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Jeff’s Weekly Fraser Valley Sport Fishing Column Report for April 11 to 18, 2016

In 1936 Lee Wulff’s close friend Dan Bailey, married his soul mate Helen Hesslein. For their extended honeymoon, they camped and fished across much of Montana and Wyoming. The Bailey’s were captivated with this region of the west and its fisheries. Inspired by the quality of the region’s trout fishery, Bailey devised two additions, the Black and grey Wulff, to the family of flies, he and Lee had created in upstate New York. Soon after the Bailey’s return from their honeymoon, Dan began a mail order business to market his flies.

During a return trip to Montana the following summer, the Bailey’s decided that Dan should resign from his position at New York University, to pursue the business of professional fly tying. One year later, in 1938, the bailey’s moved to Livingston, Montana and opened a small fly shop and riffle range. Their first fly catalog was released in 1941. After the end of WWII, the Yellowstone region of Montana, close to the town of Livingston, became a very popular fishing destination; thanks to a large volume of press it was receiving from the most read writers of the day. Over time Dan became a much sought after angling authority; and his fly shop, a landmark for traveling anglers. Every angler who came to the area wanted to his or her fish silhouette posted on the fly shop’s, Wall of Fish; or if luck would have allow, a plaque with the anglers name and fish weight (only fish over four pounds qualified) on the shop’s, Wall of Fame. At its peak in 1981, a year before Dan himself passed on, Dan Bailey’s Fly Shop employed forty five tiers, who produced over 750,000 flies annually, which sold to over 50,000 customers, in thirty seven countries.

From a dreamer, to a legend, and in the end, a patriarch, Dan Bailey.

The report

Fishing on our lower mainland lakes is good. Focus on the north east sections of your favorite lake. For wet (sinking) fly fishing try: Chironomid, Bloodworm, black or green Wooly Bugger, Red Spratley, Sixpack, Pheasant Tail Nymph, Micro Leach, Pumpkinhead, or Baggy Shrimp. For dry (floating) fly fishing try: Lady McConnel, Tom Thumb, Elk Hair Caddis, Double Hackled Peacock, Black Gnat, Giffith Gnat, or Irresistible. For Kokanee try: Red Ibis, San Juan Worm, Red Spratley, or red Zonker.
Most low and many mid elevation interior lakes are open and fishing fair to good. For wet fly fishing try: Chironomid, Bloodworm, Red Spratley, Halfback, Big Black, black or green Wooly Bugger, Dragonfly Nymph, Butler’s Bug, Damsel Nymph, Pumpkinhead, or Baggy Shrimp. For dry fly fishing try: Tom Thumb, Renegade, Lady McConnel, Goddard Sedge, Elk Hair Caddis, Black Gnat, Big Ugly, Double Trued, Adams, or Irresistible.

The Fraser River along with its backwaters and sloughs are browning up. To achieve better success concentrate on the cleaner water in and around inlet streams. For cutthroat and rainbows try: Rolled Meddler, Czech Nymph, Professor, Silver Doctor, Cased Caddis, Tied Down Minnow, standard Coachman, Zulu, or Mico Leach.

The Harrison River is fair to good for cutthroat and rainbow.

The Vedder River is good for rainbow and steelhead, try: Big Black, Flat Black, Squamish Poacher, Polar Shrimp, Thor, Popsicle, GP, Steelhead Nightmare, or Kauffman Stone.
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