2018 is almost in the books and we hope that everyone had an excellent 2018 and enjoyed some time with friends and family this Christmas Season. For us it was an amazing year filled with good fishing, another boat down at our docks, a great team in the shop and countless great moments on and off the water with friends and customers. On the fisheries side of things 2018 was an interesting one. There was some truly amazing fishing but there are also some challenging concerns. In this week’s report we are going to keep it simple. We want to thank everyone who has supported us this year and all the years before and wish you all nothing but the best in 2019. Jason will be writing a little more focused fishing “State of the Union” address next week where we can look at what is to come for 2019.
As we write this report the Famous Fisherman’s Boxing Week Sale at the shop is in full swing. If you haven’t been down yet, don’t worry you still have time! Everything in the shop is on sale until Monday December 31 and there are still tons of great deals to be had.
On the fishing front with any luck the crazy storms of last week will be in the past. Obviously 100km winds put a damper on pretty much all outdoor sports that didn’t require a helmet and body armor.
This week we are going to see some more rain but nothing like what we saw before Christmas. Jason was out on Boxing Day hunting for winter chinook so be sure to read his report for latest on all things saltwater.
River fishing is also worth looking at and even though we have rain the forecast both the Squamish and Vedder are at fishable levels and we expect decent fishing over the weekend. They held the 74th Annual Boxing Day Steelhead Derby on the Chilliwack River on the 26th. A handful of fish hit the scales. We would have liked to see more fish weighed in but it is hard to gauge a year’s run off of one day of fishing.
We have heard some reports off the Stave and Capilano as well over the last week. With reports of one steelhead on the Capilano and some good egg fishing on the Stave for white fish. For more details check out the Freshwater Fishing Report section below.
Just a friendly reminder that we are closing early on December 31 to get a jumpstart on ringing in 2019. Our holiday hours for the New Year are:
Monday December 31, 2018 | 10AM – 4PM
Tuesday January 1, 2019 | Closed
Wednesday January 2, 2019 | Regular Hours Resume – 10AM – 6PM
CLASSES AND COURSES
We know many of you received courses for Christmas and we’re looking forward to getting back in the classroom with you in 2019! Our full 2019 course listing is online and our January courses are noted here – call us at the shop (604.872.2204) to sign up today.
STEELHEAD FLOAT FISHING
In this fishery, 10% of the anglers catch 90% of the fish. This is your chance to learn from the 10%! Our 3hr evening seminar will educate you on the gear, water types, conditions and other key variables that put veteran steelhead anglers in that 10%. Mastering this fishery will make you the envy of your friends. Upgrade your seminar to include a fully guided day on the water, putting into practice your new knowledge with a Pacific Angler guide.
Seminar Only Cost: $50.00
Seminar & Guided Walk’n Wade Cost: $275.000 per angler, minimum of 2 anglers per guided day on the water.
Dates: Seminar: Jan 14 Guided: Jan 19, Jan 20, Jan 26, or Jan 27 SOLD OUT – Custom trip dates are available
Seminar Time: 6:30pm – 9:30pm | Guided: Full Day
FLY FISHING EGG PATTERNS
This course is designed to teach you the secrets to one of the most productive presentations in the BC fly fishermen’s arsenal; nymphing egg patterns. This deadly method can be used for different species of trout, char, and salmon. During a 3-hour evening seminar we will teach you key concepts, strategies, and gear that will give you a well-rounded foundation during the seminar portion of the class. Then you will put those skills into practice during a fully guided day on the water.
Dates: Seminar: Jan 16 Guided: Jan 19 or 20
Seminar Time: 6:30pm – 9:30pm | Guided: Full Day
INTRODUCTION TO FLY TYING
There is no greater satisfaction than catching a fish with a fly you tied yourself. This 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 materials and tools purchased for the course.
Dates: Jan 21, 28 & Feb 4
Time: 6:30pm – 9:30pm
TYING ESSENTIAL STEELHEAD PATTERNS
This course is designed for the fly tyer looking to get the best start on tying steelhead patterns. In the 3-hour evening seminar your instructor will cover everything from tying techniques, material and colour choices, size and weight. They will walk you through 3 essential patterns that will build a well-rounded steelhead fly box. If you’re looking to get yourself into tying your own flies for steelhead, this is the course for you. This course is suitable for fly tiers with a basic knowledge. Students are required to supply their own vise, tools and materials. A 10% discount is available on materials and tools purchased for the course.
Dates: Jan 22
Time: 6:30pm – 9:30pm
FRESHWATER FISHING REPORTS
Vedder River Fishing Report
The 74th annual Boxing Day Derby was held on the 26th and it is an interesting way to gauge the numbers of steelhead in the river. There were 5 fish weighed in and the winning fish was 12 pounds and change. The number of fish weighed in is low but the conditions were not ideal on the 26th and you never know how many fish did not get weighed in or were wild and had to be released.
Some years the derby is a good reflection of the total numbers and other years is not. It is fun to look at the historical numbers and make conclusions but all and all judging a season’s strength or weakness off one day of fishing is not a very good gauge. We are hopeful that there will be more fish caught this weekend.
Rain might blow this system out for the weekend but if we can see it drop over the next 4-8 days we should see more ideal conditions.
If you’ve still got a few days off before you head back to work in 2019 its definitely worth heading out.
Squamish River Fishing Report
The Squamish River has been dropping since Christmas. It is actually a little low right now. We should see it rise with rainfall in the forecast for this weekend, but we don’t think it will blow out. Reasonable temperatures and consistent rainfall has kept the fishing consistent. Rain and warm days keep the river water warm (relatively). With this the fish have energy to feed and there is flow in the river to push salmon eggs out of the gravel. It should be solid if you head out this weekend as long as the forecasted 10-15ml per day doesn’t change. We have not heard of any steelhead reports from this system yet, but as we have mentioned before this is usually a much later steelhead fishery.
Stave River Fishing Report
We have had some reports of anglers finding white fish while egging on the Stave over the holiday break. So again if you have a few days off this week there should still be good fishing for white fish along with the odd cutthroat and bulltrout over the next few weeks.
On the steelhead front we have not had any reports in. We usually start hearing reports at the end of January so a few more weeks yet. As always we will keep you posted on this system.
SALTWATER FISHING REPORTS
Vancouver Saltwater Salmon Fishing Report
Well this is the last saltwater report for 2018 and all in all it was a good year. I think in the New Year I will do a review of the season and bring to light some of the issues we will be facing in 2019. For now though, lets talk about winter fishing.
We were out quite a bit this past week, on charters as well as personal fishing. I would classify the fishing as consistent. There are fish in all the popular spots, and if you put your time in you are going to get rewarded with your shots at some nice winter chinook. If I had to pick a spot that stood out this past week, it would be Vancouver Harbour, aka Burrard Inlet. There are definitely some fish around the Bell Buoy, Mile Markers, and Freighters in 120-160 feet of water. Fish have also been taken around the QB and in towards the Cap Mouth on the flood. There are some nice bait balls and if you find the bait you find the fish, no secret there.
You want to keep your gear pretty close to the bottom but keep your eyes on the sonar as well, we did mark some suspended fish.
The brighter gear seems to be working well still. Chartreuse and green blade flashers have been productive; the Gibbs Lemon Lime has been really good this week. Chartreuse and green spoons with glow on them have also been good in the 3.0 and 3.5 sizes in G-Force and Kingfisher. Irish Cream, Homeland, Outfitter, and Trailhead have been working well.
We have been dropping some test traps for crab and the results have been very lack luster. I haven’t seen the crabbing this dismal in awhile; I think they got hit pretty hard this year. Fortunately the prawning has been good. I had one of my best sets in some time yesterday.
See you in the shop or on the water! Happy New Year.