Weekly Fraser Valley Sport fishing column for Sept 16 to 23, 2013

I know, everyone has pinks on the brain right now, but there are other game fish here in Cascadia. One genus of them loved by kids and often scoffed at by adults are the pan fish.

In BC we have three species of Pan fish: Black Crappie, Pumpkinseed, and Perch. I am only going to cover the first two; because perch are a serious problem, that can and cause so much havoc that poisoning is often the only way to deal with them.

Crappie are the largest of our excepted pan fish and can reach weights of three pounds. Pumpkinseed are considerably smaller but thick in stature. I often find that those who scoff at these fish have never eaten them. That is unfortunate because these fish are very palatable and can withstand the large retention quota rendered them. Aside from their table quality these two species offer reasonable sport on ultra light gear and hold their own as a willing dry fly fish. Though they are despised by some for their status as an invasive species; they have been well established here for over one hundred years. Like them or not, they are an excepted member of our game fish family, and I don't see them leaving any time soon.

A man much wiser than I once wrote "and a little child shall lead them." When it comes to pan fish; I think the kids are on to something.

The Report

Fishing on our lower mainland lakes is good. Early mornings and evening are best. 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 are slowing down a bit. For Bass try: Wooly Bugger, Micro Leach, 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. For wet fly fishing try: Chironomid, Halfback Nymph, Baggy Shrimp, Pumpkin Head, Wooly Bugger, Big Black, Dragon Nymph, Sixpack, 52 Buick, Souboo, or Doc Spratley. For dry fly fishing try: Lady McConnel, Tom Thumb, Adams, Irresistible, Renegade, Black Gnat, or Elk Hair Caddis.

The Fraser River is fishing well for springs and pinks. For spring try: Popsicle, Big Black, Flat black, Eggo, black GP, or dark Bunny Leach. For pink try: Pink Eve, Cathy's Coat, Happy Hooker, or pink Bunny Leach.

The Vedder River is good for rainbow, pink, and spring. For rainbow try: Czech nymph, Kaufmann Stone, Hares Ear, Big Black, Wooly Bugger, Zulu, Souboo, Irresistible, Elk Hair Caddis, Tom Thumb, Black Gnat, or Renegade.

The Harrison River is fair to good for cutthroat, pink, and spring. We have heard rumors of springs. Try: Professor, Anderson Stone, American Coachman, Rolled Muddler, Black Gnat, Griffith Gnat, Zulu, Hares Ear, Renegade, or Irresistible.

The Thompson River is good for spring and pink, while fishing fair for rainbow.