We’re rolling into the weekend with some decent conditions across the board. With relatively warm weather for this time of year fishing should be good for the weekend. We’ve got a bit rain in the forecast but that should help with the lower river levels we are seeing in up in Squamish area.
If you’re heading out this weekend be sure to check out our reports on the Vedder and Squamish as well as the primer on the Harrison as that cutthroat fishery will be here before we know it. Speaking of cutthroat we do have some spots still available in Andre’s upcoming course.
On the saltwater front we have been enjoying the calm waters, sunshine and warmer temperatures this week. Prawning continues to be good and the fish are well spread out so there are lots of options if you are hitting the water this weekend.
Read on for all of the details for this week’s reports and check out the video version of the report here:
CLASSES AND COURSES
We’ve wrapped most of our February classes and are already looking ahead to March. Don’t hesitate to add yourself to the waitlist for any sold out courses…. You never know a spot might open up!
Introduction to Spey Casting – Sold Out – call the shop to add your name to the waitlist!
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 25 Casting: Feb 29 (Squamish)
Seminar Time: 6:30pm – 9:30pm | Casting Time: Full Day, Squamish
Winter Steelhead On The Fly – Sold Out – call the shop to add your name to the waitlist!
Fishing for winter steelhead on the fly (single hand or Spey) is arguably one of the most challenging and rewarding fisheries in BC. Let our steelhead gurus help you unlock the mysteries of these magical fish with their decades of steelhead guiding knowledge. This course consists of a 3hr evening seminar and 1 full day of guided fishing on the water. In the seminar we will go over rods, reels, lines, sink tips, flies and reading water and swung fly techniques. The fully guided day on the water we will be work on casting, reading water and swinging the fly.
Dates: Seminar: Mar 3 Guided: Mar 7 or 8
Seminar Time: 6:30pm – 9:30pm | Guided: Full Day
Fly Fishing For Searun Cutthroat Trout In River
This spring make sure to get out and take advantage of the world-class cutthroat fishing in the Lower Mainland. This cutthroat course is designed to educate you on the life cycle, location, seasonal feeding habits, and successful techniques and flies used to catch these elusive yet aggressive fish. This course consists of a 3hr evening seminar and a fully guided day on the water
Dates: Seminar Mar 25 Guided: Mar 28, Mar 29, Apr 4 or Apr 5 (custom trip dates available)
Seminar Time: 6:30pm – 9:30pm | Guided: Full Day
FRESHWATER FISHING REPORTS
Chilliwack/Vedder River Fishing Report
Conditions are currently good on the Vedder River and should stay
that way for the next week. The clarity is steadily increasing and last report
was 3-4 feet of visibility through the mid and lower river below the clay
slides. The entire river is fishable and there is lots of great holding water
that has opened up finally. The fishing has reflected that as well with good
reports coming in from successful anglers.
We are closing in on the peak of the run soon so if you have been thinking about getting out then definitely do it. All of your tried and true classic steelhead presentations will work and on this river it is important to keep moving and be cognizant of what others around you are throwing. At this stage in the run, if you are fishing some ideal holding water then you are most likely fishing over some fish so it is not just the factor of locating them but also enticing them too. These fish have been pounded on since December so try switching up to a different presentation and give them something new to look at. Certain runs are worth a second or third pass through, especially if you leave it for a bit before going through it again. This allows you to keep moving but to also comb a spot a little more thoroughly and on pressured fish this can work wonders. I had to employ this method on my day off to entice a steelhead that would not take a myriad of artificial eggs and worms but slammed a copper spoon on the first pass.
Get out there or come into the Shop and let’s talk steel!
Squamish River Fishing Report
The river levels are looking good for the weekend and the weather looks not too bad as well. There’s a bit of rain on the way as well but not enough to blow the rivers out, just enough to add a bit of colour so I expect fishing to be pretty good over the next week. Jordan was out on Wednesday and hit a few of his favourite spots. The water was at a good level and there was a hint of colour. The warm weather on Thursday should have put some snow melt into the river adding some much needed colour.
I would start looking out for fry as you are walking around. It is still a bit early but you might see some pockets of them swimming around as we get some warmer temperatures. This will cause the trout and char fishing to pick up big time. The trout fishing has been decent lately so make sure that you grab a couple of Andre’s fry patterns to add to your box of sculpins in case you see fish boiling and slashing on the surface. Small Gibbs Croc spoons and Colorado blades will be a must for you gear guys as well.
It is still early for steelhead but get out scouting and it is definitely worth fishing for the early fish. Keep in mind that Squamish has a bait ban in place all year so please only use artificial lures and single barbless hooks.
Harrison River Spring Primer
The Harrison has always been one of my favourite systems in the Lower Mainland. In the upcoming season, there are great opportunities for light tackle cutthroat fishing. Throughout February, the majority of the large spawning fish are up in the creeks and generally hidden away. However, there is a consistent population of feeders that live in the system for 2-3 years prior to going to sea. These fish are an opportunity year round. The real fun is coming soon as temperatures start to rise, and fry begin to hatch. The fry hatch signifies a boom in food for every system on the coast, also the return of the large, aggressive sea run cutthroat.
These larger cutties are keyed in on fry and only fry. You can often see them slashing at the surface, or pushing fry right next to shore, hunting like wolves to hem them in. The most effective way to target these fish is with salmon fry or alevin patterns. The general consensus is to only cast once you see action on the surface, or evidence of cutties. The Harrison is a huge system, so the key is to cover as much water as you can, constantly scanning the shorelines and shallows for slashing fish.
We’ve heard scarce reports of fry in some systems, but once we start seeing them in larger numbers, you’ll hear from us. We just got in a huge selection of Andre’s fry patterns for the upcoming season, so make sure you’re all stocked up. Aidan Munro
SALTWATER FISHING REPORTS
Vancouver Saltwater Salmon Fishing Report
Finally, we had some sun and calm waters this week, with yesterday almost feeling like spring with the mid-day sun bringing temps up into the teens. Looks like we are back to the wet stuff this weekend though. The winds look manageable at least, and we have some trips, so if you are heading out this weekend, we will see you out there.
Prawning continues to be good and we are dropping prawn traps on all of our full day trips. I saw DFO out there recently and pulled up to have a chat with them. They had quite a few traps that they had confiscated as they were set on sponge reef closures. There really is no excuse for setting on a sponge reef, as they are marked on the updated version of your map card. Make sure you take out your Micro SD map card, put in your laptop, register it, and run an update. It will add in the sponge reef closures as well as the rockfish conservation areas. Alternatively, you can download and purchase the Navionics app on your phone for a very reasonable price. I highly recommend doing this. It is a good back up in case your electronics go down and the updates are free. You can see where you are on the chart, mark waypoints, see your speed, management area lines, sponge reef and rockfish conservation area closures, etc. So, if you are going to head out prawning, get educated and stick to the open areas because if you don’t, you risk fines and losing all your gear and it just makes the recreational sector look bad. We really can’t afford that in today’s highly political fisheries management scenario.
So back to salmon and where to fish this weekend. There are fish well spread out through Howe Sound now and I really can’t say that one spot is outfishing the others. It is the typical scenario of putting in your time and you will usually get your shots at keeper size chinook (62cm or greater). Don’t discount the harbour. The fish and bait are starting to show up there, but keep an eye out for the seals. Derek stopped off at the Cap yesterday on his way back from LGM after getting some maintenance done on Spring Fling. He dropped in and the bait was thick and doubled up on 2 chinook right away, but the seals were instantly on him and took both. Bad news about the seals, but good to see the bait and chinook have pushed in, as is usual for late Feb and into March for the Freighters and the Cap Mouth. If you can work your way around the problem seals, you can have good fishing in these spots from now till late March. The more boats out the better, but if you are the only boat out, like yesterday, you are likely going to get sealed.
In terms of gear, the winter standards have been doing well. Gibbs and Oki flashers in chartreuse and glow colours are always a solid choice. Some of our go to ones are Lemon Lime and Salty Dawg. On flat calm days with lots of sun, try the UV purple or black flashers like the Madi and CB55. Irish Cream, Herring Aide, Outfitter, and Trailhead spoons have all been producing in Kingfisher 3.0 or 3.5, G-Force 3.0 or 3.5, and of course the Skinny G. Yamashita splatter back hootchies in green or chartreuse have also been productive with a 32-36 inch leader.
See you in the shop or on the water,