Sport fishing column for April 1 to 8, 2013

Ed and I came out to Doug Bury's Anthrim Lodge at Rosco on the banks of the Willowemoc on the evening of April twelfth, the day before opening. Ed wanted me to see and feel the mood of opening day? as fisherman from all over gathered in the bar at the Lodge. Everyone knew everyone. Everyone was relaxed about the prospects of fishing, which were less than good, but stirred by the pleasures? of taking part in this special occasion that has been shared? by so many of the great names of fly-fishing, by so many friends and, often enough, by fathers and grandfathers, uncles and brothers and sons.

"There won't be any fishing to speak of," Ed told me, echoing the convictions of nearly everyone we had spoken to? "But we'll move up and down the river, crack a bottle or two and talk with a lot of old friends?"

Bill Naden joined us early the next morning, and we went downstream? The air temperature was 38, the water a discouraging 34? A few, very few, fish were being taken?

"This is opening day, Bill reminded me."It doesn't mean much except that. Half of these fellows won't show up on the stream again all year."

This passage from Haig-Brown's Fisherman's summer. It speaks of the traditions of opening day. Many clans have their traditional once a year fishing trips that everyone comes out for no matter what the circumstance. It's a place and time where life long memories are made and family bonds are forged. More on this next week.

The Report

If you don't already know it, your fishing license has expired. Make sure you renew it before you head out fishing.

Fishing on our lower mainland lakes is good thanks to the spring weather we have been experiencing. Try working warming waters in the north east section of you favorite lake for better success. For wet (sinking) fly fishing try: Bloodworm, Chironomid, Nations Black, Zulu, Wooly Bugger, Wooly Worm, Pumpkin Head, Big Black, 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 are waking up too. For Bass try: Big Black, Wooly Bugger, Gomphus Bug, Crayfish, Clouser's Deep Minnow, Lefties Deceiver, Dolly Whacker, or Bucktail. For Panfish try smaller (size 12 to 16) versions of the above.

The Fraser River sloughs and backwaters are good for cutthroat and dolly varden. For cutthroat Try: Alevin, Eggo, Rolled Muddler, Tied Down Minnow, 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 good for cutthroat and rainbow. For rainbow try: Kaufmann Stone, Big Black, Wooly Bugger, Black Gnat, Souboo, Zulu, or Renegade.

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

The Vedder River is good for steelhead, rainbow, dolly varden, and cutthroat.