Fishing Report for Vancouver and the Fraser Valley – Feb 18, 2014
Well it has been another one of the mildest winters on record here in Beautiful British Columbia. I knew things were too good to be true and just last week we had our first bite of winter, with frigid cold winds and down to -15 with the wind chill. Curtis was going out on the river in Chilliwack and could not get his boat launched due to nearly 2 inches of ice in the back channel and ice flowing down the main stem of the river. Good thing this did not last long! Cold brisk weather always reminds us of the great Steelheading days over the years, true Steelheaders know all too well how cold it can be on the river, they are a special breed of person.
Now we are one week later and things seem back to normal on the river, with the rest of Canada still having cool temperatures we seem to evade this most years in our little “west coast world” near Vancouver. This translates to one thing, year round fishing and opportunity in flowing waters. Sturgeon, Steelhead and Trout fishing can be done in various locations in the Fraser Valley.
GRFA team guide Ben was out Steelhead fishing last weekend with 2 different groups and they had a number of hook-ups on their instructional day. When Steelheading persistence and knowledge play a key part in success, being on the river most everyday and knowing where the fish are sitting and what fly or bait is working best will usually always result in success. This has to be one of the hardest fisheries to master in our area when you are new to the sport. Keep your eyes open, listen to other anglers and cover lots of ground. Changing presentations often and covering the water in a pattern can help. Our instructional Steelheading adventure days on the water offer a good overall overview on how you can be more productive with this amazing fish. If you want to learn to Spey cast or just polish your skills, we can help. Our team of GRFA guides live on these rivers and are addicted to the fish that swim there, thus making them the best in the industry.
Now onto the Sturgeon fishing, it has been very good again over the winter months, other than the few days the river was flowing with ice and not safe to be on. It always surprises us when we have potential clients contact us to see if we are fishing for Sturgeon, of course we are I always say, why not. There seems to be this myth or reason for some to believe that Sturgeon do not feed in the winter, we do not buy into this nor do we believe this. The fish are still feeding and 99% of all our fish are hooked in the mouth and putting up a good fight. We prefer to sample throughout the entire year to give great data and information to the mark recapture program. No different
then why we like to fish a big stretch of the Fraser River and sample as much as we can to gain valuable information. Truth be known, most guiding companies just typically don’t want to fish in the winter months! We have been concentrating in the Lower Fraser River area as of late and have had good results on many baits such as Eulachon, Lamprey and Roe. We try to go down a hook size or two at this time of the year and it seems to help for some reason if the fish are being picky. Tides as usual play a key role in feeding at this time of the year, these fish really seem to like when the river is pulling which is opposite slightly to the Spring, Summer and Fall fishery when the incoming and turn around tide produces best. Looking forward to the 2014 season if the numbers of Sockeye Salmon return in the millions as predicted, we could see another pulse in migrating ocean Sturgeon. Get out there and enjoy this fishery that has become world-renowned.
Trout fishing has been solid again this winter and we should be coming up to some of the best of the year over the next 2 to 3 months. With the ice coming off in the back channels – pretty much as fast as it came – the fish will be aggressive to get eating. There are many different techniques that can be used, like fly-fishing, float fishing and even spin fishing. All seem to produce good results on certain days and more importantly usually is location and the reaches between the mouth of the Sumas canal and Hope are some of the best fishing grounds. River access is a lot easier at this time of the year with the water levels being at the lowest of the year.
The nomadic Cutthroat Trout have come back in our area due to the hard work of the Fraser Valley Trout Hatchery and their great stocking program. These fish can easily be identified by their clipped adipose fin and they are fish recreational anglers can harvest. Brood stock is captured on the Fraser River by local volunteers on certain days and then taken to the hatchery to mature. The hatchery in Abbotsford offers tours for schools and groups and it is well worth checking out. Kudo’s to all the staff and all their efforts to keep working hard to produce fish for the recreational sector to enjoy.
Enjoy your time on the rivers and do your part to keep our waterways clean. Always take out more than you brought in and make every effort to report poachers and polluters to the proper authority. RAPP (Report All Poachers and Polluters) is the Provincial Government call center – please put this in your cell phone 1.877.952.7277
Federal call line ORR (Observe, Record and Report) for any fisheries related infractions call 1.800.465.4336
If we all do our part then change for the betterment of our rivers can be achieved and or at least managed to make everyone’s experience in our area a great one.
If you have any comments on this or any of our fishing reports or articles, please email me direct at email@example.com
Cheers and great fishing, forever, Dean <”)))><