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Home / FIshing Reports / Vancouver Friday Fishing Report, March 29

Vancouver Friday Fishing Report, March 29


This past week we have seen sunny skies with warm temperatures and warmer temperatures expected for the Easter Long Weekend!  BC anglers are catching chrome steelhead in the balmy west coast sun, while the rest of Canada is still experiencing the hangover of a long winter.

Pacific Angler customer with a beautiful steelhead caught in the Lower Mainland.

Pacific Angler customer with a beautiful steelhead caught in the Lower Mainland.

For the local fishermen we have three good options:  1.) steelhead, cutthroat and bull trout fishing in the countless rivers throughout the Lower Mainland, 2.) lake fishing for stocked rainbow trout, and 3.) saltwater fishing for winter chinook salmon.

The winter steelhead fishery is reaching its peak in terms of the peak of the run and optimal conditions.  With the warmer daily temperatures the water temperature will increase which will in turn make the steelhead more active and prone to moving to a fly.  From now until freshet fly fishermen can expect to have a good chance of hooking up every outing.

The cutthroat trout fishery has also really turned on this past week.  Andre and his students, from our Sea-Run Cutthroat Trout on the Fly course, had an amazing day on the water last Saturday.  Students hooked multiple cutthroat trout.

Pacific Angler student with a nice cutthroat trout.

Pacific Angler student with a nice cutthroat trout.

The Pacific Angler staff expect cutthroat fishing to continue to be good at least until mid-April or until the freshet begins.  Fry patterns will be the ticket now that the cutthroat are targeting the different species of salmon fry.  It can be critical to have the exact right fry pattern so make sure to stock up on Andre’s custom epoxy fry flies.

This weekend will be the first big push for the local saltwater anglers targeting chinook salmon in the Vancouver Harbour.  With the warm weather and flat calm seas we expect to see a few boats out there.  Eddie will be out there on the Salty Dawg this Saturday.  Fishing within the harbour has continued to be quite.  However, with a lot more fishing pressure this weekend we will have a good gauge of where the fish are and how many are around.  Anglers will be targeting West Vancouver, Bell Buouy, The Hump and off Bowen Island.  Make sure to visit Pacific Angler to restock on your favourite flashers, spoons, or talk to chat with the boys.

This last week, the Pacific Angler staff have been kept busy rigging up anglers for our locally stocked lakes.  The Freshwater Fisheries Society of BC recently started their stocking program for the spring.  Their stocking program will continue until June so you can expect our local lake fishing to continue to be good.  You can read the Vancouver Stillwater Report below for the list of stocked lakes to target.

The Vancouver weather forecast is calling for sunny conditions through the weekend and into next week.  You can expect daily high temperatures ranging from 13 to 14 degrees Celsius and daily low temperatures ranging from 3 to 6 degrees Celsius.  This will mean that the snowpack will continue to melt.  For rivers you can expect them to rise through the weekend and into next week.  We are not talking about blown out levels but the extra water will definitely add some colour.  This is welcome news for the steelhead angler.

For the saltwater anglers the Strait of Georgia Marine Forecast is calling for light winds on Friday and then northwest winds on Saturday and Sunday, ranging from 10 to 20 knots.  Friday will definitely be the day to be on the water.  Make sure to check the latest marine forecast as conditions can change rapidly on the ocean.

Remember, you will need a new licence on Monday April 1st.  To buy your licence online for 2013/2014 click on the following links – British Columbia Freshwater Fishing Licence, British Columbia Tidal Fishing Licence.

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

* Click on the link for a detailed map of each lake, stocking report, and location – Freshwaters Fisheries Society of BC Fish Map.

These lakes will hold good numbers of catchable trout and will make a great day with family and friends.  A 4 to 6 weight fly rod with floating line and Andre’s mini leeches are an excellent option.  A light spinning rod with Pacific Angler’s Powerbait rig can also be deadly.  Come into the shop and the friendly staff can explain this very productive system to you.  The Adjustable Float and weighted fly can also be a great technique.

Interior Stillwater Report: 

Read the most up to date interior lake report brought to you some of Vancouver’s most fanatical lake fishermen, BC Brothers Stillwater, Jay and Derek:
Jason with a nice rainbow trout from a previous season.

Jason with a nice rainbow trout from a previous season.

These boys are born and bred in BC and know how to fish for big rainbow trout in British Columbia’s famed stillwater fishery.

Derek with a monster of a rainbow caught from years before.

Derek with a monster of a rainbow caught from years before.

Ice is off on Morgan, Jacko, and Six Mile Lakes and the fishing begins!  Stump Lake, at 2400ft, is almost off and the south end will be asking for leeches and damsel patterns. Look for elevations around this level for the ice to be coming off.
The weather looks like its heating up this weekend, so most lakes will have a good melt off. Get ready for pre turnover fishing to get underway. Some of the biggest fish in smaller lakes can be caught before the lake turns. Target bigger food sources for the trout to dine on in shallower water.
Here are some recommended patterns for pre turn over fishing.  They are:
  • damsels;
  • leeches;
  • dragon flies; and
  • blood worms fished shallow with an indicator and/or retrieving.
Good luck,
Jay and Der

Vancouver River Fishing Report:

Squamish/Cheakamus Rivers – with the warm weather here the river has been on the rise over the last couple of days.  This is welcomed news as this system has been extremely low this winter.  I expect this trend to continue well into next week which should make for some better fishing conditions for both bulltrout and steelhead.

Bulltrout are now actively feeding on fry patterns as well as sculpin patterns.  It is always a good idea to have a bulltrout rod rigged with a floating line and fry pattern and then another rod rigged with a sink tip and sculpin pattern.  A Rio versitip line is also a great way to switch from a floating line to sink tip setup.

For the angler targeting steelhead on the Squamish pink and orange are often favourite colours.  Lightly weighted tube flies fished with a light sink tip (type 3) can be very productive.  These fish are known to hold in very shallow water so make sure to complete your swing all the way to the dangle and hold it for a good 5 seconds.  Then make 5 sharp and short trips.  Make sure to hold on!

– Dave Fauquier

Bulltrout caught on a small midge pupae imitation.






Capilano River – The staff at Pacific Angler have heard of a few steelhead being caught on the Capilano River.  This is a great river to fish before or after work, particularly now that there is longer daylight.  Steelhead will continue to show up on the Cap

Remember that all steelhead, whether wild or hatchery, must be released.

Seymour River – The Pacific Angler staff have not heard of any new reports from the Seymour River.  However, this is a great river to walk the bank and make a few casts on a short fishing day.

– Dave Fauquier

Fraser River – The staff have heard of some good reports from this large system for an equally large species, the mighty sturgeon.  The seemingly unseasonable warm weather and high water temperatures have really got the sturgeon moving.  Oolichans and lampreys are the bait of choice for this time of year.  The Fraser River, just around Chilliwack has been producing good numbers of fish as well as around the Mission area and all the way down to the confluence of the Stave River.  Cutthroat fishing in the sloughs in the Fraser Valley between Hope and Chilliwack can be good at this time of year.  The key is to find these migratory fish.  This is a great fishery for the angler with a sense of adventure.

– Jason Tonelli

Big Spring on Hump May 21





Chilliwack/Vedder River – This past week has been up and down with river conditions and height. The last few days have been great, and the coming week should be just as good. The river has been on the drop and the full moon will bring in a fresh push of chromers. Fish are spread out throughout the whole river now. The upper, middle, and lower all have fish.

Pacific Angler steelhead fiend, Dimitri with a slab.

Pacific Angler steelhead fiend, Dimitri, with a slab.

Changing things up is the ticket to convincing fish to bite, different presentations for the conditions is key. Bait like roe, shrimp, roe bags, and dew worms work excellent. Artificials such as single eggs, small spin n glo’s, off colour rubber worms, and wool ties are all great options.

– Dimitri Roussanidis

Dimitri R






Chehalis River – The boys at the shop heard of some decent reports of cutthroat and steelhead being caught in this unique river, both in the lower and upper river.  Fly fishing and gear fishing can be productive.  The canyon waters are better for the gear anglers while the lower river can be excellent for fly fishermen.

As there has been little to no rain this week you can expect the conditions to be fairly low and clear.  However, with this warmer weather the flows will probably bump up.  Along with this steelhead will be trickling in throughout April.

– Jason Tonelli

Stave River – The staff have heard that the fishing on the Stave River has been quite slow over the past week due to little water being released from the damn.  However, you can bet when that water is released the fishing will be on.  It is definitely worth your while to check out the Stave River after fishing another river in the Fraser Valley.

– Dave Fauquier

Harrison River – Harrison river levels were dropping nicely but with this warm weather we are having it might bump the river levels up but hopefully not to much or we will experience an early freshet and that would be it for the cutthroat fishery.

It is nice to have a stable barometer as the fish are willing to chase and eat more but as long as it is cool enough temperatures to prolong the fishery. I was out the past few days and saw a lot of fry and had some on and off days but over all the fish are in the system now, it is a matter of finding them and giving them what they want.

Pacific Angler's cutthroat expert, Andre, with a slab.

Pacific Angler’s cutthroat expert, Andre, with a nice specimen.

The March brown mayfly hatches will be pretty strong now as the temps are 15C and above so make sure to have your dry flies with you just in case they change moods from chasing fry and start sipping dries off the surface.

– Andre Stepanian

Andre Stepanian






Skagit River – CLOSED

Vancouver Saltwater Report:  

What a change in the weather from last week. It seems the strong wind blew winter away and spring has arrived! Looking back at our winter fishery it started off quite promising in January but proved quite challenging for the most part. The latter half seemed to produce mostly small fish with the odd lunker thrown in the mix. As an example a good friend of mine rolled into town and took his boat out last Friday. After landing 2-3 small ones he bagged a beautiful 15lb spring on the outskirts of the harbour.
Excited about his success we headed out on Sunday and headed to his honey hole. We used the same gear and trolled all over the area only to produce only one undersized fish. Since the conditions were prefect we decided to run across the Georgia Strait to see what was on the other side. On the way we intercepted a large school of Dahls porpoises and had a magnificent show.  Unfortunately shortly after our arrival an ankle injury cut our trip short.
The next day I had the pleasure of taking out a couple of very nice young ladies for an afternoon fish in flat water and warm sunshine.  We dropped the crab traps, headed out and shortly after setting the gear we were joined by another pod of my little friends the porpoises. We did find bait and after the tide slowed up we did manage a hit right at 110″ feet.  We went over a massive bait ball at the same depth. Unfortunately it got away before we could see it and it was time to go home. We were near the Point Grey and got the hit on a 3.5″ Irish Cream spoon. We headed back and found a generous amount of crabs with a half dozen being extra large!
A big Vancouver crab!

A big Vancouver crab!

As we say goodbye to winter and the winter spring fishery we can start looking forward to our first good run expected to arrive off the South end of Bowen Island. Typically this fishery starts anywhere between mid April to early May. Last year their arrival was on May 1st. Some boats are already prospecting those waters and I did hear of one boat getting one over the weekend. Hopefully it’s a sign the first wave will arrive soon!
– 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, and Eddie