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Wednesday, October 21, 2020

Sunny Afternoon Escape

The fly fishing season is quickly winding down. It is hard to believe that winter has arrived so early! That beautiful fall weather made us forget what lies ahead. When the wintery weather did arrive, it was and still is a bit of a shock to the body!

Yesterday afternoon, the weather allowed me to dash out to the Red Deer River below the dam to fly fish for walleye. The mercury grudgingly crawled up just above zero. I was glad that it was at least 1 maybe 2C. The long range weather forecast suggested I better not let this sunny afternoon slip by without getting my waders on and chasing walleye.

It was even warm enough that my guides were not icing up. Bonus!

The afternoon was sunny and it almost felt warm although there always seems to be a chill in the air! I put on a candy corn balanced fly about 8 feet down and let it slowly drift in the current. The takes were soft. I had to pay attention. If my indicator paused, it may have been a walleye. Sometimes a tiny  bump was the take. I switched up and tried a ruby eyed ice minnow, a ruby eyed bruised leech and a vampire leech. All of these patterns have been excellent walleye flies. Today, the Candy Corn was the best fly followed by the Ruby Eyed Ice Minnow.

I had to dash home to get my flu shot later in the afternoon. With this COVID-19 pandemic, it was a wise choice for me. I got my shot at Safeway and then carried on with my shopping.

Candy Corn-Dave Green Originator

Vampire Leech-Todd Oishi Originator

Bruised Leech- Phil Rowley Originator

Ice Minnow-Phil Rowley Originator


Friday, October 16, 2020

Walleye in a Snowstorm

It wasn't our first choice but it definitely was the right choice. My buddy Jay and I wanted to fly fish for cutthroat trout but the heavy snow today made us settle for walleye on the Red Deer River. Hey some days you have to go with what makes sense. 

It was snowing heavily as we set up. No problem, we had our winter gear and being cold was not going to be an issue. The walleye were relatively active today too! We used Candy Corns, Vampire Leeches and Ice Minnows.

As the snowfall intensified, we headed back to Red Deer in the early afternoon in order to avoid bad roads. Jay and I made the best of a snowy day! We had lots of fun.

A sucker takes a Vampire Leech!


Wednesday, October 14, 2020

Winter Has Arrived,...But We Went for It!

The weather forecast looked frightful and maybe there was a window of opportunity to get out to enjoy our west slope cutthroat before the rivers close and winter settles in. My buddy Doug and I decided to "go for it!" The roads were fine except for the usual places where you just have to take your time. We had to get by a logging truck that was chaining up so it could safely navigate a hill. The was a tight pass job with the mirrors pulled in.

We finally got to our destination and started to bundle up. It was -7C. We were comfortable. We had to deal with iced up guides but for the most part that was our only big hassle. We crunched our way through some frozen puddles to get to our first stop.

It was a nymphing game although we did see some risers near the end of the day. We tried a wide variety of nymphs. Doug got into a lot of cutthroat. The water is low and gin clear. The tippet has to be fine and you better be lightening quick to set the hook!

The snow starting to fall steadily in the afternoon. We decided to call it a day later in the afternoon allowing enough time to travel home in the daylight.

It was a good day out on the water. I hope it is not our last day to fly fish for cutthroat! I am keeping an eye on the weather forecast!