Hi and welcome to the GRFA fishing report updated on the 31st of March 2017.
Rain, rain, rain… Last week saw us get hammered again by some torrential downpours and the rivers came up hard, pretty well blowing out everything except Sturgeon Fishing on the Fraser and Harrison/Stave river cutthroat fishing. Having said that the weather man promises a nice week ahead which will put the rivers into prime shape on the hard drop in no time. Prior to this insurgence of water the fishing was really getting going for steelies in the Vedder/Chilliwack for the fly guy’s. It will be a few days before these systems come back down to a fish able level.
I’d like to throw a quick THANKS to all of those that showed up for the annual Fraser River Clean Up back on the 18th. Hundreds of people braved the rains and showed up to lend a hand to keep our river pristine and beautiful. Special Thanks go out to Fraser River Keeper who, with the help of Woodtone, the late Andy Rotzetter of Rotz Disposal, and our partners in the Fraser Valley Illegal Dumping Alliance organized this great and very important event.
April 22nd finds a similar event on the Vedder/Chilliwack River; see the bottom of this post for more information. Now back to the fishing…
2017 has started out very well for these demons of the deep and one can expect to only get better as water continue to warm. Our charters last week had some fantastic action with multiple double and triple headers reported. Some respectable fish too. Alyssa, our new Admin & Sales had her first sturgeon fishing experience a few days ago and was able to land a 7 foot plus’er!! Check out the video HERE on Facebook. Congrats Alyssa!!
Fishing has been particularly good in the lower river below the confluence of the Vedder all the way through to the mouth in Richmond. The river is up and colored and there is debris floating around, not much, but still keep an eye out for floating logs if running the river. As usual concentrate your efforts around the tide changes and don’t be afraid to fish a little shallower than usual, particularly for the big ones. These fish will come to an array of bait at this time of year. Dew worms coupled with lamprey pieces are an excellent place to start.
April is here and with it the start of the Fraser Canyon fishery. If you have never experienced this special stretch of water it truly is something else and brings sturgeon fishing to a whole new level. We have had a boat or 2 up there last few days and the fishing was better than expected. If you’re interested in giving these fishing grounds a go let us know and we’ll be happy to forward more info. If you’re thinking of trying this area on your own please take extra precautions as the waters are considerably wilder, steeper and deeper than downstream of Hope. They really do require a veteran jet boat operator to navigate safely.
What better way is there to spend a clear 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.
As I write this all systems that hold steelhead are very high and muddy, with the exception of the Stave which is high and clean because of the dam. Do not despair, what goes up must come down. Fishing had improved on the Vedder just prior to the influx of water and when it comes down there should be a good bump of fish in the system. Some of the smaller systems, like the Chehalis, will drop back into shape quickly as long we get a few decent weather days in.
As we move through April we can expect to see fewer hatchery fish and more wild strain, please ensure that when handling these special fish you are doing everything in your power to release them unharmed, they are the corner stone of our fishery.
Steelhead are a fabled fish with plenty of lore and mystery surrounding them. These chrome bullets will not only strain tackle to the limits but will test the stamina and determination of the angler pursuing them. Let us help you knock this one off your bucket list. Currently we are offering very affordable half/full day walk and wade expeditions with either drift gear or fly/spey. Also, there are some limited full day jet boat trips available for the angler looking to get away from hustle and bustle.
From novice to expert, our guides are extremely well versed in steelheading. Whether you’re looking to catch your first ever steelhead or want the added challenge of taking one with a spey or fly rod, we have the right guides as well as the best gear waiting for you. 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.
The Harrison and Stave Rivers remain clear and high and have picked up as we are now seeing salmon alvien and fry in good numbers. Fish have started nosing around for these minnows as the salmon life cycle begin a fresh. Best fishing has been at day break but they can keep biting all day with a little cloud cover, which we’ve had plenty of lately. Watch for fish crashing minnows close to shore and move to them.
The rains have mudied the main stem Fraser and with the higher water most if not all the backwaters have color now too. There’s still might be a few that are far enough back from the main stem that remain clear and are still fishing but you will have to explore. Any warm afternoon can trigger a winter stonefly hatch, we seen some last week. These little bugs are best represented with small leaches or swimming style nymph pattersn in 12’s to 16’s.
Most anglers are targeting cuties with light fly gear. With the advent of the Salmon fry migration stick with small minnow patterns like the good old Rolled Muddler Minnow and Tied Back Minnows fished close to the surface. Look for fish rising, cutthroat are very schooly and even if you just see one riser there is a very good chance that there are a few more with it. Also cutthroat are very light sensitive creatures and you would be best to concentrate your efforts to low cloud covered days.
Searun Cutthroat with stand, and stay active, in the coldest condition of any known trout. This makes them the ideal mid-winter cure for cabin fever. Novice to expert we can help you dial these little battlers in. We offer half and full day excursions via jet boat or walk in’s for these ghosts of the coast. Drop us a line and we’ll be happy to fill you in.
The City of Chilliwack has partnered with the Chilliwack/Vedder River Cleanup Society (CVRCS) and the Fraser Valley Regional District for the Adopt a River program, aimed at improving the environment of the Vedder/Chilliwack River through organized, regular cleanup events. Since 2002, the Adopt a River clean up events have collected over 87 tonnes of waste from the Vedder/Chilliwack River shoreline. This event will be held on the 22nd of April. Registration is from 8:30 to 9:30 at the Great Blue Heron Nature Reserve. Please make a plan to attend and help keep our rivers debris free and pristine.
The Fraser Valley Salmon Society is having its 32nd annual AGM meeting on the 27th of April at the Evergreen Hall here in Chilliwack at 6:45 PM. There will be many key speakers and the opportunity to rub shoulders with fellow anglers from all over. Come voice your thoughts, continue your support and have a chance to win one of the many door prizes and also a chance to win a guided fishing adventures for Salmon or Sturgeon. *Restrictions apply – you must be a FVSS member to win the guided fishing adventures – or sign up at the meeting.
That’s all for now, until next time: tight lines and scream’n reels.