Thursday, August 27, 2020

Macro Photography from Pat Jukubiec

My buddy, Pat Jukubiec, is an outstanding fly fisher who also loves photography! Pat will hike his camera gear great distances in order to take some very cool shots of trout! As of late, Pat has been bringing his macro lens to the backcountry. The results are very cool. Well done Pat.


Whitefish on the Deer

Whitefish and the occasional brown trout fly fishing has been a load of fun on the Red Deer River as of late!


Sunday, August 23, 2020

Backcountry Brook Trout in Banff National Park

Steve Luethi photo

I love brook trout. Especially high country brookies that seem to be always dressed up! Steve, Hayden, Pat and I decided to make the long trek to two lakes to fly fish for these beautiful fish! Steve and I headed out at 4 am to pick up Hayden and Pat on Highway 1 at the Petro Canada at Cochrane for 5:30 am. We started our hike at 7:30 am after a drive through a nasty thunderstorm as we passed Canmore and Banff! It took a bit more than two hours to get to the lakes. The wind was blowing hard and it was cold. Time to layer up. The young guys tied on chernobyls and they were into the bright beautifully coloured right away. I tried nymphing with moderate success. The brookies wanted chernobyls at 7400 feet. Crazy! We fished along rocks that had a great drop off. Yep the brookies were there! The wind, ya the wind continued to intensify. I had my winter coat on, a sweater and wind pants. The wind was bitter.

We decided to head to the next lake that was merely another km away although it required a good climb! The brookies were a bit larger. The good news, we were out of the wind for the most part! We were quite successful there too.

After a few hours at the upper lake, I went back down to the lower lake. The brookies were still quite active.

As the afternoon wore on, it was time to head down. Hayden and Pat were having a snooze. Steve and I fly fished back towards them. We caught several more gems.

There is talk that Parks Canada may kill off the lakes we fished. That in my opinion would be a tragedy.

The hike out is a steady downhill grind. The muscles were screaming and we all are deydrated from close to 30 km of walking. Well worth the effort in my opinion. After getting to the car, we headed to Canmore to enjoy burgers and fries and a pint.

The guys insisted that we have dessert. They wanted to have "Cone on the Cob." What? Well you get two ice cream cones, flatten the top and stick two ice cream cones together. Viola, "Cone on the Cob!"  Then brain freeze!

What a great trip. 

Steve Luethi photo

On the way in we crossed a bridge that had cutthroat in the creek below. Of course we stopped to catch a few.

Up and over the pass to our first lake.

Steve Luethi photo

Steve Luethi photo

Out flow of the upper lake.

Steve Luethi photo

Steve Luethi photo

Steve Luethi photo

Steve Luethi photo

Hayden with two beauties.

 Cone on the Cob after burgers, who knew?

Turning a Bad Day into a Fantastic Day

Karen and I were all packed on Thursday, ready for an adventure on Friday. About 9 pm on Thursday night, I get a call from my buddy Pat. He had blown a tire, lost control of his car and ended up past a ditch well into the forest. He was not injured. His blown tire was shredded but the day before, he also had a flat, spare. Pat had to walk several miles to get cell phone service. His buddy Steve headed out west of Rocky to rescue Pat. Another good samaritan helped pull his car out of the forest onto the side of the road. Steve got him into Red Deer with one of the flat tires late Thursday. Friday morning, we got the tire repaired. Pat and I headed out to change out a tire and limp the car back to the pavement. 

As we got closer to Red Deer, we decided to fly fish on the Red Deer River. Pat had a great time catching rocky mountain whitefish. It was a great way to put the nasty car incident behind him.

Pat and I were using Frenchies and Rainbow Warrior nymphs in sizes 14 and 16. They certainly helped to turn around an unfortunate incident.

Pat Jukubiec photo

Pat Jukubiec photo

Pat Jukubiec photo

Dorsal fin with a macro lens! Pat Jukubiec photo

Double Header Pat Jukubiec photo

Pat Jukubiec photo

Pat Jukubiec photo


Thursday, August 20, 2020

Action on the Red Deer River

Karen and I finally had a chance to fly fish on the Red Deer River. We loaded up and thought we might connect with walleye. Wrong! We caught several dandy white fish and a mid sized brown. Wonderful morning. The fly the got all the action, a size 14 bead head pheasant tail, flashback. 


Monday, August 17, 2020

Drake and Porter Properties Closed on The Raven River for Now


Hi Everybody! I was conversing with Troy Langelaar yesterday. He let me know that both the Drake and Porter Properties are temporarily closed because a cougar was stalking a fisherman a day or so ago. apparently the cougar stalked the fisherman right to their vehicle. Stay tuned for any further details!

Tuesday, August 11, 2020

Proposed Amendments to Our Alberta Fishing Regulations and a Fisheries Survey

Hi Everyone. Take a few minutes to fill out the on line survey. Here are some of the changes coming to our regulations.


Monday, August 10, 2020

Wild Flowers, Tamarach, Cutthroat and Brook Trout in Banff National Park

Karen, Steve, Taryn, Dr. Bill and I just got back from 4 days in the backcountry chasing cutthroat trout, enjoying the wild flowers, camping and exploring. It is an area that we have been before but the land is so spectacular that we had to go back again. We hoped to time our hike with the wild flowers blooming. We hit it perfectly! We knew the weather was going to be narly but we were all strong, well prepared hikers and we had booked this trip way back in January. 

We loaded up and took until mid afternoon to hike the 15 km to a Parks Canada camping area to set up. We climbed up into the alpine where the wild flowers were amazing. Last year we were a bit late to enjoy the wild flowers in all of their glory. This year, we hit it perfectly! As we headed up the pass, the weather started to change. We topped the pass and the rain showers began. We layered up. Both Steve and I decided to carry our good camera equipment and we lingered in the pass taking photos of the colourful alpine flowers. The stunning colours made the effort to carry the extra camera gear well worth it. Karen was getting chilled and had to pull out her winter coat. We finally headed over the pass and worked our way down 4 km of switchbacks to our camp site. Dr. Bill wandered ahead of us and got set up. Once Steve, Taryn, Karen and I arrived; the showers tapered off and we were able to set up without our gear getting wet.

After a snack, Steve and I grabbed the camera gear and my tenkara rod and headed to a small creek that we knew was full of beautifully coloured brookies and west slope cutthroat. We were trying to get a few "eat" shots. We had fun enjoying the willing brookies and cutthroat. We took a break for supper and then got right back to it! As dusk set in, it was time to get into our tent for a well deserved rest. Karen and Taryn enjoyed a visit in our tent while Pepper the dog kept a close eye on pikas and Columbian ground squirrels. Just as we had settled in our tents, a light drizzle turned into steady rain. The rain kept up all night but fortunately tapered off in the morning.

We were relived that the rain stopped but the wind was blowing. We were heading to 7200 feet to revisit a lake with beautifully coloured cutthroat trout. We had another pass to climb and then a beautiful meadow to wander through before climbing a rock fall area.

Once we topped out and saw our destination, we knew that we were going to be dealing with a serious wind. Dr. Bill said it felt like being at Jurassic Lake in Argentina. The wind was rocking. Well, we found a rock wall to hide behind while we set up. I was quite distracted by the amazing wild flowers. I stopped to take photos. By the time I got fly fishing, everybody had caught some cutthroat. Casting was tough with the wind. I had a stretch of 6 casts with 6 straight crazy tangles. Grr, frustrating.

Well the cutthroats were incredible colours. Steve and Taryn only fished dry flies. Now think of the fact that the lake is rocking. Steve and Taryn were using chernobyls. I was amazed at their success considering the wind gusts at over 80 kph.  Karen, Dr. Bill and I used small balanced flies. We also did very well.

Everybody had to find a spot to warm up. Snow started to fall but did not last too long. We all had to find a rock wall to hide on the lee side of so we could warm up. I went off to take pictures of the wild flowers and soon Karen and I went to a small shoal that was mostly out of the wind. Karen caught a monster on the shoal. I found a spot to sight fish and had a ball. Pepper hung out with us.

As late afternoon approached, we all decided to head back to camp. The hike back takes about 90 minutes. Once back at camp, we got our supper from the storage bear proof bins. We devoured our dinner and wound down the day with some drinks. We all got into our tents early. The rain came back so we just settled in. We had made the most of a tough day to fly fish.

Steve and Taryn were hiking out in the morning while Dr. Bill, Karen and I wanted to explore some other lakes in the area the next day. We said our good byes to Steve and Taryn. They had a new puppy (Chili) to pick up the next day. Dr. Bill, Karen and I explored two other lakes that also had cutthroat in them. We caught lots of smaller cutthroat and we were mostly out of the wind. We were back in camp early so Dr. Bill and I got out the tenkara rod and fished the creek in front of camp. We had fun catching smaller brookies and cutts.

After a hearty supper in the drizzle, we crawled into our sleeping bags. The sky cleared, and the mercury went well below zero. We were snug in our tents.

Our last morning dawned clear. After a coffee and granola; we packed up to head back up the pass that headed to the parking lot. It is a good grunt. We lingered at the summit. We got out the map to identify lakes and mountain peaks. As we headed down the pass to the parking lot, we enjoyed the amazing wild flower colours. Three hours later, we were heading to Canmore for a well deserved beer and a burger.

The weather was less than perfect but we were all well prepared. The fishing was excellent. We did not let the wind ruin our big day. Sometimes things do not go exactly as planned. We fished 4 lakes and one creek. We had a fantastic 4 days.

Steve Luethi photo

Steve Luethi photo