Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Trip to the Parkland Region of Manitoba

Hi Everybody!

I have a very exciting trip proposal for you to consider. The trip is to the Parkland Region of Manitoba. The tour is an educational trip organized by the Central Alberta Fly Tyers with Phil Rowley as host.

As many of you already know, Phil has extensive knowledge of the trophy fisheries in this area of Manitoba. Phil and I have put together the itinerary below. You will see that the trip includes a seminar in Red Deer before the trip. Participants will have the chance to sample three trophy lakes. There will be seminars at the lodge in Manitoba and you will have the chance to fish with Phil in his boat. This will give you an opportunity to see and practice several techniques that will definitely benefit your stillwater fishing.

We will be staying at the Arrow Lake Lodge Ranch. We would take over the main cabin that sleeps 10 or 11. We would cook our own food and have a place to tie flies and debrief each day.

The cost of the trip will be $400. This will include the host fee for Phil and your accommodation and food. We will car pool. You are responsible for your own transportation costs. Phil and I already have 3 boats . Pontoon boats are acceptable for the course.

The trip will be limited to 10 individuals so each participant has direct contact with Phil each day over the course of the 4 days.

If you want to be a participant, contact me asap.

Bob Vanderwater

2010 Parklands Tour Itinerary

June 4-8, 2010

Prior to June 4, 2010

  • Provide 1 Parkland training session including
    • Tying seminar for group focusing on 12 Parkland favourites
    • Hand out Parkland Briefing packages on target lakes (Patterson, Tokaryk & Twin)
    • Review recommended gear, lines etc.

June 4, 2010

  • Travel to Arrow Lakes Lodge estimated arrival 6pm local time
  • After checking in and dinner is complete, prepare for next day's trip.
  • PowerPoint Presentation-Approaching A New Lake

June 5, 2010

  • Breakfast and depart 7:30am for Tokaryk Lake estimated 30 minute drive
  • Fish Tokaryk until 5 or 6 pm weather and conditions permitting
  • Return to Arrow Lakes resort by 7pm
  • Post Tokaryk briefing, lessons learned, observations etc.
  • Power Point Presentation-Tactics for Trophy Waters
  • Finish evening fly tying, socializing etc.

June 6, 2010

  • Breakfast and depart 7:30am for Patterson Lake estimated 30 minute drive
  • Fish Patterson until 5 or 6 pm weather and conditions permitting
  • Return to Arrow Lakes resort by 7pm
  • Post Patterson briefing, lessons learned, observations etc.
  • Power Point Presentation-Going Deep Sinking Line Tricks and Techniques for Stillwaters
  • Finish evening fly tying, socializing etc.

June 7, 2010

  • Breakfast and depart 7:30am for Twin Lake estimated 60 minute drive
  • Fish Patterson until 5 or 6 pm weather and conditions permitting
  • Return to Arrow Lakes resort by 7pm
  • Post Twin briefing, lessons learned, observations etc.
  • PowerPoint Presentation-Ten Habits for Stillwater Success
  • Finish evening fly tying, socializing etc.

June 8, 2010

  • Pack up and check out by 10am
  • Return to Alberta

Monday, December 14, 2009

Monday December 14, 2009

Hi Everybody!

Evan Ritchie was our guest tyer tonight. Evan taught 16 tyers two unique patterns. Both patterns have had explosive results. Evan's friend Sylvan Gagnon came up with the streamer we tied tonight. It was a pattern that Sylvan designed for the Bow River and the Crownest River. The streamer's main material is polar bear. Polar bear has a neat translucent effect when it is wet. It's a great imitation of a Rocky Mountain White Fish. Our second fly is a pattern designed by Evan. The first time Evan fished this pattern an explosive take scared Evan, hence the fly is aptly called The Heart Attack. The Heart Attack has three unique features. The body is seal, one part brown blended with two parts orange. Evan says that artificial seal is not as good. The wing is tan macrame and the hackle is oversized brown and grizzly saddle that is trimmed. The Heart Attack looks like a deadly October Caddis pattern.

It was another -30C night. Thanks Evan for the great stories and instruction.

Evan also showed us an Atlantic salmon pattern that Sylvan tied in about twenty minutes from memory and an interesting stonefly pattern that includes weaving.

Just a couple of reminders:

1. The Rowley Workshop is starting to fill up. There are 10 spots left. Let me know if you would like to spend Saturday January 30th with Phil.

2. I am in the process of pulling together a trip to the Parkland Region of Manitoba during the first week in June. This would be a 4 day trip that would be hosted by Phil Rowley. This would be a great opportunity to learn about the trophy lakes in this region. This is an instructional trip. Phil will be teaching us techniques that will certainly improve our stillwater success. This trip will also include a preperatory session here in Red Deer before the trip. The exact details of the trip will be posted here in the next 10 days.

3. Have a Merry Christmas everybody!

Evan Ritchie tying the polar bear streamer.

Polar Bear Streamer
(designed by Sylvan Gagnon)

Hook: 2 or 3 x streamer hook
Body: Silver mylar tubing
Tail: Polar bear.
Underwing: Polar bear
Overwing: Polar bear
Top wing: Peacock hurl 6-8 strands

The Heart Attack
(Evan Ritchie originator)

Hook: size 10-12 dry fly
Body: Seal (2 parts orange blended with one part brown)
Wing: Tan Macrame
Hackle: Brown and grizzly

A Sylvan Gagnon original.

Breanne tying her secret salmon fly. It works too.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Jack Gartside Has Passed Away

Jack was an avid flyfisher and a very creative fly tyer. You can find Gartside Leeches in my fly box at all times. Maroon and black gartside leeches and pink and white gartside leeches are fabulous here in Alberta.


Monday, December 7, 2009

Monday December 7, 2009

Twenty two fly fishers braved frigid -27C weather to kick off another year of fly tying. Dr. Bill Young was our presenter. Bill shared two reliable patterns, one of which we do not think to use often enough. Bill's foam beetle has been a very reliable pattern on the eastern slopes rivers in Alberta. Bill showed us how to tie a klinkhammer fly as well. The klinkhammer is an emerger style of tying. Tonight we focused on a green drake emerger. You can use a variety of hook sizes and dubbing colors to imitate several different type of emerging mayflies. Thanks, Bill, for presenting. Your tying instructions are easy to follow. I have to agree with what A.K. Best noted in his books. It takes about 50 repetitions of a specific pattern before you get a good sense of how to acurrately tie a fly. My proportions were off a bit tonight. Time to get tying.

Next week Evan Ritchie is our guest tyer. We will see everybody next week!

Let me know if you would like to take Phil Rowley's all day tying course on Saturday January 30th. I am sure the course will quickly fill up.

Klinkhammer Emerger

Hook: C 49 S Mustad size 10 or a Klinkhammer hook
Body: Green beaver dubbing
Post: polypropolyene or a goose feather
Thorax: peacock herl
Hackle: Blue dun

Foam Beetle
Hook: size 12 dry fly hook
Over Body: Black foam (shaped in a tear drop)
Body: Peacock herl
Hackle: Grizzly or blue dun
Indicator: bright antron
Translucent strip under the body to push the hackle fibers out to the sides.

Dr. Bill Young

The gang concentrating on their tying.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Fly Tying on Monday November 30 is CANCELLED

The roads are way too dangerous to be driven on tonight everybody! We will WAIT until December 7 at 7 p.m. to get started.

All city streets are not safe. Stay home and tie a few flies at home.

...see you next week


Monday, November 23, 2009

Revamped Sport Fishing on the Fly Web Site

Don Freschi has revamped his Sport Fishing on the Fly web site. He has added links to video of many of his television shows and many of his "On the Bench" segments are now available on line. There are several Alberta "destinations" on his show list. It looks like he is gradually adding "past" shows.


Saturday, November 21, 2009

LeRoy Hyatt in Edmonton

Karen and I spent the day in Edmonton with the Northern Lights Fly Fishing/Trout Unlimited gang taking in a seminar with LeRoy Hyatt. I am sure many of you watch LeRoy on PBS while drinking your morning coffee on Saturday morning. LeRoy lead the group in tying 13 patterns during the day. LeRoy is a big fan of deer hair. LeRoy estimates that he ties 300 dozen goddard caddis each year. LeRoy taught us how to select deer hair for tying collars and spinning/triming deer hair. He gets a lot of orders for deer hair patterns. Other than a foam bettle pattern, you will not find much foam in LeRoy's fly box. The patterns today were quite straight forward but he offered many tips that will certainly make my tying better. LeRoy is lots of fun to listen to. He shared many funny anecdotes through the day. Approximately 40 tyers were certainly entertained and left with many useful ideas. Karen and I enjoyed our day.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Fly Tying Mondays Start Monday November 30th

Hi Everybody!

Fly Tying begins in about 10 days. The classes will again be at Annie L Gaetz School that is located at 32 Mitchell Avenue. The cost of each session is $3.00. The $3.00 covers the costs of materials, the facility rental and refreshments. You do need to bring your basic tying equipment. That includes your vice, bobbin, thread (black, green, brown and red 6/0 usually does the job), a sharp pair of sissors, hackle pliers, a hair stacker, a whip finishing tool and some head cement .

The sessions start at 7 p.m. and they usually go to 8:30 or 9.00 p.m.

Beginners are welcome and encouraged to attend. The experienced tyers will help mentor newcomers.

Check out the dates and presenters in previous blog posts (about two back).

We do have one important date change as well. The Phil Rowley Workshop is now on Saturday January 30th. Phil will be presenting flies from his new book for stillwaters. Phil will also have the book along for anyone who wants to purchase one.


Is anyone going to the LeRoy Hyatt Workshop this weekend? Give me a call or e-mail. Maybe we can car pool.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Some Neat Fly Fishing Pictures from 2009

Submit photos to Bob to add to this post!

Barry Black with a nice Red Deer River brown trout he caught on opening day fishing a skwala pattern while out with Dave Jensen.

John with a nice rainbow from a local Central Alberta lake.

Tim M. submitted this photo. Tim's friends donated their time and boats for a Rotary float on the Elk River near Fernie this year. Fun was had by all! Way to go Tim!

Phil Nash with a nice rainbow from a lake near Kamloops. Looks c-c-cold Phil.

Karen with a Fortress Lake trophy brook trout.

Bob with a Patterson Lake trophy brown caught on a size 14 ice cream cone chronomid (black and red).

Brad Saunders with two trophy Tiger Trout from Twin Lakes, Manitoba. Is that an Orange Crush in the mouth of that first Tiger Trout? These pics were taken in late September 2009.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Dates for Fly Tying Mondays for Central Alberta

I have the dates mapped out for the fly tying sessions. I now need some leaders to fill in. Let me know what days work for you and I will update this list.

November 30 Bob Vanderwater
December 7 Dr. Bill Young
December 14 Evan Ritchie

Christmas Break

January 4
January 11 Jock MacKenzie
January 18 Roy Saunders
January 25 Byron Stearns
January 30 All day workshop with Phil Rowley

February 1
February 8 Doug Pullen
February 15 Family Day No Tying
February 22 Don Andersen

March 1
March 8 Doug Cook
March 15 Doug DeWitt

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Fly Tying Mondays Starting November 30, 2009

Hi Everybody!

I have been having several inquiries about when we get the Central Alberta Fly Tyers sessions going again. Well, we will kick off the season on Monday November 30, 2009. We will again be having the sessions at Annie L Gaetz School.

As usual, I will be looking for presenters over the course of the next few weeks. I hope that we will get several of you stepping up to help with this.

I have booked Phil Rowley to do a session on January 9th. That is a Saturday. We as a group will decide what we want Phil to do. Phil is quite flexible and he wants input from the group.

I will have a tentative list of dates up in the next week or so.

How about sending me some pictures from your 2009 fishing year that I can post.

...I hope to hear from you soon.


Monday, March 16, 2009

Thanks to Our Presenters

Lets see 14 fly tying sessions with almost 35 patterns. That is a pretty decent season of tying. I learned so much again this year. Remember that we all can learn a lot from each other. I want to thank the following presenters:

Evan Ritchie
Doug Pullen
Phil Rowley
Dr. Bill Young
Don Anderson
Bob Vanderwater
Roy Saunders
Jock MacKenzie
Doug Cook
Byron Stearns
Willy Spijksma

A special thanks to Dave and Amelia Jensen for their incredible video/photos of fly fishing in New Zealand. 

We started the first of December and finished up three weeks into March. Monday nights certainly helped get us through those long winter nights with no fly fishing.

Keep tying everybody. Take a look back through our patterns. All of the patterns will be useful at some point during the season. Try to fish some new waters this year. Venture out, it's all part of the fun.

Please take lots of photos of your your trophies and destinations. We will post them again next year.

E-mail Bob with any neat pictures and places you wish to share. Have a great fly fishing season.

Bob and Karen Vanderwater

Monday March 16th, 2009

Hi Everybody!

Tonight was the final tying session of the year. Bob and Willy led the group in the final two patterns of the season. Willy's lake nymph has paid off big time at Ironside Pond and local caddis patterns, especially the X-caddis are a must have in your river/lake fly box.

Willy leading tonight's group.

Lake Nymph (similar to a damsel pattern)
Hook: size 10 Mustad 9671 nymph hook
Tail: Green marabou with some green crystal flash
Body: Green rabbit with some green ice dub added in
Rib: Green flashabou
Shellback: Brown raffia
Thorax: green rabbit with a webby white hackle palmered through

Hook:Standard dry fly size 14
Trailing Shuck: tan z-lon (or antron, try an amber color)
Body: tan phentex
Wing: Deer hair

Elk Hair Caddis
Body is dark tan superfine dubbing (Wapsi)

Elk Hair Caddis
Hook: Standard size 14 dry fly hook
Trailing Shuck: tan z-lon
Body: orange phentex
Hackle: brown
Wing: Deer hair

Monday, March 9, 2009

Monday March 9th, 2009 Stellar Stoneflies

Hi Everybody!

It was nice to see 14 tyers come out on such a frigid night. The theme tonight was stoneflies. We attacked three patterns that are quite useful in Alberta. Try the Montana stonefly on our local trout lakes. The Brooks Stonefly is big and imitates the nymph of a salmonfly. Charlie Brooks liked big flies for BIG fish! The Bitch Creek Nymph is an excellent pattern when the cutthroat are not rising. Remember to get all three patterns down, bottom bouncing. Number 5 split shots are your friends unless you hit yourself in the back of the head. Ouch!

Our final tying session is next week. Willy and Bob will be the final presenters. See you there!

Montana Stonefly

Hook: size 6 to 12, 3X
Tail: Brown goose biots
Body: Black Chenille
Thorax: Yellow chenille
Wing Case: Black chenille
Hackle: Black or brown
Weight: lead substitute (0.20)

Originator: Charlie Brooks

Brooks Stonefly

Hook: size 6 to 12, 3X
Weight: lead substitute (o.20)
Tail: Brown goose biots
Rib: Copper wire
Body: brown yarn (try uniyarn)
Gills: white ostrich herl
Hackle: brown and grizzle

...try this pattern with black or gold yarn

Bitch Creek Nymph

Hook: size 6 to 12, 3x
Weight: lead substitute
Tails/Antenna: white rubber legs
Body: Orange and black chenille (woven)
Thorax: Black chenille
Hackle: Dun, black or brown

The gang tying stoneflies.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Monday March 2, 2009

It's hard to believe it's already March. Tonight 17 fly tyers learned two patterns that Byron Stearns taught the gang. Byron was part of the guiding team with Fly Fish Alberta last year. Byron taught us a neat skwala pattern he developed and a traveling sedge pattern that paid off big time at both Ironside Pond and Mitchell Lake. We HAD to name the skwala pattern.  Byron, its now the "BS Skwala!" The BS  stands for Byron's initals, of course, nothing else (grin). 

Byron, you were very impressive tonight. Your detailed descriptions made it easy for the group to successfully complete both patterns. Way to go! 

We have two sessions left for the season. See you next week!

Byron Stearns

BS Skwala (originated by Byron Stearns)

Hook: Size 8 standard dry fly hook
Tail: Black 2 mm foam
Body: green dubbing
Wing: Black deer hair
Legs: Rubber legs
Hackle: Black
Thorax: green dubbing

Traveling Sedge

Hook: Size 6 dry fly
Tail: elk hair
Body: golden dubbing
Wing: Deer Hair
Hackle: Brown

-a variation of the BS Skwala with an over wing and an under wing 
(black and natural deer hair)

...some of the gang tying their skwala and sedge patterns

Monday, February 23, 2009

Garage Sale Monday February 23, 2009

Well today was Garage Sale Monday. Evan filled his car with a load of fly tying material from the late Harvey MacIntyre. His family generously donated the material and all the proceeds this time will be donated to Stream Watch. Apparently there is still another car load for next year's garage sale. I hope everybody got the "stuff" in the door without being caught (grin). 

After the garage sale, 19 keen tyers got to work on three patterns. All three patterns are excellent cutthroat trout patterns. Evan Ritchie said the Royal Trude was his "go to" fly on the Elk River for many a trip!

...next week Byron Stearns is our guest tyer. 

By the way, we still have two Mondays with no presenter. Any
body interested?

Bob leading the group through tonight's patterns (thanks Amelia for the picture).

Bob with Bob Overland (welcome Bob O! to the group)

Foam Madam X

Hook: size 6 to 10 3X long dry fly hook (try Tiemco 200s)
Body: Golden Dubbing (2 parts yellow and 1 part orange phentex ground up in a coffee grinder) with a foam tan and orange body tied in 4 segments
Head: deer hair
Legs: Rubber legs

Foam Madam X
Body: Yellow and tan foam

Royal Trude
Hook: size 12 to 16 3XL dry fly hook
Tail: golden pheasant
Body: Peacock herl and red midge material (rubbery)
Wing: white macrame or white calf tail
Hackle: brown

CFF (100 Fish Fly) orginated by Don Andersen
Hook: standard dry fly hook (Don ties this in small sizes with no hackle)
Tail: Z-lon or brown macrame
Body: Peacock herl
Wing: white macrame
Hackle: use webby grizzly (the above fly uses brown)

This photo includes the brown macrame brown tail and webby grizzly hackle.

Garage Sale Mania

Monday, February 9, 2009

Monday February 9th, 2009 Steelhead Night

Tonight was Steelhead Night. It was a very nice change of pace for the 15 tyers who took in Doug Pullen's presentation. Not only did the audience learn to tie three steelhead flies, they also were given an excellent overview of what steelhead flyfishing is all about. Doug put a lot of thought into his presentation. The evening was both educational and many of us had our first experience tying steelhead flies. Thanks Doug. 

There are so many items to consider before you go steelheading. Do take the time to take a casting course if you are hitting the bigger rivers with a spey rod. Doug also recommended three books that will help you get started in the right direction:

Steelhead Fly Fishing by Troy Combs

A Passion for Steelhead by Dec Hogan

Spey Casting by Simon Gawesworth

Darren Petersen brought several glass blown pieces tonight to show "the gang." I have included a couple examples of Darren's fine glass art work. If you want any further information, do drop him an e-mail.

Doug Pullen with his 15 foot spey rod

Tonight's Flies

The Purple Star Steelhead Fly

Hook: Standard Salmon or Steelhead hook, size 2
Thread: 6/0 black
Tag: Silver tinsel
Body: Purple dubbing
Rib: Oval silver tinsel
Wing: Black bucktail with a few strands of purple Flashabou
Collar: Black bucktail

This pattern was developed by Doug Pullen. The wing material can be changed to black bear.

The Boss Stealhead Fly

Hook: Standard Salmon or Steelhead hook, size 4
Thread: 6/0 black
Tail: Black bucktail, shank length
Body: Black chenille
Rib: Oval silver tinsel
Collar: Long red or orange hackle tied back slightly
Eyes: Silver bead chain 

The Green Butt Skunk Steelhead Fly

Hook: Standard Salmon or Steelhead hook, size 4
Thread: 6/0 black
Tail: Red hackle fibers
Butt: medium fluorescent green chenille
Body: medium black chenille
Rib: Oval silver tinsel
Collar: Black hackle tied as a collar and tied back and down
Wing: White calf tail