March is here! Though February’s weather was not overly harsh, we are looking forward to warmer days and more fishing opportunities as March and April are two of the best months for fishing throughout the Lower Mainland. We have a beautiful weekend in store with temps in the double digits and sun in the forecast. We would like to see some more rain for many of our systems but overall, it looks like a good fishing weekend to kick off the new month.
With the first warm spell we expect noticeable salmon fry migrations to start. This means cutthroat fishing on the Harrison, Stave and Fraser back channels will turn on and the bulltrout fishery will heat up on the Squamish.
We will also start hearing more positive steelhead reports from all the steelhead systems and fly anglers will start having more success with warmer water and more aggressive fish.
In this week’s report we have details on the Squamish, Stave and Chilliwack. We did an overview for valley cutthroat fishing last week but if you are stocking up a fly box check out our What’s in Our Cutthroat Fly Box video from last year where we go over some key patterns to look at. Note the giveaway discussed in the video is from last year.
This week we have info on a new parking program in place for those coming into the shop and last, but certainly not least, we have some great deals on Sage X single hand rods so don’t miss that.
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. The dates below show the seminar date first and casting date second.
Dates: (Mar 8 & 13), (Apr 6 & 9), (May 10 & 14), (Jun 15 & 18), (July 12 & 17), (Sept 20 & 24)
Cost: $150.00 + GST
Zoom Seminar Time: 6:30pm – 9:30pm
Casting Time(s): 10am – 1pm or 1:30pm -4:30pm
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.
Dates: Zoom Seminar Mar 23, 2022
Guided Mar 26, 27, Apr 2 or 3, 2022
Zoom Seminar Only Cost: $50.00+GST
Zoom Seminar & Guided Walk’n Wade Cost: $275.00+GST per angler, minimum of 2 anglers per guided day on the water.
Zoom Seminar Time: 6:30pm – 9:30pm
Guided: Full Day
Sage X Single Hand Rods – 20% off
All in stock Sage X single hand rods are now 20% OFF! We’re fully stocked in a variety of sizes from trout to salmon. Don’t delay as these will go fast. If you were looking to pick up an excellent rod for the upcoming season the time is now!
INDUSTRY EVENTS AND UPDATES
Free Parking Program!
We know that parking can be a bit of a challenge in the area with the ongoing Broadway Subway construction project but we have good news! Things just got easier with our new parking reimbursement program.
To take advantage of this program, park in the roof-top parking lot at 130 W Broadway, on top of the old MEC building. Once parked, choose the $2/90 min parking option. Bring your receipt in and we will reimburse you the $2. It’s as simple as that and this lot is just two short blocks from the store.
*Note this program only applies if you park in the 130 W Broadway lot.
FRESHWATER FISHING REPORTS
Chilliwack/Vedder Fishing Report
The rainstorm we received over the weekend made for a funky crest on the water levels. At the time of writing, the river is at a 2.45m and resting. Visibility decreased significantly but expect things to change for the better with a few days of dry weather.
A good push of steelhead has been making its way through the system in the past couple weeks. We have been seeing pink fry start to pop out and numbers should start to rise in the following weeks. Once the fry emerge, think 50/50 Blades, gold mini Gs under a float. Picking up the spoon rod and thumping a 2/5 and 5/8 spoon or spinner through seams and runs is a good idea. Generally, once the air temperatures reach around 15 degrees, steelhead start to become a lot more aggressive and territorial. With that said, by now fish have seen a significant amount of pressure on the Chilliwack/Vedder, and particular fish will start to get picky from being pinned a few times. If you think you missed a fish, give it a rest and go back again with something completely different a few times before moving on.
Swinging flies should start to pick up once the weather warms up and fish get really eager to snap at anything with a fishy profile. Historically, the river sees lower water levels in March compared to the rest of the year, and fish tend to get trapped in the bottlenecks in the mid and lower giving the fly guys a really good shot at fish. In the milkier water colour, we have been seeing since the Ranger Run slide, darker shades such as black blue, black red, and pink purple create a solid silhouette in dirtier water.
Once the visibility comes back into shape, expect hot fishing. We are into full force prime time for the Chilliwack/Vedder.
Go get ‘em,
Squamish River Fishing Report
The river rose a little this last week but not as much as we would have liked. We need to see a bump of water if we want to have better bull trout and rainbow fishing. The good news is that this weekend does looks nice for weather. With temperatures getting into double digits, I expect reports of salmon fry and though low clear water is not ideal, with the temps and active salmon fry, we should see a few reports of ok bull trout fishing.
This time of year, try nymphing alevin style fry patterns. The above picture was from last season in the first week in March. You can see a mix of fry in different stages. We expect to see this this weekend and swinging small streamers, small fry patterns or nymphing alevin patterns should find results.
Spinners and spoons should also be in the gear angler’s arsenal but float fishing is still very effective this time of year with pink worms, artificial egg imitations and Colorado blades.
Stave River Fishing Report
The Stave has been pretty quiet for a while now, mostly due to low water levels… but the rains that hit this week did bump the levels up a bit, which may have pushed some fresh fish into the system. It’s also March, which means there will be some early fry emerging from the gravel- which also means there should be a few cutthroat around. Of course, resident whitefish will also be present and willing as well. All this to say, it may be worth taking a quick look around the Stave.
Anglers looking for steelies will want to stick with standard presentations such as bait, blades, rubber worms, gooey bobs, yarn, beads, spoons… the same thing you would use anywhere else will work fine here too. If you’re after the cutties, now is the time to be fishing alevin patterns. Having said that, egg and fry patterns should work just fine too. Whatever you’re targeting, be sure to cover water to find fish; my favourite thing about the S tave is how quickly it can be fished- there aren’t too many good spots, and you can basically cover them all in an hour or two.
Being a dam-controlled river, you’ll want to keep an eye on water levels; they can fluctuate rapidly and without warning. Also, make every attempt to avoid wading in the back channels, as the gravel will be home to any eggs or fry that managed to survive the floods. Stepping on fry or eggs will kill them, and squishing fry is a counterproductive endeavor if you want to catch fish in a few years.