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Fishing Report


April 8th, 2016


The river has risen over the last few days due to the warm weather.  That being said the conditions are still great and there are still plenty of opportunities to get into some spring steelhead, bull trout and if you are lucky the odd cutthroat.  Another thing to take note of is the water temperature.  With warmer warmer temps, fish tend to be more aggressive than in the cold, dull winter months.  With the fry finally making an appearance, spinners, colorado and indiana blades have been the tickets and if you are swinging a fly you might want to try to olive patterns even stoneflies. Keep presentations relatively small and be sure to cover lots of water! 

Popular steelheading methods include float fishing rubber worms, jigs, spinners, juicy roe or a nice prawn. When the water is murky you'll need to catch their attention so throwing a spin-n-glo in the mix is a good idea too. When the water warms up steelhead tend to be more aggressive, so don't be afraid to swing a fly through a nice riffle or seam.  Pink, black/blue and purple intruders are very popular, if not a trusty classic pattern will for sure entice these ghosts.

Another ridiculously effective method of catching steelhead, trout, dollies, bulltrout, and whitefish is beading - a Troutbead, Hevi-Bead, or under a float or indicator, with a bit of split shot to get down in front of the fish. You want to peg the bead 1-2" above the hook. What salmon in its right mind would pass up a well presented bead? Not many. Plus you'll have a good chance of getting any other species of salmonid, oncorhynchus, or salvelinus that may be in the area as well.

Click here for retention limits and up to date notices specific to Region 2 rivers

Effective immediately Fisheries and Oceans Canada has issued a night time fishing closure for all finfish species in the Tidal Fraser River.

The mighty Fraser has risen over the last couple days bringing with it quite a bit of debris.  Look for the nice eddy's or spots out of the way from the trees and debris coming down. Coming into spring, the sturgeon fishing has been very good and with the warmer weather on the way it should only get better.  While there hasn't been many "big" ones caught, the numbers have definitely been impressive.  Eulachons at this time of year are an excellent go-to bait as well as lamprey and dew worms.  It's always worthwhile to try some scents before leaving a hole!

Cutthroat fishing is under way!  This warm trend will bring out the alevin / fry.  These fish tend to move around quite a bit so be sure to cover plenty of water both on and off the main stem.

Click here for retention limits and up to date notices specific to Region 2 rivers

Cutthroat, whitefish, and rainbows are the target species this time of year. The river is in fantastic shape for early spring fly fishing, or using an ultralight spinning outfit. Troutbeads, globugs, alevin patterns, or very small black nymphs will be your go-to's right about now.   Keep in mind that with the bright skies and clear water, early mornings and evenings will be the most productive times.

Click here for retention limits and up to date notices specific to Region 2 rivers.

Other Local Rivers

Stave River... It's cutty, whitefish, and steelhead season on the Stave. We've had some reports of hatchery steelhead coming out. The more alevin that start getting active the more cutties will show up.

Chehalis River... There have been the odd steelhead reported.  Float fishing jigs, roe and blades are effective ways to target them.

Squamish River... It's bulltrout season on the Squamish - a fly angler's paradise. Egg patterns, Troutbeads, big leeches, wooly buggers, and sculpins being your best bet.

Click here for retention limits and up to date notices specific to Region 2 rivers.

Fraser Valley Lakes

Kawkawa Lake... The kokanee fishing has been pretty great since opening on March 1st.  As usual, krill has been a go to for enticing these little guys.  Cutthroat opportunities should improve as the water warms, which will bring fry.

Sasquatch Park Area... These lakes will fish right through the fall and winter. They definitely slow down when it's cold and you'll want to fish from a boat. Come spring time fishing from shore is a good option.

Chilliwack Lake... Gates are closed for the season.

Cultus Lake... Highly under fished, Cultus Lake offers awesome opportunities for cutthroat, dollies, and pike minnow. The kids will have a great time from shore with a bobber and bait (worms, Pautzke Balls-o-fire, and PowerBait are staples) fishing for coarse fish, and even cutthroat. You can also try trolling spoons, wedding bands and other lures to attract the dollies.

Jones Lake... Pretty much done for the season. The winter road may make navigation a bit taxing.

Interior Lakes

Ice fishing has kicked in on many of the higher elevation Merritt and Caribou lakes. We've got a very good ice fishing tackle selection, including a number of rod/reel combos for every budget.

Vancouver Saltwater Report

Hello Fellow Anglers   
We have now officially entered our "Springtime" Chinook fishery as the plankton bloom is beginning to get thick, and that always signals the end of the "Winter" Chinook fishery.  We can only hope that next winter provides us with a similar fishery, as it seemed as though this past winter provided the best sustained winter action in at least 20 years.

In looking back to the early 90's, those good winter fisheries seemed to translate into very good Springtime fisheries off South Bowen starting about the end of the first week in April, and I am hoping that this is the case again this year.  Even back in the early 90's, a hot winter fishery was always followed by a week or so of slow fishing as the plankton blooms started and everything is in transition from the clear waters of winter to the murky waters of spring and summer. Right now we are presently experiencing that spotty fishing, and the day to day results are pretty inconsistent.  There have been a few reports of fish from the South end of Bowen, but to be honest, there really hasn't been much effort out there yet as we have still been fishing the "winter spots".  I would expect we will see much more effort during the coming days, and hopefully we will see some good catches occurring by later this week.

There are still fish getting taken at various locations within Howe Sound (Hole in the Wall, Defense Islands, Porteau Cove, the Waterfall, Tunstall Bay, Grace Islands, and Cotton Pt.), but again, it isn't too consistent right now.  Defense Islands and Porteau Cove should continue to produce well for at least the next couple months, and Hole in the Wall always seems to produce well if there are sustained strong NW winds blowing.

At this time of year we will still be getting fish on the same spoons as we did during the winter, but hootchies and especially bait (anchovies, smallish herring or herring strip) start to produce on a more regular basis.  While trolling along bottom structure still works in places with water depths of less than 200', with the murky water (due to plankton bloom and Fraser run off) we start to see the Chinook suspended mid-column.  This is when they begin to show up in places with deep water like South Bowen and Hole in the Wall.  Typically running your gear from about 60 to 140' will put you in the zone as 100' plus/minus seems to be the depth they like with variations depending on time of day, cloud cover, and how murky the water is.

We are also less than a month away from when the Gulf Island fishery really gets rolling each spring, and I try to get over there on any day the water conditions allow after May 1st, as we will also have the option of targeting Lingcod on charters.  Hopefully this spring I will also be able to do some more experimentation in trying to specifically target Halibut over there.  While it is a bonus to get one while trolling as has happened for us a few times in recent years, it sure would be nice to actually get them on a regular basis by targeting them.  Remember, Gulf Island trips require relatively calm conditions (typically I like winds of less than 12 kts), and a charter length of at least 8 hours.  Ask about  my overnight trip options as well, as this provides you with a potential 2 day limit.

My winter dock projects are finishing off.  There are still a few loose ends that I need to finish up, but the panic to get the moorage spots installed by April 1st is over, and I am able to install the last few brackets and complete the few final details and small projects on a much more relaxed schedule over the coming weeks.  I am therefore available on very short notice most week days days during April.  For those needing to get out on a weekend, I definitely have this upcoming Sunday available, and Saturday is also a possibility (I should have confirmation on a tentative trip this Saturday by tomorrow I'd think).  I am also still available both days on the weekend of April 23rd/24th.  I am unavailable any days on the weekends of April 16th/17th, and April 30th/May 1st.