Pacific Angler Outlook:
Christmas is almost here! It looks as though Mother Nature needed to remind us with record snow fall mid week. Check out the picture from our head saltwater guide, Eddie, and Pacific Angler customer Darren. Nothing like a chrome steelhead during a heavy snowfall!
We are now back to standard Vancouver rain. River levels have been consistently dropping with all the precipitation staying on the ground as snow. With low and clear river conditions most fishing has been slow. However, based on recent reports all early indications are pointing to a great steelhead season. The Pacific Angler staff have heard of a number of fly caught fish. The guys putting in the time are starting to consistently find steelhead float fishing.
If we get some mild conditions, such as this Saturday, and the snow melts the rivers will be on the rise! If this happens trout fisherman should have great fishing. This is because increased river flows push salmon eggs from the river gravel and downstream to hungry trout. When the river levels spike get ready for some awesome egging and some fresh waves of steelhead.
The staff have heard of some late coho salmon on a few of the systems, and we have heard of some awesome Fraser cutthroat reports – check out the river reports for more details.
The Vancouver Vancouver weather forecast is calling for rain for the weekend with relatively warm temperatures. The daily high temperature will range from 4 to 8 degrees Celsius and we most likely see some snow melt. After the weekend it looks like daily temperature will drop, ranging from 0 to 5 degrees Celsius. Watch your river levels before heading out in the morning – if the river levels peak and then come back into shape it will make for some great conditions.
This week is our second “Pro Tip” installment. The focus for this week is Fish What’s in the River:
When fishing early, using single eggs or medium to small roe bags is a great idea especially when the rivers are low and clear.
Many early steelhead will actively target salmon eggs. If you saw areas a few weeks ago blanketed with salmon carcasses go back and fish just down river of the area with small egg imitations.
This will last into early January. Remember last weeks tip – cover water fast – but when things get low and clear, cover water with a large prawn, jig or pink worm first looking for a fresh aggressive fish. Then get technical and go back with a small egg presentation.
For a detailed look at Vancouver’s river fishing scene by the Pacific Angler staff and updates on the saltwater scene by Pacific Angler head saltwater guide, Eddie, please read the reports below. If you have any questions do not hesitate to contact our friendly staff @ 604-872-2204 or better yet, drop by Pacific Angler @ 78 East Broadway.
River Fishing Report:
For a complete river fishing report compiled by the Pacific Angler staff please read below.
Chilliwack River: The river has been dropping with the recent weather. If this recent weather trend continues and the snow sticks the river will drop to low and clear conditions. A little bit of warmth and rain will change that drastically, and the vedder will more than likely blow out. Either way, there are fresh fish pushing into the river, and more to come as we get towards the new year. So far the bigger and brighter presentations have been the ticket. Items like 4” and 6” pink worms in flourecent pinks, jigs in chartreuse, orange and pink, and larger yarn/wool ties. The key to all steelhead fishing is to cover water, and try to find the fish. If the river stays low fish smaller roe bag or single egg imitations to match the salmon eggs in the river.
Chehalis River: Reports that coho are trickling through are still coming in. A large portion of the fish are in full spawning colors, but chrome fish can be found throughout the month of December and even into early January. Roe, Colorado blades, spoons and various spinners are all good choices to entice these guys.
Fraser River: Pacific Angler have not heard many reports from the Fraser System. The salmon season has come to an end and the sturgeon are now in their overwintering holes and are best left alone. There have been a few good cutthroat trout reports throughout the Fraser System. The cutthroat are migratory fish and travel in schools. Productive patterns at this time of year are bead head stonefly nymphs as well as sculpin and stickleback patterns.
Squamish River: The Squamish remains extremely low, although there are bull trout, rainbows and cutthroat trout in the river. Luring them to bite in these conditions is extremely difficult. Conditions like these require small flies such as gold rolled muddlers in a size #6 or #8, pale washed out egg patterns either in a 8 or 10mm bead or glo bug, or flesh flies. The head end riffles with chop and bubbly water is where the fish will be laying when the water is low and cold. It provides the most oxygen, cover and warmth compared to anywhere else in the runs.
Capilano River: Vancouver’s most local river fishery should not be overlooked at this time of year. If you want to squeeze in a morning of fishing before family dinners the Capilano River can be a great option. And there is definitely the possibility of hooking into a winter steelhead on this river. Because of the dam, the river is extremely short so it is pretty easy to cover water. You can either focus on the canyon water by the hatchery or the wider water closer to highway #1.
Stave River: There has been some good fishing on the Stave lately. Cutthroat trout, whitefish, and bull trout are the target species. Watching the water levels on the graph will dictate when the best fishing is to come. After every high water event, the salmon eggs buried in the gravel get washed out and float down along the river bottom, and the fish feed like crazy on the eggs. So make sure to check the river levels regularly to find the right conditions and arm useful with single egg patterns.
Vancouver Saltwater Report:
Please read below for an extensive saltwater report from Pacific Angler head guide, Eddie:
“Most of the saltwater fishing fleet has been tied to the dock since the last fish flushed up the river way back in the fall. All the guides have been having a well deserved break. In the meantime the Salty Dawg got some maintenance and upgrades done and is ready for the start of the winter fishing season.
The weather in November and December has provided but a few good days to be able to get out there. The odd boat has gone out but there is not a lot to report at the moment. We’ll soon start to get into those sunny, calm, mid-winter skies that make for some beautiful days to be out.
Typically, we have our first charters over the Christmas holiday season. Also some die hard winter fishers will begin prospecting for some of the most exciting and finest eating chinook salmon of the year. We call them winter springs or feeder springs. These fish are at the early stage of their life cycle and feed aggressively. It’s also a good time to add crabs and prawns to the menu too!
Gradually the reports will start to trickling in and that will signal the start of what should be another great year of fishing. Hopefully the weather will settle a bit as I plan to take my daughter out for her first salmon fishing trip.
I hope to have a good report for you then. I’d also like to take this opportunity to thank all of our guests for the fond memories from this year and wish everyone a great holiday season.”
On behalf of the Pacific Angler staff we wish you the best in your fishing endeavours 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.
The Pacific Angler Crew