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Home / FIshing Reports / Pacific Angler Friday Fishing Report: May 8, 2015

Pacific Angler Friday Fishing Report: May 8, 2015


We’ve been busy this week getting ready for our Spring Super Sale! In case you missed the detailed sale email we sent out to our newsletter subscribers yesterday read on below for an overview of the sale and the detailed SALE LIST! 

Even though we’ve been busy prepping for the sale we’ve been out doing some fishing this week as well.   With the warm weather things might be wrapping up in Squamish and Chilliwack, we’re keeping an eye on the weather forecast and river conditions in those areas.   As those might be wrapping up we’re getting ready for an awesome lake season and fishing on the Capilano for coho.

Saltwater fishing continues to be consistent. The Hump picked up the latter part of this week and things are starting to heat up over at Thrasher Rock. Read on below for the full report.

See you tomorrow at the sale!


FB Sale Image

Our famous Spring Super Sale is almost here!   Don’t miss out on great deals all weekend long.

This is your chance to get geared up for some fantastic fishing this spring and summer. Great gear is on sale at amazing prices! Come down, enjoy the Saturday BBQ with some delicious hot dogs from our friends at Vera’s Burger Shack and take advantage of serious savings throughout the entire store. See something in the store that is not on this list? No problem, the time to ask for a deal is this weekend because we are ready to help you save, save, save!

From expert to beginner, we have something for you and at the best prices of the year. So come down for some friendly advice, get geared up, and save money!


Saturday May 9 – 9AM to 7PM

Sunday May 10 – 9AM to 5PM

In case you missed it in your inbox yesterday click here for a full listing of all the AMAZING DEALS!


We’ve got a few spots left in Andre’s Tying Chironomid course – don’t miss out. Call the shop today to sign up.

Tying Chironomid Fly Patterns – Andre Stepanian
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.

Cost: $40.00
Date: Monday, May 11
Time: 6:30pm to 9:30pm

 Check out the rest of our courses coming up this summer here!   



By Bryce Franks

In 2014, I was the resident Fly Fishing Host at Stoney Lake Lodge on the Douglas Lake Ranch. I was fortunate enough to spend enough time on the water to add some new tools to my kit. Deep lining with chironomids is one of my new favorite ways to fish chironomids, especially in deeper waters. When Brian Chan was hosting one of his fly fishing lakes classes at Stoney Lake last year, this method was used by his students as the fish were predominantly feeding on chironomids at 24-28ft of water, extremely deep water for fishers being introduced to indicator fishing.


Many anglers will find it frustrating to try roll casting an indicator with a 20-30ft. leader on the end of it. It does require a certain level of finesse to execute those casts consistently. Deep lining is your solution. It’s easy, effective and while you may experience more hits twitching an indicator after getting that cast out there, your actual hook up percentage will be higher, you feel every bump on your fly.

With deep lining, your reaction time is significantly higher than when you try to catch the movement of your indicator, whip your rod tip in the air, lifting the line off the water and getting that line tight. Never mind that the fish often feels the first prick of the hook and by time you have tried to set the hook, that pissed off trout is coming out of the lake like a rocket creating a nice 15ft belly in your leader, ppfffttt. Head shake, gone.


I love fishing indicators but I will go deep line in 20ft plus depths all the time.

My Preferred Gear:

  • Rod: 9.5 – 10ft, 5-6wt
  • Fly-Line: full sink line, minimum of type 5. I prefer T6-7
  • Tapered Leader: 5ft to 8lb
  • Tippet: 3ft fluoro
  • Clip Weight: 1/4oz lead weight with alligator clip attached

image007Fish Finder / depth sounder: It is imperative to know exact depth you are fishing to maximize results.

I will cruise the lake looking for consistent fish showing up in water over 20ft in depth if they are not shallower. On Stoney Lake last season I was fishing in 25-32ft of water. When I anchored in 27ft of water I’d see fish on my finder cruising 1-4ft off the bottom, down at 23-27ft.

Setting up the Deep Line:

  1. I pull off about 25-30ft of fly line off my reel.
  2. Clip the alligator weight to the fly.
  3. Drop the weighted fly to the bottom of the lake.
  4. Once it hits the bottom just lift your rod tip up till you feel the weight of the alligator clip. Your rod tip will bend nicely once you have the weight on it.
  5. Now you know you are on bottom and fish are cruising 2-3 feet above.
  6. Raise your rod tip up to about 2-3ft above the water. Now, Reel your line in till rod tip touches the water.
  7. Bring the line and fly in by hand. Release alligator weight from your fly.
  8. Toss fly and line back in the water. With a type 6 sink line its back to the bottom in a matter of seconds.

“Jig” your rod tip slowly up and down giving the chironomid some action. If there is wind, let the rocking of the boat give the movement. I usually am using one deep line and one indicator line. Mix it up and cover ground.

Hang on to your rod or make sure it’s secured in a rod holder. I lost my whole set up at Stoney. I had my deep line rod sitting across the seat. Looked the other way, heard a “clink” and just caught a glimpse of my rod shooting over the side of the boat…straight down. Trust me, you are not trolling and finding that rod. It’s not like going for a rod with a floating line. The sink line will take your whole set up right to the bottom of the lake. Take my word on that.


You will feel every bump. This is way different than using strike indicator. It is an exciting and effective way to fish chironomids, especially if casting a long leader is frustrating or of the wind has kicked up and you want to ride it out fishing.

Tight lines, be courteous and share. We are all just looking for a tight line and good memory!

IG @brycekfranks



The Cap will be dirt low until the next big rainfall. There are a few showers predicted early to mid next week but unless the forecast changes it may not be enough. We have already heard of a couple being caught and with any luck the next big rain event will bring in the first major push of early coho. The famous Cap Bugger (our favorite custom fly for this fishery) has arrived, ready for the first wave of fish. Come on down and pick up a couple patterns, they can go fast!

We are fully stocked with Andre's custom Cap Buggers!

We are fully stocked with Andre’s custom Cap Buggers!

While it may be a bit early right now but the second we start seeing numbers of coho stacking up in the deep pools it is time to hit the water with a full sinking line and some creative role casting. Gear fishing is also very productive when water rises and we will float fish and use spinner and spoons for this fishery.


We were out on the Chilliwack River this week at the start of the fly fishing only season targeting the late run of winter/spring steelhead and we heard of a few fish around. Thanks to the minimal snow pack the river stayed in nice shape for the first couple days of May. The likelihood of it being fishable after next warm snap forecasted for this coming week is slim. It is getting quite late in the season with fewer and fewer fresh fish coming in. That said, we have had reports of quite a few bull trout in the lower river. Whether you’re swinging your 6wt switch rod with sculpin, fry and baitfish patters or 8wt Spey rod and steelhead bugs the Chilliwack River is quite a productive urban fishery. It’s not all over just yet.

Fly Fishing the Chilliwack.

Fly Fishing the Chilliwack.

Over the next few months we will be slowing down our reporting on the Squamish system. Snow melt makes access and fishing opportunities limited from May until the end of August when we start seeing the pink salmon showing up in the lower river.

This season was interesting. We saw some substantial river changes due to high water and the wet weather made for some periods of challenging fishing. That said, when we were not filling sand bags and debating the construction of Noah’s Arc we had some pretty good fishing, especially in the late steelhead and bull trout season. We will have to see what returns are like in four years when many of the smolts that were in the river this year will be scheduled to return.

For the next 3 weeks if the weather gets cold and the river drops you can have some excellent fishing in select spots but it will all hinge on the weather. Bull trout, rainbows and some late steelhead will be in the system. Treat all species with care and know that the river is catch and release only.

Keep your eyes on the forecast and the river levels, use the BC River levels web site and be safe. Rising waters this time of year can be dangerous. Respect your fellow anglers, respect the river and have fun out there.


Harrison/Fraser Valley
We went to the Harrison on Monday but could not find a cutthroat in the upper or lower section of the river so we got in the car to look at sloughs that come into the Fraser River. After a scouting a few spots that I regularly check we saw some fish rising.   We couldn’t believe our eyes; the hunt for last time of the season had paid off.

The fry were out in full force!

The fry were out in full force!

The fry together with the stickleback were out in full force so I knew this was going to be challenging as the cutthroat were well fed. After throwing many patterns we managed to get several fish to the beach and one of the on a stone fly nymph.


A sought after Fraser Valley Cutthroat.

A sought after Fraser Valley Cutthroat.

When there is so much food available it is good to throw some attractor patterns just to offer them something different as the fish can get sick of eating the same food. If you head out now still have a good chance to find them before they migrate down to the Fraser and disappear into the ocean.

Until the next cutthroat season, happy fishing.



I had some really good reports from Dragon Lake this week. If you have a few days and don’t mind a 6-7 hour drive the chironomids are coming off already in big numbers. This is an early start for this lake. Closer lakes in Merritt including Lunbum, Marquart, Englishman, Lower Kane, Harmon, Courtney, Corbett are fishing well. The water temps are rising and hovering around 50 degrees so all you have to do is find the thermocline where the fish are most comfortable swimming and suspend your offering and you should be into fish. Make sure to always check the stomach contents of your first fish to see what they are feeding on. For this a stomach pump and a vile are required. It also helps to have an aquarium net to pick off any bugs from the surface of the water. For more in depth lake set-ups and which lakes to fish please come in to the shop.




This week on the saltwater we experienced some rough weather but the fishing was still consistent when you got to the Hump. Spoons seemed to be the hot ticket the last few days for quite a few anglers including myself. In particular a 3.5-inch Irish Cream and four-inch Gut Bomb were my favorite choices for the week. I matched them up with a chartreuse glow flasher and a green onion glow flasher.

Some nice fish landed in our Mastering Local Saltwater Salmon Course.

Some nice fish landed in our Mastering Local Saltwater Salmon Course.

As always, bait is a good choice, anchovies and herring worked as well, but with the large numbers of shakers and cod it made it hard to keep a piece of meat in the water.   A few fish came to hootchies with my best producer being the white UV towed behind a green footloose flasher on a short 34″ inch 50lb test maxima leader. We have heard a few reports now from the Gulf Islands and expect it to pick up any day now. It’s only a matter of time, so our first exploration trips will be this week and we expect fair to consistent results fishing offshore on the far side. Hootchies and spoons are a staple over there, while the anchovies take a back seat. It’s time to troll fast and find the travelling feeders.


Hot off the presses at the last minute as we are working on the report Thursday afternoon!  Eddie was out on a 6-hour charter this morning on the Hump and landed five nice chinook! Two of them were on a double header and they lost a few as well.

Handy to have two nets on board when you have a double header!

Handy to have two nets on board when you have a double header!

Seven chinook hookups in 5 hours of having the gear down is good fishing for local waters.  Best depths were in the 110 to 130 range on Eddie’s usual favourite, the Pesca Gut Bomb spoon and glow green flasher.  So it looks like another wave of fish are on the Hump and the tides are mellowing out and the fish are on the feed again.  As Dimitri noted in his report, the fishing at Thrasher and Nanaimo is starting to heat up as per usual in early May.  It usually gets red-hot next week, so if the winds allow it is worth a run across, but if the fishing is good on this side, why burn the fuel!