Saturday, January 31, 2009

Western Canadian Fly Fishing Exposition report

Made it home safely after the Western Canadian Fly Fishing Exposition and I have to say it is nice to have everything back to normal here in Whistler. The Calgary show was great though attendance seemed a little bit down from previous years. Even still the single hand and speycasting demos were well attended as were the various seminars taking place over the weekend. Here is a photo Pat snapped from my speycasting demo on Saturday morning trying to make the most out of the new improved larger casting pond that show organizers added this year.

The Whistler Flyfishing booth stayed busy throughout the weekend with Whistler Flyfishing Steelhead guides Pat Beahen and Scott Baker working hard to keep things in order. Local celebrity and Loop tackle pro staff member Maxwell Robinson spent the whole weekend in the booth showing off the new Loop gear and talking shop.Here is the Whistler Flyfishing booth crew.

Scott Baker somehow managed the win in the casting contest and attracted the attention of the local media for an impromptu photo shoot

All in all it was a great show and we all look forward to doing it again next year.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Flyfish Rio Gallegos and Jurrassic Lake

It sounds like fishing for Sea Trout on the Rio Gallegos is pretty spectacular this year. Here is a recent report from Buitreras camp manager,Klaus Frimore pictured above:

After 2 days this week 46 sea trout is landed, biggest 22lbs, and a lot of fish 10-15lbs, chrome bright! Last morning was slower with 4 only, but the evening was fantastic with 18 landed. Anders Holmberg just arrived late evening, trying 3 pools in a couple off hours and landed 2 nice fish. River is perfect condition, 12-14C, tea colored. Still a lot fo fish coming, I saw the biggest monster at "one-cast" pool yesterday evening!

(if it continues this week will land around 120-130 sea trouts in very good sizes)

Whistler Flyfishing still has some availability left for Sea Trout fishing on the Rio Gallegos as well as some add on days at the very special Jurrassic Lake, home Rainbow Trout big enough to carry passengers.Flyfish Argentina this season.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Here is the Western Canadian Fly Fishing Exposition day 1 report

Here is a quick report from the Western Canda Fly Fishing Exposition:

the first day of the show is now history. With great lighting and a nice wooden floor, the venue at Spruce Meadows is perfect for the show. Attendance was pretty good with a nice mix of old fiends and new faces. The Whistler Flyfishing booth stayed busy for most of the day. Many folks seemed to like our Whistler Flyfishing Logowear and it was nice to see such a huge interest in Loop speyrods as well as the new Amundson Wind Warrior chronomid sticks.As it turned out we were so busy that none of us bothered to take any photos. Actually that's not entirely true, Pat Beahen snapped the following two pictures. In the first one show organizer Chris Bird is showing me the new advertising program with Broken Tippet, a new flyfishing magazine. The next photo shows Scott Baker casting in the Wright and Mcgill flycasting contest. Scott qualified 4th in the contest while some other guy from Whistler fluked out and qualified first. Finals are on Sunday and Wright and Mcgill are donating a fly rod package worth $1000 to the contest winner.

April Vokey's Flies for Fins

Here is a message from fly gal April Vokey,stole this off my other fishing buddy Yos Galdstones' blog on Chromer

Listen up!!! This message is for you whether you live in Norway, Oregon or British Columbia.... Our steelhead are suffering and need your help!
I have started a fundraiser called Flies For Fins. I don't want your money, but I do need some of your time and tying materials.
I am working with Reaction Fly and Tackle, Pacific Angler, Michael and Young Fly Shop and Whistler FlyFishing to raise money for the Steelhead Society.
Each location will carry a cork board that is full of steelhead flies MADE BY YOU. These flies will be sold at the shops, where proceeds will be donated to the Steelhead Society. In the middle of each cork board will be a graph that is updated weekly to show how much money had been raised.
Mailing flies only takes a couple stamps (just make sure that they can be flattened in an envelope.)
This is for a great cause, please choose to take some of your time and flies out of your box for it.
I will have a Face Book page up in the next several days for Flies For Fins, however, we need flies RIGHT NOW.

Flies can be shipped to:
8505 Norman Cres.
Chilliwack, B.C.
V2P 5C6

Feel free to send one fly, or ten! Make them as fancy or as plain as you would like. Please include your name.

Envelope, stamp, fly. It's that simple.
Please do your part and help us make a difference!

Thank you so much,

Western Canadian Fly Fishing Exposition

Whistler Flyfishing will be in attendance at the Western Canadian Fly Fishing Exposition taking place this weekend January 23-25 at Spruce Meadows just outside of Calgary. I will be doing some speycasting demos and we will also have a small booth featuring Loop tackle products, Amundson packages,travel info and our popular logowear.Please stop by and say hi. Here are some photos from last years fly fishing show.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Sailfish on the Fly

Here is some video some friends shot on a December trip to a new Sailfish destination. Looks like fun, I want to go there one day.The Sailfish are teased up with plastic squid and then the anglers fly cast with large flies like poppers and baitfish imitations for the Sailfish which appear to really like, or dislike these flies. This is supposed to be pretty fun cause the whole thing takes place in sight right at the stern of the boat.I don't know cause I haven't done it yet but the guys seem to be having a good time from what I can tell on the videos.

Blue Intruder Steelhead Fly

The Intruder has become more of a style of Steelhead fly than a specific pattern.The original was tied by legendary Washington Steelhead guide Ed Ward. This variation of an Intruder is tied on a wadington shank with a small octopus style hook rigged in a loop of slickshooter. This set up enables one to change the hook so as to be always be fishing with a sharp hook. This flashy blue intruder is a great pattern for covering the water quickly as it's large profile and bright colouring are extremely visible. Black,purple,blue and white combine for a bug that looks great in the water. The fly in the photo was probably on my line for close to a week,just changed the hook out when a fresh sharp one was needed

SHANK - Partridge waddington 1.5"

LOOP - 35# slickshooter

THREAD - black

HOOK - octopus #2

TAIL - white arctic fox with a wrap of cobalt blue rhea and kingfisher blue ostrich herl finished with a turn of purple and black schlappen

BODY - pearl/purple Lagurtons flat braid

HACKLE - cobalt blue rhea wrapped over spun white polar bear

COLLAR - purple schlappen hackle wrapped with black schlappen

WING - kingfisher blue ocstrich herl with an underwing of pearl flashabou

HEAD - finish off with a nice set of machined eyes of your preference

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Lower Dean River Chinook Salmon Photo by Steve Perih Photography

Steve Perih is a professional fishing guide, photographer,finishing carpenter and all around good dude who is lucky enough to be living the dream in Terrace BC. Except of course for the summer months, when he can be found guiding fly anglers on BC's famous Dean River where he has worked for Lower Dean River Lodge for many years. Here is a photo Steve took of his wife Sonja and a nice Dean River Chinook Salmon caught on the spey. Steve has a great website with all sorts of cool fishing and leisure photos, many of them taken along the banks of BC's beautiful Dean River near Bella Coola.I am confident you will enjoy Steve's work, provided you like chrome bright summer run Steelhead.

Friday, January 16, 2009

South American Brown Trout

Here is an old photo taken sometime in the early or mid '90's on the Futaleufu river in Chile,check out the first generation pair of Simms breathables. I spent a season back in the day guiding on the beautiful Futaleufu River in the northern Patagonia region of Chile. It was a dream job as the Futa is paradise and I was working for legendary angler, writer and photographer Jim Repine. Jim has since sold his operation but at one time Jim and his wife Sonja operated one of the finest fishing lodges in all of Patagonia.

Jim is a huge fan of Hexagraph fly rods and had invited the owners of Hexagraph down to fish the Futa. Hexagraph fly rods are a unique concept in fly rod design, they look and feel like bamboo but are made of modern materials. Almost identical in action and construction to bamboo, Hexagraph rods are incredibly durable yet fairly lightweight.This is how I found myself drifting the Futuleufu one beautiful sunny spring day with Jim Repine and Hexagraph owner Harry Briscoe.

If my memory serves Harry was in the bow of the raft casting a rabbit strip sculpin pattern toward the bank. As I rowed the raft in to the lunch spot Harry hooked up with a heavy fish that immediatly ran for the far side of the river. Since we were close to shore I pulled the boat in to the lunch spot and let Harry get out and play the fish from shore. After securing the raft, I looked over to see that Hexagraph bent right down to the cork. As hard as Harry pulled he didn't seem to be able to gain any line on this mystery fish.The Futaleufu river has a small run of Chinook Salmon aka King Salmon which apparrantly originated from fish farming escapees.To see that flyline stretched across the river and that rod bent to the cork, Jim and I started to wonder if Harry had hooked into a Chinook.

The Futa is a wide clear river and in this section the river rocks were coated in a thick heavy moss. It started to become clear that the line had gotten stuck in the mossy rocks after that long initial run. Though we were doubtful that the fish was still on, Harry waded out managed to get the line off the rocks just as the big Brown Trout surfaced on the other side of the Futaleufu river. After that the fish came in pretty easy and we got this nice picture of Harry, myself and the mystery fish. Too bad I'm too busy checking out the beautiful Hexagraph rod to look at the camera. I had a good laugh last year when I noticed that the Drake magazine had a Hexagraph ad featuring Harry, myself and this very same Futaleufu Brown Trout.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Flyfishing Contest - Where is This Sign?

Ok I feel like giving something here's the deal I was going to guide on the Cheakamus river tomorrow but instead I gave the trip to another Whistler Flyfishing guide and now I'm gonna be in the fly shop all day. So the first person to call me tomorrow at 1-888-822-3474 (after 11am PST) and tell me where this picture was taken(within a km or so) will win the Whistler Flyfishing hat of their choice, shipped to their door, anywhere in North America.We have lots of stickers in stock now too so I'll sweeten the deal with some stickers as well. Give me a shout if you think you have the answer and want a pimpin new fishing hat, don't worry I won't try and sell you a new speyrod.......

Flyfish Argentina

I received this picture along with a very short email explaining in detail just how good the fishing is on the Rio Gallegos in Argentina right now. The pic is of a very happy client alongside Christer Sjoberg,Loop Tackle founder and all around good guy. It doesn't matter where he is in this world, Christer always seems to find time to email me photos like this just to remind me that he is out there 'workin it' while the rest of us are just plain working. Anyone that has been fortunate enough to spend time with Christer knows that he doesn't do anything half assed. As such when it's time to fish for sea run Brown Trout, commonly called Sea Trout, Christer can be found wading the banks of his beloved Buitreras beat on the Rio Gallegos. It would seem that recent catch and release regulations are already having a positive effect on the Gallegos, not that the fishing needed much more. According to Christer, and trust me he would know, the fish this year are large and plentiful. Hmmm....I think I'll try and get down there myself in March. Anyone care to join?

If I do make it down to Argentina this spring I will be sure to spend 3 or 4 days fishing Jurrassic Lake as well. For those that have never heard of it, Jurrassic Lake is probably the most productive Rainbow Trout fishery on the planet. Here is another shot of Christer doing a little field test of Loop products. All work and no play-yeah right. As for Christer you've got to give him credit, not only does he design great flyfishing equipment, he also knows how to look good putting the gear to good use earning style points with the new Loop shades and always popular Opti 3L Cheak jacket.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Catch Magazine

The January issue of Catch Magazine is now out. This is the third issue of the popular online fly fishing magazine started by fly fishingphotographers Todd Moen and Brian O'Keefe. Each issue of Catch maintains the high standard of photo and video content laid down in their groundbreaking premier edition this past September. When not travelling the world documenting their angling adventures or working on the magazine the guys from Catch somehow find time to update their blog. The January issue of Catch features New Zealand Trout fishing, Baha Roosterfish, Alaskan Trout, Texas Redfish, winter Trout fishing and a spotlight on the flyfishing photography of Ken Tsurusaki. Take 20 minutes and check out Catch, I am sure you will agree that the bar has truly been lifted.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Whistler Flyfishing Website Updates

Lots of improvements coming to Whistler Flyfishing website this week. Some more photo galleries as well as some great new travel destinations. Be sure to sign up for our email newsletter which will hopefully become more than an annual event. The January 2009 edition of the long awaited newsletter will be out very soon......really..... The newsletter has lots of great travel offers as well as fly tying info, news, special offers and a cool new contest called 'do you know this run?'

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Kispiox River Girls take on Mantracker

Last summer my friend Alana Wadley and her pal Kaleigh Allen were featured on OLN's popular Mantracker show.These two young women grew up in the rugged paradise that is Kispiox BC, learning the ways of the wilderness from parents that were involved in guide outfitting.Kaleigh is the younger sister of Jim Allen,well known BC Steelhead guide and owner of The Kispiox Fishing Company ( Alana's father is also a Steelhead guide and she has spent a good portion of her life working at northern BC fishing lodges. Currently Alana works at the luxurious Bear Claw Lodge where Kispiox River Fishing Companies' clients get to stay.

I have watched quite a few Mantracker episodes and think this is one of the most entertaining that I've seen. Fun to see two young bushwise girls give him the runaround.I have to admit I am a bit of an armchair quarterback when it comes to evading Mantracker. Honestly I'm pretty confident I could get away, but then again thats a pretty easy statement to make from the comfort of my living room.Here is part one of the Mantracker episode that was filmed just west of Smithers BC You can find the other 4 parts of the episode in the related videos section on youtube. If you keep a close eye you will even notice Alana sporting one of our custom Whistler Flyfishing New Era brand caps in the episode and the application video the girls submitted.

Here is the video the Kispiox girls submitted to OLN to get on Mantracker:

Friday, January 9, 2009

Fly Fish Calgary

Fishing discussion boards and flyfishing forums seem to be a dime a dozen these days but the creme always seems to rise to the top. Flyfish Calgary is a fine example of a discussion board that has evolved into both a valuable resource and intelligent social forum. Anything and everything you ever wanted to know about fishing in Alberta can be found here. Heck there is even an active spey forum with knowledgeable regulars Maxwell and Toolman keen on the scene to help out all the spey newbies. It is true that speyfishing has really taken off in Alberta and not just on the bow. These cats are crazy for the spey, some of them seem to have abandoned the single hander completely.Pour a cup of your favourite beverage and spend some time on Fly Fish Calgary to see for yourself, be sure to check out the photo section. These folks have some of the finest Trout fishing in the world on their doorstep, huge brown Trout and Rainbows that look more like small Steelhead.

Kids Today....

Here in Canada there is a sense that kids are not fishing as much as they used to, probably due to the various electronic entertainment distractions so popular with the youth of today. I remember being 12 years old and racing home after school to grab my fly rod and bmx bike and ripping down the dyke to the river mouth to chase sea run Cutthroat Trout.
The two youngsters in the photo, aged 10 and 11 are from Australia. They visit Whistler each year and do a couple of days of guided flyfishing. It is neat to see their skills improve with each visit. They are becoming anglers of the highest regard. They both tie their own flies, cast great(even double hauling), understand proper angling ettiquite and most importantly have respect for the fish. They are pictured here with a beauty Bull Trout that the oldest one caught this past January in the Cheakamus River near Whistler. A nice fish no doubt, but what makes it really special is when they caught it. On this particular trip the older folks, including their hard core fishing uncle had decided to pack it in after lunch. Fair enough, it was one of those days where the snow is so wet that you get soaked and then frozen by the cold wind. The boys had looked forward to this trip so there was no stopping them. When the old folks went back to the hotel hot tub the kids fished on. Not long after the parents departure young Harrison latched onto this beauty, the look on the boys' faces says it all!

Annual Whistler Guides BBQ and Party

The annual Whistler guides bbq and party has become a summertime tradition. Ever year near the end of the summer all of the guides from the various guiding companies in Whistler get together and swap stories, eat some good food and swill a few beers. Ok not everyone is into swilling beers but it has been known to happen under certain circumstances. This is also the night that we give out the Whistler guide awards and eat the traditional chocolate flavoured guide cake. The guide awards are the highlight,never to be taken too seriously the awards tend to fit the personality of the guides they are awarded to.Sorry Pat I had to include the picture of you wearing the 'princess guide award', rightly deserved by keeping your clients in the best water all the time. Nothing like a fun summer evening hanging out with great friends and having a good laugh at your own expense and hey Tassila's chocolate cake is pretty tasty.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Simms Fishing Products 2009 Catalogue

Simms 2009

Check out the new Simms Catalog featuring some great new products such as well as many of the classic Simms products we all know and love.

and all the imagery in the catalog came from two photo shoots that they ran at Alaska West and Andros South. Great photos of guides
Garrett Sullivan, Rick Sisler, Matt Hynes, Cameron Miller, Mitch Harris, Ed Ward, and other members of the Deneki team using and abusing Simms gear.

Please contact Whistler Flyfishing at 1-888-822-3474 to purchase your new Simms gear or check out the Whistler Flyfishing online store

Whistler Flyfishing on facebook

Check out the Whistler Flyfishing group on facebook, a group for those that fish in Whistler or visit Whistler and fish or shop at Whistler Flyfishing or know people who work or shop there or basically anyone who likes flyfishing or fish or people that fish or flies............

Pink Intruder Tube Fly

Tied for the Squamish river, this fly is a slight variation of Ed Ward's popular Intruder pattern. The Intruder has become more of a style of Steelhead fly than a specific pattern. This variation of an Intruder is tied on an aluminum tube. The advantages of fishing this fly on a tube include the use of a smaller short shank hook which is not only safer for fish but also seems to slightly increase one's landing ratio. The tube set up enables one to change the hook and thus the fly can always be fished with a sharp hook. This is a great pattern for covering the water quickly as it's large profile and flashy colouring are extremely visible. Expect crushing takes, this is a Steelhead magnet. You will notice that this fly seems to fish best after it has had some use. The ostrich, rhea and arctic fox thin out with a little bit of use.

TUBE - HMH 1.5" aluminum

HOOK - Partridge nordic single size #4

TAIL - shrimp pink arctic fox

BODY - pearl Lagurtons flat braid

HACKLE - hot pink rhea wrapped over spun white polar bear

COLLAR - shrimp pink saddle hackle wrapped with hot pink shlappen

WING - white ocstrich herl with an underwing of pearl flashabou

HEAD - finish off with a nice set of machined eyes of your preference

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

New Loop Whistler Line and opti 8124

In the last year the Loop Opti 8124 has become my favourite Steelhead stick. I have this rod matched up with Loop's new Whistler spey line and Classic 7/9 reel loaded with 40#LTS running line.

The Opti is a gun, super light with a tonne of power. A nice smooth progressive flex with a tip that is medium in flex but incredibly quick recovering, making for a fast rod that doesn't feel like a broom handle. The overall reduced weight and diameter of the Whistler line combined with the fast precise tip of the opti make for a set up that throws razer lazers and fishes great too.

The Whistler spey line is a completely new concept in spey line design.In fact when the line production engineer first received the design this was his comment,

"this new line design is as crazy as a Norwegian in Bull season"

The Whistler casts best with modern fast action rods which is really no surprise as these lines were designed to match up perfectly with the Loop Opti two hand rods. The unique taper of the Whistler line positions the weight in the portion of the D loop where it will have the most effect on loading the rod and generating line speed. The Whistler line perfectly suits our modern northwest speycasting technique. The smooth continuous motion of the rod tip rising into the forward stroke drives the heaviest portion of the head through the apex of the D loop generating line speed. As the heaviest and thickest portion of the line is at the front it is a very efficient use of weight making for a light line that loads the rod like a much heavier line. The Whistler flies fast and true,the aggressive front taper turning over sink tips and large flies with authority.

The first real test of the Whistler line was my trip last summer to Alaska West Lodge fishing for King(Chinook)Salmon. Alaska West operates a tent camp on the lower reaches of the Kanektok river where lucky anglers get to swing flies for chromers fresh in from the Bering Sea. Check out the Deneki blog for more information on Alaska West and other great Deneki destinations.

After great results in Alaska the Whistler lines were put through their paces fishing for wild Steelhead on the Skeena river system in northern British Columbia and then on ocean bright Coho and Chum Salmon back home in Whistler.Along the way the Whistler line was put in the hands of wide cross section of anglers ranging from spey newbies to seasoned guides. The most common comment from the testers was the distincive slow slinky drift the Whistler line gives.

The line has a 12 foot progressive intermediate section at the front to which sink tips are attached meaning that a good portion of the overall head is below the waters surface where the current is slower. This allows for the most direct connection to the fly resulting in unbelievable feel throughout the swing. Rather than the thick floating portion of the line towing around the sink tip, you feel the fly and sink tip in the most straight line connection to the fly and fish. The reduced drag of the thin line combined with the intermediate sinking portion enable the slowest possible swing with a level of control never before experienced. The rear floating portion of the Whistler blending smoothly into the intermediate section behind the faster sinking tip allows the angler to fish deep when out on the seam and yet swing the fly smoothly into a foot of water.

Winter Sea-run Cutthroat Fly Fishing

The Sea-To-Sky corridor (Squamish, Whistler and Pemberton) is home to some of the best winter sea-run Cutthroat fishing anywere. Sometimes called Harvest trout or Coastal Cutthroat, these ocean-bright but often colorful fish move into the Squamish and Lillooet rivers, along with numerous other creeks, in late fall to overwinter and feed on eggs, flesh and eventually Salmon fry.
Between the months of December and Febuary, the tributaries of the Squamish, upper Squamish and especially small creeks flowing into Howe Sound become the home of these scrappy fish, overwintering and feeding on almost anything resembling eggs and smaller fish.
In Febuary, March and April, the Lillooet system becomes the best place to fish them, using Salmon fry imitations and smaller streamer patterns. They are easy to locate, often using available wood cover to hide near in rivers. In lakes and rivers both, the fish can sometimes be feeding only a few feet from shore. In lakes near creek mouths, they often create quite a disturbance on the surface, gorging on salmon fry. Casting and stripping a Rolled Muddler to boiling fish can be one of the most exciting ways to fish them, especially as they form a wake behind your moving fly and smash it at your feet.
A 4-5 weight rod is usually sufficiant in most streams, but sometimes a 6wt is needed to punch out the line through wind to those fish feeding offshore, especially in lakes. Boats can be used, but often fishing from shore is quite effective. Floating lines are standard but intermediate and type 3 tips are sometimes used.
If your thinking of Fishing in the winter, try the elusive Sea-run Cutthroat.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Steelhead Fly Fishing

Here is a video that my good bud Yos Gladstone made of our crew fishing Steelhead in October and November 2007.This was Yos's first attempt at movie making and he shot the entire vid on his point and shoot camera.

Yos has been a guide at Whistler Flyfishing almost since the beginning and has his own destination travel booking company called Chromer Sportfishing. You can check out his blog at


Monday, January 5, 2009

Winter Steelhead

In search of Squamish

Is it really possible to find enlightenment standing knee deep in a glacier fed river on a very rainy and cold winter day?
Steelhead are often referred to as the fish of a thousand casts as such it is easy to let ones mind wander while in pursuit of Oncorhynchus Mykiss. Today I ponder the universe from underneath a raised hood as wind and heavy rain do their best to encourage me indoors.
The rivers of sea to sky country are home to some of the strongest winter Steelhead in the world. These wild fish provide the serious fly angler a chance at the ultimate freshwater gamefish between the months of January and April. For those afflicted with this sickness braving the elements at this time of year is a ritualistic part of the Steelhead experience.
The rain subsides, the constant patter of water replaced by a heavy silence broken only by the squawk of an eagle hanging out in the old growth forest. After hours of casting in the heavy rain this brief respite is welcome and I drop the hood and take in my surroundings. Looking up at the Coast Mountains it is clearly still snowing heavily in the alpine. In time the clouds lift slightly and I am treated to a brief view of the prominent snowline a couple thousand feet above me.
Late winter storms have been pounding the coast, their heavy precipitation finally causing the river to swell. This is what the believers, myself and other Steelhead afflicted bums have been waiting for. A rising river brings in fresh fish from the ocean, the increased flow triggering a primal instinct that it is time to move upriver. Steelheading is really about being positioned well-being in the right place at the right time as the fish migrate by. Tucking the rod under my arm I rub my hands together to ease frozen fingers, I can't help but feel lucky today.
It is said that the allure of Steelheading has everything to do with the take, the way these fresh fish aggressively chomp the fly. Hours of casting and contemplation interrupted by the solid grab of a bright fish fresh from the salt, the tug is the drug.
I make cast after cast, each time moving slightly downstream. This is the mantra of the Steelhead angler "cast, step, cast, step" all the while believing. I fall into a rhythm, casting is smooth and fluid, the perfectly balanced spey rod effortlessly tossing the large pink tube fly across the river. Each time I am careful to mend the line slightly to slow the fly as it swings to shore.
Suddenly the fly stops mid swing and there is the recognizable head shake of a heavy fish. "There you are", I say out loud as the fish takes off for the far side of the river. The reel screams in earnest and my fly line peels out toward the tail out of the pool. There is an eruption of water spray and ten pounds of electric chrome clears the water and streaks back upstream coming to rest in the riffle across from me. I pull from the side to get the fish in as quickly as possible. A couple more runs and one spectacular jump and the Steelhead slides into a foot of slow water below me. I reach down and tail the fish with my bare wet hand taking care to keep it submerged in the water. The barbless hook slides easily out of the corner of the fish's mouth and I gently release her receiving a splash of cold water as her strong tail kicks as she darts away. As I wipe the cold water from the side of my face I reflect on how fortunate we are to have these magnificent fish and the wild rivers they depend on.
All Steelhead in the Squamish are wild fish and as such are protected with catch and release regulations.Anglers fishing the Squamish and it's main trib the Cheakamus need to have a Steelhead Stamp and fresh water license to target these fish. As well a single barbless hook restriction and bait ban are in place. In addition to the Steelhead fly anglers can expect to catch Rainbow, Cutthroat and Bull trout(Char) in these rivers. Like the Steelhead, all Trout and Char in the Squamish and it's tributaries are catch and release.