Last week’s rain didn’t materialize as predicted but we had some windy days out in the valley and in the harbour. That said we had some spectacular fishing throughout the week and hoping it will continue this coming week.
There is nothing but sun in the forecast so now is the time to get out fishing. These warm temperatures are good for the immediate future. Steelhead will be pushing in, salmon fry will be out and active and all of our local fisheries should be excellent. If this warmth continues well into next week we could be faced with heavy snow melt but for now, things are looking good.
The great season of winter chinook fishing we had is rolling right into a great early “spring” chinook season. Fishing has been nothing short of fantastic, read on for all of the details below.
Lake season is almost upon us! Don’t miss out on these two great courses to help get you dialed in and ready. If saltwater fishing is more your thing we have ONE spot left in our Mastering Local Saltwater Salmon course!
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
Time: 6:30pm to 9:30pm
Mastering Local Saltwater Salmon Fishing – ONE SPOT LEFT
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.
Seminar: Apr 27
Seminar Time: 6:30pm to 9:30pm
Guided: May 2
Introduction to Fly Fishing Lakes
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! This course is comprised of one 3hr evening seminar.
Date: April 29
Time: 6:30pm to 9:30pm
Can’t make April? This course is also offered on May 12!
EVENTS – FISHING FOR TALES
Join us next Wednesday evening for a special book reading night here at the shop! The event, one of many running throughout the province this month, features 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
Andre’s mini/micro leech
Lake season is almost upon us. In last week’s report past Pacific Angler Team member Bryce shared his go to pattern for stillwater fishing– the DT (duo threat) Balanced Leech. This week we’re featuring Andre’s mini/micro leech pattern. This is THE pattern to have in your fly box and we’re fully stocked here in the shop so don’t hesitate to come in and pick yours up today! Read on below for Andre’s inspiration for developing this pattern.
In 2008 I was fishing Pass Lake. On the first day, I anchored 30 feet from shore and fished leeches under a strike indicator in three feet of water. The wind had not picked up yet so there was no movement to my fly. As the wind picked up, I knew that at any second my indicator would disappear, as there are 10 pound plus fish in this lake. After a few hours, trying several colours and sizes, I gave up on fishing leeches. I tried my luck with chronomids, but the day was unsuccessful with no fish.
I went back to camp and pondered about what had happened. All I could think about was that all my flies were weighted. I tied some leeches with Arizona semi-seal dubbing in red /black, as that was the only color in my tying kit. I knew this was a popular color because of Brian Chan’s Ruby Eye leech. The only beads I had were in red and in sizes 8/0 and 11 /0. I wanted a little bit of weight just to hold the fly down enough but not as much weight as my previous flies. I also used small lightweight hooks that I usually carry with me for tying chronomids.
The next day I was ready for battle, hoping that this would change my luck. So I pulled up in the same spot and made a cast close to shore. As the wind picked up, my indicator disappeared so quickly that it almost pulled my rod out of my boat. I knew that this was going to be a great day as I had resolved the problem with tying lightweight leeches that move more freely with the wind.
I have successfully fished these leeches in several different colors in many different lakes and have had great days fishing early in the season. Since selling these flies, people have also fished with them on a full sink line trolling or stripping.
Finally, the tear drop shape of this fly is an important feature because this resembles the natural shape of a real leech before it even hits the water which why this fly is more tempting to the fish.
At the moment the Cap is very low and with no rain in the forecast we don’t expect too many fish to be entering the river. I personally consider May 1st to be the start of the early Coho season on the Cap. Usually the first high water in May brings in a couple fish so keep your eyes on the weather and the “Cap Cam”. Don’t wait until May to get organized though. If you’re heading out now to try your luck or waiting until may float fishing Roe, Colorado blades, and wool ties are recommended for the conventional anglers. Fly Fishing variations of olive wooly buggers on a full sink fly line is suggested for getting your fly down in those deep canyon pools.
Well we are in our last weeks of the season here. With a majority of the fish around and not many left to come in, you have all the motivation that you need to get out one last time. Warm weather, beautiful days, clear water and lots of fish. This past week we have seen a major push of out-migrating ‘kelts’ in the upper river. We highly recommend trying not to target pods of these fish, they are headed back to the ocean to try and make another go of it.
Staying down below and targeting the fresh fish that are trickling in is what has been on the agenda this past week. We have had some great success on our guided trips earlier in the week, with multiple fish touched and a few brought to hand it made for an excellent day. Hot ticket items are single Jensen eggs, Gibbs gold colorados, Berkeley 3″ trout worms, and some natural baits such as steelhead roe, ghost shrimp, and prawns. Fished on a 20-24″ leader with a small hook under a sensitive float with split shot, the more neutral baits with stealthy gear has helped put a few more fish on the hook. If you’re looking to get setup with the right stuff or have any questions, give us a holler or come by the shop. We have everything you need for the last few weeks of the season.
The conditions are lining up great for the weekend. Sun and more importantly heat is in the forecast. For the weekend this is exactly what the doctor ordered. This should add a little color to the water and get the salmon fry moving. This last week the clear water made things interesting. We had some good fishing for steelhead and a mixed bag for char and rainbows.
When fly fishing this weekend have all three major food groups in your arsenal. Salmon fry, sculpin imitations and steelhead flies. Looking forward, the weather is going to be very hot over the next five days with it peaking on Monday and Tuesday. This could bring in some issues with snow melt coloring the river. If you show up and it is cement grey, the heat has blown out the river but until it gets that grey brown tinge its usually fishing great. Even when it has a brown color as long as there is 2+ feet of light penetration fishing should be good.
For the gear fisherman out there fishing floats with gooey bobs, pink worms and colorado blades are deadly this time of year but don’t forget spoon fishing. When weather heats up it can be more productive than float fishing. We have had great luck on the Pro-Steel Spoon in copper, green and silver or Half and half.
Remember the Squamish is a 100% catch and release, single barbless fishery, so play by the rules, respect your fellow anglers and have fun on the water!
Finally we are getting some stable weather. The river is around the 9.0 meter mark, which is the ideal height to walk both sides of the river. Now we just have to cross our fingers that the high temps don’t cause an early freshet. Last weeks storm made it impossible to cast and fish, even if there are fish cruising by it is hard to spot them in choppy water. If the temps rise above the 20c then for sure you should have some dry flies with you, as you will see March browns floating down the river. The forecast is looking good for this week. If you want to check the levels for the Harrison river the station name is “Harrison below Morris creek” and the closest weather station is “Harrison Mills” or “Chehalis”. Lets hope the next two weeks are good before closer to freshet in May.
Last week the temps dropped as a cold front pushed through Merritt and Kamloops. Some of the lakes froze on the edges again but with the high pressure this week the lakes should be back on track. Lakes at 4000 FT elevation are partially frozen so any lakes 3600 FT and below should be a safe bet. Englishman, Harmon, Lower Kane, Courtney are fishing well with micro/mini leeches and some chronomids as well. You can also encounter water boatmans in early spring so it is good to have a few patterns in your box. Use a full sink line to get the fly down and retrieve with fast short strips with the occasional pauses in between, the strikes are pretty vicious so make sure to use an 8lb tippet to avoid break offs.
Happy fishing and stay warm,
Well the great season of winter chinook fishing we had is rolling right into a great early “spring” chinook season. This is the time of year we start to explore for these spring chinoook off S. Bowen, and so far fishing has been nothing short of fantastic. We were out this past weekend and all week and have had some consistent action on all trips. Just like the winter chinook season, we are seeing a lot more fish than usual and the average size is way up. Most of the fish are in 12 to 18 pound range but this week we have seen some 21, 23, 26 and even a 30 pound tyee! This monster was caught by guest Chris and guide Jason on this weekends Saltwater Salmon Fishing Course. Along with this hog, many other fish were hooked this weekend and Eddie and Jason both had very successful trips.
There have been reports of fish up Howe Sound and that is a great option if it is windy, but the best action we had this weekend has been off S. Bowen on the “The Hump”. The fish have been from 70-130 on the downrigger but the hot depths have been in the 90-110 zone. The Green Onion Glow and Chartreuse Glow flasher have been hot when paired with a 6 foot leader to any of the Pesca glow spoons with some green or black on them and the Kingfisher Homeland Security and Irish Cream. We have also been doing well on anchovies and herring in a glow or glow green teaser head.
This is the time of year when a lot of anglers are getting out for the first time. A good tip is to make sure all your gear is in good order after a long wet winter. The amount of corrosion that can occur after a few wet winter months is amazing. Today we have both boats booked off to replenish the tackle boxes and fix all the little things that seem to go wrong during the winter. We have a funny one on Saturday as Jason was landing a chinook for clients and the net literally fell apart while netting the fish! Gord, one of our guests, happened to be taking pictures and actually was able to get a picture of the net falling a apart with a chinook in it! Luckily we were able to land the fish with no net, so we all had a good laugh! Thanks to our good friend and customer Malcolm for lending us a net for the rest of the trip as it was definitely needed as the bite was on!
With all these big fish around, make sure you bring your reels to Pacific Angler and get some fresh line. There are truly some world class fish around at the moment. Now is a great time to book a charter or sign up for our class that will teach you how to catch salmon in our local waters. Give us a call at 778-788-8582 to book a trip or a course so you can get into some huge chinook like this one below!