Weekly Fraser Valley Sport fishing column; Nov 4 to 11, 2013

After four months of weekly columns detailing each of our fresh water Cascadian game fish, we draw this series to a close with mountain whitefish. Though often underrated, prosopium williamoni, the mountain whitefish is one of the most abundant and widespread of our original resident sport species.

Catching these fish is not hard; keeping a few things in mind: Stream bottoms and very cold water, 35 to 42 degrees Fahrenheit, is their preferred domain which makes them a great winter fish. As bottom dwellers, invertebrates and nymphs are often their favored food sources. These habits make them an easy target for fans of the different styles of Euro-Nymphing. Whitefish also have an affinity for mayflies and will rise to a dry fly during a strong hatch of these insects.

Whitefish; I can agree that they are not rainbows, but during the coldest months of winter, when all other fish are as sluggish as fifty weight motor oil, are as active as a trout in spring.

The Report

Our lower mainland lake fishing is fair to good. As you are likely aware of it is getting much colder out on the lakes, which means it is time to make the transition to winter tactics. For better success try to spotlight your fishing on late morning through mid afternoon. Remember to watch the barameter, looking for upward movement, and stay away from the colder water of inlet streams. Try a slow troll or retrieve with: Nations Black, Zulu, Wooly Bugger, Wooly Worm, Pumpkin Head, Micro Leach, Doc Spratley, Halfback, Dragon Nymph, Sixpack, Backswimmer, or Baggy Shrimp.

Our lower Mainland bass and panfish waters are slowing down. For Bass try: Wooly Bugger, Micro Leach, Pumpkinhead, 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.

The Fraser River is fishing well for springs, chum, and coho. For spring try: Popsicle, Squamish Poacher, Big Black, Black Stone, Flat black, Eggo, black GP, or dark Bunny Leach. For chum try: Eggo, Christmas Tree, Met Green, Holliman, Dec 25th, Big Black, or pink & purple Bunny Leach. For coho try: Eggo, Rolled Muddler, Tied Down Minnow, Coho Blue, Bite Me, Christmas Tree, green Wooly Bugger, Egg Sucking Leach, or Big Black.

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

The Harrison River is good for cutthroat, coho, and spring. 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 steelhead, and rainbow. For steelhead try: Steelhead Nightmare, Big Black, Flat Black, Kaufmann Stone, Rolled Muddler, Steelhead Bee, Irresistible, October Caddis, or Stimulator.