A beautiful weekend of fishing weather is incoming! We were seeing some crazy warm temperatures for the weekend when looking at the forecast earlier this week but, they have updated the forecast to highs of 9 over Saturday and Sunday. That said it is still great weather for getting out on the water.
We continue to hear good reports from the Chilliwack steelhead fishery. Things have slowed a little from the bump of good reports two weeks ago but it is still well worth getting out. Gavin has details on river levels and conditions below in this week’s Chilliwack/Vedder report.
The Squamish is unfortunately quite low right now and this has made fishing a challenge. Any time things get low and clear fishing is hard on this system. It is still worth a hike and Jordan has details in his report but, we are looking forward to some wetter warm weather. Historically, the first good warm weekend at the end of February starts the salmon fry hatch but when looking at the 14-day forecast there is not enough rain or warm weather to really get things going in the next 5-8 days.
Lastly, we have a saltwater update this week. Jason will have details on how the winter chinook fishing has been over the last week.
On to the report!!
INDUSTRY EVENTS AND UPDATES
We are still accepting resumes for some great guides to join our team. If you haven’t applied – now is the time! We are looking for saltwater guides, sturgeon guides as well as freshwater river guides.
Have a read of our job posting for more details.
CLASSES AND COURSES
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; 3hr evening seminar and a 3hr casting session. The dates below show the seminar date first and casting date second.
Dates: (Mar 8 & 13), (Apr 6 & 9), (May 10 & 14), (Jun 15 & 18), (July 12 & 17), (Sept 20 & 24)
Cost: $150.00 + GST
Zoom Seminar Time: 6:30pm – 9:30pm
Casting Time(s): 10am – 1pm or 1:30pm -4:30pm
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
FRESHWATER FISHING REPORTS
Chilliwack/Vedder River Fishing Report
This week, we have seen better conditions on the C/V, with the water level dropping from a 2.2m to a 2.1 at the time of writing. Visibility below the Ranger Slide ranges from 1ft-2.5ft depending on location. Rain is expected all week in the Valley starting on Monday, which should bring down visibility a fair bit. Recently, the fishing has been mediocre, unlike the significant better fishing we have been having in the previous weeks. Fish are spread out throughout the whole system; take some time to explore the runs a bit.
Just like we have talked about in the previous weeks, simply go big and bright with your presentations. Pink worms, roe bags, fat colorado blades. Try not to focus on what you are using in low visibility conditions; the fish are hot and aggressive. Pick a couple confidence presentations and stick with it.
Squamish River Fishing Report
The Squamish and its tributaries are still fishing okay, though conditions and access have been tough. There is still plenty of snow which has made accessing the upper sections a challenge, even for those with larger vehicles.
The weekend’s weather looks to be pretty sunny and ‘warm’ in-town, but upper township levels get cooler as elevations climbs, meaning most glaciers will still be pretty solid. Expect conditions to still be quite low and clear.
Trout and char are still being encountered through all systems, with the fishing only getting better as the season progresses into Spring.
In terms of what to use when you’re out, beads and bobs are great options, along with small spinners and spoons. Worm, jigs, and soft plastics should also start making an appearance soon as well.
Fly anglers are still finding success with beads, glo-bugs, and sculpins. If you’re itching to get the longer rods out, sparse popsicle-style flies and small single-stage streamers may entice anadromous species though those are still few and far between at this time.
If you’re looking to get ahead of tying season, now is a great time to start tying up fry and alevin patterns for the spring fry hatch. If you hunt hard this weekend you might even see a few salmon fry popping out of the gravel but, historically, it really starts happening in the last week of Feb into early March when we see a warming trend. Andre has a fly-tying video on his simple epoxy fry pattern that is great for this system over the next 2 months
Check it out here:
Come on in to the shop and see any of our experienced staff for more great pointers and tips.
SALTWATER FISHING REPORTS
Vancouver Saltwater Salmon Fishing Report
Not much new to report on the Vancouver saltwater front. Fishing continues to be good, especially compared to seasons past. Pressure has picked up this past week, as we have had some nice calm days and warmer weather. With record boat sales the last few years and the chinook fishery being closed all summer, busier winter fishing should not be any surprise. In fact, it is the new normal until we get some more opportunity in the summer months. I wouldn’t hold my breath there, but more on that in future reports and what you can do to help make it happen.
Prawning has been good, but just like the chinook fishing, the pressure will increase substantially in the coming weeks as more boaters start to venture out as the days get warmer and longer.
A note on the regs. Make sure you are ready to get checked. DFO has been out in force, which is great to see. I was talking with them on the water the other day and they were mentioning there were several anglers who got tickets for their barbs not being pinched. The ticket is now $575, and it is per barb. So, if you forget to pinch your barbs on a treble hook, well you can do the math. Make sure when pinching your barbs that it doesn’t snap the barb and leave a micro barb. This will not pass the test. This can be avoided by rolling your pliers back and forth as you slowly pinch the barb. This will result in a smooth pinched barb.
Keep in mind, when we don’t follow the regs, this info is used against our user group in meetings. I see it all the time. Those organizations opposing openings or openings with specific regulations point to the level of non-compliance with current regulations. So do us all a favour, pinch the barbs, make sure you license is printed out, make sure you record your catch, and stay out of the RCA and Sponge Reef Refuges. If you need some help figuring out these areas, come by the shop and we can show you on the chart plotters at the store or on the Navionics app.
The herring are starting to spawn in False Creek now. This is usually about the time fishing can pick up in Vancouver Harbour as well. Chinook will get hooked at the Cap Mouth, the Freighters, and around the Bell Buoy. This fishery can go right through March. So, if Howe Sound has been slow for you, don’t pass up on the spots a little closer to home.
See you in the shop or on the water,