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Home / FIshing Reports / Pacific Angler Friday Fishing Report: March 17, 2017

Pacific Angler Friday Fishing Report: March 17, 2017



River levels did not bump up as much as we expected last week. The Squamish was relatively low for Matt’s course on the weekend and fishing was a challenge. We heard of a few steelhead and bulltrout but overall it was not hot. With more rain this week and Matt on the water again, check out his predictions for this weekend in the river section below.

The Vedder pumped out some more good fish over the weekend and did not blow out with the rain but it started rising on Tuesday. Keep an eye on the weather report and the river levels this weekend!
Max had his intruder course this week and even a number of very experienced tiers were impressed with his tricks, techniques and patterns for making extremely clean, fishable steelhead patterns. For those who missed the course or took the course and wanted a review, we have a step by step of one of his classic patterns in this week’s report. If you are a tier you will not want to miss it!

Matt found some fry up the Squamish and we are hearing other reports of fry from the valley. There is some concern from the rising water levels but cutthroat should be good soon. Check out Andre’s Valley Cutthroat Report for more details.

On the saltwater front we’ve been catching fish in the Harbour and Howe Sound this past week. As usual, for this time of year the fish are moving around a lot so we hope the luck of the Irish are with you this weekend and you can get into some decent action.

With the weather still being a little miserable we are featuring some cold weather essentials. Our Friday Feature Product is the Simms Freestone Gloves and as a special bonus we have decided to put all Simms toques (yes for our friends below the boarder that means a warm hat) on sale as well at 15% off! Take a look at the details on the freestone gloves below and come down to the shop. These are going to be great for the end of winter steelhead season and a must for early lake fishing.

Last but not least do not miss out on our big announcement – we’ve got a not to be missed event coming up on April 1 + April 2.



There are just a couple of spots left in each of our upcoming classes! Be sure to call the shop today to get your spot before they are gone!

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.

Cost: $125.00
Dates: Seminar: Mar 22, Casting: Mar 26
Seminar Time: 6:30pm – 9:30pm
Casting Time(s): 2pm -5pm
Instructor: Matt Sharp

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

Cost: $250.00
Dates: Seminar: Mar 28 Guided: Apr 1 or Apr 2
              Seminar: Apr 3 Guided: Apr 8 or 9
Seminar Time: 6:30pm – 9:30pm
Instructor: Andre Stepanian


Simms Freestone Glove

For this week’s feature product, Pacific Angler introduces the Freestone Glove from Simms. I myself own these gloves, both half-finger and fold-over models, and find them to be plush and soft, while also functional. Being a slate grey is also a great feature as wary fish in crystal-clear winter waters won’t see them waving around during the cast or strip.

Made from Polartec’s 200 Series fleece, this mid-weight glove is soft, light, and incredibly warm. Even when wet, fleece can be wrung out to maintain it’s loft and recharge it’s insulating properties as moisture gets wicked away through convection from the heat of your own body as you hike and trek you way along a river.
With the Freestone series of gloves, both the half-finger and fold-over models feature a heat-packet pocket in the cuff. This pocket, though hardly used (or known about by most users), is a great way to keep your hands and fingers warm as it allows users to insert a disposable heat pack that not only naturally keeps your hands warm, but also helps keep the blood in your hands warm, helping it circulate.
Soft to the touch, it also provides a great way to keep rainy-day sniffles at bay.
Another nice feature is the ease of care- simply machine wash cold and hang to dry. Being made from fleece, there are no intricate care instructions as one can most likely just hang them to dry at the end of the day.

• 200 Series fleece is soft and warm
• Simple strap system allows for easy tuck of fold-over mitt for out-of-the-way convenience
• Ergonomic fit for better dexterity when casting & the anatomical fit ensures less bulk between fingers
• Integrated heater pack pockets on interior cuff

Feel free to come into the shop and try a pair on- all of us here can help you out.

Simms Freestone Series Gloves and All Simms Toques/Beanies on sale 15% off Friday March 17 – Thursday March 23, 2017

Jordan Simpson



Mark your calendars! April 1 and April 2 we are celebrating our 10 Year Anniversary Sale with the BIGGEST sale we have ever had. Keep an eye on your inbox for details of the sale!


Vedder River Fishing Report
The Vedder will be huge for this weekend with all the rain and warmer temperatures. It probably won’t be fishable until next week unless the weather doesn’t show up as predicted. As I write this report the river peaked at 2.6 meters on the graph but it is on its way down. So keep an eye on the river levels but it may be best to stay home, tie leaders, and earn some brownie points. Once it drops to a much more favorable height we hopefully should see some decent fishing.


Steelhead landed on a jig yesterday.

With a month and a half left in the season March and April will have some warmer water temperatures which will make fish aggressive and more willing to move to take your presentation, this can be a good time to spoon fish and fly fish as well. If you would like to try your hand at spoon fishing or fly fishing for steelhead please feel free to come by the shop or give us a call. We can set you up in shop or take you out on the river on a guided trip. It’s not over yet.

Sam Graham

Squamish River Fishing Report
We were out last weekend as part of my winter steelhead on the fly course and had a great time, even if it was wet and cold. Everyone learned alot and we explored a ton of the river. Unfortunately I did not put my guys in front of a steelhead.

The river was surprisingly low and clear. We heard of a few fish and saw a bunch of anglers. Though I did not see any fry swimming in the side channels, we did find this little guy dead on the shore.

It should be any day that we start seeing the salmon fry moving around and the resident trout will start keying in on minnow patterns. When this happens fry patterns are a must have in your fly boxes and all the float fisherman should be trying colorado blades at least as a changeup when the standard gooey bobs, worms and trout beads have not worked.

Andre’s board is back and we have a great salmon fry selection in the shop and the colorado blade section is full. Early in the season start with smaller fry patterns and blades. As thing progress and temps warm up work up in size. When things start I still fish my fry on a sink tip line as the water is cold and the fry are still trying to hide in the gravel. When things warm up, floating lines are fun and easy to fish.

The river has now decided to rise and I expect it to be high and colored for the weekend. This could bring in some more fish and with any luck it will not be too dirty to fish. If the river holds its clarity, it should be good fishing.

The snow in the upper river is melting fast. We did have an issue with the ruts though. They are almost down to the gravel but the center has gone hard and is still quite built up. With a truck with good clearance the road will be easy but for SUV or trucks with average clearance you will be bashing the bottom of your vehicle. I expect it to be beaten down even more by this weekend so it may be doable but last weekend was difficult.
I am out this weekend and am hoping that the timing with St. Patty’s Day might bring us some luck!

Matt Sharp

Capilano River Fishing Report
The Capilano River had a nice bump in the water level after the rains last week so this is the time to get out there if you have been thinking about it. This system is home to a small run of steelhead; it is a catch and release fishery only so if you do come across any fish please treat them with care. With the water up, think about drifting baits and lures such as pro-cured roe, shrimp, colorado blades, and jigs. Fly fishing with egg sucking leeches, popsicles, and intruders can also be deadly especially in purple and orange variations.

Alex Au-Yeung

Stave River Fishing Report
The Stave is worth a look this week with all the rain we’ve had. While other systems might be high and dirty, the Stave typically stays in shape unless there is a torrential downpour and they open the dam. Trout, Steelhead and Whitefish are available at this time of year. While the typical steelhead baits and flies will work, start thinking about fishing fry patterns for cutthroat and bulltrout, as they will be emerging any day now.

Alex Au-Yeung

Fraser Valley Cutthroat Report
Finally we have got some warmer temperatures and of course the news of fry sightings started to pour in. I am sure all you diehard cutthroat fisherman are happy to hear this. The only issue right now is that the river level was going down nicely last week but with the rain it is rising again. The Harrison river can still be fishable on the golf course side as long as the river levels hover under 9.2 meters and under. The opposite side might be a little tricky but it should be wade-able just before the dock at French Creek.

This is a good time to take your boat up the river and explore other locations. It is good to checkout the backwaters of the Fraser and the sloughs that feed into it this time of year. The Stave River is a long shot as there is no water level station for this system so you have to take a chance and go for it. If they don’t open the dam then you can find yourself walking to more spots on the west side otherwise the space is very limited and the hunt for these elusive fish becomes harder. After the Stave River you can checkout the Alouette River as well as you might run into them before you call it a day.

Again on a positive note the fry are starting to come out of the river beds so make sure you have plenty of fry patterns along with some nymphs and dries for your outing as you never know what kind of mood the cutthroat will be in. Lets hope for less rain and high pressure to get these fish active. I will be out there somewhere regularly every week now until the end of the season.

Andre Stepanian


Simple and Effective Winter Steelhead Fly
Winter steelhead flies can as complicated or as simple as you like. What all effective winter steelhead flies have in common is they are easy to cast, sink well, and move well in the heavy currents. Winter steelhead fishing does require the use of sink tips, so tying a fly that you won’t cry over losing on the occasional snag is important. On the other hand, winter steelhead fly fishing allows an angler a lot of time to geek out over fancy flies. This fly is a happy medium between down, and dirty, and in box appeal!

Max Stickel

• Tufline Duracast 30lb
• UTC 140 Black
• 2/0 Mustad Steelhead/Salmon SL53UBL
• Small lead eyes
• Lagartun Pearl flat braid
• Polar bear dyed blue
• Steely blue ice dub
• Blue ostrich
• Black marabou
• Pearl flashabou
• Kingfisher blue schlappen
• Fluorescent pink chenille medium

Step 1: Lay down an even thread base. Tie in trailer loop and lead eyes.

Step 2: Tie in flat braid and wrap forward.

Step 3: Spin polar bear under fur and ice dub in a dubbing loop.

Step 4: Wrap dubbing loop on the shank to form the shoulder.

Step 5: Tie in ostrich fibres in pairs until the fibres are evenly spaced around the fly.

Step 6: Palmer marabou. Tie in two strands of pearl flashabou and on either side of the fly.

Step 7: Palmer schlappen (approximately 3 turns).

Step 8: Tie in chenille and wrap twice behind the lead eyes to form a small egg or hot spot on the head. Whip finish.

Step 9: Beer.



Vancouver Salmon Fishing Report
Fishing continues to be steady; with fish being caught in Vancouver Harbour and Howe Sound this past week. As usual, the fish are moving around a lot, searching for bait, here one day gone the next. If you are in the right place at the right time, there has been some decent action. Eddie has been out a lot and putting some nice fish in the boat for his guests. Crabbing has also been decent, although perhaps a touch slower than most years.

The usual flashers and spoon combinations have been producing well. Flashers with some green and glow on it, like Green Onion Glow and Salty Dawg, are always good choices. A variety of spoons in the 3.5 range have been producing well with a 5 to 6 foot leaders. The Pesca Forage and RSG, both in 3.5, in colours that have some glow and green on them have been working well. So have the Kingfisher in 3.5 in Irish Cream, Cookies and Cream, and Homeland Security. Green and Chartreuse splatter back hootchies have also been working well, likely because they have a narrow profile that mimics an anchovy well. Try a 32 to 40 inch leader.
Fishing for these feeder chinook should remain steady for the rest of March and into April. It will be interesting to see how April unfolds this year. Will we get the traditional fishery off the Hump or will the fish head up Howe Sound to work the balls of anchovies like they did last April? Time will tell and we will keep you posted as things develop.

Jason Tonelli