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Home / FIshing Reports / Pacific Angler Friday Fishing Report: May 22, 2020

Pacific Angler Friday Fishing Report: May 22, 2020



We have reached the back end of May and things are looking up in the world! The big news for Pacific Angler this week is the doors to the retail store are open to the public. We have appropriate physical distancing measures and sanitization protocols in place and we are very excited to invite you all to come down and say hi.

We also wanted to thank everyone for their support with curb side pickups and phone orders over the last 2 months. If you’d like to place an order for curb side pickup give us a ring at the shop 604.872.2204 or email us at sales@pacificangler.ca.

On the fishing front things are looking up too! We have seen some relaxation of the recommendations when it comes to who you can fish with and access continues to open up. Fishing or any outing still needs to be treated with maximum safety in mind but things are moving in the right direction.  Here is the link to the government recommendations when it comes to getting out on the water.  We recommend you check this before heading out.

On the actual report front the weather looks a little unsettled this weekend but it should be nice enough to get out. Jason has some fun saltwater footage which you’ll find in the video version of the report along with saltwater updates in the saltwater section of the written report. In short the saltwater fishing has been amazing.

On the lake fishing front Brian Chan tuned in with us this week to give a good overview of what is happening with interior lakes for those of you in that area and for those planning a trip when we are able to go up there you won’t want to miss it.  If you are looking to brush up on your lake fishing knowledge Matt will be back behind the camera for a zoom “Introduction To Fly Fishing Lakes Course” on Tuesday.  Call the shop to sign up for that class today!

Alex has a Capilano update and Zach and Jordan where out again on the local lakes and had an excellent day. We will have some pictures and reports below for that.

As always if you want to see the report in video format click below where Matt goes over everything and has some updates on a couple cool projects in the works.

On To The Report!


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


Capilano River Fishing Report

The season for Capilano coho is upon us. This is the first Lower Mainland freshwater salmon fishery of the year and while these fish are not as big as their autumn counterparts, they make up for it with spunk and aggression. Also known as Bluebacks, these early coho average 1-3lbs, are the perfect size for barbequing, and are very tasty.

Angling success early in the season is contingent on timing. Since the fish have just started stacking in the river, you can either look for a pod of fish moving through or go straight to the upper river and fish for the few that have already begun accumulating up there.

Two tried and true producers for these fish are pro-cured roe and olive bugger flies on fast full sink lines in the canyon pools and the majority of anglers will be using these two presentations. However, don’t be afraid to throw something different. They can be caught on shrimp, wool, jensen eggs, spinners, spoons, and twitching jigs.

Water levels have receded a bit after a big bump over the weekend. So far it has been slow but that is to be expected in the third week of May. Either this week or next week we should start to see some larger pushes of fish. As aforementioned, this fishery hinges on timing so get out there and go for a scout. The more you are out there the more likely you will be to come across some early fish.

Alex Au-Yeung

Chilliwack/Vedder River Fishing Report

If you are out in the valley and looking to get out, opportunities on the Chilliwack/Vedder will be limited with the combination of  warm weather and melting snow.   Also, a friendly reminder of the regulation changes that came into place at the beginning of this month.

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; (b) No Fishing June 1-30; (c) hatchery rainbow trout of any length 50 cm or less: daily quota = 4, July 1-Apr 30

Water levels from Thursday mid-day.

Squamish River Fishing Report

Again, as with previous reports this month we are in freshet conditions on the Squamish and fishing opportunities are limited because of high water. With cooler temperatures this week we may see water levels drop a little but we do not expect good fishing conditions.

Water levels from Thursday mid-day.


Local Lakes Fishing Report

Local lakes continue to be a great. Cooler weather is actually good for them as long and the weather is stable. Zach and Jorden were out this week and again put up great numbers. They have been using float tubes to access these lakes in the local area and up toward Squamish.

Lacey hooked up on one of our local lakes.

The fishing observations from this week were that when things got sunny and warmed up in the middle of the day indicator fishing with chironomids and balanced micro leaches was excellent but when things were colder stripping patterns up the drop offs was more productive.

Productive fishing on chironomids when things warmed up.

The gear anglers also saw this with bait rigs working well when things warmed up but searching spinners and spoons were productive when the lakes had not warmed up.

Click here for the latest stocking reports on our local lakes.

Interior Lake Update From Brian Chan

The southern interior stillwater season is definitely off and running after a slow start due to weather and a slighter later than average ice off timing.  Chironomid hatches are well underway on many lakes but I still think we are a week or so behind on that hatch progression.  Lower elevation grassland lakes that came off the earliest are just starting to see some callibaetis mayfly emergences and even some damselfly pre-emergence swimming activity.

Nice fish from the interior this last week – Thanks for the picture Bill!

High lake water levels and unseasonably high inlet creek runoff has seen some lakes slightly dirtier than normal but that seems to be a day to day event based on weather.  Some of the higher elevation lakes that have ice offed in the past 8-10 days are getting close to or are turning over now but most waters under 3200 ft in elevation have completed spring turnover.

Right now, Leighton Lake which sits in Tunkwa Provincial Park is not open to angling and the boat launch is not accessible.  At Tunkwa the only boat launch open is the day use site at the SE side of the lake.  The main boat launch at the provincial park is not open yet.  I would assume that come June 1 these 2 access sites will open.

Anglers should come prepared with leeches, scuds as backups to the chironomid emergences.  Some days the bugs just don’t come off like expected.

Finally, boat launch sites can be a very busy place and anglers need to have patience so that we can  socially distance ourselves.

Hope this helps out,



Vancouver Saltwater Salmon Fishing Report

Looks like there is a mixed bag of NW and SE this weekend, so be on your toes if you are heading out.  Fishing continues to be pretty solid in Howe Sound and around Bowen.  Gabriola was the standout this past week though, with multiple reports of big fish and lots of them.  In most cases about 70% of the fish were hatchery.  It goes without saying it is extremely frustrating we can’t retain these fish!

Paul with a hog hatchery from Thrasher Rock caught on a chartreuse splatter back hootchies and Salty Dawg flasher.

With the Fraser in full on freshet mode, that dirty water is well throughout the Salish Sea.  It made it over to Thrasher and that means the fish are shallow, 80-140 on the riggers.  The hot depth there on Monday was 127 for our group.  I would expect similar numbers to be working in and around Bowen with the dirtier water around. 

Colin with a nice hatchery fish from Thrasher, taken on a Tomic plug.

On the political side of things, still no word from DFO on the SFAB Chinook Management Proposals.  The latest is we may here some announcements in the first or second week of June.  Completely unacceptable in my opinion.  Chinook fishing is excellent for stocks of non-concern and there are a lot of hatchery fish around.  DFO should have it open for one hatchery a day right now at very least.

On the Covid front, a lot of marinas and marine based business are starting to gear up and are hoping or planning for a June 1 “opening.”  We are waiting for some guidelines to come in for our sector, and we are hopeful we will get these early next week so we can start doing some guided trips.  When we get more information, we will let you know, likely through a special mailout that we are open for charters.

Prawning has been so so, and crabbing has been good.  So, when we can eventually do charters we will definitely be dropping crab traps.

See you in the shop or on the water.

Jason Tonelli