Spring is poking her head out! We are in for some great weather with temps in the mid teens next week. This is really going to get the fishing going on all fronts. For the river anglers this means the salmon fry hatch. It might not happen this weekend but it could and it will happen any day. Make sure you have Colorado blades, mini Gs and fry patterns in your kits and check out the Freshwater Report section below for more details. All major river systems are worth a look this weekend and into next week.
The weather is also kicking in at the perfect time for steelhead fishing. We had good reports all last week and expect the rising temps to make things even better. We’ve got more info in this week’s Squamish and Vedder reports.
Though the warm weather does not affect the fishing as much on the saltwater front it sure makes life on the water way nicer. The reports have been good all week and with nice weather in the forecast we expect a bunch of boats to be heading out. Jason is guiding this weekend and he has more info in the saltwater report below.
CLASSES + COURSES
Tying Chironomid Fly Patterns
80% of a trout’s diet consists of chironomids whose patterns vary from lake to lake. This 3-hour evening seminar will teach you how to tie a variety of the most effective chironomid patterns used in BC’s world-renowned lakes. You will finish this course understanding the very specific technical aspects ranging from beads, ribbing, colors, and body shapes. Students are required to supply their own vise, tools and materials. A 10% discount is available on materials and tools purchased for the course.
Date: Mar 12
Time: 6:30pm – 9:30pm
Cost: $45.00 +GST
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.
Dates: Seminar Mar 13 & Casting Mar 18
Seminar Time: 6:30pm – 9:30pm
Casting Time(s): 10am – 1pm or 2pm -5pm
Cost: $125.00 +GST
FRESHWATER FISHING REPORTS
Chilliwack River Fishing Report
Conditions were prime earlier this week and there were many lucky anglers that tied into some of that elusive chrome. Numbers are much better now than they were early in the season and quality of fish is way up as well with some brutes pushing into the river. Brood stock capture has really benefitted as well and they are on their way to meeting their annual quota. With the warmer temperatures this coming week we possibly will see some coloured water due to snow melt so be prepared to fish bigger presentations.
We most likely won’t see a blow out but the clay banks have been an issue all season with every small to moderate bump in the levels. Regardless, we are right in the thick of steelhead season so if you haven’t given it a go this is the time to do it. As Spring arrives we will start to transition into upcoming fisheries so enjoy fishing for these magnificent fish while they are still in the river!
Capilano River Fishing Report
Water at the Capilano remains low and the fish are quite spooky. That said with the low clear water it is going to be a lot easier to spot them. When you do find holding fish or fish slowly moving up, try your luck and see if they will take anything.
In low and clear conditions, it is very important to ensure that your presentation won’t spook the fish. Downscale the size of your presentation by using light and clear floats, finesse worms or plastics, spoons, spinners, even your leader line and terminal tackle such as hooks and swivels.
For fly fisherman, it is also very important to downsize the size of the fly and the leader line. The report is that people have been successful with swinging classic GPs and other small prawn patterns.
We are excited about the long term forecast. When they open the dam a bit with this heat we should see better fishing.
The Capilano is a very pressured river. Please abide by the regulation and release ALL steelhead with care.
Stay safe out there,
Squamish River Fishing Report
We are approaching the start of the spring season on the Squamish and it looks as though the weather is going to cooperate. Things are going to warm up and we expect solid fishing for the weekend with it consistently improving over the next 3 weeks. The rivers are low as I write this report but the rain on Thursday and warmer temps on the weekend should get things going.
Steelhead are showing up. I was doing a casting course last weekend and had two steelhead swim through our legs on the lower river and Jordan caught this beautiful fish on Thursday. This system does not have large numbers of steelhead and you will need to work hard to find them but now is the time to start targeting them. You will want steelhead flies and steelhead gear in your kit if you are heading out.
As of Thursday when Jordan was out, there was still no sign of salmon fry hatching but this might be the weekend. Make sure you have fry patterns, Hildebrandts, mini Gs and Colorado blades in your kit from now on.
If you are steelheading with heavier leaders just add 25 inches of 7-8lb fluoro tippet to your standard 12lb maxima steelhead leader and tie on a fry pattern. I wont fish it all day long but having a second pass at water that looks fishy after you have gone through it for steelhead can be tons of fun. When we start hearing more confirmed salmon fry reports I will walk you through how I set up a gear rod and a fly rod to specifically target fish feeding on salmon fry.
I am out this weekend teaching our annual steelhead fly fishing course and I am optimistic. I will have more observations and intel in next week’s addition of the report and I will go over in detail what is in my spring season Squamish kit.
Good Luck and see you on the water!
Harrison, Chehalis and Stave Rivers Fishing Report
Low!! Low!! Low!! I haven’t seen the Harrison river this low since 2011.The river is at 8.7 meters and you can almost cross the river at some sections as you can see in the pics below both the French creek side and the Golf course side. I remember the first cutthroat course in 2012 when it was this low and everybody caught fish. This is my favourite when it is low like this as you can cast to the drop offs with ease and don’t have to make long 60-70 ft casts in the wind to get to those fish. Also you can walk all the way to the mouth of the Chehalis. I went scouting for the first day of the season but unfortunately the fry and the cutthroat where not there. The water temps were still on the cold side due to the snow run-off. All we need is a little more warm weather and a little rain to bump up the river level so the fry get washed down from the creeks. Hopefully things will heat up soon and if the levels stay low it should be an epic season.
I also checked out the Stave River. Finally you can park on the west side and don’t have to worry about getting towed. As for the river same scenario as the Harrison, didn’t see any fry or cutthroat but will check back again soon.
SALTWATER FISHING REPORTS
Vancouver Saltwater Salmon Fishing Report
Looks like we left some of the cold weather behind us for now, with some bright and sunny days in the forecast for the next few days so don’t forget to bring your sunglasses if you are heading out on the water this weekend.
In terms of where to go this weekend, we have had great fishing up Howe Sound this week, and the Harbour has also produced a couple of fish if you’re looking to stay closer to home. If the marine forecast allows for a crossing, we have also had great chinook reports from the Gulf Islands.
Glow flashers and glow spoons such as Skinny G, Kingfisher and G-Force have been producing well. While you might not need it this weekend, its always a good idea to bring a UV light with you charge up the flasher and spoons once in a while, specially true on a cloudy of overcast day, or early or late in the day.
We have been out on the water every day this week and fishing has been solid in the usual hot spots. Winter chinook are aggressive feeders and we have seen great action on our guided trips. While not every fish caught is a keeper, the undersize fish still give a good fight. As always this time of year we have found the best fishing just off the bottom, so keep your gear close to the bottom for the most part. On some days we have seen some suspended bait balls, so always a good idea to follow the bait on the sonar and adjust your trolling depth accordingly.
Crabbing in the Harbour has been good this week. We have been setting our traps in 50-65 feet of water. Our go to crab bait is salmon heads but if you are out of salmon heads, chicken back and neck are another great alternative that often produce just as well. Prawning has been good as well too. Make sure to keep your traps in 200-350 feet of water on rocky bottom that has a slope to it for best success. We found it highly productive to add some extra weight to our traps to keep them from moving around on the bottom due to tide and wave action.
We have boats out all weekend, so make sure to follow us on our Instagram and Facebook page for live updates from out on the water.
See you in the shop or on the water,