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Weekly Fraser Valley Sport fishing column; Feb 3 to 10, 2014

Sometimes, and with the greatest respect, I blame old Fredrick Halford for much of our dullness. No one has ever taken greater pains with exact imitations, not merely of a species of fly but with precision as to sex and state of development. He has harsh words to say about those “awful monstrosities called fancy flies” even while admitting that they occasionally take fish; and I suspect he would have been heartily ashamed of killing a fish on a light olive in the midst of a hatch of dark olives. Generations of fishermen have followed him… The words of Roderick Haig-Brown, discussing the arrogant assumptions of some anglers, in his book, Fisherman’s Fall.

How often do we miss the mark; by falling into assumption, or by relegating too much credibility into the assumptions of others? Last week we drew attention to the fact that fish have a mind of their own, and cannot be pigeon holed into a set pattern of behavior, no matter how much some would like to believe they can. At first glance this subject may seem juvenile, but I ask you to humor me and look deeper. Often highly successful days of fishing come from looking outside traditional and accepted belief, and applying what would appear unorthodox. Large trophy fish survive and get big, by evading capture. I believe over the seasons they become accustomed to all the popular lures and baits, and learn to operate outside the box. To catch these fish we need to open our minds and think outside the box too.

The Report

Our lower mainland lakes that are not iced over are fishing slow to fair. Concentrate on fishing close to shore, in and around the north east sections of your favorite lake with a slow troll or retrieve from late morning through mid afternoon. Try: Wooly Bugger, Big Black, Micro Leach, Baggy Shrimp, Dragonfly Nymph, or Halfback Nymph. For warm afternoon dry (floating) fly fishing; try: Lady McConnell, Tom Thumb, Griffith Gnat, Black Gnat, Renegade, Irristible or Elk Hair Caddis.

The Fraser River and it’s back waters are fishing fair to good 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 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.
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