Sport fishing column for Feb 8 to 15, 2010

What does it take to achieve high catch ratios and land large fish? If you made a consensus of answers from the top rods around the world, I guarantee it would come down to one thing; confidence. What would this assurance be, in the context of sport fishing? The ability to believe: To believe that the fish are down there. To believe that you have the right equipment. To believe that inspite of what you may see or hear you still have what it takes to win. Every fishing trip is a contest of wills, yours and the will of the fish. Too many anglers evaluate their skills by opinions of other anglers, when in the end the true judges are the fish; you either catch fish or you don't. The odds are always in favor of the house or in this case the fish. We can however slant the odds in our direction somewhat, by studying our opponents. A very wise teacher once wrote "Study to show thyself approved." Why, because having approval instills confidence, which in sport fishing is a primary key to success.

The Report

Our lower mainland lakes are fishing well from mid morning to dusk. Concentrate on the warmer water, close to shore, in the northeastern sections of your favorite lake, with a slow retrieve or troll. Try Big Black, Wooly bugger, Micro Leach, Baggy Shrimp, Coachman, Bloodworm, Chironomid, Cased caddis, Zulu, or Doc Spratley.

The Fraser River back waters and sloughs are fishing well for cutthroat and rainbow. For cutthroat try: Flesh Fly, Eggo, Egg & Eye Alevin, Rolled Muddler, Mickey Finn, Tied Down Minnow, Professor, Lioness, Winter Stone, Coachman, Zulu, Chez Nymph, or Souboo. For rainbow try the above along with red Spratley, red Carey, Kaufmann Stone, Royal Coachman or Black Gnat.

The Stave River is fair to good for cutthroat, rainbow, and whitefish. For whitefish try: small (#14 to#20) Eggo, Flesh Fly, Griffith Gnat, Stone Nymph, Chironomid, or Caddis Nymph.

The Harrison River is good for cutthroat.

The Chehalis River is slow for steelhead, cutthroat and rainbow. For steelhead try: Squamish Poacher, Thor, GP, Popsicle, Big Black, Flat Black, polar Shrimp, Eggo, Steelhead Nightmare, Purple Peril, Holliman, Kaufmann Stone, or Steelhead Spratley.

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

The Squamish River is slow for cutthroat, and dolly varden. For dolly varden try: large #4 to #2, Zonker, Eggo, Bucktail, Big Black, or Clouser's Deep Minnow.

Until the next time, "Keep your fly in the water".