Thursday, October 31, 2019

Vampire Leeches and Candy Corns to catch Halloween Walleye

Its Halloween and it is a blustery day. The thermometer edged up to 3 C with a nasty bone chilling wind. Karen and I decided to head out for a few hours before the trick or treaters arrived at our door. The fly fishing was slower than usual but we still caught several beauties. We decided to have a Halloween like theme today so we used Vampire Leeches and Candy Corns. What great fun. We had to bundle up and the nice thing is we are close to home when we get chilled!

Have fun tonight!

Wednesday, October 30, 2019

The State of Bull Trout in Alberta, ...Cause for Concern

Click on the article to make it larger.

The Day Before Halloween, ...Big Walleye

Yesterday when I woke up, it was -19C with a wind chill of -27C. Both Bower Ponds and Heritage Ranch Pond were frozen solid. I jogged by both ponds bundled up because of the frigid day. This morning it was way warmer, -10C. I knew that there would be a small window of opportunity in the afternoon to fly fish for walleye below the dam. I pulled in to get set up about 1:30 pm. A chinook arch was forming to the west and the thermometer was hovering around 5C. Geese were kicking up a fuss everywhere. The conditions seemed perfect.

I quickly got my waders on and set up my 10 foot 7 weight with a Candy Corn tied balanced. Before I fished, I took the time to try and find my Maui Jim sun glasses which blew off during a major gust of wind last Thursday. After about 15 minutes of searching I spotted them on the edge of a drop off. I carefully speared them with my fly rod and rescued them. That made my day and I had not even started to fly fish yet!

Well the fly fishing started off slowly. I had a few half hearted takes and no hook ups. Finally I hooked a dandy. A river walleye well over 5 pounds. After catching several 2 and 3 pounders, I tagged a monster that was close to 6 pounds. The take was so soft too. Shortly after that I had a larger monster on. I was able to get the 7 maybe 8 pounder to hand. It regurgitated some small whitefish that it had eaten recently. That was cool. It was great to get out. The trip to the dam is very convenient and is a perfect half day adventure.

Keep in mind that from Glennifer Dam all the way down to RR20 is mostly ice free during the winter thanks to this stretch being below a "tail water." The Red Deer River remains open until the end of February for fishing. Please consult the regulations so you are doing it right. I have seen so many fishers out using illegal bait. Most do not realize they are doing something wrong. Everybody has a responsibility to know the regulations where ever they fish! Today I met a fellow with a 5.5 metre fishing pole trying to connect with a Prusian Carp. He wanted some for supper. I hoped he was successful. Apparently these invasive species are good eating and should not be put back into the river. I encouarged him.

Tuesday, October 29, 2019

Halloween Float with OFF (Out Fly Fishing)...Great Fun!

Courtney imitating her boss Josh!

Josh Nugent, owner of Out Fly Fishing (OFF), invited Karen and I to join in their annual Halloween Monster Mash Float on the Bow River on Sunday. Well everybody bundled up and dug out or created a Halloween costume for all of the fun and antics. The candy was flying as we did a short drift on the Bow River. The BBQ was a great idea too! A few of the gang caught some fish. I think the kids caught the most fish and won all of the prizes. Karen and I floated with Steve and Taryn. Sadly we had a big banana in our boat and that tilted the odds of catching fish against us. Ha! It did not matter, what great fun.

Yes I am a frustrated fan.


Where are those rainbows anyways?

Friday, October 25, 2019

The Cold Front Wind was Amazing

Hi Everybody! What amazing wind today. It was 19C when I started to fly fish and then the cold front rolled in and dropped the temperature to 7 C in about 3 minutes. It was time to wander back to the truck and head home! Karen and I even saw one of those 1200 pound round bales rolling on a field. You do not see that very often. Oh yes, the fishing was pretty good until the cold front arrived. Certainly if you were in southern Alberta, driving would have been extremely hazardous! Trucks were on their sides on Hwy 22, aka, the Cowboy Trail with the 170 km winds. Hold on to your hat!

Thursday, October 24, 2019

Only One week Until Many of our Cutthroat Rivers Close

Many of our rivers on the eastern slopes close on October 31st! The warm weather today was great motivation for Karen and I to head west and enjoy some late season fly fishing! The cutthroat were willing and numerous. There is only 1 week to go until the cutthroat rivers in our province close until next June! Bundle up and get out there! We fished with size 10 wiggle worms, size 18 to 20 brassies and renegade dry flies in the size 16 to size 18 range. The cutthroat were very active from about 10:30 am in the morning until 4 pm.

Tuesday, October 22, 2019

The Walleye Today Were BIG

I have enjoyed fly fishing for walleye the last several weeks. When you find them, it is a load of fun! Today, I found a pod of larger ones. That was a real treat. I was alone so getting some good shots was limited to underwater shots.

That Dock on Election Day

Rick told me we could not go too far away because he wanted to vote before the poling stations closed. I had already voted. So we headed to a pot hole where we can fly fish right off of the dock. The rainbows were looking for shrimp. We tied on a fly that is essentially a baby damsel. It is close to a scud, the rainbows certainly liked it! 

Thursday, October 17, 2019

What Big Teeth You Have Mr. Walleye

The last time Karen and I saw a chinook arch, the walleye fly fishing on the Red Deer River was amazing. After our morning run, there it was again. That warm air racing over our eastern slopes made us quite comfortable this afternoon! We basked in the warm sunshine too! 

Karen and I headed back out to the same area! The results were outstanding. Our new favourite walleye fly is a Candy Corn. Thanks Dave Green for the design!

We took our macro lens out with us today and the results were very cool! Take a look!

Wednesday, October 16, 2019

Carpe Diem-Seize the Day

Finally a nice day. Our cutthroat rivers are open until Halloween so if you get a chance to get out, DO IT!

My buddy Colin and his brother Dave headed to the west country with me to enjoy some warm sunshine and catch some cutthroat. It was a beauty of a day too. No frozen guides today. We started out nymphing. The usual stuff worked for a while and then we had to downsize to small, real small nymphs. How small, size 20 and size 22 nymphs!  Ugg! The water is gin clear and it is easy to look into the pools and see everything. After a while, I strung up a dry fly rod. The cutties were periodically rising. They were eating tiny midges on the surface. The smallest dry flies we had were size 20 BWOs. We tied them on and had a decent amount of success.

This time of the year, there is no real rush to get to your favourite mountain river. The cutts really started to move and feed later in the morning.  Often the fly fishing winds down by 4 ish  this time of the year. We had to downsize both our tippets and flies. The cutts have seen a lot of flies this year. They seem to look over everything. Yes we got refusals. No drag is essential to success. Do take the time to look and see how the fish are positioned and the best way to present the flies you are using.

Take advantage of the last few days of fly fishing the Eastern Slopes, carpe diem!