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Jeff’s Weekly Fraser Valley Sport Fishing Column Report, May 23 to 30, 2016

Artist and sign painter William E Schaadt was introduced to fly fishing summer steelhead on the Klamath River in 1945. At age 23, the sport so captivated Schaadt, that it is said, he married big game fly fishing. For the next fifty years, Bill blazed his own trail, from the dark age of North American fly fishing, to become a living legend and a giant in the history of the west coast fly fishing.

In 1946, Schaadt met and became friends with many of the who was who (of the day) of west coast fly fishing, through his association with the Golden Gate Angling and Casting club. Jim Green was pioneering shooting heads, Myron Gregory was touting lead core fly lines, and Jon Tarantino was perfecting today’s long distance casting skills. While Harry Hornbrook, James Pray, and Lloyd Silvius were perfecting their legendary fly patterns. It was from this background of experts, that Schaadt was able to use his keen mind and strong athletic abilities, to move to the level of legend.

After acclaimed author Claude Krieder, declared the Gualala River was too muddy for fly fishing; Schaadt proved him wrong by landing thirty three steelhead the next day. As fly fishing was starting its resurgence, Schaadt landed a (documented) nine hundred steelhead, during the winter of 55 - 56. Schaadt also pioneered salmon fishing techniques along with Haig- Brown and Noël Money, setting many firsts and records there too.

While thank you goes to many in the fly fishing community, who helped Schaadt achieve greatness, thanks also goes to Livingston Stone. For it was on the Smith River, where the old patriarch of fish hatcheries and fish enhancement, Livingston Stone, perfected his science, that Schaadt pioneered many of his fly fishing skills.

The report

Fishing on our lower mainland lakes has been fair; expect improvement, as the weather stabilizes. 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.

Our lower mainland bass and crappie waters are fare to good. For bass try: Clouser’s Deep Minnow, Left’s Deceiver, Dolly Whacker, Big Black, Gomphus Bug, Frog, Wooly Bugger, adult Damsel, or Popping Bug. For crappie try: Tied Minnow, Clouser’s Deep Minnow, Bloodworm, Chironomid, Damsel Nymph, and Wooly Bugger.

Fishing on our interior lakes is fare 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 is high and dirty. 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 Micro Leach
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