With the warm Spring temperatures finally showing themselves on a constant and steady basis, as expected, rivers are starting to come up. Warm weather, April showers, and inevitable snow-melt are all factors that play a key role in how long the rivers will hold their shape before blowing out. So far all the local rivers from the Sea-to-Sky corridor out to the Fraser Valley are starting to rise and colour up.
Please be aware that on any day you are fishing a glacially affected river that the water can rise quickly and unexpectedly, and to exercise caution while wading.
Lots of the local lakes are consistently producing catch-able sized rainbows and cutthroat trout, as well as most of the lakes in the Whistler/Squamish area. These mid-elevation lakes have been ice-free for the most part for the past week or so and as water temperatures rise, fish will become more active and hungrily search out food.
For those with a passion for interior still waters, lots of the lower elevation interior lakes as well as some of the higher elevation lakes are either starting to become, or are completely, ice free.
With lake fishing starting to pick up, Pacific Angler is offering n Introduction to Fly Fishing Lakes course as well as two courses aimed at early season Chironomid tactics: Tying Chironomids with Andre Stepanian (only 2 spots available!), and Chironomid Techniques taught be Trevor Welton.
Our holiday hours for the Easter Weekend are:
Friday- 10am to 7pm
Saturday- 10am to 6pm
Sunday- 11am to 5pm
Monday- CLOSED; we’re going fishing!
Whats New at Pacific Angler
Humminbird Fishin’ Buddy 120
The 120 Fishin’ Buddy offers an 8 level greyscale 240V x 160H 4″ display, down and side looking sonar with 1000 Watts PTP power output. The ultimate in portability, with an ergonomic clamp mount designed to use nearly anywhere. No rigging, wiring or transducer to mount.
At only $229.95, the Fishin’ Buddy 120 offers an affordable, easy to set up and mount, portable sounder with an easy to read display that shows multiple items of interest including depth and temperatures.
Large, easy to read digital display
FliesWe’ve recently received a huge lot of flies for this upcoming season- just in time for those hoping to get out on the water this spring and summer. We’ve received a whole bunch of Pumpkin Heads, unique dragonfly nymphs, leeches and buggers in various sizes and colours, as well as Goddard Caddis flies, Tom Thumbs, and Mikulak sedges. Come on in and stock up your boxes for the Spring, summer, and fall!
Pontoon River Course
This course has been designed to enhance the knowledge of river safety & dynamics in anglers of all skill levels. Some of the topics you will learn are: river features & terminology, hazards, and navigating. The two day course covers all of the essentials, while the third additional day offers boat repair & swift-water rescue, plus the option to run a section of the Nicola in your own pontoon. KUMSHEEN Resort provides great accommodation, abundant activities, amazing facilities, and easy access to some of the finest rivers in BC.
This two and three day course runs on May 17/18 (19th for three day course).
For more details, booking information, and to download the information filled PDF, visit
Kumsheen Pontoon River and Safety Course
Squamish River Cleanup
Next month the Steelhead Society of British Columbia is hosting its annual Squamish River cleanup on Sunday May 4th. In the past 3 years, volunteers have collected about 20,000 lbs of garbage from Squamish, Cheakamus and Mamquam river banks.
On May 4th, meet at Sunwolf, roll up your sleeves for a few hours, clean up a river, or three, then come join us for a beer and burger at Fergies Cafe afterwards.
SSBC Should have some top notch raffle prizes this year too, including some Dave Currie prints from Currie Artworks, Searun Fly and Tackle apparel, steelhead flies by Dimitri Roussanidis, Pacific Angler apparel, assorted tackle from Trophy Tackle, Chromer T-shirt from Yos Gladstone, and more.
Follow the event on Facebook!
North Shore Fish and Game Club
On Sunday, May 4th, the NSFGC is holding their 13th Annual Salmon Open Derby, with the prize for the largest salmon being $500!
The entry fee is $25/ticket and includes the BBQ that follows. For tickets, come by Pacific Angler at 78 E. Broadway.
The derby runs from dawn until 2pm, with all fish needing to be at the weigh-in line by 2pm.
For more details, contact Derek at 604-444-9117
Well by now I would say that it has been a slow year for cutthroat compared to seasons past. So far I haven’t heard many solid reports from my friends or customers that went out. The one key factor that is still in our favour is the river height, and that it is still under a 9.0 which is far from going into freshet. This buys us time to go longer into the season just in case they decide to show up and start feeding on the fry.
This report is for the walk and wade section of the river, so if you have access to a boat, you can explore the upper part and fish the back channels as well. Hopefully it is not a bad year and just a late run- but we will only know this at the end of the season.
Squamish & Cheakamus
Well the fry are out, that is for sure! There has been some good angling for Dolly Varden, rainbows, and cutthroat for the fly fisherman using Andre’s epoxy fry.
There has been a few steelhead as well, which is normal for this time of year as the spring run of steelhead enter the river. It is not a banner year by most accounts, but for those putting in the time and fishing hard, a few steelhead have come to hand.
The name of the game right now is timing. Too much heat and rain and the river will blow out from snow melt and run off. If you can get out in the next two weeks and the river is in shape, you will generally have a good shot at a steelhead if you fish hard. If you get worn out, switch to a lighter setup and some fry patterns to get the rod bent and lift your spirits in between the elusive steelhead grabs.
Ryan and Shauna with a nice fresh steelhead from a trip last week. Way to go Shauna!
We love taking kids fishing too! Milan and Gabi were out with Dad on a guided float trip this past week with Ryan and they got into a number of fish on fry patterns. Nice fish Milan and Gabi!
***Remember this is a catch and release only fishery so treat the fish with respect if you are lucky enough to find one and respect your fellow angler***
The fishing this past week was a little tougher than what it has been compared to the back end of March. Clear water and sunny skies proved to be quite a challenge for both gear and fly anglers.
Cloudy weather is definitely a welcomed sight for this weekend.
As long as the river stays in shape, the fishing should improve quite a bit, as well as a wave of fresh fish likely rolled in with the full moon- which is usually the case this time of year.
Max with some fly-caught April chrome from seasons past.
This is a great time of year to fly fish for steelhead. Swinging natural coloured flies such as “Rick’s Parr” or an olive sculpin can be quite effective during the late season, especially when the fry are out.
Gear anglers will find natural baits to be more effective this time of year. Roe bags in light coloured mesh, steelhead roe, ghost shrimp, and dew worms are all excellent choices. That being said, colorado blades and small spoons are also very effective this time of year.
Please remember to keep moving and be respectful to all fellow anglers, and as always, please do not beach or shore-land wild fish.
We have yet to have any affirmative reports of early coho. We have heard a few whisperings, but yet to see a picture or catch one for ourselves. That will likely change over the next couple weeks.
With the arrival of spring comes great anticipation of this year’s summer coho salmon fishery. The coho fishing in the Capilano usually picks up in mid-May and can remain decent until the low flows of late July/early August.
The most popular method for this fishery is short floating with light/medium power casting and center-pin rods.
Productive baits include cured roe, roe bags, krill, dew worms, and Colorado blades.Fly fishing is also quite effective for these early run coho. 7-8wt single hand fly rods equipped with full sinking type 6 lines allow you to strip your fly reasonably fast while maintaining a deep presentation. The most effective flies are olive wooly buggers (Andre’s Cap Coho Bugger), muddler minnows, and small polar bear winged flies in sizes 8-12.
Please remember to carefully release ALL STEELHEAD (HATCHERY AND UNCLIPPED).
We haven’t heard too many reports of anything significant out of the lower Fraser River besides the usual light tackle fishing for coarse fish. As we head into Spring, we can expect the waters to become stained and murky with the sudden influx of freshwater from the snow melt from up the valley. Mixed with the recent full moon causing higher tides, the large mix of fresh and salt will result in brackish water that will appear muddy and stained.
Remember, the lower Fraser is considered Tidal, so a valid Tidal Angling license will be required- not a Freshwater.
Always check the regulations for any special closures or seasonal changes to the regulations and have fun!
With most of the lakes being ice free (with the exception of a few of the Whistler- area lakes that have a little bit of ice left…) in the lower mainland, reports have been coming in fairly steadily of anglers getting their fair share on both bait, gear, and flies.
As the water temperatures rise, you will start to notice an increase in fish activity, both subsurface and up top. Being able to cover the water column through-out the day will help you keep at the active depth as fish move up and down- all elements dependent on temperature and weather.
Spinners, spoons, and small crank-baits would be good choices for when the temperature is noticeably higher, with still baits being given the chance during periods of cold weather when fish will be less active and less likely to want to chase and exert energy.
With a handful of the lower elevation interior lakes already starting to decently fish well using Chironomids, leeches, and small bait fish patterns, we can only expect them to get better as the season goes on.
Pumpkin Heads, mini-leeches, and your standard array of chironomids would round out a good box and help have you covered for the various conditions and midge hatches you would expect to encounter.
Check out the Fly Guys who are located in the interior at
www.flyguys.net for patterns, ice-off reports, and some good all-round knowledge of the interior lakes region.
The weather has been a little tricky lately with some strong NW and now SE winds keeping anglers off the “Hump” out by S. Bowen for most of the week. When we have been able to get out there, the fish have been around, but it has been spotty. Many boats are not getting fish, only to have another boat get on a pod and hook one or two. This is typical of the fishery for this time of year- you have to get on the school! Though fishing was better this time last year, we do expect it to pick up considerably this week on the days you can get out there, that is. SE winds of 15-25 knots and rain are going to be here for the weekend, so it might be a little rough and wet out on the Hump. If you can make it out there, the fish this week have been getting caught from 90-150 feet with 135 seeming to be about the most productive depth. Glow flashers and glow spoons like the Pesca RSG “It’s Not” and “Bogart” are working well, and of course, anchovies in a glow or glow-green teaser head.
We have heard of a few fish over at Thrasher and Nanaimo, but just like the Hump, you have to have luck on your side and get on a school. One angler got skunked on Saturday and then nailed them pretty good on Sunday at the same spot, same depths, and same lures. Since these are moving fish, they are literally here one day and gone the next. This means you should not necessarily wait for a hot report- you need to get out there and cover some water and find the fish. The “other side”, aka Nanaimo and Thrasher, will definitely pick up as we get closer to May so it is a little early to be running over there. You are likely going to find as good or even better fishing at the Hump this time of year.
To book a trip for chinook and loads of fresh dungeness crab give us a call on our charter phone778-788-8582
A nice bright chrome and fat red Spring with some big dungeness crab from a charter this week!
NTRODUCTION TO FLY FISHING LAKES – Matt Sharp
This course will give you an in-depth look at the art 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.
Class Size: 20
Dates: Apr 23 or May 6
Time: 6:30pm – 9:30pm
Please will you convey my appreciation to Matt for last night’s workshop on “Intro to Fly Fishing Lakes”. I learned a great deal and look forward to the next workshop. Maybe now I can finally start fishing in Canada.
Eden J. – May, 2013
INTRODUCTION TO CHIRONOMID TECHNIQUES – 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 Dillon Consulting. This course is comprised of one 3hr evening seminar. Content is for beginner to advanced.
Class Size: 20
Dates: Apr 16 (10spots left), Apr 29 and May 7
Time: 6:30pm – 9:30pm
TYING CHIRONOMID FLY PATTERNS – Andre S.
80% of a trout’s diet consists of chironomids whose patterns vary from lake to lake. This 3-hour evening seminar will teach you how to tie a variety of the most effective chironomid patterns used in BC’s world-renowned lakes. You will finish this course understanding the very specific technical aspects ranging from beads, ribbing, colors, and body shapes. Students are required to supply their own vise, tools and materials. A 10% discount is available on materials and tools purchased for the course.
Class Size: 7 (4spots left)
Date: Apr 30
Time: 6:30pm – 9:30pm
To book any of our courses, please do not hesitate to contact us here at the shop at 604-872-2204