Spring is almost here and we finally have some rain in the forecast! This is going to be a big deal for the river fishing around the Lower Mainland. We expect to see some high-water conditions over the weekend but, almost all our systems could use the water. With the first notable salmon fry sightings over the last 2 weeks, we expect the rain to increase fish activity. The next 10 days will be interesting.
In this week’s report we have details on the Squamish, Chilliwack, Stave and Harrison in the freshwater section below. Cutthroat, bulltrout and steelhead should be on everyone’s list over the next week.
We also heard about some more positive saltwater reports this week. The early winter chinook season was excellent but there was a noticeable lull over the last few weeks. From the reports this week things are picking up again.
Overall watch your weather, river levels and wind reports but plan some fishing!
On the shop front we have a sale on all Sage X single hand fly rods at 20% off. The X has long been considered the top of the food chain for a fly rod that is incredibly long casting, incredibly accurate but also very easy to cast; a boast that the competition has not been able to achieve. Sure, there are long casting rods out there – sure, there are accurate rods out there but for one rod to be able to do both and then be easy to cast has made the Sage X the standard for high end performance. If you have dreamed of getting one of these rods take advantage of this sale because when they are gone, they are gone! We have 490-4, 4100-4, 590-4, 5101-4, 690-4, 7100-4 and 890-4 models still in stock
INDUSTRY EVENTS AND UPDATES
Free Parking Program!
We know that parking can be a bit of a challenge in the area with the ongoing Broadway Subway construction project but we have good news! Things just got easier with our new parking reimbursement program.
To take advantage of this program, park in the roof-top parking lot at 130 W Broadway, on top of the old MEC building. Once parked, choose the $2/90 min parking option. Bring your receipt in and we will reimburse you the $2. It’s as simple as that and this lot is just two short blocks from the store.
*Note this program only applies if you park in the 130 W Broadway lot.
CLASSES AND COURSES
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.
Dates: (Apr 6 & 9), (May 10 & 14), (Jun 15 & 18), (July 12 & 17), (Sept 20 & 24)
Cost: $150.00 + GSTSeminar Time: 6:30pm – 9:30pm
Casting Time(s): 10am – 1pm or 1:30pm -4:30pm
FLY FISHING FOR SEARUN CUTTHROAT TROUT IN RIVERS
This spring make sure to get out and take advantage of the world-class cutthroat fishing in the Lower Mainland. This cutthroat course is designed to educate you on the life cycle, location, seasonal feeding habits, and successful techniques and flies used to catch these elusive yet aggressive fish. This course consists of a 3hr evening seminar and a fully guided day on the water.
Dates: Zoom Seminar Mar 23, 2022
Guided Mar 26, 27, Apr 2 or 3, 2022
Zoom Seminar Only Cost: $50.00+GST
Zoom Seminar & Guided Walk’n Wade Cost: $275.00+GST per angler, minimum of 2 anglers per guided day on the water.
Zoom Seminar Time: 6:30pm – 9:30pm Guided: Full Day
FRESHWATER FISHING REPORTS
Chilliwack/Vedder River Fishing Report
The Chilliwack/Vedder system has been producing decent numbers of fish after last week’s rains. The river has been on the drop since then, and fresh fish that pushed in with the higher water are responsible for the bulk of the action. The river is now sitting at a fairly comfortable level with perfectly fishable visibility. There’s some sporadic rain in the forecast for the weekend, so we’ll have to wait and see if that has any effect on the level or clarity.
It’s March now, so there will be a mix of fresh fish and not-so-fresh fish. Fresh fish will be quite aggressive and willing to bite, but fish that have been in the system for a while are usually a bit less aggressive and can require some coaxing and persistence before they commit to biting. Having an assortment of different presentations rigged up and ready to go can be very beneficial for these situations but remember that the viz is significantly less than what it’s been in years prior, so it’s probably best to leave the 8mm beads and stealthy presentations at home. 4”-6” worms, colorado blades, gooey bobs, bait and large beads are all good bets, as are spoons and spinners. Speaking of spoons and spinners, remember that they are a very viable and an effective tool to have in your kit for this time of year. I wrote a report on swinging spoons a few weeks back if you missed it or need a refresher.
As always, remember to cover water and avoid wading through back channels whenever possible due to the presence of salmon eggs, alevin and fry in the gravel.
Squamish River Report Fishing Report
We have been struggling a little with low water over the last few weeks. While we did see some amazing weather last weekend and with it reports of the first salmon fry but, because of the clear water, fishing was not overly productive.
Water is needed and it looks as though we will get it this weekend and into next. With 20mm of rain Friday Saturday and Sunday it might not be a beautiful weather weekend but it could be a good fishing weekend. We expect the river to rise and with this amount of rain we could see dirty water but if you can catch it before or after the dirty water it should be well worth getting out.
As for what to bring along with you in your fly box, fish fry patterns or standard streamer patterns in white, olive black and blue if you are looking for cutthroat, bull trout or rainbows. Considering some brighter stuff is probably not a bad idea this time of year as well.
On the gear front, colorado blades under a float are a great option this time of year as well as smaller spinners and spoons.
Harrison River Fishing Report
We’ve heard reports of fry starting to emerge in all of our local systems. The warmer weather over the past week will definitely mean that the fry will be out on the Harrison. It’s still early but it’s always worth it to get out and take a look. The levels should be around 6.2m on the Harrison Mills sensory by this weekend. Lower levels mean there’s a ton of walking space. I’d cover as much water as possible as they really could be anywhere on the system. Stick to your minnow and fry patterns if you do find them as they should be quite eager. The biggest thing to look for will be schools of fry as the cutthroat won’t be too far behind.
I’d get out before the heavier rain shows up this coming week as trying to spot schools of fry or cutthroat in the rain can be quite difficult. I always check out the Windy app to see how windy it’s going to be and plan accordingly. Wind is not your friend on the Harrison as it makes casting tough and looking for rises even tougher. Saturday and Sunday look calm in the mornings with wind picking up in the afternoon.
Stave River Fishing Report
There was not too much going on at the Stave this past week as we are patiently waiting for the cutthroat fishing to turn on. The weather has been great as of late; any day now it will turn on. Anglers should take a look at tumbling Alevin patterns under a float or strike indicator as the whitefish and cutties are starting to see more fry pop around with each day.
The lower water has made fishing rather challenging; fish generally push back into the Fraser during these low and clear conditions. Expect fishing to quickly turn on with some warmer weather and rain so it is worth taking a look this weekend into next week.