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Home / FIshing Reports / Pacific Angler Friday Fishing Report: March 24, 2023

Pacific Angler Friday Fishing Report: March 24, 2023



Spring is poking her head out, things are turning green, fishing reports are getting better and it’s a Sale Weekend at the shop!   

If you missed it yesterday check out the full sale list here. 

We’re open early each day of the sale so be sure to get here early to scoop up some of the great deals in store!  

Spring Sale Hours 

Saturday March 25 | 9AM – 6PM 
Sunday March 26 | 10AM – 5PM 

This week we are going to see a little rain and then a warming trend into next week. We would like to see more rain as rivers are low, but we are starting to see a gradual rise in river levels due to warmer weather and some limited snow melt. We are also hearing of more salmon fry reports. They are not out in force yet on the upper stretches of our rivers, but the warmer lower stretches are seeing consistent streams of fry moving down river. More importantly, we are hearing reports of cutthroat, bull trout and even the odd steelhead keying in on the fry and reports this week were solid.  

The local lakes have also been stocked and with stable weather the fishing for stocked catchable rainbows is well worth getting out for. In this week’s report, we have an update on the stocking, a look at the Chilliwack where we will see regulations change on the 1st as well as an update from the Squamish.  

We also have a video report from Matt. He has a couple interesting pieces in the report this week. First, he is going to go over some of his highlights from the sales list as there are some great deals out there this year. He then is going to give everyone a sneak peek at what is in his spring fly boxes. If you missed it, a few weeks ago he showed us what’s in his pack for this spring season. If you didn’t see that video it is recommended. He has lots of things worth putting in a fishing pack that you might not have considered.  You can check that pack video out here.    

From that video we had a bunch of people asking about what’s in the fly boxes he puts in his spring pack. He’s going to go over that in this week’s video version of the Friday Fishing Report  plus he has updates on all the major fisheries and some political issues worth tuning in for.  

Check out this week’s video version of the report here:


Winter Steelhead On The Fly
Fishing for winter steelhead on the fly (single hand or spey) is arguably one of the most challenging and rewarding fisheries in BC. Let our steelhead gurus help you unlock the mysteries of these magical fish with their decades of steelhead guiding knowledge. This course consists of a 3hr evening seminar and 1 full day of guided fishing on the water. In the seminar we will go over rods, reels, lines, sink tips, flies and reading water and swung fly techniques. The fully guided day on the water we will be work on casting, reading water and swinging the fly.

Seminar Only:  Mar 29, 2023
Guided:  Apr 1 or 2, 2023 – SOLD OUT
Seminar Cost: $60.00+GST
Seminar Time: 6:30pm – 9:30pm
Guided:  Full Day – SOLD OUT

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: Apr 4, 2023
Cost: $60.00+GST
Time: 6:30pm – 9:30pm

Introduction to Fly Tying

There is no greater satisfaction than catching a fish with a fly you tied yourself. This Introduction to Fly Tying course was specifically designed to give you the fundamental skills needed to tie proven fly patterns used here in BC for troutsalmon, 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 fly tying materials and tools purchased for the course.

Dates:  Apr 12, 19, 26, Sep 27, Oct 4, 11. 
Cost: $100.00+GST
Time: 6:30pm – 9:30pm

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.  This course is comprised of one 3hr evening seminar.  Content is for beginner to advanced.

Date: Apr 25, 2023
Cost: $60.00+GST
Time: 6:30pm – 9:30pm

Introduction to Fly Fishing

This course is 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: May 9 & 13, Jun 14 & 17, July 11 & 15, Sept 19 & 23 
Cost: $175.00+GST
Seminar Time:  6:30pm – 9:30pm
Casting Time(s): 10am – 1pm or 1:30pm -4:30pm



Chilliwack/Vedder River Fishing Report 
We are in peak steelhead season on the C/V, but conditions have been not favorable in the past week. Low water in combination with clear skies makes for tough fishing conditions. We need some serious rain to bring some more fish into the system. Fortunately, we expect rain throughout the weekend and the river should be coloured but fishable by Monday. The river is sitting at a 2.09m at the time of writing, which is rather low. 

Classic Double Striped March Buck

Late March – April is when we usually see higher numbers of large bucks move into the system; most of which tend to be wild fish. A lot of fish in the system this time of year have been caught once or twice if not more by now, so changing up tactics is key.  

Reports of fry all throughout the river is a good sign. Steelhead get rather snappy and aggressive once fry pop out and higher temperatures stimulate metabolism. This is a good time of year to carry a spoon or spinner rod. Chartreuse, Orange, Gold and Copper are my favourite colours to illicit a strike from a spring ghost.  

Expect some better fishing once the rains hit and remember to keep walking, 

Gavin Lau 

Squamish River Fishing Report  

We are starting to see a gradual rise in river levels with the warmer weather. This is a good thing. We would like to see a lot more water as the river is still low and clear. We have been hearing reports of days on the lower parts of the system where fry are out and fish are keying in on them but, from what we have seen in the upper reaches of the system, the bulk of the fry have yet to start moving.  

You will want fry or flashy style small presentations in your kit if you are heading out to anywhere on the system but fishing deep with standard olive, white or pink presentations is still a good bet to start the day. In the Video version of the report, I go over some of the patterns that I take.  

Check out the video version of the report to take a peek in Matt’s Spring Fly boxes 

There is a little rain in the forecast as we are writing the report. It is scheduled to roll in Thursday night and into Friday. It will not be enough to really make a big move in river levels, but any water is a good thing right now and the weekend looks like a good bet to get out.  

Come down to the shop and we can get you set up with the right gear or flies for the conditions!  

Matt Sharp 


Local Lake Stocking Report 

 The warmer temperatures, longer days and some slightly more tolerable weather are all sure signs of the beginning of spring, and the Freshwater Fisheries Society of BC has been hard at work dumping catchable Rainbow Trout into most of the small, stocked lakes in the Lower Mainland.  Almost all of the locally stocked lakes received a stocking in the 2nd week of March, and a few of the most popular lakes received another stocking this week; fishing has been quite good as a result.  You can check the Freshwater Fisheries Society of BC’s Website here to see which lakes have been stocked, and how many fish have been put into each lake.  

The Freshwater Fisheries Society stocks the local lakes with Fraser Valley strain Rainbow Trout, which are a domesticated and usually sterile strain of Rainbows that were bred specifically to grow as quickly as possible. As such, they are usually quite small when they are stocked but can attain reasonable sizes by late Summer- if they survive that long.  These stocked trout have ferocious appetites and are not exposed to predators while they are being raised, so they are usually quite easy to catch. Due to their average size being under 1 pound, a light or ultralight spinning setup is recommended. Float fishing with bait is typically the most effective method, with Powerbait, shrimp or worms being the best options for bait. Bottom fishing with bait is also an option, though most of our local lakes have muddy bottoms and can get quite weedy, so your success may vary- sometimes it works great, and you catch fish; sometimes you end up harvesting a bunch of salad. Casting and retrieving lures also works well, and may be a better option for those who don’t like to stand around waiting for a float to drop. Small spoons or spinners such as Gibbs Crocs, Gibbs Mini-Gs, Blue Foxes or Rooster Tails are all good options; I usually prefer bright, flashy colours.  

An average “stocker” Rainbow just before being unhooked and released

As I’ve already mentioned, stocked trout are usually easy to catch, so they are a great way to introduce young or new anglers to the sport in such a way that they have a decent chance of catching something.  Many of the locally stocked lakes feature large parking lots, docks, easy-access and bathroom facilities, so these fisheries are designed to be accessible to everybody. Fishing in most stocked lakes should remain good until the summer doldrums hit and the water temperatures start approaching the upper limits of what a trout can survive. Note that some of the smallest lakes- such as Green Timbers or Sanctuary Pond- can actually get “fished out” by anglers, birds and other predators, so consider checking the stocking reports to see how recently they were stocked before heading out.  

The local lakes are stocked for the sole purpose of the enjoyment of anglers- these are technically “put-and-take” fisheries but, be sure to check the regulations concerning retention limits and gear restrictions before you head out- just because these aren’t salmon, doesn’t mean there aren’t any rules!  

Eric Peake