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Wednesday, October 21, 2020

Sunny Afternoon Escape

The fly fishing season is quickly winding down. It is hard to believe that winter has arrived so early! That beautiful fall weather made us forget what lies ahead. When the wintery weather did arrive, it was and still is a bit of a shock to the body!

Yesterday afternoon, the weather allowed me to dash out to the Red Deer River below the dam to fly fish for walleye. The mercury grudgingly crawled up just above zero. I was glad that it was at least 1 maybe 2C. The long range weather forecast suggested I better not let this sunny afternoon slip by without getting my waders on and chasing walleye.

It was even warm enough that my guides were not icing up. Bonus!

The afternoon was sunny and it almost felt warm although there always seems to be a chill in the air! I put on a candy corn balanced fly about 8 feet down and let it slowly drift in the current. The takes were soft. I had to pay attention. If my indicator paused, it may have been a walleye. Sometimes a tiny  bump was the take. I switched up and tried a ruby eyed ice minnow, a ruby eyed bruised leech and a vampire leech. All of these patterns have been excellent walleye flies. Today, the Candy Corn was the best fly followed by the Ruby Eyed Ice Minnow.

I had to dash home to get my flu shot later in the afternoon. With this COVID-19 pandemic, it was a wise choice for me. I got my shot at Safeway and then carried on with my shopping.

Candy Corn-Dave Green Originator

Vampire Leech-Todd Oishi Originator

Bruised Leech- Phil Rowley Originator

Ice Minnow-Phil Rowley Originator


Friday, October 16, 2020

Walleye in a Snowstorm

It wasn't our first choice but it definitely was the right choice. My buddy Jay and I wanted to fly fish for cutthroat trout but the heavy snow today made us settle for walleye on the Red Deer River. Hey some days you have to go with what makes sense. 

It was snowing heavily as we set up. No problem, we had our winter gear and being cold was not going to be an issue. The walleye were relatively active today too! We used Candy Corns, Vampire Leeches and Ice Minnows.

As the snowfall intensified, we headed back to Red Deer in the early afternoon in order to avoid bad roads. Jay and I made the best of a snowy day! We had lots of fun.

A sucker takes a Vampire Leech!


Wednesday, October 14, 2020

Winter Has Arrived,...But We Went for It!

The weather forecast looked frightful and maybe there was a window of opportunity to get out to enjoy our west slope cutthroat before the rivers close and winter settles in. My buddy Doug and I decided to "go for it!" The roads were fine except for the usual places where you just have to take your time. We had to get by a logging truck that was chaining up so it could safely navigate a hill. The was a tight pass job with the mirrors pulled in.

We finally got to our destination and started to bundle up. It was -7C. We were comfortable. We had to deal with iced up guides but for the most part that was our only big hassle. We crunched our way through some frozen puddles to get to our first stop.

It was a nymphing game although we did see some risers near the end of the day. We tried a wide variety of nymphs. Doug got into a lot of cutthroat. The water is low and gin clear. The tippet has to be fine and you better be lightening quick to set the hook!

The snow starting to fall steadily in the afternoon. We decided to call it a day later in the afternoon allowing enough time to travel home in the daylight.

It was a good day out on the water. I hope it is not our last day to fly fish for cutthroat! I am keeping an eye on the weather forecast!


Sunday, October 11, 2020

Happy Thanksgiving, Time to Bundle Up

It is a cold windy Thanksgiving Sunday morning. For the first time in years we do not have a family Thanksgiving family gathering. We still have plenty to be thankful for. I sometimes think we all forget that our warm homes and food on the table is a blessing in itself! We hope you are feeling healthy. 

Karen and I want to wish you a Happy Thanksgiving. 

Bundle up and get outside! Winter is just around the corner.


Thursday, October 8, 2020

Teaching Our Grandkids to Fly Fish

Karen and I have always hoped our kids and spouses as well as our grandkids would enjoy fly fishing. We have slowly encouraged our grandkids to enjoy being outside and to love nature.Teachers spent the day at inservices so there was no school today. Karen and I decided to take Edwin and Oliver fly fishing for the afternoon. It was a chilly afternoon but the boys were well dressed for the blustery weather. Learning to fly fish from the bottom-up takes patience and doing things in small doses.

The boys have learned to put together the rods and get the fly lines ready. They have learned basic casting and that is enough for now. They love fighting the trout.

The big thing is to make the opportunity to teach the grandkids , all about them. The twins got into lots of trout today, that made for an excellent afternoon. We added in rock collecting and taking pictures.

The I-Pads remained off for the afternoon! The boys did not miss them. They were outside and having a great time. Grandma and grandpa had a great time too!


Friday, October 2, 2020

Lake Trout on the Icefield Parkway-What a Beauty of a Day

Karen and I wanted to enjoy the fall colours so we decided to head out onto the Icefield Parkway to fly fish for lake trout! We got on the road at 7 am and by 10 am we were gearing up at the lake. The lake was glass. That was a blessing because I was going to row across the lake in our pram. Karen, Pepper and I were basking in the warm sun. Our last visit was frigid. We hooked several lakers during our day. We explored as much as we could and we took in the big walls, glaciers and incredible fall colours! The lake was not busy! I think everybody was at Sentenial Pass taking in the larch trees.

The drive alone is worth the tank of gas. We are lucky that our pram fits nicely on our gulf station wagon. That makes gas costs for the day quite reasonable.

We used both floating lines with ice minnows and full sink lines with minnow patterns. Both strategies got us action.

The drive home was just as spectacular. The late day sun made the fall colours so stunning.


Thursday, October 1, 2020

Last Month to Fly Fish in the Eastern Slopes Rivers

Where has the time gone? It is October 1st and we are suddenly down to the last 31 days of fly fishing on our eastern slopes. I am trying not to contemplate the long stretch until June 15th, 2021. 

Karen and I have been taking advantage of the beautiful weather. Chasing cutthroat trout is one of our favourite ways to enjoy a warm day in the west country. The trout do not get very active until later in the day, so you do not have to rush to get out to your favourite stretch of river.

It was a nymphing game for us. We used everything from wiggle worms to size 20 brassies. Changing up helped us shake hands with a decent number of west slope cutthroat! Do not forget the split shot!

The water is cold, wear your waders and bring layers, lots of layers!