Thursday, August 27, 2015
Fly Fishing in the Big Smoke
It is incredibly smokey out in the west country as well as Central Alberta. The forest fires in the southern Okanogan and Washington State are certainly cause for concern and the wind patterns have brought the fire smoke to Alberta. The view along the gravel roads as we travelled towards our destination was obscured by smoke, fog and of course lots of dust.
I had the opportunity to get out with one of my son-in-laws early in the week and today I spent the day with a long time friend who is passionate about fly fishing.
My son-in-law, Adam, is still developing his fly fishing skills but he is a quick study. We arrived a bit early to our first run because the mercury said in was a chilly 2C. We probably could have started our day an hour later. Not much happens until the water starts to warm and the bugs get going! We were both in shorts and a sweater. Burr, but we started off on a run that required very little wading so we were going to be just fine. Adam was into fish all day and he caught some dandy cutthroat. I discovered that Adam in a darn fine nymph fisherman! As the wind came up, the casting became a bit challenging but Adam was game. We fly fished one run that had lots of flavs bouncing down the riffles. The cutthroat were all busily gulping down these bugs. Adam had a chance at some sizeable cutthroat in a run that required some precise casting. He tangled with several 16 to 19 inch cutthroat. As you can see from the pictures, the smoke was hanging in the river valley.
The neat thing about our day was the wolves that Adam spotted on our trip out as well as the elk and many deer! Adam has many interests. I think that fly fishing may surpass his gold panning hobby!
Today was much warmer and not as smokey. My buddy, Byron, and I decided to do a run and gun day. That meant we would cover lots of water and not spend a lot of time at any one spot. We were rewarded with lots of beautiful cutthroat and we got to check out several runs that we have not fished this year. We did have three black bears wander by, a mom and two cubs. These big furry creatures remind us to carry bear spray and always stay alert as we walk along the river.
There are hatches still on the water. We saw yellow sally stones, flavs, BWOs and PMDs. The cutthroat are a bit more wary this time of the year! The cutthroat are getting quite colourful and the cool water temperature makes them quite feisty!
The fishing window during the day is now a bit smaller as we approach fall. No need to hit the water real early unless you are keen!