Fishing reports this week were very solid across a number of fronts. Saltwater was the big highlight with very good fishing this last weekend on the Hump and across at Thrasher. Though we have some rain coming Saturday and Sunday, if you can get out it is definitely worth it! Check out Jason’s saltwater report for more details.
The temperatures are going to rise today and it looks like we have a sizable storm passing through starting Saturday. This last Tuesday the warm weather and rain jumped the Squamish River up half a meter. The warmth forecasted for today, with a sizable storm to follow, may make things a challenge on the river front. Any time we see 20-30mm in the forecast there is a threat of blown out rivers and we may be seeing the start of freshet.
With the higher temperatures, lake fishing will be on everyone’s mind. Alex has a report on how to fish the local lakes. They have been stocked and make for a fun day out with the family. Check it out below.
The Interior lakes are heating up as well. It is still early but we have some reports that lakes around Kamloops are ice off. Salmon, Jacko, Stump, Phillips, Morgan, Six Mile and Salmon Lake are all off. With this in mind this week we are featuring two “ideal” fly rod lake setups and all the leaders, tippet and flies you need to get equipped for the season. With everything at 10% off it is the best time to stock up.
Vancouver Chinook Classic – August 19 and 20, 2017
Are you thinking about summer? We are and are looking forward to the Vancouver Chinook Classic. The Vancouver Chinook Classic is a premier 2-day Catch and Release Salmon Fishing Event hosted annually at the new Pier 73 Marina at the Pacific Gateway Hotel.
REGISTRATION IS NOW OPEN for the tournament and at $300 per angler (supply your own boat) you can’t beat that for an amazing weekend and a chance at the largest cash prize of any fishing derby in Vancouver!
Don’t have your own boat? Experience the Vancouver Chinook Classic on one of our Grady White boats outfitted with the best tackle and fully guided for $1,000 per day (non-inclusive to angler fee). To inquire contact us on our charter line at 778.788.8582.
More details on this not to be missed tournament weekend here!
CLASSES AND COURSES
We’ve got a great lineup of courses coming up in May. If you missed out on the awesome Introduction To Chironomid Techniques Course this week we’ve still got a few spots for the upcoming May 2nd course. Sign up today! Matt is back this month with his Introduction to Lake Fishing Course. Finally, its time to get started thinking of beach fly fishing season – join Andre in his Beach Fly Tying course at the end of the month so you’ll have plenty of flies ready when the season starts.
This month’s Mastering Local Saltwater Salmon Course and our Introduction to Fly Fishing Course are fully sold out but if you are interested please do call the shop and have yourself added to the waitlist. Spots are known to open up and if we have additional interest we may add extra dates.
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 working for Hemmera. This course is comprised of one 3hr evening seminar. Content is for beginner to advanced.
Dates: May 2
Time: 6:30pm – 9:30pm
Tying Beach Fly Patterns
Join Pacific Angler for a 3hr evening seminar of tying flies specific to catching salmon on our coastal beaches. Without a doubt, fly selection is critical while beach fishing. These flies are often not commercially available, so successful beach anglers learn to tie their own patterns. Your instructor will walk you through each fly pattern step-by-step. This course is suitable for fly tiers with a basic knowledge. Students are required to supply their own vise, tools and materials. A 10% discount is available on materials and tools purchased for the course.
Dates: May 24
Time: 6:30pm – 9:30pm
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.
Dates: May 30
Time: 6:30pm – 9:30pm
FRIDAY FEATURE PRODUCT
With lake fishing just heating up, it is time to look at your lake fishing gear. We have two feature lake set-ups this week and all the accessories are on sale too!
The Redington Vice has quickly become one of our favorite rods in the sub $300 price point. It is a very light, fast action rod that is great for accurate long casts. If you are looking for a great all round lake and river trout rod that can troll, hit rising trout but also fire out an indicator you can’t go wrong with the Vice. Regular Price $274.99 – On sale for $247.99 (4,5 and 6 wts)
The Sage Accel is one of the best lake rods on the market. It is a very easy rod to cast because it bends deep but recovers fast. This makes it ideal for throwing indicators with long leaders. With high-end components and Sage’s world famous attention to detail, many of the top lake fisherman love this rod. Regular Price $845.99 – On Sale for $760.00 (4,5 and 6 wts)
After you have picked out your rod, you will want to look at the reel. For lake fishing we do not put much stress on the reel so saving some money is smart. The one thing we do see happen is reels getting dropped in the bottom of the boat. With this in mind a cast aluminum reel, though great and cost effective, will sometime crack or bend. The other consideration for a good lake reel is the need for extra spools. Having the ability to switch from floating line to sinking line and then even the ability to switch sink rates is critical. With both these factors taken into consideration one of the best-priced lake fishing reels is the Lamson Remix. We have featured this reel before but what makes it shine is the fact that it has a bar stock aluminum frame to handle drops on the bottom of the boat but then the cast spools are very cost effective so you can equip yourself with a couple different lines to cover different fishing conditions. Regular Price $215.00 – On Sale for $193.99
Lines is where lake fishing can get interesting. You will want to have a floating line and at least one sinking line option. If you are going with 2 lines we recommend a floating line and the Type 3 sinking line. If you are going to get technical, 3 lines is great. If this is the case we recommend the intermediate line and a heavy type 6 line. These 2 sinking lines better cover the depths than the type 3 alone.
To make it easy we have all our sinking lines on sale at 10% off in the 4-6wt categories. They start at $51.95 with the mainstream lines and the higher end, non-stretch sinking lines run $103.99 before discount. Come down to the shop, tell the guys that you saw the feature product in the fishing report and they will help you dial in the right line for your fishing situation.
For tippet and leader we have all 3-8lb tapered leaders on sale as well as tippet at 10% off.
Finally we have Andre’s famous Micro Leach in stock and for this week only they will be on sale at 10% off! This is a great pattern that can be fished under an indicator or on a sinking line.
FRESHWATER FISHING REPORTS
Vedder River Fishing Report
Well it is that time of year where the steelhead rivers start to rise and freshet is just around the corner, maybe a week or two away. Although this time of year the saltwater fishing picks up and the lakes are icing off, there are still a few nice fish to be had on the local rivers for those willing to put in the time. It is the time of year where there are choices to be made, ocean, lakes or rivers.
If you are heading out in the last 10 days of steelhead fishing (note the river closes above Vedder Crossing May 1 and is open for fly only below there until May 31) there are still a few chrome fish rolling in. These fish are aggressive, so move fast, cover water, and hang on when you do hook up. The water is warm and these ones are super charged!
If you are float fishing, keep your gear off bottom, commonly referred to as short floating, and use roe bags. They are deadly this time of year. A good follow up to a roe bag is a pink rubber worm or a Colorado blade. Again, keep it short, off the bottom, especially with the Colorado blade so it can spin and flutter around, creating maximum flash.
If you are fly fishing, try the lower river where some fresh and aggressive fish will be found. Focus on the tailouts and don’t be afraid to swing some big flies. Essentially you are searching for later run fish that are coming in and with the warm water this time of year they are generally eager biters. As you know, the lower river (Vedder Crossing Bridge down) is fly only starting May 1. Often the river is too high and dirty by May 1, but it really depends on how cold it is. Watch the weather the next two weeks and if it stays cool and overcast, the snow melt will be at a minimum and this is your chance to swing flies in the tailouts of some of the most productive runs in the lower with no gear anglers around. Expect big grabs and big late run fish, so use heavy tippet! 15-pound Maxima at a minimum.
Squamish River Fishing Report
Well, we may be looking at the last days of the spring season. The river rose from a combination of rain and snow melt on Tuesday. We heard some very solid reports all week but there are dark clouds on the horizon – literally dark clouds. The weather looks awesome today but a storm is coming and there is quite a bit of rain in the forecast. This is going to probably raise the river into unfishable heights. If it gets warm after this rain expect the river to stay high. Every year the river goes into freshet around the end of the month from snow melt. It stays high and challenging to fish for the rest of the season.
All is not doom and gloom for you guys that love fishing up the Sea to Sky. If it gets cold again in the 10-14 degree range the river will be in great shape for fishing after the storm. If it gets really warm…. well it’s time for lake and ocean fishing.
Good luck this weekend if you get out and watch your river levels. The best fishing of the season is just before it goes into freshet.
Fraser Valley Cutthroat Report
I went out yesterday for another look as I wanted to give the Harrison River another chance to see if maybe there were some fish there but unfortunately this wasn’t the case, I didn’t see a single fish rise. At this point I have to make the call as to how the season was so I would have to rate it as a poor one. Although the water level reading was at 9.25 to my surprise it was the same level as last week when it was at 9.35 so this confused me a little bit and limited me to only one section of the river. I might try one more time only if the river drops to 9.0 meters otherwise I am going to have to throw in the towel for the rest of the season unless I hear a positive report from my other cutthroat addict friends.
The river was calm and the swallows were out in full force right from 10 o’clock with grey mayflies hatching around 1 o’clock so after watching them float by safely down the river I was even more convinced that there was no fish sitting where I was stationed for the day. I hope somebody goes out and gives me a positive report as I have always said, things change over night.
We did hear some positive reports from the Stave this week and even had a couple customers catch steelhead on fry patterns, so this might be a spot worth looking at.
STILLWATER FISHING REPORTS
Lower Mainland Lake Fishing Report
The Lower Mainland lakes have been fishing well recently after the most recent spate of rainbow trout stockings by the Freshwater Fisheries Society of BC. Most of the usual places have been stocked at least once by now and these fresh fish can be very willing biters. The key is figuring out what these fish want on any particular day and this could be the difference between getting multiple fish and getting skunked. There are three main ways to catch these trout; bait, lures, and flies.
Bait fishing is relaxing and a simple way to get into this fishery. There are a multitude of different baits that will catch these fish, but the most popular ones are deli shrimp, garden worms, and Powerbait. The first two are best fished under a bobber while Powerbait is best fished on the bottom. Powerbait in particular is good for recently released fish as many of these trout will not have keyed in on more natural foods.
Catching stocked trout on a lure is exhilarating and they hit with surprising vigor for a fish their size. This method is a bit more involved and requires constant casting and retrieving, but it will bring out the biggest and most aggressive fish in the group. Keep the lures small; Rooster Tails, Mepps, Gibbs Crocs, Dick Nites, Little Shavers, the list goes on. Any of these in an appropriate size will trigger a reaction.
Sometimes these stocked trout will clue in on bugs, and that’s when flies will shine. In the spring chironomids rule supreme much of the time. Other options are to either cast or troll leeches, wooly buggers, doc spratleys, boobies, and dragonfly nymphs. This is a great time to pull out the belly boat or pontoon (if the lake allows) as bringing your presentation to the fish instead of waiting for them to swim within casting distance can make a world of difference.
For a full list of stocking reports, visit www.gofishbc.com. Also come by the shop to get the latest scoop and gear for your local lake!
SALTWATER FISHING REPORTS
Vancouver Salmon Fishing Report
We had some excellent fishing this past week with good numbers of fish at the QA, Hump, and Thrasher.
When the winds have allowed we have been over at Thrasher and the fishing has been nothing short of phenomenal. We have had easy limits and hit double digits for hook ups each time we have made it across. The fish are offshore in 600-1000 feet of water and are definitely in schools as we have had multiple doubles and even a few triples. Depths on the riggers have been 120-150 for the most part although a few have been up around 90 and some as deep as 175. The really hot zone seems to be 127-157 on the riggers. Reports are hot up around Nanaimo and also further south of Thrasher around Porlier, so there seems to be a lot of fish around.
There has also been some good fishing off the Hump, Cowan, and the QA marker. The water is a little dirtier on our side so the fish and bait are shallower. Productive depths have been 60-130. Usually 60-90 is hot in the morning and then you will need to go a little deeper as the day progresses. Most of the fish are the usual 6-12 pounders but there is the odd big white spring in the mix as well. Every year we see a few hogs right about now and this year is no different, so make sure you have some fresh leaders on!
We have a special section setup in the store right now with all our productive flashers, spoons, hootchies and teaser heads for fishing the Hump and Thrasher. Come down to the shop for expert advice and a selection of the top producers on our guide boats.
Crabbing has also been good but not as good as it has been in years past for this time of year. It is still worth dropping traps and the abundance of chinook is making up for the slower crabbing.
See you on the water or in the shop,