Saturday, May 30, 2015

This graph courtesy of Alberta Basins, shows quite clearly that some of our drainages on the Eastern slopes have very low volumes of water for this time of the year. I am quite concerned. The snow pack out west is not large. Hopefully spring rains will help solve this!

Off to the Parkland Region of Manitoba

Here is why a trip to the Parkland Region of Manitoba is worth the long drive across the prairies! Way to go ladies!

Thursday, May 28, 2015

A Visit to Police Outpost Lake

Larry and his brother Ken spent a few days down at Police Outpost Lake near Cardston. Police Lake is set up to be a quality fishery and has a delayed harvest regulation, meaning you can only retain trout over 50 cm in length. The lake has produced very few in that category as of late. The triploids are growing slowly. There is also an attempt on getting the balance right between the number of fish stocked and the food available in the lake.

The good news is that there are lots of fish in the 16 to 19 inch category to be caught!

Small leeches, chironomids and boobies were bringing lots of fish to hand for Larry. Larry mentioned that a full sink line and a boobie did great when the fishing turned slow. The guys were wind drifting, is that trolling, with a boobie and doing fantastic? Sort of I guess!

Looks like you had a blast guys, thanks for the pictures!

Sunday, May 24, 2015

Steve Tangles with a Pike with his 5 Weight

You just never know what you might connect with while fly fishing on the Red Deer River! Steve was casting with his "glass" 5 weight and he hooked up with a big pike. When you do not have knotable bit tippet or a steel leader, you usually get broken off. Not this time! Well done Steve!

Tim's New Ride

Nice ride Tim! Looks like you are going to be putting some quality time on the water!

Saturday, May 23, 2015

Rocky Mountain Whitefish

photos courtesy of Steve Leuthi 

The Red Deer River has seen several high water events (1995, 2005 and 2013) in recent years. Rocky mountain whitefish populations seemed to be adversely affected by the high fast water. Lately, several fly fishers have reported seeing many more rocky mountain whitefish. That is great news. I have had several trips "saved" by catching lots of rockies when the trout are not biting our offerings.

The Red Deer River has several species that readily come to a well presented fly. Rocky mountain whitefish is one of those species. Better still, you do not have to leave the city of Red Deer to fly fish for them.

I love the nose area of rockies. They use this prominate part of their head to root around for food in the river.

Rocky mountain whitefish are well worth a fly fishers time.

Goldeye on the Fly

What a beautiful afternoon to go fly fishing for goldeye. We headed east of Red Deer and we were wondering if the skwalas were 40 km downstream of Red Deer.  Well there were good numbers of skwalas upstream of the Joffre Bridge and the goldeye were on them as they hit the water trying to lay their eggs. Interestingly enough, the foam fly, the orange crush was a better bet than a foam skwala pattern. I think the fish in the Red Deer River have a stomach ache from eating so many skwalas!

photo courtesy of Steve Luethi

Oh yes, there were hopper everywhere. That should make for some interesting fly fishing during the season!

Friday, May 22, 2015

Skwalas and a Brown Trout

It looked like a slam dunk! My buddy Byron and I sat and watched this brown trout eat every skwala that came remotely close to him. He wasn't hugging a bank, he as you can see, was well out in the river greedily gulping down skwalas that seemed to be on a conveyor belt sliding down the Red Deer River. It was a bright sunny day which often can mean browns will be hiding until dusk but skwalas brought this less than cautious brown out to greedily feed on these big bugs.

We sat and watched to see if he was cycling, not really. I could see the brown sitting behind a smaller bolder. He would dart out to smash the skwalas.

Byron ever so slowly walked along the edge of the bank. I was directing him from the top of a high bank. Byron stripped off some line and delivered a perfect cast without lining the brown. The brown immediately saw the offering and swam right up to the imitation. He refused to eat it. Hmm, drag, I did not think so. Byron decided to recast, it again was an excellent presentation. The brown let it go by and then turned towards the fly. He slowly rose up to the imitation and hit it with his nose.

He turned back up stream and casually swam away.

The water was low and perfectly clear. The brown was in probably 2 feet of water. Did the brown see the line? Not sure. Maybe we should have used finer tippet or a different fly.

The brown didn't seem to be on high alert. We found out different!

Let's get behind this Red Deer!

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Opening Day Success on the Red Deer River

Darren hit the Red Deer River on opening day with his buddy Todd! The guys caught lots of rockies during their day and also got into some dandy browns. Darren said that only one of the browns made it to the net BUT it was a beauty!

Darren reported seeing lots of bugs on the water including caddis, skwalas, smaller stones, mayflies and even some salmon flies.

Well done guys!

Skwalas Are Out on the Red Deer River

Skwalas are out on the Red Deer River for the next short while. If you are tying up some dry flies, consider an oliver stimulator with a black ovipost on the back. Black stimulators can work as well as a foam stonefly too!

All of the images of the skwalas were taken while walking along the park system here in Red Deer!

Pike on the Fly, ...AKA Mean Toothy Critters

Chasing toothy critters on the fly is fun! There is nothing like having a water wolf attack your fly with reckless abandon. Pike will readily come to a fly. They like the flies big. Steve kicked off the pike season with a trip to a lake north and west of Red Deer. The pike want to destroy anything that comes into their lair. The neat image below is a great example of a fierce predator eating another sizeable burbot. Wow! Thanks for the pictures Steve. 

To fly fish for pike, you need an 8 to 10 weight fly rod with a floating line that will handle large flies. There are pike lines out there that do this very nicely. You terminal tackle needs to include knotable bit tippet (steel leader), or a regular pike leader although some people use 50 pound plus fluorocarbon or braid with few break offs! 

If you want to get into some very cool pike action, put on a popper fly or a mouse imitation. All of a sudden it will seem like someone flushed a toilet on your fly and its gone. Pike on!

Monday, May 18, 2015

Bullies on a Small Creek

Troy and Steve were planning on spending the day at Cow Lake but the wind had a lot to say about that. It was not safe to launch the 12 foot jon boat so they headed further west to check on a creek with some bullies. It was nice to see a wide variety of age groups in the bullies that they caught. I am always amazed at the size of a bull trout relative to the size of the streamer they hit.

I hope that making bull trout a catch and release protected species in our province will in the long run allow them to be restored as a very prominate part of the natural food chain within our waters here in Alberta. All we need is a lot of cooperation from fishers province wide and untouched streams!

Thanks for the pictures guys. Looks like Plan B was fantastic!

The City Section of the Red Deer River, ...Plan B

Karen and I loaded the pike gear and headed to Cow Lake to meet Troy and Steve. Unfortunately the strong south east wind turned shallow Cow Lake into a frothing mix master so we had to come up with Plan B. We did not have our trout gear along so we decided to park our pram back at our house, wader up and head down below our house to see what was going on.

There were bugs everywhere. Lots and lots of caddis and some skwalas. There was an occasional splashy rise but few fish were on the heavy caddis hatch. After catching some rocky mountain white fish, we went a bit further downstream. The only difference was that there were skwalas everywhere. We caught more rockies and saw some sporadic risers but very inconsistent. Considering the big meals that were on the water, we were surprised.

The skwalas were constantly on our clothing, hats and glasses during the latter part of the afternoon.

Lots of bugs but few risers. That was a bit disappointing but we did have a chance to go looking for some snouts. We didn't find any browns rising even though we walked almost 8 km along the city section of the Red Deer River.

Oh yes, the Tube Hatch, you know, inner tubes with people on them was sporadic and not too bothersome at all!

We were pleased to see a decent number of rockies. We are hoping they make a comeback. They used to be everywhere along the Red Deer River below the dam through to Red Deer. They certainly could save the day when the browns do not come out.

I bet somewhere below the dam some browns were gorging themselves on skwalas. We did not see any where we fished within the city. They are out there. I guess Karen and I will have to wear more felt and rubber off of our boots looking!

Caddis were everywhere today!

Lots of Skwalas on the Red Deer River today too!

If it floats, it will probably bob down the Red Deer River through the city section at some point. Usually warm weather causes a large tube hatch.