Cooler weather is incoming but the weekend looks great for outdoor activities. This week, we have an ice fishing update where Sterling talks a little about brook trout fishing. We also have an update on the Stave because we have heard a couple positive reports from out that way as well as an update on the Vedder. Conditions have been up and down over the last week but the reports coming in continue to be solid.
Matt was out on the Squamish targeting the egg eaters this past week. They hooked some fish but it was a challenge. This has been the general trend this season. With weather getting colder and water expected to drop, we released a video this week on our custom Nymphing Leader. When fishing is challenging and fish are picky this is a game changer for nymphing any fly but especially beneficial when nymphing beads in the cold months of the winter. Check it out here:
Last but not least, this is the final week to send in your Best of 2020 pictures. The winner will be announced in next week’s fishing report and the entry deadline is Jan 27th. Winner receives a $100 gift certificate to the store, so send in those fishing pictures! Take a look at the January 1 fishing report video for details. Email your best fishing photos to email@example.com
INDUSTRY EVENTS AND UPDATES
Sport Fishing Institute of BC 2021 Big Spring Raffle
YOU COULD WIN BIG! Help support the fight to protect BC’s Public Fishery. Grab a Ticket for the Sport Fishing Institute of BC’s Big Spring Raffle with a chance to win a Kingfisher boat, Yamaha power and Scotty package, one of 4 fishing adventures to destinations along the BC coast, or one of the two excellent early bird prizes!
Tickets are available to purchase now through March 19th 2021 on the SFI’s website and the early bird draw is next month!
The Sport Fishing Institute of BC, representing the interest of hundreds of thousands of anglers and working together with community and industry groups across the province, is dedicated to protecting, preserving access to, and promoting the public ﬁshery on BC’s west coast and its vital role in our economy and heritage. Your support through the 2021 raffle will help secure a better future for our fishery and the resources it depends upon.
CLASSES AND COURSES
Tying Essential Bull Trout Patterns
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.
This seminar is well suited to tyers with intermediate to advanced experience. 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 9
Time: 6:30pm – 9:30pm
Tying Intruder Patterns
Steelhead fly fishing has been radically transformed in the past decade or so for two main reasons, Skagit style Spey casting and the Intruder style fly. This combination has proven to be absolutely deadly effective for catching steelhead. In this one night course you will learn about the specific techniques and unique materials used to tie Intruder style flies. The way this type of fly is tied has evolved from the classic palmering style to a new composite loop style, and both techniques will be taught in detail in this course. In addition, we will talk about why this style of fly is so productive and different ways to rig the fly from stinger hooks to the original Intruder rigging. 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 tyers. Course materials are not supplied but can be purchased at the course night or in advance at 10% off. A detailed list of what materials are needed will be supplied in advance of the course.
Date: Feb 10
Time: 6:30pm – 9:30pm
FRESHWATER FISHING REPORTS
Chilliwack/Vedder River Fishing Report
Last weekend didn’t shape up quite as well as I thought it would. The Ranger run clay slide opened up in a big way during last week’s rainstorms, so it took a while for things to come back into shape, but when they did, fishing was pretty good, with a very respectable number of fish getting weighed into the multiple derbies that are currently ongoing.
The river is currently looking very good… it’s sitting at a good level, and visibility is just about perfect. It should stay that way as long as it doesn’t rain, unless another clump of clay decides to let go. Fish are scattered throughout the system, top to bottom, so be sure to cover lots of water… please don’t be a fencepost.
As mentioned, the Ranger slide has been very unstable after the storms, so it doesn’t take much for it to start sending clay into the drink… any amount of rain is going to make visibility drop in a hurry, and sometimes, it may just drop a chunk of clay even if it’s not raining. With conditions being as unpredictable as they are, I’d still recommend bringing an assortment of different gear. You may not need those 6” pink worms, but it’s better to have them and not need them than it is to need them and not have them. Other than that, the standard beads, bait, 4” worms, jigs, spoons, spin n’ glos, gooey bobs, wool and what have you will all work, just adjust sizes and presentations based on conditions. A few guys swinging flies have also gotten into fish, so all the standard patterns in pink, orange, white, purple, blue or peach would be good options, assuming river conditions cooperate.
It’s been busy on the Vedder/Chilliwack this year, so the potential for conflict can be higher than usual. Hardcore steelheaders can be a passionate bunch who don’t appreciate when somebody walks into a run and starts fishing below them, so make sure you’re familiar with basic river etiquette, and use common sense… don’t fencepost, don’t low-hole, and treat wild Steelhead as carefully as possible.
Stave River Fishing Report Update
We’ve now started to hear some reports of winter steelhead getting caught in the Stave and there have been some egg eater reports. Though not a big run, the Stave offers a great steelhead option when inclement weather hits as the dam often holds levels to fishable levels when every other system closely resembles a chocolate protein shake. Even when the anadromous rainbows aren’t around, this system has a healthy population of cutthroat trout and whitefish which congregate in the slower seams and back channels.
One note on white fish: beads are not effective because of the angle and size of the white fish’s mouth. Use small yarn/puff style egg patterns on this system if you are looking for whitefish.
The most common and effective way to approach this system hangs under a float. Often, anglers will carry bait to increase chances; both roe bags and prawns are my go-tos. If you prefer to keep things artificial, pink worms and single egg or gooey-bob presentations can be just as effective as the bait when fished properly.
If you’re planning on fishing this system on a rainy day, keep in mind that water levels can change rapidly with the opening / closing of the dam. Never put yourself in a dangerous scenario too far from shore. On a final note, read up on the regulations as there is a “no fishing” spawning channel on the eastern shore, below the dam. If you see any anglers fishing in that location, please make them aware of the closure.
Tight lines and drained floats,
Squamish River Fishing Report
Matt was out on the water last weekend and though they hooked some fish it was nothing to write home about. This has been a trend that we have observed across the board on the Squamish this season.
Conditions were a little clear and a little low over the last week so those factors could have played a role in the slow reports but, overall, we have seen favorable warm winter conditions this season and not many good reports.
With colder clear weather over the next 48 hours and snow possibly rolling in after the cold snap expect challenging fishing. You will need to get very technical with your presentations.
With this in mind we are sharing our advanced nymphing leader video with you all this week. You may have seen it before but we have tweaked it. It is now easier to tie and fix, but still has all the fast sinking, low drag, stealthy characteristics that are a huge benefit when nymphing. This is what we use for all our egg rigs but it is also the leader we use on streams in the summer when nymphing stonefly or mayfly presentations.
If you missed the link in the outlook above be sure to check out the Nymphing leader video here.
STILLWATER FISHING REPORTS
Interior Hardwater Report (Ice Fishing Report)
The best time for ice fishing in the Interior and Cariboo has now passed with colder conditions becoming more of a staple. The Kamloops region is still saying daily lows of around -9 degrees but the Cariboo has been seeing nightly drops closer to -21. Rainbow trout tend to go off the bite as conditions become colder meaning that it’s the time to start looking for brook trout stocked lakes. The brook trout fishery is severely underrated as they are aggressive and sit in accessible shallow water meaning it’s a lot easier for families, kids, and newcomers to get into a few fish. This is where the BC stocking reports available through gofishbc become your best friend. Brook trout are voracious shallow water feeders and will typically be a lot more “bitey” compared to rainbows. You’ll notice the difference between the species as brook trout will bury the hooks themselves while rainbows tend to nibble and peck as the season gets colder. Nothing beats a well jigged flutter spoon tipped with your bait of choice. Shrimp, worms, and maggots are all great choices for bait. I also prefer to use mongo jigs or other tungsten jigs as I want to be sure that my jig is dropping quickly. I always mention it but make sure that you don’t get too attached to one particular hole in a lake because it was successful for you or a buddy that one time. Oxygen content and temperatures in the lake are always changing meaning that as fishermen, we need to adapt. Always be on the move if fish aren’t biting as they simply aren’t there or are too lethargic to care about your presentation.
Colder conditions also highlight the importance of using appropriate line. You’ll be cursing at yourself if you try and tie regular fluorocarbon leader material onto a swivel or hook in -20-degree conditions as the line typically becomes extremely brittle and will continually break.
Be sure to stop by and grab the appropriate line, jigs, spoons, and hooks before you head out there.