The cold snap is finally over, local rivers such as Fraser , Harrison, Vedder and all tributaries are now on the rise. Heavy rains are expected for this weekend so it will be a wait and see for steelheaders wanting to fish the Vedder. The Fraser will be fishable again as will Harrison but the smaller rivers are the ones to watch.
Picture of Fraser River looking down from Mt Woodside in Harrison Mills,
Vedder River Steelhead – you can expect the Vedder to rise and color up for the weekend, you might find some clean water in the upper reaches but it will be a wait and see. You can expect some fresh fish to move in and those fish that are in the system to start moving as waters rise. It is anyone’s guess on what river conditions will look like so it will be a wait and see for this weekend.
Next week is supposed to be clear and nice so waters conditions should improve by early to middle of next week if it blows out. Last week we talked about fishing in low clear water, this week you will be dealing with a completely different challenge. Go big or go home is the new mind set, try fishing some 6 inch bubble gum works, large gooey bobs, big chunks of curred row or my favorite a big ass GibbsDelta Ironhead in harder colors such as black or purple.
Early Season Steelhead tactics
Early season steelheading can be some of the more rewarding fishing you will do all season, even if you don’t hook into fish. Not only are you out fishing, which is always a good thing, but you are also gathering information that will be helpful lateron in the season. Each year the rivers change, deep holes get filled in, main channels get turned into side channels, water flow rates change in various areas of the river, large tailouts get washed away, logs and debris get moved around the river channels. Last years hot spot can be totally wiped out so new water must be found. All these factors are critical to mid and late season success.
Steelheads are creatures of habit; they sense specific areas of the river and seem to know that they once lived there. They also seem to prefer the same types of holding water and travel lanes throughout the river. If you catch a steelhead behind a specific rock, the chances of catching another one behind the same rock at a later date is very good. Same goes with larger runs and tailouts. If you hook a fish 3 feet from shore in a particular tailout the chances of hooking more steelhead there are very good. This is when your early season tactics begin to pay off. Now its mid season, there’s plenty of fish in the river and because you covered most of the river in the early season, (keeping mental notes on where fish were being hooked), you can now fish the most productive water with the least amount of guess work in primetime.
Fraser River Sturgeon – The Fraser has not rally been fished for the past 2-3 weeks due to snow and ice so these fish are probably ready for some action. No pressure means aggressive takes. Try fishing salmon eggs and lamprey eel for best results, remember it is still winter and water temperatures are cold so be sure to fight your fish quickly and if you can, try not to take the fish to shore and just release at side of boat. The less time you spend handling these incredible fish, the quicker it will recover.
Harrison River – Harrison looks great right now, traditionally snow melt and heavy rains don’t affect the Harrison. You might get some color down the west side of the bank but middle flow and east bank should be fine. You can find Sturgeon , Cutthroat and Steelhead in the Harrison, this might be your best bet for the weekend if rains blow out the Vedder and Chehalis.
Vancouver Boat Show has begun, doors open at 10am. If you plan on attending this weekend, stop in a say hello to STS Guides Doug Elias and Vic Carrao, they will both be working the retail booths for Pure Fishing. Drop by Steveston Marine or Harbor Chandlers to say hello. Also the new TV Series “ REEL WEST COAST” will be at the show, drop by and say hello, it’s going to be a great hit.
STS Seminars are now selling, for 2017 we are offering both a sturgeon seminar and jet boat seminar, there are two dates offered for each seminar. Please call or e-mail us to book. sts or 604-671-3474
Jet Boat Seminar is a full day on the Fraser travling 240km from Mission to Hells Gate – Cost is $195.00 per person.
When – April 1 or April 2
Sturgeon Seminar is a 6 hour instructional seminar on the water fishing for sturgeon – Cost is $175.00 per person.
When – April 15 or April 16
Hope you have a great weekend on the water.