We have an interesting week of weather coming and it’s well worth paying attention too if you are heading out on the water. There is a big storm on the horizon that is rolling in today. The majority of it will hit Vancouver and up the Sea to Sky corridor but enough water is coming to the valley to change the fishing conditions on the Chilliwack. We saw low clear water all week so rain is a good thing. The question will be how much rain and when the windows of perfect water levels will happen for the local flows.
In the report this week we look at both the Squamish and the Chilliwack with this in mind. We also have some cool video content coming out over the next couple days. Matt tunes in this week with the video version of the report where he takes a hard look at this upcoming storm and he also tunes in some politics related to the Southern Resident Killer Whales and saltwater fishing access.
Eric has a steelhead fly tying course and has released a video on one of the patterns he is tying in the course. If you want to sit down and hit the vice this weekend waiting out the storm, check it out and if you want to learn some more of Eric’s go to steelhead patterns sign up for the course next week. There are still spots available so be sure to see our course section below for details on that.
Last but not least we will be releasing a fishing pack video soon. Matt is joining team backpack and trading in his go to sling for something a little bigger. In this video he takes a cool trip down memory lane looking at all the fishing packs he has used over the years (Yes, he has a pack problem) and he shows off some of our favorite packs for 2023. Make sure you are subscribed to our YouTube channel PacificanglerTV for that and if you want to check out this week’s report video click here:
INDUSTRY EVENTS AND UPDATES
Fly Tying Jam Session – Lake Edition
It’s back! Our Fly Tying Jam Session! This time we will be focusing on all things lake. What is a fly tying jam session you ask? It is a relaxed and fun night for tiers of all levels of experience from beginner to expert to hang out, do some tying, share their favourite flies and techniques, and of course talk about fishing.
Save Tuesday February 28, 2023 in your calendars and keep an eye on your inboxes and our social media feeds for more details.
FEATURE SALE ITEM
Orvis Helios Rods on sale! We have a 490, 410, 510, 5903F and a 790 still in stock! These rods are one of the best rods on the market, hands down! Award winning, top end, USA built performance with a 25-year warranty. Call or come down to the shop to get your hands on one before they are gone!
Tying Intruder Patterns Course
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, 2023
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, 2023 Casting: Feb 26, 2023
Seminar Time: 6:30pm – 9:30pm
Casting: Full Day, Squamish
FRESHWATER FISHING REPORTS
Chilliwack/Vedder River Fishing Report
As of writing this report, the C/V system is running quite low and clear… again. Having said that, there are still reasonable numbers of fish being caught daily, which is a good sign. The fact that the river is still fishing well despite the conditions continues to hint towards a larger-than-normal return. There’s rain in the forecast over the weekend, but as of right now, it doesn’t look like too much water. With some luck, it’ll be enough to bring river levels up without blowing anything out; of course, we’ll have to wait and see what actually happens but when we look at the numbers today, we expect it to be fishable all weekend. Keep in mind that it is hard to factor in snow melt from what fell last week and possible slides from freezing and defrosting clay banks but as it stands if you are willing to get a little wet it should be good fishing conditions.
Due to some uncertainty in weather forecasts for the weekend, I’d recommend that anybody who is planning on heading out should have a variety of gear to tackle whatever conditions that may be present… smaller presentations for if rainfall is minimal and the water is still clear, and some larger presentations incase the rain does come and the river colours up a bit. Smaller beads, blades, gooey bobs, worms, yarn ties and bait presentations in slightly less fluorescent colours (think peach, orange or washed-out pink instead of cerise, flame orange or chartreuse) will all be good options in clear water. Larger versions of the above in slightly brighter colours will be beneficial if visibility drops. As always, covering water is the single most important aspect when targeting Steelhead, so be ready to cover some miles if you want to reliably find fish.
Normally, some time in February is when I would expect the numbers of fish in the system to start increasing, which would obviously result the fishing getting better… but with this December/January having been so good already, I’m not sure what’s going to happen. Perhaps the fishing will stay as good as it’s been, or maybe… it could get even better? Maybe that’s wishful thinking, but a guy can dream, right?
If you missed it last week I went over what I carry in my winter fishing pack. If you want to geek out on packs a bit check that out here and make sure to check out Matt’s video on what he is using for his daily driver fishing pack for 2023. (it should be out soon on YouTube)
Squamish River Fishing Report
The storm this weekend seems to be focusing a lot more rain up the Sea to Sky corridor than out the valley. If the numbers hold true, we expect a blowout. The river is at a 1.67m right now but with 30mm+ coming over the next 48 hours it will spike. We are also going to see warm temperatures as well. This means the precipitation will come as rain not snow in the lower elevation mountains.
Though the outlook for the weekend is not good, when we look at the long-term forecast we are excited about next week. When things settle its going to be great fishing. We could see a window Sunday were things settle but I think the sweat spot will be early next week.
Right now, we are in a transition time for choosing a presentation. Salmon eggs are still the predominate food source in the river and this will continue well into February but swinging sculpin style streamers is going to become more and more effective as the season progresses. Olive and white combinations are my go too and though I will be still focusing 80% of my time with beads or single egg presentations, a swinging option or spoon rod will start making an appearance over the next 2 weeks.