Weekly Fraser Valley Sport Fishing Column
Weekly Fraser Valley Sport fishing column for July 29 to August 6, 2013
Is that a dolly or a bull trout? In my day, the age before metric, they were all dolly varden, salvelinus malma malma. That all changed in 1980 when Bull trout were recognized as their own separate species, salvelinus confluentus.
These fish were first described by G Suckley in 1859. Fifteen years later Livingstone Stone wrote of the dolly varden as; "the handsomest trout, and on the whole the most perfect form of all the trout we saw on the McCloud."
Despite these early praises, the two species were treated with disdain for many years due to their predatorial feeding habits. Up until the 1980s, it was a common belief that these fish were detrimental to our salmon; and for this reason many anglers left them on the bank with other unwanted fish. Thankfully we live in a more enlightened age now, and such species prejudices are no longer an accepted practice.
These members of the char family are impressive fish that can exceed twenty pounds in weight. While they may rise to the occasional insect they are often found in deeper water, hunting for more substantial meals. For better success with these predators look for flies or lures with hook sizes in the range of 4 to 4/0.
Dolly varden and bull trout; are two of our amazing Cascadian game fish and two more options from a great resource.
Fishing on our lower mainland lakes is fair to good. Early mornings and evening through dusk are best; focusing on the cooler water is the south west sections of your favorite lake. For wet (sinking) fly fishing try: Nations Black, Zulu, Wooly Bugger, Wooly Worm, Pumpkin Head, Micro Leach, Doc Spratley, Halfback, Sixpack, or Baggy Shrimp. For dry (floating) fly action try: Lady McConnel, Tom Thumb, Irresistible, Double Hackled Peacock, Royal Coachman, Black Gnat, Griffith Gnat, or Elk Hair Caddis.
Our lower Mainland bass and panfish waters are fishing well; morning and evenings are best. For Bass try: Big Black, Wooly Bugger, Gomphus Bug, Crayfish, Clouser's Deep Minnow, Lefty's Deceiver, Dolly Whacker, Bucktail, Hair Frog, Poppers, Chernobyl Ant, Optic, or Stimulator. For Panfish try smaller (size 12 to 16) versions of the above.
Fishing on our interior lakes is good. As stated above early mornings and evenings are your ticket to success. For wet fly fishing try: Chironomid, Halfback Nymph, Baggy Shrimp, Pumpkin Head, Wooly Bugger, Big Black, Dragon Nymph, Sixpack, 52 Buick, or Doc Spratley. For dry fly fishing try: Lady McConnel, Tom Thumb, Adams, Irresistible, Renegade, Black Gnat, or Elk Hair Caddis.
The Vedder River is good for spring, and rainbow. For spring try: Popsicle, Squamish Poacher, black GP, Flat Black, Big Black, or Kaufmann Stone. For rainbow try: Czech nymph, Kaufmann Stone, Hares Ear, Big Black, Wooly Bugger, Zulu, Souboo, Irresistible, Black Gnat, or Renegade. Please release the sockeye.
The Harrison River is fair to good for cutthroat. Try: Professor, Anderson Stone, American Coachman, Rolled Muddler, Black Gnat, Griffith Gnat, Zulu, Hares Ear, Renegade, or Irresistible.
The Thompson River is good for rainbow. Try: Kaufmann Stone, Big Black, Cased Caddis, Foam Hopper, Elk Hair Caddis, Tom Thumb, Stimulator, Chernobyl Ant, or Irresistible.
The Fraser River is fair for spring.