Friday the 13th and an INCOMING STORM WARNING!
As we are writing the report, we are seeing a forecast that needs to be on your radar if you are heading out fishing over the next 5 days.
The heavy rain is focused on the Sea to Sky Corridor but we will also see a fair amount of rain up the Fraser Valley.
If the numbers are correct, the Squamish area will see upwards of 50mm or more on Friday and that, combined with the heavy rain Thursday and into Friday morning, could cause flooding. We expect high, blown-out conditions but, as we all know, timing a fishing trip just before water gets too high or just as it comes down is the best strategy for excellent fishing. We have details and some things to watch in the Squamish report below.
When it comes to valley rivers, there is less water in the forecast. The numbers, we are seeing are interesting. On paper this could mean really great water levels for the weekend. Gavin has some details on what we have heard from the Chilliwack over the last week and where we think it is going to happen. As of Thursday night, visibility has become an issue.
We also have a saltwater update. When the weather has allowed, we have been on the water and have been finding fish. Check out the update for more details at the end of the report.
If you’re looking to stay dry and get ready for the season ahead, be sure to join us in one of our upcoming courses! We have some great tying courses in January and February along with some opportunities to get out on the water. We have all the details in our classes and courses section below.
JANUARY & FEBRUARY COURSES
Tying Essential Steelhead Patterns
This course is designed for the fly tyer looking to get the best start on tying steelhead patterns. In the 3-hour evening seminar your instructor will cover everything from tying techniques, material and colour choices, size and weight. He will walk you through 3 essential patterns that will build a well-rounded steelhead fly box. If you’re looking to get yourself into tying your own flies for steelhead, this is the course for you. This course is suitable for fly tiers with a basic knowledge. Students are required to supply their own vise, tools and materials. A 10% discount is available on materials and tools purchased for the course.
This course is suitable for fly tyers with a basic knowledge.
Dates: Jan 18
Time: 6:30pm – 9:30pm
Steelhead Float Fishing
In this fishery, 10% of the anglers catch 90% of the fish. This is your chance to learn from the 10%! Our 3hr evening seminar will educate you on the gear, water types, conditions and other key variables that put veteran steelhead anglers in that 10%. Mastering this fishery will make you the envy of your friends.
Seminar: Jan 23, 2023
Time: 6:30pm – 9:30pm
Introduction To Fly Tying
There is no greater satisfaction than catching a fish with a fly you tied yourself. This course was specifically designed to give you the fundamental skills needed to tie proven fly patterns used here in BC for trout, salmon, and steelhead. This course consists of 3 sessions; each session is 3hrs. 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: Jan 25, Feb1 & 8
Time: 6:30pm – 9:30pm
Warmwater Warm Up
If you’ve ever waded in knee-deep water or have been poled along shallow mangroves while chasing flats species such as bonefish, tarpon, snook, and permit, then this course is for you! During the course, your instructor will go over design concepts, fundamentals, and techniques for a handful of essential warmwater flies. Included patterns that will be covered will be shrimp, crabs, and baitfish, with different techniques and designs being demonstrated and shared throughout the evening. Students are required to supply their own vise, tools and materials. A detailed list of what materials are needed will be supplied in advance of the course. A 10% discount is available on materials and tools purchased for the course.
This course is suitable for intermediate to advanced tyers.
Date: Jan 31
Time: 6:30pm – 9:30pm
Tying Intruder Patterns
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
INDUSTRY EVENTS AND UPDATES
We’re Hiring – Join our Guide Team Today!
We’re hiring for our 2023 guiding season. Positions available include saltwater guides, sturgeon guides and freshwater guides.
FRESHWATER FISHING REPORTS
Chilliwack/Vedder River Fishing Report
January on the C/V has been off to a solid start. The river has been steadily dropping since the last blowout and is currently holding at 2.2- 2.3m at the time of writing. We have been pleasantly surprised by consistent reports of successful outings.
We are expecting a substantial amount of rain to hit the valley today and tomorrow. On paper, we could use more water on the Chilliwack but, obviously, we do not want it to blow out.
Unlike up the Sea to Sky Corridor, where the numbers forecast will almost guarantee a substantial blow out, the forecast numbers on the Chilliwack are right on the knife’s edge for a blowout.
As of Thursday evening, the river is rising hard and the reports off the water were of reduced visibility and a steadily rising river. If you wake up today, Friday, and the river has continued to rise hard overnight, expect dirty water. If I could put a number to it, I would say 3m is a blown-out river and not worth the trip but it is hard to know until you are standing on the bank of the river.
This bump in water will bring in more fish and shuffle fish around so the second you see things stabilize it is well worth getting out.
This week, consistent fishing was found throughout the entire system. There really isn’t a hot section of river. Steelhead typically travel in pods; if you can track the pod down and move with the pod as they make their journey up river, you can expect to put numbers on the board.
With the current conditions and visibility, it might be time to break out the 20mm + soft beads, large gobs of roe and 6-inch worms. Another great presentation to try is ghost shrimp. We had reports this week of anglers doing well with ghost shrimp and it is another great dirty water presentation with a spin‘n glow in front for added attraction.
If the rain reduces visibility as we expect it to, fish the slower seams, closer to shore. Remember that steelhead will often sit right near the bank during high water events. There is no need to wade 10ft into the river to fish a run, as you may spook any fish that may be holding.
Check out the river levels here.
Be Safe and Good Luck
Squamish River Fishing Report
We have seen low conditions over the last week but, things are changing as we write the report. The main river has bumped up half a meter in the last 2 hours as of late afternoon Thursday. With 20-25mm coming Thursday afternoon, 35-40mm coming over night and then big dump in the forecast for today, Friday, we expect blown out conditions Friday and Saturday. The question will be how blown out will it be and how long will it last?
We can look back to the storm on Christmas day to give us a gauge to plan off of. On Dec 25th the river spiked from 1.7 to 4.5. Obviously, the river was unfishable on Boxing Day but by the 28th the river was still high but fishable and the fish were hungry. On the 28th, the river was around a 3.5. Over the 28th-31st the river dropped consistently, and the fishing was good. After the 1st, conditions were fairly clear and more challenging. Use these rough numbers to plan out the next week if you are hoping to get out.
Nymphing or float fishing salmon egg presentations is the go to method right now but, after a bump of water, large streamers or spoons can be very effective for aggressive char and resident rainbows.
Be prepared to get wet and be safe. We expect excellent fishing at some point over the next 5 days.
SALTWATER FISHING REPORTS
I hope you all had a great Christmas and New Year. I was away for a few weeks on holiday, but back in rainy Vancouver now. While I was away, Eddie and Tom were out on a few trips. Fishing was good, as it has been for the most part since we started fishing for winter chinook in November.
The last few weeks we have done trips in the Gulf Islands as well as lower Howe Sound and fishing has been great in both locations. Prawning has been decent as well.
Remember there are some not so common closures in Howe Sound this year for prawns. 28-1, 28-2 where people usually do most of their prawning is closed until April 1. This is not a permanent closure, but is a result of a low spawner index on test sets, so hopefully it will be open in subsequent years. Prawning should be pretty good in April at least, as the commercial fleet doesn’t get going until May. There are other areas that are open to prawning, so make sure to consult your area 28, 29, and 17 regulations in detail to see where those windows of opportunity are.
For gear, the brighter chartreuse colours have been working well lately on these darker, gloomier days. Flashers like the Gibbs Lemon Lime and Oki Tackle Salty Dawg are perfect in these conditions. Pair them up with a chartreuse splatter back hootchy or a brighter spoon like and Irish Cream or Trailhead spoon in a Skinny G or G-Force 3.0 or 3.5 and you will do well.
If you want to get some fresh air and put some nice winter chinook and prawns on the dinner table, this is the time as we have a Winter Special on right now.
For 8 hours of chinook fishing and prawning:
$1,199.99 for 1-4 guests
$1,399.99 for 5-6 guests
Give Lee a call at 778-788-8582 for book your trip!
See you in the shop or on the water,