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Pacific Angler Friday Fishing Report: May 17, 2024


Long Weekend Incoming! We hope everyone has a great long weekend and with luck you can head out on the water.

Pacific Angler Friday Fishing Report: May 17, 2024

It looks as though mother nature is going to give us a mixed bag of weather but there will be some sun between the clouds and scattered showers. With temperatures not getting too hot we are expecting good fishing reports!

On the river front, freshet has kicked in. It hasn’t gone crazy yet but most of our rivers are in freshet and will offer limited opportunities for the foreseeable future. We have an update on the Squamish, and a How to Fish the Capilano article in this week’s report. The Squamish is at the end of the season, but the Capilano is just getting going.

With the long weekend, we know many anglers are focused on local and interior lake fishing, so we have a big lake focus in this week’s report. Jason is up in the interior as we are writing the report, and he sent a report straight from the water so if you are heading up or have a trip in the near future you will not what to miss his report.

We also tune in with a local lake report. They have stocked more lakes and with reasonable temperatures this weekend, they should still be fishing well.

We also have a lake fishing video! When it comes to lake fishing in the interior, many Vancouverites rent boats when they hit various lakes. The problem is these boats are never set up just right. In this week’s video, Matt looks at his detailed kit of Scotty products that he takes with him on every lake trip. Whether it is for your boat, a buddy’s boat, or a rental boat, the gear and DIY tricks in this video will help you get setup right. There are also some fishing tips hidden is this video so be sure to have a watch of it.

Insert video link.

Keeping with the lake fishing theme, we also have another cool product that just walked through the door. The first of the new Lowrance Eagle sounders just hit the sales floor. These are replacing the Hook Reveal sounders that we have loved for lake fishing for years. The new Eagles are a high power, reasonably priced sounder that we feel is one of the best for putting on your lake boat or small ocean boat. Taylor has all the details on these units and the improved features. These are going to work perfectly for Matt’s mobile sounder setup that he talks about in the Scotty Lake Fishing Gear video above.

For those hitting the saltwater this weekend we have a report from Jake, one of our saltwater guides. He has some great bottom fishing and crabbing tips and a prawning update, in his report on what we are seeing out on in the chuck. Check that article out at a the end of the report!

Last, if you are heading into the shop to pick up some gear for your long weekend trip we are here tonight (Friday) until 7PM. We are open regular hours on Saturday and Sunday and closed on Monday.

Victoria Day Long Weekend Hours

Friday May 17 | 10am-7pm
Saturday May 18 | 10am-6pm
Sunday May 19 | 11am-5pm
Monday May 20 | Closed


Introduction to Fly Fishing
This course was specifically designed to give the new fly fisher the basic knowledge, casting skills and fly fishing strategies to effectively fish our local BC waters. This course is comprised of two sessions; 3hr evening seminar and a 3hr casting session. The dates below show the seminar date first and casting date second.
Dates: (Jun 4 & 8), (July 11 & 15), (Sept 18 & 22)
Cost: $180.00+GST
Seminar Time: 6:30pm – 9:30pm
Casting Time(s): 10am – 1pm or 1:30pm -4:30pm


Introduction To Fly Fishing Trout Streams

Stalking trout on mountain streams defines fly fishing. In this course we will teach you the fundamental techniques for fly fishing trout streams; dry fly fishing, nymphing, and streamer fishing.

This Introduction to Fly Fishing Trout Streams course will get you as close to being Brad Pitt (A River Runs Through It) as you will ever be! This course is comprised of one 3hr evening seminar.

Dates: June 19, 2024
Cost: $75.00+GST
Time: 6:30pm – 9:30pm

Check out the full course listing here and give us a call at the shop (604.872.2204) to sign up today!


The New Lowrance Eagle – A Perfect Lake or Light Saltwater Sounder Solution

With the rapidly increasing popularity of lake fishing, it has become clear that anybody who wants to consistently catch fish needs to have a good Modern sounder on their boat- and no, even though the old “Fishing Buddies” were awesome, we can’t call it a modern sounder! 

Pacific Angler Friday Fishing Report: May 17, 2024

The Lowrance Hook Reveal series proved to be effective, relatively cost-effective systems that worked very well for our freshwater fisheries, and Lowrance has gone ahead and improved upon that success with their new Eagle series of freshwater fish finders. The new Eagle series is designed to be simple, easy to use and effective for all types of freshwater fishing. The Eagles are offered in four different sizes (4”, 5”, 7” and 9”) with four different transducer options (Bullet Skimmer, Splitshot HD, Tripleshot HD and 50/200 HDI) to suit your needs. Some upgrades from the old Hook Reveal series include autotuning sonar, optimized user interface, improved portability and an IPS screen that can be viewed with polarized sunglasses. 

What does all this technical data mean? Auto tuning allows you to spend more time fishing and less time fiddling with settings. The ISP screen is noticeably brighter, clearer and higher resolution. Beside the improved polarized sunglass viewing they have used the extra definition to do a better job at defining the data from Chirp and Down Scan signals. Just so we are all on the same page, if you want to see bottom, logs, rocks and other structure features, down scan is king. If you want to see fish, chirp is what will pick them out most effectively. With the new screen, the unit does a great job of defining the two so you can make out what is bottom what is a log or vegetation and more importantly what is a fish.

Different Eagle Models

The Bullet Skimmer is a simple, single-frequency transducer that will find bottom and mark fish but does not come with any fancy bells or whistles and is only available on the 4” model.

The Splitshot HD is available with the 5” and 7” screens and offers the improved target separation of CHIRP sonar while also being equipped with Downscan imaging, which offers improved definition between structure, vegetation and fish directly below the boat.

The Tripleshot HD is available with the 7” and 9” screens and offered CHIRP sonar, Downscan and Sidescan imaging, which offers incredible structure detail for up to 600” on either side of your boat.

The 50/200 HDI is only available on the 9” model and offers the benefits of CHIRP sonar and Downscan imaging with improved deep-water performance. All of the 5”, 7” and 9” units have built-in GPS and excellent C-Map charts, which makes it possible to drop waypoints on hot-spots for future reference. 

All of these units (excluding the bullet) also have Genesis live. This gives you the ability to create your own custom bottom contour map of your favorite fishing spot. This is a big game changer when indicator fishing because you can circle your spot, map out the bottom to within ½ a foot accuracy and then know that when you cast to the left of the boat you are in 14ft but off the right you are in 17ft.

Pacific Angler Friday Fishing Report: May 17, 2024

The Eagle units are designed to be as plug-and-play as possible, with no setup needed- just mount the transducer, plug the unit in and fish. The Autotuning sonar will take care of the finicky process of adjusting the sonar sensitivity and the simple transducer and power connections make turning the Eagle into a portable system very easy. I have a ton of experience with the previous-generation Hook Reveal 9” Tripleshot and have always been impressed with how good it was, so the improvements in the new Eagle units are sure to make an already great fishing tool even better. We’ve got ‘em in stock and on display if you want to come in and have a look, and I’ll be honest, it’s easier to explain their features in person than it is to write about them… 

These sounders fit perfectly with the Scotty Sounder mount system that Matt uses in his Scotty lake boat build video. If you missed it above and want a solution for mounting this sounder or any small lake sounder, check out the video here.

Taylor Nakatani 


Squamish River Fishing Report

As predicted, last weekend we saw some great fishing up Sea to Sky, but the river levels rose hard over the weekend, and we can now say that freshet is here.

A nice fish to round out the season

What does this mean? For those new to river fishing in the Vancouver area, between April 15 and May 15 every year the heat of the spring kicks off heavy snow melt. Most of our local rivers rise dramatically. Unfortunately, this means that most of these systems will become unfishable or at least a challenge with high coloured water.

I will say that for those who understand water levels and keep an eye on nighttime temps, if we see a cold snap in late May or early June, the Squamish can drop back into shape for limited fishing opportunities but at least for the report we will tune back in late summer/fall when river levels start coming down and the salmon start arriving.

If you are heading out, make sure to keep your eye on levels and be safe when near unstable banks or wading deep channels.

One note for you river level geeks, the graph got broken last week with the big rise in levels. If you are looking and the range of water level and volume looks totally off it is because of the break that happened on May 10th. If you change your date range to May 11th it will fix the issue and the graph will go back to looking similar to how it has looked all season.

Pacific Angler Friday Fishing Report: May 17, 2024

Matt Sharp

Capilano River Fishing Report – The Capilano Cliff Dive (Deep Dive)

A more in depth look at the Capilano fishery. I will go over tactics gear, and additional environmental factors that’s make for better success on the Cap.

Some details about the river…

  • It is dam controlled so water levels fluctuate quickly. Most early season takes place during lower water conditions, but a heavy rain can bump up the water. Make sure to be aware of rising water on the wet days.
  • It has an accurate water graph accessible through the city of Vancouver.


  • Most of the river carves through some beautiful but rugged canyons. This makes for some hiking between spots and lots of up and down. Some descents have old ropes so take care and only hike/fish within your comfort zone. I might wear my waders in severe weather, or when exploring, but usually a good pair of hiking boots is all you need.
  • The Cap has an early run of coho that starts in the spring, trickles in through the summer, with the bulk of the fish arriving in the fall.

Tactics: Spinning – Fly – Float/Drift

Spinning Gear – is useful all season for coho. I usually run a medium or medium light 6 -12-pound range rod for coho but if you are fishing early in the season (generally smaller fish) a light fast action trout rod can work fine. If fishing the beach, a longer 8+ foot rod is preferred but upriver a longer rod is not necessary. Reels in the 2000-3000 size work great. I like saltwater sealed reels for double duty on the beach. Fish an assortment of blue fox, small coho/croc spoons, spinners, and twitching jigs. When the water is low, I fish smaller sizes. I also prefer brass copper and gold finishes in clear water. Fish brighter fluorescent colours when the water bumps up and gets dirty. I use braided main line with fluorocarbon leaders in the 8-12 lb range. I prefer a line-to-line knot for the leader to mainline junction. If you haven’t perfected line knots no worries… a small barrel swivel can provide the connection.

Fly Gear – is an excellent way to target coho. It can be a little tricky in canyon pools but with persistence one can be quite successful. Fly fishing is typically most productive during lower water… sometimes it’s the only way to get pressured fish to bite in the system. When water levels bump up and velocity increases it can be difficult to keep your fly at depth. This makes the fly less productive. Generally, we recommend 8 weights for fall salmon, but early fish can be targeted with 5 and 6 weights. Canyon pools are best fished with full sink lines in type 5 – 7. A mix of small drab and flashy flies tend to do well. André’s Coho Bugger, Matt’s Poison Arrow, along with an assortment of buggers, dubbing leeches, and flash flies. Tying your own flies here can be beneficial. You can tie smaller flies than most commercial patterns, with more variety in colour and weight. I also recommend tying on strong hooks as what you tie will be used on larger fish in the fall.

Present these flies by casting out (usually roll casting) and allow the fly line to sink. Count down your sink time to judge depth. I prefer a quick 4-inch strip to dart the fly though the water. Sometimes faster is better and sometimes slow. If your favorite retrieve does not work change it up, then change the fly. I also use non-slip loop knots on the flies to help add a slight jigging action during the quick retrieve. Early season fish can be targeted on 8 lb fluorocarbon with larger fall and beach fish bumping up to 10-12 lb.

Drifting & Float – work best when the river has good flow. Shorter 9-10ft float rods are ideal in the tight canyon pools as the river is not exceptionally large. Smaller clear drift floats offer sensitivity and stealth when fishing clear water. On the terminal end, I use 8-12 lb fluorocarbon leaders to a size 6-2 barbless hook. I usually hit the river with a broad selection of beads in 8 and 10 mm, along with small colorado blades. Remember to mind the bait ban Aug. 1 – Oct 31, but fishing good bait can be devastatingly effective when the fish are fresh in. Cured roe or deli shrimp in small dime and nickel size bites do the trick.

Environmental Factors

Environmental factors play a big part of how productive the river is. Any day is a good day on the water, but my best days are usually a combination of these factors.

  • Water levels. This is the most important. Look for spikes in water levels to push fresh fish in. Long droughts will make for hard fishing. Water levels will also dictate what rods I fish. If its high, I bring a drift rod and if its low I pack the fly rod. I always bring a spinning rod.
  • Tides. High tides in the am will also encourage fresh fish into the system.
  • Rain and cloud cover. A light summer rain might not bump the water much, but it can provide cover for anglers. A light drizzle can ease the pressure on lock jawed spooky fish and make them much more willing to bite.
  • First light bite. No surprise first light is the most productive. Set the alarm.
  • Lunar phases. The moon governs the tides, but it can also change fishing conditions. I have found more challenging conditions fishing the days around full moons… especially after a clear evening. I suspect the bright illuminated river keeps the fish in higher alert or pressure all night making them harder to entice the following morning.

The Capilano is a technical fishery but with some patience you can unravel some of the canyon secrets. I find the best coho anglers change gear quickly and often to generate bites so come in and we can help build a bag of tricks to capitalize on these early season salmon opportunities. Remember to pack out whatever you bring in and leave your fishing area cleaner than when you found it.


Eric Peake 


Local Lake Fishing Report

Happy long weekend everybody!   With moderate temperatures and statutory holidays comes extra pressure on the local lakes, but there still exists plenty of opportunity for anglers of all skill levels.  Green Timbers in Surrey was stocked on May 15th with 1,500 half-pound little triploid trout for the enjoyment of local anglers.  Triploid trout are trout that have been genetically modified and rendered unable to reproduce, causing them to grow at a much faster rate.  To maximize success, don’t leave for the lake without a full complement of tackle to fish top down, bottom up, and through the middle with hardware.  Freshly stocked fish will comfortably bite on all manner of baits fished from beneath a float, such as dew worms, deli shrimp, cured roe, and artificial plastics.  We stock a great selection of different floats in the shop and are happy to help you put together a system that fits your needs and skill level. 

Those same baits are great fished on a bottom rig, too, and one of my favourite bottom baits is an inflated worm fished on a slip sinker.  Using a hypodermic needle or purpose-built tool, you can pump a small amount of air into a dew worm, causing it to float off bottom, especially effective when targeting trout cruising with off bottom for a meal. There are commercially marketed “Worm Blowers” marketed for this purpose, but they have a larger diameter needle than is optimal, meaning your worms will begin to sink faster than one inflated with a syringe from the pharmacy. Just ask your pharmacist for a syringe suitable for injecting insulin and they’ll be able to help. Just make sure that you store, use, and dispose of your sharps properly, and again your pharmacist will be happy to help you there as well.  

Lots of anglers (especially little ones) can find fishing with an active retrieve more enjoyable and engaging. Small spinners like Panther Martins and Blue Fox, or smaller spoons like the Gibbs Croc or Mini G #3 are all good for a few trout!   Weve just restocked the freshwater wall with our favourite flavours, so come on by and restock with some local must-haves! 

Jay Awrey 

Cariboo Area Lake Fishing Report

I am about halfway through my annual interior lake fishing trip and so far, it’s been far from “normal.”  As I write fishing reports these days, it’s becoming increasingly obvious there is no more normal.  One could say the new normal is to not expect the usual, and if anything, expect extremes.  This same time last year we were having extreme heat temperatures that cracked 30C.  This morning, I woke up to 6 inches of snow.  All we can do as anglers is be prepared for it all and adapt to what nature and the fish throw at us. 

Pacific Angler Friday Fishing Report: May 17, 2024
A snowy long weekend Friday at peak elevations in the 100 Mile area!

I’ve been fishing a number of lakes and the reports are highly variable.  A lot of it has to do with lakes having iced off 2-4 weeks earlier up here than most years.  There are a few lakes where the chironomid hatches are already done for the year, some where they are still going but the fish are out in 25-30 feet of water where usually they would be in 15-20, and some of the lakes that have prolonged hatches are still seeing good chironomid fishing.  To make it even more dynamic, some lake seem to be fishing well and right on schedule. 

Pacific Angler Friday Fishing Report: May 17, 2024
At this particular lake the fish are normally in 15-20 feet of water this time of year.  It took some searching, but we eventually found them in 30 feet.  A good sonar is critical to success. 

With the unsettled weather and some lakes fishing more like June then mid-May, we have had some skunk days, some decent days, and some good days, just adapting to the conditions the best we can.  As far as food sources, we have seen a wide variety, including glass worms, chironomids, blood worms, and quite a few mayflies.  

Pacific Angler Friday Fishing Report: May 17, 2024
As usual, come prepared because you never know what is on the menu

We will see what the rest of the trip has in store for us.  I am assuming it’s only going to get warmer from where we are this Friday morning with the snow!  Regardless, it’s always fun and the hours on the water eventually paying off with some nice ones like this. 

Pacific Angler Friday Fishing Report: May 17, 2024
My best fish of the trip thus far.  This one filled up the Moby Whale and weighed 12 pounds in the net, which puts this huge rainbow at just over 10 pounds and my personal best so far! 

See you in the shop or on the water,

Jason Tonelli


Vancouver Salmon and Bottom Fishing Report
The weather has been outstanding, and the fishing has been matching it. Our boats have been making their way across the strait over to the Gulf Islands where we’ve continued to have consistent bottom fishing with limits of lingcod and rockfish. On the salmon front, our local waters have been producing some solid numbers of chinook during our catch & release trips. We are doing DNA sampling so we can better understand the strains of chinook in our waters. With this data, we hope to see future openings where there are no stocks of concern present.

The warm weather brought some wind along with it, but the forecast is looking to be smoothing out for the foreseeable weeks ahead. Overall, its looking to be a fun May with plenty of fish to be found!

If you want to get out there for some bottom fishing, then help with some catch and release Chinook DNA sampling on the way home, give us a call at 778- 788 – 8582 to book your trip! 

Pacific Angler Friday Fishing Report: May 17, 2024

Some Bottom Fishing Tips from Our Guides

Bottom Fishing has remained productive for our first couple weeks crossing over to the Gulf Islands. Most success has come from jigging a variety of swim tails while back trolling. Our guides typically run a set-up consisting of a slide-o on the main line with an 8 – 12-ounce ball weight attached. From there, a bead is threaded onto the line then tied to a barrel swivel that different leaders can be tied or clipped to. For a leader, I would recommend at least 60lb mono as lingcod have some gnarly teeth that can damage anything lighter quickly. Make sure to check your leaders frequently for nicks and frays! 3-to-4-foot leaders usually suffice and ensure you’re still giving some decent action to the swim tail while you jig. For bottom fishing, I find one of the most important keys to success is HOW you jig. Sharp “jigs” upwards followed by a slow drop creates an enticing presentation for an aggressive and predatory fish like lingcod. Where mistakes are often made is while lowering the jig back down. Letting it free fall can entice a bite but now the issue is that you won’t notice until its often too late. A sharp “jig” upward followed by a controlled drop that keeps the line taut will clearly show when a fish has grabbed on; the line will go slack as if you’ve hit bottom. If you’re lowering and see it go slack, give it a solid set and you’re on! 

A nice lingcod from a trip earlier this week! 

We are also gearing up for the June coho fisheries. We are seeing early signs that this season could be shaping up to look like last year’s. If you we’re out there last summer, you’ll know that this is a fishery you will want to be prepared for. Light tackle, bucktails, and dummy flashers are all gear and techniques you can use to experience all the fun these fish can offer. Stay tuned in over the next couple weeks for tips and tricks for tackling this excellent fishery.

A quick note on prawning. As mentioned in the last report, we have sadly reached what is typically the end of our prawning season. The commercial prawning boats rolled out on the 15th which usually results in some disappointing trap pulls for us recreational prawners. We will now be switching gears to focus more on the plentiful dungeness crab crawling around the harbour. If you’re having trouble finding them, get experimental with your depths. If you’re dropping more than one set, try one out deeper away from the typical zones you’re used to. Having a set with 150 feet of rope can give you some more options out in the deep where there is typically less pressure. 

Good luck and tight lines!

Jake Comrie

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