• The Pacific Angler blog is your source for fishing reports, industry news, sales, events, classes, courses, guiding and destination travel!

    This blog will let you know what is going on in the local fishing scene; when to go, where to go, and what to use! It will keep you updated on the latest and greatest rods, reels, lines, lures and flies.

    It will keep you informed on weekly specials, sales events, and contests. We will also be highlighting some great fishing pictures, videos, and information on our trips around the world in pursuit of game fish!

    In short this is Vancouver’s blog for the fishing enthusiast! Intoxication may occur with excessive use, enjoy responsibly.

Home / FIshing Reports / Pacific Angler Friday Fishing Report: May 5, 2016

Pacific Angler Friday Fishing Report: May 5, 2016


Usually this time of year we would be casually dusting off the lake fishing gear and planning upcoming lake trips. This year the hardcore lake guys have already put in multiple trips and fishing has been excellent. If you are planning a trip don’t delay. Check out the lake report for more details.

Most of our lower mainland river systems are in freshet bringing another steelhead season to a close. The coho salmon fishery on the Cap has not started yet but it shouldn’t be too long until we hear the first reports. If you are looking to do some freshwater fishing in the lower mainland, our local lakes are a great option especially for introductory anglers.

Chinook fishing is heating up! This time of year there are a ton of options to check out from right in the harbor to across the straight and a number of spots in between. Check out Jason’s Saltwater report below for more details.


Don’t miss this one!  “World Class Atlantic Salmon Fly Tying Exposition in Seattle June 3 – 5th , 2016”

This is an International Exhibition celebrating the art and passion of the Atlantic Salmon Fly.  Over 70 world-class tyers representing 17+ countries are coming to Renton, WA for three days to share their expertise, passion, artistry, creativity, and fly-tying tips & techniques with the public. This event presents a rare and unparalleled opportunity for the beginner to expert fly-tyer to meet the individuals featured in books, sit with them and learn about this classic art-form from some of the most renowned tyers alive today.  The inaugural event in 2014 was such an outstanding success that it demanded an encore presentation in 2016.  It is truly a unique, one-time opportunity you do not want to miss!

Exhibitors will be a fantastic source for fly-tying tools, feathers, materials, tinsel, and fly-fishing gear!

Please click on www.asfi-expo.com for the event schedule, list of tyers  and the opportunity to win a Harry Lemire Fly!

Interior Lake Fishing Report

The lake temperatures around the 3600 feet are around 50 degrees and this is my favorite time to start lake fishing as you can hit some crazy hatches. With the right chironomid, your strike indicator with get quite a workout. Make sure you have the chironomid called the “Chromie” in various sizes and rib colours. This is the most abundant hatch in the early season. If you wish to fish early in the morning, fish leeches and scuds before the chironomid hatch starts. Although it is still a bit cold, I have heard some good reports from the Kane Valley lakes. The fish are hovering around 10 to 14 feet comfortably which indicates where the thermocline is.  As the heat and wind increase through the season the comfort zone will be more near the bottom.

Beautiful Interior Lake Rainbow caught this week on a chironomid

Beautiful interior lake rainbow caught this week on a chironomid.

When you get in the lake on the first day keep changing you depth of your fly until you get some results, however you still have to figure out the right pattern. Once hese are determined then the next day your guessing game is done and you should be into fish right away. Always take notes of where and when certain hatches start and end so when you you go back to your favorite lake and have all this information you will be surrounded by other boats as you are hooking fish one after the other. The Cariboo region lakes are still cold and some are just turning over so I haven’t had any solid reports yet. It should be soon. If you are camping the night temps are close or under zero still so be sure to dress warm and be prepared.

Happy fishing,


Local Lake Fishing Report

Rice, Lafarge, Como, Buntzen, and all the other local lakes are fishing well.

It is a good idea to play around with different techniques to find the most effective method on any given day. When experiencing slow fishing with stationary bait rigs like float fishing or bottom fishing, a spinner or a spoon can really change your luck.

We encourage people to take the introductory angler in their life to one of these stocked lakes. It is a great way to get people into the sport based on how willing the fish are and proximity to the city.

Stump Lake in Squamish is fishing well for smaller cutthroat trout. Because this lake is tannin stained, dark coloured bugger and leech patterns are most effective. Don’t be afraid to fish some flashy flies to target some of the bigger cutthroat that may be feeding on the invasive pumpkin seed.

The Whistler Lakes are starting to heat up. We have heard good reports from Alta lake recently. The species of target in Alta lake are cutthroat trout and rainbow trout. Cutthroat are best targeted with woolly bugger and minnow type flies like muddlers and belly dancers or small spoons like a Dick Nite. The rainbows can be taken on a variety of flies. Chironomids fished under an indicator can actually work quite well on Alta for rainbows.

We have also heard decent reports from the Pemberton Lakes recently.


River Fishing Reports

Squamish Fishing Report

There won’t be much to say about this river system until September. Resident trout can be targeted in the late summer months with nymphs, streamers, and dry flies. We have a feeling that the river is past the point of return for the spring season, however, it is possible that it could come into shape for a small window.

Squamish Cheakamus system is a100% catch and release, single barbless fishery so play by the rules and have fun!


Chilliwack River Fishing Report

Well our five-month steelhead season has almost come to an end. In the coming couple weeks the freshet will be upon us. Beginning May 1st the Chilliwack River becomes fly only and the fishing boundary moves down stream to the Vedder crossing bridge.

The term ‘fly only’ means no indicators or split shot. Weighted flies and sinktips are allowed. Grab your single or two handed fly rod, an assortment of flies and a couple sinktips and head out there before it’s too late!

The next fishery on the Chilliwack system will be red springs in July and August.

Note: The Chilliwack river is closed to fishing for the month of June.

**The Chilliwack River is closed to fishing above the Vedder crossing bridge May 1st-May 31st**
**The Chilliwack River is open to FLY FISHING ONLY below the Vedder crossing bridge May 1st-May 31st.**

Chehalis River

The Chehalis River is now closed to fishing. It will reopen June 1st.

**The Chehalis River is closed to fishing for the month of May**

Harrison River

The Harrison is now in freshet.

Capilano River

We have not heard anything yet from the Capilino Coho fishery and steelhead need to be treated with care because most will be just spawned but we expect reports to start over the next 3 weeks.

Please note: ALL steelhead (adipose clipped and unclipped) must be released with the utmost care.

The most popular method for this fishery is short-floating with light/medium power casting and center-pin rods. Productive baits include cured roe, roe bags, krill, dew worms, and Colorado blades. Fly fishing is also quite effective for these early run coho. 7-8wt single hand fly rods equipped with full sinking type-6 lines allow you to strip your fly reasonably fast while maintaining a deep presentation. The most effective flies are olive woolly buggers (Andre’s Cap Coho Bugger), muddler minnows, and small polar bear winged flies in sizes 8-12.


This past week we caught fish in a variety of locations including the Hump, QA, Bell Buoy, Howe Sound, and Thrasher Rock.

The Hump is usually the place to be this time of year and should be peaking right now, but for whatever reason it has not been as good as previous years.  This could quickly change as we often have good to excellent fishing on the Hump in the first two weeks of May.  There have been a lot more fish showing up in the Nanaimo area so there could be some more fish coming down our way on this side of the Strait of Georgia and this would make things pick up on the Hump.


2 nice ones from a trip where Dimitri fished the Hump and QA this week.

2 nice ones from a trip where Dimitri fished the Hump and QA this week.

There have also been some fish caught off the QA and the Bell Buoy.  On days where the NW wind has made these areas too rough to fish we have been hiding up in Howe Sound and have found some fish there.


A nice chrome chinook from one of our Howe Sound charters this week.

We have also made our first trips over to Thrasher Rock this past week and the fish are there as well as a little further up in Nanaimo.  Thrasher will only get better as we get into peak season in mid May.


Jason did a trip to Thrasher this week and guest Tania is holding up the first one of the year from that location!

Jason did a trip to Thrasher this week and guest Tania is holding up the first one of the year from that location!

In our local waters of the Belly Buoy, QA, Hump, and Howe Sound, the water has been dirty with run off from the Fraser River, Squamish River, and algae blooms.  For the most part this keeps the bait and the fish fairly shallow.  Hot depths have been 70-130 with a lot of action in the 80-100 zone.  Try a little shallower early in the morning and a little deeper mid day or on sunny days.

In our local waters mentioned above the hot flashers have been the Salty Dawg, Green Onion Glow, and Chartreuse Glow.  Bait and spoons have been working well.  The usual spoons with some green and glow have been producing such as the O’Ki Tackle Titan in Mojito and Homeland, the Kingfisher in Irish Cream and Flaming Hans, and the Pesca in Janitor and Tossed Salad.  The bait we have been seeing in the stomach contents of the chinook has been around the 4 inch size for the most part.

Over at Thrasher if you are in dirtier water that has been pushed across, the same productive depths and lures apply.  If you are in the clear water the fish have been much deeper, in the 170-225 range on the downriggers.  When fishing this deep we do very well on double glow flashers and make sure your spoon glows. Charge it up before you send it down by leaving it out in the sun or using a flashlight.  Another very productive lure at these depths is a glow hootchy.  We prefer the Yamahsita in the following colours OG144R, OG142R, OG151R, OG140R.  These are the glow splatter back series in shades of blue, green and chartreuse.  Try a short leader in the 32 to 40 inch range.

So as you can see, there are a lot of options right now and we are catching some nice chinook!  Crabbing has also been excellent.  If you would like to book a trip please give us a call at 778-788-8582.