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Home / FIshing Reports / Pacific Angler Friday Fishing Report: January 28, 2022

Pacific Angler Friday Fishing Report: January 28, 2022



January is almost over and with it we are starting to hear more positive valley steelhead reports. The Chilliwack continues to have water clarity issues but fish are being caught. Gavin has some tips on how to tackle dirty water and has river level details in this week’s Vedder/Chilliwack report.  

With the dirty water issues in mind, it is time to widen your horizons to other systems. Though we won’t get into details on every little system that has steelhead in the valley, we are looking at the Stave River this week.  While it is not an “all-day” river system, it can make a good addition to a “Steelhead circuit”. The Stave report has more info on this.   

On the Squamish River, the snow has hardened making hiking more manageable. We are watching river levels closely this week because if we see a bump in river levels it could be worth a trip. Right now, it is low and clear and very challenging. If you are thinking about getting out check out Matt’s report in the freshwater section below.  

On the saltwater front, winter chinook fishing continues to be great. We did see DFO announce some more glass sponge reef closures in Howe Sound.  While they do not affect any major fishing spots, make sure you are educated on where they are.    

Now, we know that many of you might not want to get out fishing this time of year. If you want to chill out this weekend and dream of warmer weather, there is no better way to dream than to crack open your lake fishing fly box, and make sure it is ready for early lake season (April/May). Ethan has been stuck at home recovering from a knee surgery and he has put the time to good use. He has loaded his chironomid box and we wanted to share some of the recipes to his patterns. On a lake fly tying related note, we also just brought in the new Head Turner Beads. Many of the pros are now running these beads for their balanced leaches. Come down to the shop and check out the new balanced leach materials and take a look at the chironomids at the end of the report if you are looking for inspiration.   

For all the lake fisherman – check out the new game changer beads with matching hooks, then check out Ethan’s Chironomids at the end of the report

On to the report!  


Join Our Guiding Team 
We are looking forward to a busy 2022 guiding season.  We have full and part time opportunities for fresh, salt and sturgeon guides.   Have a read of our job posting for more details.    



This 2-part course is designed to introduce you to the art of Spey fishing and to establish the fundamental techniques required for basic Spey casts used on our local rivers.

Dates:  Zoom Seminar – Feb 22, 2022      
Guided Casting:  Feb 26, 2022

Cost: $175.00+GST
Zoom Seminar Time: 6:30pm – 9:30pm
Guided Casting:  Full Day, Squamish

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 15, 2022
Cost: $50.00+GST
Time: 6:30pm – 9:30pm

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 9, 2022
Cost: $50.00+GST
Time: 6:30pm – 9:30pm


Chilliwack/Vedder River Fishing Report  

This past week, we saw pushes of fish being caught despite the poor visibility on the Chilliwack/Vedder. Anglers who decide to spread out and cover water have been rewarded. The river below the Ranger Run slide continues to stay discoloured. At the time of writing, the river is sitting at a 2.3m and on the drop. 

Unfortunately, visibility is expected to get worse with expected rain all of next week starting with the weekend.  

On the bright side, a large majority of fish have not been heavily pressured like most years and are eager to bite. Big presentations, short leaders and scent are tickets to finding fresh aggressive fish. Opting for globs of roe, big colorado blades and fluorescent pink worms help you get in front of fish in these conditions.  

Various companies have come up with some amazing scent gels and oils; a dab of gel on the concave side of your colorado blade or soaking your soft beads or pink worms overnight in oil can be the difference between a fish sniffing your presentation out or not. 

One other benefit of colored water is fish will come up on the edges. You do not need to just fish the deep guts on the river. Fish everything. Many of the fish we have heard of below the slide have come in tight shallow spots.   


Gavin Lau 

Stave River Fishing Report  

With the Vedder/Chilliwack system seeing challenging conditions because of changes caused by the flood, it is a good idea to widen your horizons and explore other winter angling locations. We do not report on small systems as it causes issues of crowding but one well known system deserves a shout out this time of year. The Stave River is stocked with respectable numbers of hatchery steelhead, and unlike the Vedder, it remains fishable almost all of the time due to the dam-controlled water levels.  

The Stave fishes best from a raft or small boat- that way you can access more areas and it opens up a lot of water. It is still perfectly fishable without a boat, just know that there are only a couple spots that are worth your time… the Stave is not a river that I would spend all day fishing for steelhead; my trips are usually restricted to a couple hours at most. I hit a handful of spots fairly quickly and move on to another system.  The visibility is almost always quite good, so my go-to presentations are 4-inch worms, beads, blades and bait, all of which let me cover water quickly and effectively.  There are also some cutthroat trout that occasionally show themselves at this time of year, although their numbers will be fairly low and sporadic until early spring.  

Some anglers like to wade the back-channels, but please be careful when doing this. The only chum and coho eggs that managed to survive the floods will be in the back-channels, so mind your footing – this is critical, more so this year than any other year.  Stay out of the water whenever possible, as fish will have spawned extensively throughout the channels. Also, keep in mind the fact that the Stave is a dam-controlled river, so water levels can fluctuate rapidly and without warning, so always keep an eye on conditions and be ready to beat it if things get sketchy.  

The river will fish well for the next 3 months and can be a good spot to add to a list of smaller locations when building a winter steelhead circuit.  

Get out there and explore!  

Taylor Nakatani 

Squamish River Fishing Report  

Snow continues to cause access issues on the Squamish but the cold crisp days have hardened up the snow and reports from last weekend were that most of the river is now hikeable. In previous weeks, the snow was soft and the roads were slushy making hiking and driving a challenge. With a hard pack on the snow at least you will not be breaking through every step.  

We have more sunny cold weather today and then some rain over the weekend. It might mean a little snow in the upper river but overall, rain is a good thing. As we write the report, the river is below 2m and this always makes fishing a challenge because of low, clear, cold water.  

We would actually hope for more rain than is in the forecast and some more warm weather. When we look at the 14-day forecast it will get warmer at the end of next week but there is no more major precipitation after Monday. Long story short, if you see a bump in river levels over the weekend it could be good. If things stay low, it is probably a good idea to hold off until the weather changes.  

Good Luck if you get out!  

Matt Sharp 


As we noted in the outlook Ethan has had some downtime and has been out of the shop getting ready for lake season.   Here is some inspiration for all you lake anglers out there!  

Chromie Black Rib 

Hook: Daiichi 1760 or 1120 #10-#16 

Bead: Tasty Tackle White 

Thread: UTC 70, Black 

Body: Flashabou, Silver #6901 

Rib: Black Ultra Wire, S-XS 

Thorax:  UTC 70, Black 

Coating: Zap A Gap 


Hook: Daiichi 1760 or 1120 #10-#16 

Bead: Tasty Tackle White 

Thread: UTC 70, Black 

Body: UTC Black Holo Tinsel, Medium 

Rib: Red Ultra Wire, S-XS 

Thorax:  UTC 70, Black 

Coating: Zap A Gap 

Red Butt ASB 

Hook: Daiichi 1760 or 1120 #10-#16 

Bead: Tasty Tackle Black Nickel 

Gills: Uni Floss, White 

Thread: UTC 70, Red and UTC 70, Black 

Body: UTC 70, Red and UTC 70, Black 

Rib: Pacific Angler Pre-Cut ASB, 0.75-0.5mm 

Thorax: UTC 70, Burnt Orange 

Coating: Zap A Gap 

ASB Red Rib 

Hook: Daiichi 1760 or 1120 #10-#16 

Bead: Tasty Tackle Black Nickel 

Gills: Uni Floss, White 

Thread: UTC 70, Black 

Body: Pacific Angler Pre-Cut ASB,1mm-0.75mm 

Rib: Red Ultra Wire, S-XS 

Thorax: UTC 70, Burnt Orange 

Coating: Zap A Gap 

Coppertop Variation 

Hook: Daiichi 1760 or 1120 #10-#16 

Bead: Tasty Tackle Dark Brown 

Gills: Uni Floss, White 

Thread: UTC 70, Burnt Orange 

Underbody: UTC Red Holo Tinsel, Medium 

Body: Dark Brown Buzzer Wrap 

Rib: Silver Ultra Wire, S-XS 

Thorax: UTC 70, Burnt Orange 

Coating: Zap A Gap 


Vancouver Saltwater Salmon Fishing Report 

Fishing activity has certainly picked up this past week as the weather warmed up and the winds dropped down for the most part.  Not much has changed, and by that, I mean there are still some good numbers of fish around, as has been the case for 4 months now.  Seals also continue to be an issue but if there is one good thing about more boats around, is that it gives you a better chance at landing your fish among the pack. 

Jason and Don with a healthy winter chinook from Wednesday

Probably the one stand out piece of information this week is Vancouver Harbour.  I saw pictures of some nice fish taken there and had some decent reports.  So, if the fog or winds have you staying closer to home, give it a try.  Some fish are hanging around the Bell, the Freighters, and the Cap Mouth.  Not unusual for this time of year and this can fish well right into late March.   

When winds have allowed, there has been some good fishing in the Gulf Islands.  It’s a long haul on these shorter days, especially if you are dropping prawn gear, so this destination is best saved for those flat calm days when you can really cover some ground. 

Note that there were some more glass sponge reef closures announced for Howe Sound, but they aren’t in any of the major fishing spots.  I don’t think they have been updated on the Navionics charts yet, but make sure to check the regulations before you head out in case it affects where you drop your prawn traps.  Also, note that DFO has been out on patrols a lot, as has VPD Marine.  They are checking for licenses, barbed hooks, safety equipment, etc.  So, make sure your flares are up to date, your licenses are printed off, your barbs are pinched, and your fish are recorded.  If you break the rules, it reflects poorly on the rest of us and they try and use this against the public fishery when making policy. 

Make sure to follow us on @pacificanglersportfishing on Instagram for mid weeks photos, info, and pictures of the hot gear. 

See you in the shop or on the water, 

Jason Tonelli