Newsman's sport fishing column & report

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Newsman's sport fishing column & report

Post  newsman on Wed Jan 25, 2012 12:27 am

Sport fishing column for Jan 23 to 30, 2012

Contrary to what many, today, believe, rainbow trout were not a popular fish in the 1870's. While Dr Spenser Fullerton Baird and Reverend Livingston Stone were pioneering rainbow trout hatcheries in the wild west of California, the popular fish of the day, by preference of eastern gentlemen, was the eastern brook trout.

US Fish Commissioner Baird, viewed brookies as a sport fish and a luxury item, what he wanted was a utilitarian food species. He also recognized that sport fishermen harbored a large amount of political influence, so he needed a fish that had a significant sporting ability. Baird believed, his yet undiscovered, rainbow trout had a leg up on the eastern brook trout. Understanding that hatchery raised brook trout were not popular in the east, Baird through some political maneuvering, began planting rainbow trout in depleted eastern streams, as a supplemental fishery. Baird's maneuvering worked and rainbows quickly became popular; due to their fighting ability, along with their ability to withstand higher water temperatures and small amounts of pollution.

Once Baird and Stone got a foot proverbial in the door, they used the political clout of sport fishermen to force it wide open. In the late 1870's through mid 1880's Baird and Stone shipped live rainbow trout eggs, for fish planting, to thirty-three of America's United States, England, France, Demark, Germany, Switzerland, Japan, Mexico, New Zealand, and yes, believe or not, Ontario, Canada.

Baird died in the summer of 1887. His replacement Marshall McDonald closed the California operations in 1888. As fate would have it, Baird and Stone had done their job so well that there was a better producing federal hatchery operating at Northville, Michigan. Today the remains of Livingston Stone's rainbow trout hatchery (the very first in North America) lay at rest under California's Lake Shasta.

The report

Fishing on our lower mainland lakes is slow, but should improve with the return on the sun by the weekend. Try a slow troll or retrieve with: Coachman, Zulu, American Coachman, Professor, Wooly Bugger, Micro Leach, Sixpack, Dragonfly Nymph, Halfback, Doc Spratley or Baggy Shrimp.

The Fraser River back waters are fishing fair to good for cutthroat. For cutthroat try: Eggo, Rolled Muddler, Tied Down Minnow, Mickey Finn, Stonefly Nymph, Chez Nymph, or American Coachman.

The Stave River is fair to slow for cutthroat. For steelhead try: Polar Shrimp, Squamish Poacher, Big Black, Flat Black, Popsicle, Kaufmann Black Stone, Eggo, Thor, or Steelhead Spratley.

The Harrison River is fair for cutthroat.

The Chehalis River is fair steelhead and cutthroat.

The Vedder is fair to good for steelhead.

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