Monday, December 15, 2014

Clousers and Deceivers with Plummer's Lodge Guide , Reid Stoyberg

The library was jammed to capacity with avid fly tyers to take in Reid Stoyberg's presentation tonight about fly fishing for lake trout at Plummer's Lodge on Great Bear Lake. I always look forward to Reid's presentation. There is a lot to learn from Reid's experiences guiding on Great Bear Lake. Reid loves to guide guests who come armed with fly rods. He loves the challenge which this year yielded a monster laker at 36 pounds on the fly rod. 

Reid guided us through tying Bob Clouser's tried and true streamer, the Clouser Minnow and Lefty Kreh's Deceiver. Both are great streamers and if you tie them large, you can catch gigantic lake trout with them.

Thanks Reid for the enjoyable presentation! I can feel the passion you have for guiding at Great Bear.

This is our last presentation until after Christmas. Karen and I would like to wish you all a very Merry Christmas! We will see you Monday January 5th when Dr. Bill Young is our presenter!

Reid Stoyberg

Lefty's Deceiver

Hook: Mustad 34007 sizes 1/0 to 4/0
Thread: 3/0, colour to match fly
Tail: Schlappen or hackle tips
Flash: crystal flash and flashabou
Body: Diamond braid
Body sides: Buck Tail
Top: Buck Tail
Throat: Red Flashabou
Eyes: Stick on (optional)

Clouser Minnow

Hook: Mustad 34007 sizes 1/0 to 4/0
Thread: 3/0, colour to match fly
Over Wing: White Buck Tail
Under Body: Your choice of colour
Accent: Flashabou
Eyes: Dumbbell Eyes

The Gang concentrating on their streamers

Can you imagine landing a monster lake trout like this on a fly rod?

Monday, December 8, 2014

Fly Fishing for Bonefish with Doug DeWitt

Hi Everybody!

Tonight Doug DeWitt was our guest presenter and he spent the evening teaching us two proven bonefish flies as well as giving us an excellent overview of his set up for fly fishing the flats. Doug has visited several bone fishing locations including the Turks and Caicos Islands as well as Cuba. Doug loves to sight fish for big bonefish. Dougs' extensive bone fishing experiences has taught him "what works!" He shared his thoughts about his approach to bonefish fly fishing after showing us how to tie a Bunny Gotcha and the Merkin Crab!

The library was jammed to capacity to take in Doug's informative presentation. Thanks Doug, we all learned a lot!

Remember next week, Reid Stoyberg, guide at Plummer's Lodge, is our guest presenter. I am already looking forward to our last tying session before Christmas!

Please drop Bob a note ( to sign up for Phil Rowley's all day workshop on January 31st! The theme is Euro Nymphing. This will be a comprehensive workshop that includes: learning to tie the flies, making your own slinky system, learning how to set up the train of flies as well as fishing them! This is going to be a very cool workshop you will not want to miss!

Doug DeWitt

The gang at work!

Bunny Gotcha with Silly Legs

Hook: TMC 811s size 6-4
Thread: Olive or Tan 3/0-0r 6/0
Tail: Peacock Flashabou with silly legs
Body: Diamond Braid, bonefish tan
Wing: Rabbit, flesh or white
Bead: Bead chain to dumbell eyes depending on the depth or nothing (quite shallow)

Preparing legs for the Merkin Crab

Darren installing the legs

Tieing in the EP fibers

Time to trim the EP fibers to the shape of a crab!

Merkin Crab

Hook: TMC 811s sizes 2 or 4
Thread: Tan or olive B thread
Tail: Krystal Flash, olive
Body: EP 3D fibers white, tan or olive
Legs: Silly legs
Bead: Bead chain or dumbell eyes (depending on depth you are fishing)

Doug spent time going over his set up. Doug uses an Orvis Helios 8 weight with a 9 weight Rio bonefish line. Doug pointed out the importance of practice casting before you go. Be sure you can double haul proficiently!

Doug also went over his homemade leaders. They are 10 to 14 feet long starting with a 60 pound butt, tapering down to 40 pounds and finally 20 pounds to the fly! Doug showed us how to tie a Seaguar Knot to attach fluorocarbon to fluorocarbon (take a look at the video).  This is a knot that will not slip and maintains its strength. Oh yes, use some chap stick for lubricant when attaching two different pieces of fluorocarbon!

Now THAT is a bonefish!

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Video of Reid Guiding at Great Bear Lake and the Tree River

Hi Everybody!

Take a look at some footage from Reid's GoPro while guiding this past summer at  Plummer's Lodge. Reid guides a group of 3 guests at both Great Bear Lake and the brawling Tree River in Nunavut right on the Arctic coast!

There were several incredible moments that include a deluge of rain, chasing arctic char in big water and landing a 36 pound lake trout on the fly. This piece of video is well worth the 12 minutes to watch!

You will not want to miss Reid's fly tying presentation on December 15th!



Monday, December 1, 2014

Mouse Patterns!

Twenty five fly tiers came out tonight and had a great time tying two very cool mouse patterns that definitely are fish catchers! The Morrish Mouse is a staple fly pattern in Alaska and in Kamchatka in Russia. Take a look at this cool video of the Morrish Mouse getting devoured by gigantic rainbows:

We also tied a neat fly that a young fly fishing fanatic, Jeremy Roy, put me on to called Count Chocula! What a neat pattern that I can hardly wait to try in Northern Saskatchewan and perhaps on an unsuspecting big bruiser brown trout! Thanks Jeremy!

Next week, Doug DeWitt is our guest instructor. I know Doug has been spending time fly fishing the salt in Cuba! I bet he will bring some salt water patterns along. Doug is a passionate fly fisherman and you will enjoy his presentation!

Save the last Saturday in January for an all day comprehensive workshop with Phil Rowley. The theme is Euro Nymphing. It is going to be a fabulous workshop!

The guys having a great time at fly tying class! To me, that is exactly what our club is all about!

...I was impressed with the quality of the flies that the gang tied tonight!

Morrish Mouse

Hook: Mustad 34007 size 1/0 to 3/0
Thread: Black 6/0, 3/0, Gel Spun or kevlar thread
Tail: Rabbit
Underbody: Spun deer hair
Over Body: 2mm foam

Count Chocula

Hook: Mustad 34007 size 1/0 to 3/0
Thread: Black 6/0, 3/0, Gel Spun or kevlar thread
Tail: Rabbit
Over Body: Black 2 mm foam
Underbody: Rabbit
Legs: Black Rubber with red flashabou
Eyes: Stick on holographic

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Slide Show of the 2014 Fly Fishing Season

Hi Everybody!

The video above is a slide show of the 2014 fly fishing season for our Central Alberta Fly Tyers. A big thank you to all of you who submitted photos. Grab a coffee and take a look!


Monday, November 24, 2014

Bonefish Flies with Brandon Fawcett for Little Corn Island, Nicaragua

What a great start to our tying season. Twenty three fly tyers came out tonight to take in Brandon Fawcett's presentation on bonefish fly fishing on Little Corn Island in Nicaragua. Brandon has been guiding on Little Corn Island for several years. His company, Fly Fishing Little Corn has been quite successful. Tonight Brandon gave us a great overview of fly fishing on Little Corn Island. It certainly sounds like an adventure to go there. The bonefish are found on the flats and in slightly deeper water. There are elusive permit and tarpon in the area at certain times of the year as well!

Great job Brandon! What an enjoyable way to kick off the fly tying season!

Next week we will be tying two very cool mouse patterns. The famous Morrish Mouse and a neat mouse pattern called Count Chocula, yes, after the cereal! You will need 6/0 or 3/0 black tying thread for spinning deer hair! See you there!

Crab Fly

Thread: White 8/0
Eyes: Dumbell Eyes-small
Hook: Mustad 34007 size 8 or equivalent
Legs: Sili Legs
Body: EP Fibers

Cuban Libra 

Thread: White 6/0 or 8/0
Hook: Mustad 34007 size 4 or equivalent
Eyes: Dumbell Eyes
Tail: White Ultra Hair or Equivalent
Underbody: Pink diamond braid
Over Body: Mylar Tubing

Green Weenie

Hook: Mustad 34007 size 4
Thread: Green 6/0
Eyes: Dumbell Eyes
Tail: White Ultra Hair or Equivalent
Body: Green or olive diamond braid
Wing: White Ultra Hair or Equivalent

The Gang at Work!

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Fly Tying Mondays Begin on November 24th!

Hi Everybody!

We have a great line up of presenters ready to go for another season of fly tying!

We will get the ball rolling this Monday November 24th starting at 7 p.m. New comers are certainly welcome to join us!

Remember that there is a $3.00 materials fee for each session.

We still have some open spots for some presenters. Let me know if you can do a session by dropping me an e-mail:

...yes, I have a new e-mail, let me know if you are not on the list!

What do I need to bring for fly tying sessions?

1. fly tying vice

2. a bobbin and a variety of thread colours (basic colours are great: black, red, green, orange, in 8/0 and 6/0)

3. good scissors with sharp point

4. a whip finishing tool

5. a dubbing twister

6. a velcro brush

7. a hair stacker

8. glue (I get brushable crazy glue at Michaels, get a coupon on line for 40% off)

...see you Monday night!


Thursday, November 13, 2014

Red Deer – North Saskatchewan Region New Proposed Fishing Regulations and Fisheries Management Survey

Take some time to complete the following survey that will affect the future of the North Saskatchewan River System Fishing Regulations and Fish Management:

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Who Would You Put Your Money On?

The shadows are getting longer and the current fly fishing season is quickly coming to an end. All the Eastern slopes rivers are now closed until next June 15th and our local pot hole lakes are very close to freeze up! The sloughs and the wet lands were frozen as Larry and I headed to the dam to chase walleye! We saw lots of geese resting on Gleniffer Lake as they migrate south.

The day was perfect. After a rather heavy frost we decided to wait until late morning to head over to the tailwater. The weather forecast was for only 4C and luckily the temperature was quite a bit warmer. The walleye were not extremely active for the first hour, only a couple to hand but by mid afternoon things changed and we caught lots!

As usual we used clouser minnows. I used my usual dark blue ones (the only colour I tied up) and Larry used purple and white as well as brighter yellow orange version. We both had decent success in the latter half of the afternoon!

As we wandered back to the truck, we noticed that our shadows were long. It was another reminder to enjoy these last few days of warmth. The fishery below the dam is open until the end of February and then it closes until later in May.

A bald eagle sat in a tree and watched over us all afternoon! He is the real king of the tailwater fishery although this afternoon; we were the fish catchers!

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

More Steelhead Success

Dr. Bill Young was out in the Smithers area swinging flies for steelies. Nice buck Bill!

Friday, October 24, 2014

Walleye on the Fly along the Red Deer River

It is time to leave the brown trout alone on the Red Deer River. They are spawning in the next short while. Walleye have dominated the Red Deer River in the last few years and they are very willing the strike a minnow fly pattern. Larry and I knew of an excellent spot below the Dickson Dam to cast to walleye. Today they were there and very active. The mercury was close to zero when we arrived but the walleye struck at our blue clouser minnows. Larry used a sink tip line and I used a spey rod with an intermediate tip. Some of the hits were gentle taps but other takes were unmistakeable! The nice thing about fishing below the Dickson Dam is you are protected by wind and the area can be a bit of a "heat sink" if the sun is shining! We caught mostly walleye in the 2 pound range although we did tangle with some larger specimens! The Red Deer River below the dam is well worth a visit. Do be aware of potential spawning redds and do not walk over them.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Steelheading is All About Perseverence

Doug Pullen and his Brother-In-Law just got back from 9 days of chasing steelhead along the Bulkley, Morice, Kispoix and Skeena Rivers.  It was cold and wet as it rained almost every day.  Doug and his Brother-In-Law had to move around quite a bit due to some rivers being blown out with rising waters. The guys had a two person inflatable boat so they could fish from a variety of locations. You can’t fish from a boat so the boat only took them from place to place. You always had to be looking over your shoulder for either bears looking for their next meal (steelhead fishermen are a tastey meal) or large trees that were drifting down due to the large amount of rainfall. Doug fished 6 long days before he hooked his first fish, 18 lbs of pure adrenalin . After 9 days of fishing, 3 hook-ups, 1 fish to the hand and 1 bottle of scotch, in other words a pretty good steelhead trip.

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Happy Canadian Thanksgiving everybody. Guide Reid Stoyberg from Red Deer, who spent the last two seasons at Plummer's Lodge at Great Bear Lake and the Tree River, wrote this excellent article about fly fishing for lake trout!

     When you think of Great Bear Lake and fishing for lake trout, fly fishing probably isn't the first thing that comes to mind.  Trolling with spoons, flatfish, or jigging deep structure is what you would normally expect to target Lakers with.  Trolling is so popular because these fish are so curious and love to follow a lure for great distances and it can be a challenge to cast a fly and entice a strike within casting distance.  Starting last season I had a week dedicated to just fly fishing and ended up combining trolling technique with fly gear; as well as lining up drifts across points and reefs that you could cast to and pull Lakers off at will.  This season I got three whole weeks of fly fishing in on the Bear and wow was it incredible.  A few things I noticed and observed in general about the lake is how sensitive these fish are to temperature, pressure, and how tightly they hold to structure.  Keeping this in mind we also caught fish in water temperatures so low that it would make you shake your head and say to yourself what is this fish doing all the way out here.  

    As the season progresses you see a gradual shift or using this season as an example a very quick shift of fish moving from the shallow bays where the water is warmer at the beginning of the season during ice out, to being spread out throughout the lake, and then finally migrating back to the reefs at the end of the season in preparation for the spawning period.  For fly fishing I want to target these fish preferably when they're in shallow water and I can work the structure they are holding on.  If it's more in the middle of the season when the fish typically spread out, you have to hunt for them.  I took notes on nearly every fish I caught this season pertaining to depth, water temperature, weather, barometer reading, technique used, and species caught.  After looking at this shambled mess of data I collected, I started to see a general pattern but the most important piece of info I collected was at the end of the day. These fish and just the lake in general are extremely unpredictable.  Moving from place to place quickly and efficiently is something I found very successful this season.  That's not to say however that if you don't catch fish in the first five minutes that they aren't there, everything in moderation.  Commit to the spot you're fishing and work it thoroughly, every piece of water has information you can gather from it to make your day better.  With the right info regarding technique we needed the right gear.  
    My setup was a 9ft. 10wt. BVK series from temple fork with a large arbor BVK reel holding a full sink line running a 20lb leader straight from fly line to fly.  The reason for only a 20lb leader is that most fly lines aren't much heavier than that, typically between 20-30lb breaking strain. The crucial piece of gear here is the rod, it's absolutely necessary to have a stiff enough rod to control these fish as you fight them rather than the other way around.  I had a guest this season use an 11wt. Orvis and just the average Laker bent that thing in half when they dive for the bottom.  I can't even exaggerate how well these fish fight on the fly; it truly is a treat when they go on a run.  A good tip to remember when fighting these fish especially that trophy you are after is to keep them off the surface!  Unless you are going in to net the fish if they come up and are not ready, they go into the dreaded death roll and pop the fly out!  Feed them line while keeping tension, allow them to stay down so they don't feel the need to roll and also allows you to keep a good vertical angle on the fly and keep the fish hooked.  
    My fly box for Lakers has an assortment of deceivers in all the colors of the rainbow and articulated streamers tied in the same style for a larger bait profile.  The larger bait profile was very successful for targeting larger fish.  Most of the takes from lake trout are going to be from the rear of the fly because they end up following it for so long.  An interesting note was that the percentage of repeat strikes using flies versus hardware was huge.  Quite often if a Laker didn't take the fly the first time they would continue to follow and strike a second and in extreme cases a third time.   The largest fish I took in my boat on the fly this year was 36lbs. and on the last day of the season fishing directly on top of a reef in 5ft. of water.  The fight took us 22 minutes, and the fish went on numerous runs making that reel sing.  We managed the fish by honestly letting him do whatever he wanted all the while keeping constant tension and persuading him out to deeper water away from the reef.  
    All in all an experience I'll never forget when that fish ended up in the net and very rewarding to target these fish on the fly rod.  Fly fishing week at the lodge is something I look forward to every year and lets me enjoy my favorite style of fishing.

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

New CEO of Trout Unlimited Canada!

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Fresh Water Clean Future!

After serving for almost five years, current Chief Executive Officer and Corporate Counsel, Jeff Surtees is stepping down from his role with Trout Unlimited Canada to pursue a Master's degree in Natural Resources Energy and Environmental Law. 

The search for Jeff's replacement did not take long. In a unanimous decision, Trout Unlimited Canada's Board of Directors is pleased to announce current Ontario Programs Manager Silvia D'Amelio will become TUC's CEO effectiveOctober 15th.

Silvia has been with TUC for over 10 years. Prior to her role as Ontario Programs Manager, Silvia was TUC's Ontario Provincial Biologist. Silvia brings with her a wealth of experience. She has an honors B.Sc. from the University ofToronto in biology, specializing in animal behavior and conservation. Silvia received her M.Sc. from Trent University with the Ministry of Natural Resources in fisheries genetics and management. 

Silvia's interests span a variety of fields related to aquatic restoration including aquatic community composition, water chemistry and stewardship. Her work has spanned science, monitoring, restoration, conservation and advocacy over the past 11 years. Silvia represents Trout Unlimited Canada on a number of federal and provincial fisheries committees and was instrumental in the successful development and implementation of TUC's Aquatic Renewal Program. In addition, Silvia possesses strong planning and organizational skills including fund development and program management. 

In her spare time Silvia enjoys fishing, particularly fly fishing with her husband Dave. She is an accomplished fly tyer, specializing in traditional Atlantic salmon patterns, chef and cake decorator. 

Silvia can be reached via email .

About Trout Unlimited Canada
Trout Unlimited Canada's mission is to conserve, protect and restore Canada's freshwater ecosystems and their coldwater resources for current and future generations. 

TUC has been restoring rivers and streams in Canada for over 35 years. 

For more information about Trout Unlimited Canada please visit our website.