Warning – They are forecasting a massive storm starting tomorrow. For the Squamish area we are seeing 50mm + forecasted for Sat/Sun/Mon and a little less forecasted for out in the valley but still some solid rain headed your way. It is rare we see 50-75mm forecasted in one day nevertheless 3 days of it. We will see if the forecast actually pans out but if it does expect rivers in that area and out in the valley to blow out and it is likely that this weekend will be a no go for river fishing. The silver lining is the fishing was good this week and after the storm as the water settles on all of our systems expect very good fishing. This week we have details on the Squamish, Chilliwack and saltwater fisheries. Check it out and though this weekend doesn’t look all that good with the rain coming next weekend could be well worth a steelhead trip or bulltrout trip.
For the saltwater anglers be sure to have a read of Jason’s report below for the latest from the saltwater and read up on how you can do your part and fill out the 2024 Southern Resident Killer Whale Survey that is out now to gather public input on the proposed measure for 2024. We know everyone is busy but it is so important to complete this survey – your ability to go boating and fishing literally depends on it!
Last but not least we have some great tying classes coming up this February. If you’re looking to do some more tying this season join us in our classes.
INDUSTRY EVENTS AND UPDATES
Steelhead Society of British Columbia – Annual General Meeting – Tomorrow!
The Steelhead Society of BC is hosting its annual AGM on January the 27th at the BCEGU office in Langley 8555 198a St Langley. Doors open at 10:00am, guest speakers will be Jasper Lament from the Nature Trust of BC and Natashia Cox from the Fraser Valley Watershed Coalition, lunch will be provided. The presentations are open to the general public the business portion of the AGM is for SSBC members only. Memberships can be purchased at the event the cost is $30.
Introduction To Fly Tying
There is no greater satisfaction than catching a fish with a fly you tied yourself. This Introduction to Fly Tying 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 fly tying materials and tools purchased for the course.
Dates: Feb 20, 27 and Mar 5
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, 2024
Time: 6:30pm – 9:30pm
Tying Essential Steelhead Patterns
This course is designed for the fly tyer looking to get the best start on tying steelhead patterns. In the 3-hour evening seminar your instructor will cover everything from tying techniques, material and colour choices, size and weight. They will walk you through 3 essential patterns that will build a well-rounded steelhead fly box. If you’re looking to get yourself into tying your own flies for steelhead, this is the course for you. This course is suitable for fly tiers with a basic knowledge. 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 13, 2024
Time: 6:30pm – 9:30pm
FRESHWATER FISHING REPORTS
Chilliwack River Fishing Report
While last weekend was very productive on the C/V system, things currently aren’t looking quite so good. The warmer weather triggered a bunch of snowmelt, and that combined with the rain has blown the river out. There’s a fair amount of wet stuff in the forecast, so the river might not be coming back into shape for a while. Once again, they fall it the “forecast” because it’s right about 4% of the time, so you never know… keep an eye on the weather and river levels, then make your decision on if heading out there is worth it or not.
Unsurprisingly, the fishing was quite poor during the cold snap, but it did pickup markedly when it warmed up at the end of last week; this was not at all unexpected and has to do with the metabolic rates of Steelhead being affected by very cold water temps. Steelhead, like all Salmonids, are cold-blooded and have no way of regulating their body temperature, so as water temperatures drop, so does their body temperatures. The lower their body temperature is, the slower their metabolism gets, and the less active they get. Less active fish are more challenging to catch, since they will be much less aggressive and willing to bite. Keep that in mind for the next cold snap…
Of course, it’s usually not worth heading out there if the river is blown out, but high water always gets fresh fish moving into the system, so fishing is usually quite good when the water comes back into shape. If you do plan on heading out there regardless of conditions, make sure you have some larger presentations on hand to target fish in dirty water as effectively as possible.
Squamish River Fishing Report
This last week saw so some challenging conditions but also some solid fishing. There are still good numbers of egg eaters in the system and though we saw low and clear conditions all week, if you knew where to look they were biting.
The storm that is coming poses some problems but also opportunities once it passes. If 50-75mm of rain comes the river will more than likely blow out and be too dirty to fish. If 3 days of 50-75mm of rain comes, we can expect river altering flooding. If you are thinking to head out Saturday, the rain may not have hit yet but be very careful. We expect it to be not fishable for a few days during and after this storm. When water levels settle after the storm it could be some of the best fishing of the season.
When I was out last week, we found fish in the guts of runs and not up in the feeding lanes. This makes sense with cold clear water. After this storm look for fish to move into the upper portions of the runs and be much more active.
Pail egg imitations worked all last week but with the rain make sure you have some larger brighter egg imitations in the kit.
As always before you head out be sure to check your river levels here. If the graph is vertical and going through 3m with more rain in the forecast, you can assume it is not worth going. If we see a vertical graph pushing over 4.5m – 5.5m we can expect the river to change and we will have new runs to explore when things come back into shape.
Good luck and be safe,
SALTWATER FISHING REPORTS
Vancouver Winter Chinook Report & 2024 SRKW Survey
The snow and the cold weather have finally cleared, and for many that means they can now get back out there winter chinook fishing. We also gave the PA guides and boats a rest during the snow and freezing temps, but we are back up and running now!
We had a few trips this week and had great fishing and prawning. I would say overall the Vancouver winter chinook fishing this season has been excellent, one of the best in recent memory, and there is more to come!
February is always a great month for Vancouver winter chinook fishing as there are lots of fish in Howe Sound, the Gulf Islands, and we also start to see more bait show up in Vancouver Harbour. This means the winter chinook also start to spend more time along West Van, the Freighters and the Point Grey area. These spots can be excellent in February and well into March. We are truly lucky to have such great chinook salmon withing sight of Vancouver. It truly is Vancouver salmon fishing.
Now that the weather has warmed up, the fish are in, and the prawning is good, it would be a great time to get out winter chinook fishing. We have special Vancouver Winter Chinook Fishing Charter Rates going on right now so click the link to learn more and book your trip!
An important message for all boaters and fishers. Time to do your part and fill out the 2024 Southern Resident Killer Whale Survey. As many of you know there have been a lot of unnecessary and ineffective closures put in place to “protect” SRKW. We are talking about large scale area closures where SRKW might only be in the area for a few hours the entire year. A lot of it is political posturing for votes and there are much more efficient and effective ways to protect SRKW that we are in favour of. We love SRKW as well and want to see them and their ability to forage be protected by measures that actually make a difference, not by things that look good on a map for a press conference.
I know, we are all busy, but I urge you to check out this article from the Public Fishery Alliance and then read the very informative information from the Sport Fish Advisory Board. There is some great info about how to fill out the survey with a link to do so at the bottom of the article. PLEASE do the survey, your ability to go boating and fishing literally depends on it!