This fishery is about 15-20 days away and counting.  Prawning has been good and crabbing has been good to excellent.   With things getting warmer in April, the crabbing and prawning always good this time of year, and chinook showing up, it’s the perfect time to shake off the winter blues and get out on the boats!  Give us a call at the shop to book your trip as the weekend dates in April and May always sell out and it some of the best chinook fishing of the entire season.

If you are heading out on your own boat we are getting lots of new saltwater gear in each week so come by the shop and get ready for the April chinook fishery!  This week we received more PESCA spoons, including some new colors!  Pictured below is the Leprechaun (green/chartreuse/glow) and the Italian Stallion (green/chartreuse/red/glow)


Pictured below is the wall of Pesca spoons at Pacific Angler with the lights off.  They glow like mad!


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