WELTZ: Check fish tackle and equipment

Spring is finally here. I, for one, hope the recent warm weather is not another false start to the season and fishing we have been waiting for.

Now is the time to give the boat and motor a once over, and while you are at it check the axle bearing on that boat trailer. When is the last time you cleaned and lubed your reels, or checked the eyelets on your rods for wear? A small amount of preventative maintenance now could save disappointment when you have that trophy on the line. How is the tackle supply? There are some good sales out there right now.

It is also time to renew that fishing license, which means we are looking at the best weekend of the year to go steelheading. Here’s an inside tip: Many anglers don’t bother to renew their license and tags until the May long weekend, leaving our rivers less congested until freshet.

Spring is also the time to start thinking about local fishing derbies and family-related sport fishing activities. Mark your calendars for the Greg Clark Memorial, and Cultus Lake Family Fishing Derby on Father’s Day weekend. The West Coast Bass Anglers open tournament is April 16 at the Marsh. Details at West Coast Bass Anglers Free Forum at the Maple Ridge Outdoor Lifestyles and Adventure Show, April 29, 30, and May 1, at Planet Ice, Maple Ridge.


The report

Fishing on our Lower Mainland lakes is good. Late mornings through mid-afternoons are best. Try Chironomid, Bloodworm, Big Black, Woolly Bugger, Micro Leach, Sixpack, Dragonfly Nymph, Halfback, Doc Spratley, Baggy shrimp, or Zulu.

The Fraser River and sloughs are good for cutthroat and dolly varden. For cutthroat try Rolled Muddler, Mickey Finn, Eggo, Tied Down Minnow, Epoxy Minnow, Flesh Fly, Professor, Lioness, Coachman, Zulu, Chez Nymph. For dolly Varden try: Large (#4 to #1) Eggo, Dolly Whacker, Bucktail, Epoxy Minnow, Big Black, Muddler, or Zonker.

The Vedder River is good for steelhead, dolly varden and rainbow, by the weekend. For steelhead try big Black, Popsicle, Steelhead Nightmare, Polar shrimp, GP, Thor, Squamish Poacher, Kaufmann Stone, Purple Peril, or Eggo. For rainbow try: Rolled Muddler, Eggo, Flesh

Fly, Kaufmann Black Stone,  Zulu, Chez Nymph, Big Black, or Renegade.

The Stave River is fair to good for rainbow and cutthroat.

The Chehalis River is good for steelhead and cutthroat.

The Harrison River is good for cutthroat, and rainbow.

You can find more at “The Reel Life Press” by Jeff Weltz.