Pacific Angler Outlook:
The weather pattern seems to have changed from cold and dry conditions to our typical mild and wet conditions that we Vancouverites experience on the coast. This is welcome news for the river fishermen. Precipitation will help to drive in fresh steelhead to the river systems. You can expect to see this trend as we move further away from winter and closer to the spring. Yes I said it spring! It is hard to believe we are only a couple months away from spring.
Overall, river fishing has been fair this week with a few reports of steelhead caught on the Vedder/Chilliwack River. In terms of steelhead fishing the Vedder/Chilliwack River is the place to be right now. The Sea-to-Sky Corridor has been slow over the past week with a few reports of the odd nice bulltrout being caught. One thing to note is that the dykes along the lower Squamish River are being worked on and thus access points have been closed off due to construction. Construction is due to be complete by the beginning of March. The Pacific Angler staff has also heard of some dire reports from Vancouver Island, namely the Stamp River.
You can expect the Harrison/Agassiz area to start picking up for cutthroat in mid-February with the milder temperatures. This is when the fry start to hatch and emerge from the gravel.
The local Vancouver saltwater salmon fishing has been fairly tough as of late. Captain Eddie will be out Friday morning. Jason Tonelli will also be out on the water this weekend teaching his famous Mastering Local Saltwater Salmon course. Eddie and Jason will make sure to update you on the Pacific Angler Facebook page with any results. If you are planning on heading out this weekend make sure to check the tides to get out during the optimal time, which is typically during the flood tide, the start of the ebb tide and the bottom of the ebb tide. But the rule is you can’t catch them sitting home. So make sure to put the effort in now to learn the fishery and if you persist you will be rewarded with a good catch of winter chinook salmon.
The Vancouver weather forecast is calling for sun and cloudy conditions on Saturday with a high of 8 degrees Celsius and a low of 3 degrees Celsius. For Sunday you can expect light rain (10 to 15mm throughout the day) with a high of 8 degrees Celsius and a low of 5 degrees Celsius. Over the past week the daily temperatures have been quite mild. The forecast looking into next week is calling for considerably more rain on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday. You can be sure that this will affect the river levels throughout the Lower Mainland and Sea-to-Sky Corridor.
For the local Vancouver saltwater angler the marine forecast for the Straight of Georgia is looking favourable once again. For Saturday you can expect southeastern winds ranging from 10 to 20 knots and on Sunday you can expect 15 knot southeastern winds.
To keep up-to-date with all things Pacific Angler and the local fishing season check out the Pacific Angler Facebook Page. You can also follow Jason Tonelli and Pacific Angler 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 River Fishing Report:
Chilliwack/Vedder River – The Pacific Angler staff have heard reports of the Tolmie Slide causing problems with the water clarity. Depending on how much rain we get over the weekend this may make the Vedder River very difficult to fish with limited visibility. Make sure to check the latest river conditions. Fishing With Rod has a great thread going with the very latest fishing conditions. If you are planning on going out this weekend make sure to bring your biggest and brightest presentations. For the float fishermen 6 inch pink worms and Gooey Bobs are good choices.
For the fly fishermen 6 inch intruders in pink and orange work well. If you are fly fishing make sure to complete the swing to the hang-down position and then slowly crawl the fly back to you for 5 to 10 yards. If you do not get a bite, strip in the rest of the line and repeat.
Chehalis River – With the heavy precipitation we are expected to receive mid-next week the Chehalis River may be a good option. Remember that this system tends to rise very quickly as well as drop quickly, so timing is key. The Pacific Angler staff has not heard any recent reports but there are always a few winter steelhead holding in the unforgiving canyon pools. If you are planning on hitting this system make sure o arm yourself with small presentations such as single Jensen eggs, sparse jigs, or sparse flies such as “General Practitioners”.
Squamish River – The fishing has been fairly slow over the past week in the Squamish area. There has been the odd bulltrout report but overall fishing was tough due to the low water conditions. Access to the upper river is very limited due to heavy snow. This river really needs a good bump of rain and some milder conditions to get the fish moving.
If you are planning on heading out this weekend we have heard that single eggs with very light tippets (5 lb. fluorocarbon) have been productive for fussy bulltrout as well as the smaller sculpin imitations on a type 3 sink tip. Remember that there is a bait ban within the Squamish Valley. Make sure to check the BC Fishing Regulations before you head out.
Capilano River – We have started to hear a couple reports from the Capilano River with none to very fish being hooked. If the Capilano River level bumps up over the next day or so there will probably be a few steelhead moving into the system. This is a great river to fish if you only have a couple of hours between work or family duties. Float fishing works best on the canyon pools of the Capilano River but fly fishermen can have success with a full sink type 6 or 8 fly line and smallish steelhead flies.
Stave River – The boys at Pacific Angler have not heard of any direct Stave River reports. However, this is a great fishery for this time of year for the trout fishermen using smallish streamers, single egg patterns, and nymphs. There should also be a few steelhead hanging around. When the fry hatch later in February and March this fishery can really take off for all species.
Harrison River – The Harrison River has been fairly consistent with the odd good report coming into the shop. Cutthroat fishing can be really hit and miss at this time of year but if you can find them you can have good day. We expect this fishery to improve around mid-February when the fry start hatching and the cutthroat trout starting feeding on the alevins. And don’t be surprised to hook into a steelhead while cutthroat fishing. They are around and will give you a ride especially if using a 5 weight fly rod. Productive flies at this time of year are Andre’s naked muddler.
Vancouver Saltwater Report:
The local Vancouver salmon fishery has been really hit and miss this past week. At this time of year you never really know when the fishing is going pick up so your best bet is to catch the best tide and get out on the water. It is really more true at this time of year than ever to be a report maker and not a report follower. By the time you hear the report and get out on the water the fish have usually moved elsewhere.
Locally the Vancouver Harbour is a good bet for the large winter springs and amongst the freighters as well. Eddie has been doing well with his favourite spoons (Kitchen Sink, Cop Car, etc.) and running at least one rod without a flasher. He actually noted that his rig without a flasher always seems to get a couple of hits even when it is slow.
This is the time of year to get out there and drop those prawn traps. Preston, Captain of the Seastar, was reminiscing previous winters when him and Jason Tonelli came back with a bucket full of spotted prawns.
Crabbing has also been picking up. Last Sunday Eddie picked up great catch of some of the biggest dungeness crabs he has seen in a long time.
As mentioned above Jason and Eddie will be out today and this weekend. We will be updated the Guide Journal on Monday with the latest scoop. Hopefully, it is filled with pictures of chrome winter chinook salmon.
If you want to get out with a group of friends, family or co-workers make sure to give Dave Fauquier, Pacific Anglers booking manager, a call at the shop (604-872-2204). We would be more than happy to get you out there on the perfect tide!
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.
Jason, Matt, Andre, Dimitri, Dave and Ron