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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited by Moderator)
Sport fishing column for Oct 31 to Nov 7, 2011

With the opening of steelhead on the Thompson River once again, I want to take a week or three, to dwell on these highly prized fish.

The question is often asked, what is a steelhead? Let's begin by looking at James Stanley's description in his book, "Guide To Becoming A Rainbow Master".

"Salmo gairdneri, the rainbow's first name, was penned in 1836 by J Richardson, an early biologist-explorer… Salmo is the Latin name for the salmon of the Atlantic, while the rainbow's surname gairdneri, is an attribute to Dr Meredith Gairdner, an early naturalist employed by the Hudson's Bay Co…

The rainbow's color varies with habitat, size, and sexual conditions… Over the years, anglers have distinguished these differing color patterns with different names. Darker steam fish are often called rainbow, brighter fish in small lakes are termed kamloops, and the large, silvery migratory fish are referred to as steelhead."

As we have read steelhead are simply a strain of large sea-going rainbow trout that have the same characteristics of all rainbows. Some would argue that they are distinctly different, but time and science have proven this untrue. So closely related in appearance are these sea-going fish to their resident fresh water relatives that on the word of the good Doctor, T W Lambert, it was believed for fifty years, that no steelhead could pass Hell's Gate.

"It is hard to say how far the steel-head may run up the Frazer probably at least as far as the Coquehalla…for up to this point there is nothing in the strength of the current to prevent; but above, in the Fraser Canyon, the tremendous difficulties of ascent may well stop progress. The steel-head has not developed the powerful tail and anal fin of the pacific salmon, which must be a great aid to it passing through such strong water for such immense distances."

More on this amazing fish next week.

The report

Fishing on our lower mainland lakes is good. For better success try concentrating on the warmest part of the day with: Coachman, American Coachman, Professor, Wooly Bugger, Micro Leach, Sixpack, Dragonfly Nymph, Halfback, Doc Spratley, Baggy Shrimp, or Zulu.

Fishing on our interior lakes is fair to good. Try: Wooly Bugger, Micro Leach, Egg Sucking Leach, Pumpkinhead, Dragonfly Nymph, Halfback Nymph, 52 Buick, Doc Spratley, Green Spratley, Souboo, or Baggy Shrimp.

The Fraser Basin chum fishery is expected to be reopened by the end of the week.

The Fraser River is fishing well for spring, and cutthroat. For spring try: Popsicle, Big Black, Flat Black, Stonefly Nymph, Squamish Poacher, or Eggo. For cutthroat try: Eggo, Rolled Muddler, Tied Down Minnow, Mickey Finn, Stonefly Nymph, or American Coachman.

The Stave River is fair for coho and cutthroat. For coho try: Christmas Tree, Rolled Muddler, olive Wooly Bugger, Bite Me, or Coho Blue.

The Vedder River is good for spring, and coho.

The Harrison River is good for spring, coho, and chum.

The Thompson River is open again for steelhead and rainbow. Don't forget to buy classified waters and steelhead stamps. Try: Squamish Poacher, Big Black, Flat Black, Popsicle, Kaufmann Stone, Steelhead Spratley, or polar Shrimp.
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