Weekly Fraser Valley Sport fishing column for May 27 to June 3, 2013

One of our more popular west coast stream fishing methods is drift fishing; often miss-referenced to as bottom bouncing.

The theory of drift fishing is to present ones bait, lure, or fly, free flowing in the current just of the bottom of a stream. Practitioners of this method of angling attach a weight to the bottom of their fishing line, as part of the lure, or just bellow the lure. The intent of the weight is to make minimal contact with the stream bottom as the lure drifts just above. After casting upstream, the angler slowly leads his or her line slightly faster than the current, while watching his or her rod for the action of the weight bouncing of the high points of the bottom; hence the name bottom bouncing. Needless to say the weight at the end of the line needs to be lightened or increased in accordance to the flow of the stream.

The most visible drift fishers are those who drift with conventional rods and reels, but fly fisherman can, and do, drift fish as well. Take some time and watch the movements of a drift fisherman and then watch a practitioner of Czech Nymphing. The rods and reels are different, the lengths of casts are different, but the method and action are the same. Another fly rod technique, popular with salmon anglers, is lead heading, which is another modified method of drift fishing.

Many in the angling community, outside the ranks of the drift fishers, criticize this angling method, due the amount of fish that get foul hooked in a season, by those who fish this way. One only needs the scan the many sport fishing web forums during salmon season to see how bitter the feud can be. Are all the fowl hooked fish that the critics complain about really the result of an unsporting angling method; or from a more highly effective method of getting ones presentation into the thick of schooling fish? I challenge you to try some drift fishing for yourself, and you be the judge.

The Report

Fishing on our lower mainland lakes is fair to good. For wet (sinking) fly fishing try: Bloodworm, Nations Black, Zulu, Wooly Bugger, Wooly Worm, Pumpkin Head, Micro Leach, 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, Black Ant, or Elk Hair Caddis. For kokanee try: Scarlet Ibis, San Juan Worm, Double Trude, Blood Worm, Kokanee Thriller, Kokanee Zonker or Red Spratley.

Our lower Mainland bass and panfish fishing are fishing well. For Bass try: Big Black, Wooly Bugger, Gomphus Bug, Crayfish, Clouser's Deep Minnow, Lefties Deceiver, Dolly Whacker, Bucktail, Hair Frog, Poppers, Chernobyl Ant, or Stimulator. For Panfish try smaller (size 12 to 16) versions of the above.

Most of our interior lakes are fishing well. For wet fly fishing try: Chironomid, Bloodworm, Halfback Nymph, Baggy Shrimp, Pumpkin Head, Wooly Bugger, Big Black, Dragon Nymph, Sixpack, 52 Buick, or Doc Spratley. For dry fly fishing try: Lady McConnel, Tom Thumb, Black Ant, Water Boatman, Adams, Irresistible, Renegade, or Elk Hair Caddis.