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Long, fat and beautiful

Published on Friday, May 9th, 2008

Today’s outing on a Lower Mainland lake was the best one so far this season. After hooking numerous fish on a brown leech pattern, I rigged up a flyfishing rod with an indicator for my friend Erin who has never flyfished before. After several misses, the indicator took a dip and remained under for a long time. Without being alerted, Erin yanked the rod back and the full bend suggested a much larger fish at the other end. I had to stop Erin from stripping in the line so quickly because the fish was pulling just as hard at the other end. With constant headshakes, this fish remained in the deep as it made its way to the boat.

Its first surfacing had me looking for the landing net frantically. It was easily the biggest cutthroat trout that I have seen from this lake! I leaned over to see where it was. A couple of times it made us hold our breath as it went for the anchor rope. The fly line’s loop connector to the leader was now caught at the rod tip. She had no way to bring the fish to the surface and I was too afraid to grab the line. Finally with some pulling the loop freed itself from the tip and the fish resurfaced. On my third try, I managed to slipped the entire fish into the net.  Not only was it long, it was fat unlike some of the early season fish that we often see. The semi-silvery, heavily spotted body also made it the prettiest specimen I have seen to date.

The Freshwater Fisheries Society of BC produces and stocks a strain of cutthroat trout that are known as Taylor 3N. Even though most Southern Coastal BC lakes’ low nutrient productivity is unable to yield large trout, these ferocious cutthroat trout often grow rapidly by feeding on larger food items such as leeches and sticklebacks. Released as yearlings, their average size can reach 5lb in two to three years. The fishing is especially good at lakes that are stocked with Taylor 3Ns and designated as a catch and release fishery. Look out for these lakes by searching the stocking history and take advantage of the first class fisheries around you.

A good substitute

Published on Monday, May 5th, 2008

This past weekend we spent two nights at Lakeside Gardens Resort, fishing St Mary’s Lake on Salt Spring Island. St Mary’s Lake is mostly known for its smallmouth bass fishing and we typically visit it in June or July. This year we decided to pay it an earlier visit, hoping to see some topwater bass action. Unfortunately the season is delayed, but we were treated with a good substitute. Both cutthroat and rainbow trout were pretty eager to chew on our fly and bait. Just take a look at this video on the floating dock shot for 35 minutes straight.

Because Lakeside Gardens Resort is an advertiser on Fishing with Rod, when you book your stay, mention “Fishing with Rod” to receive 10% off. The resort offers campsites, small lakeside cabanas for 2 people as well as larger cottages for 4 to 6 people.

The First Lake Trip of The Year

Published on Friday, April 11th, 2008

A very warm evening welcome to members and subscribers to The Journal on Fishing with Rod, your top fishing web page in the North West for fishing information, tips, tall tales, environmental issues, videos and much more.

I got a call from Yu last week inviting me to join him and The Master for a lake fishing trip today. I met Yu at badminton last year and found out he was a very keen angler, Yu had been out with Nick for a few Fraser River trips the last couple of years, no wonder he is keen then.

Yu has just opened a Mr. Mikes Steakhouse here in Chilliwack so now he has limited time to get out so he along with me was anxious to get into some fish. I had spent all day out on the river one day this week with Rodney without a bite and then to make matter worse Steve told me at the FVSS meeting last night he had got 3 steelhead to the beach after work, in the same spot Rodney and I had fished the day before. Huh Roll Eyes The Master said I would get lots of bites today, well I know he would anyway.

The game plan this morning was to meet for breakfast at Bridal Falls Restaurant at 8:30 and then we would decide the lake we would be going to.

I was just on my way in the Leaf Mobile, heading to the meeting place and the cell phone rings it Yu. “where are you guys”?. I tell him it is just 8 o’clock and we agreed we would meet at 8:30, “I thought it was to be 8 he says”, I told you he was eager. Grin Grin,

Anyway we have an enjoyable breakfast with lots of fish talk of course and we are on our way to the lake, shortly after 9. The Master tells us we are heading to – Weaver Lake (I know you the readers are anxious to know where we were going to be fishing  Grin Grin) on the North side of the Fraser.

In no time Agassiz is left behind us, then over the Harrison River we motor, past the Sandpiper Golf course on Morris Valley Road with golfers on the links already, they are crazier than anglers. Then we are passing over the Chehalis River Bridge, with the river being very low by the way. That will change shortly as the snow melt will begin in a few days.

Our next mile post marker is the Weaver Creek Hatchery, just before the turnoff for the road that leads us to Weaver Lake. I think of the sockeye alveins that are now stirring in the Weaver Creek hatchery channels that were alive with their parents just a few months ago. It is always a nice place to visit to see this spectacular in the late Fall. Thousand of tourists, by the bus load take in this salmon spawning ritual each year.A 10 minute drive off Morris Valley Road sees us arrive at this pretty lake, sitting below still snow capped mountains that are mirrored today on it flat calm waters. Its a local Fraser Valley gem to those that like to fish it. The only thing that spoils the scenery is the usual garbage scattered around, disappointing to see this all the time. I can never get over it. You would think that these vistors to the great outdoors would be people that enjoy being in the wilderness setting so to speak, how can they be so careless. The garbage bins have not been emptied for a while either and some are over flowing. I clean up a bit while the boys launch the boat and I retrieve about $7 worth of bottles and tins. Grin Grin I see numerous tins on the lake bottom too. Cry Embarrassed Angry Shocked

We quickly load the boat up with the gear and Nick puts on the electric kicker and we are on our way to the “hot spot” on the lake which The Master tells us was where they filmed a fishing show this week for the Chilliwack Shaw TV station. He is confident the fishing will be as good as it was that day. They will not be big fish Nick says “the biggest we have taken in past years are 16 inches long but most today will be in the 9 to 12 inch range”. “Years ago, 30 years ago there was some 6 pounders but they are gone now”, he added. I ask him if the lake is stocked and he says the Freshwater Fisheries Society of BC stocks about 6,000 each year into Weaver. They are Blackwater stock I believe he said, as well as some triploid fish. Also there is natural reproduction as well. If interested one can go to the Go Fish web site for lots of information about all the FFSBC programs. You can find it on their website.

We reach the chosen spot and I lower the anchor into about 15 feet on water. I see fish dimpling the water all around us as we rig up, it looks promising. We will be using single eggs today, fishing on the bottom.

I decide to do some filming first. Yu is the first to get his line into the water and he has the first fish on, about 2 seconds after his line reaches bottom. Its not a big fish but is fiesty for its size, close to 10 inches. Yu returns it to the lake.

Nick says the best method is to throw your line out, let it settle to the bottom then reel it in a few feet, every few seconds.

We have hit the bite as the boys are into fish after fish, I get some good footage but I finally I can not take it any more as they have brought around 12 to the boat. I finally bait up and it takes me a bit but finally I am into the fish too.

We are keeping the odd bigger one, for a fish dinner but most are released. The fishing dies off a bit so we just kick back and enjoy watching the swallows, the first I have seen this year. Is Spring finally here? The swallows are skimming across the surface looking for the odd chironomid that are hatching, the same ones the fish are feeding on, maybe we should have brought our fly rods. I know some of you are thinking that. Grin

What a beautiful setting we are in, not one other boat is on the lake that I believe is around 200 acres in size. We see an osprey, a few ducks paddling along the shoreline, and a lone eagle. As well throughout the day we hear a ruffed grouse drumming out its mating call, on his favorire fallen log, deep in the forest. From above the lake we hear another grouse, this time a blue who is hooting for a mate too, yes Spring is here.

The only foreign sound we hear is the odd jet passing high above, out of sight, above the clouds.

As I said the bite has died off a bit so we move to another spot and we find more of these fun little game fish that at times can be hard to hook, but thats the great part of fishing. We have landed close to 50 of these rainbows when we decide to call it a day, like I said not big but a good warm up for the lake fishing days ahead. We will then be packing our fly rods and the fish will be a lot bigger than today. But remember what The Master says “a fish is a fish” and just getting out with good friends, seeing the best scenery in the world and hooking the odd fish is what makes fishing one of the best pastimes in the world.

Give Weaver Lake a try one day, the fish are there, The Master guarantees it.

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