Another week is in the books. We can’t believe it is nearly the middle of January. We had a wet start to the week but, things look like they are drying out for the most part. The rain was great for systems like the Squamish that was quite low after all of the snow and colder temperatures.
Out in the valley, the Chilliwack/Vedder peaked but, it too, looks like it is on its way down with the drier weather over the last 24 hours or so. Taylor has an update on that system in our Freshwater Fishing Report section below.
Kids are back in the classroom now and we are too. We have a number of great courses coming up. Our larger seminars are held via zoom and our reduced size tying classes will be held in person. For the saltwater anglers out there, we have the Mastering Local Saltwater Salmon course coming up in early February. There are just a few spots left so if you are thinking of signing up for this class don’t delay. It sells out every year and this is our ONLY planned offering of it in 2022. Call the shop at 604.872.2204 to sign up!
CLASSES AND COURSES
Mastering Local Saltwater Salmon Fishing
Over 50 million salmon migrate past Vancouver annually. Learn how to
catch these fish with a Pacific Angler. This course offers an in-depth look at the local saltwater scene. We cover the local saltwater salmon fishing for the entire year, showing you the how, when, and where. This course includes an 8hr seminar and a fully guided day on the water in one of our Grady Whites.Seminar Date: Zoom Seminar: Feb 12Open Guided Dates: Feb 20, 21, 25, 27, or 28
Seminar Time: 9:00am – 4:00pm with one hour break for lunch.
Guided Day: Departure from Granville Island, Full day on the water.
Float Fishing for Steelhead
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. Upgrade your seminar to include a fully guided day on the water, putting into practice your new knowledge with a Pacific Angler guide.
Zoom Seminar: Jan 17, 2022
Time: 6:30pm – 9:30pm
FRESHWATER FISHING REPORTS
Chilliwack/Vedder Fishing Report
Needless to say, it’s been a rough start to the steelhead season on the Chilliwack/Vedder system. Atmospheric rivers, abnormal cold snaps, mudslides… it feels like everything has been working against us lately, and the number of fish that are being caught is reflecting this.
This week’s dose of rain blew the river out, yet again, so expect conditions to be basically unfishable below the Ranger slide for a few days. If it doesn’t rain, it may be fishable for the weekend. Despite the very high-water levels, there is still some water above the slide that is somewhat fishable, but be aware that everyone knows this, so this stretch of water has been very busy lately. Again, a few dry days should get this stretch to shape up nicely… current weather forecasts are somewhat iffy, so no guarantees here.
The good news in all of this is twofold- higher water levels will get fish moving into and throughout the system, so there should be some fish to be had when the river shapes up again and rising temperatures will encourage fish to be a bit more active and aggressive. Bring an assortment of different presentations to cover different conditions but be sure to bring a good variety of larger presentations if you intend on fishing below the slide- conditions below the slide have been less than ideal, even when the river was lower, and I’m not sure how long it’ll take for the clay to start washing away.
In any case, make sure you’re covering water, and consider fishing closer to shore when the water is dirty- Steelhead will often hold in the soft, near-shore areas when clarity is poor… even if it’s only two feet deep. Consider this before you wade out there.
If you’re looking to learn more on this fishery or brush up on a few skills I’m teaching our Steelhead Float Fishing Seminar via zoom on Monday evening and we still have a few spots left! You can call the shop at 604.872.2204 and sign up today.
Squamish River Fishing Report
The Squamish saw a nice bump in water over the last week with the rain we had. The river peaked at just over 3 meters and at the time of writing the report it is now dropping.
Even though many other systems up the valley are still recovering from the water clarity issues from the flood at least for the Squamish this is the kind of bump we are looking for. It will warm up water temps move salmon eggs out of the gravel, colour up the water and clear up some of the snow.
Bead/egg imitations are the way to go but streamer patterns and spoons are always a good second option if you’d prefer that!
The one item to contend with will be snow if you’re headed to the upper river. Depending on the level of snow, access could be an issue. So, if you do head out make sure you do so in an appropriate vehicle and bring a shovel!
SALTWATER FISHING REPORTS
Vancouver Saltwater Salmon Fishing Report
Well, that was some true winter weather these past few weeks and for the most part it did keep many of us off the water. It’s hard to head out when the boats and docks are frozen solid, and the water is shut off. Luckily things have thawed out and heated up a bit, including the fishing.
We have been out a few times this week and the fishing has been very good. There just seems to be good numbers of fish around in general. I am hearing a lot of good reports from further up the mainland coast as well as from mid Island down into the Gulf Islands. It has been good for about 3 and a half months, so the jury is in. This is one of the better winter chinook seasons in recent memory.
It will be interesting to see where these fish are from once, we get the DNA data back, but there certainly seems to be a good amount of hatchery fish around. Most of these will be from WA.
There are also a lot of seals around. We are getting sealed on a regular basis in pretty much every spot we fish. Not good, but luckily there are enough hook ups that we are also putting some nice fish in the boat. With the seals around, it is not necessarily a bad thing if you are fishing a spot with other boats. More boats equal more targets for the seal, so you have a better chance of landing your fish. If you are the only boat in a spot that has seal, expect to lose that fish when you hook up. Frustrating to say the least.
For gear, the usual go to items have been working. The brighter gear has been productive lately. Chartreuse flashers with glow like the Lemon Lime and Salty Dawg have been doing well paired up with chartreuse splatter back hootchies or spoons like the Irish Cream and Trailhead in a Skinny G or 3.5 G-Force. The fish have been close to the bottom as usual, although we have seen a little bit more suspended bait than normal for this time of year.
Prawning has been decent in the popular spots, but I suspect that will change once more people get out winter fishing in February and March when it warms up.
In the meantime, we are experiencing some great chinook fishing and solid prawning, so if you have cabin fever after this last cold spell, give Lee a call at 778-788-8582 to book a trip.
See you in the shop or on the water.