Sport fishing column for Jan 14 to 21, 2013

Winter fishing is a sport for those who really want it. Unlike the warm lazy days of summer, winter can be down right miserable. Yet like many things in life some of the greatest glory is achieved under the most unpleasant circumstances.

"Oh you're exaggerating," some might say.

Tell that to the guy struggling to open his car door with fingers burning from the vicious bite of Old Jack Frost.

Others would question, "If it can get that bad, why would you do it."

The answer comprises one word, "Steelhead!"

This sea going king of the rainbow trout is master of his domain. He is not fooled easily and when engaged in battle, does not give up easily. The champion of his species is as wild as the wide open ocean he calls home. Responsible for the lion's share of all west coast fishing literature, this fish has captured the imaginations of west coast fishing legends from Alaska to Mexico for years. And you have to ask; why we do it? If you have to ask, you don't understand.

The steelhead are in; but you won't find them swilling beer in the pub, or trading lies at some coffee bar. The glory goes to those who get up, get out, and grab hold of it.

What are you doing this weekend?

The Report

With ice creeping across our lower mainland lakes it is intermission time for this lake fishery. The neglected household chores are calling, or maybe you want to try your hand at stream fishing.

The Fraser River sloughs and backwaters are good for cutthroat and dolly varden. For cutthroat Try: Rolled Muddler, Professor, Anderson Stone, Black Stone, Zulu, American Coachman, Flesh Fly, or Chez Nymph. For dolly varden try large (size #4 to 2) Eggo, Clouser's Deep Minnow, Tied Down Minnow, Roller Muddler, Dolly Whacker, Big Black, Kaufmann Stone, or Flesh Fly.

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

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

The Vedder River is fair to good for steelhead, rainbow and cutthroat.