We have a nice-looking weekend for getting out the water. Today, Friday, we will see some rain and for many of the river systems, the water is a good thing. We will also see warmer weather and clear skies moving into Sunday.
On the river front, we have updates on the Stave and Squamish in the freshwater section below but, long story short, it should be a good weekend to get out on the water. Taylor has a report on the Chilliwack which continues to have water clarity issues but we saw some very positive reports last weekend. Have a read of his report for all of the details.
We also have an ice fishing update for you today. With warmer weather it looks like another great option for getting out an enjoying mother nature with a fishing rod in your hand. Check it out if you are heading out. Sterling has some tips and things to think about.
Lastly, winter chinook fishing and prawning continues to be good. Last weekend, we saw a little lull with more undersize fish being caught but, overall, it continues to be one of the better winter seasons on record. We don’t have a report for you this week but Jason will tune in next week with more intel after a week on the water.
Last, but not least, be sure to check out our Industry Updates Section and courses below for some great opportunities to join our guiding team. There are a couple of courses to check out which have limited spots left!
On to the report!
INDUSTRY EVENTS AND UPDATES
Join Our Guiding Team
We are looking forward to a busy 2022 guiding season. We have full and part time opportunities for fresh, salt and sturgeon guides. Have a read of our job posting for more details.
For those of you settling in to an evening of tying or planning your next fishing trip over a drink we’ve got some inspiration for you! Long-time friend of the shop, Todd Scharf and former Pacific Angler guide Michael Menten teamed up to make this great video. Have a watch and read a bit about it below.
Todd Scharf, a lifelong spey fishing guide, relocates his business and family to the northern frontier of British Columbia to chase the one of the most sought after fish – the Steelhead. At an early age, Todd was obsessed with Steelhead and could not veer away from the inevitable fact that hunting for them would be his lifelong career. He decided to move to Terrace to chase the biggest and baddest salmonid species to open up a new door of adventure for his clients that he considers family. 10 years later, he has settled into his new environment and understands the water he fishes better than anyone. The sacrifice he made to move up north has paid off as he is constantly finding new opportunities in the unknown waters of the remote northern frontier of British Columbia. Todd now questions himself on if the reason for moving north wasn’t a pull from the fish but perhaps an escape from the craziness of the urban world.
CLASSES AND COURSES
INTRODUCTION TO SPEY CASTING – 1 SPOT LEFT
This 2-part course is designed to introduce you to the art of Spey fishing and to establish the fundamental techniques required for basic Spey casts used on our local rivers.
Dates: Zoom Seminar – Feb 22, 2022
Guided Casting: Feb 26, 2022
Zoom Seminar Time: 6:30pm – 9:30pm
Guided Casting: Full Day, Squamish
TYING ESSENTIAL BULLTROUT PATTERNS – 1 SPOT LEFT
Bulltrout / dollies ….. let’s just call them char are an interesting species. These fish have a diverse habitat, a very interesting life cycle and within the species they have very different characteristics in both size, color and feeding habits depending on their environment. The feeding habits are what we look at in this course. This is a fishing course within a tying course.
This seminar is well suited to tiers who have taken our beginner course and have basic tying skills. Advanced tiers will find the first two patterns fairly easy but they can challenge themselves with variations of the last pattern. If you are an experienced tier you probably already know that sometimes the skill, effectiveness and beauty of many great guide flies comes from their simplicity. Students are required to supply their own vise, tools and materials. A 10% discount is available on materials and tools purchased for the course.
Date: Feb 15, 2022
Time: 6:30pm – 9:30pm
TYING INTRUDER PATTERNS
In this one night course you will learn about the specifics techniques and unique materials used to tie Intruder style flies. At the end of this course you will have the skills needed to tie a variety of Intruder style flies from multi stage, monster flies for high water, average sized flies for everyday conditions, down to small, mini intruders for low water. Note that this course is suitable for intermediate to advanced tiers. Students are required to supply their own vise, tools and materials. A 10% discount is available on materials and tools purchased for the course. A detailed list of what materials are needed will be supplied in advance of the course.
Date: Feb 9, 2022
Time: 6:30pm – 9:30pm
FRESHWATER FISHING REPORTS
Chilliwack/Vedder River Fishing Report
The fishing in the Chilliwack/Vedder has been fairly slow this week… compared to last week. There are obviously still reasonable numbers of fish being caught, but it’s nothing like the madness from the week before. My best guess is that the rain at the beginning of the week allowed the fish to spread out a bit combined with deteriorating fishing conditions. Another weather system is scheduled to bring some rain before the weekend, so it’s hard to say what the river will look like for Saturday/Sunday. I’m not even going to speculate at this point, because I’m pretty sure I’ve been wrong 100% of the time this year!
As is standard practice at this point, make sure you’re bringing a wide variety of presentations for the variable conditions you may encounter, and don’t be afraid to fish close to shore when the water is dirty. Conditions below the slides have been completely fishable whenever the rain hasn’t been falling. Expect about 2’ of viz if it hasn’t been raining, and less if it has been raining.
Speaking of the slides, here’s a quick update. The Ranger slide is still causing issues, but it isn’t quite as bad as it was in December. Having said that, the Slesse Park slide has gotten worse, and the combination of the two slides is what’s causing issues. I’ve also heard reports of a smaller slide above the hatchery, which explains the less-than-ideal conditions above the Ranger slide during heavy rainfalls. As such, I’m not expecting to see gin-clear water in the Vedder at any point this steelhead season.
Stave River Fishing Report
The Stave has been in good shape for the past week. The weather has warmed up a few degrees, stimulating a higher metabolism triggering the cutthroat and whitefish to be on the search for food. Anglers have been having success float fishing with beads and deli shrimp for both whitefish and cutthroat. Take advantage of the slower pace of winter on the Stave and enjoy some solitude on the river.
Although not as plentiful as the other systems, usually around this time of year the steelhead fishing starts to pick up significantly on the Stave.
Float fishing with light line and rods makes for a fun fight with both cutthroat and whitefish. Downsize everything you would normally use for salmon. 15g floats balanced with split shot, 8lb mainline and size 6 hooks allow you to drift naturally and detect those subtle bites. Popular baits include: Single eggs, Deli Shrimp, Dew Worm, Krill, Small Pink Worms and Small Colorado Blades.
For those who wish to fly fish, nymphing a bead or a searching nymph is a good bet until the salmon fry start to pop out.
4-6wt rods are more than enough to get the job done. With colder winter temperatures, opt for a smaller size nymph like a Perdigon or a Frenchie and cover water mathematically.
Enjoy some Egg-cellent fishing!
Squamish River Fishing Report
As we write the report this week, the river is very low but we have some rain up the Squamish way this Friday. It is forecast for 20-25mm. This is exactly what we want to see. More rain to beat down the snow in the upper river and again watch the water levels. If it bumps up into the mid 2-meter range it should be good for the weekend. We also see relatively warm weather on Sunday so that is a bonus.
From what we have been hearing, access is becoming easier but, because of low clear water levels, fishing has been challenging. We did see some nice fish and we are hopeful that we will see more over the next week.
If you are gear fishing, beads/soft beads with a float setup are still going to be very productive but, as things start warming up into the end of February, spoons, spinners and Colorado blades will start to take over as the most productive presentation.
Good Luck out there!
STILLWATER FISHING REPORTS
Ice fishing Update
The weather is nice throughout the interior this weekend. That’s great news for people who don’t want to stick out -20 degree temperatures. I don’t find that the fishing changes too much due to temperature but, it’s always nice when you can be sitting outside in a sweater. Covering water has also been easier this season as the slush levels don’t seem particularly terrible year. Stick to snowmobile tracks since they’ll have the highest level of compacted snow and make for the easiest walking.
I’d still use a flutter spoon flasher with a small jig head. Rapala came out with a heavy-duty four-sided tackle storage unit that’s nice for storing all your ice fishing hooks.
We also have a few tingler spoons left, which work great when fish are more active. I always notice that fish will almost be competitive with a spoon when it’s being jigged. Lastly, always make sure to use either ice fishing specific line or monofilament for both your mainline and leader. Fluorocarbon does terrible in the cold and will constantly snap. It will also break on contact with a fish as there’s no stretch. I’ve heard countless stories of people who only brought fluorocarbon for their leaders and had it constantly snapping on them.