Sport fishing column for April 9 to 15, 2012

As you may have observed I enjoy uncovering the studies and works of the pioneers and innovators in sport fishing. One of innovators few of us here in BC have heard of was, William E "Bill" Schaadt.

Schaadt was and is, a bona fide legend of fly fishing, have set the record of 900 winter steelhead landed in a five month span, between November 1955 and April 1956. Schaadt also became a recognized pioneer of west coast salmon fly fishing, when his eleven hour and thirty three minute battle with 47 lb spring (Chinook salmon), was documented in the story "Night of the Salmon," published in True magazine 1973. His record Chinook caught while pioneering this fly fishery in the 1960s, weighed in at 56 lb 8 ounces. To his credit Schaadt also pioneered fly fishing for striper bass, landing 36 lb record in 1966.

Schaadt had the skills to be, among other things, a world champion fly caster, but he chose to do what he loved, peruse giant west coast Salmonids. In his epic book "Steelhead," Trey Combs described Schaadt with these words;

"Mostly I knew that sometime in the long ago of steelhead fly fishing he became so much bigger than life that his reputation bordered on the mystical. Romantics said he embodied angling in its purest form, that he was a natural with boundless determination who fly-fished only for the fun of it. Nothing else really mattered to him-neither money, nor possession, nor station in life."

The Report

Fishing on our lower mainland lakes is good. Kokanee are moving, try for them with: Red Ibis, Double Trued, Blood Worm, San Juan Worm, Red Spratley, or Red Carey. For wet (sinking) fly trout fishing try: Chironomid, bloodworm, Red Spratley, Coachman, Zulu, American Coachman, Professor, Wooly Bugger, Micro Leach, Dragonfly Nymph, Sixpack, Halfback, Doc Spratley, Pumpkinhead, or Baggy Shrimp. For dry (floating) fly trout fishing try: Tom Thumb, irresistible, Royal Coachman, Renegade, Elk hair Caddis, Black Gnat, Griffith Gnat, or Lady McConnel. 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 water level in ponds I fished two weekends ago is up two feet and the water temperature has dropped by 4 degrees Celsius, which means freshet (spring runoff) is on the way.

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 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.