In his epic angler’s story, author Norman Mclean penned, “Of course, now I am too old to be much of a fisherman.”
Now that I am referred to as the old guy at my day job, I begrudgingly concede that I have joined the old boys club.
How old is that? I am old enough to remember looking forward to and watching, Ted Peck’s, Tides and Trails, every Saturday. How many of today’s sport fishing fans know who Ted Peck was, let alone that he hosted a show? I am also old enough to have my interest in fly fishing be sparked by “The Flying Fisherman” Gadabout Gaddis. How many know who he was?
What did we do in those days before metric, and the Internet? We learned to do it ourselves; though much trial and error, leg work and analysis. Compared to the endless volumes of fishing literature available today, good fishing books were rare and prized.
Our local well-healed anglers shopped at Harkley and Haywood while the rest of us went to department or hardware stores and made due with their limited stock. Many of us made our own nonslip soles for wading boots and waders and unlike today, rods were bought rarely and self-repaired often. We didn’t buy our boats, we made them and the RV was the family station wagon with a tent, cooler and camp stove in the back.
As one of these old guys, from the old school fishing crowd, can I compete with the new age of sport fishing stars? No. My one trip to the Canadian national fly fishing championship is testament to that. However, as one who has been down the road more times than he cares to remember, I can teach you how to catch a fish or 12 and do it without making the family financially destitute. Balance that against the cost of fuel and tackle, then tell me who the champ is.
Fishing on our Lower Mainland lakes is improving, thanks to the sun. Try to concentrate your fishing from late morning through mid-afternoon with: 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 steelhead, 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.