Wednesday, August 10, 2022

Brookies and West Slope Cutthroat in a Mountain Creek in Banff National Park

Karen and I took the time, while in the backcountry of Banff National Park, to fly fish some of the tiny creeks looking for west slope cutthroat and brook trout. These tiny creeks seemed to be teaming with small cutthroat and brookies. A small dry fly like a beetle, small caddis or mayfly always made these hungry trout rise aggressively to our flies. It is a joy to connect with pure strain cutthroat and beautifully coloured brookies. 


Tuesday, August 9, 2022

Backcountry Birthdays Chasing Yellowstone Cutthroat

Karen found a backcountry camping cancellation in one of our favourite areas to fly fish in Banff National Park. The Yellowstone Cutthroat in one of the lakes are so beautifully coloured and so aggressive. Well we quickly loaded up our hiking gear and headed to Banff National Park. It took us 5 hours to get our gear to the backcountry campsite. That included climbing over a mountain pass that was adorned in wild flowers! We fly fished a creek during the afternoon but we were looking forward to the next day. The cutthroat trout fly fishing included a tough grind up another pass and then negotiating a rock fall to get to the high mountain lake. We had been there a number of times. We have never seen other fishermen there. These cutthroat love chernobyls. The high floating foam flies fished along drop offs had us into fish all day! It is so cool to watch a cutthroat come from the depths to intercept our flies. We were lucky to have an amazing day weather wise. We thankfully had enough wind to keep the bugs at bay. We had a spectacular day of fly fishing. The 44 km of walking in some of the most spectacular areas of Banff National Park was a great way to celebrate both our birthdays. We feel very lucky that we are still able to do these trips. 

 Cone on the Cob- A Tradition after a great hike!

Saturday, August 6, 2022

Rainbow Warriors and Rocky Mountain Whitefish

The Rocky Mountain Whitefish are on the move on the Red Deer River. This is my go to pattern for catching them. Lance Egan's Rainbow Warrior is a fast tie. Tie them size 16 for the rockies, have some split shot to get them down and you will have an awesome day. I also find that brown trout love them too!

All you need is size 16 curved nymph hook (or jig hook), silver or rainbow tungsten bead, UTC 70 denier red thread, pheasant tail, some pearl mylar and some rainbow dubbing!


Thursday, August 4, 2022

PMDs (Pale Morning Duns) and Tricos

I was out walking my hound this morning. There were tiny mayflies everywhere. I laughed, tricos. They are the tiniest mayflies we have. They are size 22 or smaller. Yes the trout will definitely dine on tricos. I often will fish a black gnat that represents a cluster of trikes. I also see PMDs each morning. Oh the browns on the Red Deer River love PMDs! I like fishing a light cahill, a PMD Comparadun or a standard PMD may fly imitation. Don't forget a few spent PMDs, there are times that the trout will focus on the dead PMDs from the spinner fall.

Oh yes, as you can see, I have to wash my back window.


Tuesday, August 2, 2022

Backcountry Brook Trout in Banff National Park Are Amazing-Thunderstorms on the Way Home Were Nasty

Hiking on Heritage Day in Banff National Park may not have been the greatest idea. Surprisingly enough, the Icefields Parkway traffic was not too crazy and we encountered very few people on the popular trail we choose. Steve and his dad, Tom, Pat and his girl friend Ashley wanted to fly fish for brookies. You know I had just been there just 10 days ago but why not. A 20 plus km hike and fly fishing for brookies it is. We left Red Deer at 4 am and we were hiking by 7:30 am. The parking lot had plenty of empty spaces, ...score. 10 plus km of walking with 600 metres of uphill definitely gets your heart rate up. We arrived about 2 hours later. The sweat equity is well worth it!

We rigged up with chernobyls. Yes were were going to dry fly fish. The fly fishing was outstanding. It is fun to see the brookies come up from the depths and smash your fly. The wind was moderate so casting was not too challenging. Tom caught so many brookies. He love casting over the drop offs and watch his chernobyl disappear into the jaws of an aggressive brookie. Chili the dog loved checking out the brookies too. Chili went for several swims to stay cool. He certainly loved the cold mountain water.

We hiked out about 3 pm and of course my buddy Pat had to stop and catch some cutthroat off of a bridge. That has become a tradition. Ashley caught her first dry fly brookies too!

The downside of the day was driving into a terrible thunderstorm on the way down highway 11 just after Nordegg and the massive intense storm lasted all the way to Red Deer. Hail, heavy rain and wind made the drive quite uncomfortable. My Volkswagon Gulf handled the lousy driving conditions. By the way, my Gulf Station Wagon burned $70 of fuel to get to our destination and back to Red Deer. That was quite reasonable.

Click on the pictures to make them bigger. This was one awesome day to spend with four friends and a happy hound.

Chernobyls and Brookies

Tom's First Brook Trout on the Fly

The Wild Flowers are Blooming!

Yep Right off the Bridge-A Tradition