Tuesday, November 27, 2018

Kicking Off Another Tying Season in Style

The 2018-2019 Fly Tying Season got off to a great start last night! Twenty two fly tyers came out and learned to tie a Cola Worm Variant and Jermey Davies' Evil Weevil! The squirmy wormy material has become very popular. It is an excellent nymphing pattern that works everywhere on both lakes and rivers. Bloodworms are a very typical food source in our lakes and we encounter worms in our rivers often. You can find worms in the rivers, especially after rain falls. Jermey Davies' Evil Weevil and the many variants are an excellent nymph pattern that can imitate mayfly nymphs of all sorts depending on the size and colour variations that you make.

Troy at West River Fly Shop did some alterations to make the fly tying area more spacious! Great job Troy!

You can get tonight's fly tying materials at West River Fly Shop (where we tie flies)! Check out the link for the shop hours, on line shopping and guiding services!

It was great to see everybody again tonight. Thanks to Phil and Bruce from Wetaskawin for driving in. The guys brought a ton of fly tying materials to give away from a friend who no longer fly fishes and ties flies. It was like Christmas!

Next week, Ralf Kuntzman is our guest tyer. Ralf is a very creative fly tyer who often uses nonconventional materials to create flies. See you then!

Some reminders:

1. Our all day Phil Rowley Workshop is Saturday February 2nd. The cost is $45. This is the 10th Workshop Phil has done for us, you will not want to miss this one. Just drop me a note to get signed up! (bob.vanderwater@rdpsd.ab.ca)

2. A very alarming report was just released about the fishery on the Bow River. Take a look RIGHT HERE!

3. Finally, a survey and plan is now out that will affect most of us fishing in David Thompson Country. If you enjoy fishing many head waters on the Upper Red Deer River, the Ram System, over to the Big Horn River take the time to fill in the survey. You can find the survey and plan RIGHT HERE!

Cola Worm Variant

Thread: Red either 8/0 or 6/0
Hook: size 8 to 12 curved nymph hook
Bead: Orange 7/64ths or 1/8th
Weight: 0.0015 lead substitute 
Body: Wiggle Worm, Red or Blood Red (or a colour of your choice)

Evil Weevil (Jeremy Davies)

Hook: Curved Caddis Hook size 10 to 18
Thread: Olive 8/0
Tail: Pheasant
Body: Light Peacock Semi Seal
Shellback: Opal Mylar, Medium or Pearl Mylar
Rib: Small Gold Wire
Thorax: Peacock Semi Seal
Wing buds: Goose Biots, brown

Ice Evil Weevil (Jeremy Davies)

Hook: Curved Caddis Hook size 10 to 18
Thread: Olive 8/0
Tail: Pheasant
Body: Caddis Green Ice Dub
Shellback: Opal Mylar, Medium or Pearl Mylar
Rib: Small Gold Wire
Thorax: Peacock Ice Dub or Olive or Purple Ice Dub
Wing buds: Goose Biots, brown

Wednesday, November 21, 2018

Gearing Up for Another Tying Season

Hi Everybody!

We are just a few days away from getting the 2018-2019 Fly Tying Season rolling! This Monday November 26th, at 7 pm; we have our first session at West River Fly Shop (aka TC Outfitters)! Troy has made some recent changes in the layout at the shop which will greatly help the space we use for fly tying sessions! The cost is $3, which covers the costs of materials for the evening! 

We always welcome new members!

What to Bring to get started?

• a fly tying vice
• a bobbin
• a whip finishing tool
• a sharp pair of scissors 
• a hair stacker
• a dubbing spinner
• hackle pliers
• velcro brush

You will also need some basic thread colours. To start have:

black 8/0 or 70 denier
red 8/0 or 70 denier
olive 8/0 or 70 denier
orange 8/0 or 70 denier

You will need thicker thread at times and for sure have some:

black 6/0 or 140 denier

The first tying session be sure to have red 8/0 and olive 8/0 thread!

Loving the Red Deer River

Yesterday afternoon, we decided to target rocky mountain whitefish and today, we targeted walleye! We did not catch very many but I always marvel at the diversity of species you can catch in the Red Deer River.

Sadly, I caught a prussian carp yesterday. It did not get back into the river. We are all encouraged to dispose of these invasive species that have no business being in the Red Deer River.

Friday, November 16, 2018

Great News About the Porter and Drake Conservation Sites

Dear partners and supporters,

We have some exciting news!  Earlier this month ACA staff conducted surveys to look for trout spawning activity within the roughly 4 km of the Raven River that flows through the recently purchased Porter and adjacent Drake conservation sites. Previous studies did not identify these areas as spawning locations so we were pleasantly surprised to find numerous trout redds (simple “nests” where female trout lay their eggs). See the attached file for a couple examples of what we found. Here is also a link to ACA’s Facebook page where we posted the terrific news for the public to see:https://www.facebook.com/AlbertaConservationAssociation/photos/a.435111282461/10156160768677462/?type=3&theater.

Evidence of trout spawning activity throughout this section of river is both exciting and it’s also encouraging to see we focussed our conservation efforts on important habitat worth protecting. We’re hopeful the careful management of these conservation sites will continue to be a success story for the Raven River and it’s beautiful trout inhabitants.

Thursday, November 15, 2018

Another Beauty of an Afternoon Below the Dam

It felt like the calm before the storm. Warm, no wind and active walleye! I had three hours out at the dam. There is a nasty snowstorm rolling in tonight so I wanted to take advantage of a barometer dropping, beautiful weather and maybe aggressive walleye. It all worked out too! The larger walleye were on the prowl and I had the good fortune to connect with several. The interesting thing for me was I used ice minnows. My usual blue and white clouser minnow did not get very much interest.

Retirement does have its advantages. Awesome afternoon out on the Red Deer River!

Monday, November 12, 2018

Walleye on The Fly on the Red Deer River

What a delight. I love swinging clousers on the Red Deer River with my spey rod! The warm air was going to be around for a few hours, so good timing was important! I am not ready to put the fly rods away quite yet! Most of our trout lakes are now covered in ice and our eastern slopes rivers are mostly closed. The options narrow. The Red Deer River, the Blue Ribbon Bow, the Crowsnest River and of course certain sections of the Oldman River remain open. They are all great choices when warm air spills over our mountains. Usually warm air is accompanied by wind this time of the year. Thankfully today that was not the case.

I was using my spey rod today. I used a clear intermediate sinking line and clousers that has a stinger hook. Worked great! Keep an eye on the weather forecast. There will be some warm air around for the next little while!

Saturday, November 3, 2018

It Was Snowy, Cold, Blustery, Icy and an Awesome Day Out on the Water, ...Freeze Up is Close

The recent snow almost discouraged us from going. Yesterday I actually skied so it was time to shift gears. Right? Wrong! We had to go and we were glad we did. Karen, Colin and I bundled up and had a great day chasing rainbows. The pot holes and sloughs as we travelled out to fly fish were pretty much frozen. As we bumped the last few kms down the gravel road we held our breath and surprise, there was open water even though the shallow bays were indeed frozen. The wind was a big factor in keeping the water open. We lucked out! I am sure the migrating ducks, geese and tundra swans were in a rush to head south.

The edges were frozen and we had to break some ice in order to set up and fly fish with our ice minnows! Well the fishing was about average but perhaps excellent for this late in the year. We targeted shallow areas. 

The entire area looked wintery but with open water, it was a great place to be. Pepper loved nosing around the snow as we fly fished.

The temperature crawled above zero so tromping around was lots of fun, especially on the leeward side of the lake.

I am sure there is more open water but the weather is going into the tank this week. Try and get out if you can!