Larry and I just got back home after spending two days at Bullshead Reservoir in the Cypress Hills. The two days were an amazing contrast in what unfolded on the water. Day One started with a 5 am departure from Red Deer. We were fishing by 9:30 am on a very windy day. The wind was blowing from the south and the lake was rocking. No boats were out and there were only 4 vehicles in the parking lot. Was that an omen of what was to come? Absolutely not. By the time Larry and I headed for our motel at 6:30 pm, we had one of those days that could be classified as epic. The lake was on its side but the fish were in the top three feet of the water column feeding heavily! We have never experienced a 100 plus fish day until today. We exceeded that by a lot. We caught lots of stockers but we also caught numerous well conditioned rainbows in the 16 to 25 inch category. We were both amazed. Our best flies included a balanced Flashback, a regular Flashback and a balanced Bruised Leech. We fished the south west part of the lake. The parking lot had only one other truck when we wound down our fishing. What a day!
Well Day Two started off warm with not a breath of wind. Bullshead was glass. What a change from yesterday. A light sweater was all we needed. The lake was looking awesome. Our catch rate however was not even close to yesterdays amazing day! We continued to catch all age classes of the lake's rainbows including several impressive specimens. The fishing really got going once the south west wind started to wind up in the afternoon! We did several throat samples and confirmed the rainbows were dining on scuds (shrimp). We switched to baby damsels and smaller flashbacks to imitate the scuds. They certainly did the trick. Larry caught two monsters on ice minnows early in the afternoon. We also had an opportunity to explore a lot of the lake. We called it a day at 4:30 and were back to Red Deer a little after 9 pm. Not bad!
If there is one concern, it is the fact that Bullshead Reservoir's water levels are down. If the Cypress Hills has another dry season, the reservoir's rainbows might be in trouble. I hope not!
What an impressive fishery. Lots of quality rainbows. We fished from shore during our trip. It was better to be in the water with your waders on! Today there were lots of boats on the water. You can fish from shore until the weed growth kicks in. The next few weeks should continue to have great conditions at Bullshead.
Larry and I caught many quality rainbows over the last two days.
For the most part, the regulations at Bullshead are respected. The COs do make spot checks, especially early in the season!
Low water is a concern. Lets hope for rain and lots of it!
The landscape going home for the first 90 minutes is rather boring and repetitive!