Brrrrrrr. I’m not sure if I put enough “r’s” in there, but its been a cold week for Vancouverites while I hear the transplants from TO are still referring to this “cold front” as warm and balmy and wondering if they will ever need a coat. Hmmm, could this be why they move from TO to the West Coast?
Should you be wondering about the forecast for the weekend, allow me to sum it up four short yet definitive words “wind chill minus 17”. I, for one will be looking to avoid that wind and chill combination! I have never been fond of chipping ice off my guides in between casts.
If its too cold to be on the water then its perfect to be inside and working on your XMAS shopping!
STAFF’s PICK of the WEEK – Andre Stepanian
Rio Versitip Line
My P.O.W is the Rio Versitip lines. Although this idea came out over a decade ago and it has been a hit in the fishing industry since the beginning and it’s still going strong as many great inventions and ideas sometimes don’t last or become a short lived trend. I find this line the perfect sale when shown and explained to a beginner fly fisherman.
The main line which consists of a running line and the head of the fly line has a smooth welded loop at the end. This part of the line is put on a reel like any other line to backing. The tip part of the fly line comes with 4 options which include a floating, intermediate ink tip (1.5 I.P.S), type 3 (3 I.P.S), type 6(6 I.P.S) sink tips which are 15 ft with welded loops as well. The tips come in a nice wallet. The idea behind this system is that when river or fishing applications change you can choose the tip to put on when at the river.
The other reason that is easy on your wallet is that it is economical. If you were to buy a reel and four different lines it will cost you A LOT more than $159.99 price tag on the Versitip line.
Let’s do the math. Spools are half the cost of the reel while good quality professional tactical lines are $75.00 so if your reel is $200.00 the spools are $100.00 each. The total with lines and spools will be $525.00 and keep in mind the bulk of the spools that you won’t be carrying on you. This for me has actually been the selling point of the product than the idea itself. As you build your arsenal to many rods and reels then you can purchase specific lines for certain fisheries but for your first rod and reel until you become obsessed and dedicated to the sport this in my opinion is the way to go.
PACIFIC ANGLER 2014 COURSE SCHEDULE!
That’s right, we have completed our course schedule for 2014!! Please feel free to visit the Pacific Angler website where you can download the Pacific Angler 2014 Course Schedule.
Some of these courses start the 2nd week of January, so check out the courses and see which ones you would like to attend!!
Gift cards are a fantastic way to shop for the fisher in your life. You can purchase gift cards for any denomination and if you want package up with a printout of the 2014 Pacific Angler Courses, we can accommodate that as well!
We have also selected a course that was suggested to us by one of our customers!! We will make the announcement of the winner of the $100 gift card and the course description & timing next week, stay tuned!!
What Matt Wants for Christmas!
With Christmas just around the corner I know there tons of people desperately looking for ideas of what they should buy ME. I thought I would make it easy this year. This is my list for all those concerned.
The first one is simple. Our good friend David Lambroughton has come out with another stunning fishing calendar for 2014. With amazing pictures from around BC and the world I can’t wait for it to be hanging in my office. – $16.99
The second thing that someone should buy me is the new Brian Chan, Phil Rowley Lake Fishing DVD, Conquering Chironomids. We had an awesome lake season this year but I am tired of Andre and Bryce out fishing me, so I need to get back to the class room and learn some new tricks. This DVD is brand new and is perfect for any lake fisherman.
Chironomids are one of the most significant trout food sources and in the DVD Brian and Phil show you advanced techniques to match the hatch and master this technique. – $19.95
The Last two items on my list are special. As many of you know I have a never ending compulsion to tie, buy and steal flies. I have yet to find a fly box that will hold them all. Another one of our good friends at the shop has come up with a solution. Larry Haines builds debatably one of the nicest custom wooden fly boxes in the world and with my problem in mind he has built 2 Pacific Angler exclusive boxes.
The first is a stunning 9×11 three leaf box. We call it the “Ultimate Boat Box”. This will hold literally hundreds of flies. It is ideal for anyone with a boat or simply a love to organize their flies in a beautiful piece of functional art.
I figured the Lake box would be a good start to organizing my vast collection but just to be on the safe side I think someone should buy me Larry’s new box that we have fittingly nicknamed the Monster! This thing is amazing. Stainless steel hinges, a brushed metal handle and over 1200 square inches of fly storing capacity on four 19X16 inch panels. I can’t wait to start loading it up. The Ultimate boat box retails for $140 and the Monster retails for $320.
With the past few weeks being dry and cold, those who ventured up to the Squamish River saw some incredibly low and clear water which made the conditions tough, but not impossible. There have been many reports of good fishing for trout on Squamish from those who ventured up that way and were willing to walk and explore- which is often necessary to be successful as the fish tend to move around between spots on an almost daily basis.
With the light rain that fell a few days ago, the river came up slightly, which in turn increased turbidity- though not by too much. When a river starts to rise dramatically, fish activity can increase, just like how it can when a river starts to clear.
This pre and post blow-out situation can cause fish to start feeding due to several things:
Pre-blowout: Fish, living naturally in the water, can feel an increase in water volume and turbidity, as well as barometric pressure. When these conditions present themselves, fish can start to feed heavily knowing that they won’t be able to eat consistently for a few days and will often gorge themselves leading up to when the river blows out.
Besides the obvious egg patterns or beads, small baitfish and sculpins that are too weak to fight this increase in water flow are often stirred about as they try to hold position. For those that can’t, many small fish will start to seek out structure to hide in or around, such as stumps, boulders, and depressions- anywhere that will cause the water to be slower, making it easier for them to hide. These would be good areas to focus on to toss small sculpins and baitfish patterns into, as well as small spoons and spinners.
Post blowout: After not eating consistently for a few days due to various conditional reasons (water clarity, turbidity, food sources, etc.), fish will start to eat as opportunities present themselves. On rivers such as the Squamish, good techniques to consider post-blowout is to nymph egg patterns and beads. As the water volume
And turbidity increase, LOTS of eggs get stirred up, as well as any bits of decaying salmon flesh that may have settled in or around structure or rocks. As the river starts to clear up and settle down, rainbow and bull trout will take advantage of this ‘free food’ that presents itself.
Big meal-ticket items such as sculpins and flesh are high in protein and fish will be focused on this. Peach coloured wool, spoons, beads, and even curly tail plastics such as grub style jigs can garner the interest of hungry fish.
Low low low. The river is low and clear with the sub zero temperatures we have had lately. Despite these difficult conditions, there have been steelhead caught this week on both gear and the fly. These are fresh fish, so despite the clear water, they are actually pretty aggressive. There aren’t a lot of fish around this time of year, so the name of the game is to cover as much water as possible each day, hoping to find that one fresh, eager steelhead that wants to grab. If you are float fishing, try using 15lb fluorocarbon leader and small presentations like single eggs, or a small piece of wool in peach or light pink, and try and keep things around the size of a dime or smaller. If you are fly fishing try flies in the same colors, peach, light pink, or orange, and cover lots of water looking for fresh aggressive fish. Besides all this, pray for rain!
This river is also very low and clear. There are some dark coho around and we haven’t heard of any steelhead yet, but there are usually a few starting to come in this time of year. They are likely sitting in the Harrison waiting for some rain though. Our good friend and customer Andrew landed two coho and a cuttie last Friday!
At this point, you are better off going to the Vedder/Chilliwack River in search of fresh steelhead until we get some rain, then the Chehalis would be worth checking out.
There are few late run coho around, and the odd chrome one actually, but most of the coho are pretty dark now. You might run into the odd early steelhead while fishing for coho as well. If you can stand the cold, this is one of the late season fisheries that is worth checking out for late run chrome coho, but you better dress warm.
Sturgeon fishing has slowed down due to the cold water temperatures and there aren’t too many salmon left at this time of year. We are into the winter doldrums for the Fraser, not much to report, except the odd hardcore sturgeon fisherman out there hanging onto the last of the season. The best fight of these fish has come and gone with the cooler water temperature really slowing them down. For all intensive purposes, it is a good idea to give these fish the winter off and re-visit this fishery in the spring time when the oolichans come in. The next major fishery on the Fraser will be cutthroat, but we will report more on that in the New Year.
If you are a regular report reader, you will know we have been expecting a few fish as we turn the page into the first week of December. Sure enough there are reports of a few fish starting to show up here in Vancouver Harbour. The fish that have been caught have been on the bottom, as usual, with your favourite flasher (purple onion or green onion) and your favourite spoon (Irish cream or green/glow). The weather is cold and the water is clear and the fish are starting to show up, so get out there and take advantage of what has generally been flat calm conditions.
On behalf of the Pacific Angler staff we wish you the best in your fishing endeavors and we hope to see you either at the shop or on the water. To check out the latest Pacific Angler news view the Pacific Angler Facebook page.
Jason, Matt, Andre, Max, Eddie, Jordan and Bryce