Weekly Fraser Valley Sport fishing column; Feb 17 to 14, 2014

If fishing were simply a matter of catching fish or forming and testing angling theories, I think I should have given it up long ago. Nor is it simply a matter of exciting and beautiful surroundings…

In the last analysis, it must be the fish themselves that make fishing-the strangeness and beauty of fish, their often visible remoteness, their ease in another world, the mystery of their movements and habits and whims. The steelhead lying in the summer pool, the brown trout rising under a cut bank, the Atlantic salmon rolling over his lie, the bass breaking in the lily pads, the grayling glimpsed in the rapid, the enormous unseen trout cruising the lake’s drop-off, all these are irresistible temptations to anyone who held a rod. The appeal is more nearly that of hidden treasure, except that this treasure has life and movement and uncertainty beyond anything inanimate. The thought in the mind is: “Let me try for Him…

Obviously Fishing is different things to different people and that is just as well. But the source of its persistent fascination probably does not vary much. Highest among them I would place the impossibility… of approaching complete and regular success, in spite of the delightful delusion that success… is never far away. More iconic words from Roderick Haig-Brown taken from his book, “Fisherman’s Fall.”

The fascination that fishing holds for a true angler is like nothing else. I have friends who tell me of childhood days when they couldn’t sleep while anticipating the excitement of Christmas day. Christmas has never gripped like that, but I do remember many sleepless nights anticipating a fishing trip. When I was young fishing held all the adventure of the old west. Somewhere out there was “Eldorado,” a place, where every cast brought a fish, every fish was trophy, and legends haunted the waters. Fifty and more years later it all sounds like nonsense; but try telling a wide-eyed kid that no such place exists. Actually, I still believe that place exists. It is not where you think though; that special place exists in the hope, and dreams, of every young angler you introduce to this sport. Watch for it in their eyes; you will see it every time.

The Report

Fishing on our lower mainland lakes is slow to fair. Warming temperatures have the fish moving again, thou you will find them moody, as they always are during unstable weather conditions. For better success work the north east sections of you favorite lake close to shore with: Chironomid, Bloodworm, Wooly Bugger, Big Black, Micro Leach, Baggy Shrimp, Dragonfly Nymph, or Halfback Nymph.

The Fraser River and its back waters are fishing fair to good for cutthroat, rainbow, and Dolly Varden. 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 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.