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Home / FIshing Reports / Pacific Angler Friday Fishing Report: February 9, 2018

Pacific Angler Friday Fishing Report: February 9, 2018


We are going to throw something different at you in this edition of the report. As always we will look at all the popular fisheries but this week we are toying with a new fishery. It is an interesting one that ties into the lifeblood of our local oceans. We are going to look at sports fishing for herring. This is a fishery that is in it prime right now and though we are not experts in it, we have taken some interest and there is a ton of room for innovation as the fishery is relatively untapped. During this time of year good numbers of herring can be found close to shore and Dustin has a full write up below on how you could get out for some unconventional but still fun fishing close to home. Don’t miss it in the saltwater report section below.

Matt is out on the Squamish this weekend and though we are in a time when this fishery begins to change from egging to a swung fly fishery there are still great egging reports coming in. Also if you are a gear guy or Spey angler it might be time to start thinking about steelhead. Jordan has some observations and tips if you are heading out this week.

The Vedder has been high again this week and Alex has more info on that in the river report section as well.

Lastly Jason was out last week and so were a number of our guides. Lars and Dustin got into a bunch of undersized fish but Jason and a couple of our other boats managed good-sized keepers on their trips. We’re out on the water all weekend so will have the latest reports for you over the weekend as well.



While Matt’s Tying Essential Bulltrout Patterns class is sold out there are still a couple of spots in his Introduction to Fly Tying Course and his Introduction to Spey Casting Course.   Call the shop today and get dialled in for upcoming season.

If you’re already looking ahead to March two of Andre’s most popular tying classes are coming up.   Get your spot before these classes sell out.   All the information is below.

Tying Essential Bulltrout Patterns – SOLD OUT – Call the shop to be added to the waitlist
Bulltrout / dollies… let’s just call them char are an interesting species. These fish have a diverse habitat, a very interesting life cycle and within the species they have very different characteristics in both size, color and feeding habits depending on their environment. The feeding habits are what we look at in this course.  This is a fishing course within a tying course. Instructor, Matt Sharp has caught bulltrout from here to Alaska will share with you an overview of his guide theories on fly selection for char in their different habitats. He will then teach you to tie three of his guide favourites. His sculpin pattern, the Cherokee intruder and then his go to intruder that has a name that is not fit for print.

This seminar is well suited to tiers who have taken our beginner course and have basic tying skills. Advanced tiers will find the first two patterns fairly easy but they can challenge themselves with variations of the last pattern. If you are an experienced tier you probably already know that sometimes the skill, effectiveness and beauty of many great guide flies comes from their simplicity. 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 20
Time: 6:30pm – 9:30pm
Cost: $45.00+GST


 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.
Dates: Seminar Feb 21 & Casting Feb 24
Seminar Time: 6:30pm – 9:30pm
Casting Time(s): 10am – 1pm or 2pm -5pm
Cost: $125.00 +GST


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 28      Casting: Mar 3 (Squamish)
Seminar Time: 6:30pm – 9:30pm
Cost: $150.00+GST


Tying Epoxy Fry Patterns                                                                                                             
Epoxy fly patterns were developed here on the west coast to capitalize on the large fry emergence every spring. Pacific Angler will help you unlock the secrets to applying epoxy, which can be a very tricky material to work with. During the course your instructor will teach you how to imitate the different salmon fry species, the different methods to shaping bodies, adding eyes, and other important techniques. Course is suitable for intermediate/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.

Date: Mar 6
Time: 6:30pm – 9:30pm
Cost: $45.00+GST


Tying Chironomid Patterns
80% of a trout’s diet consists of chironomids whose patterns vary from lake to lake. This 3-hour evening seminar will teach you how to tie a variety of the most effective chironomid patterns used in BC’s world-renowned lakes.   You will finish this course understanding the very specific technical aspects ranging from beads, ribbing, colors, and body shapes. 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: Mar 12
Time: 6:30pm – 9:30pm
Cost: $45.00 +GST



Capilano River Fishing Report
The reports from the Capilano have been spotty but the hatchery has managed an ok number of brood stock fish. This could mean there are more fish in the river or the brood guys have been bringing their “A” game. For the next 2 months this is a fishery well worth looking at if you are float fishing and only have a limited amount of time. The key is watching the water levels, matching your presentation to those levels and bringing good polarized glasses. Spotting fish on the river is quite common. It is common to see the experienced anglers just watching holding lies. It is definitely a fun way to fish.

Come down to the shop and we can walk you through what you need and look at the water levels with you to pick the right gear for the given day.

Matt Sharp


Chilliwack River Fishing Report
For a second week in a row we have been combating high water conditions including a tremendous blowout. The high and dirty water has been a limiting factor in access to fishy spots but despite this we have been seeing some good fish being pulled out. The forecast is calling for less precipitation this coming week and lower temperatures so we will hopefully see some nicer water emerging as the levels drop. Regardless, the fish are in the system so get out there in the next few days.

For those that may not be aware there are a couple of good references for water conditions on the Chilliwack.

For water levels, go to https://wateroffice.ec.gc.ca/ and click on “real-time hydrometric data”. Go to “station search” and then search “Chilliwack”. The reading from the Vedder Crossing is the one that the majority of anglers use.

For a good idea of what the water clarity is like, check out the following link and scroll down to the camera that is on the Vedder Crossing Bridge: http://www.chilliwack.ca/main/page.cfm?id=1528

Best of luck out there and go get some chrome!

Alex Au-Yeung


Squamish River Fishing Report
With this past week’s weather being a bit sporadic, water levels and the fishing were the same. We saw the water spike, drop, plateau, drop, spike, and drop. Though this can make fishing tough for some depending on which days you were able to get out, it also made it quite good for others who happened to luck out and fish the right days.

We saw sculpins and beads playing the usual suspects, with even 10mm beads working for some on those days with dirtier water. Naturally, we are in the stage of eggs that considered “washed-dead,” and our beads or glo-bugs should match. This means pale/light pink with no transparency, to almost an off-white/grey.

When the water has bumped a bit, it also doesn’t hurt to cover lots of water and explore as fish get cycled and flushed between runs.

Swinging steelhead flies may also be of some interest to a few anglers as it is February and they usually start to poke their nose into the Squamish and it’s tributaries around this time.

Anglers who are drift fishing may want to follow the same advice with beads, as well as start drifting colorado blades, pink worms, gooey bobs, and jigs to try and fool an early steelhead as well.


Jordan Simpson



Vancouver Saltwater Salmon Fishing Report
Fishing was pretty solid this past week with good reports from a variety of locations. We didn’t make it over to the Gulf Islands, but some of our friends did and had some good fishing, which is pretty standard for this time of year. Our boats stayed a little closer to home and we had some good fishing in Howe Sound as well as decent prawning and crabbing.


Natalie with a decent winter chinook taken just off the bottom with a 3.0 Herring Aide spoon.

We are pretty much in the middle of winter chinook season and that means you can expect good amounts of bait and fish on most days. If the wind and weather are decent, its time get out there. Sometimes the fish are small and sometimes they are big, you just have to put your time in and you will be rewarded.

 You have to keep on your toes this time of year and treat every bite with respect.   Sometimes it is a little guy that you need to release safely and quickly, sometimes it’s a slab!

What do Pacific Angler Booking Manager Lars and Sales Associate Dustin do on their days off? Why they go fishing of course. Our staff truly live to fish and fish to live.


Lars and Dustin out in Chasin’ Tales on their day off, exploring Howe Sound and chasing winter chinook.

As mentioned earlier, prawning has been decent. If you like prawns it is well worth dropping the traps right now.


Brian and Alexis with some nice prawns to go with that slab of a chinook.

If you would like to get out there and experience this great fishery, please give Lars a call at 778-788-8582.

See you in the shop or on the water,

Jason Tonelli


Herring Fishery Report
This time of the year herring fishing can be done in our local waters. They are great eating fish, and great bait to stock up on.  Herring can be found pretty much anywhere as they are schooling fish that move around estuaries, bays and coves. The known hot spots to find these fish are Steveston pier, No. 3 Rd. Pier and Ambleside pier. To target these fish you need a rod that is heavy enough to cast weights around 1/2 oz to 1 1/2 oz and it should be able to hold multiple herring because you might be lucky sometimes. I personally like to use my salmon spinning setup with 3/4 oz bell weight with sabiki rigs. You can also use a heavier bouncing betty if you want more distance. You should slowly retrieve your rig and jerk it for a weak jigging motion. On Steveston pier you can also take your light fly gear with a heavy sinktip and strip some of the smaller flies when it’s not too windy.

When looking for these fish, you should look for signs. Seagulls, dimples and nervous water can indicate signs of herring.

Aim for slack tide as the fish will be the most aggressive and look for kelp beds as most likely they will be sitting there. When in doubt, cast and try a few times as you could be rewarded.

This is an another fishery that you could try when all the rivers are blown and you want to go out fishing, please respect others on the pier give each other enough space and watch out for the crabbing lines.

Have fun and stop by the shop if you want to get set up for herring fishing.

Dustin Oh