Tuesday, October 27, 2020

Disaster Averted,... Plan B, ...Again

It was going to be a cutthroat day but that quickly was scuttled when the gravel turned into a skating rink. Karen and I were disappointed. It was already 10C at 8 am. We were not going to take any unnecessary chances. So we diverted to the Red Deer River. It was an excellent decision too! The walleye were quite active as the chinook arch loomed and the wind blew. Luckily it was warm and the action quite steady. We fly fished with a balanced silver minnow pattern. Yesterday was the first time I tried it and it was a winner again today for Karen and I. We even tangled with a few brown trout as an added bonus. We do not target the browns until after they have spawned. The browns were just in the same area!

We have been dealing with a lot of "Plan Bs' lately. Thank goodness we have options that sometimes work out to be better than the original plan.


Monday, October 26, 2020

Walleye Love the Balanced Silver Minnow

Finally the mercury grudgingly crawled up to 1C. I was able to dash out to the Red Deer River to fly fish for walleye. I wanted to test out a Balanced Silver Minnow. Yesterday we all woke up to see the air temperature was -21C and the wind chill brought the temperature down to -30C.  ...absolutely bone chilling. By this morning, the mercury was close to 0C.

The big idea in the fly is to add eyes and fill in all around the fly with UV light resin. This was an idea based on a Phil Rowley pattern called the Punk Perch! Once I dialed in the depth, this fly produced steady action. I finally had to call it a day after I got cold. That took a good 4 hours in the water. Field testing a new pattern was great fun!


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-Bob Morensky 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!