Well it is another week of watching the weather forecast and river levels, yes, we realize that we are starting to sound like a broken record. When we are able to get out on the river, fishing has been solid. The challenge is getting out there between storm systems! As we near the mid-point of November with cooler temperatures rivers should be less affected by these weekly storms and hopefully come into shape faster after each one.
If you’d rather stay warm and dry we have a couple of in store events coming up this month. There are two spots left in Matt’s Fly Fishing Egg Patterns course next week and the following week marks the return of the famous Pacific Angler Steelhead Fly Tying Jam session! All the details are in the report below so read on.
Two spots left! Due to popular demand we added another on the water date to Matt’s Fly Fishing Egg Patterns Course. Don’t wait, call the shop today to reserve your spot. All of the course details are below.
Fly Fishing Egg Patterns
This course is designed to teach you the secrets to one of the most productive presentations in the BC fly fishermen’s arsenal; nymphing egg patterns. This deadly method can be used for different species of trout, char, and salmon. During a 3-hour evening seminar we will teach you key concepts, strategies, and gear that will give you a well-rounded foundation during the seminar portion of the class. Then you will put those skills into practice during a fully guided day on the water.
Dates: Seminar: Nov 18 Guided: Nov 28
Seminar Time: 6:30pm to 9:30pm
Steelhead Fly Tying Jam Night
Join us Tuesday, November 24th for the Steelhead Fly Tying Jam Session at Pacific Angler. What is a fly tying jam session you ask? It is a relaxed and fun night for tiers of all levels of experience from beginner to expert to hang out, do some tying, share their favourite flies and techniques, and of course talk about fishing.
We will have a variety of expert tiers on hand to answer questions and teach some tricks of the trade. Scott Baker McGarva will be here and will be tying up some of his favourite winter steelhead flies. Scott guides for steelhead full time and has spent the last few years guiding on the Dean, the Skeena, and Haida Gwaii, so he knows a thing or two about what steelhead like in a fly. Andre Stepanian from Pacific Angler will be here and as many of you know, he loves his classic flies. Andre will be keeping it old school and will be tying a traditional General Practitioner. Interested in Intruder style winter run patterns? Dimitri Roussanidis will be at the table tying up his favourite patterns. Dimitri has taught the Intruder Tying Course at the shop the last few years and anglers from around the globe request his flies. Josh Wolfe will also be in the house tying some of his favourite steelhead tube flies. Josh spent last season up on the Nass and Damdochax and this season up on the Skeena swinging tubes as well as classics. Last but not least, Pacific Angler’s Matt Sharp will be tying up his renowned black and blue steelhead pattern. Simpler than an intruder but just as effective, this is Matt’s go to fly when guiding for steelhead.
So come on down, enjoy a night of tying and some tasty beverages and snacks with your fellow anglers. All fly tying materials and tools will be 15% off.
When: Tuesday, November 24th from 6:30 pm to 9:30 pm.
Where: Pacific Angler, 78 E. Broadway
RSVP: Please RSVP by email to email@example.com so we have a good idea of how many people to expect and how many tables to set up for tying.
We have had quite a few more reports of coho being caught this past week, so hopefully we’ll keep seeing more fish throughout November. There is yet another rainfall warning for Chilliwack this weekend so the river most likely won’t be fishable until next week. Keep an eye on the water levels and the forecast, or if give us a ring at the shop if you’re looking for an up to date report or a second opinion on river conditions.
If you’re looking for some fresh chum salmon for the smoker, try tipping your jigs with prawns. It’s very hard for chum to resist a purple and fuchsia jig tipped with some bait. Float fishing roe, blades, casting spinners, and twitching jigs have all been keys to success for finding some chrome November coho. Or stripping some of Andre’s custom tied coho flies in side channels will lead to success, once you have found that pod of willing biters!
There haven’t been many reports of fresh fish, as we expect a majority of the run is sitting in the upper pools or already in the hatchery. I’d recommend leaving the darker fish alone as they aren’t as responsive to your presentation as fresh fish and focus your efforts on fishing down low in the river to try and intercept the last of the fresh fish moving into the system
Here we go again, another record storm is hammering the coast and with it the Squamish is going to blow out. The only silver lining to the very big grey cloud is that there may be snow in the forecast at higher elevations and colder temperatures are predicted Saturday and Sunday in Squamish. Today and probably tomorrow are going to be a write off for fishing the main river but with the cold weather things might come into shape Sunday and Monday.
It has been a challenging season on the Squamish with all the rain but when it has been in shape and the weather has cooperated we have had excellent fishing. Keep a close eye on river levels. Egging for bull trout and rainbows should be excellent the second the river comes down and there were still lots of silver coho being caught down at Judd road on Wednesday. This means there are still fresh fish coming and they should be throughout the river when it comes back into shape.
With the storm we expect the Chehalis will blow out, but it is a system to watch when the rain is pounding down. It can come into shape fast and fishes well after a storm. When fishing the river be prepared with large roe and wool presentations. Adding chartreuse wool to roe can help it stand out in dirty water. If that fails go with the guide favourite we mentioned last week, large blue fox spinners. My go-tos are #5 gold and #5 Chartreuse blue foxes are great when a river is just coming into shape.
The Harrison is like a slow yo-yo this year, the levels went down and up last week and it was headed back down but with the heavy rains yesterday the river is on the rise again. If you are accessing the river by boat you can work with these up and downs but shore access is limited and spots are few and far between unless the river is at 9.1M and below.
When the river has been in shape a few coho have been caught but overall it hasn’t been a strong run of coho this year. There is still hope for another week or two for fish to show up so don’t give up on the Harrison river yet as I have caught fish in this system well into the third week of November.
The fish are in, and people have been seeing great days on the river. This is a dam-controlled fishery that can sometimes hold its shape when other rivers blow out. Once these fish reach the dam, they can sometimes go ‘stale’ and seem un-interested in your offerings. The key to getting these fish to bite is to have a wide variety of gear, either hardware or flies, is to keep changing up your presentation. Most of these systems see pressure (Vedder, Harrison, Stave, etc.) and quite often fish have seen the same spoon, flies, or lures over and over and over again. Using something that they haven’t seen before, either in size or colour, can often be the deciding factor.
When the water goes high and dirty, big lures with silver and chartreuse highlights can be the ticket- along with a variety of other big-ticket meal items. This is the same for flies, where profile and colour can play a more important role.
Note that where wild fish are to be released, anglers should ensure proper care is taken and proper release tactics are used. Please do not beach fish that are to be released.
Anglers will have noticed that the salmon fishery in the tidal portion of the Fraser has slowed down considerably over the past little while. For those anglers fishing at the various regional parks down-stream of the Mission Bridge, light-tackle fishing for coarse fish can be a great option for those looking to get outside on these crisp fall days.
Heading into the tributaries further up, anglers will have noticed that the coho fishing has remained steady, with a variety of tactics working to fool these fish. Float fishing with spinners and roe, or tossing spoons into the various runs and pools have all resulted in good success. Don’t forget fly fishing- either in fishy looking runs or slow back water, fly anglers have been tying into fish on both swung and stripped flies, with patterns to match the technique.
Please note that incidental catches of char (bull trout, dolly varden) and trout must be released, and should be handled with care. Please assume every fish is wild until you can safely ID your catch.
As the days get cooler fishing will start to slow down between now and next spring. That said, you might encounter trout, so don’t hesitate to give it a shot on some of those rare November warm days that pop up here and there.
Well it is safe to say that the lake fishing is almost over due to the cold temperatures. You might be able to find a low elevation lake that is not frozen completely and still give it one more go but as the water temps drop to 40 degrees and down the fish are not very active. If you are into ice fishing now is the time to start getting your gear ready. We just received our shipment of new ice fishing rods so some in and check them out. We will be back with the lake reports next spring.