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Weekly Fraser Valley Sport fishing column; Feb 10 to 17, 2014

Most of us who are ordinary run-of-the mill fisherman, fishing rather varied waters under varying conditions, have to count on having our most cherished theories upset from time to time… Undoubtedly fish have patterns of behavior that are roughly predictable and we can afford to take pride in our understanding of these patterns… But unfortunately we are working with infinity of variables… season, temperature, currents, light, the aberrations of fish themselves, their sense, and perceptions and perhaps even the aberrations of insects. We may be able to tidy all this into a nice workable theory from time to time and gain greatly from it, but I do not think we need feel ashamed or rejected when such theory falls apart.

There are careful and scientific anglers who developed theories, tested them and… proved them; no one owes more to these sportsman than I do .From time to time I develop some small theory of my own about how and why and where fish should take… but I no longer expect quite so much of them; if there is a measure of success I know it will not change very much… Passage taken from Roderick Haig-Brown’s book, Fisherman’s Fall.

I enjoy studying the works of the old masters. The wisdom they offer is timeless gleaned from decades spent on the water. I challenge you to contrast their works against the fads and devotees of those fads that I have come and gone in the last half century.

I too have developed my own theories on fishing, synthesized from much study in the penned works of the old masters, and many of my own seasons on the water. My theories however, have more to do with what triggers fish feeding behavior than with what is fed on. As for flies, lures, and baits, I like to follow the wisdom in the phrase “the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow.” If it works as well today as it did one hundred years ago, you can count on it still working just as well one hundred years from today.

The Report

Fishing on our lower mainland lakes is slow. You can expect your fishing prospects to improve with the weather. It is a good rule of thumb to remember that fish, excluding spawning salmon, respond the same way we do barometric pressure and its corresponding weather patterns. Try: Wooly Bugger, Big Black, Micro Leach, Baggy Shrimp, Dragonfly Nymph, or Halfback Nymph.

The Fraser River and its back waters are fishing slow to 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 low and slow 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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