We’ve enjoyed a beautiful stretch of sunshine and cool nights, which has lead to some great fishing this past week. The sun can’t last forever and we have some rain forecasted for this weekend and early next. This rain will be welcomed by many river fishermen as most of rivers are low and clear and a bit of rain (not too much) will hopefully bring in some fresh fish!
On the salt the “Hump” seems to have turned on early and there has been some solid fishing there all week. Further up Howe Sounds continues to produce as well.
April brings along a great offering of courses and events. Read on below for all of the details as well as an important Fisheries and Oceans Canada update on the Seymour River.
We have an awesome line up of courses for the rest of April; here are the details on our next two classes coming up. Don’t forget to check out the link below to the full listing of April courses.
Introduction to Fly Tying – 3 Spots Left
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.
Dates: Apr 14, 21 and 28
Time: 6:30pm to 9:30pm
Introduction to Chironomid Techniques with 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 Hemmera. This course is comprised of one 3hr evening seminar. Content is for beginner to advanced.
Dates: Apr 20 or May 5 – NEW DATES!!
Time: 6:30pm to 9:30pm
EVENTS – FISHING FOR TALES
We are proud to be a part of Read Local BC, a project celebrating the extraordinary depth of BC publishing. Running from April 1-22, the campaign features publishers, authors, bookstores and libraries from across the province.
Don’t miss out on the special book reading night here at the shop! Join two celebrated writers for a unique perspective on the ocean, its wildlife, and the people who work on its waves.
Sylvia Taylor’s The Fisher Queen captures the reality of life on a fishboat, exploring the tight-knit relationship of fishers with the coast’s wild, untamed waters.
Jude Isabella’s Salmon: A Scientific Memoir investigates a narrative that is important to the identity of the Pacific Northwest Coast-the salmon as an iconic specifies. She follows ecologists, archaeologists and fisheries biologists to learn about the fish through the eyes of scientists in the field.
Date: Wednesday April 22, 2015
Location: Pacific Angler, 78 East Broadway, Vancouver
Space is limited – RSVP to Zoe Grams at firstname.lastname@example.org
INDUSTRY UPDATES – SEYMOUR RIVER CLOSURE
Fisheries and Oceans Canada has released the following notice regarding the Seymour River.
Effective immediately and until further notice, the following portion of the Seymour River is closed to fishing for salmon:
Seymour River from the slide area (approximately 400 metres downstream of the old “Twin Bridges” site) downstream to the top of “Pool 91”, located immediately downstream of the Pipeline Bridge.
This order is made in conjunction with a Provincial order. The result of these two orders is a complete angling closure in the listed waters. This closure is in response to a rockslide in Seymour Canyon and put in place to protect migrating salmon stocks in this system.
FOR MORE INFORMATION:
Contact the local DFO office in your area or Barbara Mueller, Resource Manager at 604-666-2370.
Visit us on the Web at http://www.pac.dfo-mpo.gc.ca
DT (Duo Threat) Balanced Leech
Bryce Franks, former Pacific Angler team member and Fly Fishing host for Douglas Lake Ranch on their famous Stoney and Minnie lakes in 2014 will have some of his favorite fly patterns at Pacific Angler this season. This week Bryce is sharing his go to pattern and tips for stillwater fishing– the DT (duo threat) Balanced Leech.
Trout are inherently curious fish. Last year at #stoneylakelodge we had a guest bring up his scuba gear. While he was diving around logs and trees he had 3-7lb trout swim up to investigate what he was. I have found the DT balanced leech pattern has been very successful in attracting this curious fish!
When using beads on the heads of your balanced leech patterns make sure that the wider part of the bead faces the front of the fly. This opening at the head of the fly creates bubbles and sounds under the water that will turn your fly into the duo threat (DT) pattern. Visual and audible. The photo shows the opening and the bubble forming in the bead.
After playing around with the weight at the head of the fly to get it balanced properly, I figured out that the KNOT is just as important as the weight. I typically fish all my flies on a loop knot to enhance the movement of my fly. The opposite is required for the balanced leech to perform as intended.
By using the improved clinch knot on a balanced leech you can cinch the tippet tightly to the hook. Ideally, you move the knot back along the eye of the hook towards the underbelly of the fly. This keeps your fly in the balanced position.
I tied up 8 balanced leeches with varied weights. None balanced properly with the loop knot as the loop knot allows the line to slide up and down on the eye of the fly and keeps it from being balanced. I switched over to the clinch knot and 7/8 flies instantly became perfectly balanced.
Seeing is believing, check out the video of the DT balanced leech here: https://instagram.com/p/z7s1Kau1NV/
Pacific Angler will be carrying the DT Olive/Black leech as well as the DT Black/Herl version this season. Both patterns have been tested and I’ve had great success with both. I’ve fished both under indicators from depths of 3ft to 20ft.
If you are considering fishing on the Douglas Lake Ranch this season please do not forget about summer fishing. I had some of my most consistent fishing on Stoney Lake in late July and August in shallow water (12ft or less). Summer doldrums do not effect every lake. True story. I hope you enjoy the 2015 stillwater season and feel free to follow me on Instagram – @brycekfranks
Tight lines and tan lines!
Low has been the theme on the Cap for the last while but keep your eyes on the Cap Cam, as there is some rain in the forecast. As we’re nearing the middle of April its time to start preparing for the early coho fishery in May. Andre is already busy at the bench whipping up some “Cap Buggers” and if you don’t already have your full sink line now is the time to pick one up and get ahead of the game. If you have any questions about this unique fishery feel free to come by the shop and let us help you out.
This past week has shown some great river levels, especially for the fly anglers and quite a few have been successful. The next couple days are still showing decent river levels and if you’re able to, to try to get out before the weekends projected rain.
Though the amount of rain isn’t supposed to be too huge or significant, it may be enough to just bump the river a little, hopefully bringing another push of fresh fish or at least making them less weary.
As the water warms up, steelhead are more prone to move for a fly and also become more ‘trouty’, making it a good idea to carry some larger stonefly nymphs and fry patterns in your box or wallet.
Blades, the classic pink worm, and of course various baits drifted through the usual lies are always a good idea. Don’t be scared to go small as well, especially as the water drops or starts to turn clear. Should the river bump or colour from the forecasted rain, it sometimes helps to produce an ‘acoustic footprint’. Flies that push or displace water, as well as spinners (Blue Fox), can sometimes be the ticket.
The Squamish has dropped over the last few days and was at a great fishable level yesterday. With the warm weather and snow melt it also held a nice color. Usually at the levels we saw yesterday it would be much clearer but it still has a nice green tint. We saw a number of balls of salmon fry in side channels and a few fish slashing at the surface feeding on fry.
We are expecting rain all weekend but because the river is relatively low right now there is a reasonable chance that it will not blow out. Watch river levels carefully and know that if it doesn’t blow out it should be good fishing. Expect bull trout and rainbows on salmon fry and sculpin patterns and run brighter colors for steelhead. Pink and orange combinations have been working for steelhead when fly fishing and Colorado blades and gooey bobs have produced well for the gear anglers.
Good luck out on the water!
The river is finally dropping which is good news. I have heard reports of lots of fry on the upper regions of the river but no sign of cutthroat to be had. When the river rises and becomes a big lake they are even harder to find as the cutthroat themselves have to work harder to find the fry and they could be hiding anywhere. As the river drops the fry hold in shallower water therefore making it easier for the cutthroat to find and chase the fry. This is a good time to check out the sloughs to see if they have moved in there for a while as the main rivers drop. Don’t loose hope and think that it is a slow year as this fishery can change overnight. There is still a lot of time left to have one of those magical days when the cutthroat are slashing the fry right in front of you.
This is a great river to fish for cutthroat. When I’m out the Stave is my last stop on my Fraser Valley cutthroat route. You can walk the shores on both east and west side or hop around the islands with a small car topper boat or an inflatable. There are many side channels on this river which makes a perfect habitat for the fry to hang out so make sure to have a always stop and have a peek.
Some lakes are turning over already. The water temps are still cold and lots are partially frozen. I heard of good reports from Roche already with no winterkill this year. Tunkwa Lake is ice free and fishing well with small micro leeches and black/red rib chronomids in very shallow depths. LLJ is fishing well on the west side. This is a record early start to the year so I don’t know what to expect at this time of the year and how it affects the lake levels. If you can’t wait to fish chronomids try really small ones like size 18 or bloodworms, you might see a hatch for a brief time in the afternoon.
Please check the regs for lakes that are open on May 1st and other restrictions.
As the weather gets better so is the fishing! As I mentioned in my last report the “Hump” south of Bowen Island is now the place to be. I did fish the Vancouver Harbour a couple of days this week but other than a few undersized fish we only managed one shot at a decent fish each day. There are still good reports coming from up Howe Sound but the “Hump” is definitely producing fish. The boats that have been in the right place at the right time are coming home with multiple fish in the mid to high teens. The fish are hitting between 80ft to 120ft but I’ve also been getting them deeper in the 130ft to 140ft range. The baitfish has been in the 4″-5″ range and any spoons, bait or hoochies in that range will produce. I’ve tried a variety of spoons and bait (anchovies and larger herring) and all has been working. Some of the patterns that seem to work better are the 4″ Homeland security, Pesca Gut Bomb, Green Glo and the Spackle back hoochie. I also had a really nice fish hit a 5″ Cop Car with no flasher, which always make great action on the rod without the extra drag from a flasher. Another good pattern is one of the patterns illustrated in the last report. The Purple Onion Flasher with the 4″ Pesca Boogie Man spoon. The updated photo of that same spoon shows the new teeth marks left after some nice chinooks got the better of my guests. Better to have fought and lost than to have not fought at all.