This week we are expecting more favourable conditions on the river fishing front. We have details on the Squamish, Vedder, and Harrison rivers. We also have an important piece in the video version of the report looking at 10 facts all BC anglers should know about the impact and benefits of the sport we love. Watch this week’s video report below:
Also check out https://www.salmonforever.ca/ for more details.
We also have a cool lake fishing fly for all you fly tiers. It is a classic Chromi with a twist. Watch tying video here:
Last, Jason has the saltwater news at the end of the report. Be sure to have a read and we’ll see you in the shop or on the water.
INDUSTRY EVENTS AND UPDATES
Sport Fishing Institute Of BC – February Update
The team over at the Sport Fishing Institute of British Columbia has been hard a work to the start of 2020. For an overview of all the work they have been doing on in relation to the developing discussions regarding Fraser River Chinook issues, Southern Resident Killer Whales and planning for the 2020 season check out their full February update here.
CLASSES AND COURSES
March is almost here – be sure to grab a seat in Andre’s Searun Cutthroat Trout course!
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
The Vedder has been fishing well this week. Water levels are on the low side and clarity has been great below the slides and gin clear above. Drift, gear, and hardware are all producing bites right now so this is definitely a good time to get out there. Fish will be spread out and accessible throughout the entire river so covering water will be crucial to finding active fish.
Up above the slides you will want to try downsizing your presentations quite a bit while more average or medium sized presentations in the lower and mid-river will be more ideal. Since these fish definitely get a fair bit of pressure it sometimes pays off to use something different or to fish bigger and brighter such as big plastic worms, Colorado’s, spinners, spoons, or big streamers.
Some of my recent bites have been on a spoon thumped through the
run so get out there, start experimenting, and find a way to get them all
Squamish River Fishing Report
The Squamish and its tributaries are still alive and fishing, but low and clear conditions have made things interesting
Fry are starting to show themselves during the warmer days, but staying alive overnight has proven questionable. Andre’s fry patterns, as well as muddlers and similar, have proven to be good choices when fry are out and about.
The char and trout fishing has continued to be okay, with many anglers swinging flies and drifting beads. With the emergence of fry, spinners and spoons are also a great option. For drift anglers, beads and blades are also a great idea.
Be aware that levels can change depending on rain and upper-level temperatures. Keep this in mind when crossing streams and creeks as access can change through the day, especially with warm weather.
Bears have also been spotted lately, probably due to the warmer weather. If you fish with a dog, make sure to keep aware of where it is for its safety.
Harrison River Fishing Report
It looks like the weather is heading in the opposite direction we had hoped. Rainy, and sub 10c temperatures for the foreseeable future. We can hope to see some warmer weather coming mid-March, which will kick the system into high gear.
Early this week we had heard of a few fry in the system, however the bulk of them still lie in wait for warmer temps. In the meantime, there are still angling opportunities on the system. The large population of resident trout are still in the system; however, they may be difficult to target. Your best shot in the system will be with trout sized spoons and spinners, thumping them along with the current. For the fly guys, rolled muddlers or mickey finn’s stripped through calmer water can attract aggressive cutties.
SALTWATER FISHING REPORTS
We had quite a few trips this past week and for the most part the fishing was pretty solid. I was up and down Howe Sound on a 2-day trip and found bait and some keeper chinook in all the usual spots. Eddie was also into some fish and on a few days, we had to cancel some trips due to wind. So pretty much a standard week in the land of winter fishing, anywhere from fish in the boat to cancelled trips. Looking back on the last couple of months, fishing has been average this year in my opinion. It isn’t going to go down as red-hot fishing, but just consistent. Put in that time and you will get your fish. This pattern will likely continue until more migratory waves of fish show up in late March and into April.
Speaking of April, it’s looking like we are very likely going to be closed for chinook retention as of April 1st. There will be some official announcements early next week, but all indications are that DFO is going to roll over management measures announced on April 18th of last year as of April 1st this year. From there we will see how things go. There will be some opportunity for input and DFO will be looking at data that will be coming available sometime in April. This data will indicate how the management measures of last year affected chinook stocks of concern. Regardless, this is extremely disappointing, as there is no way we should have been shut down in our area last year. We just aren’t encountering Interior Fraser River Chinook stocks of concern in measurable numbers. In most cases you have less than a 1% chance of hooking one of these chinook and in some areas and some months history and science will show there is a 0% chance. There is no logical nor scientific rationale for a complete closure in our local waters in April, May, or June. There are solutions, such as a one hatchery a day limit, and we will be lobbying hard for that in the coming months. Stay tuned to this report and our social media channels on how you can provide input to this process. It seems these days it is all about politics and those that are yelling the loudest seem to be winning. So far that has been ENGO’s and First Nations, so it’s time to get vocal and show your opposition to these proposed management measures.
In the meantime, get out there and get some chinook and some prawns. Prawning has also been good and remember the limit is reduced to 125 April 1st as well. Again, a decision backed by politics and not science. As of now it is 200 and we have been doing quite well on our recent sets. Crabbing will start to pick up in the coming months as well, but for now we are focusing on the prawns.
See you in the shop or on the water,