Larry and I finally got down to the Crowsnest Pass area a few days back. It was the earliest we have ever been down to southern Alberta to fly fish but reports indicated that there was open water. We knew the Oldman River below the dam was open as it usually is on this tail water. We stopped at one of the bridges on the Oldman and the wind was blowing like a run away freight train. We got into some fish but the crazy wind sent us to the Crowsnest River.
Well we hoped to fish below Lundbreck but the ice shelves were just plain dangerous and eventually the Crow was encased in ice. We heard that the Burmis area had decent fishing but we ended up downstream of 507 bridge. We were able to get into some nice rainbows but we again experienced ice shelves. Ice shelves are dangerous so we avoided them.
We headed back to the Oldman River and the fly fishing was pretty good. The wind had died down a lot and the sun was shining on our backs. We lost more than we caught! It was nice to shake the rust off and stretch the fly lines once again.
The warm weather ahead should have the areas open to fishing being decent to fly fish.
There are midges hatching and some trout and rocky mountain white fish were taking advantage of these emergences.
We had our best luck with a San Juan Worm tied with Squirmy Legs. This is a very cool material that moves in a very life like fashion in the water. Tie these San Juan Worms with a lead substitute underbody that is covered with red thread and then tie in the squirmy legs, wrap down the shank of the hook and tie off with a tail. You could even add a hot spot using a different coloured thread in the underbody!
Do not use any glue what so ever on this material. It will disintegrate the material. What I love about the material is its stretchy component but it is not the most durable material. Tie lots of them in your favourite San Juan sizes. The trout love them!
As you can see, these ice shelves are not safe to walk on. It was time to look for water that was a bit safer to fly fish!