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    It will keep you informed on weekly specials, sales events, and contests. We will also be highlighting some great fishing pictures, videos, and information on our trips around the world in pursuit of game fish!

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Home / FIshing Reports / Pacific Angler Friday Fishing Report: March 20, 2020

Pacific Angler Friday Fishing Report: March 20, 2020



What a week – Again! 

Let’s get non-fishing stuff out of the way first.  As we write this report, we are still open.  We again want to reassure all of our amazing clients as well as our employees that your health and well-being is our number one priority.   
As such, we are taking all necessary precautions recommended by our local and national health organizations including: 

  • Enhanced cleaning protocols in our shop and on our boats with particular focus on high traffic/contact areas 
  • Increased sanitation and hand washing protocols 

We will continue to operate business as usual but we do ask that anyone who is feeling unwell or who has been out of the country, refrain from visiting our retail location.    We’ve got hand sanitizer here at the shop, so please do make of use of it when you visit! 
Don’t want to shop in store?  
We will be taking orders via phone or email.  Give us a call at 604.872.2204 or email us and we’ll hand pick your order and prepare it for pickup or shipping. 
We will be closely monitoring this situation and will provide updates as needed.  Questions?  Respond to this email or give us a call! 

OK, with that out of the way let’s talk fishing.  Fishing is unique in many ways when compared to other hobbies and sports.  It is probably a good thing to be doing.  It is a great way to get out for fresh air, de-stress and reset the mental computer, all the while keeping social distance.  So, I think we are safe to say GO FISHING!  

With that in mind, we will be looking at all the fisheries from river steelheading to saltwater fishing and everything in between.  On the rivers, you will be seeing some low river conditions Luckily,  we’ve got some tips for those conditions.  We also have some updates on stocked lakes if you want to spend some time out on our local lakes.  On the saltwater front its go time!  We’ve had decent fishing from Howe Sound over to the Gulf Islands.  In short, its go time.   Be sure to check out the special treat Jason has for you at the end of his report! 

We also know that many of you will be stuck indoors more than usual so your fly-tying vises should be getting a workout.  With that in mind, we have two patterns that we have released over the last 10 days that you might want to try. The first one is a no brainer, classic streamer pattern that imitates salmon parr.  It is well worth putting in your box for fishing any of our local streams and is great for bulltrout, cutthrout and even steelhead.  

The second Fly is a simple yet game changing way of tying the rubber legs on a crab style warm water pattern.  This is always the most time-consuming battle when trying to consistently line the legs up.  Zach ties the classic Turneff Crab with this simple trick and it makes the whole process so much easier.  

Check out the fly tying videos and if you want to sit back, relax and think about fishing, Matt has the weekly video version of the Fishing Report below as well.     

On to the Report!  


We have some exciting news on the course front – We will be offering courses, but we will be converting them to an online format so you can enjoy them from home! – Stay Tuned for more information 

Introduction to Fly Tying 

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  
Cost: $80.00 

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: 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.  We cover the local saltwater salmon fishing for the entire year, showing you the how, the when, and the where of successful local saltwater fishing. This course includes a 6hr weekend seminar and a fully guided day on the water in one of our Grady Whites.  

Dates: Seminar:  Apr 18Guided:  Apr 24, 25, 26, 27 or May 1, 2, 3, or 4  
Seminar held at Pacific Gateway Hotel –  3500 Cessna Drive, Richmond, BC 
Guided Day:  Full day on the water  
Cost: $450.00+GST 

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 
Cost: $50.00+GST 


Chilliwack/Vedder River Fishing Report 

The river is running more like a creek these days and it doesn’t look like we will be getting much reprieve from that for a while.  There is still a touch of green to the water below the slides so take advantage of that, if possible.  At this point, we are in the peak of the run so numbers are not a concern, however these pressured fish can sometimes be a bit more technical than your typical Steelhead.  There are a couple simple tweaks you can do to up your chances of getting a bite.  To start, take advantage of low light conditions if at all possible.  This means first light or last light or cloudy days as this is when fish feel more comfortable and are less wary.  First light, in particular, means the fish have had all night to reset and can revert back to that aggression that an unpressured fish exhibits. 

“Another nice one for Alex earlier this week.”

If you don’t have the luxury of picking your fishing times to coincide with these conditions, focus on spots that have some depth and some surface distortion such as bubbling white water. The second thing you will want to try is to downsize your presentations as small as possible. This includes leader size (take advantage of fluorocarbon), lure/bait/fly size, and hook size. Finesse can be the name of the game at this point.  The third thing is to think outside the box and to be different.  This is normally a good rule of thumb to follow on this river anyways, but right now it can mean the difference between that one bite and no bites all day long.  Slow down and switch up in prime holding spots.  Don’t be the second, third, or fortieth person through the run with the same presentation.  
As always, cover water and stick with it. That 1000th cast comes faster than you think! 

Alex Au-Yeung 

Squamish River Fishing Report 

She is as low as we have seen her. This has made fishing challenging. The good news is the temperatures are rising and with numbers in the low teens going into the weekend, we can expect bulltrout and rainbow fishing to pick up when things warm up in the middle of the day.  

Find shallow areas getting hit with sun and look for salmon fry.  Depending on the spot you will find good fishing down stream of areas showing noticeable signs of fry. We had ok bulltrout reports this week with anglers using fry patterns, small spinners or small Colorado blades over the past week.  

This week, watch the weather.  It looks as though next week has some rain and reasonably warm weather.  If this bumps up the river we could have some solid fishing.   Either way it is worth getting out to enjoy what we consider the best form of social distancing. 

Good Luck,  

Matt Sharp 

Harrison River Fishing Report 

The past while has seen extremely low water levels on the Harrison and its tributaries. The silver lining to this is it is easy to cover a lot of water on foot.  Anglers have noted a few fry but not any major numbers of fry yet. Because of this we have not heard reports of consistent fishing.  

The next little while should hopefully prove more promising as we progress into Spring when temperatures rise and more fry hatch.  Again, once the fry emergence happens, anglers will want to be matching the hatch with fry patterns in various colours representing coho, chum, and pink salmon.  

Small spinners and spoons with similar colour schemes should also be considered by those tossing gear.  

A reprieve from the more common salmon sized rods, light and ultra-light rods, can prove to be more fun, as well as successful since they are designed to bend through and absorb lighter bounces common with smaller fish.  

By keeping a variety of gear and flies on hand, anglers will be ready when the fry finally hatch in numbers.  

Jordan Simpson 

Stave River Fishing Report 

Another great week for the Stave with the beautiful weather.  We’ve had good reports on both steelhead and cutthroat in the system.  Even though there are not many fry yet, from the reports we have heard, the cutties are keyed in on fry imitations throughout the system.  They’ll hold in a variety of water, both slack and heavy flow.  Small trout spoons are an effective way to target these guys on gear, while fly fisherman have the option of Epoxy minnows and muddlers. As for the steelhead in the river, they seem to be holding in pockets and seams along the western shore of the river.  Pink or White streamers are always a sure bet with a clear sky, and prawns have been the bait of choice under the float.  
The key to this system is to constantly be moving.  Cover as much water as you can, as the fish will either make themselves apparent, or be holding in untouched nooks & crannies. 
Aidan Munro 


Local Lakes – A great simple option  

The warm weather over the past few weeks has finally warmed the lakes enough for stocking to start.  Como, Lafarge, Green Timbers, and Rice were stocked with 1000 rainbow trout, while Buntzen received 2000.   These fish have never seen a lure before, making it an easy and accessible fishery.  Each of these local parks are accessible and very fishable from shore.  The most common ways to target these fish generally involve bait.  I suggest fishing 2-3ft under a float with your favourite option of bait; dew worms, for instance are a great option.  Great options on the fly include pumpkin heads or Buick 52’s.  Just make sure the tails on your leeches are short, as these fish will often ‘sip’ at your fly.  
We’ll be seeing more local lakes getting stocked as the weather continues to improve.  They’re a great option for kids or even if you’re starting to get a bit of cabin fever.  Don’t forget to renew your licenses as they will be rolling over on April 1st, and you’re able to pre-purchase before the deadline.  

To stay up to date on the local lakes check out: gofishbc.com 
Aidan Munro 


You can see spring is here, still the odd cold morning, but the afternoons are heating up into the teens and the cherry blossoms are coming out around downtown.  Spring is in the air, and this means we start to see more fish around as well and some suspended fish as the algae in the water makes it a little darker and the bait comes up and so do the fish.  This past week, there has been decent fishing all through Howe Sound, in the Harbour around the freighters and the Bell Buoy, further up the Sunshine Coast and over in the Gulf Islands.  In short, its go time. 

Derek and crew getting it done yet again earlier this week on Reel Therapy! 

Some of the reports have been very good and I am fully confident we are about to enter into the same scenario as last year when the fishing was excellent in April, May, June and July and there was no retention of chinook.  When I think about this, I literally get sick to my stomach.  Once again DFO is managing a sector that encounters chinook stocks of concern less than 1% of the time and once again, we are wasting the socio and economic opportunity to go out and harvest a wild chinook salmon or even a hatchery chinook salmon.  I would love to say there is a big rally planned to show DFO and the rest of this country that the common resource is being miss-managed, but with Covid-19 that is not going to happen.  There will be some different efforts coming up and don’t underestimate the power of a letter.  But for now, let’s focus on family and health and the fact that you can keep 2 chinook until the end of the month. 

“Nothing like a spring day on the water.” 

This time of year, things can get a little tricky as you do get some suspended fish as mentioned earlier.  One day the fish are on the bottom, the next day you get them off the bottom a bit, or even in the same tide.  So, make sure you keep a keen eye on the bait positioning and where the arcs are.  This is where good electronics make a big difference.  You may try stacking on one rigger to cover more water and keep one rigger at one rod only making it your dedicated just off bottom rod.  As for gear, the brighter gear often works the best in the darker water that is tea stained from algae.  Glow green or glow chartreuse flashers and glow green or glow chartreuse spoons and hootchies are all top producers.  I am going to do a post of some of my favorites later on this afternoon when I go down to the boat to get ready for some trips this weekend, so make sure you follow @pacificanglersportfishing on Instagram or FaceBook.  

I am happy to report crabbing seems to be pretty good, so we are going to drop crab traps on our trips now.  Prawning continues to be good as well, but it will taper off a bit as the days are getting nicer, longer, and more boats are starting to head out each weekend. 

The boys from Reel West Coast also have a treat for you.  They don’t usually do this, but they have decided to release Episode 1 of this year’s Season 3 on YouTube.  This show just only recently came out on TV, so would not normally be released to the public on YouTube, but they figure we could all use something to cheer us up.  So, if you haven’t already seen it, check out this show of Brendan and me fishing the South Arm for strong runs of summer chinook in August.  I am hopeful we will have good fishing again this August and that gives us all something to look forward to in this difficult time.  Enjoy…. Vancouver Fishing Frenzy! 

See you in the shop or on the water 

Jason Tonelli