Christmas is around the corner, and in preparation, mother nature has been bringing the Christmas weather. It looks as though more snow for many areas around the Lower Mainland is coming over the next 5 days but it should be more of a mix of rain and snow. As always, be sure to keep an eye on those weather reports/marine forecasts before you head out!
If you’re headed to the shop, to pick up a gift for the angler in your life or perhaps a little something for yourself, be sure to take a peek at our parking map for some tips on the best spots to park in the neighbourhood during the subway line construction! We also have extended shopping hours on Wednesday December 23 until 7PM if you need to get some last minute shopping done!
For those of you sticking close to home this week, a friendly remember that we are running our Best Fishing Pictures of 2021 Photo Contest and it’s time to go through your pictures and for you to send us your best! See contest details below in the industry events and updates section!
On the fishing front, we are here this week with report updates on the Squamish River, Vedder River and winter chinook fishing, so if you have some time off for the holidays and you’re going to get out on the water, have a read of all of those reports below.
CLASSES + COURSES
Courses make an excellent Christmas gift! The full listing of our 2022 courses is available here. Come by the shop or give us a call (604.872.2204) and we can get you and/or your loved one signed up!
INDUSTRY EVENTS + UPDATES
Boxing Week Sale
Mark your calendars – our Boxing Week Sale is back! Our annual Boxing Week Sale is almost here. The sale starts on Sunday December 26, 2021 and will run through until close on December 31, 2021. It’s the best time of the year to save!
Keep an eye on your inbox for the full sale list to be released on Christmas Eve!
Best Of 2021 Fishing Picture Contest
Here are all of the details for our Best of 2021 Fishing Picture Contest
We will be picking winners within the categories listed below. Each winner will receive a $50 Gift card to use on anything at Pacific Angler! Winners will be announced in the December 31st edition of the Friday Fishing Report as well as on our YouTube Channel.
– Best Fish Picture – anything with a fish in it. Prize: $50 Gift Card
– Best Fishing Picture – anything related to the act of fishing. Prize: $50 Gift Card
– Best fishing Scenery Shot – amazing shots of the wonderful world we get to fish in. Prize: $50 Gift Card
– Best of Kids Fishing (under 16) – we want to see how the next generation is enjoying their time on the water.
Prizes: $50 Gift Card
Pictures will be accepted via email only! Email your entries to firstname.lastname@example.org Each entry must include a brief description and the category you best think it fits
Contest is open December 10, 2021 – December 30, 2021.
Parents or Legal Guardian must submit photos for participants under 18.
By submitting your photos, you give Pacific Angler permission to use your photo in the Friday Fishing Report, our social media feeds, and/or Pacific Angler TV on YouTube. At any time, you may revoke this authorization by notifying Pacific Angler in writing to email@example.com This written revocation will not affect the actions taken prior to this notification.
FRESHWATER FISHING REPORTS
Chilliwack/Vedder River Fishing Report
Water levels have been slowly dropping in the Chilliwack/Vedder system over the past week, and with low freezing levels forecasted for at least the next few days, this trend should continue for a while. While the river is still a bit high, the clarity has dramatically improved and it is definitely fishable. Slightly higher water levels will have almost certainly encouraged the first few steelhead of the year to enter the system, so I wouldn’t be surprised if the rumor mill started spitting out unconfirmed reports of winter chrome in the next week.
As mentioned in previous reports, the entire river has changed dramatically following the flooding, so it probably wouldn’t be a bad idea to get out there and do some scouting to familiarize yourself with the “new” river. There’s a very probability that the spots you were fishing last season are now either completely different or gone entirely so it will be worth it to get out there and do some exploring! As a minor sidenote, it looks like the floods washed away a good portion of the clay from last year’s Ranger Run mudslide, so here’s hoping that the river won’t turn into chocolate milk whenever it rains like it did last year. While the river is still high, it’s not a bad idea to learn what the river looks like when it’s higher than normal- especially with the year we’ve been having. Go for a walk along your favourite stretch of water and bring a rod while you’re at it- there are quite a few egg-eaters around at this time of year, especially in the upper river, and if you’re really lucky, you might stumble into one of the first steelhead of the season. Putting in the time now, scouting the river, will definitely pay off later in the season!
Sterling wrote an excellent winter steelhead primer in last week’s report, so be sure to check that out if you’d like to brush up on some steelheading basics to get some insider tips and feel free to drop in to the shop if you need to stock up on gear or get yourself set up for success- we’re always happy to help!
Squamish River Fishing Report
The Squamish is now getting very low with most of the precipitation over the last week coming in the form of snow. This makes fishing and road conditions challenging. When we look at the weekend forecast there is another dump of precipitation coming. In Squamish, it should be a mix of snow and rain with temps around 5 degrees. If you move inland up the river expect mostly snow. This dump of precipitation will probably not affect the river levels and we expect the river to stay low.
If you are heading out pack a shovel in the truck for getting turned around or out of parking spots on the edge of the road. Salmon season has wound down considerably, and we are looking to the egg eater species as the main target for anglers.
Get technical with your presentations and focus on fishing mid-day when things warm up. Fluorocarbon tippet and leaders, pail rubber and bead egg imitations are critical for success at this time of year.
SALTWATER FISHING REPORTS
Vancouver Saltwater Salmon Fishing Report
I am pleased to report that the good fishing we had in November has continued into December. It hasn’t always been easy to get out there with all the wind and rain in the forecast recently. When we have made it out, we have generally had very good fishing and I expect this to continue.
If you are thinking of heading out this weekend, Sunday looks better than Saturday. There are some strong winds in the forecast for Saturday and up to 45 mm of rain or more in some areas. The forecast changes a lot, so always take a look the evening before your day on the water and then again in the morning just before you head out.
We have primarily been fishing lower Howe Sound, but Vancouver Harbour is definitely worth the effort this time of year. It always fishes well in late December, starting right about now, and into January. The Cap Mouth can be very good on the flood. Other good spots to try are the Freighters usually on an ebb tide, or the Bell Buoy on a flood or ebb.
Seals have been an issue in pretty much all the spots we have been fishing. If you are the only boat there and the seals are following, you can pretty much guarantee you are going to get sealed once you hook up. In that case, you might as well pick up and move. At least if there are other boats around you have a chance, so that is one benefit to more people winter fishing these days.
For the most part the bait has been close to the bottom and so are the chinook. You don’t want to drag bottom, but you definitely want to keep an eye on your sonar and make sure you are adjusting your depth as needed.
We have been doing well on brighter gear right now. Chartreuse flashers like Salty Dawg, Lemon Lime, and Green Onion Glow are all solid choices. Spoons and hootchies have been productive. Skinny G, Coho Killers, G-Force, and Kingfisher spoons have all been doing well in brighter colours like Irish Cream and Trailhead. If you are fishing hootchies it is hard to go wrong with a chartreuse splatter back.
If you are looking for a change of pace and get a rare calm water day, don’t hesitate to head over to the Gulf Islands. Fishing has been good around Nanaimo, Thrasher, and Porlier. It hasn’t been easy to get there, but it has been worth the run.
See you in the shop or on the water,