2014 went by in a flash, and we are about to embark on another year of angling! Winter steelhead season is underway in the Fraser Valley, and things will only get better from here. Fish are now getting caught daily, but it is still early in the grand scheme of things. This week’s cold front has dropped the local rivers quite a bit, but more rain is on the way! Saltwater anglers are encountering some winter chinook in the local harbour, and things will pick up even more in the New Year.
Start the New Year off by learning something new or brushing up on some of your skills. While many of our January courses are already sold out, we have spots left in two of our most popular courses.
TYING JIGS FOR STEELHEAD & SALMON
We have 3 spots left in our tying jigs for steelhead and salmon course. Call the shop at 604.872.2204 to sign up, these spots will go fast!
The use of jigs for catching steelhead and salmon is not a new idea; however, in the last few years we have seen a revolution on our local rivers. Fisherman using hand tied jigs are accounting for record numbers of steelhead! Join us around the tying tables and learn how to tie jigs for steelhead and salmon! If you have never thought of making your own lures don’t feel intimidated, Pacific Angler will help you with each step. For those who have lots of experience we will hone your skills and show you the tricks that make jigs the choice of top rods across the Lower Mainland. Students are required to supply their own vise, tools and materials. A 10% discount is available on materials and tools purchased for the course.
Date: Jan 12
Time: 6:30pm – 9:30pm
STEELHEAD FLOAT FISHING
We have lots of spots left in the seminar and some great on the water dates too!
In this fishery, 10% of the anglers catch 90% of the fish. This is your chance to learn from the 10%! Our 3hr evening seminar will educate you on the gear, water types, conditions and other key variables that put veteran steelhead anglers in that 10%. Mastering this fishery will make you the envy of your friends. Upgrade your seminar to include a fully guided day on the water, putting into practice your new knowledge with a Pacific Angler guide.
Seminar Only Cost: $45.00
Seminar & Guided Walk’n Wade Cost: $400 for one person or $500 for two people
Dates: Seminar on Jan 13. Guided Jan 17, 18, 24, or 25 (custom trip dates are available upon request)
Time: 6:30pm – 9:30pm
A New Year and a new river to learn. With such intense weather events this fall, the Squamish system has had a major facelift and we are looking forward to relearning them over the next few months. We haven’t had much of a chance to get out yet since Christmas, but this will change soon.
All of January you will see us focusing on fly fishing these systems with indicator set ups and sink tip set ups. This time of year there are two major food sources for the resident bull trout and rainbows, salmon eggs and sculpin. It’s quite common to see us out with two rods. One for swinging sculpin patterns with relatively heavy sink tips and one 4-6 wt rod set up with a floating line and egg indicator rig. Over the next couple reports we plan to take an in-depth look at these two methods. If you plan to head out in the next little bit come down to the shop and the guys can help you out with the proper rigging and fly choice.
In the next few days we expect it to be cold and this will slow the fishing but the long-term forecast is calling for more rain and a warming trend. As long as we don’t get too much rain expect the fish to turn on with the warmer temperatures and a bump in river levels.
The Squamish System is 100% catch and release for all wild species. Retention of one hatchery coho (adipose fin clipped) is permitted. Be careful when identifying your catch, hatchery coho are rare on this system.
If you see any people fishing illegally make sure you call the ORR (observe, record, report) line 1-800-465-4336.
The 71st Annual Boxing Day Chilliwack River Steelhead Derby was held last week with 11 fish weighed in. This derby marks the kickoff for a lot of people’s winter steelhead season, with 247 anglers attending. The river is on the drop now with the cold and dry weather, but this won’t last long. Sunday and Monday are forecast to bring some fairly heavy rainfall, so this should bring the river up, and possibly out. Light rain will continue through most of next week, so if Sunday and Monday don’t blow the river out, we should see some stable steelhead-green conditions.
Make sure to cover lots of water when fishing for early season steelhead. Natural presentations such as Pro-cured roe and roe bags work well but don’t forget your artificial presentations such as Mad River single eggs, Gooey bobs, and Pink worms. Don’t get discouraged as it is still early in the season and there aren’t too many fish around, but anglers that have been putting time in have been rewarded with the odd early fish.
Sam Graham, Max Stickel, & Dimitri Roussanidis
The Chehalis is now very low and clear due to the cold and dry weather. You might find the odd early winter steelhead, but your chances are much better after a good rain. If you do find yourself fishing this system in low and clear water, try fishing smaller presentations such as single rubber eggs, 3 egg roe bags, and 4” pale pink worms.
The Capilano is still flowing a little brown/green, even though it is dirt low. The clarity is showing a few signs of improvement since the slide this past fall. This cold snap might clear things even more, but it will also drop the water level into the stones. Between now and March, you may encounter the odd winter run steelhead.
Please note: ALL steelhead (adipose clipped and unclipped) must be released with the utmost care.
As long as there is no ice, you may encounter trout in the local lakes, but fishing will be slow between now and next spring.
Well it is official. The winter chinook season is here. We have had multiple reports of fish from Vancouver Harbour, Howe Sound, Campbell River, and down in Washington. We had a couple of long-range trips planned this last week but wind and weather kept us at the dock. Those that opted for shorter trips in the harbor have also found some fish. The traditional spots off W. Van to the Cap Mouth on the flood tide and out in the “Freighters” on the ebb tide, have both been producing fish. Crabbing has also been decent. Remember the prawning closure for Jan 1st (see last weeks report).
We have been doing well on Oki Tackle Green Onion Glow Flashers and Purple Onion Glow Flashers. These UV flashers have just the right amount of attraction in the clear winter water and the glow stripe gives some added attraction when fishing really deep. For spoons we have been using the Pesca 2.5 and 3.5 spoons. These spoons work extremely well for winter chinook. Why? Because we are fishing deep for these fish, right off the bottom in 100 to 200 feet of water. As you know from previous reports, these spoons glow like crazy and as a result, fish see them from a long ways away and that means more bites for you! Attraction is key for these fish, they are usually pretty eager biters, so the trick is finding them and good flashers and spoons are critical.
If you haven’t tried this fishery, give us a call at 778-788-8582 and get out on the water for some of the most enjoyable fishing of the year and the best eating chinook salmon you will ever have.
The P.A. Saltwater Guide Team: Jason, Eddie, Dimitri
Give us a call at 778-788-8582 to book today or buy a gift card for the angler in your life, redeemable for charters or store product. The shop number is 604-872-2204.
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, Max, Andre, Sam, Eddie, Dimitri, Kathryn