It is a rainy day, hmm I think I will take some time to rebuild some wiggle worms. Wiggle worms fall apart easily because they are fragile. I have decided not not throw away these demolished set ups. In a few minutes, I stripped off the disintegrated materials and retied them. I saved high quality hooks and tungsten beads from the trash!
Friday, October 22, 2021
Halloween is the last day our Eastern Slope rivers are open. We are down to the last 9 days that we can fly fish for cutthroat trout! Where has the time gone? This last week, Karen and I have been tied up with family. We did manage to get out today, it wasn't the best weather day but were able to make a mad dash for the Eastern Slopes. We had to bundle up with warm clothes. The temperature was -1C when we started and climbed up to 7C.
The river was gin clear although it did seem to be up a bit! That may have been due to the warm weather that melted snow we have had the last few days. We did have a chinook arch overhead and luckily the wind stayed away!
We did not see many mayflies. It seemed to be a perfect day for Blue Winged Olives but we saw just a few floating down the runs that we fly fished. Well we nymphed. We nymphed a lot using big wiggle worms down to size 20 brassies. We tried a lot of combinations today as well as several different nymphing strategies. At one point, we thought today we were going to get skunked. Several easily visible cutts were not moving for any of our offerings.
Our best set up was a wiggle worm with a small size 18 red brassie trailing behind. The cutts did become active for a short period of time and that is quite typical for late fall fly fishing for cutts. We did get down to 5x tippet and that helped as well.
Today was a great reminder that cutthroat trout will get quite lethargic as the water temperatures drop. The window for active cutts shrinks to later in the morning until mid afternoon! We still had an excellent day. We hooked about a dozen today!
We packed up around 3 pm so we could negotiate the muddy road back to the black top in the daylight.
I hope we are able to mange one more trip out before Halloween.
Tuesday, October 19, 2021
A Lake Wabamun monster pike from a few years back. Larry and I were running the camera boat for a television show with Phil Rowley and Michael Short! Michael caught a monster pike on camera and then after we finished getting footage for the show, Larry caught this monster along a weed line. He saw "nervous water" and he cast his bunny leech into the fray and this monster grabbed his fly! What a moment!
Sunday, October 17, 2021
Another well defined chinook arch was stretched across the western horizon this morning. The best part was the 10C weather at 8 am. It has been -10C a lot lately as the sun rose. Not today!
After our morning run, we dashed out to a local lake. There were just two boats on the water! That was an added bonus! Once Karen and I loaded up the pram, we motored out to talk to Doug Pullan. Just as we got there, the fly fishing started to pick up too!
Our first rainbow was full of shrimp! You can see the throat sample just above! Can you see the pregnant shrimp? That motivated Karen and I to head to the edges and fly fish just off of the edges. We had an awesome afternoon tangling with many rainbows. Doug was consistently tangling with decent sized rainbows too! That made for an excellent afternoon!
We were fully expecting to get a blast of wind from the the chinook overhead but it never happened.
This is another interesting throat sample that Doug retrieved from a rainbow. Baby damsels, bloodworms and shrimp. A very typical menu in the fall. We fished 4 to 6 feet below a strike indicator with our shrimp and leech imposters. That worked well. We often cast and retrieve when shrimp is on the menu over weed beds.
Friday, October 15, 2021
Well the weather forecast looked good so a dash to fly fish for west slope cutthroat trout was in order. The open season is down to the last two weeks! I had my snow tires on and I was glad once we entered the eastern slopes. I always take my time driving the backroads, especially when they are icy! A few hours after leaving Red Deer we trudged through the snow to find some west slope cutts! It was -5C but the quickly forming chinook arch told us that we were going to get warm air real soon. The cutthroat were quite active today but we did have to fly fish with size 18 red brassies and Poison Tungs. The key is to get your fly as close to the bottom as possible then your chances of a hook up are very good!
As the chinook arch formed, the wind started to blow. I mean the wind was howling! We had to be quite deliberate with our casts to avoid a nasty tangle. The ever increasing wind cut our day a bit short but we had a lot of success in the 4 hours that we fly fished.
I also pre tie 5 or 6 sets ups back home in Red Deer. That makes it a lot easier at the water to get set up without freezing fingers.
We all had an awesome day.
Colin Allison photo
Colin Allison photo
Colin Allison photo
Thursday, October 14, 2021
I can hardly believe that our nightly low temperatures in Central Alberta have been dipping down to around -10C the last week. Water temperatures are now below 50F. Today at Sylvan Lake, the water temperature was 48F! Unlike yesterday, it was a big blue sky day. We did not launch until after lunch. We were glad we waited until the mercury crawled up above the freezing mark on our thermometer.
We found lake whites in all the usual places that we fly fish. The best seemed to be around 9 or 10 feet of water with our blood worm imitations about 8 feet down.
We just used our pram today but we made sure that we had two batteries. That was just about right for us! We added extra layers so we would be comfortable. The wind changed directions twice on us and we were both glad to have an extra jacket along!
Enjoy the beautiful weather that the next three days are going to give us! That lawn work can wait!
Wednesday, October 13, 2021
It was a bone chilling 2C and the north west wind had a real edge to it as the snow-rain mix fell! Typical fall weather in Alberta all right. I like fly fishing for walleye when it is overcast although I would have gladly taken warmer weather! I did have to remind myself that the winter here in Alberta is long and I would be warm if I just dressed for the weather! On with the long johns, several layers, toque and two coats. I was comfortable.
I did connect with several fiesty walleye. One even broke me off. That is not usual for walleye.
After 2.5 hours; it was time to head home. It was great to be out on the water! Bundle up and get out there!
Saturday, October 9, 2021
I love fly fishing with friends. It is a great opportunity to get outside and catch up with what is going on in our lives. My good friend Larry and I hit the Red Deer River for a few hours. We started off fly fishing for walleye but they did not want to play so we switched up to fly fishing for whitefish! We caught several rockies with small size 16 Rainbow Warriors and Wiggle Worms. The best part of the day was just spending time with my friend.