In 1760, after the end of 135 year long battle, between the French and the English, for control of the fur trading territories; those who wished to explore the fishing inland to the north and east, could safely do so, without wondering if they might find themselves in the middle of a furious flurry of musket balls, bayonets, and sabres.
During this period of time, British military officers regularly sent home raving reports of excellent fishing in the northerly portions of British North America. As these reports were published in the British sporting journals of England, adventures set their eyes on the new territory, as a place to make their mark. One of the first of these adventures was Joseph Banks who traveled to Newfoundland in 1766, leaving us this account.
“So much for salt water fish the fresh are in great. Plenty tho but of two sorts trout and eels the first of which offered good diversion to an angler biting very well at the artificial… I have seen no large ones none I believe above a pound in weight but am told that in some parts of Nfland they are very large.”
The inland portions of North America continued to become more inviting, particularly with British military personal, as tensions escalated to the south and east of the newer British North America and the older colonies. Colonel John Enys along with two of his officers (which I assume were on furlough from skirmishing in the American Revolution), penned these words about fishing Lake Champlain.
“This was the first salmon these people had ever seen and they were equally astonished to find these fish in the Saranac River, and to see them caught with a slender rod; they very much wished to see our baskets and it was not without some difficulty we made them believe we caught them with the flies we showed
Success in fishing is as much understanding what determines fish feeding behaviour as it does fooling a fish. I know the calendar says mid-winter; but man is the only creature that follows our calendar. So I ask you, what season is it?
Kim and I spotted the first mosquitoes in our house two weeks ago. The cherry blossoms are out in Vancouver. Bears have been reported coming out of hibernation; reports are that there is very little snow remaining in many interior locations. A scant number of low elevation interior lakes are ice free and many others are slushy. What does all this mean? Expect to start your spring and summer fishing routines early, while repairing for summer draught conditions and a low water this coming fall.
Fishing on our Lower Mainland lakes is good. Try: Bloodworm, Chironomid, Wooly Bugger, Leach, Dragon nymph, Halfback, or Baggy Shrimp.
The Fraser River is fair to good for cutthroat and dolly varden. For cutthroat try: Rolled Muddler, Flesh Fly, Anderson Stone, Eggo, Chez Nymph, Big Black, Black Stonefly Nymph, or Micro Leach.
The Vedder River is good for steelhead. Try GP, Squamish Poacher, Polar Shrimp, Popsicle, Big Black, Flat Black, Eggo, or black Stonefly Nymph.
The Harrison River is good for rainbow, and cutthroat. For rainbow try: Rolled Muddler, Zulu, Eggo, Chez Nymph, Big Black, Black Stone Nymph or Micro Leach.