I have always known that the U.S. has many times eclipsed Canada, and in particular B.C., in the running battle over prominence for the world’s best of salmon and trout fisheries. Thanks to the latest addition in my library, via Christmas, I am beginning to see how this constant jockeying evolved.
Back when our two lands, west of the shining mountains, were a place of adventure, wonder, and mystery, men of power and prominence viewed them as the land of manifest destiny, waiting to be exploited. At the time, before such things as the Confederation of Canada, the American Civil War, and railways, much of what today is regarded as the chief domain of the rainbow trout, was either barren or home of other indigenous fish.
In the east, governing bodies faced pessimistic and non-consenting sentiments toward fish stocking and enhancement. “The brook trout must go…” wrote William A. Bruette in his 1883 outdoor column. Contrasting the popular opinions of the day, were well-heeled constituents who wanted streams full of fish, which would satisfy both the sport and reputation of a gentleman. Eyes turned to the west, where there were vast unpopulated expanses and reports of rivers teeming with wild salmon.
Be you for it or against it, thanks is due to men of great vision, political engineering, and a few opportunists, for the free-hold salmon and trout sport fisheries that we have today.
Next week we look at the pastor from Charlestown, New Hampshire, who pioneered and established the sport fish hatchery practices still in use.
Fishing on our Lower Mainland lakes remains slow, but with sunshine in the forecast, it should improve by the weekend. For better success concentrate on the northwest sections of your favourite lake, from mid-morning, through mid-afternoon with: Coachman, American Coachman, Professor, Wooly Bugger, Micro Leach, Sixpack, Dragonfly Nymph, Halfback, Doc Spratley, Baggy Shrimp, or Zulu.
The Fraser River back waters are fishing fair to good for cutthroat. For cutthroat try: Eggo, Rolled Muddler, Tied Down Minnow, Mickey Finn, Stonefly Nymph, or American Coachman.
The Stave River is fair to slow for cutthroat. For coho try: Christmas Tree, Rolled Muddler, olive Woolly Bugger, Bite Me, or Coho Blue. For steelhead try: Polar Shrimp, Squamish Poacher, Big Black, Flat Black, Popsicle, Kaufmann Black Stone, Eggo, Thor, or Steelhead Spratley.
The Harrison River is fair for coho, and cutthroat.
The Chehalis River is fair for coho, and cutthroat.
The Vedder is fair for steelhead.