We want to start off with a big thank you to everyone who came out to support the Chinook Closure Protest. We saw almost 200 guys and girls outside of Minister Jonathan Wilkinson’s Office in North Vancouver and this is just the beginning. If you didn’t make the protest there will be many more opportunities to show support so stay tuned. In the meantime, the biggest thing you can do is get educated on the facts and whenever you are asked about the subject or hear people talking about it please take time to help educate them.Check out Jason’s report this week for ways to participate and if you need to get up to date check out our past reports where there is lots of information on the issues at hand. On the fishing front, chinook fishing has been excellent so it is well worth it to get out there and enjoy some catch and release fishing!
On the freshwater fishing front spring is starting to take hold in the Vancouver area but it hasn’t been overly hot. It looks like things will gradually warm up over the next week. In the short term this gradual rise is a good thing for a few of our river fisheries that are still fishing surprisingly well. For the past handful of years rivers have been blown out due to snow melt at this time of year. With cooler temperatures this season we are still seeing good fishing on the Squamish, Harrison and Stave and even though the Vedder is only open to fly fishing below Vedder crossing bridge, the conditions look good for end of the season steelhead trips.
Lake fishing for both the local and interior lakes has been excellent. We have been hovering in a sweet spot forfreshwater fishermanthe past 2 weeks where things have been warm enough for lakes to ice off but not so warm that rivers blow out. The higher elevation lakes are still iced on and some of the mid-level lakes in the interior are iced off but still a little cold for great fishing but the lower lakes have had some epic reports and it is time to get out there!
We have details on all the rivers and the lakes as well as a feature on float tubefeaturein this week’s report. If you want to get out lake fishing this season you do not need a fancy boat. Float tubes are a cost-effective fun way to enjoy lakes around the province.
On to the Report!!
INDUSTRY EVENTS AND UPDATES
Fishing For The Future
Chat, Chew and Brew. A Public Fishery Access & Awareness Event
- Expanding the distribution and reach of sportfishing issues, promotion and awareness through social and traditional media
- Sustained and regular presence in Ottawa to advocate on behalf of the sector to senior bureaucrats, Ministers and MP’s
- The creation of a legal “war chest” to build a foundation for future legal action.
Tickets are limited!!! Over 90% already sold. Get them while they are available.
Date: Saturday May 11, 2019
Location: Jimmy Mac’s Pub 19935 96thAvenue, Langley BC
Join us for a fun, social evening celebrating fly fishing in beautiful BC. Mark Hume, an experienced angler and former Globe & Mail reporter, will give a captivating visual presentation from his new book, Trout School, which shares insider knowledge from legendary angler Mo Bradley. Mo is the undefeated master of catching Kamloops trout. This is your chance to learn from the master.
Featuring: Door prizes. Drinks. Catering. Cash bar. Books for sale.
Brought to you by Pacific Angler, Vancouver Club, and Pacific Salmon Foundation
RSVP at https://www.psf.ca/event/trout-schoolhttps://www.psf.ca/event/trout-school
Date: Thursday May 30
Location: Vancouver Club, 915 West Hastings Street
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.
Cost: $150.00 + GST
Dates: Seminar May 22 Casting May 25, 2019
Seminar Time: 6:30pm – 9:30pm
Casting Time(s): 10am – 1pm or 2pm -5pm
Tying Beach Fly Patterns
Join Pacific Angler for a 3hr evening seminar of tying flies specific to catching salmon on our coastal beaches. Without a doubt, fly selection is critical while beach fishing.
These flies are often not commercially available, so successful beach anglers learn to tie their own patterns. Your instructor will walk you through each fly pattern step-by-step.
This Tying Beach Fly Patterns course is suitable for fly tiers with a basic knowledge. Students are required to supply their own vise, tools and materials. A 10% discount is available on fly tying materials and tools purchased for the course.
Date: May 27, 2018
Time: 6:30pm – 9:30pm
Introduction To Fly Fishing Lakes
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! This course is comprised of one 3hr evening seminar.
Cost: $50 + GST
Date: May 29, 2019
Time:6:30pm – 9:30pm
In the mid 90s float tubes were a standard in almost all fly fisherman’s arsenals. The Interior lakes were one of the most popular options for fly fishing and with a relatively small investment in a float tube you could be on the lake. Since then many hardcore lake guys have graduated into larger prams and inflatables and we saw float tubes fall out of favour.
With increased populations in the Lower Mainland, gas prices that are getting to be out of this world and increased pressure on more accessible fisheries, guys and girls are thinking outside the box and are starting to explore more remote or overlooked fisheries that are closer to home. Whether you are a bass fisherman, an ultra-light trout fisherman or a fly fishing angler, float tubes are gaining popularity and once again providing a packable cost effective way to hit some amazing fishing.
Float tubes have also come a long way from the round tire bladders of the stone ages. In this article we are going to look at what you need to know if you want to get into a float tube and then how you will want to set it up, weather you are catching trout in a high country lake by Squamish or hunting cutthroat, bass or even carp in some of the more urban locations around the lower mainland.
First off, what boat should you buy? When it comes to quality, Outcast float tubes are our absolute favourite. In the past we have seen companies come and go in the inflatable watercraft market and there are many stories of anglers purchasing boats only to find the next year that they cannot get service, accessories or spare parts. Outcast is one of the oldest and in our opinion best watercraft companies on the market. We have owned and guided in numerous Outcast boats. Our main guide raft is a 14ft Outcast that is over 10 years old. We have thrown it off cliffs, dragged it over hundreds of log jams and it is bullet proof. Their float tubes are the same. They last a very long time and if you have an issue, you can trust that Outcast will be there to support you with a solid warranty and replacement parts.
The design of the Outcast float tubes has also become the standard in the industry. Like we said, gone are the days of the round doughnut tubes. Outcast makes a “U” designed tube. This is way better than the doughnut style because you sit further out of the water and the “U” design moves much faster across the water when kicking. It is also way easier to get in and out of, we’ve all had mishaps or close calls getting in and out of those doughnuts.
Outcast has 6 options to consider. Their Fish Cat 4 series is the most popular. They have a PVC bladder to keep cost down and come in a Standard version with a foam seat, a Deluxe version with an inflatable seat and a Fish Cat 5 Max version that is 20% larger for larger guys. For most anglers these are the models we recommend looking at. The Standard is $349.99 CAD and the Deluxe and Max come in at $434.99 CAD. The major debate between the Deluxe and Standard model is the inflatable seat on the Deluxe. This offers better packability, a more comfortable seat and they ride higher in the water.
For the more determined angler Outcast also offer the Fish Cat 5 Max series. As the name implies these boats have a higher 300lb rating but also come with a urethane bladder. Urethane bladders are way longer lasting. This is the same bombproof bladder that is in our raft – the same raft that we put through the paces in our guiding operation.
If you are going to fish more than 25 days a season,we recommend looking at these models. We carry these 3 models in the shop so come on down to the shop if you are interested and check them out.
Now it’stime to look at accessories.
Fins – They have also come a long way and outcast has two options, their Standard and their Power Kick fins. Both workswell but the speed you gain from the Power Kick fins is noticeable. If you are kicking way back into a secluded part of a lake or slough it is worth the upgrade. Standard fins cost $56.99 CAD and the Power Kick fins are $144.99 CAD. We also just received a new fin, the Guide Amphibifin. These fins are a game changer for guys in pontoons or float tubes. These fins come with a removable felt pad on the bottom,which is much like your felt bottom wading boots, this makes these fins amazing for river fishing on systems with rocky bottoms. They also have a small platform built into the bottom so that you can easily walk in them! These fins are a must have and retail for only $89.99 CAD.
Anchor – Out of all the things you want on the boat an anchor is important, not only for fishing but for safety. Wind can blow you around and if you are getting blown in a direction you don’t want to go, dropping anchor is a good way to get a leg break. We recommend a minimum of 5lbs with a 50ft rope. It can be as simple as tying the rope to a strap on the boat and throwing the anchor overboard or setting up a more involved anchor mount system.
Rod Holders and Rod Leash – Both are highly recommended. Scotty makes a great strap on adaptor for their standard fly rod holder. This is the easiest way to quickly add a rod holder to your boat. It lashes around the point of the U. This same system can be used for a number of
Scotty accessories or rod holders- They also sell a rod leash that is not a bad idea if you are packing two rods. You can easily zip an extra rod into the pockets on the side of the tube but many rods have been lost over the side so having a safety leash if you are prone to mess ups is not a bad idea.
There are many more options to deck out your float boat but the wonder of the Outcast boat is basically with fins, the boat and a pump you are in the game. For under $400 CAD before tax with the basic model you can be fishing water that you could only dream of when fishing from shore.
We expect more people to be using these boats over the coming seasons and we are excited about the unique and overlooked fisheries that can be explored. If you have a spot that is just out of casting distance or a cool spot that is unexplorable from shore come down and talk to us at the shop we can get you set up!
FRESHWATER FISHING REPORTS
Chilliwack/Vedder Fishing Report Wrap Up
The Vedder is now closed for gear fishing, however there are still fly fishing opportunities for this month from the Vedder Crossing Bridge down to the mouth for Steelhead. This is contingent on water conditions although clarity and height are currently holding and very fishable. You can check the water levels at www.wateroffice.ec.gc.ca. Anything from 2.0 meters and on the drop is going to be viable fly water whereas if you see the graph on the rise, more than likely we will get muddier and turbid conditions that makes it less conducive to fly fishing. Typically, we do see freshet kick in during May and going into June, so take advantage of the mild weather before it starts to heat up and melt the snow pack.
An 8 weight fly setup is adequate for this fishery. Sink tips are a necessity. Big and bright patterns are a good idea for enticing any fresh and aggressive fish entering the system. Dalai Lamas, Dirk Wigglers, and General Practitioners are a few of the go-to’s although don’t be afraid to experiment with other streamers as well.
Squamish River Fishing Report
The Squamish and its tributaries continue to pump out some fish for those who manage to get out and cover water. This past week saw the graph slowly dropping with small spikes here and there. As of right now, it is slowly climbing back up. This shows that night time temperatures will play a role in how good the water is during the day. Often times a cooler evening will keep the river stable while day time temperatures will cause bumps and colour.
Keeping that in mind, it doesn’t hurt to have a variety of offerings in various sizes and colours, allowing you to keep changing to match conditions. If it is clear go small and drab if it gets dirty from snow melt up your presentation size.
Also keep in mind that it is bear seasonand to keep bear spray available. Keeping it in your bag or pack doesn’t help- it needs to be accessible.
Keep it tight,
Harrison River Fishing Report
The Harrison is high but still quite fishable if you have boat access. We have heard solid cutthroatreports from guys who can get out in a boat but with rising waters the shore anglers are having more issues with access and reaching fish. We have also heard reports of “lots” of fry. Overall this is a good thing for the health of the fishery. Let’s hope those little guys make is past the seals and other predators. “Lots” of fry can make fishing more challenging because the fish are well fed and not as aggressive.
If the weather doesn’t get too hot,we should see this fishery continue to do well and know that boat access will open up a ton of good water.
Stave River Fishing Report
The Stave is an interesting system. Itoffers fishing opportunities almost year-round. These fishing opportunities are not always mainstream but they are still fun. We have not heard of any good cutthroatreports off the Stave lately but anglers have had success catching northern whitefish. This fishing should continue into the summer. You will need to watch the river levels and know that if the dam is open fishing is a challenge.
If you head out to the Stave give us a call with a report.
STILLWATER FISHING REPORTS
Interior Lake Fishing Report
As we roll into May, with its warmer weather, many fisherman (such as myself) begin to look to the interior as a premier destination for lake fishing. Although lake fishing has been fantastic here on the coast with most of the local lakes fishing well, the quality of fish just doesn’t stack up to the legendary interior rainbows. If you are new to lake fishing you will want to invest in a watercraft so check out our float tube feature above. It is all you will need to head up to the interior and enjoy this amazing fishery. Come into the shop and we can pick out some good starter lakes for you to get out on.
For the seasoned anglers as you’d suspect, many of the Lower lakes like Jacko, Morgan, Stump and Six have iced off and immediately produced great fishing for the anglers that were out in April. Higher elevation lakes such as Roche and Pass are iced off, but they have not quite turned over yet or warmed up. I expect most any lake in the Kamloops/Merrittarea to be productive within the next two to three weeks, perfect timing for all heading out on the long weekend.
At this point in the season, the lakes are dominated by two main techniques and patterns. Chironomid, and Leech fishing have been the go – to’s for most fisherman out there. But a mix of techniques is crucial to crack the code of each lake. I tend to start my day on the lake with attractor patterns, such as a booby or leech to cover water, and most importantly, find a fish. Once that first fish hits the boat, I use the glorified Turkey baster we call a throat pump to get absolutely crucial information. And with any luck, I can match the colour, size and other characteristics of the food in the fish to a fly in my fly box, then we’re off to the races!
All the guys at the shop have lake trips planned over the next couple weeks and we have custom flies hitting the fly bins every day. You will see a ton more info in the upcoming reports and we always appreciate your reports and pictures. Keep ’em Coming!!
SALTWATER FISHING REPORTS
Vancouver Saltwater Salmon Fishing Report
Fishing right up until last weekend can only be described as excellent. Then we had the big windstorm on Saturday when it blew 40 plus knots NW. The winds died down on Sunday but it seemed the fish either took off or went deep because it was very slow on Sunday and Monday. We still got fish on those days but it was a fraction of the action we enjoyed up until Friday afternoon. We could distinctly see the fish on the Raymarine Axiom with the high CHIRP sonar, but they were either off the bite or way too deep.
What a difference a few days make. The fishing was pretty good on Tuesday and picked up more on Wednesday and it was good yesterday. Seems like they are back in the mood for now. The Hump seemed to have the best action and there was also some nice fish taken off South Bowen. We didn’t fish the QA but I am sure there are some fish there as well. There aren’t a lot of boats out on the weekdays, I would say the number of anglers is down about 80%, so we aren’t getting as many reports from friends and customers as usual. Often it is just the guides out there with clients that are enjoying catch and release chinook fishing and some crabbing and prawning. The water is definitely colored up from the algae bloom or Fraser run off, so chartreuse or green flashers with some glow have been working well. Bright spoons, teaser heads, and hootchies are also working well. Here is a picture of the gear I have been running, you get the idea, go bright green or chartreuse with some glow.
Don’t forget that bottom fishing is open now in those areas that open May 1stfor retention. So,for us that means heading over to the Gulf Islands for some lingcod and rockfish action (there is no retention for these species in our local waters). We can’t keep chinook, but we are having some fun getting rods bent on bottom fish and the crabbing and prawning has also been solid. So,I would encourage you to get out there and book a trip. We are having a blast practicing catch and release for all the chinook that are out there and you can’t beat some lingcod, prawns and crab for dinner!
If you want to get setup for bottom fishing, we have all the gear you need at the shop and we can point you in the right directions. Quick reminder that descending devices are now mandatory, so if you catch a rockfish that you need to release, or you are releasing a yellow eye, you need to have a descending device on board to do so (we have those at the shop as well).
Many of you sent me emails about the DFO protest on Wednesday. Thank you for your support, words of encouragement, and a big thank you to those who were able to show up. Over 200 people attended and we were definitely heard. Here are some links to the coverage. CBC, North Shore News, and if you want to watch the piece Global News did, check me out on Instagram (jasonrtonelli). I posted it on there and I think they summed it up quite well.
Well here is the next issue, and the deadline for input is today! There are some potentially very serious issues coming up for the Fraser Mouth fishery. SFI summed it up best, so here is some info from a recent email as well as BC Chamber of Commerce Impact Survey regarding the recent chinook regulations.
SOUTHERN RESIDENT KILLER WHALE – SRKW FEEDBACK NEEDED BY MAY 3rd
As many will recall, measures to help protect SRKW were to be announced by Ministers Wilkinson and McKenna on time with the approximate return of the whales to our waters. This means that a first round of measures are in the process of development and will soon be implemented. Over the past few months, DFO and Transport Canada led a number of Technical Working Groups. The SFI and SFAB representatives were invited to participate. And, as some will have noted or perhaps even attended, there were three public consultation sessions, in Victoria, Sooke and Richmond. .
The government has consolidated feedback from the Technical Working groups and from scientific publications and produced a consultation paper that outlines two approaches. Your feedback and response to these proposals is needed. Express your support for Scenario Aas it proposes much less impact on recreational fishing and boating activities than Scenario B. You will see that Scenario B will basically close down the mouth of the Fraser to chinook fishing in all of your favourite spots, so make sure you tell them in your letter that this is not an acceptable option!
The consultation paper is hereand provide comments in support of Scenario A to DFO.SRKW-ERS.MPO@dfo-mpo.gc.ca. For more information and details about SRKW please visit both SRKW.ORGor the SFI SRKW Page
CHINOOK RESTRICTIONS IMPACT SURVEY
As all are aware, on April 16 the DFO announced new management measures—non-retention fishing restrictions to address conservation concerns for particular runs of Fraser River Chinook. The broad application of those measures and an unwillingness to consider options that would allow opportunity for the public fishery while not impacting the stocks of concern is causing unnecessary and significant damage to BC’s reputation and, more importantly and critically, to the economies of small coastal communities and small businesses around the bottom end of Vancouver Island and the entire length of Juan de Fuca and Georgia Straits in particular.
Appreciating the serious impacts and to better characterize, understand and convey what the restrictions mean to British Columbians, the BC Chamber of Commerce is reaching out to all sectors who are affected by this decision with a quick six question survey. If your business is impacted by the restrictions placed on Chinook salmon, please take a few moments to complete the BC Chamber of Commerce – Chinook Restrictions Impact Survey
See you in the shop or on the water,