It has been quite the week for wet weather here in Vancouver. The rivers are rising, and visions of steelhead are dancing in our heads! While some of us dream of winter steelhead soon to be arriving, others have been occupied with trout fishing and even some late salmon action. Although most rivers in the Lower Mainland are quite high, this weekend’s cold snap should bring them into shape quickly.
Winter chinook fishing has yet to pick up in the local saltwater. The odd fish has been caught, but things should improve over the next few weeks. This is a challenging yet rewarding fishery that is very close to home! We have an awesome selection of winter chinook spoons and flashers, so come by the shop and we will set you up for success!
SSBC Thompson River Fundraiser
The Steelhead Society of British Columbia will be hosting their annual Thompson River Fundraiser on Wednesday, December 3rd at Micky’s Pub in Coquitlam. The SSBC is launching yet another habitat restoration project on the Thompson system. This project will take place on the Nicola river in an effort to eliminate erosion of an unstable bank which causes siltation and smothers spawning gravel. We look forward to seeing you there!
Cool New Fly Tying Materials Hit the Fly Tying Section!
UV Gel Core Fritz
UV Gel Core Fritz is a revolutionary new chenille style material specifically designed for fly tying. Unlike a number of second-rate materials from the textile trade, the makers of UV Gel Core Fritz have addressed key problems with the vast majority of flash chenilles. The first problem with other materials is the core doesn’t accept dye and bleeds out over time in the water. The second problem is that while tying or while fishing many types of chenille break down, thin out or fall apart.
UV Gel Core Fritz features a Gel Core, which binds the fibres meaning as well as looking great on the fly, there is no fibre loss and it will never fall apart when tying or fishing!! The material is all professionally dyed using state of the art pressure dyeing machines to reduce any bleed out and the colors are more vibrant than anything else on the market. You really do have to see it to believe it when it comes to how bright this product is. When you see it on the wall in the fly tying section next to other materials the fluorescent UV colours really pop!
It is rare that we see something that takes a standard in the fly tying world and actually makes it better, but this is definitely the case when it comes to UV Gel Core Fritz due to its strength and incredibly bright colors. We have it in a great selection of steelhead colors and if the material gains traction we plan to bring in a much larger spread, replacing some of our standard chenilles. If you are starting to tie for steelhead season come down and check it out as this material is perfect for a variety of winter steelhead patterns including intruders and jigs. We are looking forward to seeing what you can do with this material!
Salmon season is slowing down on the Squamish, however, bright coho can still be encountered. We have seen coho caught right into January in this system but for the most part salmon fishing is close to over.
The trout fishing is picking up, and can be good through the winter using a variety of techniques. One of the most effective methods to fish for trout in coastal systems is nymphing egg imitations. Both hard plastic trout beads and glo bugs work well to imitate a salmon egg tumbling down the current. Although nymphing is very effective, swinging streamer flies is also a great way to catch trout in the winter months. Try swinging sculpin flies, flesh flies, and of course egg sucking leeches!
Weather this weekend will be interesting. We have seen some major rainfall over that last couple days but we are looking at cold temperatures this weekend with possible flurries. Cold weather will bring this system into shape fast, and the conditions could turn out well for the weekend.
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 salmon season on the Chilliwack is winding down, and most fish are coloured and ready to spawn. With that said, a push of chrome chum salmon entered this river over the past week, and fishing in the lower river has been good. Winter steelhead usually trickle in over the first couple weeks of December, although there are likely a few in the river already. We are looking forward to seeing how this winter pans out!
Sam Graham, Max Stickel, & Dimitri Roussanidis
Fresh coho salmon can still be encountered, but for the most part, things are slowing down. This week’s bump of rain will have likely brought in a few late coho which is worth checking out if you are not ready to hang up the salmon rods just yet!
The salmon season is over on the Capilano. The fish that are still swimming are dark and ready to spawn. Although the salmon fishing is over, this is a beautiful time of year to walk around the canyon and look at the fish in the hatchery!
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.
With the unsettled weather typical for this time of the year we haven’t heard a lot from the local saltwater. A few boats have gone out in search of the first winter chinook but other than a few undersized fish there hasn’t been much to report. Prawning has been the most productive part of this fishery so far.
Chinook fishing should pick up as we get into December. You really have to hunt for these fish, and that can be a challenge, but when you do find them they are eager to bite. When the sun is out, you can have some spectacular days out there making it all worth the effort. While you are waiting for the sunshine and the fish to arrive have a look at last weeks report where we recommended our favourite spoons and flashers for this fishery.
If you would like to book a trip for winter chinook, some BC spot prawns, and some dungeness crab, give us a call at the shop and book some prime dates for late December and all of January, February, and March.
The P.A. Saltwater Guide Team: Jason, Eddie, Dimitri
Give us a call on our charter phone at 778-788-8582 to book a charter or come by the shop for all the right gear and some friendly advice. 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