Local lakes are getting stocked, temperatures are rising and we have some rain in the forecast. Though the rain may not be ideal for spending time outdoors it should be good for fishing in most areas. The rivers could use a little water and overcast days are better for spring trout fishing.
This week in the report Alex has a piece on how to fish the local lakes that have been freshly stocked. Taylor has a Vedder update where we are still getting good reports and Zach tunes in for the Squamish where again, we have heard “ok” reports across the board but the system could use some water.
On the politics and fisheries science side of things, we are at the end of a licence cycle and new regulation announcements are coming soon. This will be worth paying attention to. A bunch of DFO guys and girls, a bunch of folks in the private sector and a bunch of politicians who want to see science-based decisions dictate regulations have put in tireless work over the last few months and we are crossing our fingers that the decision makers will listen.
In this week’s video version of the Friday Fishing Report Matt talks in detail about those who are pushing for changes as well as highlighting some updates from the science community regarding catch and release data.
Check out the video report here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MwXSf554ZoY
Matt talks about this in the video version of the report but be sure to check out the first of several videos from MP Bob Zimmer who has spent the last few weeks interviewing many of our province’s experienced anglers about the importance of BC’s public fishery and the affect the Minister’s closures have had on BC fishing families and communities.
As we get closer to April 1, we will work to keep you updated as much as we can on the work being doing – so be sure to keep an eye on our social feeds and weekly reports for any updates and regulation announcements. Also be sure to follow and get involved with the SFI and the PFA
INDUSTRY EVENTS AND UPDATES
As we look to grow our saltwater team for the 2021 season and beyond, we have two excellent opportunities for you to join our team. We are currently seeking a Full Time Guiding Operations Manager and Full and Part Time Saltwater Fishing Guides. For more details and full job postings check out the link here.
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.
Date: Seminar April 7 & Casting April 10
Seminar Time: Wednesday April 7, 6:30-9:30 PM
Casting Date: Saturday, April 10 10:00 AM-1:00 PM or 1:30-4:30 PM
Cost: $150 + GST
Fly Fishing For Sea Run Cutthroat Trout In Rivers
This course is designed to educate one on the life cycle, location, seasonal feeding habits, and successful techniques and flies used to catch these elusive yet aggressive fish. The course is comprised of a 3 hr, evening seminar and a fully guided day on the water.
Dates: Seminar March 24
Seminar Time: 6:30-9:30 pm
Walk ‘n Wade Dates:
March 27, 28 SOLD OUT
April 3 LAST SPOT AVAILABLE
April 4 SOLD OUT
Cost: $275 + 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.
Date: Wednesday, April 21
Seminar Time: 6:30-9:30 pm
Cost: $50 per person + GST
Introduction to Chironomid Techniques
This course is an introduction to chironomid fishing that will give participants the information needed to become an expert fly fisher.
Date: Monday, April 19
Seminar Time: 6:30-9:30 pm
Cost: $50 per person + GST
FRESHWATER FISHING REPORTS
Vedder/Chilliwack River Fishing Report
A lack of rain means that the Vedder/Chilliwack system is still running very low and clear. Conditions have been challenging for the past week, and there haven’t been quite as many fish getting caught as a result. They’re still around, but the conditions have them all very skittish, so getting them to bite can be tough… low water forces the fish into certain areas that will be very obvious if you know how to read water, which makes it frustrating when you know there should be at least one fish in a spot, but it refuses to bite. Having said that, there’s a fair amount of rain in the forecast, so that should get the water up and push some fresh fish into the system… hopefully without blowing it out.
Low, clear conditions make smaller presentations necessary, so beads, 3” worms, small roe bags, drifting jigs, and the like are all good options. Toning down the colors of your presentation can also be beneficial. The same principles apply to the fly swingers out there, and warmer weather means that swinging spoons, spinners and flies are all very viable options.
March can be a great month for steelheading… the derbies are over so there aren’t as many people on the water, temps are up so fish are more active, and there are still fresh fish pushing in. I’m interested to see how this rain will affect the slide; consistent, heavy rains will probably wash clay into the drink and blow it out for a bit. In that case, it should be good when viz goes back to normal after the rain.
Stave River Fishing Report
It looks like we’re expecting warm and rainy weather over the next week, which is a prime time to head out to the Stave. Steelhead reports have started to slow down, but cutty and bow reports are on the rise. We’re at an intermediate season for this system, however it will still fish well due to the variety of species available.
Don’t be afraid to change up gears if what you’re laying down isn’t getting picked up. If you’re chasing winter steel, cured prawns and natural-coloured soft plastics are a must-have for float fisherman, while olive or black streamers are the go-tos for fly anglers. If the steelies aren’t cooperating throughout the day, try out some dew worms under a float for the trout in the system, or smaller flash patterns like a Mickey Finn or Muddler Minnow stripped through slack water areas.
As always, with rain in the forecast, be careful with water levels on this system. Always keep your head on a swivel checking if levels are rapidly rising behind you, and get to high ground if that’s the case.
Squamish River Fishing Report
As mentioned in the other reports, it looks like we might be getting some much-needed rain this weekend on the Squamish. We have been experiencing some super low levels lately with some bumps in levels due to snow melt during the day. Not sure if the amount of rain combined with the warming temperatures is enough to blow the river out or not so check the river graphs before you head out.
I would be prepared for any conditions that Mother Nature wants to throw at you this weekend. It could be low and clear; it could be high and dirty. Make sure you have both big and smaller presentations on hand if you are heading out. Being versatile and able to adapt to conditions will be the key to success. Pink worms in both 4” and 6” are always good to have on hand and don’t forget to bring a variety of blades in different sizes to help cover all of your water conditions.
For the fly anglers come stock up on big and small black/blue, pink and even white patterns in both weighted and unweighted versions. We have a massive selection of steelhead flies on hand so come on by. With the warming temperatures the fry are going to start being a more prevalent food source so make sure that you have some of Andre’s fry patterns and small spoons on hand for chasing trout. The bumping levels should push a bunch of fresh fish in so I expect fishing to really start picking up now.
Good luck on the water and if you can’t make it out come say hi to us in the shop and grab some gear!
STILLWATER FISHING REPORTS
Local Stocked Lakes Update
It’s Spring Break and our local lakes are getting stocked with catchable rainbow trout! While small, these rainbows are feisty and typically aggressive. They are a ton of fun on the right gear and are a fantastic fishery for both new anglers and more experienced anglers. There is a myriad of ways to catch them and I will do a quick primer this week on how you want to approach this fishery and what you will need to pull it off.
The first, and easiest way, to catch stocked trout is with bait. Artificial baits like Berkley Powerbait are formulated to mimic the hatchery feed that these fish are raised on so can be an easy way to get into this fishery. Powerbait comes in a dough form or egg form. Both have their own buoyancy, so what you will want to do is fish them off the bottom on a slip rig. This can be effective if the fish are closer to the lake bed. Natural baits such as worms and shrimp tend to sink and are best fished under a float as a suspended presentation.
The other way to get them with a gear rod is to throw hardware at them. This includes any spinners, spoons, or jigs that are small enough to fit in their mouths. Some of my favourites are smaller Gibbs Croc Spoons, Johnson Splinter Spoons, Johnson Min-O Spins, and Aglia Spinners. Typically, these lures will be between 1/12oz to 1/8oz so make sure you have a light rod to cast these. This is a fun, more tactile method as you can feel them grab the lure. Simply cast the lure as far as you can and slowly crank it back, making sure you are going just fast enough to keep the lure moving. Spoons wobble back and forth while the blade on spinners will rotate. Small jigs can be jigged up and down.
This is also an amazing fishery for fly fishing. Not only is it a great way to fly fish in the city, but it can be a great way for Interior lake anglers to shake off the winter rust and hone their skills before hitting the big boys inland. These locally stocked fish will readily strike streamers such as woolly buggers, egg sucking leeches, Doc Spratleys, Carey Specials, or muddlers. You can also chironomid fish for them too, though just like with their Interior counterparts, you will need to do some searching to figure out what colour, size, and depth is best.
Remember that these stocked rainbow trout are small, so cater your gear appropriately. I have always believed that any fish can be fun with the right gear. Ultralight and light powered spinning rods will be more than enough with 5-10 gram floats and up to 6lb mono or 10lb braid. On the fly side, 2-4wt rods are perfect.
For stocking reports, check the Go Fish BC website for up-to-date stocking reports. So far Buntzen, Green Timbers, Rice, Como, and Lafarge have been stocked this year. If you have any questions or want to get set up for this fishery, come see us at the Shop to get kitted out!