Weekly Fraser Valley Sport fishing column; April 7 to 14, 2014

A few years ago after spending sometime exploring the Skagit, Kim and I stumbled into the Methow Valley and the old west town of Winthrop. The folks at the tackle shops in Winthrop were friendly and helpful; too bad I thought I knew better. You might remember my story, ?Skunked on the Methow.? While we were there, we discovered Pearrygin Lake, and differently shaped rainbow trout; affectionately named fry-pan trout by the late Enos Bradner. These fish were a pleasure to catch, taking the fly well, hitting hard and fighting more like a bass than a trout, due to their short, stout bodies. As the story goes, these rainbows were originally hybrid, so that a 1 LB to 1.5 LB fish would fit nicely into a frying pan; hence the name, fry pan trout. The fishing was so good; we made a return trip last summer.

Curious to see what was down the road, we made our way to the Columbia Gorge and Rufus Woods Lake. I had my heart set on walleye; after all we don?t have those fish here in the BC lower mainland.

As I headed out from the boat launch I could smell walleye all over the small bay and should have fished right there, but I knew better. Fishing every school of fish I saw on the finder, I caught masses of pan fish, but no walleye. Back at the dock on my first evening, three other anglers walked over to see how I did.

?How?d you make out,? asked one of the three?

?Lots of pan fish, nothing to get excited about,? I replied.

?No rainbows,? he asked?

?Rainbows? I?m here for walleye. I can catch all the bows I want back home, in BC,? I replied.

Looking at me like I was rather clueless he said, ?Ya, I guess.? While his friends walked away shaking their heads.

What did I say about some of us taking awhile? I later found out that Rufus Woods is well known for producing 29 LB (tanks) rainbows.

The Report

Our lower mainland lakes are fishing well. For wet (sinking) fly fishing try: Chironomid, Bloodworm, Pumpkinhead, Wooly Bugger, Big Black, Micro Leach, Zulu, Baggy Shrimp, Dragonfly Nymph, Doc Spratley, or Halfback Nymph. For dry (floating) fly action try: Lady McConnel, Griffith Gnat, Black Gnat, Renegade, Elk hair Caddis, Tom Thumb, or Irresistible.

Our lower mainland bass are active. As of last Sunday we have a new BC record of 8.92 LB landed by Ryan Hegedus. Try: Big Black, Clouser?s Deep Minnow, Lefty?s Deceiver, Dolly Whacker, Wooly bugger, Pumpkinhead, Gomphus Bug, Popin Bug, Foam Frog, Chernobyl Ant, or Stimulator.

The Fraser River back waters and sloughs are fishing well for cutthroat, rainbow, and Dolly Varden. For Cutthroat try: Alevin, Professor, Anderson Stone, American Coachman, Rolled Muddler, or Tied Down Minnow. For dolly varden try: Zonker, Flat Black, Big Black, Clouser's Deep Minnow, Dolly Whacker, or Lefty's Deceiver.

The Vedder River is fair to good for rainbow, and steelhead. For rainbow try: Czech nymph, Kaufmann Stone, Hares Ear, Big Black, Zulu, Soubou, or Irresistible. For steelhead try: Steelhead Nightmare, Flat Black, GP, Kaufman Stone, Steelhead Spratley, Irresistible, or Stimulator.

The Harrison River is fair for cutthroat and rainbow.