Weekly Fraser Valley Sport fishing column for July 22 to 29, 2013

This week we talk bass. Named the "working man's fish," by trout and salmon angler of the late 1800s; bass have a scant written history. The earliest written reference to these fish was penned by William Bartram who observed natives float fishing for them in 1760. The first actual book written about these fish, The Book of The Black Bass," by Dr James Henshall, was released in 1881.

Whether you are a fan of these fish or not, they have the distinction of being the most widely transplanted game fish in North America after the Rainbow Trout. Many top rods in my sport of fly fishing got their start pursuing these game fish. Joan Wulff, Lefty Krey, Dave Whitlock, Joe Brooks and others all matched wits with these at times frustrating fish. In his book on this subject, Lefty Krey explains that it took him several years to master bass on a fly rod; which is something I can also attest too.

Bass: they are a game fish and they are here in many waters along the 49th parallel; from Vancouver Island to the Rockies. They earned the favor of Ted Peck and Bill Otway, and they have earned mine.

The Report

Fishing on our lower mainland lakes is fair to good. Early mornings and evening through dusk are best; focusing on the cooler water is the south west sections of your favorite lake. For wet (sinking) fly fishing try: 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, 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 waters are fishing well. For Bass try: Big Black, Wooly Bugger, Gomphus Bug, Crayfish, Clouser's Deep Minnow, Lefty's Deceiver, Dolly Whacker, Bucktail, Hair Frog, Poppers, Chernobyl Ant, Optic, or Stimulator. For Panfish try smaller (size 12 to 16) versions of the above.

Fish on our interior lakes is good. As stated above early mornings and evenings are your ticket to success. For wet fly fishing try: Chironomid, 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, Adams, Irresistible, Renegade, Black Gnat, or Elk Hair Caddis.

The Vedder River is good for spring, and rainbow. For spring try: Popsicle, Squamish Poacher, black GP, Flat Black, Big Black, or Kaufmann Stone. For rainbow try: Czech nymph, Kaufmann Stone, Hares Ear, Big Black, Wooly Bugger, Zulu, Souboo, Irresistible, Black Gnat, or Renegade. Please release the sockeye.

The Harrison River is fair to good for cutthroat. Try: Professor, Anderson Stone, American Coachman, Rolled Muddler, Black Gnat, Griffith Gnat, Zulu, Hares Ear, Renegade, or Irresistible.

The Thompson River is good for rainbow. Try: Kaufmann Stone, Big Black, Cased Caddis, Foam Hopper, Elk Hair Caddis, Tom Thumb, Stimulator, Chernobyl Ant, or Irresistible.

The Squamish is fair to good for pink. Try Pink Eve, Happy Hooker, Pink Thing, Pretty In Pink, pink Bunny Leach, or Cathy's Coat.

Fraser River opens for spring Saturday.