With sun, cloud and a little rain over the next couple days and into next week, we are hopeful for some good fishing. That said, things continue to be cold and with the unseasonably cold weather the rivers are low again and it is affecting the salmon fry migration. Last weekend, we saw some higher water levels but everything dropped fast because of the cold weather.
We need some warmer weather for all of our fisheries to turn on. This week, we have details on the Squamish, Chilliwack, Harrison and Stave rivers. We have had some more positive cutthroat reports from the valley and it’s well worth a trip but the 14-day trend is not good when it comes to temperatures. This will extend some of the fisheries, but slightly warmer night time temperatures would be great to see.
For those that are headed to the interior this weekend, for some lake fishing, we have an update on that as well. The start of the season has been good but, again, we could use some warmer weather to really kick things off.
Easter Long Weekend Hours
We are open on Friday for those of you who need to stock up on gear for your long weekend fishing adventures.
Friday April 15 | 10AM – 7PM
Saturday April 16 | 10AM – 6PM
Sunday April 17 | 11AM – 5PM
Monday April 18 | Closed
On to the report!
CLASSES AND COURSES
INTRODUCTION TO CHIRONOMID TECHNIQUES
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. This course is comprised of one 3hr evening seminar. Content is for beginner to advanced.
Zoom Seminar Date: Wednesday, April 27
Zoom Seminar Time: 6:30-9:30 pm
INTRODUCTION TO FLY FISHING
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.
Dates: (May 10 & 14), (Jun 15 & 18), (July 12 & 17), (Sept 20 & 24)
Cost: $150.00 + GST
Seminar Time: 6:30pm – 9:30pm
Casting Time(s): 10am – 1pm or 1:30pm -4:30pm
FRESHWATER FISHING REPORTS
Chilliwack/Vedder River Fishing Report
The week’s wild weather doesn’t seem to have done much to the Vedder/Chilliwack system, as it continues to drop, while running relatively low and clear. There will still be some fresh fish rolling into the system for the next few weeks, but it’s safe to say that a vast majority of the fish are already in the system. There may even be some spawned out kelts heading back downriver at this point.
As discussed in various reports, the fish that have been around for a while are usually less aggressive and are less likely to bite, often requiring repeated changes in presentation to coax them into biting. For this reason, it’s a good idea to bring a smorgasbord of gear to deal with conditions and picky fish – bait, beads, worms, jigs, blades, spoons, and gooey bobs. Bring whatever you have and don’t be afraid to use it. These fish have probably been hooked before, and it often takes a unique presentation to get them to bite again. Keep in mind that the warmer water temps of spring will increase the fishes’ metabolism and make them more likely to chase stuff, so swinging spoons, spinners and flies or twitching jigs can be quite effective.
Keep in mind that the upper river is closed, and the mid river will only remain open until the end of this month. As mentioned, a lot of the fish have been around for a while, so try to get them landed quickly and practice proper fish handling if you encounter one. Most will be wild, and appropriate fish handling practices will greatly improve their odds of survival. Also, try to avoid wading in backchannels and other fry rearing habitat if at all possible.
Squamish River Fishing Report
The river blew out last Friday when Matt was out. He managed to hook a couple fish but the water was very coloured and trees were washing down the river. That said, it did drop fast and as expected the reports on the drop were good.
Unfortunately, it dropped fast and we are back into low and clear fishing conditions. With these conditions, the reports have been poor the last handful of days. We need warmer night time temps and the 14-day trend does not have any in sight.
The silver lining is that we will be able to keep fishing the system later into the season. Historically, things get warm around the 15-25th of April and freshet kicks in making fishing a challenge. We will see what mother nature brings but over the next 2 weeks, get out there for the last good kick at the can.
This weekend, fish small and stealthy presentations. Fry patterns, small spinners and Colorado blades should be in the mix.
Harrison/Stave Fishing Report
This past week, we have seen some significantly better fishing on both the Harrison and Stave rivers. Now the fishing has not been stellar, but it has definitely improved drastically compared to the past 3 weeks. Warmer day time temperatures played a key role in turning on the cutthroat fishery. To really get the ball rolling, we need consistently warmer night time temperatures. Anything in the 8-12 degrees range at night for a handful of days will kick things into motion.
Reports of anglers on both fly and gear have been good.
Spoons, Spinners, the works have all been great to imitate salmon fry. A fun technique to try for cutthroat is twitching jigs.
Twitching jigs are not only a deadly tool for coho salmon; cutthroat will readily take a smaller twitching jig even when conditions are tough. Parents can easily draw similarities between cutthroat and children; changing up and keeping things new will keep the target interested. When cutthroat have been stung by every colour and shape of spoon known to anglers, they get a sore mouth easily and get wise quick. Chucking a jig at weary fish can stir up the scene and produce fish even when conditions are tough.
Try something new and get out!
STILLWATER FISHING REPORTS
Interior Lakes Fishing Report
Temperatures stayed chilly over the past week meaning we didn’t see many more lakes to ice-off. The wind has also remained quite calm over the past week and will continue to be calm through the weekend. The good news is that this weekend looks to be the warmest weekend yet with calm weather. Quite a few of the lower elevation lakes around Kamloops and Merritt have already started to go through or nearly complete spring turnover due to the previous weekend’s heavy winds. Turnover occurs when the heavier winds mix the warmer water at the bottom of the lake with the cooler water on the surface. You can tell a lake is undergoing turnover as large clumps of plant material will come to the surface and give the lake a ‘dirty’ appearance. Fishing tends to not be great during turnover as the dissolved oxygen levels throughout the entire water column are dispersed instead of being concentrated near the surface leading to fish going off the bite. Focus your attention on the likely heaviest windblown side of a lake undergoing turnover, if you’re committed, as it was likely the first portion to undergo turnover. Typically, the heaviest windblown side is the northeast or northwest portion based off of the wind patterns in the Interior.
The near completion of spring turnover for some lakes means steady hatches should start any day now. Initial hatches will see anything from size 16-18 chironomids. I really won’t even bother fishing chironomids unless the water is at least 50 degrees Fahrenheit. That’s still too cold for the majority of hatches as you really want it up in that 54-60 degree window but, sometimes those bugs surprise me. I’d still stay quite shallow post turnover as it’s always the first area to warm up even with the mixing that occurs during turnover. If a hatch is present, I’ve found that you can never really go wrong with bloodworms, blended olive/red thread chironies, and anti-static bag (ASB) wrapped chironomids right off the bat. The bloodworms imitate the larvae, the olive/red chironies are always great pupal patterns, while the ASB wrapped chironomids imitate the ascending pupae.
I’d highly recommend looking into our ‘Introduction to Chironomids Techniques’ course if you’re looking to get some different insight to chironomid fishing. Trevor Welton’s unique course goes over a variety of strategies that you really don’t see many others doing. It’s meant to be an Intro course but I’d argue that even the advanced angler could learn something different from it.
For the rest of you with spots in the Cariboo, you’re likely to have to be a bit more patient. Ice off isn’t moving at a quicker pace than usual. Every day a bit of shoreline opens up and gives us hope but then freezes over the next day. Hopefully, the warmer weather on Saturday and Sunday can open up a bit more shoreline and then the heavy winds on Monday can give ice off a jumpstart. Here’s to hoping but nature will do its thing.