From cold weather and heavy snow to warm weather and heavy rain the weather continues to be interesting.
The rivers fished well this last week with the shift in weather. They hit perfect levels and had nice colour. We saw good numbers of bulltrout on the Squamish and Steelhead reports were encouraging on the Vedder.
The conditions are probably changing this weekend. With continued rain we are expecting dirtier water on most major rivers around the lower mainland. In this week’s report we look at the Squamish and the Vedder and look at water levels you should be following.
In the Video Version of the report Matt has an interesting update From the Vedder/Chilliwack hatchery on Steelhead numbers as well as possible changes for both production at the hatchery and regulations for fishing on the river.
Check it out this week’s Video Friday Fishing Report Here:
If you guys are headed out on a warm water bonefish trip this season don’t miss Zach’s video on his rendition of the Famous Crazy Charlie Bonefish fly using a very cool material for tying the wing of the pattern.
As always we have an update on the saltwater fishing scene at the end of the report but a side note is to check your boats if they are moored on the water. With the crazy snow and now heavy rain this is a time of year we start to see bilge and electrical problems. So, do yourself a favour and check on your boat, fire it up and make sure everything is working!
On to the fishing report!
INDUSTRY EVENTS AND UPDATES
TOMORROW! SSBC ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING IS JANUARY 25, 2020
The Steelhead Society will be holding its annual AGM at 8555-198 A Street (BCEGU office) in Langley at 10:00 a.m. on January 25, 2020. It will be though-provoking and a chance to mingle with like-minded anglers and conservation experts. Lunch is provided.
The speaker roster includes Dave Moore, General Manager of the Harrison Fisheries Authority, and BC Fisheries Branch Biologist Rob Bison.
You may recall Dave giving a remarkable presentation at last year’s AGM, including a deep dive into the history of and biology of Interior Fraser steelhead (Thompson and Chilcotin rivers). SSBC continues to work with Harrison Fisheries Authority to promote to research and development of more sustainable fishing methods for salmon in the Lower Fraser River. The title of Dave’s talk this year is “A Changing Vision for the Fraser River Salmon Fishery and The Role of Salmon Traps.”
Rob Bison is a Fisheries Stock Assessment Biologist based in Kamloops. The title of his talk is “Recovering Persistence of Interior Fraser Steelhead.”
2020 SSBC FUNDRAISER — MARCH 5
SSBC’s annual Pub Night fundraising event happens March 5, 2020. All proceeds from this popular and lively event go to habitat and conservation projects on behalf of wild salmonids and wild rivers. Each year, your generosity and support make Pub Night the society’s single largest and most widely supported fundraiser. There are silent and live auctions, raffle draws and much more. Stay tuned for more details closer to the event date.
CLASSES AND COURSES
We’ve got a great lineup of tying courses to start February off. Check out the classes below and call the shop (604.872.2204) to sign up today!
Tying Essential Bulltrout 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 tiers who have taken our beginner course and have basic tying skills. Advanced tiers will find the first two patterns fairly easy but they can challenge themselves with variations of the last pattern. If you are an experienced tier you probably already know that sometimes the skill, effectiveness and beauty of many great guide flies comes from their simplicity. 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 4, 2020
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 specifics 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 tiers. 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.
Dates: Feb 11, 2020
Time: 6:30pm – 9:30pm
FRESHWATER FISHING REPORTS
Chilliwack/Vedder River Fishing Report
Gone is most of the snow in the Lower Mainland and, with it, the low clear conditions on the Chilliwack River. Water levels have been fluctuating up and down this week due to snow melt and heavy rain. The visibility has ranged from about a foot to 3-4 feet depending on how far up you are. The fishing has picked up a bit since December with more consistent fish action though it is still on the slower side.
If you missed it, Matt has some interesting Chilliwack Steelhead
Hatchery News in the Video version of the report check that out at the top of
the report. There are 3 fish in the hatchery at least when we talked to them
last on Wednesday and the brood stock team have been doing quote “pretty good”
in the last week.
With the silty water you definitely want to upsize a bit with your presentation and don’t be afraid to fish heavier gear. In saying that, the higher up you go on the river the clearer the water will be so prepare accordingly. The rain is supposed to lighten up this weekend so the river should stay in check and not blow out.
Good Luck ,
Squamish River Fishing Report
We expected the warm/wet weather shift to put the river in perfect fishing shape and though it didn’t come until Monday (sorry for the guys that went out Saturday or Sunday). We heard excellent reports Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday. The problem now is we are looking at a river that is rising quite hard with more rain coming.
As we are writing this Thursday report Thursday night we expect to see the rise continue based on the forecast. Watch the river levels site here.
If it pushes past 3 on the graph you will see high water conditions and anything over 3.5 is blown out. Between those levels you will need to play it by ear. Either way if you are going out fish large streamers, spoons, pink worms or large bright egg imitations to make sure fish can see your presentations and know that if the visibility is better 1.5 feet fishing should be excellent.
SALTWATER FISHING REPORTS
Vancouver Saltwater Salmon Fishing Report
With the winds this weekend easing off into the week, many anglers may choose to stay closer to home and fish the harbour or tuck away up in Howe Sound- with both areas producing fish lately. Prawning continues to be steady with some great hauls as of late, while crabbing continues to be consistently inconsistent.
Just like in winters past, smaller presentations continue to be the standard. Fishing the depths associated to winter fishing, making sure there are glow components in your set up is a great idea – whether it’s the flasher and/or the spoons and hoochies. Gibbs Skinny G, Mini G, and G-Force spoons continue to be some of our go-to spoons. Not to be left out, smaller Kingfisher’s, Koho Killers, and Hoochies are also great choices as well. To add a little extra kick, gel scents can be a great idea, not just on spoons, but plugs as well.
If you’re looking to change things up, Tomic plugs can be a great way to cover water while trolling a little faster, with bites usually being a little more sure and aggressive.
Remember to keep your gear right down on the bottom, and check it every so often- especially if you notice any weird wobbles or actions: often times anglers are dragging a small sole or under-sized salmon that got a little too curious, impeding interest from other more desirable fish.
Charging up your flashers and spoons can also play a vital role in helping them glow. With cloudy skies and low-light conditions, a small UV flashlight can help give your gear that extra boost, while also extending the length of its charge.
Good luck out there,