You are currently browsing the monthly archive for January 2008.

Boat show tickets give-away

Vancouver International Boat Show is back at BC Place and False Creek Yacht Club on February 6th to 10th, 2008. We have at least five pairs of show tickets to give away to our subscribers. If you are a subscriber and are interested in the tickets, please send an email to info@fishingwithrod.com with the phrase “Vancouver Boat Show tickets” in the subject field. Ticket winners will be notified by email on January 30th, 2008.

STS Guiding Service’s winter seminars

This year STS Guiding Service is offering 3 scheduled seminars; these seminars are our most popular seminars that sell out year after year.

Our first seminar is the Jet Boat Clinic, we are offering two dates: March 22nd & 23rd. More information…

Our second seminar is the Sturgeon workshop, come learn from the pros how to catch sturgeon on a consistent basis. There are 2 classes to choose from: April 5th & 12th. More information…

Our 3rd and final seminar is our popular fly-casting lessons; this is a 3-day seminar with two dates to choose from. More information…

Vedder winter steelhead seminars

STS Guide Gerry Dewar has been doing well and reports his 14th fish this season, a 11 lb buck that was dinner last night. Gerry says the crowds on the weekend were pretty bad but that has cleared up a bit.

We are not offering our 3-day steelhead seminar this winter but instead we are offering a 1-day steelhead seminar with Gerry. The cost this 1-day on the river seminar with one of the Vedder’s top steelhead anglers is $250 for 1 person or $375 for 2 anglers.

To sign up for any of the above seminars, please contact Vic Carrao.

Pacific Angler Spey Course with Dana Sturn

Pacific Angler is pleased to announce its 3rd Pacific Angler Spey Course with FFF certified instructor Dana Sturn accompanied by Jason Tonelli. This two-part course is designed with the beginner to intermediate spey caster in mind.

The first part of the course is from 7:00pm – 9:30pm at Pacific Angler. During this time we will discuss the different rods, reels, and lines available today, proper gear set up, and different casting strokes. This will be followed by a question and answer period.

The second part of the course is on the water casting instruction for 8 hours. We will travel by jet boat to a location where we will practice river left and river right casts. All the major casting styles will be covered. You will learn Spey casts that will allow you to go out and fish with two-handed rods.

More information…

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Yesterday Chilliwack Progress published an article regarding the gravel extraction that is currently taking place on the Fraser River. With the snow pack being below seasonal norm, one must wonder what the true objective of this operation is, not that gravel removal would have made a difference if there was a threat of flooding. What is more troubling is the fact that this permit, approved by Fisheries and Oceans Canada, actually allows harmful alteration of fish habitat and fish kill, which completely contradicts the agency’s mandate.

Read the rest of this entry »

Here is the second video clip that we have finished editing for STS Guiding Service. This video was filmed by my friend Svend, while I hauled in a smaller sturgeon of the day. Even though it was a foot shorter than the other fish that we connected that day, it was still quite stubborn and stayed down for a fair amount of time. If you are interested in the Fraser River Canyon whitewater jetboating and sturgeon fishing trip, then please email Vic Carrao. I highly recommend it! I will be adding this video to our video section in a day or two. YouTube has a tendency to compress our uploaded video so the quality offered in our video section is much better.

Our trip story…

Well, it took several weeks of learning but either the Baltic sea trout are feeling sorry for me or I am starting to get a hang of it. Today I took advantage of the unusually warm weather once again and spent two hours at the harbour. Ten minutes before I had to end my trip, I felt that tug once again! This was not a silver fish like the one I caught two days ago, but a coloured fish that is still recovering from the late fall spawning. It was a rather large fish. What’s more interesting is how extended the lower jaw is compared to the top jaw. The lower jaw hook also seems worn out or broken. Judging by its size, Stig believes this was the same fish that he caught last week. He also believes that the lower hook in fact broke off because the fish he caught had a lower jaw that is so hooked that it was touching the nostrils. My thanks to Magic for taking the following photographs for me.

Last night we cooked up two pieces of the silver sea trout from Saturday. The taste was slightly different to pacific salmon, but it was very delicious. I seasoned the fillets with salt, pepper and lemon. They are baked at 200C with onion and butter for 20 minutes. These were served with pan fried potato and carrots.

2nd annual Trophy Hunter Steelhead Derby

The Trophy Hunter Steelhead Derby took place on the Chilliwack River yesterday (January 20th). 70 anglers participated, 6 hatchery steelhead were weighed in, and more importantly $1,400 was raised for the Sportfishing Defence Alliance. The weight of the winning fish was 13lb 5oz. Congratulations to Rick for organizing the event and everyone else who supported it.

Yesterday while fishing briefly down at the local harbour just before dusk, we saw at least 15 risers in front of us with no takers. Frustrated, I was lured back to the water once again this afternoon. The overnight wind storm has changed the water condition completely. Wind has brought a large volume of water into the narrow channel between the two islands around Copenhagen, causing a sudden surge of strong current. Water visibility was also reduced to about two feet, making fishing even more challenging than what it already has been. The tidal difference in the Baltic Sea is only around 0.5m. Amazingly, current in fjords and narrows are primarily caused by the wind.

As I walked from the bus stop to the harbour, Stig raced by me on his bicycle, he was quite energetic as usual. My fishing companions Lars and Alan were also there. This is a typical hangout for many anglers, who enjoy either doing a bit of fishing, practicing casting after work or simply socializing with friends. Having a viable fishery in this urbanized region benefits the community tremendously. Young anglers can access it with their bikes after school and improve their skills and knowledge on fishing under adult anglers guidance. The facility is set up so older anglers can access it without jeopardizing their own safety. Fish species commonly caught include sea trout, garfish, mackerel, cod and herring. Such productivity did not exist once when the harbour was void of life due to pollution, but cleanups done in recent years have finally drawn both fish and anglers back.

The work of course does not end here. While conversing with the locals the other day, Stig and Ryan informed me that the group has proposed to the City for a permanent floating dock and club house where it can be used as both a fishing platform and a casting pool by everyone. Urban projects such as this are truly inspiring, which make me wonder if the same can be done in the Tidal Fraser River where public access for fishing is becoming more limited due to the surge of development in Metro Vancouver.

Seeing how milky the water was, I decided to make some casts anyway. I made my way to the other side of the channel where Stig has had success last week, so I could cast into this pocket of slower water. Perhaps, just perhaps, a large sea trout would be avoiding the fast main channel and resting here. I detected a light bump on the first retrieve but came up empty when I set the hook. It was possibly a patch of seaweed. The rest of the guys continue socializing back at the usual spot on the other side of the channel. I spent the next twenty minutes or so casting and retrieving with some optimism.

Finally I felt another light tug. I yanked the rod back reluctantly, thinking that it was yet another clump of weed. It was definitely not a clump of weed, because the weight on the other end had sped away into the current! My brain immediately turned off from sleep to fighting mode. I pointed the rod back to keep it from entering the fast flow. The 9ft long light spinning rod was bent to the cork, indicating that it was a rather large fish. Thinking that it was yet another coloured sea trout that we have been catching, I was in shock when this massive silver body made its first of three leaps in front of me. By this point, the hands were already shaking from both the cold and excitement. I began screaming as loud as possible at the gang across from me, hoping someone would come over to lend a hand. Of course, being such a light talker, no one heard a word. Finally one person spotted the second leap, Ryan and Alan started running over. Stig was also on his way from the other side of the bridge after hearing the commotion. I held on carefully and kept the line tight as the fish surfaced and approached shoreline. Once Stig arrived, he proceeded to reach down to the rocks and found a good landing spot. With one firm grab, my first solid silver sea trout was beached. At last, after hours of trips across Denmark and Sweden, I managed to catch what I have been seeking for just ten minutes bus ride from our apartment.

The boys wanted me to keep my fine catch. There are many large spawning trout to produce the next generation after all, so the odd harvest is well appreciated. At first I was not so sure, because hauling this beast during the bus ride on the way home would not make me so popular. I was then convinced when Alan was kind enough to offer me a car ride back. The cameras came out to capture the moment. Ryan informed me that they only connect with a fish in this size several times each year. We estimated it to be between 8 and 10lb.

This fish exhibited all the classic physical features found on a sea trout – The longer lower jaw, the extended jaw to the back of its eyes, the square tail and of course black spots on its gill plates and silvery body.

While cleaning the fish, I opened up its stomach and found three partially digested sculpins in the four inch range, two sticklebacks, two shrimps and two sandworms that were still wiggling. Sea trout are such greedy predators, it’s no wonder that the hook is often swallowed when they are caught.

The big silver finally showed itself with only one more week of my stay left in Denmark. Persistence, or obsession, has once again been rewarded. Maybe there will be one more for me next week? I better not ask for more…

No more crabby nights

Fisheries and Oceans Canada has issued a night closure for crabbing in Area 28 (Burrard Inlet, Port Moody Arm and Indian Arm). Crab poaching has always been a problem in the saltwaters around Vancouver due to the popularity of this fishery. There are three common violations:

  • Keeping undersized crabs
  • Taking more crabs than you are allowed
  • Keeping female crabs

By having night closures, it should make enforcement much easier since traps and fishermen are harder to spot in the dark. When you witness a violation, you should always call the ORR (observe, record, report) line at 1-800-465-4336. Remember, poaching is stealing from you because the resource belongs to every person in Canada.

A short bus ride to hungry trout

The weather was quite reasonable today in Copenhagen. Surprisingly, it has not gone sub-zero for many days as I had anticipated, which is a relief. Today’s wind was light with occasional sun peeks so I decided to take a ride down to the local harbour and make a few casts. Busses and trains are incredibly convenient in Copenhagen. People are forced to rely on them since cars are expensive (180% sale tax). The bus beside our apartment goes by once every ten minutes. Once I get on, I would be at the harbour in less than ten minutes, so it is in fact faster than driving as you have to consider the amount of time used to seek for a parking spot.

The locals have been taunting me with some emails about fish that were caught in the harbour last week. One of the regular hardcores, Stig, was into some of his biggest sea trout in his lifetime. The biggest one landed, was measured at 88cm long. That’s 35 inches! The estimated weight for this fish is 24lb.

Armed with some heavy flashy lures that I had just purchased, I too was hoping to connect with beasts similar in size. Stig was already hunting for more fish when I arrived. Ryan arrived soon after to practice his spey casts. It wasn’t long before Stig whistled from a fair distance away. We looked up. He waved his hand frantically while walking backward with a rather bent rod. A good size male sea trout he had on. Most of these fish are now starting to transform back to their ocean phase, losing the spawning colours.

I was able to hook one fish around the same size later on, but landing it was not to be today. The hook popped off near shore just as Ryan pulled out the camera for some action shots. Perhaps tomorrow, the weather looks fairly tolerable once again. Big hungry trout are only a short bus trip away, not many places can offer that.

With the steelhead season in full swing, your chance of having the winning catch is rather big this weekend. This Sunday, January 20th, will be the second annual Fundraising Steelhead Derby in Chilliwack. The money raised will be donated to the Sportfishing Defence Alliance, which actively ensures that your sportfishing opportunities are preserved on the political field.

If you plan to attend and have not done so, please email organizer Rick Lewis. There will be a post-derby BBQ at 1:30pm, where awards and prizes will be presented. Frank Kwak from the Sportfishing Defence Alliance will also be on site to receive the donation raised. The BBQ is a potluck, so please check with Rick what food or drink items he still needs. There is an ongoing discussion about this derby in our discussion forum too if interested.

Event name: 2nd Annual Fundraising Steelhead Derby
Date: Sunday, January 20th, 2008
Derby cost: $25.00 (includes one draw prize ticket and Derby baseball hat)
Additional draw ticket cost: $5.00
Sign-up time and location: 6:00am – 7:00am at Reaction Fly and Tackle
Weigh-in, prizes, BBQ time and location: 1:30pm at Cedar Run (approximately 5 minute drive from the Tamahi Bridge)

Here is the prize list:

  • One Fenwick Canadian Methods centerpin rod with one Okuma Aventa VT 1000 centerpin reel 
  • One pair of Grizzly Creek neoprene waders (with boot attachment)
  • Two Fishing with Rod annual subscriptions
  • Two assorted river fishing terminal tackle packages
  • Two assorted spinner packages
  • One Daiwa spinning rod and reel combo
  • Five packages of spinners (8 in each pack –  2 red, 2 gold, 2 blue and 2 green)
  • Three sets of DNE balsa floats and float stoppers.
  • Stealth Fishing floats
  • Nine copies of “Knotty Girls – A fisherman’s guide to tying knots”
  • Pioneer Dryking 3 in 1 fishing vest/jacket
  • One high end centerpin blank and rod building labour cost of the blank
  • Six $25.00 service gift certificates to Express Reel Service (reel service,wader repair,felt sole replacement)
  • T-shirts

This event is always generously supported by local businesses:

Good luck on Sunday! Here are some photographs from last year’s derby.

Broodstock collection begins

The Chilliwack River steelhead broodstock collection program will be starting today. With some good catches being reported lately, a few volunteer anglers should be able to bring some fish to the hatchery today, as long as the river holds. This broodstock collection involves a large number of angling hours. Volunteers are chosen based on their years of experience, which translates into catch success. 70 wild steelhead need to be collected between now and April to keep the hatchery program going. You can read more about this by going to this article.

Flood control or profit making?

On a less positive note, gravel extraction in the Fraser River is also scheduled to begin this week. The official intent of this operation is to minimize flood threat, which many anglers, river stewards, hydrologists, biologists do not buy into. The public seems to have been made to believe that gravel is building up in the Lower Fraser River, where in fact the gravel is shifting downstream as it has for millions of years. Gravel bars maybe building up at new locations, but people seem to forget that the gravel bars existing in previous years are either shrinking or have disappeared. If flood is truly a great concern, why isn’t there an intense focus on protecting headwaters and forests further upstream where water should be absorbed to keep the discharge steady? I guess the most visible, profitable solution is always the best solution.

Gravel is a key component to most freshwater fish’s spawning habitat. Take it away, we shall see less salmon and sturgeon in the river. Poor gravel extraction practice could also lead to ecological disasters such as a massive fish kill. Most of the juvenile salmon are just starting to hatch from their eggs in the gravel right now. Any change in their environment could easily jeopardize their survival. In February 2006, a similar operation, monitored by Fisheries and Oceans Canada, did just that. Millions of eggs and alevins were killed due to dewatering of a section of the Fraser River.

You want to catch salmon in the future? Be proactive now and stop what is taking place. Thankfully, there are dedicated individuals who are pressing on to fight against these operations. Chris Gadsden and his colleagues from the Fraser Valley Salmon Society and the Sportfishing Defence Alliance will be once again monitoring these operations as they take place. They will document by photographs and videos. If you wish to join him to lessen the work load, please email him at gadsden@shaw.ca. There are also other ways you can help. By joining the Fraser Valley Salmon Society, you can voice your opposition more strongly. Letters to your local MLAs and MPs should also be written. You can follow this year’s gravel extraction progress on this page.

Classes in session!

The fishing is generally slower in Southern British Columbia between January and April. Many tacklestores usually use this period as an opportunity to offer classes to both entry-level and experienced anglers who wish to improve. In the next two months, there are many flyfishing related classes that you can attend. These classes will help you in the upcoming stillwater trout season in May and June. To find out more, please go to this page.

Berry’s Bait and Tackle is hosting two steelhead fishing clinics in February. These clinics are taught by one of the best instructors you can ask for, Peter MacPherson. Peter is a Chilliwack local who has decades of steelhead fishing experience on the Chilliwack River. If you are interested in attending, please go to this page.

It was untypical because there was a fish involved! Nina and I took advantage of the unusually warm weather and went back to one of Lars’ favorite spots today. It took us awhile to find it actually. We darted in and out of these small sleepy Danish towns and farms, until I eventually recognized the road where we were supposed to be on.

The sweetness was short lived. The fish grabbed the lure during the first ten minutes of this outing. I thought perhaps we were about to have a sensational day since these fish tend to travel in a school. That was not the case. We spent the next three hours doing the usual casting practice and sightseeing.

This fish followed the lure until it was just several feet away from my rod tip. As I was lifting the lure up, it decided to went for a greedy bite, causing a big swirl on the surface as my rod was pulled down. This also happened last weekend, making me think that I must have been missing quite a few fish by not paying attention when the lure made its way into the shallows.

The fight was brief but rather intense for a little fish. This was my first silver Danish sea trout from the beach, finally after around 30 hours of fishing since early December.

I had intended to release this fish at first, because we usually don’t keep fish over here to save the hassle of cleaning in a small apartment. Unfortunately a closer examination just after the first photo showed that the fish had taken the lure quite deeply, and blood was gushing out in great amount. I quickly took a measurement. It was just over 40cm, which is the legal size limit for sea trout in Denmark, so I decided to dispatch it.

Not only we were able to enjoy a fine meal out of it. I got some good ID photos because this fish exhibited these large dark spots that a silver sea trout typically has across its entire body. I guess now I have to wait 30 more fishing hours for sea trout number two?

I recently finished this video clip for STS Guiding Service. This is a rather large white sturgeon caught by my friend Magda from Denmark. It was from a trip to the Fraser Canyon that we took with Vic Carrao back in September 2007. This was in fact Magda’s first fish on a fishing rod! You can read more about this trip by going to this report. Sometimes this month, we’ll be putting up the full length video of the second part of this trip in our subscribers section. Please stay tuned!