Thursday, April 29, 2021

Chasing Rainbows Today Was a Blast!

This crazy pandemic has certainly caused a lot of challenges. We have missed spending time with our friends. Today we decided to meet up at a trout lake and have some fun. We laughed, joked and caught up while out in our boats. It was the perfect way to get caught up, see each other and still socially distance.

The trout were hungry and as you can see from the throat samples, the trout were eating lots of different food items!


Dickson has Tiger Trout

My buddy, Byron, has been out to Dickson Trout Pond! He has noticed a lot of tiger trout swimming around. He pulled out his fly rod and had a great time. You can spot them as you walk along the causeway! Try a small nymph or micro leech just along the shore drop off!


Phil Rowley's New Stillwater Book is Now Published and Available

Phil Rowley's new stillwater book is now published. Order your copy right here! This is Phil's on line store. He will autograph your copy as well! This is a comprehensive 400 plus page book that will become one of the best references anywhere for stillwater fly fishing! My copy has been ordered and is on the way!


Throat Samples Can Tell You What to Tie On!

Throat samples can be very instructive on lakes. Trout will key in on different food items. Over the course of the day, take the time to get several throat samples. I sometimes just assume that the trout are eating a certain food item. Take a look at the wide diversity of food that the trout have been eating in these samples. Daphnia, shrimp, small bloodworms and chironomid larva and pupa. You can at least get the idea of what colour and size of  food items they are dining on!

I have posted the video below, before. It is the proper way to take a throat sample. Take a look. Yesterday I encountered a few trout with a constricted throat while taking a sample. Do NOT force the throat pump down. These fish have not been feeding for a while.

Remember that the most important question to ask at the lake if a fellow fly fisher is doing well, "What depth are you fishing at?"


Tuesday, April 27, 2021

Ice Minnow Work Great to Imitate Forage Fish

Karen and I headed to Kerbes Pond to see how our new stockers are doing. Before we left, I took the time to tie up 6 small ice minnows. Kerbes Pond is a tea coloured lake. The water is off colour and there is a lot of pin fry for the rainbows, tigers and browns to devour. It took us a bit of time to find the trout. They were hanging out in the shallow parts of the lake. The trout attacked our ice minnows. What we did find was the trout wanted the fly to move so we we slowly stripped our ice minnows. That gave us lots of excellent action. We even caught several carry over trout from last year! That made us smile.

The brill for an ice minnow can be bought at Canadian Llama Company. This is silver, 5 mm and we used size 14 jig hooks tied balanced with 7/64ths rainbow tungsten beads! I usually use silver bead but I am out!

Can you see the giant flock of snow geese?

Put a tiger in your tank!

We drove home by heading south so we could enjoy the Big Valley bridge area. A beautiful drop into the Red Deer River valley!


Monday, April 26, 2021

Vampire Leeches Can be a Real Winner!

Karen and I did not get out to launch our pram until noon! Rick greeted us with, "It is slow, real slow!" Well we both decided to put on a micro leech and and a Tokaryk Special. We caught a few smaller trout but nothing amazing. Well we changed locations and tried different depths. We even tried blood worms even though the water temperature was a bone chilling 45F. Well we finally switched to a Vampire Leech and then we started to catch some nice rainbows.

Todd Oishi is the originator of the Vampire Leech. It is an excellent pattern. For it to be effective, keep playing with your depth until you get it right!


Sunday, April 25, 2021

Ice Off at Dickson Trout Pond

Dickson Trout Pond looks to be in great shape!


Thursday, April 22, 2021

Stocking Kerbes Pond-Trying to Re-establish a Trophy Fishery

Yesterday Karen, Colin and I headed out to Kerbes Pond (travel towards Stettler on Hwy 11 east and turn right at Erskine and travel 23 km south of Erskine and 3 km east-I think on Fern Road which is gravel -NOT Fenn Road, see map below) to meet Harvey travelling from the Cold Lake Trout Hatchery. Harvey brought us 1000 tiger trout, 1000 rainbows and 250 brown trout. Those stockers are now safely in Kerbes Pond. Kent Butterfield has spent a lot of time developing this trophy fishery that has fell on tough times. The fishery collapsed 2 years ago with no aerator on in the winter time. The good news is that fish from last year did winter and yesterday we added several thousand.

Our local chapter of Trout Unlimited helped get aerators back into the pond. Today I saw three aerators working. That is good news. I hope we can keep these aerators going during the winter. There are liability issues to deal with unfortunately!

This is a quality fishery. To harvest a trout, they must be over 50 cm in size. That will not happen for a few years but the fishing will be a lot of fun. There is great parking, washrooms and easy shore fly fishing. The lake has lot of forage fish. Small pin fry are everywhere. The trout get fat quickly. No scented baits of any sort are allowed. I like to use tiny minnow patterns like an ice minnow!

Please get out there. It is a great place to spend a day. Take a lawn chair and a picnic lunch!

The stocking process is interesting. The fish are not put into the pond until the dissolved oxygen is checked as well as the ph of the lake. Both tests passed. I believe the dissolved oxygen was close to 10 and the ph around 11. Both very acceptable levels.

Colin helping with the stocking!

Colin catching a rainbow from last years stocking. Great news.



Wednesday, April 21, 2021


Look closely at the two water pictures and you can see the daphnia. After ice off, often you can find the trout feeding on daphnia. Daphnia is a tiny aquatic creature you can find in lakes.  Today Karen and I encountered a rather large ball of daphnia in a lake. We put our Tokaryk Special into the ball of daphnia and the action was quite steady. The rainbows were slashing through through the daphnia to strain them. Lots of fly fishers use blobs when this is encountered. I tried both but the Tokaryk seemed to match the daphnia colour best and the trout ate our offering!

It is pretty cool to see and fish this opportunity.


Sunday, April 18, 2021

What a Difference a Day Makes

Yesterday it was 19C as we fly fished. Well we woke up to quite a snow storm. The high today, 3C. Burr! Doug Pullan was determined to get out today. I tagged along and fished from shore. It was a great opportunity to get some cool wintery shots. Sometimes, a snow storm can get you some great photo opportunities!