With the warm weather we had earlier this week those looking to fish the Squamish had to battle a rising river and limited visibility. We’re hoping some cooler temperatures and a bit of rain will bring things back into shape and we can get some more days out on the water before spring freshet.
The warm weather has helped those looking to fish the interior lakes as it brought the temperatures up a bit more. Read on below for a detailed report and don’t forget to check out all our lake fishing courses coming up in the next two weeks!
Saltwater fishing has continued to be good. We’ve seen waves of chinook moving in and out which led to a few slow days on the water. We expect things to pick up across the way, at Thrasher Rock so we’ll be getting ready to chase some fish there very soon!
Finally our spring sale is almost here! Mark your calendars for May 9 and 10. You won’t want to miss this!
As we head into the last week of April it’s time to start focusing on getting prepped for lake fishing. We have a suite of upcoming courses, which will give you all of the tips and the tricks to get you ready to hit the lakes!
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!
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.
Date: May 5
Time: 6:30pm to 9:30pm
Tying Chironomid Fly Patterns
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.
Date: May 11
Time: 6:30pm to 9:30pm
If you’re looking for a saltwater course or another introduction to fly fishing course be sure to check out our full 2015 lineup of classes here!
Pacific Angler Spring Super Sale
The Pacific Angler Spring Super Sale is almost here! Mark May 9 and 10 in your calendars and be sure to look for details in our upcoming Friday Fishing Reports.
The Cap should have bumped up due to the rain that was forecasted for Thursday and Friday. It’s still early for Coho but if you time your outing with a rising river you may get lucky and find a few early ones. This fishery typically doesn’t start to heat up till May when more fish enter the river. If you’re heading out float fishing, roe, Colorado blades, and wool ties are the baits of choice. Casting Blue Foxes and Gibbs Crocs on a light spinning combo can prove equally effective. Fly fishing sparse olive wooly buggers and muddler minnows for the fly fisherman are a must. Don’t forget to check the Cap Cam for up to date water conditions before you head out.
The grand finale is here! It has been a long season, with ups and downs of all kinds to contend with, including water conditions, river levels, different pushes of fish but this is what is usually expected in a steelhead season spaced over 5 months. As we head into our last week we are looking at some rain in the forecast and with the river at a medium level it should do no harm. There are still fish to be had. Late in the year there is a small run of lower river fish that come charging up river to spawn and go back out quickly. Fishing low in the river, generally bellow the Vedder crossing bridge will not only help you target these late season beauties, but will lower your chances of intercepting a spawning or spawned out fish making its way back down.
Fly fishing for these late season chromers can be a blast. Shallow, warm, clear water with bright fish around is one of the best combinations anyone can ask for. Fishing a standard type 6 or 10-12ft of T-8 sink tip combined with a lightly weighted bug in pink, orange, or black & blue is our favourite setup for this time of the year. Either fished on a double hander or single hander, it’s not always about how far you can cast, but rather how far do you need to cast in order to effectively and efficiently fish the spot thoroughly. The fly fishing only portion of the season is approaching quickly on May 1st. It’s a good way to get a couple more days of fishing in before the freshet.
With the heat wave that passed through, the river was fishable for a few days and then climbed with a major influx of water and silt, showing the first signs of freshet. We have been closely looking at the water levels and clarity, with the cooler weather and a little bit of rain it has begun to drop again, but it is hard to predict the clarity. We’re hoping there may be a few more days coming up that will allow you to get out before the season winds down.
The trout and char have been feeding heavily on salmon fry. With the bump in the river level this starts the migration down river of the food source and once the food is gone, so will be the predators. In the dirty water, getting the fish to see the fly is a combination of fly depth and fly size. Flies of choice for the bull trout and rainbows are sculpins, salmon fry, rolled muddlers and small string leeches. Either fished on a floating line or light poly leader with a down and across, swinging presentation has produced the best results. Covering ground until you finally find a concentration of fish, and then presenting multiple flies to them has been the most productive approach.
With possibly only a handful of days left to fish, its time to get yourself ready for one last kick at the can.
I was on the Harrison last week and had to fight the winds again. I did not find any cutthroat but saw a lot of fry as well as schools of sticklebacks on their way to the ocean. I did find cutthroat in the sloughs after walking for most of the day on the Harrison. The cutthroat we found were not taking fry patterns willingly so we changed to a dry and had one on after 3-4 casts, so again as a reminder be sure to have some dry fly patterns. When fishing on a bright sunny day with clear water conditions it helps to cast kneeling down so the spooky fish can’t spot you as easily, you can see in the pictures below on a guided trip last week.
It took a lot of tries to get this one fish. The river needs to drop more so it pushes all the fish down. The next 2 weeks is the prime time before it comes to an end unless the freshet holds off.
We had some great weather last week which warmed up the lakes a little bit with some lakes turning over. The water temps are still hovering around 45 degrees and rising to 50 during the day. It is almost chironomid time but for now people have been getting fish on mini leeches. You will see some chironomid hatch in size 20-22 in deep waters in the afternoon but they barely come off strong. This is a good time to go over your gear and get ready for the season as it is just around the corner.
Jason had a chance to chat with Brian Chan this week and here is what he had to say about the Interior Lakes:
“Lake fishing in Merritt and Kamloops area heating up finally, despite an incredibly early ice off the water has been slow to warm up. Finally seeing more consistent chironomid hatches, a lot of small stuff #16-#18 in black, dark green, chironomid. Still getting lots of fish on leeches so make sure you have mini leeches in your fly box. White is coming on now, and the fish are just showing up on the shoals and are on small chironomids. Tunkwa and Leighton are fishing better now and Leighton just finishing turnover. The lower elevation lakes like Six Mile and Jacko are now getting consistent. Stump has been good one day and off the next, which is pretty typical for Stump. As far as ice off goes, it safe to say that most lakes are off now except for really high elevation ones like Island and Bose in the Highland Valley. It is looking like the first week of May will see the start of much more consistent fishing on lakes in general as things warm up and the major chironomid hatches start to happen.”
The good fishing continued this week with some great waves of chinook moving across the Hump off South Bowen. Overall the fishing continues to be excellent but there have been a few slow days. For example, Eddie was out Saturday and had 2 bites but none to the boat and on Sunday they were into multiple, multiple fish and ended up keeping 4 nice big chinook. Monday was also stellar and Jason was out and kept 4 nice chinook, released some and lost a lot more with at least 9 solid fish for the day, including a double header, and half the day was spent up Howe Sound fly fishing for cutthroat. Tuesday was much slower and then not too many people, including us, were out the rest of the week due to the big winds and the rain. Such is offshore fishing, as big schools of chinook are here one day and gone the next so the fishing does really change from day to day this time of year, but there have been mostly good to red hot days this month with the odd slow day in to bring you back down to earth a little.
The fish have been from 85 to 155 this week and noticeably deeper than last week where most of the action was north of 120. So keep your gear spread out and find the hot depth and narrow in your gear depths from there. Hot flashers have been Green Onion Glow and Green or Chartreuse blades with glow tape on one side and silver tape on the other. Spoons and bait are working well, in particular the Pesca Gut Bomb and Leprechaun in 3.5 and also the 4.0. The bait is around 5 inches so don’t be afraid to fish bigger spoons. We just got a big shipment of Pesca spoons in so get them now while you can. The Kingfisher spoon in 3.5 and 4.0 is also working in the Irish Cream, Kitchen Sink, and Homeland Security colors.
Thrasher Rock is going to pick up in the next week or so and based on what we are seeing on this side of the pond, it should be a fantastic season. Some of the best chinook fishing of the year is in May and early June at Thrasher Rock. If you want the chance of hooking multiple chinook in the 15-30 pound range, this is the best fishery of the year for you! Don’t wait until the good reports come in during mid May to book your trip. The big waves always push through anytime after May 1st so book your May trip now while we have a few dates open.
See you in the shop or on the water,