Spring is here but she seems to be dragging her feet a little in the Lower Mainland with cool night time temperatures over the last week. We have had some rain over the last day or two but not as much as was forecast.
The rivers are still fishing well but we would like more water and a little bit warmer night time temperatures to get the salmon fry really moving.
We have reports on the Squamish, Chilliwack as well as the Stave and Harrison.
Though it has been a little cooler than we would like, we did get some wind in the interior over the last week and it has accelerated the ice off on many lower elevation lakes. Sterling has an update with some more great early season tips. Check that out below.
On the cool fishing gear front, we had two new products hit the sales floor this week! The New Sage R8 Fly rods and the New Islander TR3 BLACKOUT edition mooching reels. The New Sage R8 is one of the nicest feeling fly rods we have ever had on the rod rack and the blackout TR3s are as cool looking as anything Islander has ever come out with. R8s are in limited supply and the TR3 blackouts are special edition so both won’t last long on the shelves. Come down and check them out!
Last but not least, Matt tunes in with a video report for us, going over the fishing details, some info on the closures for the saltwater fishing, and a way you can get involved to help push science-based fisheries management. The PFA is out at the Outdoor Show this weekend in Chilliwack and they are looking for your help. Click here for the video and more details:
ON TO THE REPORT!
CLASSES AND COURSES
INTRODUCTION TO FLY TYING – 2 SPOTS OPEN
There is no greater satisfaction than catching a fish with a fly you tied yourself. This Introduction to Fly Tying course was specifically designed to give you the fundamental skills needed to tie proven fly patterns used here in BC for trout, salmon, and steelhead.
This course consists of 3 sessions; each session is 3hrs.
Students are required to supply their own vise, tools and materials. A 10% discount is available on fly tying materials and tools purchased for the course.
Dates: Apr 12, 19, 26
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. This course is comprised of one 3hr evening seminar. Content is for beginner to advanced.
Zoom Seminar Date: Wednesday, April 27
Zoom Seminar Time: 6:30-9:30 pm
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: (May 10 & 14), (Jun 15 & 18), (July 12 & 17), (Sept 20 & 24)
Cost: $150.00 + GST
Seminar Time: 6:30pm – 9:30pm
Casting Time(s): 10am – 1pm or 1:30pm -4:30pm
FRESHWATER FISHING REPORTS
Vedder/Chilliwack River Fishing Report
Spring is in the air, and that can only mean two things – sun, or rain. There’s never an in-between; it’s either sunny and warm, rainy and gross, or both at the same time. Couple the unstable weather with the fact that the steelhead run in the Vedder/Chilliwack system starts to wind down in April, and you’ll find that the river might not be quite as busy as it was during peak season.
There are obviously still a reasonable number of fish in the areas that you’re still allowed to fish (check out last week’s report for a detailed explanation of which areas are still open), but a majority of them have been around for a while and are less willing to bite than a fresh fish would be. The majority of the fish will also be wild and many will be dark. Of course, there will still be some fresh fish moving in, but they will be the minority. As has been the case for the whole season, the adaptable anglers who are willing to think outside the box and change the way they fish are outfishing those who are still treating the river like they did last year.
As usual, carry an assortment of gear to handle whatever conditions you end up fishing, and don’t be afraid to slow down a bit- you can move fast and cover a ton of water when the fish are fresh and aggressive, but there are not fresh and aggressive fish… they usually require some coaxing before they bite. Now is also the time to be swinging spoons and spinners, twitching jigs or drifting Colorado blades, so make sure you have some in your arsenal when you’re out there.
There will be a lot of dark fish in the system, so be sure to handle them carefully, should you encounter one. Also remember to avoid wading in backchannels and other important fry rearing habitat.
Squamish River Fishing Report
With cool night time temperatures our reports off the Squamish have been just “ok” over the last week. There was a nice bump of water early in the week and we heard of a few nice fish but as we write the report it is clearing up.
It is worth getting out this weekend but we were hoping for a little more rain. The weather man was forecasting a decent bump for Thursday night when Matt did the video report on Wednesday night but they have downgraded the amount of water coming. Keep an eye on that for sure. If you see more water and the river rises it should be good fishing. If we don’t get a lot of rain and it stays low and clear you will need to downsize your presentations and leaders and work a little harder for bites.
Fry patterns, smaller streamers and small spinners should be in the mix in lower clear conditions.
Stave River and Harrison River Fishing Reports – Cutthroat Update
Things are starting to look brighter this week for cutthroat fishing in the Fraser Valley. Reports on fry sightings coming from the Stave have improved drastically, the Harrison seems to be struggling a bit still, but hopefully in the next couple of weeks things may change. Higher daily temperature averages will promote faster growth and activity within fry.
We expect to see consistently warm temperatures in the Fraser Valley all of this week. Usually, the first week when the fry are active in full force makes for great cutthroat fishing. Now is the time to take the rods for a walk and look for surface action.
Tactics remain the same as reports from previous weeks, so get out there put boots to the ground and look for slashes!
STILLWATER FISHING REPORTS
Interior Lake Fishing Report
It’s go time! Major winds and higher temperatures have really accelerated ice off times. Some lakes are already undergoing turnover and chironomid hatches could be here quicker than I thought. Exposed lakes that are seeing a ton of wind north of 850m are even starting to open up. Start booking those lodging and camping reservations since they’re going to start filling up. This weekend is going to be a chilly one but that doesn’t matter if the ice has already cleared up. It’s quite windy on Friday but Saturday and Sunday look to be great conditions. Don’t underestimate April weather though as it tends to be quite chaotic. You could get burnt and see snow in the span of an hour. As a reminder, the Coquihalla pass is no joke even in April. The snow can come down heavy even though the weather in Kamloops looks beautiful.
The recipe that worked well for myself and others last weekend was much the same as I’ve talked about over the last three weeks. Some people did well on blobs, others did well on scuds. I fished mainly black/red/wine/purple leeches and was able to find success. I pumped a few fish and they were barren wastelands devoid of any sign of food. As mentioned before, stick to the shallower 5-10 foot water if you have no idea where to start. Hatches are still a ways away on the majority of lakes meaning your searching patterns are going to be key. Move a ton and cover as much water as you can.
The larger fish don’t move around a ton with the colder temperature meaning you can fish out an area and not have any new fish move in. Smaller fish don’t struggle as much with the cooler temperatures and turnover so you’ll probably notice that the size of fish will steadily drop the more you stay in a particular spot. That’s my observation so it doesn’t always hold true for every lake but it’s at least something that I’ve noticed.
GOOD LUCK !