Friday, August 29, 2014

Grandpa Bruce and His Grandkids

I absolutely love to see pictures of Grandpa Bruce taking his family out to the west country to camp and fish! Teaching the younger generation to enjoy the outdoors is extremely important. It is easy to tell that everybody is having a great time catching rainbows, browns and brookies! I love the kids dressed up just like dad and grandpa!

Brown Trout Action in Central Alberta

Bruce and Phil are having a lot of success in our brown trout streams here in Central Alberta. As Bruce noted, his favourite rivers have treated him kindly this year. Looks like you were having a blast guys! Way to go!

Great Canadian Shoreline Clean-Up 2014

A Couple of Clips of Cutthroat Fly Fishing on our Eastern Slopes Rivers

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Ice Bucket Challenge for ALS Awareness...Fly Fishing Style

Larry and Bob accepted Phil Rowley's Ice Bucket Challenge for ALS! Since were were out at the lake, we decided to use Larry's boat loader to get the job done!

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

...more boatmen in west central Alberta

...if you get a chance to spend some time out on our local pot hole lakes, you maybe rewarded with some fabulous fly fishing! The boatmen and backswimmer action today was excellent!

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Four for Twenty

What an interesting day at another west central Alberta pot hole lake today! The boatmen and backswimmers were very active today as were the rainbows in the lake. Lots of the rainbows were picking the boatmen out of the surface film before they could fly off. The water surface temperature was in the 63F range. From a fly fishermen perspective, where do you cast your foam boatmen? You have to be observant to note the direction that the rainbows were travelling and get your offering in front of them. The takes can be explosive. Several fly fishers today just cast their boatmen out and waited for something to happen. I was trying to hit the rise ring with my boatmen pattern and then strip, strip, pause. I had hits but few hook ups. I was surprised.

...well what worked today?

 If I had taken the time to observe, I would have also seen the rather large chironomids in the surface film. I did take some time to fish size 10 chironomids; black and silver ones. Seven takes but none to hand! Seemed rather late for chironomids but it was still happening!

...back to the boatmen! The rainbows were on them. We finally used size 14 flashbacks 5 feet down. We stripped them and paused. That got our hook ups.

Tomorrow; midge tips and hover lines with ultimate boatmen hopefully will will improve our batting average.

...oh yes, we have both been nominated by Phil Rowley for the ice bucket challenge! We will get'er done tomorrow at the lake!

Monday, August 25, 2014

Water Boatman and Backswimmers Have Started

Cooler evenings have started to bring the water temperatures down on our local pot hole lakes. Yesterday at Mitchell Lake, the water temperature was 64C. What we did notice was both water boatmen and backswimmers were active and the trout were on them. The action did not get going until after lunch and it is still sporadic. As we get the first few days with frost, the boatmen and backswimmer action will pick up! I love the fall fishing although it is still the last few days of summer!

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Stunning Arctic Char on the Tree River with Reid Stoyberg

The Tree River has the biggest arctic char in the world. The world record arctic char came from a short stretch of river the comes from the arctic ocean about 7 miles to an impassible set of falls. Reid Stoyberg from Red Deer is just finishing up his second year of guiding with Plummer's Lodge. Reid has spent lots of time with our fly tying club sharing flies and stories about his guiding experiences. Reid has taken several trips from Great Bear Lake up to the Tree River with guests this summer. As the guiding season comes to a close in the north, the char, especially the males turn incredible colours. The Tree River is heaven on earth for a fly fisherman!

Cutthroat, Friends, Family, Hounds and Thunderstorms

Fly fishing can easily take a back seat to having a great time with good friends, family and just plain relaxing. The last week has truly been a blast. The focus is the camping and great times at the fire. The laughter, stories, lies and being entertained by our hounds can usually put fly fishing for cutthroat on the back burner, especially after getting thunderstormed BIG time in the space of three days. The fly fishing on our Eastern slopes cutthroat streams is awesome this time of the year. The cutts are certainly fun to catch and they can actually become challenging to catch because they have become well educated over the course of the summer! Cutthroats to many of us mean beautiful places to spend the day or as much as a week. You meet all kinds of characters on the rivers, some all wound up and others just enjoying where they are for the that moment.

Over the last week, several of us tried new techniques including: tenkara fly fishing and then we got into Euro Nymphing. Euro nymphing  is all about the correct set up and paying attention. Phil Rowley showed us how to do it and many of us gave it a shot. I was amazed at where the cutties were hanging out. Many trout were caught in water 99% of us walk right by and not even consider as a productive stretch of water! That in itself makes you think about where you put your time in on the river!

My son-in-law tried cutthroat fly fishing for the first time and he has a blast in less than perfect conditions.

It was nice to slow down the pace. The weather slowed the fishing for a couple of days but for the most part, the fly fishing was awesome.

I feel very lucky to have such great friends and family to hang out with on a favourite cutthroat river.

Philip Rowley Euro Nymphing. What a great technique.

The 'slinky" above is the magic of the Euro Nymphing! 

...more about that later!

Larry practicing Euro Nymphing!

Friday, August 8, 2014

A Forty Pounder, what a beautiful Laker! and Tree River Char

...a 40 pound lake trout is truly something special! Wow!  Way to go Reid! 

...and the arctic char, they are beautiful! In John Gierach's latest book, All Fishermen are Liars, he describes arctic char males as "brook trout dressed up in a clown suit."  Yes, these fish are indeed "swimming jewelry!"

Saturday, August 2, 2014

Proposed Sand and Gravel Pit on the North Raven River, ...aka Stauffer Creek

Hi Everybody!

We should be very concerned about this proposal for a sand and gravel pit on Stauffer Creek. Take a look at the proposal and the reply to Don Andersen's concerns from the Minister!

click on the letter to see a larger version!

Letter from Don Andersen to the Minister of Environment and Sustainable Resources.

Dear sir:

While I recognize the requirement for gravel there are places in Alberta where the risk to the environment is just too high for a gravel mine.

The headwaters if the North Raven River is just such a place. The lands where the headsprings are located were purchased by the Alberta Conservation Assoc., Trout Unlimited Canada, Central Alberta Chapter of Trout Unlimited and the Alberta Fish and Game Assoc. These purchases were an attempt to protect the headspwings integrity and the stream. Further, the lands directly east of the proposed gravel pit were purchased by the Province who also recognized the importance of protecting the spring source waters.

The North Raven River is a very rare thing in Alberta, a spring creek and as such deserves the millions of dollars spent and thousand of volunteer hours invested to protect it over the past forty years. While the North Raven is not only rare it is also the closest trout stream to Edmonton where public access is possible.

As the co-habitat Chairman of the Central Alberta Chapter of Trout Unlimited, I've spent thousands of my own dollars plus hundred of hours attempting to repair the damaged caused by agribusiness. Dana Woodworth, your Deputy Minister, was a participant in one of these projects on a head spring adjacent to the Gravel Pit Proposal.

I trust that you will see the value of protecting this stream and urge you to stop the the Hankinson Gravel Pit Proposal in the County of 


Don Andersen
co-habitat Chairman
Central Alberta Chapter of Trout Unlimited
5615 54A Ave.
Rocky Mountain House,
T4T 1H6

Friday, August 1, 2014

Joined at the Hip

These two characters are at it again. Phil and Bruce love to prowl around Central Alberta armed with their favourite flies this time of the year. Looks like another great day out on the water!