Sport fishing column for Jan 7 to 14, 2013

The Christmas season is over and the kids are back in school. I usually meet the first weeks of January with mixed feelings, knowing my favorite time of the year is six months away. Other folks begin the year with great excitement and expectation. How ever you face the first weeks of January; for most it is a time of reflection as we look back on our accomplishment of last year and plan for our successes in the year to come.

Success in fishing, like many things in life, is a progression of improving on what has worked in the past. Many successful anglers record the details (I should be so diligent) of each fishing tip in a diary, which over the years becomes a wealth of information.

Building on ones success always builds confidence. Which is the reason all of the most successful anglers I know doggedly hang onto a selected method of fishing and a handful (note I said handful, not box or boat full) of lures/flies/baits. One of these top anglers refers to this as a person's confidence baits and strategies.

Over my fifty five years of angling, my personal confidence strategies have progressed from float fishing, through bottom fishing, and trolling, to casting flies. While my confidence baits, have progressed from live bait, through gang trolls, and lures, to flies. Each progression along the way was wrought on the confidence achieved through past success.

What are your hope and dreams for this year's angling? Look back to your successes, but don't dwell on your defeats. Then set your face like flint at the path before you and reach long for the prize. There is no hidden secret. The best anglers are always the best students of their angling.

The Report

Our lower mainland lakes are full winter mode, which means you can expect the fish to be slow and sluggish. For better success try a dead slow troll or retrieve during the warmest part of the day. Also allow extra time for the fish to close its mouth on the hook before you attempt a hook set. Try: Chironomid, Bloodworm, Coachman, Zulu, Wooly Bugger, Dragonfly Nymph, Damsel Nymph, Halfback, Sixpack, Micro Leach, Big Black, Doc Spratley, Pumpkinhead, or Baggy Shrimp.

The Fraser River is fair for cutthroat. Try: Rolled Muddler, Professor, Anderson Stone, Black Stone, Zulu, American Coachman, Flesh Fly, or Chez Nymph.

The Harrison River is fair to slow for cutthroat and rainbow. For rainbow try: Kaufmann Stone, Big Black, Black Gnat, Souboo, Zulu, or Renegade.

The Chehalis River is low and slow.

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