As we are sure you all know, it was a very wet week with local rivers getting blown out by the rain that came with the storm systems over the last week. It is looking to be mainly dry in the next week so that is a good thing for those living in areas where flooding was an issue and good news for anglers looking to get out on the water.
With dryer weather and cooler temperatures, we hope to see the rivers back in shape sooner rather than later. Check out our reports on the Squamish and Chilliwack/Vedder below. While it was wet, we did have some great saltwater winter chinook fishing as always at this time of year, so it’s a great time to get out on the water. We’ll have a full winter chinook fishing report next week but if you’re looking for the latest reports from the water give us a ring at the shop. Our Winter Chinook Charter Special is still on as well so if you’re looking to take advantage of the upcoming dry weather give us a call.
In shop we have some great courses coming up this month as well as an in store special event with the BC Fly Guys. Check the details on all of that below.
Last, if you haven’t yet, be sure to take the time to fill out the survey on the proposed 2024 Southern Resident Killer Whale Measures – more info. on that below as well.
INDUSTRY EVENTS AND UPDATES
BC Fly Guys + Pacific Angler Event
If you missed it our special mailout we have a big day planned in shop with the BC Fly Guys Saturday February 10, 2024!
There are only a handful of tickets left for the evening presentation so if you are thinking of attending, now is the time to buy your ticket!
They will be at the shop from 12 -5, hanging out, tying flies and chatting about lake fishing.
All fly-tying materials, vises and tools will be 15% off this day as well.
If you can’t make it down, we will be doing some live stream videos while the guys are tying, so make sure you follow @bcflyguys and @pacificangler on Instagram for the videos and prize giveaways.
The guys have also put together a special presentation for the evening…
Six Must Have Sleeper Fly Patterns
- The half dozen overlooked fly patterns we don’t leave home without!
- From leeches to chronies, these are patterns that drop bobbers all day, every day.
- In addition to revealing these productive patterns we will talk about how we like to fish them.
- After the presentation there will be some time to enjoy a beverage and ask questions.
- This event is from 6:30-9:30PM at Pacific Angler
- Seating is limited to 20 people, and you must have a pre-purchased ticket to attend.
- Tickets are $50 (+ tax and eventbrite fees) and can be purchased here
Southern Resident Killer Whale Survey
If you haven’t done it already, it is time to do your part and fill out the 2024 Southern Resident Killer Whale Survey. As many of you know there have been a lot of unnecessary and ineffective closures put in place to “protect” SRKW. We are talking about large scale area closures where SRKW might only be in the area for a few hours the entire year. A lot of it is political posturing for votes and there are much more efficient and effective ways to protect SRKW that we are in favour of. We love SRKW as well and want to see them and their ability to forage be protected by measures that actually make a difference, not by things that look good on a map for a press conference.
I know, we are all busy, but I urge you to check out this article from the Public Fishery Alliance and then read the very informative information from the Sport Fish Advisory Board.
The Sport Fishing Institute of BC has also shared some information on this as well so have a read of their latest newsletter here!
There is some great info about how to fill out the survey from both of these organizations with a link to do so at the bottom of the articles. PLEASE do the survey as your ability to go boating and fishing literally depends on it!
Tying Intruder Patterns SOLD OUT Call the shop to have your name added to the waitlist
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 7, 2024
Time: 6:30pm – 9:30pm
Tying Essential Steelhead Patterns
This course is designed for the fly tyer looking to get the best start on tying steelhead patterns. In the 3-hour evening seminar your instructor will cover everything from tying techniques, material and colour choices, size and weight. They will walk you through 3 essential patterns that will build a well-rounded steelhead fly box. If you’re looking to get yourself into tying your own flies for steelhead, this is the course for you. This course is suitable for fly tiers with a basic knowledge. 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 13, 2024
Time: 6:30pm – 9:30pm
Introduction To Fly Tying
There is no greater satisfaction than catching a fish with a fly you tied yourself. This Introduction to Fly Tying course was specifically designed to give you the fundamental skills needed to tie proven fly patterns used here in BC for trout, salmon, and steelhead.
This course consists of 3 sessions; each session is 3hrs.
Students are required to supply their own vise, tools and materials. A 10% discount is available on fly tying materials and tools purchased for the course.
Dates: Feb 20, 27 and Mar 5
Time: 6:30pm – 9:30pm
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, 2024 Casting: Feb 25, 2024
Seminar Time: 6:30pm – 9:30pm
Casting: Full Day, Squamish
Check out the full course listing here and give us a call at the shop (604.872.2204) to sign up today!
FRESHWATER FISHING REPORTS
Chilliwack/Vedder River Fishing Report
The past week’s weather didn’t do the C/V system any favors; the atmospheric rivers and snowmelt produced a blowout of epic proportions that definitely put the river out of shape. As of writing this report on Thursday, it’s still not looking too hot, though it can be considered fishable if you get above the slides. The river is running quite high, and vis isn’t great at the crossing, but a lack of significant precipitation in the forecast should get the river back into shape for next week.
If you’re planning on heading out there for the weekend, it’ll probably be a good idea to leave your low/clear water presentations at home. Bigger presentations with profile, scent, flash and/or vibration will be advantageous when vis isn’t on your side; you’ll be increasing your odds of hooking up by running gear that appeals to the fish’s senses… senses other than sight, since they can’t really see much of anything in dirty water.
You’ll also want to remember that fish will tuck in closer to shore when the water is high; that’s where the clearest water and slowest current will be. The fish won’t be spooky under these conditions, so they’ll be comfortable sitting a few feet off the shore- there’s no reason for them to be holding in heavier current right now.
It’s likely that the river will have changed a bit after the blowout, so keep that in mind for your next trip. Be safe if you’re heading out there while the water is still high- water is extremely powerful; that combined with poor vis can be very dangerous to inexperienced and experienced waders alike.
Squamish River Fishing Report
This past week saw the Squamish River and its tributaries exceed normal heights and blow out with the large amount rain that was had.
So, it was a week of many checking gear and tying up rigs and flies instead of actually fishing for most anglers. With that said, the moment it starts to drop and get into a fishable level the trout and char should start to be on the feed again.
Looking at the forecast for the next 7 days we are seeing mainly dry conditions with some cooler sub-zero temperatures later in the week.
When it gets cold in the upper levels, the water clarity will start to improve, as well as the height. When fishing in dirtier or higher water, many anglers will usually start off with larger or brighter offerings. As it drops and clears, your offerings will want to follow suit.
For those drifting beads under a float or indicator, larger 10mm-12mm in brighter colours are not uncommon. Again, trending with the water, if it starts to drop and clear, going down to 8mm-10mm sized beads in lighter colours would make sense.
The above can be said for spoons and spinners, as well as flies. The one caveat can be with flies that imitate sculpins. Often, I will throw larger sculpin patterns if looking for one, singular large fish. If I’m looking to pump my own tires, I’ll throw small-to-medium sized streamers to entice more quantity over quality.
This can also be a great time to practice your two-handed casting on your switch and Spey rods, as well as dialing in head and/or tip lengths- all while tentatively encountering a fish. Quick side note – if you are looking to get into Spey fishing don’t miss out on Matt’s upcoming course offered later this month.
With upper area temperatures forecasted to be in the negatives overnight, anglers may find a reprieve first thing in the morning but may find water quality diminish throughout the day. If we see a good cold snap up in the glaciers, one can expect the lower reaches to shape up- providing feeding opportunities for fish, and angling opportunities for us fishers.
Remember to wade safely, and to keep an eye on water levels throughout the day. As it warms up and water rises, a channel you may have crossed in the morning may be un-wadeable in the afternoon.