Vancouver almost experienced an early summer over the long Easter Weekend. For a while the Pacific Angler staff almost thought we would experience an early freshet. We had many concerned river anglers calling in asking if the steelhead season was over. The boys simply smiled and said, “it is just beginning”.
While the warm temperatures from last week brought up the river levels throughout the Lower Mainland, the cooler temperatures over the last week have helped to suck the levels back down. Overall, this trend will improve the fishing conditions for steelhead moving fresh fish into the river systems and re-distributing the fish that were already there. The one thing that can foil the plans is the expected weather over the next few days. If we get more than what is predicted than a good portion of the rivers will blow out. If we do get the expected forecast is just less then I think the rivers will just stay in shape and colour up, fishable though.
For the fly angler April is the month to be on the water as there are generally good numbers of winter steelhead in most systems and the conditions (increased water temperature) are most favourable for the swung fly technique.
As well, for the cutthroat and bulltrout anglers the increased flow will help to push fry out of the backchannels and into the mainstem of the river. On certain rivers, high water conditions can result in some of the best fishing of the year. Pacific Angler still has availability for prime-time guided trip dates for sea-run cutthroat trout in the Fraser Valley with Andre. Click on the link for all of the info – Sea-run Cutthroat Trout on the Fly
The local lake fishing season officially kicked off last weekend with the excellent weather Vancouver experienced. We received good reports from all of the locally stocked lakes which is great to hear. The staff also heard of some good kokanee reports from the Fraser Valley area. You can expect these local lakes to keep producing through April and into May.
The interior lake fishing season is also just underway. The staff are expecting to hear of the first reports from this weekend.
The Vancouver weather forecast is calling for cloudy conditions with rain. The daily high temperatures and daily low temperatures seem to be dropping this weekend and into next week, ranging from 10 to 13 degrees Celsius and 6 to 8 degrees Celsius respectively. The cooler temperatures will slow down melting the snowpack melt throughout the Lower Mainland.
For the saltwater angler the marine forecast for the Strait of Georgia is not looking favourable. Currently there is a Strong Wind Warning in effect, with southeast winds ranging from 5 to 30 knots. Make sure to check the latest marine forecast as conditions can change rapidly on the ocean.
To keep up-to-date with all things Pacific Angler and the local fishing scene check out Pacific Angler Facebook and on Twitter. You will find our detailed river and saltwater reports below. If you have any questions please do not hesitate to drop by our shop @ 78 East Broadway, Vancouver or give our friendly staff a call @ 604-872-2204.
Vancouver Stillwater Fishing Report:
The following lakes have been stocked by the Freshwater Fisheries Society of BC:
- Lafarge Lake
- Como Lake
- Rice Lake
- Green Timbers Lake
- Mill Lake
- Mike Lake
- Rolley Lake
- Buntzen Lake
- Sasamat Lake
It doesn’t appear that any new lakes have been stock since our last report.
Click on the link for a detailed map of each lake, stocking report, and location – Freshwaters Fisheries Society of BC Fish Map. You can also check the Freshwater Fisheries Society of BC Facebook page for the most up-to-date information.
Need to get rigged up for the lake fishing season. Make sure to stop by Pacific Angler to get all of the right tackle for this spring. The friendly staff are excellent at explaining not only what gear you need but how to use it!
Interior Stillwater Report:
Vancouver River Fishing Report:
Squamish/Cheakamus Rivers – We had an interesting week! The heat wave was nice but after a few days it caught up with us and the rivers. On Sunday and Monday the snow pack gave way and the side hills started dumping mud. The river was in poor condition on Monday and Tuesday but it is coming back into shape and we are expecting some good fishing with the colder weather this weekend.
Before the high water we had had some great fry fishing for bull trout and rainbows. Andre’s Gold Coho fry did well in larger sizes (the fry I’ve seen have all been large) Fish them on a light to medium sink tip. I have found a few on standard sculpin patterns. However, if you see fish slashing at the surface a sculpin pattern will not work half as well as a fry with a light/medium sink tip and 4 foot 6 to 7 lb fluorocarbon leader.
Although the conditions were not good on Tuesday, we had some great spot casting to slashing bulls at the very end of the day. Every fish we saw, we hooked. We used a very short and fast retrieve.
There have been good steelhead reports from both the Squamish and Cheakamus Rivers last weekend. I am expecting to hear more this weekend as the water comes down. Pink and black’n’blue intruder flies have been the top producers for the fly anglers, while gooey bobs and pink worms have been the most productive for the gear anglers.
Good luck out there and hope to see you out on the water!
– Matt Sharp
Capilano River – We had some solid reports from the Capilino River. A number of fish came through the hatchery just before all the hot weather. The dam has had decent flows since the heat wave and we expect at least one more good push of fish. This is a good time to hit the river with float rods. Watch the water levels and plan around the weather.
– Matt Sharp
Seymour River – Though we have not had any reports we expect guys are hooking steelhead and keeping quite. There should be a few good waves of fish hitting the river in the next 2-4 weeks. Again watch your levels, look to the tides and weather, and when conditions are good put in some time on this beautiful river. Again we recommend float fishing but this river does have some decent fly water so get out and hike.
– Dave Fauquier
Fraser River – The sturgeon fishing on the Fraser has been excellent this week. Our guides have been doing very well, by that I mean they are getting double digits numbers of fish! Fish are getting caught from Mission to the Port Mann on eels, lamprey, and eulachons. Fishing will continue to be excellent until the river blows out with snow melt sometime in May. We haven’t heard of any cutthroat reports on the Fraser this week as our guides have been concentrating on the awesome sturgeon fishing. That being said, most of the back waters and sloughs will have salmon fry in them and that means cutthroat will be in the area feeding.
– Jason Tonelli
Chilliwack/Vedder River – Warm weather, warm water, great river height and clear water are all factors to consider for this weeks fishing. Consistent numbers of fish are being caught throughout the week.
This past full moon brought a good number of fresh fish in the river. From top to bottom, the entire Chilliwack/Vedder River has fish throughout. Versatility is a major factor this time of the year. Different presentations for the conditions is key. Switching from bait like roe, shrimp, roe bags, and dew worms to artificials such as single eggs, small spin’n’glo’s, off colour rubber worms, and wool ties are all great options. Spoons are a great choice with the warmer clear water conditions.
As always, covering lots of water and trying to find eager biters always plays a major roll in your success.
– Dimitri Roussanidis
Chehalis River – The run on Chehalis this year has been hit and miss to say the least. Great fishing some days, and spotty fishing the next. The steelhead will continue to run into the river right up until the last day of April. With fish spread throughout the system this time of the year, both fly fishing and gear fishing is a great way to target them.
With a large canyon, the fish are generally targeted better with a gear rod, where the more meandering lower river fishes much better with a fly rod. As there has been little to no rain this week you can expect the conditions to be fairly low and clear. The warmer weather should raise the river with some welcomed snow melt. This bump in the water level will bring in the last few steelhead for the remainder of the season.
– Dimitri Roussanidis
Stave River – The boys at Pacific Angler have not heard many reports from the Stave River, which usually means that fishing has been good. This short river can be excellent when the fry emerge for cutthroat trout as well as steelhead.
This is the perfect river for the fly fishermen getting into the sport as the river is easily accessible and there is plenty of space for a backcast. As well, when the cutthroat trout fishing is good a 5 weight rod and floating line can be a ton of fun. Remember to have a good selection of fry patterns.
For the gear fisherman smaller spinners can be good as well as a fry pattern underneath an Adjust-a-Bubble float.
– Dave Fauquier
Harrison River – The cutthroat fishing has been excellent lately. The salmon fry are out in full force and the fly fisherman who have been out the last few weeks have rewarded with some entertaining fishing as the cutthroat are feeding voraciously on salmon fry.
Spin fisherman have been doing good as well with small spinners and spoons. We have some rain in the forecast but the fishing should continue to be good unless the river rises dramatically. Expect cutthroat fishing to be good for most of April. Last year it was good until around the 23rd when the river got to high from snow melt.
– Jason Tonelli
Skagit River – CLOSED
Vancouver Saltwater Report:
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, Dimitri, Andre, Dave, and Eddie