Weekly Fraser Valley Sport fishing column for August 6 to 12, 2013

This week's fish is the ever popular sockeye salmon. While these fish are the third most common salmon on our coast, they are by far the most popular. I would even be bold enough to say they are the fish that put us on the map; since volumes of literature have been written about these fish over the past three centuries. In spite of this and all scientific study, there is a dearth of hard cover sport fishing literature on the sockeye.

The dearth of quality how to sport fish sockeye books may be part of the reason our lower Fraser river sport fishery often results in a snag-fest. Snagging is not fishing; it is unsportsmanlike poaching, no matter what words are used to justify it. Contrary to popular belief, sockeye do take lures and well presented flies too. If you truly want to hook a sockeye fairly I suggest you look at the Thompson River. The clearer water allows an angler and in particular the fly angler a bit more edge. Hooking a sockeye legitimately requires both skill and patience, since the take is very subtle. Sockeye do make good sport and when you get one on the line is like trying to land a bottle-rocket.

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 sectors 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.

Our lower Mainland bass and panfish waters are fishing well; morning and evenings are best. For Bass try: Big Black, Wooly Bugger, Pumpkinhead, Gomphus Bug, Dragon Nymph, Crayfish, Clouser's Deep Minnow, Lefty's Deceiver, Dolly Whacker, Bucktail, Hair Frog, Poppers, (adult) Dragonfly, Chernobyl Ant, Optic, or Stimulator. For Panfish try smaller (size 10 to 16) versions of the above.

Fishing 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 Fraser River is fair to good for spring.