Weekly Fraser Valley Sport fishing column; May 5 to 12, 2014

Over the last few months I have been looking through all the popular sport fishing magazines. Like most people I have my favorite rags, but I learned years ago that sticking to them exclusively would give me a warped vision of what is going on in sport fishing. As is to be expected, I have obsevered things that are great and others not so great.

In my researching, I found many disheartening photos. Look through these magazines and you will find page after page of very large fish. Don?t get me wrong; I would not deny anyone?s right to show fish photos; it?s the way they are currently portrayed in the magazines leaves nothing to the imagination. The magic that kept many of us awake all night before our next fishing trip is gone. Not too many years ago, the majority of photos and stories in these magazines were of average Joe?s, with average fish. The bar was set a level where novice anglers, who applied themselves, could attain a fulfilling level of success within their first few seasons. Today if a novice was to measure his or her success against what is being displayed, these same novices would find themselves defeated. I am not saying we need to turn back, that would not work. I believe a better balance is what is needed. If we could do that, I believe we could excel in encouraging other anglers.

A pleasing observation I made, was how the barriers between angling methods are disappearing. We now have anglers using bass methods and lures, to successfully catch steelhead. While there are fly fishermen catching trophy bass with chironomid and dragonfly (fly) patterns. I myself have found success catching rainbows during the sedge hatch, using pan fish poppers. The lines are becoming more blurred every day; and personally I believe that is one of the best developments I have seen in twenty years.

The Report

Fishing on our lower mainland lakes is good. For wet (sinking) fly fishing try: Chironomid, Wooly Bugger, 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. For kokanee try: Bloodworm, San Juan Worm, Red Ibis, Red Spratley, or Kokanee killer.

Lower mainland bass and pan fish are performing well too. For bass 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. For Pan fish try: Wooly Bugger, Bloodworm, Chironomid, Micro Leach, Halfback, Pumpkinhead, Dolly Whacker, Tied Down Minnow, Popin Bug, or Chernobyl Ant.

Our interior lakes are fishing fair to well, early season tactics are the ticket. Try a slow retrieve with: Bloodworm, Chironomid, Pumpkinhead, Big Black, Micro Leach, 52 Buick, Sixpack, Butlers Bug, Dragon Nymph, Green Spratley, or Baggy Shrimp.

Many of our lower mainland creeks and sloughs are fishing very well, for cutthroat and rainbow. There are many to choose from, just make sure the water you want fish is open. For cutthroat and rainbow try: Professor, American Coachman, Mickey Finn, Tied Down Minnow, Rolled Muddler, Borden?s Special, Dolly Whacker, Czech Nymph, Stone Nymph, Big Black, Zulu, Soubou, Hares Ear Nymph, Stimulator, or Irresistible.