The weather looks pretty good for the weekend. We had some rain mid week and it helped the river levels. In a perfect world we would get a little more rain but as it stands the levels of both valley and sea to sky highway rivers look good.
Matt was out on the Squamish on the weekend and though the fishing was not hot they managed a few nice fish on Sunday. Alex was out on the water this weekend as well but he was out in the Valley so he has the latest from the Vedder. Check out both of their reports this week for more information.
Jason is away in Costa Rica soaking up the sun! It is a family vacation but they have managed to sneak in some fishing and word is he got a beauty sailfish. Keep an eye out for a blog post on his trip coming soon.
We have also had more good saltwater reports rolling in. With Jason away Lars, one of our guides and our Director of Guide Operations has put together the saltwater report this week with all of the latest from out on the water.
Last but certainly not least we’ve got an overview February classes. February has something for everyone on the course front from Mastering Local Saltwater Salmon Fishing (only 2 spots left), Introduction to Fly Fishing, Tying Intruders or Bulltrout Patterns to Introduction to Spey casting! All of the course details are in our classes and courses section.
Steelhead Society of British Columbia’s Annual General Meeting 2019
The Steelhead Society of British Columbia (SSBC) will be hosting speakers from the Wild Fish Conservancy whom will present on their selective harvest pound trap experiment on the Columbia River. Also presenting will be Dave Moore from the Harrison Fisheries Authority (Sts’ailes & Sq’éwlets Fisheries) discussing his time as a fisheries technician working with Interior Fraser River steelhead populations and collaborating with local Aboriginal populations for future strategies.
Date: January 26, 2019
Time: 10AM – 2PM
Location: 8555 198A Street, Langley BC
For more information and a meeting agenda visit the SSBC event Facebook page.
SSBC Swag and Membership renewals/sign-up available at this meeting.
CLASSES + COURSES
We’ve got just two spots left in Jason’s Mastering Local Saltwater Salmon course coming up the first weekend in February. This is a great course to take in February so you have the whole season to put your knowledge to use on the water. If getting into fly fishing, fly tying or Spey casting are part of your new years resolutions we can help you out with that this month!
Mastering Local Saltwater Salmon
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 a 6hr seminar and a fully guided day on the water in one of our Grady Whites.
Cost: $350.00 + GST
Seminar: Feb 3, 2019
Seminar Time: 9:00am – 4:00pm – with a one-hour break for lunch. There are two restaurants on site for students to have lunch at their cost. Coffee/Tea and water will be provided. Seminar held at Pacific Gateway Hotel – 3500 Cessna Drive, Richmond, BC
Guided: Feb 11 or 16, 2019 One spot each day! All other dates sold out!
Guided Day: Full day on the water
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. The dates below show the seminar date first and casting date second.
Cost: $150.00 + GST
Seminar: Feb 20, 2019 | 6:30pm – 9:30pm
Casting: February 23, 2019 | 10am – 1pm or 1:30pm -4:30pm
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.
Cost: $50.00 + GST
Date: Feb 12, 2019
Time: 6:30pm – 9:30pm
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.
Cost: $50.00 + GST
Dates: Feb 19, 2019
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.
Seminar: Feb 27, 2019 | 6:30pm – 9:30pm
Casting: Mar 2, 2019 | Full Day, Squamish
FRESHWATER FISHING REPORTS
Chilliwack/Vedder River Fishing Report
Clear, clear, clear! That’s the story of the week for the Vedder. We got a little bit of rain and a couple of bumps in the levels but the river stayed very fishable all week. The fishery seemed to really hit its stride with a good number of fish getting caught. We were out on the weekend for the steelhead course and we covered a ton of water. It was a great educational couple of days and there was an exciting few seconds with a brief encounter with a fish on Sunday. Lots of guys were out but remember, this is the most popular river in the Lower Mainland so don’t let the angling pressure phase you. This is the time to get technical and if you fish hard you will pull fish out from behind others.
There is mostly dry weather coming up so downsize your presentations for that clear water and fish the water where they will feel comfortable and sheltered. This can be a great time to try fly fishing for these amazing fish, so you fly fishers get out there too.
Stave River Fishing Report
With the odd weather, water levels have been all over the place. This will stir things up a bit, but likely not change much. Not many reports of Steelhead in the system, but historically there will be a few. Classic presentations such as a swung fly or drifted pink worms can trigger a strike.
The system is still a solid choice for cutthroat. Drifting bright coloured 10mm beads got some fish this week.
Squamish River Fishing Report
We hit the water on Saturday and Sunday this last weekend. Water levels were quite good. The height was nice and the colour of the water had about 3-4 feet of visibility. It could have been a little more coloured but I wasn’t complaining.
We had to work for fish. This has seemed to be a trend this year. There have not been many days of ‘lights out’ fishing. It probably has to do with low chum numbers this year. The low salmon numbers means that there are less salmon eggs for the bulltrout. With this said we did catch fish and a couple of them were quite healthy.
Pale eggs were the most productive and as always covering water was key. We were on an Egg course so we didn’t use streamers but when I am out next time I will be running a combination. With fewer eggs in the system I would assume that the bulltrout will key in on streamers earlier this season.
For this weekend I still think it is worth getting out. The river may end up becoming a little clear if we do not see more rain but the temperatures look relatively warm and I expect anglers that put in time, cover lots of water and work for it should be rewarded. Take the streamer rod and the egging setups cover ground and have some fun.
SALTWATER FISHING REPORTS
Vancouver Saltwater Salmon Fishing Report
This past week was a mixed bag of weather with wind, rain and some really bright sunny days. This weekend the forecast for both the Strait of Georgia and Howe Sound looks decent, with light winds forecasted for Saturday, and some NW winds for Sunday, and northerly outflow forecasted for Howe Sound.
We are in the usual January/February weather pattern of consistent winter fishing where if you put in the time you are usually rewarded with a few nice chinook. As always, using glow flashers and spoons, and keeping your gear close to the bottom is the way to go. If you are looking for a few go to combos this time of year I would recommend the following. A chartreuse glow flasher such as UV chartreuse/glow (such as Salty Dawg, BC, Chartreuse Phantom, Chartreuse PA Custom, Green Onion Glow) with a 6-foot leader to a 3.0 or 3.5 Kingfisher Irish Cream spoon or a Skinny G or G-Force in similar colour. The other is a UV purple/glow flasher or a black/glow flasher (such as Purple Phantom, Purple Onion Glow, Purple Kinetic with Glow Stripe, CB-55, Black PA Custom) with the same size spoon in Herring Aide or Cookies n Cream or a Skinny G or G-Force in similar colours. These are some of our favourites and if you have one of each down, you can’t go wrong. You can fine-tune your choices from there as the fish tell you what they want that day.
There are fish well spread out through Howe Sound and good numbers in the Gulf Islands as well, so there really is no one hot spot. All the usual spots have produced for us for many weeks now, so when our guides pick a spot to fish this time of year we always take a good look at the fishability for that given day. By that we mean how effectively we can fish it depending on what the tides and winds are doing as boat positioning and speed are critical to success. It makes no sense to go to a “hot spot” if the wind is constantly pushing you out of the zone and making you go to fast, or the tide is not the most productive for that spot. So the “hot spot” often ends up being the spot where our guides are going to have the most control of the boat that day and in the end that means more hook-ups for our guests.
Crabbing continues to be slow, we have dropped traps on some trips lately, but the majority of crabs have been just undersize. Prawning has been solid for the winter season thus far, and we are dropping traps on all of our 8-hour trips. If you are heading out in your own boat, make sure to read the regulations before you set your gear to ensure you are not setting in a protected area such as a Sponge Reef Closure. If your map card is updated it will show these areas with an orange dotted line. If you don’t have a chart plotter on your boat, download the Navionics app on to your phone and you can see all the Sponge Reef Closures and RCA (Rockfish Conservation Areas).
If you are looking for a charter, we are running our usual “Winter Chinook Special” until March 31st, where we offer an 8-hour charter at $799 for 1-2 guests, $899 for 3-4 guests, and $999 for 5-6 guests.
If you want to get out on the water for chinook and prawns and take advantage of this special, please give me a call at 778-788-8582.
See you in the shop or on the water,
Guide and Director of Guide Operations