General’s words bring back memories

“He fished just about every day he could, rain or shine, and worked the rivers and stream mouths north and south of Qualicum thoroughly and enjoyably, though his real enthusiasm was for summer steelhead of the Stamp. He understood this river and fished it almost as though it were his own private salmon stream in Scotland. There was in fact, very little competition in those days.

“It was Gen. Money who persuaded me that winter steelhead could be taken on a fly as a regular thing and not just a fluke. He was deeply concerned about the life histories of salmon and steelhead as well as about catching them and he loved new methods. I recall one day when the Stamp was extremely low, that I showed him Wood’s greased line technique and almost immediately he took a fish with it. The general promptly sent for suitable rods and low-water flies. When the new tackle arrived from England I remember sitting with him and Mrs. Money on the porch at Qualicum, watching the sun set over Hornby Island and planning the next day’s fishing on the Stamp.”

The words of Roderick Haig-Brown, reminiscing about fishing with his friend Gen. Nole Money during the late 1930s.

I identify with the old general. In winter of 2005, one of my readers from Mission gave me a spey rod that the general had bought for his business partner on the opening of the Qualicum Beach Hotel.


The report

Fishing on our Lower Mainland lakes remains only fare. For wet (sinking) fly fishing try: Coachman, American Coachman, Professor, Wooly Bugger, Micro Leach, Sixpack, Dragonfly Nymph, Halfback, Doc Spratley, Baggy Shrimp, or Zulu. For dry (floating) fly action try: Tom Thumb, Irresistible, Black Gnat, Griffith Gnat, Royal Coachman, or Renegade.

Our Lower Mainland bass and panfish fishing is hot. For bass try Wooly Bugger, Big Black, Clouser’s Deep Minnow, Zonker, Bucktail, Dolly Whacker, Frog, Popping Bug, or Crayfish in sizes 8 to 4. For Crappie or Pumpkinseed try: Wooly Bugger, Big Black, Micro Leach, Bucktail, Dolly whacker, Clouser’s deep minnow, or Popping Bug.

Fishing on our interior lakes is good. For wet fly fishing try: Wooly Bugger, Micro Leach, Egg Sucking Leach, Pumpkinhead, Dragonfly Nymph, Halfback Nymph, 52 Buick, Doc Spratley, Green Spratley, Souboo, or Baggy Shrimp. For dry fly try: Irresistible, Black Gnat, Griffith Gnat, Tom Thumb, Renegade, Double Hackled Peacock, Goddard Caddis, or Elk Hair Caddis.

The Fraser River is fishing well for spring, pink, and cutthroat. For spring try: Popsicle, Big Black, Stonefly Nymph, Squamish Poacher, or Eggo. For sockeye try: patterns in lime green or Chartreuse. For pink try: Happy Hooker, pink Bunny Leach, Pink Eve, or Cathy’s Coat. For cutthroat try: Eggo, Rolled Muddler, Tied Down Minnow, Mickey Finn, Stonefly Nymph, or American Coachman. For dolly Varden try: Zonker, Eggo, Clouser’s Deep Minnow, dolly Whacker, or Bucktail.

The Stave River is fair for rainbow and cutthroat. For rainbow try: Elk Hair Caddis, Tom Thumb, Golden Stonefly Nymph, Irresistible, Stimulator, Coachman, Zulu, or Lioness.

The Vedder River is good for Spring and pink.

The Harrison River is good for sockeye, spring, pink, cutthroat, and rainbow.

The Thompson River is good for sockeye, rainbow, and pink.