Sport fishing column for April 2 to 9, 2012

It is renewal time, your BC fishing license has expired and your Washington State license expires at the end of the month. If you like the peace and tranquility of fishing, this could be your favorite time of the year since many anglers don't renew their license until May.

As we stand on the threshold of another fishing season, let's try to remember to keep fishing fun for everyone. I know how it happens, with so many options and so many species to choose from, it is not like it was in the "good old days," that is if there ever was such a thing.

Today we have a completion for this and a completion for that; and of course there is that list of high priced items for each category. Then there is our BC fish species; five species of trout, five species of salmon, two species of bass, three species of panfish, etc, and we feel a need to master each one. Why, because someone else says we need to, or is it because we want to pride ourselves on being better than the next guy? Pride can set you up for a fall, and sucks the fun right out of the game. What happened to fishing for fun? What happened to fishing for recreation?

As a fly fishing instructor and sport fishing columnist there was a time when I lost track of what fishing is supposed to be. In my quest to be at the top of my game, fishing became research, research, research. I got myself so buried that it took three days on a barge, floating on Stave Lake to realize I had forgotten the key component to great fishing; fun. Since that day, when teaching a class or I take someone fishing, I endeavor to, keep it simple, and ask myself; will this be fun?

This year, as you make your plans and set your goals for your best fishing ever, try to keep it simple and make it fun for everyone.

The Report

Fishing on our lower mainland lakes is fair to good. The ponds I fished last weekend registered 11 degrees Celsius, which means all our lower mainland lakes should be active soon. Concentrate on the north east sections of your favorite lake. For trout try: Chironomid, bloodworm, Red Spratley, Coachman, Zulu, American Coachman, Professor, Wooly Bugger, Micro Leach, Dragonfly Nymph, Sixpack, Halfback, Doc Spratley or Baggy Shrimp. For bass try: Zonker, Clouser's Deep Minnow, Lefty's Deceiver, Dolly Whacker, Big Black, Wooly bugger, or Crayfish. For panfish try: Wooly Bugger, Micro Leach, Bucktail, Dolly Whacker, Bloodworm, Chironomid.

The Fraser River back waters are fishing well for cutthroat. For cutthroat try: Eggo, Egg & Eye Alevin, Rolled Muddler, Tied Down Minnow, Mickey Finn, Stonefly Nymph, Czech Nymph, or American Coachman.

The Stave River is good for cutthroat.

The Harrison River is good for cutthroat and rainbow. For rainbow try: Big black, Kaufmann Stone, Sixpack, Irresistible, Czech Nymph, Zulu, olive Wooly Bugger, Souboo, or Renegade.

The Chehalis River is fair to good for steelhead and cutthroat. For steelhead try:
Polar Shrimp, Squamish Poacher, Big Black, Flat Black, Popsicle, Kaufmann Black Stone, Eggo, Thor, GP, or Steelhead Spratley

The Vedder is good for steelhead and cuttthroat.