It feels like there has been a record amount of rain and there is more in the forecast. Obviously this is the ideal time for us to shamelessly plug our great selection of waterproof jackets. From gortex to rubber we have you covered. If that doesn’t work we have a big roll of saran wrap at the shop that we can wrap you in.
All joking aside the weather looks nasty for the next little bit and for most of our fisheries we recommend waiting it out. Its time to get your Christmas shopping done, tie leaders, tie flies, organize packs or tackle boxes and get ready. When things calm down, fishing should be excellent. We have predictions for how the rain will effect our rivers in the river section below and though the weather does not look conducive for saltwater fishing, before the storm it was solid and worth a look when the weather subsides. For our saltwater fisherman the weather also does not look favourable. If conditions allow get out there as fishing has been steady. Jason’s got some more details in his report this week.
On the classes and courses front, we have big news this week! Yesterday we announced our course schedule for the year. The phones have been ringing off the hook. If you have a course you want to take, call in and get signed up now before things sell out! A full list of all our courses is in the week’s classes and courses section. As many of you know courses also make a great Christmas gift. Tell your loved ones or if you have friends that have been begging you to take them fishing, send them our direction. We have a full range of courses that will get them out on the water in no time!
On the product front, Jordan has a look at some amazing coloured and painted mooching reels and fly reels. These are a perfect gift for the angler who has everything. Check out his write up below. Even if you aren’t in the market for new reel they are fun to drool over!
Finally we know the days are full of work, parties and other fun things this time of year. Starting Monday December 17 we have extended Christmas hours so you can squeeze in that shopping!
Monday December 17 – Saturday December 22 | 10AM – 7PM
Sunday December 23 | 10AM – 6PM
Monday December 24 | 10AM – 4PM
Tuesday December 25 | Closed ~ Merry Christmas
Wednesday December 26 | 9AM – 7PM – Our Famous Boxing Week Sale Begins!
CLASSES + COURSES
Our 2019 Course List is out! We can’t wait to get back into the classroom in 2019. If you missed it yesterday here is a link to the full course list. We offer a wide variety of courses from the beginner just starting out to the advanced angler looking to refine their craft.
Check out the full course list here and call the shop at 604.872.2204 to sign up!
This week’s feature product are some of our favourite reels – Islander mooching reels and custom painted Abel reels.
From Islander, the MR3 and TR3 reels have been synonymous with West Coast salmon anglers as a sign of quality and engineering. Built on Vancouver Island, these reels are purpose built with mooching and downrigger anglers in mind. Featuring quality cork and components, the MR3 and TR3 come in a wide variety of colours, including some now discontinued collector colours such as slate, pink, green, and orange.
From Abel, we have some custom hand-painted mooching and fly reels. The Abel Moocher has made its mark as one of the best mooching reels out there. Built between Montrose, Colorado, and Camarillo, California, these reels are 100% American-made. Available in some standard colours, the real jewels are their stand out custom finishes. In shop we have the Chinook finish and the Tribal Raven, along with an Abel SDS 7/8wt fly reel with a custom, hand-painted bonefish finish.
If you’re looking for a perfect gift for the angler who literally has everything, or is looking for a specific and purpose-driven reel, these unique collector pieces are functional and stylish and only available while certain colours are in stock.
Come on by the shop and any of our friendly and professional staff will be more than happy to give you a hand!
Its been awhile since I’ve had a good closing line for you so here it is – for those who have been phoning in and asking what the difference between a piano and a fish is, it turns out you can tune a piano but you can’t tuna fish.
FRESHWATER FISHING REPORTS
Chilliwack/Vedder River Fishing Report
The winter steelhead seem to be right on time for the annual Boxing Day Derby on the Vedder. That doesn’t mean that there are a lot of them yet, though. There have been a couple hooked here and there this past week although it is still pretty quiet which is spot on for mid-December. In saying that, it does look promising from the get-go.
This is typically the best time to get out and scout the river, however this week may be a bit of a write off as we are expecting very heavy rain from Saturday through to Wednesday. High or blown out water present a poor representation of river shape and structure, and many times will change the course the river takes. We will most likely see very high water this coming week and as such, it will not be ideal for scouting. The poor clarity and increase in the amount of hiding holes for these already elusive fish create sub-optimal conditions for steelheading. They can still be caught, but the odds are not favourable.
You can count on fishing large presentations this week if you decide to venture out, so think of upsizing to large chunks of pro-cured roe or shrimp, 6 inch pink worms, magnum gooey bobs, or size 4 colorado blades and fishing these in vibrant colours. This will most likely not be a great week for fly fishing the Vedder so if you are making the choice stick with the gear rod, though we should see lots of fly fishing opportunities once we get some freezing temperatures.
Squamish River Fishing Report
Well we nailed the report last week for the Squamish. A few of our regulars came in to the shop this week to show us photos and they had a lot of success drifting beads for trout. Smaller olive and white flies have been producing as well as smaller spoons like the K3 Wobblers and the small sizes of Koho and Croc spoons. This weekend is going to be tough to predict. It is cold and snowing up top but we are getting hit with a pretty nasty storm at the moment. It could blow at any time. As I write this report, Thursday afternoon, the levels are hovering at a fishable level but it is a touch high. The most important thing this week/end, if you are thinking of going out, is to check the levels before you go. When the river spikes the road is prone to washing out and wading the river can be dangerous. Please exercise caution if you are planning on going out. I would stick to the smaller tributaries to find fish as they tuck into these areas to hide from the faster flows of the main stem. I expect it to blow any time now and while that may be a bummer it makes for a great chance to come on into the shop to get some of that Christmas gift shopping done that you have been procrastinating on doing. If it blows out watch the weather and try to be there the day it drops back down.
Stave River Fishing Report
As we noted in the report last week the Stave River salmon fishing is coming to a close. There are still some fish around but it is better to leave these fish alone so that they may spawn without any stress.
After this rain, egg fishing should be good and last week we had a number of good reports. If you are heading to another system and the rain blows out your chosen river the Stave is always worth looking at on your trip home. Because of the dam you can sometimes get lucky and they won’t have it open even when all the rivers in the area are running in the trees.
You can also target trout with small spoons and spinners as well as flies. These methods won’t be as effective as egging but will be an amazing experience fighting them on ultra light or light gear.
Steelhead will start to trickle in mid-December and it is important to move around the river to find them.
If you needed help with egging and trout fishing set up or would like to get suited for the steelhead season come in the shop and we will gladly help.
SALTWATER FISHING REPORTS
Vancouver Saltwater Salmon Fishing Report
Well the wet November weather is officially here, its just mid December, so it looks like we didn’t escape the mega rains after all. This is when the good rain gear pays off! If you are thinking of heading out this weekend, make sure to keep an eye on the forecast as there are some winds leading into the weekend in excess of 40 knots and you don’t see that too often in this neck of the woods. Later in the weekend the forecast doesn’t look too bad though, especially for Howe Sound, so it will depend on where your boat is moored in terms of how lumpy your ride to the fishing grounds is going to be. Yes, you are going need that rain gear I was talking about as well…
Fishing continues to be what I would call steady. If you put your time in you are going to get some shots at nice size chinook. There have been fish in Vancouver Harbour as well as Howe Sound, so pick your spot based on the conditions, put in your time, and enjoy the winter fishing.
We inundated you with a lot of fish porn from last weeks trips, chinook, prawns, octopus, flat calm seas, so this week we are going to change it up and talk about some flashers we have been fishing. This could be a good gift idea for yourself or maybe forward this report to your loved one, hint, hint, nudge, nudge. These flashers have half Moon Jelly Tape and half Glow Tape on each side, set opposite to each other. They are available in UV Chartreuse blades, UV Green blades, UV purple blades, and black blades. No matter what direction the flasher is rotating and no matter what direction the fish is approaching from, they get some flash and some glow. The contrast between the two tapes also seems to work well and gives a distinct two tone look in the water, much like the darker back of the fish against its silver sides and white belly. We have been fishing the prototypes for a season and a half now and have had great success with them. We finally had the time to get a custom order in and do a full production run for the shop. It took some time, as the factory was pretty busy all summer long keeping up with other orders and booking orders, but finally it is was our turn and they are here! These are premium Oki Tackle Flashers, made right here in BC. So give them a try this winter and into the springtime fishery off Bowen and Gabriola, you won’t be disappointed with the results.
Well now that you got your Christmas shopping out of the way, lets get back to the fishing. If you are thinking of booking a trip, it’s a great time to go, so don’t delay in giving us a call as we are booking lots of weekend days around late December and early January. We do trips 7 days a week, so if you have some time mid week, lets go fishing!
If you are heading out in your boat, try some of these custom flashers or other productive flashers that we have mentioned in the past like the STS, BC, Madi, Salty Dawg, and Green Onion Glow. The fish have been hitting on spoons that have had some green, chartreuse and glow on them. Think colours like Irish Cream, Yellow Tail, in G-Force, or Kingfisher. Some anglers are also doing well on bait, primarily 5.5 anchovies in green or chartreuse glow teaser heads.
Crabbing has been tough, so best to leave those traps at home, but prawning has been decent and we have been setting prawn traps on our 8-hour trips.
See you in the shop or on the water,