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Home / FIshing Reports / Pacific Angler Friday Fishing Report: May 10, 2024

Pacific Angler Friday Fishing Report: May 10, 2024

chironomids

OUTLOOK

We are seeing a pretty interesting May so far!   It has hovered in a Goldilocks Zone – warm enough for good interior lake fishing but cool enough not to blow out our local rivers.

This weekend may change things. With temps moving into the mid 20s we are in for a great weekend for the hitting the patio or the water, but we do expect to see snow melt on the local flows.

In this week’s report we have an update on both the Squamish and the local cutthroat fishing. Both should be good this weekend but keep an eye on river levels as we might see visibility issues on the Squamish and then access issues on the local cutthroat haunts. Check out more details in the freshwater section of the report.

We also have an interior lake update. Fishing has been solid the last 2 weeks with a nice mix of weather, but we are going to see a spike in temps this weekend and it could make for some excellent fishing. Jason has details as well as a cool new product worth putting in your indicator gear bag.

Jason also has an update on the local saltwater scene with detail on coho, bottom fishing and prawning. 

Last but not least if you have been thinking of putting some electronics in your ocean or lake boat, we have a great Lowrance promotion.   More details on that below!    

On to the report! 

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.
Dates: (Jun 4 & 8), (July 11 & 15), (Sept 18 & 22) 
Cost: $180.00+GST
Seminar Time:  6:30pm – 9:30pm
Casting Time(s): 10am – 1pm or 1:30pm -4:30pm

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Introduction To Fly Fishing Trout Streams

Stalking trout on mountain streams defines fly fishing. In this course we will teach you the fundamental techniques for fly fishing trout streams; dry fly fishing, nymphing, and streamer fishing.

This Introduction to Fly Fishing Trout Streams course will get you as close to being Brad Pitt (A River Runs Through It) as you will ever be! This course is comprised of one 3hr evening seminar.

Dates: June 19, 2024
Cost: $75.00+GST
Time: 6:30pm – 9:30pm

Check out the full course listing here and give us a call at the shop (604.872.2204) to sign up today!

SPECIAL SAVINGS ON LOWRANCE ELECTRONICS

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If you are looking for a great deal on Lowrance electronics for your ocean boat or lake boat, check out this promotion.  There are some great savings to be had! 

The HDS PRO are best in class units for saltwater and we use these on our guide boats.

If you are lake fishing the Elite FS 9 is an excellent choice and it also does well in the ocean. 

If you are looking to get into the forward scan sonar game, there is very good deal on the ActiveTarget 2 Live Sonar.  The ActiveTarget2 paired up with an Elite FS 9 would be a best-in-class lake fishing setup. You could get into this system for $2,845.00 and that includes a 3 in 1 transducer that does High CHIRP, SideScan, DownScan, and has Fish Reveal and has the ability to scan at 455/800 kHz.

Save BIG on Lowrance Fishing Systems from May 3rd to June 10th, 2024!

Save up to $1,350 CAD on select Lowrance products.

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No complicated forms to fill out or rebates to mail in.  You save right in shop at time of purchase!

If you are thinking about new electronics now is the time with these deep discounts!  Come see our expert staff for advice on your electronic needs for fresh and saltwater boating and fishing.

ActiveTarget2 Live Sonar is compatible with HDS Pro, HDS Live, HDS Carbon, Elite FS

FRESHWATER FISHING REPORTS

Squamish River Fishing Report

We have been blessed with a solid late season and it should continue this weekend. We saw the water bump up this last week with the heat, but it hasn’t gone into freshet yet. It will rise with the heat this weekend. It will get to a point where the water turns from a clear/light brown to a blue then a grey. Grey is bad but before it gets to that point the fishing will be excellent.

It usually hits the grey mark in the high 3s to mid 4s on the graph, but every year is different. Right now, it is at 2.6m so we have a little time. Larger presentations should be in the kit as we ride this wave of coloring water. This means larger flies, larger float fishing presentations and large spoons that give off a thump are great this time of year.

We have cooler weather next week so it might clean up again so watch the water levels and get out when you can!  

Matt Sharp

Harrison River Fishing Report

Cutthroat fishing has continued to be pretty solid for most anglers willing to walk and hike the various tributaries of the Fraser Valley, with conditions holding out in our favour. 
This stretch of warm weather may change that, but from all accounts it should continue to remain steady and fishable. 

Cutthroat
A nice one from earlier this week.

As of writing the graph has the Harrison River at 9.0 Meters, with anglers being able to participate up until it reaches 9.2. At that level, it is still fishable, but anglers may start considering using watercraft.

Lots of sloughs have decent water levels with clarity being not too bad. Reports have indicated that there are lots of fry sunning themselves in these back channels, with cutthroat not too far away.

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Cutthroat go to gear!

Small fry patterns tossed on 4wt-5wt fly rods is standard issue fair for fly anglers. Pairing the fry patterns on 9′ tapered trout leaders and matching fluorocarbon tippet is the way to go, but don’t forget to keep a handful of nymphs and buggers on hand for the ‘in between’ periods.

Having a variety of flies to cover your bases and varying light and species variances can play a big role as you may encounter various species of salmon fry that you’ll want to match. 

For anglers fishing with lighter trout spinning rods, small Gibbs Crocs are a great choice, along with smaller spinners. Small Mepps, Rooster Tails, and Blue Fox spinners are all common choices for those using traditional spinning gear. Even small fluttering spoons under a clear float can sometimes do the trick when the water starts moving. 
Having spinners and spoons in various colours (blue, green, black, etc.) can help match the out-migrating fry- whether they’re sockeye, pinks, coho, or chum. 

When planning your tides and hikes, you’ll want to try to aim for the outgoing ebb tide as this helps flush fry down the system. When looking at tide graphs, keep in mind that the Harrison is delayed by 3hrs on the New West graph, and 4hrs from Vancouver.

At this time of year, having some dries in your box isn’t a bad idea as well- small hatches of stoneflies and March Brown mayflies are a common occurrence as May heats up.

Keep your rod tips low and your hopes high,
Jordan Simpson


Capilano River Fishing Report

Straddling the border between West and North Vancouver the Capilano river offers anglers their first chance at returning salmon. The early run is unique to this hatchery sustained system. The first fish are usually of a smaller size allowing them to race up the system during lower water conditions. The early cohort might not have the numbers or size as the fall run but still make for great action on lighter gear. If you’re a trout angler and are curious on getting into salmon, this is a great start. These fish can be caught on your standard trout gear. A light fast action spinning rod or 5 or 6 wt fly rod will do the trick. Full sink lines are needed in the canyon pools with fluorocarbon leaders and small flashy flies. “Trout” sized spinners and spoons can work for gear anglers. You can also drift small clear floats with single bead presentations when the flows are right. Bait is allowed this time of year and I have had great luck fishing small pieces of roe, deli shrimp, or single egg presentations.

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An early canyon coho falling to a small 8m single bead presentation from last season.

This is a first light fishery so be prepared to get up early. I usually fish two or three spots in the am before the sun gets high and bright. A little rain is a welcome sight for coho anglers. The rain will support fish movement and make that first light bite lasts a little longer. Early am incoming tides can also work in your favor. It’s still a little early but the fishery will get better in the coming weeks.

Set your alarm get up early!

Eric Peake

STILLWATER FISHING REPORTS

Local Lake Fishing Report

The suns is out, the lakes are stocked and its prime time to get out and trout fish. Not much changed on the local front with continued stockings and solid reports from most urban lakes. The lakes up the sea to sky have also received a bump of fish so if you are venturing up Whistler way be sure to bring your gear! Check out www.gofishbc.ca to see if your favorite spot has recently been stocked. Once the trout acclimatize you can expect to take them on a variety of presentations. The usual bait fishing along with spoon and spinner gear can get you on fish. Fresh stocked trout will take a wide range of baits suspended under a bobber or floating off the bottom. You can also dangle small artificial baits under a float. These can be left to drift or given motion with small line jerks to induce strikes. Adding additional scents to artificials can still further help your catch. Spoons and spinners can be great when the fish are abundant after stocking. Remember to keep your gear small and cover water.

Opportunities for the fly still present themselves to lake anglers. I rely more on attractors or simple flies tied balanced under an indicator. These include blobs, balanced leaches and chironomids tied in outlandish colours. Where permitted a small float tube or watercraft can help conventual and fly anglers alike. The ability to troll flies or set up over a drop off makes fly fishing more productive on lakes.

With this unseasonably warm weather we might have to fish a little deeper. The warm weather also brings recreational water users out to compete for space with anglers on the water and docks. I might focus my angling efforts on the morning and evenings to beat the heat, and the crowds of sun seekers.

Eric Peake

BC Interior Lake Fishing Report

Finally, we are into May, and we are in prime time!  This weekend the temps will hit 30C in Kamloops, 27C in Williams Lake and 25C in Prince George.  This is going to kick off a lot of chironomid hatches.  The even better news is that we aren’t going to see these hot temperatures sustained next week.  The temps back off a bit and this is perfect.  Too hot, too fast, for too long is not good.  Next week the temps back off and we get a bit of cloud cover, so that will keep the lakes fishing well mid-May and beyond.

chironomids
It’s full-on prime time chironomid season now. Expect to see this if you are heading out this weekend!

I am heading up on my annual trip to the Cariboo this weekend and fully expecting some excellent chironomid fishing all of next week.  If you are heading out as well, come down to the shop to check out all the new goodies.  We just stocked up the shop with more flies, indicators, leaders, tippet and tying materials. 

One new thing I have been fishing this season is the SA Indicator Marker.  You can use these to mark where your indicator is on your leader.  Very easy to use and works like a charm!  You can peg your indicator where you left the mark on your leader, its super-fast and that means more fish.  It also works excellent for marking your sinking fly line when dangling.  These are much easier and faster to use than a bobber stop on your leader as an indicator marker, or tying on some backing onto your fly line when dangling.  I highly recommend them, so check them out at the shop.

SA Indicator Markers_SA_Line_Indicators
These were a game changer on my last trip. You can use different colours to mark different depths on your indicator leader or on your fly line. The end result is you get your indicator pegged at the right depth every time and its fast! Same goes for your dangling game. Mark the sinking line when your fly is at the perfect depth, and you are set.

So, in short, it’s go time on the vast majority of the lakes, so get out there and enjoy the world class lake fishing this province has to offer.  If you are new to this game, come to the shop for some expert and friendly advice.

See you in the shop or on the lake,

Jason Tonelli

SALTWATER FISHING REPORTS

Vancouver Salmon Fishing & Bottom Fishing Report

The first week of May is in the books and there is lots of great fishing to be had in our local saltwater.  The bottom fishing has been very good.  On the trips where we have been over to the Gulf Islands we have had easy limits of lingcod and rockfish.  There is also some world class catch and release chinook fishing to be had.  It’s a great way to end of a morning of bottom fishing.  Crabbing and prawning have also been good. 

At the end of the day imagine coming back with lingcod, rockfish, crabs and prawns, plus sore arms from fighting chinook salmon and some great fish photos.  It’s a magical time of year, so give us a call at 778-788-8582 to get a day on the water.

So far so good!  Early in the season like this the fishing for lingcod and rockfish is very productive.

Locally we have been fishing for chinook catch and release while DNA sampling.  There has been some absolutely red-hot fishing out there, except for one day when the orcas came through and scattered the fish.  If you don’t want to retain chinook, this is a great opportunity to experience how many chinook are currently in local waters.   You must see it to believe it.  Hopefully this fishery will open in coming years with the DNA data we are collecting showing stocks of concerns are not present in large numbers.

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Doubled up on chinook salmon!

Note that if you don’t have a DNA permit the regulations are no fishing for chinook salmon, so you can fish, but you can’t target chinook.  You would need to be in area 28 where coho is open to go fishing, not in area 29-3 off South Bowen where coho is closed and there is no fishing for chinook.  Coho will open in area 29-3 on June 1and there are already quite a few showing up, so that is a great sign.

A note on prawning.  The commercial fleet will open for prawning on May 15th.  We are open year around and the commercial fleet has a few weeks to get their quota, so once they open, we keep our traps out of the water.  They set a lot of gear in pretty much all the decent spots, so I would suggest keeping your pots out of the water after May 15th.  If you don’t you are likely to have a low success rate and your gear might even go missing.  We don’t prawn after the commercial opening as it takes most of the spring and summer for the numbers to recover and we focus on the productive Dungeness crab waters instead.

Jason Tonelli