Well the snow has turned to rain and we can’t say that we’re not happy about that. The weather this week has been hard to predict and very inconsistent. We have seen lots of snow but also some warmer than expected temps with some crazy wind pushing it all around. When we look at the forecast over the next couple days it looks like we can continue to see this “unpredictable” weather (we are quoting the Weather Channel). This unpredictability has also made fishing predictions for the weekend a challenge. With this in mind we are going to keep the report brief and touch on what you need to watch if you are thinking about heading out.
First off, you all want to get familiar with the river levels website. With all the snow, our rivers are quite low but if we get rain and warmer weather the snow is going to melt. Ideal conditions are on a gentle rise or after a big rise as it settles. We sometime feel like a broken record with this one but rising water equals less visibility and it also moves fish around. If the water gets coloured but not too dirty almost all river species go on the feed and it’s time to GO FISHING. Check out the map search for the listed rivers here.
The second one we look at is weather. You can go crazy with different websites but the two we like the most are the Weather Network and the Canadian Weather Service. They are both quite different. The weather network has much longer time frames on their forecasts and more specific weather details but because of this they are way less reliable. The Canadian Weather service is more accurate but they do this by not getting specific with their prediction and only being detailed in their 48hr forecast. Both are useful and you should always cross reference at least two reports.
If you are saltwater angler the primary source for the marine forecast is the Government of Canada’s site and we are generally checking this for the Strait of Georgia South of Nanaimo and Howe Sound at this time of year. Another great resource is Fish Weather where you can get current conditions and a forecast as well.
These are the major ones we use to plan our fishing trips and we hope that putting them all in one place helped. There are a ton of other useful resources out there to look at but if you reference these before heading out, you will have a solid idea of what to expect.
As we said this week we are going to keep things simple. We have an update on the conditions on the Vedder, the Squamish and saltwater front in the report sections below.
On the retail front we are headed into the Family Day Long Weekend. We’re open regular hours all weekend but will be closed on Monday to spend some time on the water with our family!
Friday February 15 – 10AM – 7PM
Saturday February 16 – 10AM – 6PM
Sunday February 17 – 11AM – 5PM
Monday February 18 – Closed – Happy Family Day!
INDUSTRY EVENTS AND UPDATES
Mark your calendar — the Steelhead Society of BC’s annual Pub Night Fundraiser event happens February 20, 2019.
This is a fun night out for a great cause – with live and silent auctions, raffle draws and more you can support the great work that the SSBC does!
The 2019 pub night fundraiser will focus on raising money for wild steelhead conservation in British Columbia. So come on by for a fun night and support steelhead conservation!
Date: Wednesday February 20, 2019
Time: 7pm – 11pm
Location: Micky’s Irish Public House – 170 Golden Drive, Coquitlam BC
Cost: $20 – includes a burger & beer
We’re Hiring – Saltwater Guides
Do you want to fish every day but sleep in your own bed each night? Skip lodge life this summer and join the Pacific Angler Saltwater Guide Team! Check out all of the details here!
CLASSES AND COURSES
There may still be a bit of snow on the ground but don’t let that hold you back from signing up for Matt’s Introduction to Fly Fishing Course next week. Get a jump on the season and get your casting dialed in! If you’re looking for a fly tying course Jordan has 2 spots left in his Tying Bulltrout Patterns class next week as well.
Some folks couldn’t make our Intruder Course due to the snow earlier this week so it has been moved and we still have a couple of spots left in our new date of Monday March 4! Details on all courses below.
Tying Essential Bulltrout Patterns – 2 spots 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, colour 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
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 – 2 spots left!
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: Mar 4, 2019
Time: 6:30pm – 9:30pm
FRESHWATER FISHING REPORTS
Chilliwack/Vedder River Fishing Report
With the worst of the winter storm hopefully behind us and a warming trend coming in the next couple of weeks we will start to see some better fishing conditions out on the river. The cold temperatures took a toll on the water levels and as a result they are dirt low and clear. We did hear of a couple of fish over the last week, however it was not ideal and only the hard-core of the hard-core got out and had most of the river to themselves. We should start to see a bump in the levels coming up with some warmer daytime highs and some rain in the forecast. This should help colour the water a bit too.
If you are going to give it a swing in the near future make sure you take into account the conditions you will be fishing. More than likely it will stay low and clear for the next little bit so definitely bring your finesse presentations if you are gear fishing, though don’t be afraid to bring a couple of larger ones to mix things up. This can also be a good time for fly anglers to get out there too as the stellar clarity is conducive to swinging a fly especially down in the lower reaches.
Squamish River Fishing Report
As I write the report the river is low and I am watching the snow come down outside my window so I expect this won’t change in the next 48 hours. We have not heard any reports of accessibility in the upper river or how much snow came down up there but I would assume that only the most 4-wheel drive equipped trucks should head up that way and I would not be going without chains. That said with the crazy outflow winds they may have gotten less snow than one might expect. I will try to get more intel for next week’s report when this storm blows through.
We heard of a few anglers hitting the lower river on Tuesday when we go a break in the weather and we did hear of a few fish but with the crazy weather not many guys have been getting out. All I can say is watch the river levels closely and be prepared. It could be as soon as next week or it could be a few weeks from now but when the snow begins to melt and we get a bump in river levels, expect fishing to be excellent.
Good luck and send in report of both the fishing and the road access if you brave a trip.
SALTWATER FISHING REPORTS
Vancouver Saltwater Salmon Fishing Report
Well finally we have some sun in the forecast and this white stuff will hopefully go away. The winds might even back off enough today for me to get up Howe Sound. It’s 5 AM here in the Tonelli household and I am reviewing the forecast, typing up the report, then headed down to the dock for the first of 3 days of guiding. It looks like I am going to deal with some rain today, but that is not big deal compared to the freezing temperatures we have had out on the water this past week. Its already plus 3 this morning, I will take it!
The fishing this past week was confined to Vancouver Harbour as we had large outflow winds in Howe Sound and too much wind to make it over to the Gulf Islands. Low and behold, there are decent numbers of fish around in the Harbour and the amount of bait is really starting to build up. This bodes well for the March fishery which has been excellent these past 3 years in the Harbour as the herring stack up pre-spawn.
When I was out on Monday we were into a lot of small fish and the larger legal sized fish eluded us, but on other trips our boats were into some nice sized fish. The Cap Mouth has been good on the flood, as has the Bell Buoy and Mile Markers, and The Freighters have been producing on the ebb. So regardless of tides, you have some good options.
Productive spoons have been the usual suspects like the Skinny G in BC, Outfitter, Herring Aide or the Kingfisher in Irish Cream and Herring Aide, or the G- Force in BC, Outfitter, and Trailhead. The bait has been small, so the smaller size spoons like 3.0 and 3.5 have been working well. We have been fishing some bait and it has been productive, as you would expect. In the clear water the UV purple and UV green teaser heads are working, with a glow eye added on. Productive flashers have been Herring Aide, and any glow green or glow chartreuse flasher on the darker days or a black blade on the sunny days (coming up this weekend). Some of our favourites are BC, STS, Lemon Lime, Chartreuse Phantom, PA Custom in green or chartreuse. For darker colours the Herring Aide, CB55, PA Custom Black (Black Mamba) and Purple Phantom are all great choices.
We haven’t been prawning this past week, as there has been way too much wind to safely set or retrieve the gear. However, crabbing has finally picked up and our boats dropped traps the other day and did quite well.
See you in the shop or on the water,