Saturday, June 27, 2020

Back to Tangling with Lake Trout

Lake trout on the fly is an excellent challenge. Steve, Rick and I have been trying to figure out the formula. It is not easy and the catch rates are low, real low-even blanketed. Lots of research has helped. When you do have some success, it makes a good day an outstanding day! Trying something different is a lot of fun. New scenery is always a plus as well!

The long weekend is coming. Get you gear tuned up and get out there and have lots of fun!

Images are courtesy of Steve Luethi and I!

Wednesday, June 24, 2020

Public Pressure VS Doing What is Right

In the winter and early spring, several open houses occurred hosted by our Fisheries Managers here in Alberta. These open houses were a breath of fresh air to allow the public to interact with our fisheries specialists here in the province. Many of my fly fishing friends attended and were very pleased to have a face to face opportunity to voice their concerns and to make suggestions.

There is a tremendous amount of angling pressure in the Central Alberta region. Many anglers have lobbied heavily to allow the retaining of walleye on Gull Lake, Sylvan Lake and Pine Lake.

My wife, friends and I spend a lot of time enjoying angling on Sylvan Lake. Now that anglers can retain one walleye a day (new) plus 5 white fish (that is not new), along with many other circumstances, the angling pressure has been incredible. Unfortunately so many fish are leaving the lake on a daily basis.

Yesterday was our fourth trip to the lake. We see the same fishermen every day we are there. The fishermen we see retain the maximum number of fish every day we are there. I estimated between 50 and 75 fishing boats on the lake yesterday. The retention of fish is a given for those who wish to retain their catch.

All three of these fisheries will be severely impacted at the rate the fish are leaving the lake. I do know that the ice fishing season also severely impacts the number of fish that leave the lake.

I cannot see natural recruitment keeping up with the number of fish leaving the lakes. There has to be a balance so the fishery can be enjoyed for years to come.

I do have some suggestions for Sylvan Lake since that is where I mostly fish!

1. Close the entire Marina Bay area until July 1. This is a spawning area and post spawn area with very vulnerable fish.

2. Continue to have catch and release for pike.
3.Limit the retention of lake white fish to two.
4. Allow the retention of walleye by tag only or have a limited season (month

of July, one per person) or a slot limit that does not impact the larger spawning females.

Yesterday I watched 9 fishermen who I see every day I am at the lake. They take
the maximum number of fish out of the lake every day. That is 54 fish that can leave the lake legally every day. These fellas have no sense of conservation. They turn their back when you try to talk to them.

Enforcement is next to impossible. Our Fishing and Wildlife Officers are already stretched to the limit!

The damage to Sylvan Lakeʼs fishery will be done this season if we do not stop how many fish are leaving the lake. It took so many years to build up this wonderful fishery for all to enjoy. Letʼs keep it that way.

Tuesday, June 23, 2020

The Start of the "Dog Days of Summer!"

Pepper loves to go fly fishing with us. He saw me pull the boat out of the garage and park it out front of the house at 5:30 am. Pepper made sure he was not going to be left at home. He sprinted to the truck and bounded into the back seat!

In the last several days, the water surface temperature has quickly risen to 66F. The fish are starting to move into deeper water. We did have to wrestle with cottonwood fluff on the water but it has been tolerable. The fish whether it be trout, whitefish, walleye or pike will become quite sensitive to warm water. Be sure to ensure fish are revived before sending them on their way. Also try to keep the fish in the water. We have a large net and the fish can rest quietly in the water. Pop out that barbless hook and send them on their way! When the water temperature gets close to 70F, please think about whether we should just go for a boat ride. We like to fish early and quit just after noon when the water temperature is warm.

Saturday, June 20, 2020

Lake Trout in West Central Alberta

Lake trout on the fly? A great challenge indeed. We were told that you could very well get blanked. Not just that it may take a few days to get one. Only 90 minutes from Red Deer is a lake that Rick, Brandon, Steve and I decided to check out. The lake trout population is unique. These are lakers that are chironomid eaters. Interesting and the population is low. Well we connected on two. We had 5 or 6 takes all day. It was well worth the effort to give it a go. If you do some research, there are several places to catch lakers within a 3 hour drive of Red Deer.

While Rick and I were fly fishing, we both had a unique experience that was a warning. There were thunderstorms all around us. I told Rick we would move to shore if we were about to take a direct hit. As one storm was reverberating all around the lake, the static electricity was amazing. We both got a great shock while holding our rod. It was quite a zap. It was time to take a break on shore.

Friday, June 19, 2020

Mayfly Carpet Hatch-Very Cool

An approaching thunderstorm was bearing down on us. It was the third of the day. But this one was different. It kicked off an amazing mayfly hatch where we were fly fishing west of Caroline. We were all covered in mayflies. A very cool experience.