We are coming up on another cold spell and it looks as though there will be another snowstorm in the forecast. This is going to make fishing the weekend interesting. With the cold in mind we are dreaming of warmer destinations. This Friday’s Feature Product is complete warm water spinning setups. If you are suffering through the cold but have a trip down south on the horizon this is the perfect time to get your travel spinning rod, reels and lures. Check it out below and don’t miss out on this sale!
The Vedder had some good reports from the last week and though the cold may slow things down we have a full moon coming up on the 10th and February is one of the best months to get out. Tie some leader boards and read up on the report.
On the salt, winter chinook fishing was a little slower this last week. A pod of orcas was sighted off Bowen and could have been the culprit. That said there were still a number of good fish taken.
The Squamish and other smaller rivers will suffer a bit with the cold but steelhead should be showing up in the Squamish soon and is still worth a look on the weekend. Check out Matt’s report for details.
Finally don’t miss out on taking in some of our great classes this month!
CLASSES AND COURSES
February is a great month to spend some time in the classroom and on the water with us. Call the shop to reserve your spot today!
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.
Seminar: Feb 15, 6:30pm – 9:30pm
Casting: Feb 18 (Squamish)
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.
Seminar: Feb 20 – 6:30PM – 9:30PM
Casting: Feb 25 10AM – 1PM or 2PM – 5PM
ADVANCED WARM WATER FLY WORKSHOP 201
Join us for this 2-night workshop designed to teach the best commercial techniques and productive patterns for any Warm Water Destination. Dennis Gamboa from The Fly Box will be your Instructor for the Workshop. Dennis has been teaching fly tying classes for over 15 years all over the Lower Mainland. His specialty is Saltwater flies from local waters to exotic destinations he is a Master of the art of commercial tying with over 20 years experience on his Regal Vise. His creativity and design has earned him a spot on The Lagartun Pro Staff Team and has also been selected as a Partridge Pro Member of Redditch to represent the West Coast of BC Canada.
This advanced class will teach you modern and up to date techniques using, epoxy, uv resin , advanced tubing techniques, ep fibres and new modern materials to make that perfect fly. We will be working with premium quality hooks and materials that will cover patterns for Bonefish, Triggerfish, Permit, Giant Trevally and other warm water game. Even though the class is centred around Warm Water destinations the techniques taught can be applied to local waters. Students are required to supply their own vise, tools and materials. A 10% discount is available on materials and tools purchased for the course.
Dates: Feb 21 & Feb 22
Time: 6:30pm – 9:30pm
FRIDAY FEATURE PRODUCT
The Warm Water Dark Side (All Warm Water Travel Spinning Gear Is On Sale)
Last year I did a little article on warm water travel spinning rods. It was fun and had a ton of response from our readers. We looked at how to hijack your standard family vacation with a travel spinning rod so you can spend mornings walking the beaches.
This year I am going to take it a little farther. We are going to look at all the gear you might need to highjack the family beach vacation but not only that, I am going to also recommend that you look at a similar spinning rod setup if you are doing a warm water fly fishing trip. This may raise a few eyebrows and I have had a number of purists fly fisherman feel that a spinning rod is cheating. I will leave this debate up to you but I will say I love fly fishing and for the most part I will choose fly fishing over gear fishing. I have been on a number of trips where the conditions, location or simply the timing made fly fishing a futile exercise. These were the times that I was very happy to have packed a spinning rod.
To make it all the more interesting we are featuring all of the gear listed below in our weekly sale. So all Travel Warm Water Gear fishing items on this list will be 10% off Friday February 3 through Thursday February 9.
If you are a conventional gear angler or a fly fisherman who wants to join me on the dark side what do you need? Depending on your location there are a couple things you want to look for in a 3-4 piece rod. If you love hanging out on beaches a longer surf rod is the way to go.
We carry the Rapala 9’6 Baja. It is great, comes with a tube and is relatively cost effective. They are $209.99 regular and $188.99 on sale. Now the only down side to this rod is that it is a little long for boat fishing and a little clunky for shallow water flats fishing.
If you want an all round rod that can fish the beach, boat or flats, the shorter Rapala 7’6 Baja Rod is one of our most popular. It is 179.99 regular and $161.99 on sale.
Now if you are going specifically for flats fishing, a nicer high end rod that has a number of weight options to match fish species is ideal. My favorite is the TFO Signature Series Travel rods and they come in bonefish to tarpon size line ratings. They are 3 pc, have an awesome warranty and cast as nice as a 2 pc rod. They are $223.99 regular and $201.99 on sale.
Last but not least, as an honorable mention for travel rods, we have the Ugly stick 3pc. It’s ugly, very cost effective and though it is not a great casting tool, when it comes to trips where the spinning rod is an afterthought, it is nice not to care too much about the gear. The Ugly Stick is bomb proof and at a price where you can give it to a young angler on the beach after you are done. It is $69.99 regular and $62.99 on sale.
If you will be targeting the really big warm water species, think sailfish, tuna, giant trevally and mature tarpon you can absolutely do it with the rods I have listed above. That said we can’t make any promises you won’t come home with a great fishing story and a 4 piece rod that has magically turned into an 8 piece rod. I am doing a trip to Christmas Island in a few months and off shore GTs are going to be in the mix. I have been doing a ton of research and though we don’t currently have stock on rods for this job, come on down to the shop, I’ll share my research with you and we can bring one in for you.
Now you will need a reel to go along with you rod. If you are doing a casual trip using any medium to large size spinning reel that you have from salmon fishing will work. I recommend coming down and having us spool it with braid to get more capacity and stronger line but you will be in the game.
If you want to be a little more dedicated or are doing a fly fishing trip where the reel will be out in the saltwater elements all day long, investing in a saltwater safe reel is important. The best cost effective spinning reel in this class is the Penn Fierce. $119-$139 Regular on Sale at 10% OFF
Its bigger brother is the Penn Battle. I own two of these reels and love them. They have been around the world with me and are tough. For anyone planning on doing this a fair amount the battle offers improved saltwater durability and is fully recommended. $169-179 Regular on Sale at 10% OFF
This year we have stepped up in the saltwater reel department. We are offering 2 very heavy duty reels. The Daiwa BG reel and the Penn Spin Fisher. The BG is a heavy duty version of the battle with beefed up gears. $179.99 -189.99 Regular on Sale at 10% OFF
The Penn Spin Fisher is where we start seeing fully sealed gearing. This is great for guys putting in a far amount of time in a saltwater environment. I own one of these as well and have landed some really big fish on it. $219.99-249.99 Regular on Sale at 10% OFF
If you are absolutely in love with this kind of saltwater fishing there are many higher end reels that you may want to look at. We do not always stock them but one that we love and can bring in on special order is the Daiwa Saltist. It comes in the $300 range and though expensive it is worth it if you are tackling the larger species. It has mag sealed bearings. This means that the grease is magnetic and with magnets in the bearings it forms a perfect water tight seal to protect the reel from rust but allowing smoother rotation than other reels on the market. Come down to the shop if you are interested and we can bring one in for you. I am getting one for my trip this year.
With reels and rods covered you need to think about tackle. There is a huge selection but for me I like to keep things streamlined. I pick up a medium size flambeau box that I can tuck into my sling pack and I load it with 4 different styles of lures.
I always have a bait setup that I can cast out, lean back with a bear in a lawn chair and see what come down the beach. I take 2-4, 3-6 oz dollar weights, a pack of swivels, a bead and 2 sizes of saltwater hooks. One small # 4 hook and one large 3/0 hook. I usually then hit up a local restaurant for squid or shrimp and the set up is ready.
The second lure I bring and easily my favorite is top water popper fishing. These work almost anywhere for barracuda, jacks and a ton of other species. Cast out and make as much commotion on the water as fast as you can is usually the best method. We have a great selection in the shop and they are all on sale this week.
The last thing you will want is sub surface Rapala style lures and some jig style lures for fishing deeper areas off the beach or deep holes on the flats. We also have a great selection of diving lures, shrimp jigs and soft plastic jigs. They will all be on sale this week so come on down and load up. Finally I always include wire leaders in my kit. You might have to use them on all of the set ups if there are toothy critters around.
If you have a vacation or a specific fly fishing warm water trip come down to the shop. We will show you how to set up the gear. Though a few anglers may raise an eyebrow at me when I recommend a set up like this for a fly fishing trip, once they are convinced I have never had someone regret it. Watching a five foot barracuda come flying out of the water on a popper is one of the coolest things you will ever see and it can save a tough day out on the water when the wind is blowing 40 knots.
See you all in the shop!
FRESHWATER FISHING REPORTS
Vedder River Fishing Report
The fishing last week on the Chilliwack/Vedder was quite good, with many anglers encountering multiple fish per day. The cold dry weather that has persisted through this week has brought the river down to a very low and clear level. Fish are still being caught regularly, despite the less than ideal conditions.
Hopefully the mix of snow and rain forecasted for the weekend and early next week brings river the level up, or at least puts some colour in the water. With the low and clear conditions, small presentations are the name of the game. 4 inch pink worms, small gooey bobs, 10mm trout beads, and small roe bags are a good choice. Fish are spread out throughout the system, so keep moving and cover as much water as possible. Hopefully things warm up in the near future and improve the conditions.
Squamish River Fishing Report
She is getting cold again. Unfortunately we all know what this means – low clear water and picky fish. We also have snow in the forecast, which might make access an issue. Though it is early sometimes in these conditions trying for the first few steelhead of the season can be a good bet. The low water will keep them in the lower river and when they are fresh the cold won’t affect them much. Though it is still very early we expect to hear the first solid reports soon. Swing bright coloured flies, swing spoons or break out the pink worm on the lower reaches.
The bulltrout will be around and worth targeting with eggs but I do not expect hot fishing until we get some warm water. Use pail eggs and light tippet if you are going to be targeting bulls.
Capilano River Fishing Report
The Capilano is once again very low and clear. We will need a good dump of rain on the North Shore before we see increased flows out of the dam. Between now and the end of March, the odd winter steelhead can be encountered in the Capilano. The run of winter steelhead is quite small in this system, but it can be worth a look if you have a couple hours to kill or want to stay local. You may use bait on this system from November 1st to July 31st. Float fishing is the most effective method to target steelhead in canyon water. Natural baits such as roe and prawns are good choices. Natural baits in combination with artificial baits such as gooey bobs, jig, and spin n’ glos add more presence in the water. Colorado blades and spoons are also effective.
You must RELEASE ALL STEELHEAD in the Capilano, which means hatchery fish must be released as well as unclipped fish.
This is a very small and sensitive run of steelhead, so please take this into consideration and handle fish with the utmost care and attention.
Stave River Fishing Report
The Stave can be a great place to spend a few hours chucking lures or flies chasing steelhead as well as resident and non-resident cutthroat trout, bulltrout, and mountain whitefish. It is short and doesn’t have a ton of access points, but there are some great runs that are set up to hold some nice fish. Covering water is key, especially with the more migratory fish like sea-run Cutthroat Trout. Spinners, spoons, and streamers such as muddler minnows and egg sucking leeches can be great in the slower pools, while drifting bait and artificials under a float or swinging a bigger popsicle fly in the current can produce in faster water.
Chehalis River Fishing Report
With the wetter and more volatile forecast for coming on this week, the Chehalis is going to be hit or miss depending on what weather does. The Chehalis rises and falls more quickly than a lot of the other popular rivers in the lower mainland, thus it can blow out easily after a hard rain. However it was also drop and clear up fast, especially if we get some more freezing temperatures. Steelhead will be your primary target here, although you may come across the odd cutthroat trout. The traditional steelhead go-to’s will work such as procured roe, shrimp, pink worms, colorado blades, egg sucking leeches, and popsicles. If you are contemplating trying this river out, keep an eye on the 24 hour forecast so you are less likely to be surprised by the water levels.
SALTWATER FISHING REPORTS
Vancouver Saltwater Fishing Report
Fishing this week was a little slower than last week and we didn’t have as many opportunities to get out on the water with the strong winds. On the weekend there were a lot of boats up Howe Sound or over in the Gulf Island but for some reason the fishing had turned off a little bit and most boats struggled with nothing or just a fish or two.
That said, there is lots of season left and as usual it can pick up any day. When you’re heading out keep your gear close to the bottom. For gear our top flashers are Salty Dawg, Green Onion Glow, Chartreuse Glow. Our most productive spoons are the Kingfisher 3.5 in Irish Cream, Homeland Security and the Pesca Forage 3.5 in Pacific Angler, Tricky T and Leprechaun. Other top spoons are Pesca RSG 3.5 in Gut Bomb in Sucker Punch.
Crabbing and prawning is starting to pick up to, so now is the time to get out there! Finally don’t forget that our Winter Chinook Charter Special is running now through the end of March with great rates on our 8 hour trips. Call Luis at 778.788.8582 for all the details and to book your trip today.