Happy new year everyone and we hope 2018 will be a good one on both the life front and the fishing front. Most of us are getting back the grind after some time off over Christmas but if you are looking to get out for some peace and quiet after the busy holiday season there are a number of fisheries that are fishing really well right now.
First off is the Vedder steelhead fishery. Though numbers from the derby were poor, we have heard of a number of fish this week and it is worth getting out. We have more info on this in the Vedder River report section.
The Squamish is also still producing positive bulltrout reports. A number of friends and customers hit the water over the last 10 days and though there have not been any big number days, anglers are consistently catching good numbers and the size of the fish continues to be large. The weather is also something that is very interesting this week and could mean even better fishing to come. Check out Matt’s Squamish report for more details.
The Stave is another one to start looking at. All the crowds are gone from salmon season and there are way less dead fish littering the ground so it is quite pleasant. We have not heard any recent reports but in our journals our notes say this is the time to get out to catch white fish, bulltrout and cutthroat with egg imitations where the chum were spawning a few weeks ago.
Lastly the winter chinook scene continues to be solid. Eddie and Jason have both been out quite a bit and Jason has some good intel on the fishing and prawning in out saltwater section at the end of the report.
This week we are also taking a look at some fly tying. Jordan has been playing around with some super cool shrimp patterns and the techniques in these patterns can be adopted for a number of different applications. Check out his write up below as it highlights some tricks on how to use UV glues more effectively.
CLASSES + COURSES
January is here and that means its time for some great classes. A few of these classes are sold out or almost sold out so be sure to sign up today. If a class is sold out you can always call and have your name added to the waitlist as we may add additional 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.
Date: Jan 16
Time: 6:30PM – 9:30PM
Fly Fishing Egg Patterns – ONE SPOT LEFT!
This course is designed to teach you the secrets to one of the most productive presentations in the BC fly fishermen’s arsenal; nymphing egg patterns. This deadly method can be used for different species of trout, char, and salmon. During a 3-hour evening seminar we will teach you key concepts, strategies, and gear that will give you a well-rounded foundation during the seminar portion of the class. Then you will put those skills into practice during a fully guided day on the water.
Dates: Seminar: Jan 17 Guided: Jan 20
Seminar Time: 6:30pm – 9:30pm
Introduction To Fly Tying – SOLD OUT!! CALL TO ADD YOURSELF TO THE WAITLIST TODAY FOR ADDITIONAL DATES!
There is no greater satisfaction than catching a fish with a fly you tied yourself. This 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 materials and tools purchased for the course.
Dates: (Jan 22, 29 & Feb 5), (Apr 9, 16, 23)
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.
Dates: Jan 23
Time: 6:30pm – 9:30pm
Mastering Local Saltwater Salmon Fishing
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 weekend seminar and a fully guided day on the water in one of our Grady Whites.
Dates: Seminar: Feb 4 Guided: Feb 9, 10, 11, 12
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 Day: Full day on the water
The Shrimp Fly
First off, let me start by saying that I didn’t invent or “create” this fly – I simply tied it after drawing on inspiration from the many talented seatrout anglers and fly tyers from Scandinavia. Those guys and gals have some serious skill when it comes to tying shrimp flies. A simple Google or Instagram search for ‘Seatrout Flies’ will reveal some amazing ties.
Those who fish with me know how adamant I am about not naming flies if I honestly believe I didn’t originate it. I’m not about to tie a brown and red zonker and call it the Peanut Butter and Jam, or tie an orange and blue Wooly Bugger and name it the Irn Bru. This fly is simply called Shrimp Fly because that is what it is.
This fly, in all honesty, is not hard to tie; besides the rubber legs and eyes, it consists of mallard, craft fur, a single grizzly hackle, and the smallest tuft of orange Ice Dub. It is more of a proof of concept fly than a fishing fly. The main feature you’ll notice when looking at it is the shellback. This is the part we are going to focus on because you can use the tips in this write up to add a shell back to many flies. This shellback is a mix of Loon UV thick and UV Flow.
When using these products, you will want to remember that the name correlates to the viscosity, and not how it’s applied. This means that the thick resin is that: thick. This also makes it easier to move around and manipulate with your bodkin, but don’t apply it too thick. Remember, it is better to do multiple thin layers than it is to do one big goopy thick one. This helps in curing, as well as saving battery. The very final topcoat is the Flow- this gives it that smooth and glossy appearance, as well as fills in any inconsistencies. For the markings, I use an orange and chartreuse sharpie, applied at various levels of layering.
The biggest thing to remember is to not try to make it perfect. Shrimp crawl amongst the bottom, get covered in bits of seaweed and kelp, and generally try to hide and not get eaten. If you come into the shop and look at it closely, you’ll notice it’s quite scraggly at the front. This imitates the feelers and mouth.
The swimmerettes are imitated by the saddle and another mallard feather, with more craft fur being tied over top of that, then coated and shaped with UV resin.
The goal of this fly write up is to highlight the shellback and the prosses to make it. We can use this process in hundreds of flies; beach cutthrout patterns, bonefish flies, lake shrimp patterns and even steelhead flies.
Here are the tricks – Use 2-3 coats of UV thick to build the general shape. The barring is done with a sharpie on this “coat”. This makes the bars or spots (whatever pattern you like) look as though it penetrates the shrimp like colorations on a real shrimp.
I then use 1-2 coats of the Flow to finish the fly. This fills any gaps, and protects the barring from getting worn off, giving it a clean and smooth looking back. We have been playing with the UV glues for a while now, and if you want a clean look, using the two different viscosities is key. If you have been trying to get a good looking hard shell this should help. We have both glues in stock and if you have any questions, feel free to come on in and ask me.
FRESHWATER FISHING REPORTS
Chilliwack River Fishing Report
With the cold weather in the Fraser Valley area, the Chilliwack River continues to maintain a low water level. The storm today and the rain over the next couple days will not drop as much water on the Chilliwack as the Squamish. We do not expect a blow out but is should add some color to the water and with temperatures rising it should make for good conditions.
Drifting with worms, gooey bob, roe sac, or ghost shrimp are all go too options right now. For the worms and gooey bobs change your size and colour depending on the water conditions. You want more natural colour when the water is low and clear and try to downsize if the fish aren’t reacting to the larger worms or gooey bob. In the murky and high water, try to use brighter colour and make sure that fish can see the plastic. Throw some scent in or use bait for the fish to track down and strike on it.
Swinging flies is also a great option; try swing classic style patterns like the GP, or your standard more modern streamer style patterns. If you are interested in how to select good steelhead flies we have a cool video coming out early next week where Matt walks you through his thought prosses on how to build a good steelhead fly box. If all goes well with editing we will have it posted in next week’s report but also watch Fishing with Rod’s YouTube channel were you will see it first!
Be safe out there and swing by the shop with a picture if you are lucky.
Squamish River Fishing Report
I am pretty excited about the weather this week. There may be concerns that the storm coming could turn into another massive blowout with snow melting but if the river holds there could be some epic egg fishing.
We are expecting a big dump of water today and tomorrow and then a wet but not crazy wet week. The rain will also come with temps sitting in the 5-7 degree range. This will colour up the river and move eggs around. Anytime I see a forecast like this it is time to look at water levels, put other commitments on stand bye and get the leader boards filled up. Again there are no guarantees but if you have been thinking of hitting any of the rivers for some egg fishing be it the Stave or even the upper Chilliwack these are the kind of forecasts we want to watch.
This week, pale eggs were the best producers but again with the weather changing be prepared to go with brighter imitations if the water colours up.
We have not heard about snow conditions past the power plant on the upper road so if anyone heads out I would love to hear news. It is accessible around the campground area.
Stave River Fishing Report
The weather looks great for egging over the new 4-8 days as long as there is not too much rain today. We have not yet heard any steelhead reports but it could be any day. It is absolutely worth getting out if you want to target cutthroat whitefish and bulltrout with egg patterns. Like Matt said in the Squamish report, a small storm this time of year can makes things very productive. If you get out let us know how it went. Be sure to take a look at the season overview in December reports to learn the cycle of this fishery and we will be updating this report when we start to hear more.
Stay warm on the water,
SALTWATER FISHING REPORTS
Vancouver Saltwater Salmon Fishing Report
Happy New Year to all you winter chinook fisherman out there and a Happy New Year it was indeed! Fishing over the New Years weekend was productive in the Howe Sound area as well as the Gulf Islands.
In our local waters Eddie was out on a number of trips in Howe Sound this past week and had consistent fishing with some nice keepers and lots of action from some of the smaller guys as well. Crabbing and prawning has also been decent and made for some great dinners of fresh winter chinook, Dungeness crab, and prawns!
Note that as of Jan 1 there are some winter closures for prawn and shrimp to protect spawning females including areas 28-1 and 28-2 in Howe Sound. There are still plenty of places to prawn but make sure the area you are in is open and also lookout for the sponge reef closures.
Winter Closure Areas & Area 28 Map
I was lucky enough to make it over to the Gulf Islands for New Years and had the pleasure of taking out some guests and friends from Calgary, Vancouver and as far away as Sweden. Fishing was great, with lots of bites from a mix of smaller fish all the way up to some nice size ones to keep you on your toes.
There seemed to be two hot setups for us and you can definitely see patterns when the action is hot and heavy and you take the time to try different gear while the fish are in the mood. On the Saturday it was all about green or chartreuse blade flashers with glow tape on one side and reflective tape on the other, paired up with Irish Cream or Homeland Security spoons or Skinny G Outfitter. We tried other darker spoons like the Herring Aide and Night Rider and darker flashers like blue blades and black blades with glow tape, but the hottest combo ended up being a green blade with glow tape and a 3.0 Irish Cream. Of course the next day we started out with that hot combo on one side and on the other side a CB 55 flasher (black blade with glow tape and moon jelly) with a Herring Aide spoon. We couldn’t buy a fish on the previous days hot combo but wouldn’t you know the CB55 with the 3.0 Herring Aide was lights out. Eventually we switched the other side of the boat to a similar black blade flasher and 3.0 Night Rider spoon and started hitting fish on that side right away. So the darker gear was working that day. That’s why we love fishing isn’t it? You just never know…
If you want to book a charter and get into some nice winter chinook and drop some traps for prawns and crab, now is a great time to book! Give Lars a call at 778-788-8582 and he will set you up.
If you have your own boat and want to learn more about the kind of detailed information provided into todays report, sign up for my Mastering Local Saltwater Salmon Fishing Course
See you in the shop or on the water,