FISHING REPORT: Good time for lake fishing

Fishing conditions on both Lower Mainland and Interior lakes are good this week.

During his first attempts at harvesting salmon ova, Livingston Stone discovered another fish that he and his men struggled to identify. The local natives called the fish syoolott. In his writings Stone would later refer to this fish as Sacramento River trout, common mountain trout, or red banded trout, we know it as the rainbow trout.

By the end of the season in 1879, Stone and his crew had processed 45 million Chinook salmon eggs, and were shipping them by rail throughout the US. The enterprise did not meet with the expectations of Stone, Baird, and the rest of their colleges in the US Fish Commission. Stone was direct and to the point in expressing his disappointment.

“In no single case did the experiment prove satisfactory … a stupendous surprise and disappointment.”

The reputations of Baird, Stone, and the US Fish Commission were on the line. Spencer Fullerton Baird was unwilling to concede failure and give up. He needed a fish that could be used to establish and re-establish struggling fisheries. Meanwhile Seth Green, superintendent of the New York Fish Commission, had been culturing red banded California trout, from eggs he had received as a gift in 1875. Green found the California trout, grew faster, were much hardier than native eastern brook trout. The New York Fish Commissioners believed they had solved their problem and were anxious to start recolonizing east coast streams.

“We believe we shall have conferred the greatest possible boon upon anglers, not only in New York, but of all the Atlantic States, by the acclimatization of those fish,’’

Baird, had long opposed raising eastern brook trout, he viewed them to be a luxury item and not functional enough to qualify as a food species. He also recognized the political weight of sport fishermen. Baird gave the nod and Stone shifted the main focus of the California hatchery from Chinook salmon to rainbow trout.

At the height of their operation Stone and Baird had shipped live eggs to, and established rainbow trout fisheries in 33 states as well as England, France, Germany, Switzerland, Mexico, and Central Canada. Stones hatchery on the McCloud, was closed down in June of 1888. Stone finished out his career at the Cape Vincent Hatchery, in New York, where he retired in 1906. Much of the hatchery work with salmonids, around the world today, is based on Stone’s science.

The Report:

Fishing on our Lower Mainland lakes is good. For wet (sinking) fly fishing try:  Bloodworm, Chironomid, Wooly Bugger, Doc Spratley, Halfback, Micro Leach, Six Pack, Souboo, American Coachman, or Baggy Shrimp. For dry (floating) fly fishing try: Lady McConnell, Big Ugly, Elk Hair Caddis, Griffith Gnat, or Royal Coachman. For kokanee try: Bloodworm, San Juan Worm, Red Spratley, Red Ibis, Double Trude, or small Red Zonker.

Fishing on our interior lakes is good. For wet fly fishing try: Bloodworm, Chironomid, Big Black, 52 Buick, Dragon Nymph, Halfback, Butler’s Bug, Doc Spratley, Green or Red Spratley, Pumpkinhead, Green Carey, or Baggy Shrimp. For dry fly fishing try: Tom Thumb, Double Hackled Peacock, Elk hair Caddis, Goddard Caddis, Royal Wulff, or Irresistible.

The Fraser River backwaters and sloughs are fishing well for cutthroat and rainbow. For either species try: Rolled Muddler, Eggo, Chez Nymph, Big Black, Black Stonefly Nymph, American Coachman, Zulu, Chez Nymph, Mosquito, Elk Hair Caddis, Irresistible, or Micro Leach.

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