What a difference a week makes. Last Friday we were praying for rain, and wondering if we would get any at all! Now it looks like the rain gods are smiling down on us with a good amount of precipitation forecasted on Friday, Sunday and into next week.
While in the short term rain can be a bad thing for anglers, as sometimes too much rain will blow out a river, the long term effect is that the high water pushes in fresh steelhead and moves around the fish already in the river. The days following a blowout is the time to be on the water. Because forecasted precipitation the boys expect some good reports to come from this weekend for steelhead and bulltrout. It is now time to really put in the hours to get out on those rivers in pursuit of steelhead.
The Chilliwack/Vedder River is the place to be at this time of year for winter steelhead. Dimitri has noted that while he is hooking into fish regularly on the Vedder River he has had to really work for them. Colorado blades in silver, single eggs with some yarn, and spin-n-glows have been working well for the float fishermen. There has also been quite a few reports of fly fishermen hooking into steelhead, using small to medium sized intruders in your favourite colours.
While we have heard of the odd so-so cutthroat trout report the consensus is that it is still a bit early for really productive cuttie fishing.
Jason is also expecting the winter chinook fishing to pick up in March. While we have heard of the odd report in the Vancouver harbour there has been no consistency. This is typical for winter chinook salmon.
The Vancouver weather forecast is calling for cloudy conditions with rain. The daily high temperature for the weekend and into next week ranges from 7 to 8 degrees Celsius. The daily low temperature will range from 1 to 5 degrees Celsius. The forecasted rain is a welcomed site for the river anglers as it will give our rivers a much needed boost in the river levels. Both on Friday and Sunday the forecast is calling for a good amount of rain in Vancouver. Make sure to check the river levels before you head out as water levels can change rapidly.
The marine forecast for the Straight of Georgia is calling for strong northwestern winds on Saturday and strong southeastern winds on Sunday. Remember that conditions can change rapidly on the ocean. If you are fishing this weekend make sure to check the latest marine forecast. Often times we can have a strong wind warning the night before a trip and then by morning the warning has been dropped, and the seas are calm.
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Vancouver River Fishing Report:
Squamish/Cheakamus Rivers – The Rain is coming and the steelhead rumour mill has started on the Sea-to-Sky Corridor. While it is still early for steelhead the bull trout fishing should pick up with the warm weather and fry beginning to hatch.
Because of the extremely low water levels we are experiencing this winter we have not had the bumps of nutrients. This last week we heard of some decent fishing on sculpin and small fry patterns. Egg fishing seams to be dying down but we would still recommend giving them a try if the water level rises.
This weekend and into the week we will see a slight drop in temperatures and hopefully a prolonged period of wet weather without too much snow. Keep your eyes on the river graphs and get out there if you have a chance.
– Matt Sharp
Capilano River – We are still waiting for a positive report from the Cap. However, the weather forecast is looking optimistic. If we get some moisture and the river level rises there is a good chance that a few fresh steelhead with move into the system. Hitting the canyon by the hatchery for a half day of fishing can be a great way to relax before or after work or family duties.
– Matt Sharp
Seymour River – Similiar to the Capilano River we expect a few steelhead will enter the system if we receive a good bump of rain.
– Matt Sharp
Fraser River – The water clarity on the Fraser River is good at the moment. Typically the Fraser River runs its cleanest during the winter months. Fishing for cutthroat and bulltrout can be good at this time of year using egg, alevin, and sculpin patterns. Many trout anglers enjoy fishing sloughs and backchannels of the Fraser River around the Aggasiz area all the way up to Hope River. Cutthroat trout are nomadic fish so make sure to cover lots of water. Simply put the fish are where you find them.
We’ve heard that the fry are gradually starting to emerge but it will still be another couple of weeks before the trout in the Fraser River start keying in on the fry.
A couple of weeks ago we heard through a few customers that the sturgeon fishing had been on fire. Typically, during these cold winter months most anglers will hang up their sturgeon rods letting the fish rest and not stressing them when their energy reserves are at their lowest. When the weather warms up in April/May sturgeon fishing should start to really pickup.
– Dave Fauquier
Chilliwack/Vedder River – Looking at the coming forecast, we have ten days of rain coming. All of the staff here have big smiles on our faces, ready and waiting for some great fishing. With the coming water, there will be a push of fresh fish to come. Eager biters make for great days of fishing. Presentations such as gooey bobs, pink worms, spin-n-glows and a variety of baits (roe, prawns, roe bags, etc…) will be the choice items.
For the fly fishermen 2-3” leeches and intruder patterns in pink, orange, black & purple work well. As always, If you are fly fishing make sure to complete the swing to the hang-down position. You might be surprised with a big grab!
– Dimitri Roussanidis
Chehalis River – With the lack of precipitation, the Chehalis is low and clear. The fish that are in the river have made their way into the security of the canyon. With deep pools, and lots of cover, they will hunker down until this upcoming rain comes and stirs them around. The coming rains should push in some fresh fish, and this will make for some good fishing. Presentations such as single Jensen eggs, sparse jigs, or sparse flies such as “General Practitioners” are all great options in this river due to its extremely clear water.
– Dimitri Roussanidis
Stave River – The Stave River is a great option for anglers targeting bulltrout, cutthroat trout, and even steelhead. It’s close proximity to the city makes it appealing for the half-day fish as well. Smallish streamers, single egg patterns, and nymphs are great options for the Stave River. The fry are out and about now, and with the warm winter so far, more are soon to follow.
– Dimitri Roussanidis
Harrison River – Since last week´s report, we had a couple of days that were warmer than usual. This was the result of a few fry hatching. But still the majority of the fry hatch is yet to come. Check the river levels periodically as the first rise of the water level will wash down the fry from the creeks into the mainstem of the Harrison River.
Until then you can still fish for non spawning cutthroat using stonefly nymphs, mayfly nymphs and attractor patterns such as mini woolly bugger flies. The best river levels I have found in the past for the Harrison River is anywhere from 8.8 to 9.2 meters. Be patient, the cutthroat will be coming down with the fry soon. Please handle the cutthroat carefully if you happen to catch spawning ones.
– Andre Stepanian
Skagit River – Closed
Vancouver Saltwater Report:
The season started of quite promising but has fizzled out a bit for the moment. Even the most recent hot spot across the Georgia Strait has died out a bit. Sometimes it is difficult not knowing where the fish go, but this adds to the mystery and the excitement of the hunt for the mythical winter chinook.
I will say that there is tons of bait in the spots that I have fished recently as well as the odd fish getting hooked. Last time out I fished with 4 other boats and only one boat got a single strike and put a fish in the box. This is nothing to be alarmed about as it’s typical to have dry spells in winter fishing.
I guess the optimistic way to look at it, “is that the fish not being caught at the moment are just fattening up!” The ocean is a big place and it is just a matter of time before we find them again. My theory is that there is so much feed that the the winter chinook have become quite fussy but no one knows for sure. At least we’ve been blessed with some incredible spring-like days. Plus the fishing could all turn around for us any day now.
Some of our more consistant fisheries are just around the corner and I am optimistically looking forward to the upcoming season!
– Eddie Matthei
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, Ron and Eddie