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Home / FIshing Reports / Pacific Angler Friday Fishing Report: April 19, 2024

Pacific Angler Friday Fishing Report: April 19, 2024



We are coming to the end of April, and we are seeing some great spring weather. It will rain a little this weekend in the Lower Mainland, Saturday night into Sunday, but that is also a good thing as most of our rivers could use some water. With temperatures hitting 19 this weekend in the Valley and rising temperatures in the Interior it is go time for all of our fisheries!  

In this week’s report, we have updates on the Interior lakes fishing. We have seen lakes under 4000 feet iced off and hatches have started on the lower elevation lakes. Jason has details in the lake section of the report.  

We also have updates on the Chilliwack and the Squamish. We need more water but with the heat and a little rain this weekend we should see rising water. Check out the details in the river section of the report.  

Another Fishery to keep your eye on is the cutthroat fishing. Andre has been getting out a bunch over the last week both up on the Stave and Harrison as well as on the beaches. He sent us an update that we will be sharing with you in this week’s cutthroat report.  

We also have a local lakes update and with May approaching we see bottom fishing open in the salt. Jordan has a little primer with what you will need if you plan to get out next month.  

On to the report!   


Pacific Angler Inaugural Oyster Run – ONLY ONE SPOT LEFT

The days are getting longer, the weather is warming up, and most importantly, the fish are here!  There is no better time to join us for our inaugural Pacific Angler Smitty’s Oyster Run!  This year we invite you for a full day of catch & release chinook fishing along South Bowen Island and beautiful Howe Sound with a lunch stop at Smitty’s Oyster House in Gibson’s. 

Trip Details 

  • Date: Saturday April 27th  ONLY 1 SPOT LEFT…HURRY! HURRY!
  • Time: 7:00am to 3:00pm 
  • The Details: 
  • 4 guests per boat 
  • Catch & release chinook salmon fishing with prawning & crabbing 
  • First beer at Smitty’s Oyster House is on us! 
  • Cost: $350.00 per person + GST  
    (lunch at Smitty’s Oyster House and fishing licences will be at the cost of each guest).
  • Don’t have a group of 4?  No problem –  we are selling this excursion as individual seats.   Come with a friend, come on your own!  We will match you up for a day on the water with other anglers!   

Check out all the details here!    

To book your seat call Kathryn on our charter line at 778.788.8582 or email her at kathryn@pacificangler.ca 


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: (Apr 29 & May 5), (Jun 4 & 8), (July 11 & 15), (Sept 18 & 22) 
Cost: $180.00+GST
Seminar Time:  6:30pm – 9:30pm
Casting Time(s): 10am – 1pm or 1:30pm -4:30pm


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 to become one of the top fly fishermen in the province as well as a fisheries biologist.  This course is comprised on one 3 hour evening seminar.  Content is for beginner to advanced.
Date: April 23
Time: 6:30-9:30 PM
Cost: $75.00+GST

Check out the full course listing here and give us a call at the shop (604.872.2204) to sign up today!


Chilliwack River Fishing Report 
 There’s not a whole lot to report on for the C/V system; things are largely unchanged from last week’s report. Fish are still being caught, but the season is definitely winding down. Interestingly, the week of warm weather doesn’t appear to have had much of an effect on water conditions; the river is still running at a slightly low but perfectly fishable level, with good visibility. 

This season has been pretty good, all things considered- conditions were favourable for most of the season, and the run itself was reasonably good… not the best in recent memory, but certainly not the worst. Of course, there are still a few days left in the season for gear anglers, and a bit over a month for the fly anglers, so there’s still some time to get out there and find some fish. As I’ve been saying in my previous reports, there will be some fresh fish pushing into the system well into May, so it’s not like fishing in late April or May is a waste of time. 

As a reminder, the mid-section of the river will be closing for the month of May, leaving only the lower section open to fishing, albeit being fly-fishing only and with the mandatory release of all hatchery rainbow and cutthroat trout. The lower section will close for the month of June, leaving the whole system closed to all fishing. 

Now that steelhead season is nearing its end, the next fishery we have to look forward to is the summer chinook fishery, which opens on July 1st. That fishery can be similar to steelheading at times, with the run size being relatively small and the key to success will be putting in the effort to find fish. Instead of miserably cold weather, you’ll have to deal with miserably hot weather. 

Taylor Nakatani 

Squamish River Fishing Report  
We saw low clear water this week and with it fishing was challenging for bulltrout and rainbows. We are hearing reports of steelhead so it is worth swinging big steelhead patterns and running heavy float rigs but we would like to see more water for things to really pickup. 

If we see a rise in water due to snowmelt and the rain, make sure to have fry patterns and streamers in your kit. If you are gear fishing, it is a great time of year to carry 2 rods. Bring a float rod and fish soft beads or pink worms and then run a backup spinning rod to cast medium to small spinners and spoons. Fish though the run fast with your float rod and then come back through with the spoon rod.  

As we write this report, the river is dropping below 2.0 m on the graph. This is low. Watch the heat and water levels. If it starts spiking up, it is well worth getting out. It will be interesting with low snowpack how snowmelt will play out this spring but the week before we see freshet kick in can be some of the best fishing of the season. Next week, it is forecast for some of the first 20+ degree weather and we will see how the snowmelt will affect water levels.  

Good Luck,  

Matt Sharp 

Cutthroat Update  
After four outings I finally had an amazing day on the Stave River. Really tough and picky cutthroat but I managed to find a fly that would work. Check out the picture of that fly below and the video at the end of this report if you want to tie your own.  

I would recommend going when the tide is dropping (check New Westminster) otherwise you likely won’t see any activity. The tide washes the fry down to the Fraser and the action starts. This applies to Nicomen Slough as well.  

I found that you had to be on your casting and hit the target as soon as one pops up within the 2 ft vicinity. If you take your sweet time and make a few false casts it is too late. You have to get their attention while they are still up close to the surface. I highly suggest a stripping basket ready to shoot the line with one false cast and as soon as the fly hits the water, strip. If you wait even a few seconds they are gone back down. 

The beaches are also fishing well. I have been out a couple time and have seen fish on most outings.  It is well worth paying attention to your local inflow. Simple fry patterns have been working.  

If you want to tie the pattern that has been productive, here is Andre’s Video on the pattern:  

Video:  Simple fry #4 

Good luck!!  

Andre Stepanian 


Local Lake Fishing Reports 

Spring is a great time to get out and explore the local lakes. The stocking programs are well underway and will continue until the heat of the summer. Lakes have been fishing well since spring break. A detailed list of stocking reports is available at Go Fish BC.  

Tackle and Tactics: 

Stocked rainbow trout are aggressive biters and can be taken on a wide range of gear. This includes: float fishing, bottom fishing, and casting lures/spinners. Keep your gear light and you will have lots of fun fighting these fish. 

– Float fishing is an effective way to suspend your presentation on a lake. Try using baits with a fair bit of scent like salmon eggs, deli shrimp and worms.  

– Bottom fishing works well with floating baits. Power bait (paste or pre-formed nuggets and balls) is effective in a range of colours. These baits float and produce a lot of scent. Alternatively, you can also add a small corky to your leader to help float your bait. 

– Casting or trolling smaller spoons and spinners works wonders on active trout. Weighted spoons and spinners like Crocs and Roostertails cast well and fish deep. If you are fishing light lures you can always add a few lead weights to help, getting casting distance or trolling deeper. You can add some extra distance to your casting by using light weight braided line. The thin diameter line reduces drag and helps light presentations cast further. 

Fly fishing can also be productive but finding areas to fly fish can be tricky. Having access to a float tube or small boat, when permitted, will really help put fly anglers on fish. Look for quick drop offs and shoals to troll or strip small leeches and spratleys. Chironomids and balanced leeches can be suspended under an indicator. Remember to change up your flies or presentations if you’re not having success. 

Remember these are meant to be accessible fisheries suited to new anglers and families… so get out there and have fun! 

Eric Peake 

Interior Lake Fishing Report 
We are mid-April and, as mentioned in last week’s report, most of the lakes are now off except the highest elevation ones.  That being said, this spring has certainly been a cold one.  This has been good as it has balanced out some of the very early ice offs with a gradual warming trend.  The last thing we wanted was early ice offs and a bunch of heat.  I was heading up to the Interior on Thursday morning and it was -5C at the Coq Summit and -9C at the Lac Le Jeune Summit! 

Luckily, there has been sun in the forecast and that has produced some good chironomid hatches mid-morning and afternoons on most lakes.  On the higher elevation lakes, we are still fishing the early season staples close to shore like leeches, blobs, boobies, scuds, baby damsels and bloodworms. 

Fly_fishing_Interior_ Lakes_Chironomid_sample_April'24
A sample from this week and what most of us are hoping to see this time of year

If you are heading into the shop, we have an excellent selection of chironomids and our staff can show you how to set things up for success if you are new to this kind of fishing.  For consistent success and for the biggest fish, this technique really needs to be in your arsenal.  If you would like to learn more about chironomid fishing be sure to grab a seat in next weeks chironomid techniques course.   Check out the details on that in the classes and courses section. 

A nice sized Pennask rainbow taken on a chironomid yesterday! 

So, in short, it’s go time, so grab your lake gear and get out there! 

See you in the shop or on the water, 

Jason Tonelli  


Bottom Fishing Report 

It Is almost bottom fishing time! Bottom fishing opens May 1 in select areas.   

Bottom fishing bounty from seasons past

With the month of May on its way, many anglers will start thinking of dusting off their bottom fishing gear getting ready for the upcoming season.   

With rockfish and ling cod about to open, anglers will want to make sure they have a good selection of snaps, swivels, lures, and leader material.  Along with those, be sure to have extra beads, hooks, and a file to keep your hooks sticky sharp.  I actually like to build out my own bottom terminal kit to make sure I don’t borrow from my salmon gear. 

Some of basics I like to have in my terminal kit

Short, stout rods, paired with matching level-wind or lever-drag reels are standard leaving lots of options for anglers with various budgets.  

One thing to not short yourself on is the number of lures needed in a variety of weights. As much as it is a bit of a ‘send it down and giv’r ‘ fishery, you will still want to approach this strategically.  I like to use the least amount of weight I can still fish effectively- this means that I may use the same lure, but in varying weights, as my depth changes along with the push of the tide.  I want to keep my jigs up and down the best I can, so changing out weight as needed can play a key role. 

If drifting swim-baits, you’ll want to approach them the same way, with various ball-weights kept on hand for easy rigging. As you fish them deeper, you’ll need to add more weight to help keep them at a slight angle: this helps you keep fairly true-to-depth, while also allowing a slight angle that shows you that the tail is swimming/kicking. If there is a slight angle, you know it’s trying to drop or fall, and with that, swimming properly. 

My top picks when I am heading out

Adding gel scents can be a great difference maker, with a variety of scent options playing a key role as food and bait opportunities change. Lots of herring around? Switch out to Herring gel. If the squid hatch is happening, squid gel can be awesome, and is a great sleeper scent for most ground fish in general. 

When it comes to various jigs and irons, I like to fish similar shapes to the classic Norwegian Cod jig. Gibbs makes a great replica. These shapes cut the water fast and dance erratically, tempting fish from the deepest of depths. If fishing mid-water or shallow structure, butterfly-style jigs can be great as they drop a little slower and are meant to be fished mid-water away from snaggy structure. 

Keep in mind that a descending device is required by law and must be kept on-hand when targeting groundfish. Having it in your bag or kit doesn’t count- it must be on deck and ready to use.  There are lots of different designs, but our favourite is the Sequalizer: it’s easy to use, can clip to a down-rigger, and doesn’t require an angler to ‘jerk’ the rod multiple times to release a fish. They open up automatically at a pre-set depth, ensuring a safe release for fish being sent back. 

Come check out the Seaqualizer in the shop


The Flounder Pounder, Jordan Simpson