Up to this point in our latest series we covered the foundations in the history of our North American fishery. By the 1820s, baring a few small skirmishes, our two countries had a lasting peace. It was time to build in the foundations established over the previous two centuries. Canada had a proclamation of Dominion and the US a vision of Manifest Destiny; it was a time of mass exploration, discovery, and settlement, and wherever the people went, so did their sport of field, hunting and fishing.
In the 1830s a large portion of the interior of both countries were accessible by horse and coach; by 1850 rail travel had increased accessibility and the speed of travel tenfold.
“Fishing and sporting parties are almost as common in this section as they are at Nahant, Boston, or anywhere along the coast, from the Gulf of the St. Lawrence to… New Orleans. And in all the world over (pray back up asseverations, ye anglers) in all the world over there is not a better place for the purpose than this country affords,” Turf Register, November 1837.
“In Main, there is noble trouting in the whole month of July, as well as in that of June, and in May …” Turf Register, April 1840.
As was common during this period of exploration; after a long journey to Fort Bridger, Wyoming, in 1847, one Wilford Woodruff, decided to try the fishing, with the rod he had purchased in England before immigrating to the Americas.
“I threw my fly into the water and it being the first time the artificial fly in America or saw it tried, I watched it upon the water with as much interest as Franklin did his kite… and as he received great joy when he saw the electricity descend on his kite string, so was I highly gratified when I saw the nimble trout dart at my fly hook, and run away with my line.”
Fishing on our Lower Mainland lakes is good. Spring fishing tactics apply. For wet fly fishing try: Bloodworm, Chironomid, Wooly Bugger, Doc Spratley, Halfback, Micro Leach, Six Pack, Souboo, or Baggy Shrimp. For Dry fly fishing try: Lady McConnel, Griffith Gnat, Tom Thumb, Elk Hair Caddis or Irresistible.
Our Lower Mainland bass and panfish are active again. We have a confirmed report that a BC record, was long line released in a Mission lake last weekend. For bass try: Wooly Bugger, Big Black, Dolly Whacker, Clouser’s Deep Minnow, Lefty’s Deceiver, Dragon Nymph, Foam Frog, Chernobyl Ant, or Popper. For panfish try: Micro leach, Bloodworm, Chironomid, Wooly Bugger, Dolly Whacker, Tied Down Minnow, Black Gnat, or Tom Thumb.
The Fraser River is good for cutthroat and dolly varden. For cutthroat try: Rolled Muddler, Eggo, Chez Nymph, Big Black, black Stonefly Nymph, or Micro Leach. For dolly Varden try: large, size 4 to 1, Eggo, Zonker, Dolly whacker, Clouser’s Deep Minnow, or Lefty’s Deceiver.
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, Micro Leach.