Sport fishing column for Feb 22 to March 1, 2010

As promised last week I am sharing some of the greatest rewards I have received as fly fishing instructor and youth fly fishing coach. I will be using the initials of selected individuals to allow them to maintain their anonymity.

One of these diamonds in the ruff was MM. MM became a member of the Kwayhquit Fly Fishers (Kwayhquitlum Middle School) at the request of his counselor. MM came from a very low income single parent home and had serious self-esteem issues. The most apparent of these was his inability to look anyone in the eye; in conversation he would stare at the floor and talk with an almost inaudible voice. Never the less we took him on as a full member of our club and proceeded to teach him how to tie flies. Week after week he would come and tie flies, put them in his fly box and then disappear in the sea of faces that was middle school. Then came our monthly fishing trip; his first ever. MM was the first to catch a fish and there was no mistake who it was, because he was yelling at the top of his lungs. Everyone stopped in amazement. It was the first time anyone had heard him utter anything over a whisper. Each club member gave him the traditional "Way to go!" For the first time MM stood straight and looked everyone in the eye. His counselor later told me the change was nothing short of miraculous. He had found his niche and it fit. As time went on MM experienced his first campfire and camping experience on our annual over night trip.

A box of flies, a hand me down rod, a fish, and a changed life. That's why I teach fly fishing.

The report

The mercury reached 16 Celsius in Abbotsford last Friday, shifting our Lower mainland lake fishing into spring mode. Chironomid are the order of the day along with Big Black, Wooly bugger, Micro Leach, Baggy Shrimp, Coachman, Bloodworm, Cased caddis, Zulu, or Doc Spratley. This warm weather has also launched our dry fly action. Try: Tom Thumb, Lady McConnel, Irresistible, Renegade, Black Gnat, Griffith Gnat, or Elk Hair Caddis.

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 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".