January is finally at an end. I am always glad to see the end of this month. Aside from the days getting longer and the sun appearing more often, the end of January means that the waters are once again on the warming side and the fish will be getting active.
“…a dozen anglers had sifted down from the highway. Spaced out along the reach, they plied their art with a skill that I could only envy. Occasionally one or other of them would sink hook in a trout…
All present were fly fishermen - all except me - and I watched them with hopeless longing while I heaved out my damnation spinner.
Gravel crunched behind me… One of the fly fishermen stood there smiling at me…
“Listen,” he said, “when they’re in like this, you’ll get nowhere with a worm and spinner. How’d you like to try a fly?”
He pulled a flat aluminum fly box from his jacket… and lifted from a fly from the orderly rows.
“This is a Royal Coachman,” he told me. “It might do the trick.”
…the grey-haired angler knotted on the fly…
“Now get in and give it a try.”
He waded in beside me. Guiding my elbow, he gave me my first lesson in fly casting…
His hand piloted me through the motions. Amazed, I watched my line reach out farther than it ever had before, to drop the fly on the glass-smooth surface.”
The above passage was taken from the book My Father, My Friend, by author Arthur Mayse.
One of the things that is too often missing in what our favourite sport has evolved into, is gentlemanly behaviour, and mentoring of novices encountered in a day’s fishing. I am going to dwell on this subject over the next few columns, in an effort to encourage the return of a higher standard in our chosen sport.
Our Lower Mainland lakes are producing again. Try a slow troll or retrieve, close to shore, with: Bloodworm, Chironomid, Zulu, Wooly Bugger, Wooly Worm, Big Black, Doc Spratley, or Baggy Shrimp.
The Fraser River sloughs and backwaters are good for cutthroat and dolly varden. For cutthroat Try: Rolled Muddler, Professor, Anderson Stone, Black Stone, Zulu, American Coachman, Flesh Fly, or Chez Nymph.
For dolly varden try large (size #4 to 2) Eggo, Clouser’s Deep Minnow, Tied Down Minnow, Roller Muddler, Dolly Whacker, Big Black, Kaufmann Stone, or Flesh Fly.
The Harrison River is good for cutthroat and rainbow. For rainbow try: Kaufmann Stone, Big Black, Wooly Bugger, Black Gnat, Souboo, Zulu, or Renegade.
The Chehalis River is fair to slow for steelhead, and rainbow. For steelhead try: Steelhead Nightmare, Kaufmann Stone, Polar Shrimp, GP, Popsicle, Squamish Poacher, Big Black, Flat Black, or Steelhead Spratley.
The Vedder River is good for steelhead, rainbow and cutthroat.
A fly fishing instructor and outdoor writer,
Jeff has fished the area since the early 1970s.
Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org