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Home / FIshing Reports / Pacific Angler Friday Fishing Report: November 20, 2015

Pacific Angler Friday Fishing Report: November 20, 2015



We are pleased to report that there are no major storm systems in the upcoming forecast! The weekend is forecasted to be sunny, clear and cold. This should help bring all the rivers into shape fast, which will be welcomed by many anglers after a season of repeated high water events. While a few rivers are winding down for fall salmon season, others like the Squamish continue to be strong and egg fishing for bull or rainbow trout is starting to heat up. As we look to cooler, dryer weather its time focus your techniques for low, clear water. We’ve got a few tips for you in the local river reports below. Now is also a great time to start thinking about steelhead season. Get your gear ready out there and scout out some spots you’re ready to in the latter part of December/early January!

While our courses have wrapped up for 2015 there are still some great in store and industry events! There are just a few spots left in the famous Pacific Angler Steelhead Fly Tying Jam Session next week. Read on below for details on how to reserve your spot for this fun and free event as well as details on the upcoming Steelhead Society of British Columbia’s fundraising night.


Our 2015 courses have come to an end for the year. Thanks to all our students for yet another successful year of classes here at Pacific Angler! Watch this section for the full and complete line up of the 2016 courses. Coming Soon!





Steelhead Fly Tying Jam Night
In case you missed it last week the famous Pacific Angler Steelhead Fly Tying Jam Session is back!

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. Local tier Dennis Gamboa will be on hand. Dennis ties a lot of custom flies for shops in BC and his innovative techniques are always fun to watch. Pacific Angler’s Max Stickel will also be at the tying table. Max is know for his steelhead intruders he ties for the shop and for many anglers heading to the Skeena. He also ties some great steelhead dry flies. Be sure to read the full blog post from earlier this week for the full lineup of awesome tiers who will be in the house.

So come on down, enjoy a FREE night of tying and some tasty beverages and snacks with your fellow anglers. All fly tying materials and tools will be 15% off.

There are only a few more tying spots available. RSVP to reserve yours today! Event and RSVP details are below.

When: Tuesday, November 24th from 6:30 pm to 9:30 pm.
Where: Pacific Angler, 78 E. Broadway
RSVP: Please RSVP by email to kathryn@pacificangler.ca so we have a good idea of how many people to expect and how many tables to set up for tying.


Steelhead Society of British Columbia Fundraiser Pub Night 

Come support the steelhead! The annual SSBC fundraiser pub night is an event we look forward to all year. It’s great night socializing with other anglers and supporting an amazing cause.

We’ll see you November 26 at 7 at Micky’s (170 Golden Dr., Coquitlam) More information on the event can be found on the Steelhead Society’s webpage.


Shop the Neighbourhood 
November 28 marks the second annual Yellow Pages Shop the Neighbourhood. Join us in celebrating small businesses in neighbourhoods across Canada!

All in stock fly tying materials and tools will be 10% off!

Celebrate Pacific Angler and small businesses in our neighbourhood (our yours). Check out the YP Shopwise app for all the local participating businesses and deals!


As I wrote this report the river was very high and had a bit of colour to it; as we all know conditions not that great for fishing. With the clear and colder than normal weather forecasted for the rest of the week and into the weekend the river should drop fast and we anticipate that it will come back into shape and give anglers one last kick at the can for the fall salmon season.

When you head out be prepared for varying conditions as water levels may be perfect or even a little clear. For the float fisherman this means having a variety of leader materials ranging from 10lb fluorocarbon for clear water to simple heavy maxima leaders if the water is green. Fishing roe, colorado blades and wool under a float are extremely productive. Fly fisherman should look to slack water areas and fish rolled muddlers and any of Andre’s custom olive style patterns.

Now is also a great time to get thinking about steelhead season. Get out scouting and you may even get lucky with an early steelhead in the coming weeks.  That said we won’t see consistent fishing until the end of December but don’t wait until then to get your gear ready and your spots dialled in.

Sam and Matt

The Capilano fall salmon fishery is coming to a close. You might catch the odd late arrival but there are more productive rivers to fish this time of year.

She is finally in shape for the weekend! After a long, frustrating season of high water events it looks as though the Squamish River will be in good shape for fishing this weekend. As with last week we managed to get out in between the storm fronts on a few trips and our guests were rewarded for their patience!


Waiting to get out between high water events paid off. Nice fish Gord!



Bill was also rewarded with a nice fish on the same trip.

The cold weather has caused the river to drop dramatically from the high water we saw over the weekend and earlier this week. So after a season of recommending high water presentations we thought it was a good idea to review low, clear water techniques.

The first thing is lengthen your leaders and use lighter leader material. Fluorocarbon for both the fly fisherman and gear fisherman is important. There are still good numbers of fresh coho in the system you just need to change up your technique.

When targeting these coho fly fisherman should use 10-12lb fluorocarbon with sinktips and smaller drab colored flies. I love olive, purple and copper flies in these conditions. Float fisherman should use the same 10-12lb fluoro with smaller copper and gold colorado blades smaller jigs and wool/egg presentations and the spoon fisherman should break out the small copper, blue, purple and red blue fox style spinners.

The other fishery that is really heating up is the bull trout/rainbow trout egg fishery. We are hosting our famous egg nymphing course this weekend and we will be using lighter colored beads and egg patterns with lighter longer leaders. If you missed out on the course don’t worry, we will be offering another session in January. Stay tuned for dates!

For the gear fisherman you don’t have to miss out. Using a light centerpin or bait casting rod with smaller rubber egg imitations can be a ton of fun and great practice for the upcoming steelhead season.

We expect the smaller tributaries to fish poorly with the lower water and you want to focus on mid to upper river in areas you have seen chum spawning.

One note on fishing regulations, we have heard of a few fisherman hitting the smaller tributaries on the Squamish trying to find clearer water with all the high water events. In a few spots the regulations have been difficult to interpret due to shifting riverbeds All tributaries of the Squamish, excluding the Mamaquam, Ashlu, Cheakamus and Elaho are closed to fishing and at this time of year. Protecting the fish and habitat in small spawning streams is critical to this river. Please avoid these areas.

Also Remember that the entire system is a single barbless, catch and release fishery with the exception being hatchery coho but these fish are extremely rare. Play by the rules, respect your fellow anglers, and respect the fish. Good luck on the water!


The Chehalis is a great system to find late coho but it is also a system that does not do well in lower clear water. The fish move in fast with high water and become stale and lock jawed. We expect this to be the scenario this weekend but don’t be scared to give it a try. To solve the puzzle of lock jawed fish go small. Fish fluorocarbon leaders and small bait presentations and drab olive or copper flies. Also look hard at the mouth of the Chehalis and other sloughs lower down on the system. With lower water we might see some of the late coho begin to stack up.

Unfortunately the river level went up to 9.5 meters after the storm at the beginning of the week. As usual the river is coming down very slowly, but hopefully the colder than normal temperatures will help bring it into shape a little quicker than normal and allow us to walk and wade the river before the coho run comes to an end. For those of you who have a boat you may be able to get out a little sooner. Your best bet would be to try searching in the back channels more in the upper regions of the river looking for pods of coho, if you find fish use small and sparse flies.


Stave River
Reports from those anglers still fishing the Stave have recounted a real mixed-bag of fish. From cutthroat trout to coho, and whitefish to steelhead, this river will host it at some point over the next season. Those anglers targeting coho on this river have been finding a mix of coloured fish along with bright silvers. If you happen to be there when a fresh wave of new fish come in, pink has always been a top producer, regardless of whether one is fishing worms or flies, spinners or spoons. I also find medium to large stonefly nymphs can be a great pattern to fish behind anglers fishing gear.


Fraser (tidal/non-tidal)
Not much as been going on for salmon in the main stem as of late on the salmon front, with many anglers focusing on other species such as sturgeon and coarse fish.

Coarse fish are great for those who like to fish using ultra-light rods or keep their gear simple. Though many coarse fish will hit small spinners or spoons, various baits are the preferred choice of those anglers who want to hopefully catch numbers. By using light line and sensitive float systems, one can detect the softest of bites when these fish come around. They are also a great fish for the young anglers in our lives, as you never really quite know what’s going to bite next.
The most common species encountered are the northern pike minnow, squawfish, and peamouth chub. All of these fish will take a variety of small bite-sized baits.

Come on into the shop where any one of us can help you get sorted for flies, tips, or indicators for this fishery.