Monday, July 31, 2017

Tight Lines Productions-Chernobyl Ant

A simple yet so effective pattern, easy to tie. Take a look!

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

A Perfect Day Out West

The alarm rings at 5:15 am. It is already light outside as I stumble to the coffee maker after letting Tiki and Pepper outside. My two elkhounds want to have their breakfast at 5:30 am. I load up lunch, drinks and check my fly fishing kit. I'm ready to head out west for the day with my buddy Byron Stearns. Byron and I try to get out together when he is home and on days off from his job in Fort McMurray. The weather forecast looked perfect. Not too hot and a small chance of thunderstorms.

A little more than two hours later we were gearing up in a meadow out on our eastern slopes. It was a brisk 4C, perfect for a long walk. Byron and I walked for close to 90 minutes before we started to fly fish. Once we stepped into the river, we knew it was going to be perfect. The river was clear and in great shape. The water temperature was low and not an issue at all!

Nothing was rising although I got several refusals on my royal renegade fly! Byron caught a dozen cutts nymphing and then switched to hopper-dropper fishing. Well he lost the dropper and he stuck to his black/brown foam hopper. It was a great choice because the cutthroat slammed that fly all day. I decided to fish with mayfly imitations and attractor dry flies. I too had an outstanding day. Yes, the fly fishing was amazing, the weather was perfect and the cutthroat were cooperative all day! The day was a slam dunk that was made even better when a grader smoothed out our gravel road for the trip out.

An interesting side note. Byron's chernobyl pattern performed better than my mayfly imitations. I caught lots but Byron caught a ton. I was using 5x tippet and Byron was using 4x tippet. Again Byron's fly was the clear winner. The cutts wanted the big meal. I was lucky to catch some amazing cutts on long smooth glides with my royal renegade. When you can see a trout slowly rise and leisurely take your offering, it is a snapshot that is easily visualized with a smile.

Lots of walking and getting away from the road can pay dividends. Today was perfect. Byron and I could not have asked for a better day!

...take a look!

Sunday, July 23, 2017

Bug Pictures from Central Alberta by Darren Petersen

Darren Petersen thought the group might enjoy a bit of macro photography that he has been doing recently.  A little fly tying inspiration for the next tying season.  Darren was not sure what the beautiful yellowish mayfly dun is, perhaps a sulphur species?  Maybe you are familiar with it. Darren photographed it one day as a dun and the next day it had transformed into a transparent spinner, about a size 14-16, very pretty mayfly. Maybe a Pale Morning Dun?

The sedge was about an inch long not counting it's long antennae. 

Darren shot the brown drake perched upon dill weed blossoms.  Not conventional but a neat setting.

Every summer Darren encounters new species of insects locally that he am not familiar with.  There are so many beetle species that this shouldn't come as a surprise. He often finds it difficult to determine species but the colorful Nuttall's Blister Beetle was one of the easy ones.  This beetle is long at an inch plus.  Darren found lots of them not far from the Red Deer river mating in a meadow of wild legumes (vetch).  They are a rainbow of colors and if you wanted to tie a sinking version rainbow beads would represent the head and thorax perfectly.  They were slow fliers so he was able to capture a few of those elusive flight shots.

Friday, July 21, 2017

Goldeye on the Fly on the Red Deer River

Bauer Rig Pike Flies, ...or maybe Lake Trout

Several of us are heading to the Arctic this summer to try for lake trout, grayling and arctic char! Reid Stoyberg  from our club will guide us around Great Bear Lake, The Horton River and the Tree River.

We all hope to catch all three species with fly rods and flies.

Rick Miyauchi and I have been tying up a hybrid clouser/deceiver pattern using a set up called the Bauer Rig. The Bauer Rig was designed by Nicholas Bauer.

Take a look at the design.  It is a very neat idea!

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Goldeye Are Fun to Catch with a Fly Rod

Goldeye on the fly, why not? They readily rise to a dry fly and they plentiful in the Red Deer River. Any high floating fly (e.g. parachute adams) will get their attention. Just be aware that goldeye are hard on flies. Their rough mouths will disintegrate a fly after a while. Their paper thin mouths will cause you some challenges as you set the hook but these fish will jump and give a great account of themselves.

Karen and I walk down the trails from our house and in a few minutes we are goldeye fly fishing! Its a great way to practice your cast and help a beginner fly fisher to catch a few fish!

Take a walk along the Red Deer River Waskasoo Trails and you will encounter goldeye. The Red Deer River is in great shape at the moment. Have fun!

Sunday, July 16, 2017

Royal Renegade and Renegade

The renegade is a great pattern to use on cutthroat trout. They are basically an attractor type fly that are easy to tie. After several refusals on parachute adams flies, we switched to a Royal Renegade. The very next cast had two cutthroat rising after the fly. I have to thank my buddy Leon Buckles for showing me this great pattern. It's a winner!

My buddy Jay tangling with a big cutthroat after tying on a size 14 Royal Renegade!


Hook: TMC 100 size 14 or similar
Thread: Olive 8/0
Tag: Gold tinsel
Body: Peacock herl
Hackle: White and brown

Royal Renegade

Hook: TMC 100 size 14 or similar
Thread: Olive 8/0
Tag: Gold tinsel
Body: Peacock herl and red floss
Hackle: White and brown

Great Day with Awesome Friends

Getting out in the west country with friends is something I always enjoy! Yesterday was no exception. My buddy Jay and his son Tim dragged themselves out of bed at 4:30 am and off we went. We hit the river early so we could walk in the cooler part of the day. When we started to fly fish, the cutthroat were already in a good mood. We noted a hatch of grey mayflies. A Parachute Adam did the job at times but we switched to a Royal Renegade and got lots of action. 

We had planned to call it a day early in the afternoon. It was a good choice as the mercury hovered above 30C. The ride home was a dusty one but we were into cutthroat constantly for the 5 hours we fished.

The best part of the day was hanging out with good friends. Supper and football at the end of the day made for a great day!

Friday, July 14, 2017

Fly fishing in the West Country

Fly fishing had been excellent in the west country. The rivers continue to be in great shape and the trout are for the most part quite cooperative. Doug Pullen and I hit the west country yesterday. We had a great time. It also gave us a chance to finish installing some signs for The Central Alberta Chapter of Trout Unlimited.

...just a side note, drink lots of water before you go. Consider "wet wading" (no waders). Be sure to wear a buff and sunscreen.

Above all, HAVE FUN!