Thursday, May 23, 2019

Salmon Flies and Skwalas Along the Red Deer River

As Karen and I jogged by Little Chief Park this morning we saw some salmon flies crawling along the shore and skwalas crawling along just below the willows. An olive stimulator or darker coloured one for skwalas or a stone fly with a black bottom can get great results on the RDR. For salmon flies, a big orange stimulator can get some action, I mean big like size 4.

Wednesday, May 22, 2019

Fly Fishing at Sylvan Lake

The wind finally settled down and we immediately headed to Sylvan Lake to chironomid fly fish for lake whitefish and walleye. The action was nonstop for the 5 hours that we fished. We found 7 feet of water and fished about 6 feet down with black and red ice cream cone chironomids and black ice cream chironomids with a blue rib. Black sally's and blood worm imitations worked great too. Pepper along with our friends Murray and Colin had a great time. It is a great place to brush up on your fly fishing skills!

We launched at Sunbreaker's Cove and off we went. The lake was quiet. The water temperature was 50F and there were chironomids hatching steadily throughout the day!

As Pepper would say, it is a great day to be a dog!

Take a look!

Monday, May 20, 2019

Troy's New River Ride

Troy Langelaar, owner of West River Fly Shop shows off his new quiding boat. Give Troy a call at the shop to arrange a guided float.  Troy will certainly show you a great day.

Friday, May 17, 2019

Darren Petersen Always Hits the Red Deer River for the May 15th Opener

Darren spent the day in the city limits and it started out pretty slow then picked up for me mid-day. He caught a handful of fish including rockies, goldeye, 1 walleye and a brown.  The brown ate a small nameless peacock sword nymph and was sluggish at first then went aerial twice! 

Around 3-4pm there was a big hatch of mayflies sailing down mid-river, that were March Browns.  They had mottled gray wings and were between a size 14 and a 12.  Many hundreds drifted past me but no surface rises were spotted.

The big fish of the day lunged at his clouser just as he was ripping it out of the water to cast again.  Darren got a good look at her head and she refused to play with him after this encounter even after resting the spot and changing to something more subtle.  A pike would have come back for more but not a brown.

Visibility was about 3 ft which was better than Iexpected.  It was a cool, damp breezy day which was not nicely accentuated by the leaks in my waders,  Brrrr!  Time for new waders I guess.

Thursday, May 16, 2019

Another Cold Windy Day on the Red Deer River

The boat was loaded and ready to go to Sylvan Lake so we could target whitefish and a few walleye by chironomid fly fishing.  We were dealt another cold windy day so we opted to fish on the upper Red Deer River just like yesterday. We immediately realized that the "Dam Man'" decreased the flow rate on the Red Deer River. Everytime the flow alters, the fish reposition. We bundled up because the south east wind was chilly for this time of the year! My buddy Steve Luethi commented that he had caught some whitefish on the Red Deer yesterday. The whitefish are a decent size and will eat streamers as well as the usual whitefish fare like small nymphs and san juan worms. We fished with ice minnows and did very well. Our target was walleye and we caught lots of them but whitefish are intriguing to me. They are a great sportfish in itself!  

Sadly we did catch some prussian carp. They did not make it back into the river. They are definitely an invasive species and they should not be in the river. 

Yes we caught walleye but the whitefish made the day. 

Ice Minnow (Bob Morenski originator)

Prussian Carp

Wednesday, May 15, 2019

May 15th-Opening Day on the Red Deer River

Fly fishing the Red Deer River was actually plan B. Plan A was to fly fish on Sylvan Lake but the wind scuttled that idea. Darn. Well both the Red Deer River and Sylvan Lake open to fishing on May 15th, so we decided to head to the "Deer," to fish! There is a healthy population of walleye, lots of goldeye, pike, sauger, some brown trout and a ton of rocky mountain whitefish.  Other species are in the Red Deer River further downstream. Sadly there are prussian carp in the Red Deer River. If you catch a carp, be sure to not put it back.

We started off looking for walleye but Murray found a "hot spot" for rocky mountain whitefish and it was game on. The amazing thing was the fact that the rockies were eating our ice minnow flies. Murray held the hot stick all day. At the end of our fishing, he tagged a nice walleye and that pretty much made his day, perfect. Colin caught lots of rockies and got a sizeable walleye too! I started off swinging flies with my spey rod. I caught a walleye right away and then I finally switched to nymphing with an ice minnow!

Not bad for Plan B. Even though the "Dam Man" increased the flow on the Red Deer River as run off starts, the tailwater below Glenifer Dam is quite fishable.

Tuesday, May 14, 2019

A Visit to Mitchell Pond, ...a great place to teach kids about fly fishing!

Karen and I regularly run through Heritage Ranch as part of our regular exercise program. The pond at Heritage Ranch is named after Barry Mitchell, one of the most dedicated conservationists in Central Alberta. Barry wrote a book called The Trout Highway,  a great reference while fly fishing the Forestry Trunk Road. Barry also published The Alberta Fishing Guide on an annual basis. Barry spearheaded many projects throughout Alberta in an effort to protect our flowing waters. As Don Andersen said to me, the trout had a great friend in Barry Mitchell.

Today we decided to visit the pond with our fly rods for an hour and a half. We wanted to see if the ACA had stocked the pond. The answer is YES!

Mitchell Pond is a great place to practice your fly fishing skills. There is lots of room for casting practice. It is also an excellent place to take your kids and grandkids.

A small micro leech like Glen's Leech or a baby damsel about 3 to 5 feet under a strike indicator will get you some action. Also try to fish the same patterns without a strike indicator. Great fun. Remember that this is a "put and take" lake so individuals do take home their fish and hopefully eat them although for the most part, the trout are small.

Get a little exercise and walk or bike down to Mitchell Pond. Take your fly rod, some kids and picnic lunch. My grandkids have all fished the pond. We always had a great time. 

You will be glad you went to Mitchell Pond.

Sunday, May 12, 2019

Tay River Bull Trout Project

Hi Everybody!

We have a great opportunity to do some reclaimation work on the Tay River in an attempt to bring back bull trout into the river. Here is the presentation that Lesley Peterson put together for the project! I hope we all can get behind the project!