Newsman's sport fishing column and report

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Newsman's sport fishing column and report

Post  newsman on Tue Mar 10, 2015 12:31 am

Weekly Fraser Valley Sport fishing column; March 9 to 16, 2015

“The best rods were formerly imported from England, and made of hazel or hickory, but they were little adapted to our modes of fishing, and have consequently grown into disuse. American rod makers have introduced great improvements in the article within the last ten years and can now turn out rods which, for workmanship and beauty of finish cannot be surpassed.” Passage taken from the book American Anglers Guide, by author John J Brown, 1845.

After the treaty of Ghent, North America perused the sports of field, with zeal and everyone wanted their share. Anglers with the gift of innovation opened shops and cottage factories to meet the need. While there was much division in sport fishing idiologies between Brition and the new world; divisions grew among North American sport fisherman, along with the new North American sport fishing industry. Of the many tackle makers of the 1800’s, two were the most prominent were Ben Welch and John Conroy.

“Dear Sir

On my arrival here, on the 8th instant, I found an whose contents no one knew… you know what the box contained, and therefore well judge of my surprise. As I found no explanation, and no clue, except your card… Such a rich and elegant apparatus for angling, I am sure, I never saw, either at home or abroad…” Daniel Webster in his letter of appreciation written to, rod maker, Ben Welch, in June of 1847.

“The very best fishing tackle of every variety can be procured from Mr. Conroy, New York. His rods are unequalled, and so I may say of all his fishing tackle…”Hatchery developer Theodatus Garlick, 1857.

Both Conroy and Welch were first class rod makers and each had their own followers. Conroy had snob appeal while Welch held a reputation for turning out a more affordable product. Capitalizing on the rivalry of the buying public; in 1849, The spirit of The Times magazine, rendered the challenge of a blind test of each rod makers skills. Conroy and Welch each made a rod of the same specification with no signature makings to be tested for appearance and quality by a panel of unbiased judges. Surprisingly Welch won.

The Report

Fishing on our lower mainland lakes is good and getting better, with weekend temperatures predicted to reach 20 Celsius in the valley. Spring may be two weeks away on the calendar, but dry fly fishing, here on the coast, is back on the roster. For wet fly fishing try: Bloodworm, Chironomid, Wooly Bugger, Doc Spratley, Halfback, Micro Leach, Six Pack, Souboo, or Baggy Shrimp. For Dry fly fishing try: Lady McConnel, Griffith Gnat, Tom Thumb, Elk Hair Caddis or Irresistible.

The Fraser River is good for cutthroat and dolly varden. For cutthroat try: Rolled Muddler, Eggo, Chez Nymph, Big Black, black Stonefly Nymph, or Micro Leach. For dolly Varden try: large, size 4 to 1, Eggo, Zonker, Dolly whacker, Clouser’s Deep Minnow, or Lefty’s Deceiver.

The Vedder River is good for steelhead. Try GP, Squamish Poacher, Polar Shrimp, Popsicle, Big black, Flat Black, Eggo, or black Stonefly Nymph.

The Harrison River is good for rainbow, and cutthroat. For rainbow try: Rolled Muddler, Zulu, Eggo, Chez Nymph, Big Black, Black Stone Nymph, Micro Leach.

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