By Jeff Weltz
2011 is upon us; the coming of a new year brings a time to look forward and a time to look back. While plans of adventure for the New Year wait for the first big push of steelhead; the dreary days of January could make one melancholy, if it were not for fond memories of great fishing in the past. James Watson's original 1711 verse of Auld Lang Syne speaks of this same state of mind:
"Since Thought of thee doth banish grief, when from thee I am gone; Will not thy presence yield relief, to this sad heart of mine: Why doth thy presence me defeat, with excellence divine?" Especially when I reflect on old long syne."
The mental photos in my angler's bag are of the great patriarch of our sport, the great waters I have fished, and my mentors who taught me what was important. My goal for the New Year is as always to lead others in the angler's art. What is your goal?
Reel in the big one in 2011
Fishing on our Lower Mainland lakes is slow. Try a slow troll or retrieve with: Big Black, Nation's Black, Wooly Bugger, Micro Leach,Baggy Shrimp, Coachman, Halfback, Dragon Nymph, Olive Matuka, Butler's Bug, Zulu, or Doc Spratley. Lower mainland beach and estuary fisheries are fair to good for sea-run cutthroat. Try: Epoxy Minnow, Tied Down Minnow, Muddler Minnow, Clouser's Deep Minnow, Lioness, Grizzly King, Mickey Finn,Coachman, Knudson's Spider, Zulu, Purple Joe, or Borden Special.
The Fraser River is slow for cutthroat and dolly varden. For cutthroat try: Rolled Muddler, Mickey Finn, Eggo, Tied Down Minnow, Epoxy Minnow, black, Flesh Fly, Stone, Professor, Lioness, Coachman, Zulu,Chez Nymph. For Dolly Varden try: Large (#4 to #1) Eggo, DollyWhacker, Bucktail, Epoxy Minnow, Big Black, Muddler, or Zunker.
Fishing on the Vedder River near Chilliwack, B.C. (Courtesy of Ryan Hegedus)
The Vedder River is slow to fair for rainbow, dolly varden and the odd early steelhead. For rainbow try: Rolled Muddler, Mickey Finn, Eggo, Flesh Fly, Kaufmann Black Stone, Black Gnat, Zulu, Chez Nymph, Big Black, Sixpack, or Renegade. For steelhead try: Big Black, Popsicle,Steelhead Nightmare, Squamish Poacher, Kaufmann Stone, Thor, Polar Shrimp, or Eggo.
The Stave River is fair for rainbow and cutthroat.
The Harrison River is fair for cutthroat, and rainbow.
You can find more at "The Reel Life Press" by Jeff Weltz. Jeff has an extensive list of fishing experiences from competing in the Canadian National Fly Fishing Championships, to being regularly involved in youth fly fishing clubs. He has also contributed fishing columns to an impressive list of both newspapers and websites