What a week! – Let’s take a moment to de-stress and think about something other than health concerns, ruined travel plans and crashing markets. Let’s talk fishing! This week we have some fun stuff in the video report so if you want to sit back, see some amazing footage of mother nature doing her thing, and a very cool New Zealand Fly fishing trip, be sure to watch this week’s Friday Fishing Report here:
On the fishing front, we are seeing a cold spell over the next couple days which will make fishing challenging for river anglers. Check out all the details below and note that it looks as though things will warm up dramatically next week as we expect much better conditions Monday onward.
On the classes and courses front, our March classes are wrapping up as we look ahead to Spring Break save for a spot or two in Andre’s Cutthroat Class. That said, we have a number of great classes coming up in April. Details on all of those are in the classes and courses section below.
On to the Report!
CLASSES + COURSES
Fly Fishing For Searun Cutthroat Trout In River
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: Seminar Mar 25 Guided: Select dates in March and Apr 5 available
Seminar Time: 6:30pm – 9:30pm | Guided: Full Day
Introduction to Fly Tying – SOLD OUT
Call us if you want to be added to the waitlist – we may run a 2nd class
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: April 7, 14, and 21, 2020
Time: 6:30pm – 9:30pm
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; a 3hr evening seminar and a 3hr casting session. The dates below show the seminar date first and casting date second.
Dates: Seminar April 15, Casting April 19, 2020
Seminar Time: 6:30pm – 9:30pm
Casting Time(s): 10am – 1pm or 1:30pm -4:30pm
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, which we cover for the entire year, showing you the how, when, and where of a successful fishery. This course includes a 6hr weekend seminar and a fully guided day on the water in one of our Grady Whites.
Dates: Seminar: Apr 18 Guided: Select guide dates in April and May available.
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
Introduction to Chironomid Techniques
Chironomids are the number one food source for trout in BC’s lakes; however, few anglers have taken the time to become true masters of this discipline. Those that do are often rewarded with the largest fish. Trevor is a former member of the Canadian Fly Fishing Team and an excellent chironomid angler. Dedication to his sport has helped Trevor become one of the top fly fishermen in the province as well as a fisheries biologist working for Hemmera. This course is comprised of one 3hr evening seminar. Content is for beginner to advanced.
Dates: April 20
Time: 6:30pm – 9:30pm
Cost: $50.00 GST
Introduction to Fly Fishing Lakes
This course will give you an in-depth look at the fundamentals of fly fishing lakes. We explore equipment, techniques, major insect hatches and ideal lakes to begin with. You will learn all you need to plan your next successful lake trip to one of BC’s 5,000 lakes! This course is comprised of one 3hr evening seminar.
Dates: April 28
Time: 6:30pm – 9:30pm
FRESHWATER FISHING REPORTS
Chilliwack/Vedder River Fishing Report
Low, low, low! That is the word of the week and it will be word of the week next week too! Whew that’s a lot of “weeks” in one sentence. The water is quite clear throughout the entire river right now though the lower section still has a touch of colour. While we are heading into peak season and there are good numbers of fish in the system, the low water will pose a challenge. With a full week of blue bird skies and sunshine, however, we will need to get used to fishing in these sub-optimal conditions. Fish will have only a few spots that they can rest in comfortably and the key will be finding these holding areas. Focus on the obvious deeper pools and trenches but also look for surface distortion, which means white water spilling into deeper slots or rolling waves. Fish will feel more comfortable if they can’t see out. Cover water and fish all the B or C+ spots quickly until you find an A+ piece of water and then slow down and cover it thoroughly with different presentations.
In addition, fishing small presentations and swapping out so you aren’t fishing what everyone else is fishing will be paramount to success now. Your go-to’s right now for drifting might include beads, Jensen eggs, wool, size 2 Colorados, 3 inch plastic worms, mini or very light jigs. Gear chuckers should also consider switching up to casting small copper or brass spoons/spinners or even twitching 1/4oz or 3/8oz jigs. Fly anglers will want to try smaller streamers including Muddler Minnows and Egg Sucking Leeches.
Squamish River Fishing Report
The Squamish was interesting last week – if you want to see some of the craziest weather, we have ever guided, check out the video report.
If you are thinking of getting away this weekend, expect some challenges on the weather front. The nights are forecasted to get very cold and this will drop an already very low river.
Dumb down your fly and gear setups with lighter leaders and smaller flies/gear presentations. Look to next week for better conditions with a warming trend coming.
Good Luck out there!
Harrison River Fishing Report
The Harrison has been pretty low as of late, with no Spring melt or rain to bump it. This makes walk and wade access quite a bit easier for those exploring on foot.
Going in to this second week of March, the fry emergence should start any time now, with a couple reports of a few being seen on the warmer days we’ve already had. With that said, we will need to see constant and steady warmer temperatures to help keep the fry alive.
If going out and searching for cutthroat is your plan, small fry patterns are usually the go-to pattern, with Chum, Pink, and Coho fry being the main inspirations.
Small Gibbs Crocs and other small casting spoons are the gear anglers friend, as well as small spinners.
Remember to actively be look for dimpling or showing fish, as these fish will move up and down the system in groups.
Keep it barbless,
Stave River Fishing Report
We’ve heard great reports coming out of the Stave for the past week. It seems the Cutthroat and Steelhead angling has really heated up along with the weather. Fish are scattered throughout the river, with the vast majority of cutthroat coming in slack water, and steelhead constantly pushing through the main stem. With the nicer weather in the coming week, it’s a great time to size down your presentations. For gear guys, Colorado blades and 10mm single eggs under a float have been the big producers for steelhead on the system, whereas white or pink intruders and streamers have been the ticket on the fly. As far as cutties go, epoxy fry, muddlers, flash flies, and even nymphs are all solid choices to use with the better weather. The best tip I can give you is to wait for the trout to show themselves. As soon as you see slashing or action on the surface, try to cast directly into the action and strip your fly away as quick as you can, as the cutties are looking for lonesome fry as an easy snack. Aidan Munro
SALTWATER FISHING REPORTS
Vancouver Saltwater Salmon Fishing Report
With the big full moon this past week, anglers on the salt have probably noticed big tide swings and short bite windows. Many anglers will notice that this bite window coincides with the top and bottom slack when the tide starts to back off and push less water, allowing easier hunting by the salmon.
You may be seeing arcs and bait while wondering why you aren’t getting them, only to hit a few quickly, then die off again. This is usually right around the slacking tide changes, something that seasoned anglers have experienced before. Making sure your gear is down and fishing properly will be key during these short windows, so check your gear often for any smaller under-sized fish that may have latched on. If fishing plugs, make sure they are tuned and fishing right.
This week should also be the start of the herring spawn in False Creek, allowing anglers a short reprieve from the common winter depths. The fish are still often found near or along the bottom, but depths can start to shallow up. Experimenting along different contour lines can often be the key, with anglers only a hundred yards or so away being on top of fish while others aren’t.
Small to mediums spoons, along with hoochies can be the trick for this fishery, as the mature herring are usually a little larger than the more common baits found throughout the winter.
Bumping up to 3.0 from 2.5 sized spoons may be an option, as well as running your standard hoochies. While most of the time we do encourage smaller spoons, this would be the time to see if larger ones will be eaten.
The water is still pretty clear, with the Fraser melt not quite happening yet. Glow/UV combo flashers are a good choice, along with Kone-Zones for those who like to fish ‘naked’. Green, Chartreuse, Purple, and Herring-Aide flashers are all great choices, with popular options being, but, not limited to Madi, Chartreuse UV/Glow, CB-55, and Salty Dawgs. That said, experiment and see which combinations work for you.
Prawning has continued to be good to great for those dropping traps, with mixed reports on the crabbing front. Dropping traps for shellfish can be a great option for those hoping to get a full seafood feast of salmon, crabs, and prawns. With lots of different trap options for both prawns/shrimp and crabs, come on into the shop and let one of our expert staff help walk you through the various options. With stackable and foldable options, this can be a great bonus to a day on the water. As we near the midway period of March, remember that license renewal is April 1st, but can be done a few days before.