First off, we want to wish everyone a happy and safe Easter Long Weekend. The weather looks amazing and on the fishing front things look excellent! The store will be closed Sunday and Monday but we are open to take phone orders and curb side pickups today and Saturday from 10AM – 5PM.
When it comes to going fishing currently, the Provincial Health Officer (PHO) has not issued any orders restricting individuals from angling and/or hunting at this time. You can check here for updates. If you are questioning where you can go here is the link to closed Parks and facilities. Check before you go and fish close to home.
If you are going out, the recommendations are clear. You need to make sure that fishing will not increase risk. This means going alone or only with immediate family in the same car. Pack your lunch and any supplies you might need so you do not have to stop at a store. Do NOT fish in crowds (don’t do this anyway) and keep up proper social distancing measures at all times. We still feel that if you do this and stay close to home that fishing is a great social distancer and an important activity for exercise and metal health. Make sure that you play by the rules and let’s not give the government a reason to close or further restrict fishing.
In this week’s report we have river updates and well as some interesting saltwater fishing news. If you are staying home to get prepped for your Easter Egg hunt we also have a couple cool things for the fly tiers and saltwater fisherman.
Jordan just renewed his saltwater certifications for guiding. He has some valuable resources you might find useful to share with you this week. There is no better time to do some studying and update your knowledge if you are a boater or saltwater angler.
On the fly-tying front Zach continues his deep dive on cool chironomid tying techniques. This week he looks at how to blend thread and holo tinsel for a great molted flash look on your flies.
As always if you want to sit back and listen to the report in video format Matt has you covered there. Check out the fly tying video writeup below and check out the Video Version of the Friday Fishing Report here:
Again, we’ll be at the shop for phone and email order the following hours this long weekend:
Friday April 10 | 10AM – 5PM
Saturday April 11 | 10AM – 5PM
Sunday April 12 | Closed
Monday April 13 | Closed
If you need anything don’t hesitate to call at 604-872-2204 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
CLASSES + COURSES
We’re working to retool our courses offering and have some great courses coming up next month that you can take in from home! To sign up for a course call the shop at 604.872.2204 between 10AM + 5PM (Monday – Saturday).
Introduction To Fly Fishing
Seminar will be taught online! Casting will be confirmed at a later date
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; an evening seminar and a 3hr casting session. The dates below show the seminar date first and casting date second.
Dates: Seminar April 15, Casting Date To Be Determined
Seminar Time: 6:30pm
Casting Time(s): 10am – 1pm or 1:30pm – 4:30pm on to be determined date
Introduction to Chironomid Techniques
Seminar will be taught online! Watch and learn from the comfort of your own home!
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. Content is for beginner to advanced.
Date: April 20
Cost: $50.00 GST
Introduction to Fly Fishing Lakes
Seminar will be taught online! Watch and learn from the comfort of your own home!
This course will give you an in-depth look at the fundamentals 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!
Date: April 28
FRESHWATER FISHING REPORTS
Squamish River Fishing Report
There is increasing pressure to discourage people from going up to Squamish. As many of our readers live in Squamish we plan to continue bringing you reports. We ask that all fisherman going out to any of our local rivers be very mindful of having zero impact and minding all precautions listed in the government recommendations and all applicable closures.
If you are fishing the Squamish this weekend we expect it to be good. Temperatures are increasing and you can see the river levels slowly rising as more snow melts. The Squamish system will only get better as we see this increase in temperature until it goes into freshet and blows out. Historically this happens in the end of the month early May. The salmon fry should be out in force this weekend and we wish everyone good luck out there!
Chilliwack/Vedder River Fishing Report
Again – a report for our readers out in the Valley. We’ve got a little less than a month left of good steelheading left on the Chilliwack before things start winding down and before the river partially closes in May. The river is back to its low and clear state but the fishing has still been productive for those that are hitting it hard. With these conditions it is imperative to cover water to find biting fish. Keep the presentations on the smaller side and don’t be afraid to follow behind others, just be aware of what they are using and change it up. Fish will be congregating in spots that give them cover so look for white water riffles at the head of pools and deeper slots. The rest of this month is basically the last chance to get out there (unless you are a fly angler!) so take this chance to get outside and do some social distancing.
There are a number of parking lot, and park closures for parts of this weekend so be sure to familiarize yourself with those as well.
FLY VIDEO FEATURE
Blended Thread Technique
The blended thread technique makes a very natural looking mottled body for your chironomids. This week we build on last week’s patter by adding a holographic tinsel under body to create even more definition in your body options to closer match the samples that you get out of fish while you are out on the water. We have loads of thread and tinsels in stock so that you can tie up chironomids using this technique in any colour combination imaginable. For hooks we recommend any curved nymph hook in sizes 12-16 for this technique as it allows enough room to get that smooth transitioned blended look.
Give us a call at the shop and we can build you a tying kit with our favorite colours to tie these flies! Or Email us at email@example.com
Here is the video so you can follow along
BOATING KNOWLEDGE HANDBOOKS
Boating Skills – Great Reading Tools To Brush Up On Your Boating Knowledge
With sunny skies and light winds, many boat owners are going to be getting out on the water and taking this opportunity to spend time either alone or with their immediate family. You also might be stuck inside right now and looking for ways to make the downtime productive . If that’s you – read on!
Last month I went back to renew my guide certifications. This is something that all guides do every 3-4 years. Though much of the information is stuff we live and breathe out on the water the refreshers are important and there is some valuable information out there that even folks who don’t want to guide would put to good use and it will make everyone safer on the water.
Below is a list and brief overview of some publications you can order from the shop to brush up on your water safety, radar/navigation knowledge, and proper radio operator stuff.
Marine AIS and DSC Handbook
This book was written due to the need for a more detailed and in-depth source of information about some of the newer technologies that have come out in the marine and boating industry, especially for recreational boaters and owners/operators of small commercial vessels.
book will aid those who are frequent or infrequent users of and AIS and DSC. If
you don’t know what DSC is, then you definitely will want to give this book a
It also will be a technical reference to help users in installation, configuration, and troubleshooting.
Marine VHF Radio Handbook
Many boaters do not know how to properly use or talk on VFH Marine radios, or only know the casual lingo. When trying to communicate with other boaters, law enforcement or Coast Guard, knowing proper verbiage, and etiquette will make communication easier and more clear.
This book will help educate readers in key areas of Marine VHF communication. It is also a very handy study guide for those who are going to take their ROCM test or for when you need to refresh and update existing certificates.
The Marine Radar Handbook
Got radar? Know how to use it? If the answer was ‘no’, or if you answered, ‘sort of’, then this book is for you. Most people know about or have seen/used a radar unit before, but may not really understand or get what is actually going on when they are looking at it.
Though there have been great strides in radar technology over the past number of years, it is quite challenging to keep up with all that is coming out. This book aims to help the reader understand the functions of the various controls, and how to use them properly. It is also a great resource on how to learn and read, through radar, another vessel course and speed.
SALTWATER FISHING REPORTS
Vancouver Saltwater Salmon Fishing Report
Well the fish showed up this past week, like they have for the past few years now in early April, off South Bowen and out on the Hump. I am sure there are some fish over in the Gulf Islands as well, but I haven’t been over there or talked to anyone who has.
Obviously with the chinook non-retention, effort is way down, and with Covid-19 there are no charters and many of the boat launches are closed, so there aren’t too many boats out there. I was able to get out once this week to do some sampling for the Avid Angler program where you record your location, fish caught, hatchery or wild, fork length, and take a DNA sample. It is this kind of data that shows through stock composition that there is a 0 to 1 % chance of hooking an interior Fraser chinook off South Bowen right now and that if we clipped all our chinook in Canada, about 50% of them are hatchery this time of year. Despite the current situation, it is important we continue to collect this data and my goal is to do some sampling once a week.
One thing that really surprised me this week was the water colour. The algae off South Bowen was gone and the water was very clear. With the bright sun, I was able to see my flasher down a good 40 feet, if not more. Not surprisingly the fish responded to this environment and went deeper. Productive depths were 130-190, while just a few days prior with the algae stained water, 110-140 were the productive depths. I was experimenting with the different coloured Silver Knight spoons and they didn’t disappoint. They seemed to be doing as good or better than some of my go to spoons like Irish Cream. The bright flash of the silver plate and the UV finish and tapes make them a natural choice for clear water and sunny days. Check out the Pacific Angler Sportfishing Instagram account for a short video of what these spoons look like in the sun. If I was heading out this weekend, I would keep an eye on water colour and then give the Hump a try or try South Bowen from Cowan to Roger Curtis in 200-400 feet of water. If it is too rough, don’t forget about the Bell and the Harbour. There were some fish hooked there this week too. Also a few at the QA. This time of year there really are so many spots to fish, so you just have to go for it and hope you picked right!
Crabbing and prawning continues to be productive. It seems the crabbing is a bit better this year, so that is nice to see as the last few years it seemed to be getting slower. Unfortunately, there are some poachers that work the local area pretty hard as the price per crab was at record highs these past few years. I think that market has dried up with all the restaurant closures though. No high-priced market, no illegal activity. You would be amazed at the hundreds of ghost traps DFO picks up each year when they drag the bottom looking for illegal strings of commercial style traps with no floats. Some years on joint operations with Washington State they get over a thousand traps. There is a big black market for crab out there and the scale of it is astonishing, but nobody seems to talk about it. I really do think these players are off the water right now and we are seeing the positive results.
Prawning is good but it is definitely slowing down, and the well know and easy spots to set are getting hit hard. There are a lot of people prawning and crabbing with the nicer weather and some time on their hands. It will be interesting to see what happens to the commercial opening this year. The market for crab, prawn, and halibut has been decimated by the closure of restaurants in North America and around the world for that matter. I am not sure it will be viable for commercial operators to leave the dock with such a dead market.
In the meantime, go get your prawns while you can, because if the commercial fleet does go out, they scoop up the biomass pretty quick. Remember the new limit is 125 and update that Navionics map card to show all the sponge reef refuge areas and rockfish conservation areas.
Stay safe and maybe I will see you out on the water soon.