Christmas Season is upon us and it is a fun time at the store. The staff are all eyeing stuff they would like under the tree this season but we have also not forgotten about the fishing. We just saw the first major cold spell of the season. When things are cold and clear, fishing on the rivers can be a challenge but guys are still doing well with trout on our local rivers and cold crisp days are a ton of fun on the ocean because the water is usually calm and every trip this week has seen good fishing for winter chinook and prawning.
We are going to see a shift in the weather this weekend. We might even see some snow on Saturday and then some rain on Sunday and into next week. On the river front this will be a good thing. It will get the fish moving and feeding. The rain will also bring warmer temps. While things are cold, expect to have to work for your fish but we should see some excellent conditions early next week. Though there is a storm coming Sunday we feel with these temperatures that the rivers won’t blow out.
On the Christmas side of things obviously we want to make sure you get awesome things under the tree this season. When loved ones get you gifts it is sometimes a challenge. We have some tips on how to make is easy for them and also make sure you don’t get random stuff you don’t need. So instead of listing off a bunch of product to buy we are going to give you a retail insider’s guide to help you help your loved ones get the perfect gift! Check it out in our Christmas shopping guide below.
CHRISTMAS SHOPPING GUIDE
This one is going to be a little different than your standard Christmas flier with a list of gift ideas that are probably filling your inbox already. In this guide we are going to give you some tips that you can use to steer your loved ones into getting you awesome gifts, while making it fun for them to hunt down that cool creative gift.
First off if you have a list, that is awesome, send them our way and we are going to get the list checked off. Some of my family members ask me for a list but some like to freestyle it a bit. Gifts from the “freestylers” can be epic but sometimes they are a bust.
If you have a loved one that likes to freestyle gifts or you just don’t have any specific ideas of what they should buy we’re here to give them some hints to help take the stress out of the shopping process. We will make sure you get something cool this year.
The big one to remember is fishing can be overwhelming for a non-fisherman. If you just tell them you want fishing stuff and they go to a large box store or try to shop online you are probably getting a singing bass for the wall while fun but likely not going to be useful o your next fishing adventure.
Second to tell them to go to a pro shop. It doesn’t have to be our shop. Any pro-shop where there are guys and girls that love fishing will steer them in the right direction. Then give them some hints. Tell them a little about your last fishing trip. Tell them where you went. Tell them if you like fly fishing or gear fishing.
We love living vicariously during Christmas. Our goal is always to pick what we would want under the tree. If we can ask your loved ones some simple questions about how, where and when you go fishing we can get you something that is awesome and actually useful!
If you are really concerned about what “Cousin Jimmy” is going to get you because he always gets you oddball gifts, then tell him to get you a gift card and something small that is fun. This will allow him to have fun buying you something creative but you will also have the gift card to back it up. Then you can come in and get something specific. Remember we have one of the biggest boxing week sales in the industry and this is a great time to cash in those gift cards.
The last tip is for the loved one that doesn’t like buying “stuff”. We offer a huge range of classes and courses. Tell your loved one you would like a fishing course for Christmas. If that loved one has shown an interested in fishing or fishes as well, tell them you want to take the course with them. It is great way to learn more about fishing and spend some quality time. For this gift you don’t have to pick course dates or even come down to the shop. All your loved one has to do is call in to the shop. We will email them a gift card for the amount of the course and you can call us in the New Year to book a date that works with your schedule. Our 2019 Course schedule will be in your inbox next week!
Over the next two weeks we will be firing off some great gift ideas so be sure to keep your eye on our social feeds (we’ve posted a few already). If something catches your eye send it on to your loved ones but know that if you send them to us with a little info we can find something great for you this Holiday Season.
A Ton of Great Fishpond Gear Just hit the Floor!
This past Fall season saw an amazing coho fishery with many anglers finding success. Whether or not you were tossing hardware or flies, I’m sure you had an assortment of tackle that helped lead to that success.
New for this Fall/Winter season is a HUGE assortment of packs, bags, vests, and accessories to help, whether or not you’re going to your local flow or headed on a dream destination trip.
With luggage, bags, packs, tools, accessories, clothing, and nets, Fishpond has literally thought of everything the angler needs.
Tying flies and need organization or storage options? Fishpond has it too.
Day trips, week-long getaways, or preparing flies for the next fishery, Fishpond has you covered.
With many of it’s bags and packs made from Cyclepond, you can also know that you’re doing the environment a favour by using bags made from recycled and re-purposed commercial fishing nets.
Come by the shop and check out all the cool bags and packs, as well as their endless assortment of angler-friendly accessories.
FRESHWATER FISHING REPORTS
Chilliwack/Vedder River Fishing Report – Steelhead Outlook
Salmon season is over, sub-zero temperatures are the new norm, and the winter blues are starting to set in. Early December can be a tough time for many anglers in the Lower Mainland as it was merely a few weeks ago that the rivers were full of salmon, but looking at the rivers now they seem frigid and devoid of life. While in the relative sense this may be true we are actually coming up on a very exciting and rewarding fishery for quite possibly the highest regarded sport fish in local waters: the steelhead.
Steelhead are an anadromous rainbow trout, meaning at some point in their life they will exit their natal river and migrate out to the ocean just like salmon do. When they return, they return as a magnificent bar of chrome and can range from a couple pounds all the way up to twenty plus pounds. They are the fastest freshwater fish in North America and if you’ve ever seen the thick caudals and square tails on these fish, you’d understand why. Also known as the “Fish of a Thousand Casts”, they can be elusive but once found are typically more aggressive than your average salmon. Their numbers are only a fraction of what you would expect during salmon season so do not expect pools full of these fish. Finding them is the name of the game.
Many rivers in BC have some population of steelhead. In saying that there are a few notable ones that are much more conducive to steelhead fishing. The Vedder River is number one on that list if either you are just getting started or want to know you are most likely at least fishing over a bunch of fish. The run starts now and goes through to end of April, with peak season typically being in February and March. It is both the easiest and toughest steelhead river you will ever fish locally. With a large hatchery enhanced run there is no real shortage of fish. On the flip side, due to the amount of fishing pressure these Vedder steelhead can be pickier than your typical Steelhead. This doesn’t mean they’re impossible to catch, but it does mean you need to put your time in.
Steelhead fishing consists of very similar tactics one would use for salmon. Drift fishing is the most popular method on the Vedder and its waters are highly conducive to this method. There are a wide variety of drifting presentations that will catch them, but hard-core steelheaders typically rotate some if not all of the following: pro-cured roe, pro-cured shrimp, plastic worms, colorado blades, wool, beads, spin-n-glows, and jigs. A medium-light to medium powered 9′ to 11’6″ spinning, baitcasting, or centerpin setup will be sufficient for this fishery.
Drifting is not the only way to get them on gear. Lure fishing can be highly effective in the right scenario. Big spoons like the K-Wobbler or spinners like a Blue Fox Vibrax can dominate when swung through tail-outs or walking pace water. While this presentation is a little more limited in its scope when it comes to the Vedder it is exhilarating when you feel a Steelhead suddenly latch onto your lure. Medium-light to medium powered spinning or baitcasting setups in the 7′ to 9′ range are perfect for this, preferably in a fast action.
Fly fishing is also a great way to get in on this fishery. Single hand or double hand setups both work; the weapon of choice is up to you. Swinging big bright streamers can be a great way to irritate a fresh steelhead into biting, especially in the lower reaches of the river. You will want a 7 or 8 weight single hand (or 5/6 double hand) for this application, and getting down to them is critical so a sink tip is a must. The lower Vedder has some great fly water, but don’t be afraid to explore the upper section as well.
The steelhead in the Vedder will be getting underway very soon, but you want to get out there now to scout the river and find those likely hiding holes for these fish. As aforementioned it is crucial to find them so covering water and hitting the higher percentage areas will likely be more rewarding than just blindly fishing through a run. I just briefly glossed over the general information for this fishery and there is a ton more to know, so if you are new to it and want to get set up or want to chat about it come down to the shop!
Squamish River Fishing Report
Well winter is starting to show its face and things are getting cold and clear on the Squamish. The bright side is that it isn’t getting super cold. When the temperatures start to have highs in the negatives the fishing shuts off as the fish’s metabolism slows right down and it is extremely difficult to get them to bite. That is not the case this coming week. We are seeing lows in the negatives over night and the days are in the low single digits and from experience I have had some amazing days on the flow with weather like this. If the weatherman is correct Squamish could see some rain with some snow mixed in and this could help colour the water up a tad, which could make for some epic fishing. The levels are currently at a very fishable height and it should make exploring the river a lot easier, so get those boots on the ground and find new water.
Fly fishing for trout with beads and flesh patterns are still a go to for us at this time and you will want to keep an eye out for eggs floating around the river to correctly “match the hatch.” I find that having the exact match for bead colour and a fluorocarbon leader when the water is this clear is critical because the fish can spot the beads from a mile away. We just got a fresh shipment of TroutBeads in at the shop, so make sure that you aren’t out of your favorite bead colours and come stock up on what you need!
If you are throwing metal make sure that you have a variety of smaller sized spoons, spinners and blades on hand. We have heard of good bull and rainbow trout fishing in the tributaries and there is still the odd chrome coho coming in but this has really started to slow down. If you aren’t planning on getting out this week then now is the time to check your boxes and restock on what you’ve lost over the season, as well as to take care of any maintenance on your reels and gear that you may have been putting off, so come on into the shop and let us help you out!
Stave River Fishing Report
The Stave River salmon fishing is pretty much over. There are still some fish around but It is better to leave these fish alone so that they may spawn without any stress.
Egging is picking up and though the cold has made things slower this week, next week’s rain and warmer weather should make it a great option if you want to get out. 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 ultralight 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 November 2018 is in the history books and compared to a lot of Novembers, I have to say the weather was pretty darn good and the fishing was decent too. Looking at December, let’s hope we get some more sunny days, calm seas, and aggressive winter chinook are on the horizon.
Unfortunately for this weekend it looks pretty wet, as a low-pressure system is coming in and we are going to see some precipitation starting on the weekend and lasting into midweek before the sun comes back out. It looks like there are some significant SE winds coming along with it as well, and some outflow winds for Howe Sound too. So it isn’t going to be flat calm and sunny, that is for sure, but if you dress for the weather, don’t mind the rain, and can handle some chop, this could be the weekend for you! The reason I say that is winter fishing is becoming more popular every year and if you wait for the flat calm, sunny days, expect it to be fairly busy. On the crappy days you aren’t going to see too many boats out, but if you have the gear and have some heat, no big deal.
Luckily for us, on our guided trips this past week, we only had a bit of rain and for the most part it was calm and sunny. The fishing was good too, with some undersize chinook to keep us on our toes and a few keepers in the box. As usual, keep your gear close to the bottom. The brighter gear has been working better lately as the water isn’t super clear yet. Our best colour flashers have been green and chartreuse with glow tape and the best colours spoons have had chartreuse and glow on them.
Fishing should continue to be solid for the next few months as different waves of winter chinook move into our area to feed on the abundant bait. If you are looking to get outdoors this month I would recommend giving winter chinook fishing and prawning a try, it is great day outside and you can’t beat the scenery and fresh air. Here are some of my favorite pics from our trips this week, enjoy…