Hi and welcome to the GRFA fishing report updated on the 11th of February 2019.
Winter has finally arrived and the cold snap we are experiencing has dropped our water levels dramatically. Never fear! Some excellent angling opportunities await those hardy and dedicated enough to brave the elements. Here’s the gist…
All river systems hosting steelhead are low and cold. Fish will not move far to chase a lure, however numbers in the rivers really seem to be good at the moment. With the conditions being low, cold and clear don’t be afraid to fish shallower water, often 3’ or less during low light conditions, early mornings and late afternoon. Fish will often stage in this shallow water, found at the heads and tail outs of runs, soaking up what warmth the light can provide before moving on. As the sun rises concentrate your efforts to the deeper slots and cut banks where fish can rest comfortably in safety.
Offerings for steelhead in low water are typically on the small side and often the successful angler has to “comb” the runs fairly tight to ensure that all willing takers were covered. For those drift fishing small jigs in pink and peach have been working along with smaller washed out pink rubber worms, trout beads and wool combo’s. Of course small bags of roe or skeined chunks always work. For the fly guy, bring the size of your intruder down a bit and keep it bright, like the old adage goes” bright day – bright fly’. Also do not be afraid to go small Popsicle style flies or even single egg patterns, especially during mid day. Keep in mind that you want to be running very heavy sink tips and if your not touching bottom every-once in a while, your just practicing casting.
The vedder has been leading the way in fish numbers along with angling pressure. Decent sized fish have also been noted and all in all it’s been a very good season thus far. The Stave has also been fishing better than the last few years and it’s prime time out there right now. Keep in mind to time the tide as the fish get pushed around with it and a dropping tide is best. The Chehalis is extremley low at the moment and would not expect too many fresh fish to entering the system until the water bumps up. Stick to the Canyon where the fish have deep pools to hide and rest in.
GRFA will once again be offering float trips on the Vedder/Chilliwack River starting this February!! This is in an effort to enhance the fishing experience and open up water that is difficult to access any other way. Want to knock old square tail of the bucket list? This is your best opportunity…
Peak of the run is towards the end of February and into March. We will be primarily float and/or fly fishing for the chrome beauties and will use the raft primarily to offer ease of access to the water and most fishing will be still be done from shore. If this is something that interest you please drop Rick a quick email for more info. email@example.com
The river is very low and will probably remain so for the rest of the winter. Be vigilant when cruising the river, particularly upstream of the mouth of the Vedder river as there are many exposed and slightly submerged gravel bars that become hazards especially for those that run prop driven motors on their boats. Also note that there is a large amount of ice floating in the river and some areas are completely ice burged up. Take it slow and easy and if it’s really bad don’t risk the inevitable, these frigid waters are not for swimming in at this time of year.
For those that have ventured out the fishing has actually been quite decent for these river monsters as of late. Good numbers of smaller fish are the norm through winter with the odd bigger fish still active. The lower river downstream of Mission has been producing huge numbers of fish but you are hard pressed to find any over 5 feet in length. From the Vedder River to Mission has also been very good for numbers but we have been seeing some decent fish as well, no 10 foot monsters but some decent 6 to 7 footers sprinkled in with the smaller fish.
With the water being very low and cold the fish have moved into their wintering holes and are quite stacked up when you find them. Keep moving around until you find them, once you start getting bites stay close as they tend to pack up in the winter and often ones does not have move much to get into consistent action. At this time of year a plethora of different baits can work on any given and it wise to have an assortment. Baits of choice are lamprey, coarse fish, single eggs, dew worms and roe. Keep your offering size down to the minimum as larger baits at this time year are often ignored or the sturg will often “lay” down on it to save it for later; this results in foul hooked fish as the motion of the fish telepaths to the rod like a bite.
What better way is there to spend a winter day than sitting in a comfortable covered jet boat waiting on another bite from the almighty sturgeon. With limited fishing pressure on the river this is a great time of year to get out and experience these dinosaurs of the deep. We offer half and full day outing’s via jet boat with nothing but the finest in guides and tackle. We pride ourselves in ensuring your day is as comfortable, safe and enjoyable as possible. Whatever your speed, we will cater to your needs. Call or email today. firstname.lastname@example.org
LILLOOET RIVER TROUT & STEELHEAD
With winter upon us our thoughts turn towards the new fishing opportunities that it will bring. The Lillooet River is a gem of a winter fishery for Bull Trout and a great opportunity at some steelhead, cutthroat and rainbow trout as well. This is one of our premier trips and when you get there you will see why. This is a remote fishery that gets very little pressure and requires a skilled jet boater to reach the best waters. The shear beauty and majestic scenery coupled with miles of perfect fishing water makes this one of those bucket list kind of rivers… want to get it out of your bucket? Contact Rick for more info email@example.com
That’s it for now. Conserve our waters and here’s to great fishing, forever…