If you are cycling to work this week, keep breaking out those water wings and stay covered head to toe. However, this weekend looks to bring a break in the rain for local Vancouverites. The Vancouver weather forecast will be holding true up in Squamish as well. This could lend itself to some great fishing opportunities while the snowlevels are low and the roads to your favorite egging runs are still accessible.
There is a NW gale warning in the Georgia Strait on Friday and Saturday while Sunday and Monday look to have calmer winds. Make sure to check your latest marine forecasts if you are heading out after winter chinook or crabbing and prawning.
Now is the time to be getting your gear cleaned and ready to go for winter steelheading season that as far as reports go, is just around the corner from being in full swing. Come to the shop and speak with the guys should you need any additional help getting ready.
STAFF PICK – Matt Sharp
Travel Spinning Rods
Whenever I go on a vacation, even if it is not a fishing vacation, I have to do a little research to see if there is any good fishing nearby. I have made an art form out of hijacking family vacations and turning them into quasi fishing trips. The most important tool in my arsenal for this endeavor is a good travel spinning rod. For those that know me, this may cause some shock because it is well know that I am an avid fly fisherman but the spinning rod opens up a ton of options when you are juggling non-fishing family or friends and it is just simpler – You won’t need a ton of gear, you won’t need the perfect beach/location with back casting room and if it is windy your entire trip you can make a long cast and still have fun.
At Pacific Angler we have scoured the fishing market for the best travel spinning rods at a range of price points that you can carry onto the plane, rig up and fishing anywhere around the world.
The easiest and most cost effective is the Ugly Stick 6ft 4pc travel rod. It is fibreglass and bloody bomb proof. Whether you hook a 2lb trout or a 20lb jack this rod won’t break. I sometimes bring these on trips and give them to my guides as a gift after I am finished fishing with them and they are awesome. Retailing for $59.99
The next rod I love is the Rapala Baja / Magnum Series. This rod is great because it comes with a carry-on approved hard case. They have a smaller trout rod, a heavier all purpose rod and then a beach casting 9’6 that is perfect for any beach around the world. Great pricing from $89 -$129
Both these rods are perfect for any vacation but if you want to get a little more serious we have two higher end options that will last a lifetime and cast as well as any 2pc spinning rod.
The first is the Fenwick Method. This rod is amazing. It comes with a hard case and not only is it a super fact action casting machine but it comes with 2 spare pieces that have different stiffness’s – By swapping out the pieces you can change the action of the rod to suit the fishing conditions. This also has a great side benefit. If you travel you know that rods will break and there is nothing worse than breaking a rod on vacation and knowing you have no back up! Fishing Vacation Over!
The Method is 7ft and can change from a 6-14lb med-action into a 10-17lb med. Heavy-action. Retails for $169.99
The last rod in our line up is the TFO TICR2. This is a beautiful 3pc 7ft rod that casts like a dream, has the TFO unconditional warranty and top of the line saltwater components. I have fished both the 10-17lb and the heavy 10-20lb in weight and casting they are unsurpassed. They come with a rod sock and retail for $175.
Though the water was low, we had a great week on the Squamish. With the rain Thursday and Friday it should only get better this weekend. As of Monday the upper river still had a little wet snow but nothing to deter even a 2 wheel drive as long as you don’t mind pot holes. Last night we could see a small rise on the graphs and it was not snowing all the way up to Whistler.
This last week did see the fish become a little pickier. Matt had a great day with some good friends and clients where they had tough fishing until dialing in the technique and changing to very pale peach/white 8mm beads. Once the right color was found the fish turned on and it was fast and furious for the afternoon. Thanks again Mac and Lance!
We have not heard of any steelhead yet but we saw a number of guys gear fishing the Cheakamus and would not be surprised to hear of a fish or two over the coming weeks. That said, the majority of the steelhead don’t show up on the Squamish system until after February.
The water has been nicely coloured up this past week and more and more steelhead are being caught. January is definitely go time on this river as lots of fresh fish enter the system. Big aggressive presentations like 6inch berkley worms and large gooey bobs are the go-to when the fish are fresh and the water is coloured.
Don’t be too surprised if what you think might be a steelhead on the end of your line turns out to be a big bull trout! Remember to always be moving and please be courteous to your fellow anglers. Note: As of Friday morning the Vedder was blown out.
The water was nice and high this past weekend, which definitely washed out a lot of the old salmon that were still kicking around. I have seen a few winter runs cruising in behind the coho in the hatchery outlet which is a good indication that the season has begun. Single eggs and 3 egg roe bags are deadly on this river because of how clear it tends to be. Remember to always be moving and please be courteous to your fellow anglers.
We had a decent report off the Harrison last week were some friends did well on cutthroat with small black leaches and black pheasant tail nymphs. This was the first report we have heard in a while and expect this fishery to just get better as the winter progresses.
The fishing in the harbour has been pretty spotty over the holidays. There have been a few days with no action, a few days with some undersize, and a few days with some undersize and some keepers! What can I say, it is local winter chinook fishing. That being said, we have definitely noticed more “just” sub-legal fishing showing up this week. By this I mean fair numbers of 20-23 inch fish.
Combing through the journals of years past, I am confident some bigger fish are going to show up this week. For instance, this coming week last year, Eddie was into 6 keeper fish in one tide change. As usual, the best area has been the mouth of the Capilano on the flood tide and close to the bottom. On the ebb tide anglers have been fishing the QB, or out in the freighters, again, close to the bottom.
Productive spoons have been on the small side, like 3.0 Irish Cream, or Coho Killers in the Irish Cream and Yellow Tail colours. It looks like the rain is going to back off for the weekend and so is the wind, so take advantage of this break in the weather to get out there.
Pacific Angler Courses (Jan & Feb 2014)
STEELHEAD FLOAT FISHING – Taught by Jason Tonelli
Class Size: 20
Seminar Only Cost: $45.00 (before taxes)
Seminar & Guided Walk’n Wade Cost: $400 for one person or $500 for two people
Dates: Seminar on Jan 7th. Seminar on Feb 19th. Guided trip dates are flexible.
Time: 6:30pm – 9:30pm
In this fishery, 10% of the anglers catch 90% of the fish. This is your chance to learn from the Jason Tonelli who would be in that preferred 10%! Our 3hr evening seminar will educate you on the gear, water types, conditions and other key variables that put veteran steelhead anglers in that 10%. Mastering this fishery will make you the envy of your friends. Upgrade your seminar to include a fully guided day on the water, putting into practice your new knowledge with a Pacific Angler guide.
FLY FISHING EGG PATTERNS – SOLD OUT!!!
Class Size: 8
Dates: Seminar on Jan 8. / Guided Jan 11 or 12
Time: 6:30pm – 9:30pm
This course is designed to teach you the secrets to one of the most productive presentations in the BC fly fishermen’s arsenal; nymphing egg patterns. This deadly method can be used for different species of trout, char, and salmon. During a 3 hour evening seminar we will teach you key concepts, strategies, and gear that will give you a well-rounded foundation during the seminar portion of the class. Then you will put those skills into practice during a fully guided day on the water.
TYING INTRUDER FLY PATTERNS – Taught by Dimitri Roussanidis
Class Size: 7
Dates: (Jan 14 & 15) (Feb 17 & 18)
Time: 7pm – 9:30pm
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.
INTRODUCTION TO FLY TYING – Taught by Andre Stepanian
Class Size: 7
Dates: (Jan 21, 28 & Feb 4)
Time: 6:30pm – 9:30pm
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.
TYING JIGS FOR STEELHEAD & SALMON – Max Stickel
Class Size: 7
Date: Jan 22
Time: 6:30pm – 9:30pm
The use of jigs for catching steelhead and salmon is not a new idea; however, in the last few years we have seen a revolution on our local rivers. Fisherman using had tied jigs are accounting for record numbers of steelhead! Join us around the tying tables and learn how to tie jigs for steelhead and salmon! If you have never thought of making your own lures don’t feel intimidated, Pacific Angler will help you with each step. For those who have lots of experience we will hone your skills and show you the tricks that make jigs the choice of top rods across the Lower Mainland. Students are required to supply their own vise, tools and materials. A 10% discount is available on materials and tools purchased for the course.
INTRODUCTION TO FLY FISHING – Matt Sharp
Class Size: 12
Dates: (Feb 12 & 16)
Time: 6:30pm – 9:30pm
Casting Time(s): 10am – 1pm or 2pm -5pm
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.
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, Andre, Max, Eddie, Jordan and Bryce