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Sport fishing column for Sept 6 to 13, 2010

Last week I addressed the fact that this year's record Fraser River sockeye return did not just happen; it is the result of years of concentrated conservation efforts by many parties. While this return of the salmon is a wonder to some, it is one of many signs of a river that is returning to health and abundance. The pollution intolerant, golden stoneflies (latin term; hesperoperla pacifica) I have found flying around in my back porch, and the gray drakes mayflies (latin term; siphlonurus quebecensis) found resting on my back deck, are further testament to that returning health.

As stated last week the continued health and abundance of our great waters will be determined by the party and policies governing the use of this resource.

"Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we don't give up." Quote from Paul's letter to the Galatians.


The report

Cooler temperatures have bought good fishing back to our lower mainland lakes; with mornings and evenings being the most productive time. For wet (sinking) fly fishing try: Big Black, Nation's Black, Baggy Shrimp, Coachman, Cased Caddis, Halfback, Dragon Nymph, Carey Special, Zulu, or Doc Spratley. For dry fly fishing try: Tom Thumb, Renegade, Black Gnat, Foam Ant, Griffith Gnat, Royal Coachman, or Elk Hair Caddis. For kokanee try: Red Abbis, Red Spratley, Bloodworm, Royal Coachman, San Juan Worm, or red Micro Leach.

Local bass and crappie fishing is good. For bass try: Size #4 to #1 Wooly Bugger, Big Black, Blood Leach, Matuka, Popin Bugs, Chernobyl Ants, Crayfish, Clouser's Deep Minnow, Epoxy Minnow, Deceiver, Muddler Minnow, Dolly Whacker, Turk's Tarantula, Bucktail, Hair Frog, Irresistible, or Tom Thumb. For crappie try: Black Gnat, Lady McConnel, Coachman, Royal Coachman, Ant, chartreuse Boobie, Wooly Bugger, Trico, Griffith Gnat, or Irresistible.

Fishing on our interior lakes is good. For wet fly fishing try: Chironomid, Pumpkinhead, 52 Buick, Wooly Bugger, Micro Leach, olive Matuka, Butler's Bug, Halfback, Baggy Shrimp, Sooboo, Sixpack, or Green Spratley. For dry fly fishing try: Lady McConnel, Irresistible, Big Ugly, Double Hackled Peacock, Tom Thumb, Royal Wulff, Goddard Sedge, Sofa Pillow, or Elk Hair Caddis.

The Fraser River is good for sockeye; spring, cutthroat, and rainbow. For sockeye try: (chartreuse) Dean River lanterns, Bunny Leach, Bucktail, Nitnook, Besure, Green Slime, or Caboose. For spring try: Kaufmann Stone, Eggo, Popsicle, Squamish Poacher, GP, Big Black or Flat Black.

The Vedder River is good for rainbow and cutthroat. Try Rolled Muddler, Mickey Finn, Tied Down Minnow, Eggo, Professor, Lioness, Kaufmann Stone, Coachman, Zulu, Chez Nymph, Black Gnat, Souboo, Irresistible, Elk Hair Caddis, or Stimulator.

The Stave River is good for rainbow and cutthroat.

The Harrison River is good for cutthroat, rainbow, and sockeye.

The Thompson River is good for sockeye and spring.

The Nicola River is good for rainbow. Try Kaufmann Stone, Chez Nymph, Hairs Ear Nymph, Roller Muddler, Tom Thumb (standard or red bodied), Grass Hopper, Stimulator, Chernobyl Ant, Irresistible, or Elk Hair Caddis.

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

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I too would like to thank all those involved in the Fraser River sockeye conservation efforts as well as any other salmon conservation intitiatives. However, if you have done some research you would know that the Fraser River sockeye remains a mystery. That is why there is a two million dollar federal commision going on right now to try to figure out why we had 34 million fish this year and only 2 million last year. As much as conservation efforts help, it is still unknown why there is such a variance from year to year. Sockeye are unique as opposed to coho and springs and to some extent steelhead. Conservation efforts for those species are easier to measure.
 

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The bigger picture that I am eluding to is the improving health of our rivers; IE: the pink run of last year, the sockeye return of four years ago, as well as this return, the improvement in the chinook returns since it was shut down 20 years ago, and of course the manifestation of insects that are said not exist here.
 

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Ocean conditions are actually the factor biologists and other scientist have been citing. Some commerical fishers have wondered if some of last years fish stayed out an extra year as that has happened a couple of time before. I can't help but wonder if last year's collapse left excellent grazing conditions in the open ocean as the plankton wasn't cropped off by the previous years' fish. My guess is this is a fluke and we won't see a return like this for years or even decades. However it looks like we'll see a return to stronger runs for the next few cycles as ocean conditions are said to have been better over the last few years.
 
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