Many anglers, after catching their first salmon, dream of catching a 50- or 60-pound spring (chinook salmon). When it comes to these dreams, discretion can on occasion, be the better part of valor.
There was a time when I dreamed of big springs, tyee we call them. When I first spoke of catching one with my fly rod, my peers said it couldn’t be done. It was obvious that they had not read the profiles and histories of our sport-fishing legends of the west.
Undaunted by the nay-sayers, set my sights on a tyee. The first task as to come up with fly patterns that worked consistently; since there were very few fly anglers that targeted tyee (15 years ago, on this side of the border) and even less who talked about it.
Next, I needed a rod with enough backbone, to muscle one of those fish into submission. After some trial and error I had designed flies that were effective and had the rod I needed, but my reels came up short on line capacity. Later with the right reel and a few more seasons of experience, I was able to land springs, and competently.
The weights of those fish began to climb and I soon had my first tyee. My second tyee caught on the Stave, was a 36-pound male who was every ounce a fight.
That fish worked me from one end of the run and back, more times than enough. Then as if that fight wasn’t enough, there was the jog in wading boots, waders, and backpack, up the hill when the gatekeeper sounded his horn. Now the prospect of a 50- or 60-pound spring no longer looked like recreation, it looked like work.
Tyee on the fly you say, hmm!
Our Lower Mainland lakes are slow. For better success concentrate focus your fishing to the mid morning through afternoon. For wet (sinking) fly trout fishing try: Coachman, Zulu, Wooly Bugger, Dragonfly Nymph, Damsel Nymph, Sixpack, Doc Spratley, Pumpkinhead, or Baggy Shrimp.
Fishing on our Interior lakes is also slow. Mr. Freeze intends to come early this year; so if you want to make that trip to that Interior lake; make it soon.
For wet fly fishing try: Chironomid, Halfback, 52 Buick, Pumpkinhead, Big Black, Micro Leach, Coachman, Green Spratley, Damsel nymph, Dragon nymph, Carey Special, Souboo, Sixpack, or Baggy Shrimp.
The Fraser is fishing well for coho, chum, spring, and cutthroat. For coho try: Eggo, Coho Blue, Christmas Tree, olive Wooly Bugger, or Bite Me, Rolled Muddler. For chum try: Christmas Tree, Big Black, Flat Black, Bunny Leach, Holliman, dark green Wooly Bugger, or Mat Green.
For spring try: Eggo, Big Black, Flat Black, Wooly Bugger, Kaufmann Stone, Squamish Poacher, or Popsicle. For cutthroat try: Rolled Muddler, Professor, Anderson Stone, Zulu, American Coachman, Renegade, Tom Thumb, Black Gnat, Chez Nymph, and Irresistible.
The Harrison is good for coho, chum, spring and cutthroat.
The Vedder is good for coho, chum, spring, rainbow, and cutthroat. For rainbow try: Kaufmann Stone, Big Black, Black Gnat, Souboo, Zulu, Renegade, Tom Thumb, Chernobyl Ant, Foam Hopper, or Irresistible.
A fly fishing instructor and outdoor writer, Jeff has fished the area since the early 1970s.
Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.