March 26 Fishing Report for Vancouver and Fraser Valley

As Springtime in Vancouver and the Fraser river valley warms up, so does the fishing!

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nice sunny spring morning on the river

I love the fishing around Vancouver in late March

It’s officially springtime now and you can see signs of new life everywhere as you wander along the river banks. Little green shoots are emerging, the occasional flower(crocus), song birds, insects and hatches are noticeable now. Salmon fry are appearing as their tiny fragile bodies slowly emerge from the gravel and rock nurseries inside the river that is their place of birth and death. Opportunity is the word at this time.

Vedder Steelhead fishing has really picked up over the past 2 weeks and will be a very good choice over the next 5 weeks until May’s arrival. The Vedder-Chilliwack river started off slow this year but has made a good turn around and we have done quite well over the past 2 weeks with some good fish landed. I expect that many more anglers will be happy campers over the coming weeks. A buddy went Steelhead fishing with me, his first time ever for going after metalheads, and he hooked and landed 2 fish in his first 10 casts! Talk about luck, he blew away the old saying of “Steelhead – the fish of a thousand casts”. It made me remember when my Dad’s friend took me salmon fishing when I was a kid. I got a 13 lb King salmon right away.

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#chromefish gorgeous Steelhead!

Your best choices for hooking into Steelhead on the Vedder – Chilliwack river are many but here’s the most popular: cured Salmon or Steelhead roe(roebags or small clusters secured with a bait loop), fresh or cured prawns, jigs under a float, artificial salmon eggs or clusters, pink/purple rubber worms(4″-6″), and gold or silver blades(colorado’s or french under a float, Blue Fox, Gibbs Ironhead, plus many more metallic intruders). Make sure your offering is within 2 feet of the bottom and fish the smooth level water, not the fast downhill water. I get a lot of fish in mid to tailout sections of runs and also boulder runs. I caught a 15 lb wild the other day in just over 2 ft of water.

If you choose to fish on the Squamish river there is a bait ban there. The fishing on the Squamish river is a wonderful experience due to the incredible scenery and Trout fishing. Yes the Squamish river has a healthy population of Bull trout plus Cutthroat and some Rainbow trout for good measure. Steelhead are also available in March to early May. Fly fishing is the preferred method on the Squamish river because the runs are big and offer plenty of back casting room. Even new fly fishers can have a rewarding experience here and many have pulled some nice Trout out of the river. When the fishing is hot we have had some 20-40 fish days, otherwise it’s typically a 6-10 fish day. Our custom tied Bull trout flies work magic here. If you love fly fishing and your in Vancouver you’ll want to hit the river.

The Fraser River: a massive river system with massive fish! and massive amounts of fish too including a huge 2014 Sockeye Salmon return forecast at 23-45 million! The 2 main fishing opportunities on the Fraser in March-April are Sturgeon and Trout. Sturgeon are throughout the river from Richmond all the way to the Fraser Canyon past Hope. The most popular areas are from Chilliwack to Maple Ridge including Mission, there is an immense amount of habitat for them here thus there is always good numbers of fish. Sturgeon fishing has been quite good lately and if you read our last post then you know there are some very big fish available. Booking Sturgeon charters for the springtime saves you some clams too.

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Sturgeon for kids too!

We are heading into our 11th season of providing guided Sturgeon fishing trips and packages. Our success rate is excellent(100% on Sturgeon only charters full day) so we don’t need to promote offers like “guaranteed fish”. We just fish with confidence and ability and that’s that.

Trout fishing on the Fraser river right now is good. Cutthroat are plentiful and feeding heavily on Salmon fry as they emerge from the gravel and make their migration downstream to the ocean. After last fall’s huge Pink and Chum salmon return there will be billions of fry to feed on. Out of those billions of tiny fry perhaps 30-50 million will return. Fly fishing for Cutties on back channels and sloughs of the Fraser is a productive method and a scenic one too. Small fry patterns are the ticket.

Outlook for the 2014 fishing season:

  • 23-70 million Sockeye Salmon return to Fraser river from early August to late September
  • great Sturgeon fishing from June to November
  • good Coho and Chinook salmon predictions for September – October
  • Chum Salmon from October to late November
  • great Trout fly fishing from late March to early July

Until next time we wish you plenty of tugs!

Brian Mack



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