WELTZ: Writing about the outdoors for 33 years

Last week we looked at Vancouver’s tackle-making legend Rufus Gibbs. This week in our series on Vancouver sport fishing personalities, we look at outdoor media legend, Lee Straight.

As a weekly sport fishing columnist, I took special interest in my study of Leland Robert (Lee) Straight, who spent 33 years turning out a daily outdoors column for the Vancouver Sun.

Born and raised in Vancouver, he attended UBC with the intentions of becoming a school teacher of either English or mathematics. School took a back seat to the navy when Straight enlisted in 1944. In 1945, he was asked by his brother Hal, managing editor of the Vancouver Sun, to take over the outdoors column upon Lee’s discharge from the navy.

Hal had been required to dismiss three outdoors columnists over the space of that same year. Not long after Hal’s request, Lee was posted back in Vancouver, de-storing naval vessels in Bedwell Bay. While waiting for discharge, Lee agreed to help his brother and write the columns until other employment was secured. This  never panned out so Straight, who often fell asleep at his typewriter after a day of field research, rendered his daily outdoors column, until retiring in 1979.

When Lee was asked, later in his life, what he thought about modern day journalism, with its shortage of copy editors, Internet media, and a high reliance on inadequate computer spell checkers.

He replied, “I think it’s going to be a race between the technical sophistication becoming too intricate to manage, on the one hand and human over population smothering everything on the other.”

When asked what advice he would have for those of us who have chosen the pen as our focus of interest in the outdoors, he responded, “Our first responsibility as outdoor journalists is to protect nature.”

Leland Robert Straight, 1915 to 2004, is missed.

 

The report

Fishing on our Lower Mainland lakes is good. Concentrate your fish on the north east area of your favorite lake from late morning through mid afternoon with. For rainbow and cutthroat try: Chironomid, Bloodworm, Black Gnat, Royal Coachman, Coachman, American Coachman, Professor, 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, 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 Stave River is good for rainbow and cutthroat.

The Harrison River is fair to good for cutthroat, and rainbow.

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

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