Thursday, September 30, 2021

Red Deer River Under a Windy Chinook Arch

Oh man was it windy today on the Red Deer River. Warm air was spilling down the eastern slopes of the rocky mountains and a very well defined chinook arch could be seen from my house in Red Deer.

I love fly fishing the Red Deer River. The river is like a box of chocolates. You never know what you're going to tangle with. My brain said walleye and rocky mountain whitefish and as it turned out it was walleye, a brown trout and a very large river pike. By the way, I do not target brown trout this time of the year. It was an inadvertent catch. Browns should be in spawning mode.

I had to time my casts between wind gusts but that warm air sure made the day comfortable. I used a floating line and a balanced minnow pattern. It worked great. Some of the takes were so soft, it was hard to tell. I have always learned to set on anything that remotely might be a grab!

It is a great tine to get out on the water. Rivers and lakes are in great shape and the fish are hungry!


Wednesday, September 29, 2021

Golden Trout at Michelle Lakes

Doug's wife Marlene contacted me about doing something special for his birthday. I suggested heading up to Michelle Lakes to fly fish for golden trout! Golden trout are beautifully coloured trout that originally came from the Kern River in California! 

The weather was iffy and the lake is only open in August and September. Our window of opportunity was small. Colin joined Doug and I on our adventure. We left Red Deer at 5 am and arrived at Cline River just after 7 am. We loaded up the helicopter as the sun just started to rise. The day was cloudy and there was snow in the area. We were not sure that we could make it in but we had Ralph flying us and he had a good feeling about getting to Michelle Lakes. Rockies Heli Canada is quite reasonable to get to Michelle Lakes as well as to several other heli fishing adventures! We made it through the pass in great shape and landed at snowy Michelle Lakes. It was slightly below zero but we were dressed for winter.

Well the fly fishing was excellent. We used tiny Glen's Leeches size 18 and brassies along with Griffith's gnats. We used the gnats to catch the goldens on the surface. That was very cool!

The back drop for our day was absolutely beautiful. We had a few snow showers but we were quite comfortable. We were picked up just after 4 pm after catching a lot of golden trout. The goldens are small but they are beautifully coloured.

Our flight out was amazing! I am pretty sure Doug will not forget this birthday adventure!

This is Upper Michelle Lake. No golden trout but a beautiful place!



Friday, September 24, 2021

Fall Colours on the Water

I love fly fishing in the fall. The colours are spectacular and the trout are starting to put the feedbag on. Karen and I meet up with several of the gang from our club. The water temperature was from 52F to 54F. The trout were a bit sluggish although we definitely were catching some beautiful fat rainbows today. I was stripping flashbacks, Karen fly fished with micro leeches and blobs. Rick was fly fishing with an unweighted blob but using a full intermediate line! Wayne hooked into several as was Betty and Steve. 

The warm weather and the bright sun made one of the first days of fall just plain spectacular! 

Winter is coming! Enjoy these beautiful fall days!


Two Knee Replacements Are Just An Inconvenience

My dear friend Jay and I had an opportunity to do some cutthroat fly fishing this week. Jay is just getting over his second knee replacement. He might be moving a bit slower but his enthusiasm and determination not to miss out on a great day of cutthroat fly fishing was quite evident! He impressed me!


Friday, September 17, 2021

Blobs Were Making the Indicators Disappear Today!

Finally the wind settled down enough to get out and fly fish! Karen and I had a trip to Maligne Lake scrubbed because of the nasty wind. Well today, we finally loaded up the pram to hit a local lake. The wind was blowing but not like the past two days. 

We caught a few fish on balanced leeches and by stripping flashbacks. The throat samples showed that the rainbows were dining on tiny shrimp and immature damsels. We tried several balanced flies and scuds. Early in the afternoon, we switched to blobs. Yellow, pink/chartreuse and jelly tot blobs  definitely got the attention of the rainbows. There is nothing in nature that looks like a blob in a lake but the fish are attracted to them.

Karen and I had excellent success in 8 feet of water fishing about 5 or 6 feet below a strike indicator!

Blobs turned an average day of fly fishing into an outstanding day!