Sunday, October 3, 2010

The Upcoming Fly Tying Season

Hi Everybody!

We are still looking for leaders for the tying club this year. Let Bob know if you are able to led an evening session. Thanks to the folks that have offered to step up and do a session. The 2011 Fly Tying Season starts Monday January 3 at West Park Middle School (please note the new location). We hope to run the club in a similar fashion to year's past. Each Monday for about 12 weeks will have a guest fly tyer. The cost of each session is $3.00 which will cover the costs of the materials and room rental.

Karen and I are travelling in Australia, Tasmania and New Zealand until Christmas.

If you want to see what we are up to, just take a look at our travel blog:

Bob and Karen's Travel Blog

If you would consider running one of the tying sessions, please drop me a note. The dates are below. I will update the guest tyers when I am near an internet connection.

Oh yes, if have a fly fishing picture or two to post on the blog, just e-mail me with the picture and details.

Here are the dates:

Monday January 3 Bob Vanderwater
Monday January 10 Phil Nash
Monday January 17 Dr. Bill Young
Monday January 24 Bernie Peet
Monday January 31 Evan Ritchie

Saturday February 5th Phil Rowley Workshop Big Flies for Big Fish (cost $30 plus a materials fee)
Monday February 7 Tim Maley
Monday February 14 Betty MacKenzie
Monday February 21 Family Day no tying
Monday February 28 Doug Pullen

Monday March 7
Monday March 14
Monday March 21
Monday March 28

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

More Tigers from Twin Lakes

Two lucky participants from our Fall trip stayed an extra day and fished Twin Lakes. The Tiger Trout were looking up for Betty and Steve. They managed a couple dozen Tigers before heading over to Bullshead where I understand the fishing is excellent too.

Steve with a colourful Tiger Trout.

Betty with a hog of a Tiger!

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Doug's BIG Rainbow from Patterson Lake

Yes we have photo evidence of the monster rainbow that Doug Pullen caught near the "Mass Grave Site." What a beauty trophy Doug. Congratulations. Thank goodness Rick was there to take the picture.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Manitoba Trip in the Fall

Hi Everybody!

Seven members of the Central Alberta Fly Tyers headed back to the Parkland Region of Manitoba with Phil Rowley to enjoy the trophy fishing at Twin Lake for Tiger Trout along with Patterson and Tokaryk Lakes for brown and rainbows. Phil also had 4 other fly fishers join our group. We stayed at "Barn in the Bush." It was an old barn, converted into rooms that made our stay quite comfortable. Our lodging was exactly half way between Roblin and Russell. Phil presented three seminars over the course of our stay. Karen and I acted as hosts.

We headed over to Tokaryk Lake first but the lake was not as cooperative as last June. Everybody had to work hard for their fish. Betty nailed a beauty of a rainbow on one of her reliable leech patterns. Several trophy quality rainbows were caught on chronomids, leech patterns and flashbacks.

On day two, we headed to Patterson Lake. The weather was blustery although more stable than the previous day. The blustery weather created a "wind lane" between two islands and we found fish concentrated in this area. The fish seemed to be foraging for bait fish; small bait fish. The pattern that worked well was a size 12 flashback. Many trophy fish were caught at Patterson. Doug caught a rainbow that was close to 28 inches long and it was heavy. Doug and Rick headed way down the lake to the Mass Grave Area at Patterson. They were rewarded with several monster rainbows and a hefty brown. I hope to post a picture of Doug's BIG rainbow in the next day or so. Karen caught the biggest brown of her life in the "Wind Lane" on a flashback. Phil Nash had a big smile on his face as he continously caught big rainbows. Betty and Steve got into some beauties too. Betty almost lost her rod. She was photographing Steve as he tangled with a big rainbow and she had a take on her rod at the same time. Thank goodness Betty had fast reflexes. The flashback was king for many in the group.

We finally headed over to Twin Lakes to sample the Tiger Trout fishery. The night before we had a seminar on water boatman and backswimmers. We arrived at Twin Lakes where we had to contend with rain showers but by early afternoon the rain settled down while the backswimmers and boatman came out. So did the Tiger Trout. Doug found a spot that was amazing. Doug gave a BIG "Yahoo" after catching his 14th Tiger. Boatman, backswimmers and cherynoble ant patterns were a hit. Many trophy Tigers were caught. The Tiger Trout give a great fight and they are blast to catch on the surface.

We had a fabulous time in Manitoba. The socializing within the group was a big hit for all. Phil Nash kept us all in stitches with his hilarious anecdotes and stories. Phil Rowley's seminars were very informative, as always. The last evening we had a slide show of all the action. So many big rainbows, browns and tiger trout were caught.

Yes we are going back. I have already booked Arrow Lake Lodge for June 11 to 18th, 2011. The lodge is 15 minutes from Patterson and Tokaryk Lakes. Phil will also be along with different seminars and more information to share. More details will follow.

If you want to read more about our trip, head over to Phil's blog.


Karen with a Tiger Trout.

Backswimmers were out to play. The trout loved them!

Phil Nash tangling with one of many trophy rainbows at Patterson Lake.

Karen's BIG brown at Patterson Lake

Betty's trophy rainbow at Tokaryk Lake.

Rick pitching in at "Barn in the Bush."

Flashbacks caught a lot of trout in Manitoba.

Hook: size 8 to size 18 curved caddis hook or Mustad 9671
Thread: red 8/0 or 6/0
Tail: Pheasant
Rib: Small copper wire
Bead: gold or black
Thorax: peacock herl
Shellback: pheasant and pearl mylar

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Details for the Fall Trip to the Parkland Region of Manitoba

Hi Everybody!

A return trip to the Parkland Region of Manitoba is in the works. The trip will again be hosted by Bob and Karen Vanderwater helping with all the logistics and by Phil Rowley, who will do extensive sessions on stillwater fishing in the fall. The dates are September 2 to 6th. Just like the first trip to Manitoba's Parkland Region, there will be an educational focus. The fall is the time that the rainbows, browns and tiger trout will be putting the feed bag on in preparation for the winter months. It is a favorite time of the year for me to fly fish.

We will be staying either in Russell or around Rossman Lake (very close to Patterson Lake). The cost of the trip will be approximately $550. That will include food, accommodation and all the seminars. All the seminars will occurr in the evening as well as a debriefing session about the day and any necessary fly tying.

Phil will be posting a comprehensive itinerary on Phil' s blog in a week or so. The trip will be limited to 12 individuals. Like the last trip, we will make the trip available to our gang first and then we will open up any available slots to anybody who is interested.

Karen and I are away for the next three weeks. You can contact Phil VIA e-mail:

"Philip Rowley"

to book your spot for the trip!


Thursday, June 24, 2010

Fall Trip to the Parkland Region of Manitoba

Hi Everybody!

Phil Rowley and I have are in the planning stages of a fall trip back to the Parkland Region of Manitoba. The trip has been planned for September 2nd to 6th. The full program is being mapped out right now but promises to be educational, fun with plenty of opportunity for fly fishing for trophy trout. The cost will be $550.

The final details will be posted early next week. Again we will be looking at a group of about 12 participants.

Call me if you want to get on the trip. I suspect it will fill quickly!


Sunday, June 20, 2010

Cutthroat Fishing on the North Ram

Hi Everybody!

Byron and I hit the North Ram today. The fishing was very good. Take a look here for a summary of our day!

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Did You See This?

A sturgeon estimated at 35 kg was pulled out of the ponds at Riverbend Gold Course by local biologists. Take a look here for the complete story. Very cool!


Thursday, June 17, 2010

Fly Fishing Seminar with Dave and Emily Whitlock

The Whitlock’s will be doing 2 days of seminars on Saturday & Sunday October 17 & 18th at the Delta Inn South (the old Hospitality Inn). Each day will run from 9 to 4 or so. Tickets are $75 if bought before September 15th; $100 after the 15th. The event is sponsored by Trout Unlimited Canada. More details will follow once the tickets are printed.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Terrific Tokaryk Tanks

Thanks to Larry McAllister, the Manitoba pics have been consolidated and the disks are ready to be picked up at Bob's place. Here are some quality fish caught by the guys from our club

Rick tangling with large rainbow.

Tyler with his first rainbow!

Check out the colors on this chrome rainbow that Doug caught.

Bernie with one of his fabulous trophies.

Larry with a monster!

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Phil Rowley's Article on our Trip to Manitoba

Head over here:

for an excellent summary of our trip to Manitoba.



A Magnificent Moment for Bob Hanna

Pybus Lake was not giving up its trophy rainbows easily on Monday. A few guys hooked up only to be broken off or had their hook straightened. Later in the afternoon just before a thunderstorm was about to hit the lake, Bob hooked up over by the old farm in the south bay close to the boat launch. His Thunder Creek Minnow was slammed by something big, real big. The radio crackled and an excited voice from one of "The Army" let us know that Bob had a monster on. Bob took his time and he got the behemoth to his net. Phil Rowley immediately pointed his pram over to Bob to record these images. I was very excited for Bob. A great moment for sure. This rainbow was over 10 pounds and measured at very close to 29 inches. I think Bob said that he broke his lake rainbow record by 5 inches. That will be a record that will be tough to break. Wow!!!!!!

Bob Hanna's Trophy!

Bob took great care to ensure the rainbow was totally revived before he sent it on its way back into the depths of Pybus Lake.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Parkland Region of Manitoba

The Gang at Arrow Lake Lodge in Manitoba

Wade and Andrew (aka The Army) with a DOUBLE HEADER

The Central Alberta Fly Tying Club hit the Parkland Region of Manitoba for 4 days. Our group was 15 strong. That included Bob and Karen as organizers, Phil Rowley as host and 12 avid fly fishers, all but two were from our tying group. Karen and I arrived a day early to get set up. We brought a lot of food across the prairies and we wanted to ensure it was safely refrigerated at Arrow Lake Lodge before we hit Patterson Lake for the day. Everybody survived the long 9 hour drive to have a chance at catching trophy trout and refining their fly fishing skills. With Phil Rowley there to mentor and instruct us in the evenings , we were all primed for a great 4 day stay. The lakes certainly did not disappoint us.

Phil Rowley and Barry Black

After a Friday night barbeque, we took in one of Phil's seminars on how to approach a new lake. Saturday we were all off to Tokaryk Lake, a mere 15 minutes from the lodge. To say the fishing was amazing would be an understatement. We caught so many trophy rainbows that our arms were sore. Rainbows well over 5 pounds were a common occurrence on this day. It was all about chronomids and hanging balanced leeches under strike indicators. The smiles on the faces of the gang was all the proof needed to see that the day was incredible. Our two fellows we called THE ARMY hit the honey hole. They caught well over 50 fish. That included 10 doubles. I even saw Phil edge over and fish in the same area as THE ARMY. Eventually 5 boats were right there and everybody was catching at an amazing rate. Another group was over by the dock and they too were enjoying chronomid and leech fishing at its best.

Bernie the Chef making sure the tenderloin was properly cooked.

Saturday night's seminar was all about approaching trophy waters. On Sunday, we headed to Patterson Lake. Its the main lake for FLIPPR (The fish and Lake Improvement Plan for the Parkland). Ken Kansas, the biologist who spear headed the development of the trophy lakes was there to great us and then hit the water. The trophy lakes in this area of Manitoba began in 2003.

Patterson Lake is all about BIG brown trout and TROPHY rainbows. Its a tougher lake to fish than Tokaryk Lake. The brown trout were often found along the weed lines and the rainbows were in 10 to 14 feet of water. Karen was chronomid fishing with great success while I was using a Tokaryk Special designed as a balanced leech. Karen had 6 in the bag including a magnificent monster brown before I had a hit. I think my new name for the rest of the day was Net Boy. I could hear Doug Pullen whoop it up several times when he tied into some very large rainbows . The gang caught many trophy browns using a variety of techniques. It was neat to see our group do so well on a very challenging lake. Rick was targeting BIG browns with his minnow imitation. His strategy was to hang his minnow under an indicator right along the weed beds and wait. He caught several browns using this technique.

Day three we were off to Pybus Lake. There was a chance at catching a 10 pounder there. Pybus did not give up its trout easily. Bob Hanna did have a magical moment. A 10 pound plus rainbow nailed his Thunder Creek minnow imitation and he managed to get the beast to hand. It was an amazing 29 inches long. We have a photo that we will post when Bob gets back from Manitoba.

I tied into a freight train of a rainbow that was near 10 pounds that turned my balanced leech into a straight pin. Sigh. Later in the day I caught an 8 pounder that I was able to weigh and it measured to be just shy of 26 inches and fat.

Tuesday was another travel day. Karen and I managed to go back to Patterson Lake before the 9 and a half hour run back across the prairies in rain storms. It was blustery at Patterson Lake but we managed nine rainbows and a nice brown. Vic was also there and he tied into several beautiful browns working the weed lines. We arrived home after midnight but we were quite thrilled to have such an enjoyable trip.

You can measure success in so many ways. I think each and every one of us had slightly different goals for the trip. The trip was educational because of Phil's excellent seminars and guidance on the water. The fishing was amazing at Tokaryk, good at Patterson and challenging at Pybus. The motivation to return to the Parkland Region of Manitoba to fly fish is extremely high. Phil has fished throughout North America and he thinks that this area of Manitoba may have no rival in this quality of fishery. That says a lot!

Yes, we are looking at a Fall trip. Stay tuned!

There are more pictures on the way!!!!

Bernie and Larry at Pybus Lake. Bernie has a 3 pounder on his line.

A typical Tokaryk Lake rainbow.

Doug hauling in a monster at Tokaryk Lake. Tyler was on the net.

John tangling with as big rainbow.

Karen with a beautiful Patterson Lake brown trout.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Manitoba Gang at the Vice

I truly believe that the preparation and anticipation of a trip are as much fun as the trip itself. Phil Rowley drove down from Sherwood Park and spent yesterday with the 10 members of our club who are heading to the Parkland Region of Manitoba during the early part of June. We spent the morning planning and go over Phil's kit bag and then we tied 10 patterns in the afternoon. Most of the flies we tied were "local" patterns that fly fishers that frequent Patterson Lake and Tokaryk Lake in Manitoba use.

Karen and I decided to host the workshop right in our basement. It all worked out great. Tiki and Pinball got a bit excited at all the action in their house but once they realized everybody loved to fly fish, they instantly became friends of all.

Thanks again Phil for the fabulous day. I am always amazed at how fast the day goes.


Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Renew Your Fishing License on Line

You can get your fishing license for the year on line here in the Province of Alberta at:

...and get your British Columbia Licenses here: (have last year's licence handy, it makes everything a bit easier)

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Bead and Wire Reference

When I get into the tying mode, I often forget what bead size and lead wire (or equivalent) I use for a selected hook. The following chart will help:

Bead to Hook Size
Diameter - Hook Size

1/4"bead #2-4

7/32"bead #2-8

3/16"bead #4-8

5/32"bead #8-12

1/8"bead #10-14

7/64"bead # 14-16

3/32"bead #14-18

5/64"bead #18-22

1/16"bead #22-26

Lead Wire or Equivalent to Hook Size

Diameter - Hook Size
.035" #4 and larger

.030" #4-6

.025" #6-10

.020" #12-14

.015" # 14-16

.010" #16 and smaller

Monday, March 15, 2010

A Big Thank You to the Presenters

Well another tying season has come to a close except for the special session for the group heading to Parkland Region of Manitoba. We tied an incredible variety of trout patterns for both lakes and moving water during the 13 sessions. I would like to thank the following presenters:

Evan Ritchie
Dr. Bill Young
Bob Vanderwater
Doug Cook
Roy Saunders
Reid Stoyberg
Doug Pullen
Les Kolibaba
Phil Rowley
Jock MacKenzie
Byron Stearns

We have an incredible amount of knowledge within Central Alberta Fly Tyers. As many of you know, Karen and I are in travel mode next year and the club will have to carry on with some new leadership for the year. As the school year winds down we will endeavor to help get the group organized for next year.

Do get out and enjoy our waters. Find some new waters to fish this year and if you can, take a youngster out and introduce them to fly fishing.

I will be adding posts onto the Central Alberta Fly Tyers' Blog with great patterns and information that might be of some use to our group. Do check back often.

Bob and Karen

Monday March 15, 2010

Hi Everybody!

Doug DeWitt was our guest tyer tonight. Doug taught 20 tyers how to tie both a Green Drake dry fly and a Green Drake nymph. Doug encouraged us to consider this style of tying for the other "drakes" by adjusting hook size and dubbing. Grey drakes in size 12 and brown drakes in size 8 can be made with this pattern. Doug likes a deer hair wing because it doesn't spin, a proper sized and positioned tail to help with floatation and a hackle that is properly trimmed so the fly rides upright. The green drake nymph is basically made from the most important natural tying material we have, peacock herl.

You can tell that Doug developed these patterns after plenty of field testing. These patterns will definitely be in my fly box. Bring on the Green Drake hatch!

Thanks for leading our last session of the year Doug. A very enjoyable evening.

Doug DeWitt

The Gang Concentrating on their Drake Patterns

Green Drake Dry

Hook: Size 10 -2X Dry fly
Tail: 4 Microfibbets
Wing Deer hair
Body: Light olive
Rib: 6/0 Green Thread
Hackle: Ginger

Green Drake Nymph

Hook: Size 10 2 x dry fly
Tail: (not shown here) Black rubber
Body: Peacock herl
Rib: copper wire
Thorax: Peacock herl

Monday, March 8, 2010

Monday March 8, 2010

I recall speaking with Doug Cook at Beaver Lake in early November. Beaver Lake was already 50% encased in ice. We were still out there hanging leeches under indicators and catching some nice rainbows while adorned in our winter wear. I casually mentioned to Doug that he should consider leading a tying session. Well, tonight 25 tyers took in Doug's session. He taught us how to construct an articulated leech. The "bag" had 2 hooks, a rabbit strip, a cone head, 25 pound backing and a needle. Hmmm, this looks interesting. After a lot of steps that included sewing, gluing, measuring, and generally holding your jaw just right, the entire gang successfully tied this gigantic leech. The neat thing about this leech is the position of the hook at the back of the leech attached to 25 pound backing. The free flowing rabbit strip will certainly attract big fish. Once hooked, fish have no lever to help them get off. This pattern, I know, will spur some extra tying by the guys, Doug. Great job!

A special welcome to Tracey Birch. New tyers are always welcome.

Next week is our final tying session. Doug DeWitt is our final guest tyer of the season. Doug loves to construct small flies so bring your glasses!

Doug Cook

Phil, you just have to stitch the backing up the rabbit strip! Whhhaaatt?

Articulated Leech

Trailer hook: Mustad 3906B size 4 with the eye cut off
Front hook: Size 6- Mustad 37140 with the back half of the hook cut away
Body: Black or brown rabbit zonker strip
Cone: Large
Collar: Black or brown hackle
Sewing material: 25 pound white backing colored brown or black depending on the color of the rabbit strip
Thread: Black or brown 3/0

Friday, March 5, 2010

Now that is a Brown Trout

World Record Brown caught in the Manistee River, 41.45 lbs and 43.75 inches long. (Michigan, USA)

P.S. I am not a big fan of the grippers used on the brown trout.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Stream Weaver Flies

In 1997, I bought my first fly rod from Stream Weaver Fly Shop right behind the Ice Cream Shop at the top of the Ross Street hill. That was the start of my fly fishing and now the sport has evolved into a passion that I certainly would not have anticipated back then. My buddy Jay got me started. Bob Edens, owner of Stream Weaver Flies, set me up with a 5 weight rod, reel and line for $150.

Bob Eden's Fly Shop is now in his garage about 3 blocks further east of the location behind the Ice Cream shop. As you can see from the photos below, Stream Weaver Flies is alive and well in Red Deer. Bob carries everything that you might want for fly tying or he will bring it in for you. His garage is extremely well stocked and he has kept quite current with recent materials that have have been made available to fly tyers.

Bob is more than glad to open up the shop. You can give him a call and drop by. Call him at 403-343-8699 or e-mail Bob at . The shop is located at 3829-50A Street. Do call before you drop over.

Head here: Stream Weaver Flies to see Bob's web site.

Watch out though. Bob Edens loves to talk about fly fishing. He is extremely devoted to the sport.

Bob Edens and Doug Pullen