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Home / FIshing Reports / Pacific Angler Friday Fishing Report: May 1, 2020

Pacific Angler Friday Fishing Report: May 1, 2020



Welcome to May!   We can’t believe it is already May and are looking forward to the month ahead.  On the retail front we continue to be open for phone and email orders with curbside pickup or shipping options.  So, feel free to call us at the shop (604.872.2204) or send an email and we can get your gear ready for you!  We can’t wait to have you actually in the shop!
On the fishing front it looks as though the weather will continue to push rivers into freshet. We are seeing very high discharge levels on all our rivers right now. With warm rain coming this weekend, expect the Squamish and Chilliwack rivers to be dirty and fishing to be limited. We will talk more about that in the freshwater section of the report and Matt has a little piece in the video report on the difference between river discharge and river levels.
The Harrison is also rising hard and though fishing should still be excellent for cutthroat, foot access is becoming an issue and boat launch access is also an issue. Check out details in the Harrison section.  Regulations have changed on the Vedder to fly fishing only below Vedder crossing with the upper river being closed so keep that in mind if you are heading out.
For the saltwater anglers salmon fishing continues to be good off the south end of Bowen and bottom fishing opens in specific areas today! Consult your regulations for where it is legal to bottom fish before you head out. The first week or two of the opening is usually quite good.
On the lake front, local lakes continue to be good and are continuing to be stocked, so check out gofishbc.ca for stocking reports.

The local lakes have been productive!

We know that many of you are looking to the interior for lake fishing opportunities. Given the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic at this time we still feel that going to the interior comes with a massive amount of social responsibility.   Access is extremely limited and we are also hearing about crowding issues because there are only a handful of lakes that are easily accessible. As we have noted in previous reports if you are going fishing, stay close to home and follow all of the regulations and guidelines which are outlined on the Province of BC’s website.
With that in mind we have our focus on getting ready for lake fishing with a hope that things will become more feasible soon. Jason and Matt are setting up the “ultimate” lake boat right now and we want your guy’s input! Send us your pictures of your lake boats so we can all drool a little but also think about setup ideas. Email your pictures to Matt at matt@pacifcangler.ca. We will be sharing more updates on this front over the next month on this quest for the best all round 2-man lake boat including boat options, anchor setups, sounder options, and all the fun things you can do to pimp out a punt or small lake craft.
On the video front we released the first video in a new series aimed at tuning up your fly casting indoors. If you are itching to get out fly fishing but just can’t make it happen this video series looks at a cool way to set up your fly rod so you can practice in your living room! In this week’s episode we look at the basic role cast but have some exercises that you can do right now to get really good at transitioning from left to right. Setup the living room with some targets and spend 10 mins right now and you will help keep your casting skills on point – Grab your rod and check out the video here:

Last but not least, we are announcing the winner of the What’s in Your Cutthroat Box Give Away in this week’s video version of the report and Matt will be going over all the fishing details as well so be sure to watch that video below.


We’ve got some great online courses coming up this month.   Trevor will be teaching the always popular Chironomid Course, Matt has a second offering of his Introduction To Fly Fishing Lakes Course as well as his Introduction to Fly Fishing Course.   Hopefully we’ll be able to do some casting with all our Intro To Fly Fishing students sooner rather than later!

Introduction To Fly Fishing

Seminar will be taught online!  Casting will be confirmed at a later date

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; an evening seminar and a 3hr casting session. The dates below show the seminar date first and casting date second.

Dates: Seminar May 5, Casting Date To Be Determined
Seminar Time:  6:30pm
Casting Time(s): 10am – 1pm or 1:30pm – 4:30pm on to be determined date
Cost: $150.00+GST

Introduction to Chironomid Techniques

Seminar will be taught online!  Watch and learn from the comfort of your own home!

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.  Content is for beginner to advanced.

Date:  May 13
Time: 6:30pm
Cost: $50.00 GST

Introduction to Fly Fishing Lakes

Seminar will be taught online!  Watch and learn from the comfort of your own home!

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! 

Date:  May 26
Time: 6:30pm
Cost: $50.00+GST


Chilliwack/Vedder River Fishing Report

With the regulations changing today it is time to hang up the spoons, roe and pink rubber worms but there are still some limited opportunities to fly fish on the lower river below the Vedder crossing. This fishery is very river level dependant. As we write the report the river is spiking. It is out right now and will be out this weekend with more rain coming. If over the next little bit if you see the levels drop into the 2.3- 2.2 range it is worth a look. Big flies will be key if you get out and remember that fish pull into the shoulders of the river so heavy sink tips are not always necessary.   

Below is a quick summary of regulations that go into place today:
Downstream of Slesse Creek to Vedder Crossing bridge: (a) No Fishing May 1-June 30; (b) hatchery rainbow trout of any length 50 cm or less: daily quota = 4, July 1 – Apr 30 Downstream of Vedder Crossing bridge: (a) fly fishing only, bait ban, hatchery rainbow trout release (50 cm or less), and hatchery cutthroat release, May 1-31;

Squamish River Fishing Report

When we look at the river levels and the volume on the graph, we expect the river to go out with the rain and warm weather. This will probably mark the weekend we lean away from fishing this Squamish system. That said there will be limited opportunities over the next month if you can find areas of clear water. If you live in the area keep an eye on the water levels and specifically the night temperatures. Some years you will see a dip in temps and if you see the river drop unexpectedly, fishing can be amazing. You will need to be on your toes to react if it happens. Big flies, big spoons and presentations that cover a lot of ground are key.

Good Luck and be safe with the high volume of water.

Harrison River Fishing Report

As you may know The Harrison is lake fed so you will see that the water remains clearer than other river systems in the Lower Mainland. It is rising though and started to get a glacial blue color. The reports we have had are good where guys can access the water.

Nice cutthroat from last week. Thanks for sharing Hugh.

This access issue is the problem and with high water, hiking is tough. Boat options would usually be great right now but we are also seeing issues with access to boat launches. If anyone finds reasonable spots to launch email Matt so we can keep everyone up to date.


Vancouver Saltwater Salmon Fishing Report

It’s pretty nice and sunny on this Friday morning but looking at the forecast for the weekend it looks like we are in for some wind and some rain.  Likely going to be a bit chunky if you were thinking of crossing, so I think the bottom dwellers will be safe for a few more days.

As many of you know, May 1st is opening day for lingcod and rockfish in some areas.  Make sure to check out the regulations for areas that are open and for rockfish conservation areas.  We have a great selection of bottom fishing rods, reels, combos, and a huge variety of different lures.  Give us a call if you have any questions on how to get setup properly or if you have any questions on regulations.

Salmon fishing continues to be good locally with consistent catches of chinook off South Bowen.  70-130 has been good on the riggers.  Usually 90-120 is the hot zone, a few days they have been a bit shallower.  We are starting to see some bigger fish around, and of course lots of hatchery fish. 

Crabbing has been good; prawning has slowed in most spots as per normal this time of year with increased pressure.

See you out there,

Jason Tonelli