Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Bruce Tilbrook's Newest Book

Hi Everybody!

I just got a note from an excited member of our club who is also an accomplished author. Bruce Tilbrook's newest book, It Was THIS BIG,  will be available on April 1st from Chapters/Indigo, Superstore and Amazon. Looks like lots of fun to read Bruce. I enjoyed reading Sausage Men. Bruce hopes to see his newest publication in Wholesale Sports, Cabela's and the Fishing Hole as well!

...we will have to have a book signing evening with our gang! Way to go Bruce!

Steve's Adventure to Fly Fish in Mexico

Steve Luethi went fly fishing for bonefish in Ascension Bay, Mexico at the beginning of March. Note the fibre glass rod Steve was using. Steve said that casting the full flex rod was awesome, even in the wind. Looks like he has a great time. Thanks for sharing the pictures Steve!

Flats with turtle grass!

Monday, March 23, 2015

Edge Bright Nymphs and S.O.S. s

Hi Everybody!

Another fly tying season drew to a close tonight. Fly Tying Mondays certainly helps us get through our long winters here in Central Alberta. Tonight we tied 3 nymphs that you should give a try on your favourite moving waters. A neat material called edge bright was used to make two of the nymphs and a guide favourite in Colorado called the SOS was introduced to the group!

Tonight was a perfect ending to a great season of fly tying with almost 30 tyers crammed into a classroom having a great time. Rick started the evening off sharing his size 20 S.O.S. fly.

Rick's Size 20 S.O.S.

 Luckily we started off with a size 12 fly and worked our way to a size 18 fly.

On Behalf of the Central Alberta Fly Tyers, I would like to thank our guest instructors for the the past season. Organizing a tying session for our group takes time, planning and the courage to "get up there" and teach to a group of your peers. Thanks again!

We are always interested in any constructive feedback. Next year, we are considering running our tying sessions right at TC Outfitters as long as we have the space (which it looks good).

Remember, if you have pictures of some of your trip experiences, please send them along and I will add them to the blog!

As well, if you are interested in casting lessons, contact Troy at TC Outfitters. We are trying to gage the interest in both single handed and spey casting lessons with Maxwell Robinson!

Lastly the IF4 Film Festival is coming to Carnival Theatre on Thursday April 16th. The show will start at 6:30 with the doors opening at 6 pm! Josh Nugent will be here to share 2 hours of fabulous films for us to enjoy! You can get tickets at the door or at TC Outfitters.

Edge Bright Nymph

Hook: Mustad 3906B sizes 12 to 16
Bead: 7/64s to 5/64s
Thread: Black UTC 70 denier
Tail: Black Hackle tips
Body: Black Thread
Shellback: Edge Bright Orange/Pink
Rib: UTC Black Wire, Small
Thorax: Ice Dub, Black
Legs: Black Hackle

Edge Bright Brassie

Hook: Mustad 3906 sizes 14 to 16
Bead: 3/32nds to 5/64s
Thread: Black UTC 70 denier
Tail: Black Hackle tips
Body: Brassie wire
Shellback: Edge Bright
Thorax: Ice Dub
Legs: Black Hackle fibres

Higa's S.O.S. (Save Our Skin)

Video of the S.O.S. being tied!

Hook: C49s size 16-20
Thread: Black UTC 70 denier
Bead: 5/64ths: Black nickel
Tail: Black Hackle Fibres
Body: Black thread
Rib: Small Silver UTC Wire
Flashback: Red Holographic Tinsel, medium
Thorax: Ice Dub, black
Legs: Black Crystal Flash

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Some of Willy's Favourite Lake Flies

Hi Everybody!

Monday night, Willy  Spijksma was our guest presenter. Willy shared his "go to" lake flies that he uses to 19 keen fly tyers. Willy is an avid stillwater fly fisher and I know that these three patterns have been put through extensive field testing out at the lake. Thanks Willy for sharing the patterns with us!

Next week is our last session for the tying season. We will be tying  two great Davie McPhail patterns as wells a cool baetis pattern called the SOS!

Remember that the IF 4 Film Festival is April 16th. Click on the details just to your left on the blog!

Lastly, Troy at TC Outfitters ( troy@twtl.ca) is trying to pull together spey lessons and single handed lesson with Maxwell Robinson. Maxwell is an excellent teacher of both. We are targeting late April or early May for the lessons! Drop troy an e-mail if you are interested so he can get it organized!

Thanks Doug Pullen for taking all the pictures and sending me the fly pattern information!

Will-A-Bee Damsel

Hook: Mustad C53S size 12
Thread: UTC 70 Olive
Tail: Olive Marabou
Underbody: .015 Leadfree Wire
Body: Olive and Sparkle Blend Dubbing
Shellback: Black Swiss Straw
Thorax: Olive and Sparkle Blend Dubbing
Legs: White or Grizzly Hackle

Note: Willy believes the white hackle brings more attention to the fly

The Willy Nelly

Hook: Mustad C53S size #12
Thread: UTC 70 Olive
Bead: Orange Glass Bead 7/64”
Underbody: .015 Leadfree Wire (double layered to form a tapered profile)
Tail: Olive Marabou
Body: Orange Crystal Chenille medium
Hackle: Grizzly

Willy’s Fuzzy Fly

Hook: Mustad C53S size 12
Thread: UTC 70 Olive
Bead: Gold 7/64”
Rib: Fine Red Wire 
Shellback: 1/8 Olive Midge Flex
Body: White or Olive Polar Chenille

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

The 2015 Fishing Regulations Are Now Out

Beauty of a Day in the Crowsnest Pass

What a day in the Crowsnest Pass. Bright blue sky, warm temperatures, lots of fish and yes, wind although today quite manageable. Larry and I hit Highway 2 at 6 am and were at our first fishing spot on the Oldman River by 9 am even with our usual Timmies stop in Claresholm.  Amazingly, the wind was just a breeze. We got into lots of fish right away because the rainbows were on a midge hatch. When the wind intensified, we headed further into the Pass to the Crowsnest River. We wondered if all the warm temperatures cleared out one of our favourite runs of ice. In a word, yes! The dangerous ice shelves we encountered just 4 days ago were gone where we wanted to fish. We quickly clamoured down to the Crownest River and had a wonderful day. We caught lots of rainbows, cuttbows, rocky mountain whitefish and several impressive bull trout!

We had a bald eagle cruise the river just above us. I caught myself enjoying this beautiful raptor flying just above us on several occasions over the course of the day.

All of the fish we caught were in fantastic condition. The river was clear and low. Our best flies were the San Juan Worm and a stonefly pattern that was made with hares ear dubbing and tied up like a prince nymph!

We ended our fishing day back on the Oldman where we picked up more rainbows. By supper time we had enough and two tired flyfishers climbed back to the jetta. It was 18 C. We started the day with a lot of layers but by the end of the day, all you needed was a long sleeved shirt.

One of things Larry and I have learned about the Crowsnest Pass is do not worry about the wind unless it is blowing 80 plus kph! There are places to get out of the wind, you just have to "have a plan!" Use Goggle Earth to take a look at the rivers you want to fish!

Today was one of those days to be appreciated. The long drive home seemed to be longer than in the morning but the smiles on our sun tanned faces said it all!

Sending a bull trout back to his hiding spot!

Monday, March 9, 2015

Damselfly Nymphs and Adults

Tonight was all about damsels. There are lots of great patterns out there although my favourite ones have marabou as a main tying component. Many damsel patterns are easy to tie and the marabou allows them to flow freely and be very life like in the water. Tonight we tied up a Grizzly Damsel, a pattern that Phil Rowley has developed, we also tied up a Denny Richards pattern called a Stillwater Nymph. The stillwater nymph is a very impressionistic fly that can also be used as a scud pattern. The last fly we tied is John Kent's, Pumpkinhead. The Pumpkinhead is a very reliable pattern that should be in every stillwater fly box!

Next week Willy Spijksma is our guest tyer. It should be an awesome session! We are down to our last two Fly Tying Monday lessons for this winter!

Remember that the IF4 Film Festival is coming to Carnival Theatre on April 16th. There are several amazing films that Josh Nugent will be showing. The two hour show starts at 6:30 pm and the door open at 6 pm. You can get tickets at the door or at TC Outfitters. Getting tickets at TC Outfitters will be slightly cheaper.

Baby Damsel (Brian Chan originator)

Grizzly Damsel (Philip Rowley originator)

A Dubbing Loop for the Aftershaft Feather that Builds the Thorax

Pumpkinhead (John Kent originator)

Stillwater Nymph (Denny Richards originator)

Hook: TMC 200R sizes 10-12
Thread: Olive 8/0
Tail: Olive Marabou
Body: Olive seal or semi seal
Hackle: Orange Grizzly
Shellback: Olive Marabou

Foam Adult Damsel

Hook: Curved Nymph sizes 10-12
Thread: Blue 8/0
Tail: Blue 2 mm foam
Body: Blue Antron
Shellback: Blue 2 mm foam
Eyes: Glass black, small
Wing: Pearl Crystal Flash

The pictures below are from a lake with lots of damsels. The lahontan cutthroat get gigantic!

Saturday, March 7, 2015

Off to the Oldman and Crow to Get the Season Rolling

Larry and I finally got down to the Crowsnest Pass area a few days back. It was the earliest we have ever been down to southern Alberta to fly fish but reports indicated that there was open water. We knew the Oldman River below the dam was open as it usually is on this tail water. We stopped at one of the bridges on the Oldman and the wind was blowing like a run away freight train. We got into some fish but the crazy wind sent us to the Crowsnest River.

Well we hoped to fish below Lundbreck but the ice shelves were just plain dangerous and eventually the Crow was encased in ice. We heard that the Burmis area had decent fishing but we ended up downstream of 507 bridge. We were able to get into some nice rainbows but we again experienced ice shelves. Ice shelves are dangerous so we avoided them.

We headed back to the Oldman River and the fly fishing was pretty good. The wind had died down a lot and the sun was shining on our backs. We lost more than we caught! It was nice to shake the rust off and stretch the fly lines once again.

The warm weather ahead should have the areas open to fishing being decent to fly fish.

There are midges hatching and some trout and rocky mountain white fish were taking advantage of these emergences.

We had our best luck with a San Juan Worm tied with Squirmy Legs. This is a very cool material that moves in a very life like fashion in the water. Tie these San Juan Worms with a lead substitute underbody that is covered with red thread and then tie in the squirmy legs, wrap down the shank of the hook and tie off with a tail. You could even add a hot spot using a different coloured thread in the underbody!

Do not use any glue what so ever on this material. It will disintegrate the material. What I love about the material is its stretchy component but it is not the most durable material. Tie lots of them in your favourite San Juan sizes. The trout love them!

As you can see, these ice shelves are not safe to walk on. It was time to look for water that was a bit safer to fly fish!

The Oldman River was ice free and good to go. Hold on to your hat though! 

A beautiful cutbow caught on the Oldman River!