Well, the weatherman was a little off last week. The storm that was forecast didn’t materialize. We expected a blowout on the Squamish and steady water conditions on the Chilliwack. The Squamish didn’t budge and stayed low and clear. The Chilliwack didn’t blowout but we did see some milkier colored water. We then saw a spike on the Squamish Wednesday that made for some good water levels mid-week, but it dropped fast. As we write the report it’s low and clear.
We have some more rain in the forecast for the entire Lower Mainland but it looks to be relatively low amounts of precipitation. This should translate into low water conditions but nothing that should turn you away from heading out.
Reports all week have been solid both for bulltrout up Sea to Sky and steelhead out in the valley so be sure to check out reports on both the Squamish and Chilliwack systems below.
We also have a saltwater update this week. Winter chinook fishing continues to be solid. Check out Jason report below for the details.
In shop news, we still have a few spaces in our Spey Casting Class (see more details in the class session below). We only offer this class once per year so be sure to get in on this if you are looking to start out spey casting or brush up on your skills! We are also back with our Fly Tying Jam session this month as well and we can’t wait to have you all in the shop for that evening. For details on that evening, including how to register for this free event, check out our Industry Events and Updates section below!
Introduction to Spey Casting
This 2-part course is designed to introduce you to the art of Spey fishing and establish the fundamental techniques required for basic Spey casts used on our local rivers.
Dates: Seminar – Feb 21, 2023 Casting: Feb 26, 2023
Seminar Time: 6:30pm – 9:30pm
Casting: Full Day, Squamish
INDUSTRY EVENTS AND UPDATES
Fly Tying Jam Session – Stillwater Edition
In case you missed our special mailout yesterday and, after a 3-year hiatus, we’re back with our fly tying jam session. This session, we will focus on stillwater flies for trout.
If you haven’t joined us for jam sessions in years past, it is a relaxed and fun night for tyers of all levels of experience from beginner to expert to hang out, do some tying, share their favourite flies and techniques, and of course talk about fishing!
Our group of tiers will be on hand to demonstrate techniques and answer questions on tying a variety of patterns including chironomids, wing bud chironomids, leeches, damsels, mayflies and of course blobs and boobies.
To learn more about this event and our tyers who will be on hand check out our special mailout here and registration details below!
When: Tuesday, February 28th from 6:30 pm to 9:30 pm.
Where: Pacific Angler, 78 East Broadway, Vancouver BC
How: Get your FREE tickets online at our Eventbrite Page – if you want to reserve a spot at the tying table be sure to reserve a tyer ticket*. If you want to mingle and chat with the tyers and your fellow anglers reserve yourself a spot by getting a mix and mingle ticket! Space is limited so don’t miss out on getting your ticket today!
*Note if you are going to be tying you need to bring their own vise, tools and materials.
Come on down, enjoy a FREE night of tying, some tasty snacks, great beverages from our friends at Red Truck Beer and awesome prizes!
All fly tying materials and tools will be 15% off.
FRESHWATER FISHING REPORTS
Chilliwack/Vedder River Fishing Report
The start of the week on the C/V started with very low water until we received a few bumps of rain through Tuesday. Again, the forecasted storm last weekend really didn’t come and river levels have been fairly inconsistent, but remain on the low side of things. It seems like most of January was off to a really good start with phenomenal pushes of primarily hatchery females. As we transition further into February and March, expect to see more larger males as well as more wild fish in the system.
By now the river has seen a decent amount of fishing pressure, being different is key in situations where you suspect there are fish in an area that has been fished through. I have seen 3-5 guys fish through an area with the same bead just for someone to come in behind with a prawn and pickup 2 fish in the same area. Pulling out small but unique presentations such as corkies, spin-n-glos and yarnies loaded with scent can stir up fish that have seen the same pink worm a thousand times.
This is when I believe a properly swung spoon shines best. Warmer temperatures in Feb-April switch steelhead on to be a lot more territorial towards flashy intruders that enter and exit their holding lies. Some of my favourite spoons to thump at this time of year are the Gibbs Koho and the Prime Lures Glory. I prefer to fish these low and slow with my spoon making contact with the bottom every 8-10 seconds. A real methodical thump, pause, thump generally works better than a more rapid full revolution spin.
This technique excels in tailouts where float anglers might have pushed a group of steelhead further and further back into the run. Remember to be respectful of other anglers that may be fishing below you as swinging spoons does require a fair amount of room immediately below you.
Float fishing continues to be productive for anglers; everything from beads to colorado blades have been picking out fish. All of your standard presentations will work, but as mentioned before, try to think how you can be different from everyone else. That can be as minimal as using a different colour bead, as drastic as bushwacking 5km to get to a spot that may not have been fished through yet, or even casting to a spot that has a high chance of snagging up.
We are expecting some rain in the valley throughout the week starting on Sunday, which is a good thing as long as the colour holds in the river. At the time of writing, the river is sitting at a 2.2m. Hopefully, we will see it bump to 2.4m to bring in pods of hot fish and stir things around.
Squamish River Fishing Report
We expected a big jump in river levels last weekend because the forecast was calling for 20-50mm of rain in a 24-hour period. It didn’t materialize. Things were damp but river levels didn’t rise until mid-week when we saw a spike and the river rose to a 2.7m. This is a great fishing level and we heard good reports, but the river has dropped fast and we are back to low clear conditions.
This weekend looks nice with some rain today and clearer skies Saturday. We get hit with some rain Sunday and temps will get cold mid next week.
How will this affect this fishing? It will be ok fishing conditions over the weekend but expect clear water. Pick your presentations accordingly. There could be a window of good water levels early next week Monday and Tuesday but, with negative degree weather at night on Tuesday, it will be back to low and very clear conditions by mid next week.
Disclaimer: This all hinges on the weatherman being on his game. He missed it so badly last week that he needs to redeem himself. As always, keep an eye on the Weather network for your long-term reports and then default to the government weather report the night before and outing over or even better the morning of your trip to plan and make sure things are safe.
Good Luck out there!
SALTWATER FISHING REPORTS
Vancouver Saltwater Salmon Fishing Report
We are about halfway through the winter season and I would say it has been a good one so far. Fishing has been very consistent since November, with the vast majority of days having fish in the box with limits not being that uncommon. I don’t see any reason this will change in the coming weeks, so if you haven’t been out, there is still time.
February is a great month for winter chinook fishing. March can be good as well, but it does get a bit trickier with algae blooms and some suspended fish and bait. For now, the water is very clear, the bait is on the bottom and so are the fish, so that’s where your gear should be. That means use some flashers that have glow tape and use glow spoons or hootchies. We have covered many productive setups in the past, so take a look through previous reports and our guiding Instagram page @pacificanglersportfishing for some pictures of productive gear.
In terms of location, all the spots are producing well, from Vancouver Harbour up into Howe Sound and over in the Gulf Islands. I wouldn’t say any one spot or area has been a standout, just consistent all around. It’s good to see a strong fish presence in all spots and lots of bait.
With days being a bit longer and warmer, now is a great time to book a trip. Give us a call at 778-788-8582 for details on our winter chinook special.
See you in the shop or on the water,