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Home / FIshing Reports / Vancouver Friday Fishing Report, March 8th

Vancouver Friday Fishing Report, March 8th


The story for this last week was the long awaited pineapple express that we experienced last Friday and Saturday.  With heavy precipitation blowing out all of the river systems fishing conditions improved this week for steelhead in the lower mainland.  Stable weather conditions this weekend and more precipitation in the forecast for next week should provide us with good fishing conditions and opportunities.

While steelheading on the Vedder River has not been “on fire” it has still been very solid.  Pacific Angler steelhead guide, Dimitri, was with a client this past Wednesday and was able to hook into 5 nice fish including the one below.  The Vedder River will continue to be the hot spot for steelhead throughout March and even into April.

Pacific Angler guest with a beautiful steelhead on a walk and wade guide trip

For the bulltrout and rainbow trout fishermen looking for solitude the Sea-to-Sky Corridor can be a good bet.  While there are not as many fish in this system the beauty of the Squamish Valley can definitely make for a memorable day.  With more and more fry emerging throughout March, fry patterns are always effective as well as small to medium sculpin patterns.

The heavy rains over the weekend swelled up the small tributaries in the Lower Mainland and thus pushing the small salmon fry downriver into the larger rivers/lakes.  The Pacific Angler staff have heard of a few reports of cutthroat being caught using fry patterns.  However, you can expect this fishery to continue to improve as we get closer to mid-March as more and more fry emerge and start their migration.

At this time of year the hardcore cutthroat anglers start tying their favourite epoxy flies.  Andre hosted a class this past Tuesday specific to tying these very effective flies.  If you would like a few tips on tying epoxy flies do not hesitate to drop into the shop.  You can also buy his flies at the shop, all hand tied by Andre himself!

Andre’s custom hand tied epoxy flies.

The winter saltwater salmon fishing season can be described with one word, “challenging!”  Fishing has been very tough locally with only a few small reports of fish being caught in the Vancouver harbour and Howe Sound area.  Eddie was out on Monday and got this nice undersized fish.

Eddie with a nice undersized winter chinook salmon which was carefully released to get bigger!

Jason will be out teaching his popular Mastering Local Saltwater Salmon Fishing this weekend.  We’ll make sure to update our Pacific Angler Facebook page with any hot reports.  On a positive note crabbing has been excellent.

A full crab trap!

The Vancouver weather forecast is calling for sun on Saturday and then clouds and rain for Sunday and into the following week.  You can expect some heavier rainfalls throughout the week.  The daily high temperatures range from 8 to 11 degrees Celsius while the daily low temperatures range from 3 to 5 degrees Celsius.  A combination of mild temperatures and rainy and cloudy weather conditions will make for good fishing conditions in our local rivers.

The marine forecast for the Strait of Georgia is calling for southeast winds, ranging from 5 to 15 knots.  This will be great conditions for local saltwater anglers.  With a southeast wind you can expect nice and fairly calm seas.

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 Squamish River finally received a good bump of rain, pushing the river level up.  The staff have heard of some good bulltrout fishing opportunities on the upper river, especially right after the high-water period.  Due to the colder weather at the beginning of the week the river level dropped back down.  However, with more rain in the forecast next week we expect the river level to bump back up.

Fishing for bulltrout has been good and will continue to improve as more and more fry emerge and start migrating down the river system.  An epoxy fry pattern on a floating line or a light sinking tip is ideal for this fishery.  While it is still a bit early for steelheading, there is still the chance of hooking into one of these majestic fish while fishing for bulltrout.  Slinky sculpin patterns are an excellent way to target bulltrout while still giving you a chance of hooking into a steelhead.

For steelheading the best fishing is still well ahead of us.  Make sure to not burn yourself out prematurely.  However, if you choose to target these unicorns of the water make sure to fish slow moving water with flies in the classic winter colours, such as pink and orange.  It is always handy to have flies that are weighted and then ones that are unweighted so you can cover all sections of the run.

– Dave Fauquier

Capilano River – The staff at Pacific Angler have not heard of any direct reports from the Capilano River.  But you can bet that a few winter steelhead probably moved into the “Cap” during the high-water last weekend.  Hopefully March will bring us some more fish to this river as the run so far has been very small.

Remember that all wild and hatchery steelhead must be released.

– Dave Fauquier

Seymour River – The winter steelhead run on the Seymour River is very small, however if you simply want to get out for a morning walk or to do some casting it can be a great option.  You might even be surprised by a strong pull from a chrome steelhead.

Remember that all wild and hatchery steelhead must be released.

– Dave Fauquier

Fraser River – Cutthroat trout and bulltrout fishing at this time of year on the Fraser River can be quite productive, however, the challenge is simply finding the fish.  The Fraser River is huge, so locating these elusive fish can be quite tough and intimidating.

Water clarity is good and will continue to be good until the freshet begins on the Fraser River in about a month or so.  If you are looking for an adventure try targeting gravel bars and back channels on the Fraser River between Hope and Chilliwack River.  For cutthrout trout will be targeting salmon fry so make sure to have a good selection of fry patterns on hand at all times.  For the spin fishermen small silver spinners and spoons work well.

– Dave Fauquier

Chilliwack/Vedder River – The conditions on the Chilliwack/Vedder River have been perfect this week with the river dropping back into shape from the heavy rainfall of last weekend.  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.  As well, at this time of year steelhead are distributed fairly evenly throughout the river.  Locating your piece of water is simply a matter of personal taste.

For the float fishermen productive rigs have been size 12 spin-n-glos in peach and rocket red, small silver colorado blades, steelhead roe and small to medium pieces of 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.

If you are looking to get into float fishing or want to fine-tune your existing skills then you will definitely be interested Pacific Angler’s unique Float Fishing for Steelhead Course.  Not only do you get to learn all of the secrets during our theory session but we take you on the water and show you how to put theory into practice.  It is amazing how many of the students actually hook into their first steelhead through this course.

Dimitri and Pacific Angler student with a chrome steelhead caught during PAs Float Fishing Course

You can expect fishing to remain fairly solid over the weekend, however as the river level drops and clears up with fish will become less grabby.  Having said that, forecasted rain next week will help to keep the river at a good level and help to push fresh fish in.  Yep, it’s time to put the hours in on the Vedder River!

– Dave Fauquier

Chehalis River – The Pacific Angler staff heard of a couple small reports from the Chehalis River after the high-water period.  This means that a couple fish trickled in.  However, fishing was not as good as expected given the 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 low and clear once again.  If we get another good bump of rain next week it might be worth hitting this river.

– Dave Fauquier

Stave River – This is a great time of the year to be fishing the Stave river. You can take several different outfits and fish for steelhead, cutthroat trout, white fish and  rainbow trout all in one day.  Check the river levels as it is dam controlled.

The back channels of the river can be good and should not be over looked.  Remember to check the fishing boundaries as it is illegal to fish a section of the spawning channel.

– Andre Stepanian

Harrison River – The Harrison river came up to 9.2 ft.  This is good news as it was extremely low for a very long time. The fry should be coming down from the creeks and the cutthroat trout will be following them down to the mainstem.  It is game on from now on!!!!  Buy or tie your fry patterns and get ready for an exciting fishery that we are truly blessed to experience right at our doorstep.  Fish close to the bank where the river flow slows down . For best results walk and cover a lot of water, if you see any rises or vicious slashes on the surface make a cast and you should hook up 80% of the time. Again don’t forget to have some March Brown dry flies with you as the cutthroat trout might take a break from chasing the salmon fry and start sipping on Mayflies.

– Andre Stepanian

Skagit River – Closed

Vancouver Saltwater Report:  

Can’t say I was looking forward to fishing on Monday but much to my surprise the rain stopped, the Sun came out and the wind died! It truly felt like spring again. I headed out with a great group and had a nice ride out in flat clam waters to drop the crab traps. I met up with three other boats and trolled along the West Vancouver shoreline.  We had a bit of a surprise when we hit a Starry Sole that hit a 3″ Kitchen Sink spoon with no flasher on my highest line about 30′ off the bottom!

A very rare sole caught while trolling.

Shortly before the high slack tide a lively Winter Spring hit a 3.5″ Green Glow spoon with a chartreuse flasher off the bottom. Unfortunately it was just shy of the limit. No other fish were reported in our area, behind Bowen Island, or across the Strait of Georgia.  Later in the afternoon we all moved to prospect around the freighters and one of my associates reported a couple of shakers. We also hooked a shaker just before the end of the trip. Unforunately the seal that had been following us provided the guest with an extra thrill as he stole his fish.
We pulled the traps and got 10 large crab and 4 undersized in one and 2 undersized in the other. Overall it was an enjoyable outing and look forward to my guest’s next visit.
– 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