Weekly Fraser Valley Sport fishing column; Dec 19 to 23, 2013

Christmas is now nine days away. Since there is no time left for hunting down those one of a kind gifts, let's go with more practical, but seldom thought of gifts.

Wool socks; yes I said sock, emphasis on wool. Nothing is as warm as wool and any angler who fishes when Jack Frost is about will like this gift. Read the label though, finding socks with a wool content of 60% or better, can be hard. I buy mine in Army Surplus Stores.

Long underwear; get a wool blend. The beauty of wool (most bushmen know this) is that no matter how wet it gets, it still keeps you warm. When it gets too wet for your liking, you simply take off, wring it out, and put it back on; man made fibers can't make that claim.

So you don't like the idea of buying your angler wool whatever, and you would rather buy them a rod, or reel, or waders, or, or, or. My advice; give your angler a nice card with a gift card in it, or a note promising to take him or her shopping at their favorite tackle shop. When it comes to equipment, almost everything is specialized, and every angler has his or her preference. Better to let the angler choose, than rely on the biases' of a sales clerk.

Fishing time is a unique idea. Both the Sun Valley trout Park and Fraser Valley Trout Hatchery offer three hours of catch and release fly fishing (no license required) for a nominal fee. Having taught fly fishing at both facilities; I can assure you, that thirty to fifty fish, with a 5 pounder or two thrown in, even in January is not unrealistic.

Sorry we didn't get the column out with more gift suggestions last week. Yours truly was working overtime, in the snow at my day job. It is the season; Merry Christmas to you, one and all!

The Report

Our lower mainland lakes and ponds are ice free and fishing slow to fair. For your best success try a slow troll or retrieve, close to shore in and around the north east sections of your favorite lake. Try Wooly Bugger, Big Black, Baggy Shrimp, Dragonfly Nymph, or Halfback Nymph.

The Fraser River is fishing fair for Dolly Varden and cutthroat. For Cutthroat try: Professor, Anderson Stone, American Coachman, Rolled Muddler, Black Gnat, Griffith Gnat, Zulu, Hares Ear, Renegade, or Irresistible. For Dolly Varden try: Zonker, Flat Black, Big Black, Eggo, Clouser's Deep Minnow, Bucktail, and Lefty's Deceiver.

The Vedder River is fair for Dolly Varden, 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 fair to good for coho, and cutthroat. For Coho try: Rolled Muddler, Tied Down Minnow, Coho Blue, Bite Me, Christmas Tree, green Wooly Bugger, Egg Sucking Leach, Eggo, or Big Black.

The Thompson River is fair to 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.