Newsman's sport fishing column and report

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Newsman's sport fishing column and report Empty Newsman's sport fishing column and report

Post  newsman on Wed Jan 13, 2016 1:25 am

Weekly Fraser Valley Sport Fishing Column for Jan 11 to 18, 2016

Last week we reopened our look at a history of North American sport fishing and closed last week’s column with the statement, “the railroads cashed in big.”

Most rail lines have sections of track along great fisheries. The equation is simple; fishermen want to get to good fisheries and the railroads travel by those same fisheries daily. While not a popular practice today in times past, all the major railroads in North America were running, “Fishermen’s Specials.” These trains typically ran on weekends, offering anglers return trip fares, along specific sections of track. These trains not only offered the comforts of coach travel, but also the luxuries of the club car and an ice car where anglers could pack their catch in ice for the trip home. Prizes for big fish and large catches were often offered in trade for publicizing the successes to be had along the rail company’s line. It was no understatement, when I said “The rail lines cashed in big.” For an example, I offer the Pennsylvania, which in 1902 marked 3,500,000 return trip fares to Jamaica Bay New York alone. Considering all the miles of track throughout all the fishable regions of North America and the fact that most fishermen’s specials ran for sixty years, I find the potential number of fares, mind boggling. Who says fishing is not big business?

In our lower mainland it was the BC Electric and the Interurban that offered these “Fishermen Specials.” If you were well healed and wanted more famous fishing, connections could be made through the Canadian Pacific, Canadian National, or the Pacific Great Eastern.

Further south in Oregon, famous fly tier and double haul patriarch, Maurice (Mooch) Abraham, made full use of trains such as the: Salmonberry, Astoria, Bull Run, Estacada, and Seattle. It was lifelong discomfort from a shoulder injury, incurred in a traffic accident, that brought Mooch to the place where he invented the double haul cast, but I believe it was the comfort of the rail coaches that brought him to the places where he could share a wealth of angling skill with us all.

The Report

Ice is covering most of our lower mainland lakes at this point, for better success try ice fishing on our higher elevation lakes. For open water try: Chironomid, Bloodworm, Wooly Bugger, Doc Spratley, Halfback, Micro Leach, Pumpkinhead, or Baggy Shrimp. For ice fishing try: Shrimp, Baggy Shrimp, Ice Flies, and Crappie Jigs.

The Fraser River along with its backwaters and sloughs are fishing slow to fair for whitefish, cutthroat, rainbow, dolly Varden, and early steelhead. For cutthroat try: Rolled Muddler, Flesh Fly, Eggo, Professor, Silver Doctor, Borden Special, Zulu, or small black Stone Nymph. For dolly varden try: large Clouser’s Deep Minnow. Zonker, Eggo, Flesh Fly, Dolly Whacker, or Kauffman Stone. For rainbow try: Czech nymph, Cased Caddis, Coachman, Rolled Muddler, Mico Leach, or Zulu. For whitefish try: Czech Nymph, Cased Caddis, Eggo, Hairs Ear nymph, or Mico Leach. For steelhead try: Big Black, Flat Black, Squamish Poacher, Polar Shrimp, Popsicle, GP, Steelhead Nightmare, or Kauffman Stone.

The Harrison River is slow to fair for cutthroat and rainbow.

The Vedder River is slow to fair for rainbow and the odd steelhead.

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