Rain has been the hot topic over the last couple of weeks at the shop. While most land based Vancouverites are moaning about the gloomy weather we have had our eyes peeled to the river graphs and local forecasts praying that “THE DAY” will be on our day off. The key for fishing on the weekend will be to choice where you fish based on the river graphs and then adapt your fishing to the conditions at hand.
The Pacific Angler staff have heard of some good reports for steelhead in the Lower Mainland over the weekend and into this week. It seemed like Sunday was the “hot” day with quite a few larger fish being hooked throughout the entire river. As the heavy precipitation rolled through the Lower Mainland many of the river systems blew out. The precipitation over the last 24 hrs has continued and blown out many river systems in the Lower Mainland. Depending on the river, it may take 1 to 3 days for the system to come back into shape. However, when they do steelhead fishing should be excellent.
For the trout fishermen we have heard of a couple reports from the Harrison River and other smaller tributaries of the Fraser Valley.
We received the first solid report of cutthroat being caught on fry patterns. You can expect this fishery to improve as the weather warms up and more and more fry emerge from the gravel. With more rain in the forecast and the river rising, walking along the shoreline can become tough with very limited room to make a backcast. However, when the rains subside the river level starts dropping and more and more gravel bars become exposed you can expect the fishery to really improve.
Saltwater fishing has been tough. While we had some amazing weather this past weekend with bright sun on Saturday and flat calm seas on Sunday there were not many fish reported by the local sport anglers. Through this past week
The Vancouver weather forecast is calling for rain, rain and some more rain. This past week has seen a considerable amount of heavy precipitation hitting the Lower Mainland. However, the weather should stabilize a bit this weekend with light rains forecasted on Saturday and then a bit of sun forecasted on Sunday. The daily high temperatures will range from 9 to 11 degrees Celsius, while the daily low temperatures will range from 5 to 7 degrees Celsius. Overall, this is perfect steelhead weather, provided that the rivers co-operate.
For the saltwater angler the marine forecast for the Strait of Georgia is calling for southeast winds on Friday and Sunday, ranging from 10 to 20 knots and then switching to northwest winds ranging from 10 to 20 knots on Sunday. Based on this forecast Saturday is definitely the better day to be out on the water. The morning tide within the Vancouver harbour is looking excellent, with a nice flood tide until 9:00 AM. The tide then ebb’s hard until 4:00 PM. The bottom of the ebb tide and into the start of the flood tide in the afternoon can also be an excellent time to concentrate your time fishing. Make sure to check the latest marine forecast before you head out on the water as conditions can change rapidly.
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 River Fishing Report:
Squamish/Cheakamus Rivers – The river is coming up hard. We love when this happens in late March and April because it will bring in fish and shuffle up the ones already in the system. The one draw back is that it can make planning trips difficult. The key is to watch the river levels. If the river trend is a big spike going over 3 it is definitely blown out. When the river drops back down into shape, fishing should be good.
We have heard of the odd steelhead report and the fry are out so don’t forget about bulltrout and rainbow trout. Fishing with a sink tip and one of Andre’s epoxy fry in runs and pools can be extremely effective. The staff also have had good success in the pass on floating lines stripping fry patterns just under the surface in shallow runs, riffles and tailouts. The rainbow trout definitely prefer this style of presentation. Using large white or olive intruders is a great bet for all of the species in the system.
For steelhead our guides love pink, orange, white and black and blue combinations fished on a heavy sink tip with a short 12lb Maxima leader. Float fishing is also a great way to cover the river. The Squamish Valley watershed is under a 100% bait ban, catch and release fishery. The use of pink worms, gooey bobs and rubber or wool single eggs are all good options. White and cerise are awesome colors for the wool ties depending on the conditions.
– Matt Sharp
Capilano River – The numbers of fish are still down on the Capilano River but again the water could change things. They opened the dam on Wednesday and the river rocketed up from 1 meter to over 6 meters. It could be some time before it drops but when it does we have our fingers crossed that fish will come in. Float fishing is by far the best method for the Capilano River. Fishing pink worms and gooey bobs is very effective when you find the fish.
– Matt Sharp
Seymour River – We heard of a few fish on the Seymour River which is good news. Again the river has most likely blown out. When conditions come back to fishable; it will be worthwhile to get some time on this river for a morning or afternoon.
– Matt Sharp
Fraser River – The main stay this time of year on the Fraser River is cutthroat trout fishing. The sturgeon fishing will pick up as we get into April and things warm up and the oolichans come in. We haven’t heard too many cutthroat reports this week, mostly because not too many anglers have been fishing with all this rain. The rivers have been rising or have blown out with the rain so the Fraser and the back channels and sloughs can dirty up as a result. Once the weather turns and things settle down we expect the cutthroat fishing to be good to excellent as more fry are emerging everyday and things will get stirred up with the rising water levels.
Pacific Angler has a huge selection of Andre’s famous custom tied fry patterns here in the store. If you are looking for some tips on this fishery, come by the shop and Andre and the Pacific Angler staff can help you out. We also offer some guided walk and wade or jet boat trips for cutthroat and prime time is now until May when the rivers get too high. So dust off your fly rod and give us a call for this peaceful and scenic fishery.
– Jason Tonelli
Chilliwack/Vedder River – The recent bump of rain has raised the river to blow out conditions once again. March is the time to be on the river for the Chilliwack/Vedder River. With each rainfall you can expect fresh fish to move into the river. I expect the fishery to really turn on once the river drops back into shape, with fresh chromers like the one below making their way into the river.
Looking into the glass ball I expect the river to drop back into shape on Monday. You can check the latest Vedder River report for conditions by checking out Fishing With Rod. However, the forecast and conditions can change rapidly so make sure to keep a close eye on the river levels.
At this time of year steelhead are evenly spread throughout the river. Locating your piece of water is simply a matter of personal preference and your method of angling. Remember that the majority of steelhead are caught in 2 to 6 feet of water at a walking speed space, like the run below.
For the float fishermen productive rigs have been large Jensen eggs with yarn, jigs, Colorado blades, roe, roe bags, prawn, & ghost shrimp. For the fly fishermen larger profile flies such as intruders and tube flies with lots of marabou, rabbit, and ostrich in bright colours are good choices. You can expect the river to be coloured for the weekend, however as the river level drops and clears up the fishing will pick up.
– Dimitri Roussanidis
Chehalis River – The Pacific Angler staff heard of a couple small reports from the Chehalis River prior to the high-water period. This means that a couple fish trickled in. However, fishing was not as good as expected given last weeks ideal conditions.
By this time in the season we expect fish to be distributed throughout the system from the lower section close to the Harrison all the way up to the upper canyon pools. As fast as the river rises, it also drops. So you can expect the Chehalis River to be high and dirty once again. A cold spell will bring the river back into shape.
– Dimitri Roussanidis
Stave River – With the heavy rainfall we had in the past few days the Stave river might be the best option to fish in the lower Mainland because the levels are controlled by the dam. The back channel would be a great spot to fish for cutthroat and steelhead. If you are fly fishing use salmon fry patterns as both cutthroat and steel head will aggressively attack the fry. If you are gear fishing use small blades or spinners. Also remember that you can target whitefish as well which can be lots of fun on very light tackle. Check the parking regulations as the roads leading to the river are close from a certain point.
– Andre Stepanian
Harrison River – With this rain the levels have come up and walking along the banks of the river becomes limited. If you have access to a boat it is best to fish the upper river and perhaps out of the boat in some situations. The lake itself in Harrison hot spring is another option. Walk along the beach and look for rises as cutthroat usually show themselves. When the river levels start dropping be sure that it will be an epic cutthroat fishing in the river. There are also Dollies in the river that will gorge on the fry and midges.
– Andre Stepanian
Skagit River – CLOSED
Vancouver Saltwater Report:
The local saltwater scene has been a bitt soggy lately. Before the rains came in, it was sunny and calm last weekend and there were a good number of boats on the water. A few fish were hit in the harbour and a few up Howe Sound, but for the amount of boats out, it was pretty slow.
The most productive areas in the harbour have been the W. Van shoreline on the flood and the Freighters on the ebb. 3.0 or 3.5 Irish Cream spoons and Coho Killers have been productive, 5-6 feet behind your favourite flasher. Things have been pretty slow over on the other side as well, from Porlier to Thrasher. Not too many boats have been out this week with the SE winds and the pounding rain and the lack luster reports from the weekend.
Our next charter is on Sunday so Jason will be out in the Salty Dawg so look for some fresh reports on Monday or Tuesday on the blog.
– Jason Tonelli
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