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Home / FIshing Reports / Pacific Angler Friday Fishing Report: March 24, 2017

Pacific Angler Friday Fishing Report: March 24, 2017


Things are heating up and so is the fishing! We are hearing consistent cutthroat reports from the Fraser Valley and this week we are featuring the best selection of cutthroat gear as our Friday Feature Product. Andre has an overview of the gear he uses for this fishery and everything he lists is on sale at 10% off for the next week.  If you are planning to do some cutthrouting in the next few weeks you do not want to miss out on this!

Matt was up the Squamish last weekend and though they had a challenging trip there is hope in sight. We expect it to be good this weekend if the weather holds and it will only get better over the next 10 days. Check out his report for more details.

The Vedder has seen some poor river clarity but it cleared up in the last couple days and we heard some good reports. We have more rain in the forecast and this might color the water up again but there are a good number of fish in the system and it is worth a go if you are thinking about heading out. Take a look at Sam’s report for more details.

We have been working hard to get our saltwater boats ready for the season and have not been out as much as we would like. That said Eddie had a really good numbers day last week even a number of them were undersized. We saw lots of bait out in the harbour during the last couple sea trials of our boats and all the guides are itching to get back to fishing. We expect to hear good reports from this weekend. Check out Jason’s saltwater fishing report below for more details

Finally it’s time to get our your calendars. We have some great classes coming up in April and our HUGE 10 Year Anniversary Sale is coming up on April 1 and April 2. Don’t miss it!!

Pacific Angler Fishing

Jordan with a fry caught rainbow.



We know you have your calendars marked for the big event! We are busy in store getting ready for our BIGGEST SALE! April 1 and 2 you will save big on all your favourite brands.   Plus we’ll have 10 Amazing giveaways to mark 10 years of sharing our knowledge and passion of all things fishing!   Keep an eye on your inbox for all of the details and we’ll see you in the shop for the sale on Saturday April 1 and Sunday April 2.



It’s hard to believe that we are heading into the last week of March. We’re looking forward to warmer weather and more time on the rivers, lakes and saltwater. Get dialled in with our upcoming courses!

Fly Fishing for Searun Cutthroat Trout in Rivers
We only have one date left with on the water spots for this course – so be sure to get your spot before it sells out!

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
Seminar Time: 6:30pm – 9:30pm
Instructor: Andre Stepanian

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, when, and where. This course includes a 3hr evening seminar and a fully guided day on the water in one of our Grady Whites.

Cost: $250.00
Dates:             Seminar: Apr 4                     Guided: Apr 8 or 9
Seminar Time: 6:30pm – 9:30pm
Instructor: Jason Tonelli

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 Apr 5, Casting Apr 8
Seminar Time: 6:30pm – 9:30pm
Casting Time(s): 10am – 1pm or 2pm -5pm
Instructor: Matt Sharp

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.

Cost: $45.00
Dates: Apr 18 or May 30
Time: 6:30pm – 9:30pm
Instructor: Matt Sharp

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.

Cost: $45.00
Dates: Apr 19 or May 2
Time: 6:30pm – 9:30pm
Instructor: Trevor Welton


All Cutthroat Gear listed below is 10% off for one Week Only!
The cutthroat season is finally upon us and I am getting more and more positive reports and cutthroat sightings every day. To help you get setup with the right tackle for this fishery here is a gear list that I have put together. You will not want to miss out if you need to restock for the season!


First I like to always talk about the “ideal set up” for cutthroat. This means that if you were dedicating a rod specifically to this fishery this would be your number one choice in the arsenal. I love a medium-fast action 4wt 10ft rod, as it is easy to mend and control the line whether you are casting long distance, nymphing or roll casting. The softer action helps keep arms rested for repeated long casting and the 10 foot rod will always have more bend in the tip making it less prone to breaking lighter leaders.


My first choice would be a Sage Accel in 4wt 9-10ft and then the Gloomis PRO-4x in the same weight and length. There is also a new switch rod tout that is also a very cool option to try for this fishery. It is the Redington Hydrogen 3wt 11ft. Although it is a switch rod it does not have a rear handle and can easily be casted as a single hand rod. When you come to a situation with no back cast room it can easily deliver the line with a roll cast or a Spey cast. Also the length will help you do some long mends and keep the line of the water in faster currents. All Accel Pro 4X 4-5wt rod are on sale at 10% off.

Sage Accel 4-5 wt fly rods – On sale for $760.50 (regularly $845.00)
G Loomis Pro 4X 4-5 wt fly rods – On sale for $427.50 (regularly $475.00)
Redington Hydrogen 3wt 11ft switch rod – On Sale for $310.45 (regularly $344.95)

Fly Lines:
Fly line selection is almost more important and your rod selection. The two types of fly lines that we use are floating and intermediate/clear tip lines as the average depth of water that you will encounter these fish is quite shallow. When it is cold I lean toward the slow sink tip lines but when things are really going the floating line is the easiest to cast and fish.

My favourite lines are the Rio Gold for a floating line, and the SA Sonar clear tip lines or Rio Outbound short clear tip. Again these lines will be on sale all week!

SA Sonar clear tip – On sale $99 (regularly $110.00)
Rio Gold In-Touch Fly line – On sale $105.29 (regularly $116.99)
Rio In touch Outbound Short Intermediate tip – On sale $105.29 (regularly $116.99)

The time of year determines what flies you use. In the spring a good portion of your flies will be imitating salmon fry. Right now start with smaller sizes and later in the season fishing a little larger size is productive. There are a variety of fry imitations to use, which will vary in size and colour. The most abundant of the salmon fry are coho fry. They have parr marks on the side and live in the river for two years before heading towards the ocean. Trying slightly different colours of fry over a given day is important. Greens, blues light tans and purples should all be in your box. The color of the water will change the color of the natural fry so you will want to have a selection to experiment with.

All flies for cutthroat will be 10% off this week!

Leader Material:
Leaders are the simple part of the tackle, a 5lb 10-12 “leader in fluorocarbon is better than monofilament as the fluorocarbon is less visible in the water. You can also fish a monofilament leader and just cut off 2ft and add on a 4lb fluorocarbon tippet. My favourite fluorocarbon tippet is the sight free Airflow and the Rio fluoroflex plus.

Prices range from $5 – $15 – all on sale 10% off

On the fishing front I expect this week to be a good time to get out fishing. The Harrison is a little high so using a boat will help access water but other tribs like the Stave, Fraser sloughs and even the lower Squamish can produce fish.

If you are gearing up, come down to the shop all these items are on sale at 10% off from today through close on Thursday March 30, 2017. We will see you in the shop!!

Andre Stepanian



Vedder River Fishing Report
The Chilliwack’s clarity did improve slightly this past week. Even though it was running a little high, the clarity improved for Wednesday and a few fish were caught. With the warm weather and some more precipitation in the forecast you may see the clarity degrade again. The upper river above the slides may have slightly better clarity. Steelhead can still be caught in less than ideal conditions as long as you fish to the conditions. With a foot or two of visibility you should fish bright presentations; your goal is to be seen. Rubber worms, brightly coloured jigs, and wool ties. Same rule applies for the fly angler. Fish close to shore and shallow, in these conditions fish can sit a rod length from the beach. Prepare to cover lots of water to find slower walking pace speed water.

Good Luck,

Sam Graham

Squamish River Fishing Report
The fry have popped on the lower river and we have had a few good reports of anglers finding small pods of bulltrout chasing fry. I was up last weekend and the fry were not out yet in the upper river and the road was still quite rutted up. I expect that the snow has been beaten down even more and any day now it should have fry hatching in numbers if it hasn’t already started.

When the fry start coming out, I fish fry patterns with a sink tip line but when things really start to warm up we switch to a floating lines. 4-6 wts are perfect for this fishery but hooking a steelhead is quite possible with fry patters so using a 7-8wt is not out of the question.

It is also the time of year the gear anglers will want to have colorado blades and spoons in their arsenal. K-4 and K3 are awesome this time of year for steelhead and they hook a bunch or trout as well.

We got hit with quite a bit of rain this week and there is more in the forecast. The river bumped a little on Thursday but settled back down quite fast. We are going to get another bump of water today but it may not blow out the river. Watch the levels and if you can handle getting a little wet I think this will be a good weekend to head up to the Squamish System.

Good Luck,

Matt Sharp

Capilano River Fishing Report
While this past week saw some decent flow on this urban river, reports have indicated that it has been on the slower side of things. However, there are a few fish in the system and it can be nice to wet a line so close to home. The steelhead here respond to a myriad of different lures and flies, so choose your method of attack depending on the water type you are fishing and the level of the river.  Drifting or swinging presentations work best in walking pace water, while casting and retrieving (or stripping) works best in more stagnant portions of water.

Please keep in mind that this run of steelhead is small so treat any fish you come across with respect and remember that it is strictly a catch and release fishery.

Alex Au-Yeung

Stave River Fishing Report
If you’re out in the Valley and need somewhere to wet a line for a couple of hours, the Stave River can be a fun little fishery to try out.  Anglers that frequent this river like to target the cutthroat trout, mountain whitefish, and steelhead among a few other species that are present.  Use spinners, spoons, roe, shrimp, egg sucking leeches, intruders…the list goes on. Cater your presentation to your target species, find the right water, and good luck!

Alex Au-Yeung


Fishing was pretty solid this past week.   There were good reports from Vancouver Harbour, multiple locations in Howe Sound, and fish over in the Gulf Islands. A lot of undersize chinook moved into some of the spots this week, keeping the guides busy with double headers and even a triple. Although exciting, this can make it difficult at times to find the bigger fish as it seems your gear is never in the water. I guess it is better to have lots of bites and some action then no bites at all!


Probably the toughest choice right now is where to go. The fish really are moving around a lot. One day a spot will produce multiple keepers, the next day just small fish or perhaps not much at all. Such is the nature of winter chinook fishing.


Eddie and I were out test fishing the new Lowrance electronics yesterday and the new Lowrance Bluetooth autopilot system. Both worked well and we were pretty happy with the autopilot even in the strong winds.

Here is a picture of a couple of chinook feeding on a bait ball. This was in Vancouver Harbour, around the freighters, on the ebb tide.

I am not going to get into flashers and spoons and hootchies this week as they have been mentioned every week now, all winter so scroll back to old reports to see the go to models. What I am going to say is go fishing. The fish have moved back in and are well spread out, so put some time in during the next couple of weeks and you should have some good results.

See you in the shop or on the water.

Jason Tonelli