by Jeff Weltz
If I were to ask you, “What is North America’s most common indigenous trout,” what would you say?
Rainbow, brookie, or laker would all be wrong. Eastern brook trout and lake trout are in the char clan; and not trout. Rainbow for a large potion of their domain are an introduced species. The answer is the cutthroat; scientifically named Oncorhynchus Clarki, after William Clark, of the explorers Lewis and Clark.
The first reference to this trout came by way of Franciso Vasquei De Coronado in 1541, when one of his men documented them in a journal. A second reference was made in 1776 by two Franciscan Monks on route to the California Missions. Then in 1833 this prized trout was named, when Doctor Meredith Gairdner of the Hudson Bay Company, collected the first specimens for scientific study.
The cutthroat trout is another of our heritage fish, with a long history of providing sport, in our North American waters.
Fishing on our Lower Mainland lakes is fair to good. The heat is on and will be staying with us for awhile, which means it is time to use summer tactics. Early mornings and evening through dusk are best; focusing on the cooler water is the south west sections of your favorite lake. For wet (sinking) fly fishing try: Nations Black, Zulu, Wooly Bugger, Wooly Worm, Pumpkin Head, Micro Leach, Doc Spratley, Halfback, Sixpack, or Baggy Shrimp. For dry (floating) fly action try: Lady McConnel, Tom Thumb, Irresistible, Double Hackled Peacock, Royal Coachman, Black Gnat, Griffith Gnat, or Elk Hair Caddis. For kokanee try: Scarlet Ibis, San Juan Worm, Double Trude, Blood Worm, Kokanee Thriller, Kokanee Zonker, or Red Spratley.
Our Lower Mainland bass and panfish waters are fishing well. For Bass try: Big Black, Wooly Bugger, Gomphus Bug, Crayfish, Clouser’s Deep Minnow, Lefty’s Deceiver, Dolly Whacker, Bucktail, Hair Frog, Poppers, Chernobyl Ant, or Stimulator. For Panfish try smaller (size 12 to 16) versions of the above.
Fish on our Interior lakes is good but will be tapering off soon. As stated above, early mornings and evenings are your ticket to success. For wet fly fishing try: Chironomid, Halfback Nymph, Baggy Shrimp, Pumpkin Head, Wooly Bugger, Big Black, Dragon Nymph, Sixpack, 52 Buick, or Doc Spratley. For dry fly fishing try: Lady McConnel, Tom Thumb, Adams, Irresistible, Renegade, Black Gnat, or Elk Hair Caddis.
The Vedder River is fishable again and producing fair to good for spring, and rainbow. For spring try: Popsicle, Squamish Poacher, black GP, Flat Black, Big Black, or Kaufmann Stone. For rainbow try: Czech nymph, Kaufmann Stone, Hares Ear, Big Black, Wooly Bugger, Zulu, Souboo, Irresistible, Black Gnat, or Renegade.
The Harrison is also coming into shape and fishing fair to good for cutthroat. Try: Professor, Anderson Stone, American Coachman, Rolled Muddler, Black Gnat, Griffith Gnat, Zulu, Hares Ear, Renegade, or Irresistible.
The Thompson is high but fishable and producing well for rainbow. Try: Kaufmann Stone, Big Black, Cased Caddis, Foam Hopper, Elk Hair Caddis, Tom Thumb, Stimulator, Chernobyl Ant, or Irresistible.
The Fraser River opens for spring on the 27th with sockeye and pink soon after.