Weekly Fraser Valley Sport fishing column; Dec 30 2013 to Jan 6, 2014

“The last day of the year to me is as exciting as the first as we look back upon what we have been through and look forward to what is to come.

“I’m always excited about beginning a new tournament season where all fishermen start out again.” Jimmy Houston from his book, Catch of the Day.

Not every angler is a tournament fisher, yet Jimmy’s words are good encouragement for us all. I know the dreary days of January can get a person down, particularly if one did not accumulate a full bank of great memories from the year past, but a new year brings new seasons and the opportunity for change.

What adventures and challenges await you this year? It is time to set your sights and make those plans, fish don’t swim passed your couch, and time waits for no-one. I have studied, met, and talked with many of the greats in sport fishing; and I have found they all have one thing in common. They all dream big and never say it can’t be done. Everyone faces challenges of time, skill, equipment, and money; but it is when one is faced with those challenges and does it anyway, that makes a champion.

So what are you going to do with 2014? That’s right, I said do with, not in; victors don’t try to cooperate within challenges, they subdue them. So I ask again; what are you going to do with 2014? There is a kid waiting for Dad to be his or her hero. There is a public waiting for a new champ. There is a world waiting for a new record, and then there is you, waiting for the best day ever.

The Report

The ice is off our lower mainland lakes. You can expect fishing to be fair to good for January. Focus your fishing on the warmest parts of the day, in and around the north east sections of your favorite lake. Try a slow troll or retrieve with: Wooly Bugger, Big Black, Baggy Shrimp, Dragonfly Nymph, or Halfback Nymph.

The Fraser River is fishing fair for Dolly Varden and cutthroat. For Cutthroat try: Professor, Anderson Stone, American Coachman, Rolled Muddler, Black Gnat, Griffith Gnat, Zulu, Hares Ear, Renegade, or Irresistible. For Dolly Varden try: Zonker, Flat Black, Big Black, Eggo, Clouser's Deep Minnow, Bucktail, and Lefty's Deceiver.

The Vedder River is fair to good for Dolly Varden, rainbow, and steelhead. For rainbow try: Czech nymph, Kaufmann Stone, Hares Ear, Big Black, Wooly Bugger, Eggo, Zulu, Soubou, Irresistible, Elk Hair Caddis, Tom Thumb, Black Gnat, or Renegade. For steelhead try: Steelhead Nightmare, Flat Black, Kaufman Stone, Rolled Muddler, Steelhead Bee, Irresistible, October Caddis, or Stimulator.

The Harrison River is good for cutthroat.

The Thompson River closes for angling January 1st.