Seasonally normal weather incoming! It’s funny that we are excited about seasonably “normal” weather but, for the last 5 months, we have seen very little “normal” weather. This week’s forecast is not perfect for fishing but we can say it is a “good” forecast and should be more predictable in how it affects our river fishing.
What is in this predicable forecast? We are seeing mid-single digit temperatures and a little bump of water on Saturday across the Lower Mainland. Outside of Saturday it will be a mix of sun cloud and the odd sprinkling of rain.
Overall, this means we will see rivers dropping but the bump of rain on Saturday will make sure that it doesn’t drop too fast and should maintain good fishable levels into next week.
This week, we go over reports from the Chilliwack where some larger fish were caught this week and generally, we are seeing really solid fishing. We will talk through what this forecast will do to the river and how you can be prepared because it is well worth getting out.
On the Sea to Sky front, Matt, Jake and Eric were out over this last week and with a dropping river the reports were good. Matt will walk through what he saw and what to expect over the next week.
On to the report
JANUARY AND FEBRUARY COURSES
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
Mike – insert all classes that have room in them for January/February
FRESHWATER FISHING REPORTS
Chilliwack/Vedder River Fishing Report
The entire early steelhead season has been quite productive on the C/V system, and the past week has been no exception, with good numbers of fish being reported on most days. The heavy rains that fell in Vancouver this week don’t seem to have hit the valley as hard, so the river has been on a steady drop since last weekend. Conditions are currently very good, but a lack of rain in the 7-day forecast might induce some slightly lower and clearer conditions by the middle of next week, assuming the forecast doesn’t change.
This has been a very interesting and unusual start to the steelhead season on the C/V. Make no mistake, the fishing is normally not anywhere near this consistent in December/January. The C/V system typically starts to ramp up in late January/early February, but I guess nobody bothered to tell that to the fish this year!
Gear anglers have been finding success on all of the standard presentations- bait, beads, blades, pink worms, yarn, jigs, and even swung spoons/spinners have all been producing fish. Fly anglers have also been finding more success than usual, with swung intruders in pink, white, black, blue, purple, peach, orange or any combination of the aforementioned colours producing fish. No disrespect to the ”starvation stick” users out there, but you know the fishing is quite good when the spey guys are consistently catching fish!
A majority of the fish are being encountered in the lower river, so that’s where you’ll want to focus your effort if you’re looking for fresh, aggressive fish, but be aware that everybody else knows this, so it’s likely to be fairly busy, especially on weekends. Consider switching up your gear and running something a bit different than everybody else in these situations. The mid/upper stretches of the river are also good options, since the water has been high enough to allow fish to move freely. There will be fish around for sure, but it’s almost a guarantee that they’ve already seen gear and won’t be as aggressive as the fish in the lower river are. In either case, you’ll want to cover as much water as possible to give yourself the highest possible chance of putting your gear in front of a willing fish.
I’m not exactly sure why this early season has been so good- is the run “early” this year, or is the entire run going to be strong? Who knows… maybe it’ll stay good until the end of April, or maybe it’ll fizzle out in February, it’s impossible to say. All I know is that there are lots of fish being caught right now, so right now is probably a good time to be out there.
As a sidenote, there are a few spots left in the Float Fishing for Steelhead Course that we are running on Monday the 23rd. This is a great intro course for beginners who would like to get up to speed on the basics of float fishing for Steelies. I’ve been accumulating info, tips, tactics and techniques for 13 years, and I’ll be giving up a good amount of it for the low price of $60… my loss is your gain. Call the shop at 604-872-2204 if you’d like to get signed up!
Squamish River Fishing report
With a dropping river but some rain Saturday, it looks like a good weekend to get out on the water. There is 20mm of rain in the forecast for Saturday but with the river at 2.2 as we write the report, we don’t expect this rain to blow out the river. It is hard to know for sure but we expect the rain to stabilize the water level and we do not expect a rise. If we do get lucky and we do see a rise Saturday into Sunday it will make for good conditions. If we see the level stabilize and not rise it will still be at an ok level to get out but expect clear conditions.
Adam and Georges had a successful day out on the weekend!
Over the last week, we saw the river dropping from the blow out last Friday. This made for some great conditions Sunday through Tuesday and we saw a transition from bright egg presentations like the cherry bomb orange color producing Sunday and Monday into the pale glow roe egg colors being the most productive in the back end of the week. We expect this pale egg to be the go to in these clear conditions be it on your fly rod or float rod.
Next week has some snow and cooler weather coming so we expect things to get lower into next week and move from good/solid fishing conditions to challenging clear water conditions. Long story short, get out while you can.
As always, watch where you are hiking on the river as to not tread through salmon spawning habitat; watch your river levels and be safe.