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Home / FIshing Reports / Pacific Angler Friday Fishing Report – January 23, 2015

Pacific Angler Friday Fishing Report – January 23, 2015


More warm rain in the forecast!? If you look back at the last three months of reports it is almost entertaining to see how many times we have reported rainfall warnings and for the most part they have come with warm temperatures. This report is not going to break the trend. It looks like another pineapple express is going to hit the west coast over the weekend and we can expect lots of rain on Friday and Saturday.

What will this mean for fishing this weekend? If the rain arrives as forecasted we expect the main stems of river systems to blow out. If you are planning a trip to the Chilliwack, Squamish or Harrison watch the river levels closely and be very careful when exploring during big rain events.  That said some of the best fishing on smaller systems and tributaries of larger systems can happen right after or even during a big dump of rain.

The great news is that this rain will definitely bring in steelhead to all of the major rivers and though the resident trout could probably use a break from the constant barrage of high water it will get them moving and feeding again.

On the salt, the weather looks a little daunting with rain and wind forecasted for the Strait of Georgia. If the forecast changes and you can get out the fishing head beyond the harbour as we haven’t had much luck close to home.  Check out Jason’s saltwater report for all the details.

For both the saltwater and river fisherman we recommend logging some extra time at home and work over the weekend and then see if you can sneak out early next week. When the weather passes it should be great fishing!



We’re looking ahead to a February full of great courses and great fishing.   As we noted last week we have both our Introduction to Fly Fishing and our Introduction to Spey Casting coming up in February. Steelhead Float Fishing and Tying Intruder Patterns are back this month by popular demand as well. Call the shop at 604.872.2204 to sign up!

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

Seminar: Wednesday, February 11, 6:30PM to 9:30PM
Casting: Sunday, February 15 either 10:00AM to 1:00PM or 2:00PM to 5:00PM
Cost: $125.00

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.

Your instructor’s Matt Sharp and Jason Tonelli have well over 25 years of spey fishing experience with thousands of hours of guiding on some of the most famous spey rivers in the world. The key to their instruction style is to focus on building a solid base of fundamental skills that can be put into practice for immediate fishable results.

The first part of this course is comprised of a 3 hour in-house introduction to rods, reels, lines, proper outfit set up and balancing, custom sink tips, custom heads, and leaders. We will cover what set ups are used for the different applications and fisheries and the reasons behind these. The second part of the course will have you out of on the water where we will cover all of the major casts needed to fish on each side of the river in a variety of wind conditions.

Seminar Date & Time: Tuesday, February 17th, 6:30pm to 9pm
Casting Date & Time: Sunday, February 22nd, 10am to 4pm (Location: Squamish)
Cost: $150.00

Note: For more seasoned Spey caster’s we will be offering an advanced course later in the season so stay tuned for dates!

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. Upgrade your seminar to include a fully guided day on the water, putting into practice your new knowledge with a Pacific Angler guide.

Seminar Date and Time: Wednesday, February 18, 6:30PM to 9:30PM.
Guided: February 21, 22, or 28 (custom trip dates are available upon request).
Cost: Seminar only $45.00. Upgrade to a guided trip for $400.00 for one angler or $500.00 for two.

Tying Intruder Fly Patterns
This course is designed for those that are interested in tying steelhead flies in the “Intruder style”. This style of fly is extremely productive for steelhead and salmon due to its profile and movement in the water. During this two night (5hr total instruction) tying series, you will learn the very specific techniques and unique materials used to tie this fly. 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.

Date and Time: Monday, February 23 and Tuesday, February, 24 , 7:00PM to 9:30PM
Cost: $45.00


International Fly Film Festival F4
The International Fly Film Festival (IF4) 2015 will be here in just under two weeks. A great evening of short and feature length films produced by professional filmmakers from all corners of the globe, showcasing the passion, lifestyle and culture of fly-fishing. The variety of films at this event are sure to peak the interest of all anglers.


Drop by the shop and pick a ticket for $15. If available, tickets may also be purchased at the venue on the day of the event for $20.00 per ticket.

Date: February 5, 2014
Time: Doors open at 6:30 PM.  Film begins AT 7:00 PM.  Rush Seating
Location: Landmark Cinemas Esplanade (200 West Esplanade N. Vancouver)
Check out the trailer here – http://flyfilmfest.com/IF4/



Chilliwack River
Another week has gone by in the steelhead season. As reported last week, fishing has been consistent with weekly pushes of fish coming into the river since the first week of December. The constant bumps of rain have kept the river at a beautiful level. This has allowed easy fish migration and travelling fish are aggressive and ready to bite.

A nice Chilliwack steelhead landed earlier this week.

A nice Chilliwack steelhead landed earlier this week.

The same rules apply as before. Keep your feet moving and try and cover as much water as possible. Fishing fast, and putting as many casts into likely holding spots will increase the odds of you coming in contact with a new fish. Adjusting the size and colour of you bait to the water conditions can make a big difference. Knowing when to tone down or bump up your presentation, according to the conditions. High water is the time for big and bright baits and if you encounter periods of clear water that we experienced a few times this week, make the change to smaller and pale presentations.  These few things can turn a tough day of fishing into a success in one cast. Keep moving, keep casting, and tight lines.

Dimitri R.

Stave River
The Stave is a local steelhead fishery that is heavily stocked with hatchery steelhead, with a daily limit of two. The low gradient makes for great fly water and anglers that are going out to the river and putting in the time and effort have been successful so far. Situated in close proximity to the city the Stave can be a great place to get out for a couple hours in the morning or in the evening.

Stave River Hatchery Steelhead

Stave River Hatchery Steelhead

If you’re heading out good flies to choose are lightly weighted marabou popsicles and string leeches. Fishing these on a light sinktip in the riffles and flats will be your best bet for success. Aggressive, fresh, chrome steelhead close to home. What more could you ask for???

Squamish River
We hit the Squamish system quite a bit over the last week and had some mixed results.   The river fished well on Friday, with Dimitri’s guests landing some nice bull trout on pale coloured egg patterns.

A successful day egg fishing on the Squamish.

A successful day egg fishing on the Squamish.

On Saturday there were quite a few people out and the water dropped, making fishing  quite challenging. We managed a couple hook ups and learned a lot, but overall it was a tough day.  We were back at it on Sunday and had a successful morning, hooking a good number of fish with brighter coloured eggs but the success was short lived.  The river rose, coloured up and became unfishable around noon.   Water levels dropped throughout the week, we had reports of good fishing on Tuesday and we headed up for some more egg fishing  on Thursday.  Our group worked hard and landed 5 fish but given the effort put in, it felt like we deserved more.

A nice bull trout caught in the latter part of the week.

A nice bull trout caught in the latter part of the week.

One thing I did notice while on the water this week was that the bull trout being caught are quite thin. This is common for this time of year but we  also found quite a few  dead bull trout on the river.  I have seen this happen  in seasons past, but don’t remember ever finding so many.   While I am wary of making assumptions  I think it could be due to a couple of factors.   The first being the constant barrage of heavy water has pushed the resident fish around and given them a darn good workout.   The second being a lower than normal number of eggs in the system.

What does this mean for the fishing? I would stress the utmost care when releasing caught fish and recommend using sculpin patterns over egg patterns in the next few weeks.  While I will still be bringing along  egg patterns in my pack I will be focusing my attention on the swung fly technique for the next couple of  trips to see if it yields better results.  After this next round of high water, I expect the fishing to be good if not excellent when the river comes back into shape.

Good luck, be safe and always practice catch and release on the Squamish.


Capilano River
It has been slow for steelhead on the Cap so far, and with a significant amount of rain in the forecast over the next several days we can expect the river to rise, which may bring some fish into the system. That said if all of the rain arrives as forecasted the river could blow out. So keep and eye on the weather report and check the water levels before you head out. Be careful if you go, as the canyon can be a treacherous place when the water is up. Please have your wits about you when entering that area. If you are lucky enough to land a fish be sure to release all steelhead wild or hatchery, as this is the law on this system.

Chehalis River
Again we are watching the weather forecast to see if the rain predicted for the weekend arrives.   The Chehalis has been low for a while so this rain should push in a few fresh steelhead, but as with the Capilano, if the predicted rain arrives it may blow out.



Good reports from along the BC coast continue to roll in. In general, from Campbell River down to Puget Sound, the winter chinook has been good to excellent with some saying the best they have seen in decades.

This past week we had some local trips and some trips to the Gulf Islands as well. On the local trips we had some tough fishing over the weekend. There didn’t seem to be many fish around on Saturday or Sunday off the Cap Mouth or towards the Freighters. This can be frustrating, as the fish are here one day and gone the next when it comes to winter chinook fishing.   Even though we had some tough fishing this past weekend, it is still worth heading out in the harbor this coming weekend. The fishing really does change daily in this fishery and can even turn around in one tide change.

On the days when the wind co-operated we headed over to the Gulf Islands and had truly exceptional fishing. There is a lot of bait around in this area and the winter chinook are in hot pursuit! On our last trip across we were hooking multiple chinook in the 6-15lb range and even had a double header! We are catching fish primarily on spoons, but we have been experimenting the last couple of trips with hoothcies and bait as well. We have had fish on herring with no flashers, dummy flashers with spoons or bait behind them, and flashers with hoothcies. The standout setup on the last trip was definitely the Oki Tackle Green Onion Glow flasher with a 5 foot leader to a Kingfisher “Homeland Security” spoon in the 3.5 size. This handily out produced the other setups we were trying.

A hefty Gulf Island winter chinook.

A hefty Gulf Island winter chinook.


Jason with a nice days catch of prime eating winter chinook!

Jason with a nice days catch of prime eating winter chinook!

 To book your winter chinook charter give us a call today at 778-788-8582