Black Friday is here and we’ve got the deals! We’ve got some great savings in store for you all weekend long and some BIG savings on Islander Reels. Click HERE for a full list of all sale items!
We have one sale item that deserves special mention! Check out these limited-edition Purple Islander Reels! With limited numbers in stock and at a price this good you’ll want to be sure the get yours TODAY!
All Islander Steelheader and MR3s of any colour are on sale at BIG savings. We also have a number of other very big discounts on items throughout the store so check out the list below!
Islander Steelheader Centerpin Reel reg. $499.99
25% OFF on Nov 29 and 20% OFF Nov 30- Dec 2
- Just in time for steelhead season, time to save.
- New limited edition purple colour in stock, 3 only!
Islander MR3 Reel reg. $679.99
25% OFF on Nov 29 and 20% OFF Nov 30- Dec 2
- A west coast classic at deep discount, while supplies last.
- New limited edition purple colour in stock, 5 only!
Sales aside we wanted to send out a big thanks to everyone that came out to the Steelhead Fly Tying Jam Session. It was a huge success. If you missed it Zach has a recap in the events section below.
On the fishing front we are in for a cold one this weekend. With temps well in the negatives across the board, expect rivers to drop and water to get clear. Salmon fishing is slowing down, but we are still seeing fresh coho on a number of systems. Have a read of our reports on the Vedder, Stave and Squamish in the river sections below.
On the saltwater front Jason has a write up on his favourite winter chinook spoons and how he fishes them throughout the season so be sure to check that out in this week’s saltwater section.
This week on the video front we have a great video on how to make shrimp and prawn eye’s for steelhead and bonefish flies.
As always check out the report video if you want to listen to the report in Video format.
INDUSTRY EVENTS AND UPDATES
Steelhead Jam Session Recap
This past Tuesday evening we hosted one of our favourite events of the year, our annual Steelhead Fly Tying Jam. We had a packed house of fly tyers and others that were interested in seeing what kind of tricks we had up our sleeves. We saw everything from classic fly patterns tied by Andre, guide style flies tied by Matt, new school intruders tied by Brendan, tubes and shanked flies tied by Jordan, and even some new age tube flies tied by Zach. We will have a few of these fly patterns coming up in future reports so stay tuned!
I wish I had some photos of the flies to share with you but someone mentioned that we should raffle them off and Jason was more than happy to oblige. Speaking of giveaways, Noel from Hook and Vice stopped by and gave away a bunch of hats and stickers, we had a couple Pacific Angler hat and shirt packages to give out and the big prize was from our friends at Pro Sportfisher that gave us a massive prize pack full of everything that you needed to tie up some amazing tube flies.
Thank you to everyone that came out as well as everyone that helped sponsor the event. We love doing these types of tying nights and we have another one planned for the new year with a different theme so stay tuned for that one! If you have any questions about any of the flies that you saw during the event please come into the shop and we are all more than happy to help you out.
FRESHWATER FISHING REPORTS
Chilliwack/Vedder River Fishing Report
At this point, the number of people who are trickling through the store to pick up gear for the Vedder are almost equal to the amount of salmon entering the Vedder River system. There’s always going to be a couple of fresh ones and they come in waves but the best days of the salmon season are behind us. Zombie chum and coho are the most prolific residents at this point, yet that doesn’t mean that a few fish won’t strike at a jig, spoon, roe, or egg patterns if you manage to get out.
Coho have a tough time turning a blind eye to a well floated bead pattern even if the fish are past their prime. Check out the photo below for some of the gear that I would be fishing with if I end up heading out this weekend for one final kick at the can. There aren’t a lot of fly fisherman out working this system anymore since the majority of fish have pushed into the middle and upper portion, which is the more typical rapids type of water. Saying that, there’s no harm in swinging some large purple flies for the chum.
Alternatively, it’s never too early to get out and start scouting for steelhead. The structure of this system won’t fluctuate too much since we don’t expect too many more large rainfalls to move trees and rocks around. I’d argue that being able to read water is one of the most important and underrated skills to approaching steelhead. Looking for walking paced water, seams, and tail outs are three great river structure points to look for when searching out new steely water. Steelhead fishing is quite different from salmon and you’ll typically find yourself getting strikes in areas that look either way too shallow or too fast for steelhead to be sitting in since it’s not what you’ve been accustomed to with salmon fishing. So, get out and take a look and of course bring a rod just in case.
Be sure to stop by the shop if you’ve got any questions about either the end of the Vedder system or prepping for steelhead.
Stave River Fishing Report
The Stave River is wrapping up its salmon season quickly as we approach December. For those that want to give it one last shot for a 2019 salmon, there are still a few coho kicking around in certain spots. A fair amount of them are jacks and while there are still some silver fish around most are heavily colouring up now.
The water has bumped up since last week and has moved the fish around a little bit, though in saying that it is still very clear and you will want to downsize a fair amount to get into some action. On my last couple of trips, I have been having success tossing size 1 Blue Fox Vibraxes, 1/4 oz Panther Martins, and 3/16 oz Crocs in addition to twitching jigs. Fly anglers are getting hooked up as well on small flash flies, but the common theme through all these presentations is downsizing. I highly recommend running fluorocarbon in 8-12lbs as the fish are extremely skittish.
This can be a great time to try beading for cutthroat trout too. As the chum and coho spawn, these trout come up behind and devour all the loose eggs. This technique is fun on light tackle and while these fish are generally in the 12-16 inch range you will find the occasional fish that is much bigger than this. Ideally you will want to tackle this with a 4-5 weight fly rod or a light powered spin drift rod. This makes for a great transition fishery as we come out of the 2019 salmon season and into the winter fisheries. Come on into the shop to get set up or to learn more about this awesome technique!
Squamish River Fishing Report
The Squamish and its tributaries have continued to be consistently inconsistent. With it almost being December, many anglers are still encountering coho in various stages of quality.
Though many encountered may be quite dark, a few mystery fish are encountered at this time of year that are still quite bright.
Char and trout fishing has been hit and miss- usually in relation to the salmon. Find spawning salmon and you should find a few other fish in or around them as they gobble up eggs and flesh.
Water levels have been pretty low, while clarity has been good but the cold weather will make thing very clear this weekend. This is when you want to scale back your size and colour- whether on gear or fly.
Bears are still being spotted throughout the valley, as well as at some more urban areas. With levels and clarity where they are, now is a great time to scout for future angling opportunities.
Keep that drift natural,
SALTWATER FISHING REPORTS
Vancouver Saltwater Salmon Fishing Report
Looks like we are in for a decent weekend, not too windy and not too wet, so if you have the time it would be a good one to get out there. Fishing has been what I would call classic winter chinook action. Put in your time, find the bait, fish the tide change, and you will get your chances. If you are regular reader of this report, you have heard this many times. Don’t wait for the hot report for these feeder chinook. They move around a lot, so you just have to get out there and expect each day to be unique. This is probably why I love this fishery so much; every day is a hunt for the bait and the fish and you have to fish structure and work the downriggers. It feels more like fishing as opposed to just trolling off into the sunset.
As you can see from the above picture, there are some decent fish around and the prawning has been consistent as well.
These fish were taken on spoons and today I am going to focus on one of my favourite spoons, the Gibbs G-Force. This spoon is one of my winter go-to’s. It is a little heavier than other spoons and this is a good thing, as it won’t start to do a full rotation at higher trolling speeds. Spoons are most effective when they flutter erratically side to side and sometimes do a full rotation to mix it up. What you don’t want is your spoon to constantly do full rotations or spin. This can happen with light weight spoons if trolled too fast. We tend to troll on the faster side for winter chinook as we want to cover water and these fish are aggressively feeding and respond well to a faster presentation. The G-Force spoons are perfect for this. The 3.0, 3.5, 4.0 and larger are all excellent producers but this time of year I use mostly the 3.0 because the bait is smaller. I will move up to a 3.5 or 4.0 as the size of the bait changes later in the season. In terms of colours, there are a lot of good ones, but we are fishing 150-300 on the downriggers so spoons with some glow on them seem to work the best for the most part. Here are some of my favourites.
Fish these spoons with a 5 to 6 foot leader of 25 to 30 pound test line and keep track of which colours are producing best for you at different depths, water colour, and sunlight and you will see some patterns. I am not going to tell you that, some things you do have to figure out on your own (smile). So, give these spoons a try this winter and you won’t be disappointed, they are proven producers and should be in your line-up. They have certainly found a place in mine.
See you in the shop or on the water,