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Vancouver BC Fishing Report

By Rodney Hsu, Fishing with Rod | Last updated: January 10th, 2017

Check out our first episode of the year! "Ice Fishing at Edith Lake" takes a look at this great winter fishing opportunity that has become quite popular in BC. It's a 22 minute video feature, I hope you enjoy it!

Air temperature remains on the low side and the snow is not helping either, but milder, wetter weather is expected in a week from now. For once, I think many of us are actually looking forward to rain! Local rivers such as the Chilliwack/Vedder River are pretty low due to the lack of rain and freezing condition. Some winter steelhead are being caught but overall fishing is on the slow side.

Upcoming Events and Promotional News

Here are some of the latest news and upcoming events in the Lower Mainland and Fraser Valley!

Capilano River

Above is our last video tutorial, featuring Gill Steele from Highwater Tackle in North Vancouver talking about the Capilano River salmon fishery and the basic setups which you need for it.

Capilano River is low, clear and quiet during this time of the year. The winter steelhead fishery is poor for this system in recent years. ALL steelhead (both hatchery and wild fish) have to be released with care.

Stave River

Stave River is very quiet during this time of the year, so if you want some solitude, this is the place to be. While the river lacks winter steelhead usually until February or March, you can target cutthroat trout and mountain whitefish in the meantime. Single eggs under a float usually work very well for both species.

Squamish River

Squamish River offers fishing opportunities for bull trout, as well as rainbow trout during this time of the year. It is however, very cold especially in the upper section of the river. A trout bead under the float or indicator should still work as this system typically has coho and chum salmon spawning right into January. Once these trout and char stop feeding on eggs, switching to lures or large flies such as a sculpin pattern can be very effective. This is a total catch and release fishery, and a bait ban is in effect year round.

Chilliwack River

Boxing Day Vedder River Steelhead Fishing Derby

Chilliwack River is low and clear due to the freezing weather. Winter steelhead fishing has been pretty good for those who have been able to get out. We have been seeing fish in the 10 to 13lb range being hooked. Please remember that all wild/unmarked fish have to be released. Once you keep a hatchery marked fish, you must stop fishing completely and mark your fish on your fishing licence. The lower river is very windy right now due to the Arctic outflow, but most of the fish have been caught in this section. Upper section around Tamahi has also been good. Boxing Day Steelhead Derby saw 14 fish weighed in. Congratulations to our friend Rod Toth for winning this derby!

Wally Hall Junior Memorial Fishing Derby is happening right now until March 15th. Tickets are $20 each and can be bought at Fred's Custom Tackle. All proceeds are donated to habitat restoration projects on the Chilliwack/Vedder River. Currently, the largest fish weighed in is 15.103lb by Scott Kindered! More information...

For hands-on information, be sure to visit Fred's Custom Tackle where you can also pick up a map of the Chilliwack/Vedder River. Fred has reopened a NEW Chilliwack location at 45150 Luckakuck Way. Fred is having a fall sales event from November 15th to December 1st.

Tidal Fraser River

Tidal Fraser River is very quiet during this time of the year. Salmon fishing is over. You can catch the odd winter bull trout by casting and retrieving a spoon or spinner. Outgoing tide just after peak is usually best. Water clarity should improve as this cold weather means less discharge is feeding into the system from various tributaries.

Herring fishing in Steveston has been very good as expected for this time of the year.

Please note that in spring 2016, Fisheries and Oceans Canada has issued a night time fishing closure for all finfish species in the Tidal Fraser River. To fish the Tidal Fraser River (downstream from the railway bridge in Mission), you are required to have a valid saltwater fishing licence.

If you would like more information on fishing in the Tidal Fraser River, please stop by Berry's Bait and Tackle in Richmond. Mike, Len and Michele have a team of knowledgable staffs who regularly fish this area and they can help you out.

Non-tidal Fraser River

White sturgeon

Non-tidal Fraser River is quiet during this time of the year. Water clarity has been excellent. You can target cutthroat trout but they are highly mobile so difficult to find. Concentrate your effort at the mouth of sloughs and small creeks. Sturgeon fishing is doable, but most anglers stop fishing for sturgeon in the winter months.

Check out the above video which features GoFishBC's Jessica Yarwood talking about proper sturgeon catch and release. This fishery currently has a guideline which requires anglers to handle these fish with care.

Lower Mainland Lakes

Winter trout fishing in the Lower Mainland

Trout fishing is slow right now due to the cold weather. Even some urban lakes such as Rice Lake are frozen right now. Although there isn't a winter fishing closure, you are not recommended to be on the ice for safety reasons. Once the weather warms up a bit, you can expect the fishing to pick up. Hicks Lake can be very good during this time of the year if you can brave the cold. Most of the fish are going to be in 20 to 40 feet of water, so a boat is necessary for you to anchor on top of where you are fishing.

These articles may assist you:

Please remember that for lake fishing, if you are fishing from shore, you are only allowed to use ONE rod. If you are fishing alone in a boat, then you are permited to use two rods. Only one hook is allowed on your rod. Please note that single barbless hooks are required to be used at some lakes. You should note the daily quota of trout for the lake where you are fishing. Catch and release is required in some lakes, please check regulations.

Before heading out, please read the freshwater regulations in Region 2 first. For more regular updates, make sure you follow our Facebook page. If you witness violations, please contact the nearest conservation office or phone 1-877-952-RAPP (7277). Conservation officers can not attend all calls, but they do their best to catch those who do not choose to play by the rules.

Good luck and please conserve your catches!

Rodney Hsu
Webmaster, Fishing with Rod Production