Looks like a solid weekend to be heading out on the water. On the saltwater front we do have some wind that we will need to tackle but temps have been warm all week in the interior and we continue to hear good lake reports and more ice off reports. Zach was up in lake country last weekend and has some first-hand ice off reports and some fishing intel.
We have our introduction to lake fishing course and intro to chironomid course coming up and there are still spots available. If you are getting into lake fishing or need a refresher, check out the details in the course section below.
If you’re looking to stay closer to home this weekend there are some good fishing opportunities on local lakes as well as in the Squamish area. The Vedder, Harrison, and Stave are also solid options for getting out this weekend.
We have been out on the saltwater this week and have enjoyed some excellent catch and release fishing. Fishing off Bowen, the Hump and the QA has been as good as it gets! If you are not familiar with the new regulations check out last week’s report were Jason lays out the facts, how you can make your voice on the matter heard but also how you can continue to enjoy our amazing resource. There are also some details at the end of the saltwater fishing report regarding a peaceful protest outside of Fisheries Minister Wilkinson’s Office. We’ll see you there.
Last but certainly not least check out the Industry Events Section below and mark your calendar for some awesome upcoming events – Fishing For the Future Chat, Chew and Brew in Langley and Trout School, an evening with Mark Hume who will have a great presentation on his new book Trout School – which shares insider knowledge from legendary angler Mo Bradley.
On the report!
Fishing For The Future
Chat, Chew and Brew. A Public Fishery Access & Awareness Event
- Expanding the distribution and reach of sportfishing issues, promotion and awareness through social and traditional media
- Sustained and regular presence in Ottawa to advocate on behalf of the sector to senior bureaucrats, Ministers and MP’s
- The creation of a legal “war chest” to build a foundation for future legal action.
Tickets are limited!!! Over 90% already sold. Get them while they are available.
Date: Saturday May 11, 2019
Location: Jimmy Mac’s Pub 19935 96th Avenue, Langley BC
Join us for a fun, social evening celebrating fly fishing in beautiful BC. Mark Hume, an experienced angler and former Globe & Mail reporter, will give a captivating visual presentation from his new book, Trout School, which shares insider knowledge from legendary angler Mo Bradley. Mo is the undefeated master of catching Kamloops trout. This is your chance to learn from the master.
Featuring: Door prizes. Drinks. Catering. Cash bar. Books for sale.
Brought to you by Pacific Angler, Vancouver Club, and Pacific Salmon Foundation
Date: Thursday May 30
Location: Vancouver Club, 915 West Hastings Street
CLASSES AND COURSES
It is finally getting warmer out and you know what that means – lakes are icing off! There is still time to get prepped for lake season. Join Matt in his Introduction to Fly Fishing Lakes course and guest instructor Trevor Welton for the second offering of his Introduction to Chironomid Techniques Course.
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.
Cost: $50 + GST
Date: Apr 30, 2019
Time: 6:30pm – 9:30pm
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 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 1, 2019
Time: 6:30pm – 9:30pm
FRESHWATER FISHING REPORTS
Chilliwack/Vedder River Fishing Report
water is on the higher side right now although clarity is good. The fishing has
been good this past week most likely due to the warmer temperatures and
increase in water levels. We only have a few days left for gear fishing
although the river will still be open for fly fishing from the Crossing Bridge
Fly fishing in May on this river is viable as long as the water stays clear enough and doesn’t get too high. Generally, we do experience this large bump of water, known as freshet, sometime in May but it is completely dependent on how warm it gets. You will be targeting the last few fresh fish that will be coming into the system so fish big and bright streamers to get their attention. There will be substantially less angling pressure so the fish should be more cooperative. Sink tips are a must as you will want to get your flies down to those fish and with increasing water levels throughout the month expect the current to be flowing pretty good.
Squamish River Fishing Report
The last little while saw some ups and downs with water height and colour, as well as the fishing. After its last big spike where it blew out and muddied, it has slowly been dropping back into a fishable shape with little day time bumps keeping things interesting.
Standard spoons and spinners have been helping anglers find Dolly Varden, as has sculpins and fry patterns. Swinging bigger flies and covering lots of water has also proven to find a few fish as well. If you aren’t using a fly rod, swinging bigger spoons can also produce.
Be aware that it is now bear season, so please be careful and keep your eyes and ears open. Also keep temperatures and water levels in mind if crossing streams or channels as flow and height can suddenly increase.
If parking along the Squamish, it should be noted there has been a suspicious angler spotted with a red fly rod and all black waders/gear.
I heard his name was Darth Wader.
Harrison River Fishing Report
After the warm stretch of weather this past week, the Harrison has risen considerably. The River is still fishable, but your options on the golf course side of the river may be severely limited. We’ve heard of some killer days on the Harrison this week, but the typical cutty pickiness is starting to show. It’s time to get more specific with your patterns, as you can cast directly on top of a group of slashing cutties yet still not get a strike. Earlier in the year, the skinny fry patterns were king. This time of year, we’re looking to size up our fry, and to have a wide selection of patterns and colours to match anything you’d see in the water. There’s no 1 single pattern that can cover the Harrison, so it’s essential to keep your box diversified.
Stave River Fishing Report
With a mix of sun and cloud this weekend, hitting the Stave is not a bad bet if you are looking for cutthroat, whitefish, the odd bulltrout and maybe a late steelhead. We have had a couple of cutthroat reports from the area and there are lots of fry around.
Even if the Stave is not your primary destination it is definitely worth a look on the way home.
Fish a steelhead rod with a Colorado blade or fish a trout spinning rod with small spinners or spoons. For the fly guys run 4-6 wt rods and a floating line with fry patterns or attractor style streamers.
As always watch for them to open the dam and make sure you have a safe route back if the water rises.
STILLWATER FISHING REPORTS
Interior Lakes Fishing Report
Well the ice is coming off more and more every day on all of your favorite lakes. I spent Easter weekend up at Sheridan Lake and we took the scenic route along Hwy 5 from Kamloops to Little Fort and then along Hwy 24. I got to lay eyes on a few lakes and things have even changed since I saw them on the weekend so some of these lakes may have already iced off.
As of Friday the following lakes were as follows: Jacko – Off, Lundbom Off, Watch Lake – Off, Kane Valley Lakes – Off, Surrey Lake – Frozen, Walloper Lake – Mostly ice, a few patches of open water around the edges, Stake Lake – Frozen, Latremouille Lake – Frozen, Phinetta Lake – Thin ice, noticeable open water emerging, Birch Lake – Thin ice, Lac Des Roche – mostly frozen but has patches of open water, Bridge Lake – Frozen, Deka Lake – Frozen (As of Saturday), Irish Lake – Ice Free.
Jacko and Lac Des Roche – April 19
While I was up at Sheridan the lake had ice to the edge of the lake when we arrived. On Saturday we had a gorgeous sunny and warm day and it was cool to hang out on the deck of the cabin while tying flies, enjoying a few beverages and watching the ice recede and thin over the course of the day. Sunday was more of the same and you will see it in the photos that there’s a lot thinner and less ice around the lake. There was also a bit of a breeze which was helping to break up the ice quite a bit. On Monday before we left the weather had changed a bit. It was overcast, raining a touch and a fair bit colder than the two days previously but you will notice that there’s a lot of open water. Amazing the difference 3 days can make. Sheridan still isn’t completely ice free but if the weather stays good it won’t be long until it is completely fishable.
Sheridan April 20, April 21 and April 22 – What a difference a few days makes
Deka Lake, as I mentioned was covered in ice on Saturday when we drove up to check it out. As of Tuesday, it is iced off according to one of our customers that came in that has a cabin on Bridge. He also figures Bridge is another week or two out from being ice free.
Customer Brian was up at a few Kamloops area lakes over the weekend and said that some lakes were turning over so they were jumping around a fair bit from lake to lake. Brian and his better half Anita got into some nice fish in some gorgeous weather.
If you have any updates or are out scouting these areas please don’t hesitate to send us photos and updates!
SALTWATER FISHING REPORTS
Vancouver Saltwater Salmon Fishing Report
Well what can I say except wow, the fishing is awesome right now! I am still in shock that there is no chinook retention in what has to be the best or some of the best chinook fishing off South Bowen in decades. I rarely get this specific in the report, but I feel I need to today so you can get a feel for what is going on out there. One of our guides was out on a 6-hour trip yesterday with two Dads and their young sons and they were into all sorts of fish. At one point they got a quad on chinook and followed it with a double and a fellow guide also had a triple on. The kids were all smiles when I passed them and that will be a day they won’t soon forget. So, as you can see, there are some good numbers of chinook around.
We are still fighting hard to let the Minister know we aren’t going to sit idle and accept his decision to make it non-retention of chinook. There is a protest planned for Wednesday next week, see information at the end of this report.
So back to this hot fishing. The best depths have been 90-135 and there are fish off South Bowen, the Hump, and the QA. All these spots have had great action this week, and it just depends on the wind and where you can and can’t fish. The water has really gotten into that algae brown colour this week, so you want to run the bright gear. Hot flashers have been Salty Dawg, Lemon Lime, STS, BC, Green Onion Glow, and Chartreuse Phantom. Bright spoons are working as well. 3.5 G-Force and Skinny G spoons have been working very well as long as they have some green and glow on them. Some of the top colours have been Trailhead, Outfitter, and BC. Bait has also been doing well, smaller herring and 5.5-inch anchovies in brighter glow green or chartreuse teaser heads have been very productive.
Crabbing is picking up and prawning is still decent. I would highly recommend getting out on the water and having a blast fighting this aggressive and strong chinook. We are dropping crab traps and prawn traps on our longer trips so we can send you home with some nice seafood and some great memories and sore arms!
DFO PROTEST: May 1st between 12 and 1 PM Outside Fisheries Minister Wilkinson’s office located 102, 3rd St W, North Vancouver
Please join a peaceful protest of DFO’s decision to close recreational fishing to the retention of chinook. Fisheries Minister Jonathan Wilkinson and DFO have announced large blanket closures which are an ineffective way to manage the recovery of early Fraser River chinook stocks. There is no scientific data to support the effectiveness of these closures. The announcement has serious and substantial socioeconomic impacts on sport fisherman, the marine community and lacks meaningful action. We’re encouraging all concerned individuals, groups and businesses to join us to protest the following:
DFO is shutting down one distinct chinook fishery and user group so they can shut down another user group on completely different chinook. This closure to chinook retention will do nothing to protect the chinook stocks that need protecting. The closure has been done for political reasons and is mismanagement of the resource at the highest level! We want to make it very clear to Minister Wilkinson that to shut down the entire south coast so they can attempt to reduce First Nation in river impacts on interior Fraser chinook is not acceptable! The closures to chinook retention in our local area between Vancouver and Nanaimo include Bowen Island, Howe Sound, Sunshine Coast and Gabriola Island. All of these areas have been experiencing amazing chinook fishing (for non-interior Fraser stocks). This closure is being done for the opportunity to keep First Nations nets out of the Fraser to save interior Fraser stocks. Minister Wilkinson and DFO need to recognize that the chinook salmon that are off Bowen Island and across to Nanaimo are not early Fraser stocks of concern. DFO has confirmed this through CWT (coded wire tag ) data and DNA sampling. The resulting data clearly shows that the fish we catch in those areas are not the Fraser River stocks of concern we need to protect. This is a scientific fact, not speculation. The fish we are catching are known to originate mostly from east coast of Vancouver Island streams but also the USA . There is no conservation concern for these stocks and a 1 per day chinook limit or a 1 per day hatchery chinook limit, is certainly sustainable and acceptable from a scientific fisheries management viewpoint. DFO had this in their Option B proposal and despite SFAB (Sport Fish Advisory Board) strongly recommending these options based on the science and modelling, DFO refused to implement it. We want DFO to take real and meaningful action on a recovery plan for early Fraser chinook that includes chinook predator control, habitat rehabilitation, hatchery enhancement and adequate funding of fisheries officers and habitat staff. Currently there is no plan with funding in place for these crucial actions to take place and that needs to change now!
Invite anyone you can. Post this information up at your work, copy it and share it on facebook and instagram. See you there!