Sport fishing column for March 14 to 21, 2011

Every now and then I am questioned about my belief, that water temperature is one of the key factors in fish feeding activity. Most well seasoned anglers agree that each species of fish has an optimum temperature where they are most active. In my opinion knowing this is not enough; you need to know why.

Water temperature regulates everything in a fish's life: hatching, feeding, growth, and spawning. Fish do not hatch from an egg until the water is warm enough. Then warming and cooling of the water through the seasons determines the species and quantity of food sources available. Being cold blooded creatures like reptiles, a fish's metabolism is regulated by the surrounding temperatures. This does not only apply their activity level, it also applies to the digestion of their food sources. So not only are fish slower in cold water, they also do not need to feed as often. Lastly it is temperature in conjunction with season that triggers spawning migration.

Aside from spawning, fish migrate continuously throughout the year in search of that optimal temperature. Knowing this and knowing the preferred water temperature of the fish species pursued, an angler can improve his or her chances of finding and catching fish with the use of a thermometer.

The report

Fishing on our lower mainland lakes has been slow this week due to the unsettled weather. Look for things to improve when the sun returns. For better success try to concentrate your fishing from late morning through mid afternoon, in and around the north western sections of your favorite lake with: Chironomid, Bloodworm, Big Black, Woolly Bugger, Micro Leach, Sixpack, Dragonfly Nymph, Halfback, Doc Spratley, Buggy shrimp, or Zulu.

The Fraser River and soughs are good for cutthroat and dolly varden. For cutthroat try: Rolled Muddler, Mickey Finn, Eggo, Tied Down Minnow, Epoxy Minnow, Winter Stone, Flesh Fly, Professor, Lioness, Coachman, Zulu, Chez Nymph. For dolly Varden try: Large (#4 to #1) Eggo, Dolly Whacker, Bucktail, Epoxy Minnow, Big Black, Muddler, or Zonker.

The Vedder River is good for steelhead, dolly varden and resident rainbow, by the weekend. For steelhead try: big Black, Popsicle, Steelhead Nightmare, Polar shrimp, GP, Thor, Squamish Poacher, Kaufmann Stone, Purple Peril, or Eggo. For rainbow try: Rolled Muddler, Mickey Finn, Eggo, Flesh Fly, Kaufmann Black Stone, Black Gnat, Zulu, Chez Nymph, Big Black, Sixpack, or Renegade.

The Stave River is fair to good for steelhead, rainbow and cutthroat.

The Chehalis River is good for steelhead and cutthroat.

The Harrison River is good for cutthroat, and rainbow.

Hatch Match'r Fly and tackle is offering variety of fishing seminars this spring, call 604-467-7118 for details and registration.

You can find more at "The Reel Life Press" by Jeff Weltz