We have a sizable dump of rain coming today and then some chilly weather coming for Sunday and into next week. We never like to see an extended period of negative degree weather. It drops the river levels and it shuts down the metabolism of our fish. The one good thing about the forecast this week is the rain we can expect today. On paper it is a sizable 20-30ml bump of water. We do not think it will blow things out but hopefully it will colour the water and should take the edge off the cold weather to come. We expect fishing to be solid for Saturday and Sunday but if it remains cold into next week we will see fishing slow.
We have had more steelhead reports this week from the Valley. Over all, from what we are hearing it was a little slower than last week but a good numbers of fish were still caught. With this weather shift we are hopeful that we will hear good reports today and tomorrow and that the cold next week won’t put a big damper on things.
We have a little update on the Vedder and an overview of the fishing on the Stave and Harrison in the river section below. On the Squamish we expect good fishing for the next 2-3 days with things slowing as it gets cold Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday. Check out details on this in the Squamish section.
Winter chinook continue to fish well. We had a productive start to the week but things slowed midweek with the arrival of a pod of Orcas in Howe Sound. We’re out today and all weekend so will have some fresh reports from the water if you want to call the shop!
Our full listing of February courses are below. It’s a great way to stay warm and get your fishing fix in if you are planning on waiting out the cool weather. Don’t wait to sign up as most of our courses have been selling out. On thee course front we had one spot open up in the Mastering Local Saltwater Course. Call the shop to grab that spot today. Details below
CLASSES + COURSES
News Flash! We’ve had one spot open up in Jason’s Mastering Local Saltwater Salmon Course. The seminar is this weekend and on the water later this month – call now as this spot will fill up FAST!
For the rest of the month we have a lot of great tying courses as well as our Introduction to Fly Fishing Course. You may not be thinking about learning fly fishing in February but now is a great time to take the class, get the basics of casting down and then put it to use for the upcoming year!
Mastering Local Saltwater Salmon Fishing
Over 50 million salmon migrate past Vancouver annually. Learn how to catch these fish with a Pacific Angler. This course offers an in-depth look at the local saltwater scene. We cover the local saltwater salmon fishing for the entire year, showing you the how, when, and where. This course includes a 6hr seminar and a fully guided day on the water in one of our Grady Whites.
Cost: $350.00 + GST
Seminar: Feb 3, 2019
Guided: Feb 15, 2019 – ONE SPOT LEFT! All other dates sold out!
Seminar Time: 9:00am – 4:00pm – with a one-hour break for lunch. There are two restaurants on site for students to have lunch at their cost. Coffee/Tea and water will be provided. Seminar held at Pacific Gateway Hotel – 3500 Cessna Drive, Richmond, BC
Guided Day: Full day on the water
Introduction To Fly Fishing
This course was specifically designed to give the new fly fisher the basic knowledge, casting skills and fly fishing strategies to effectively fish our local BC waters.
This course is comprised of two sessions a 3hr evening seminar and a 3hr casting session.
Cost: $150.00 + GST
Seminar: Feb 20, 2019 | 6:30pm – 9:30pm
Casting: February 23, 2019 | 10am – 1pm or 1:30pm -4:30pm
Tying Intruder Patterns
Steelhead fly fishing has been radically transformed in the past decade or so for two main reasons, Skagit style Spey casting and the Intruder style fly. This combination has proven to be absolutely deadly effective for catching steelhead. In this one night course you will learn about the specifics techniques and unique materials used to tie Intruder style flies. The way this type of fly is tied has evolved from the classic palmering style to a new composite loop style, and both techniques will be taught in detail in this course. In addition we will talk about why this style of fly is so productive and different ways to rig the fly from stinger hooks to the original Intruder rigging. 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. Course materials are not supplied but can be purchased at the course night or in advance at 10% off. A detailed list of what materials are needed will be supplied in advance of the course.
Cost: $50.00 + GST
Dates: Feb 12, 2019
Time: 6:30pm – 9:30pm
Tying Essential Bulltrout Patterns
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.
Cost: $50.00 + GST
Dates: Feb 19, 2019
Time: 6:30pm – 9:30pm
FRESHWATER FISHING REPORTS
Chilliwack River Fishing Report
Reports on the Vedder were good last week. Overall we feel that things slowed a little this week but a good number of fish were still hooked.
Water levels are good and with the rain today it should bring in some fresh fish. We are getting into prime time on this system and we can expect solid reports from now until the end of the season. Historically there are always good waves of fish hitting around the end of January and first 2 weeks of February.
With cold weather coming things will probably get low and clear Sunday and into next week. This will mean fishing smaller presentations like single eggs, beads and smaller plastics with lighter leaders but at least for the weekend we expect conditions to be good. Covering water with medium sized roe bags, procured roe, prawns or your standard pink worms and plastics will produce fish.
This is also the time that the fly guys start having more consistent luck. We heard of a couple fly caught fish this week. Run 2.5-3.5 inch streamers in black and blues, black and purples and pinks. When it gets cold and clear you will need to down size your flies but at least for today and tomorrow you should have good conditions to get out and fish.
Squamish River Fishing Report
The river got low and clear this week. With the clear, cold water the fishing for bulltrout was a challenge. We did hear some reports of anglers using smaller fry and streamer imitations with surprising success. Beads also continue to produce fish and you should fish with both streamers and eggs this time of year.
We are hopeful that the rain today will bump up rivers levels and turn on the fish. When it gets cold next week, we expect things to be a challenge again.
We have heard the odd whispering of steelhead in the lower river. It is probably worth a scout but you should not expect solid steelhead reports until the end of February.
Harrison River Fishing Report | Winter months on the Harrison and Fraser Rivers
There are more fisheries available than just steelhead fishing in the winter months or if you just want to take a break and mix things up. If you can brave the cold on the Harrison River or the Fraser you can fish for resident cutthroat, white fish and the occasional dolly/bulltrout. After the salmon have spawned these fish would have spent some time in December gorging on salmon eggs. If we experience a colder winter, river levels will drop to an extreme low levels and this could be quite good for walking the back channels and hunting for cutthroat. In the months of January/February when the eggs are already embedded on the bottom it is best to fish attractor patterns such as small woolly buggers in different colours and for those who fish gear very small spoons and spinners work best. The resident cutthroat that you might encounter are the pre -spawning fish meaning that they have not reached their cycle to migrate to the ocean before returning back to their native river to spawn. They are usually smaller than the ones called “sea-runs” that make they way up the creeks to get ready for spawning during the winter months.
March and April is a magical time on the Harrison as the cutthroat migrate down from the spawning areas into the Harrison and the Fraser rivers to bulk up on salmon fry before heading down to the ocean for the summer months. Please handle these fish with care and release them gently as we are always trying to increase the population, as they are already hard to come by. If you are interested in this fishery we provide a course “Fly fishing for cutthroat” where you can get a more in depth understanding of this exciting fishery.
We will be back with more Harrison Reports mid to late February when things warm up so stay tuned and good luck if you get out on the water.
Stave River Fishing Report and Overview
During the winter months on the Stave beading/egging for trout and whitefish is a great fishery. There are good numbers of trout and whitefish in the system as they are gorging on eggs. If you drift with Jensen eggs, beads or egg-shaped wool in riffles behind spawning salmon, you can get these fish.
Steelhead also trickle into the system right now. Over the next few months, we will be able to catch them by drifting with steelhead rigs such as plastic worm, gooey bob, corkies, colorado blades or spin-n-glos. You can also use roe or shrimp. Fly fishing is also a viable option; try steelhead patterns in different colours.
The egg fishing trout fishery will last until mid February and steelhead will be in the system from now until May.
At the end of the steelhead season, we will see another trout fishery in the stave river. Fly fishing with fry pattern or tossing little spoons or spinners will attract the trout that are in the system to feed on the salmon fry. This fishery goes from March to May. The river usually gets high in May and though there are still resident fish in the system all summer it is not a go to destination until fall.
Capilano River Report and Overview
The first steelhead start trickling in now. We do not see many steelhead on the Capilano but it is a fishery worth looking at it you do not have time to travel farther. They can be targeted with spoons, spinners, flies, or drifting colorado blades, jigs, shrimp, roe and plastic worms but the most popular method for the high banked deep pools on the Capilano is with a gear rod and a float. Come talk to us and we will show you the right setups. Steelhead are expected to be in the system until mid-March.
See you on the river!
SALTWATER FISHING REPORTS
Vancouver Saltwater Salmon Fishing Report
After some nice weather this past week we are back to a bit of wind and rain just in time for the Friday anglers, a brief sunny patch on Saturday and maybe even some light snow on Sunday.
There was some decent action early in the week but things cooled down a bit later in Howe Sound with the arrival of a pod of orcas on Wednesday. I am writing this report at 5:00 am Friday, just before heading down to the dock for a day of guiding. It will be interesting to see if the fishing picks back up today or if this lower pressure system and orca presence slows the bite down as yesterday it was pretty slow. If you are a fisherman you have to be an eternal optimist, so here is hoping the orcas have moved on and the fish have adjusted to the low pressure!
In terms of gear, we have covered that in detail in past reports many times. As usual, keep your gear relatively close to the bottom where you see the bait and cover water to find the hot zone for that day.
Prawning continues to be good and crab traps are best left at the dock as you will get mostly undersize.
That’s all for this week, need to grab the coffee, get down there and tie up some fresh leaders.
See you in the shop or on the water,