Wednesday, September 28, 2022

Ultimate Boatmen

The lake was glass and the rainbows were slurping backswimmers and boatmen off of the surface. I smiled. I tied on an Ultimate Boatmen and had a great day connecting with rainbows on the surface. Ultimate boatmen are a bit tedious to tie but they are a great imitation of a backswimmer. Casting at rising rainbows with my imposter yielded some heart stopping strikes by aggressive rainbows.

Steve Jennings Demonstrates how to tie the Ultimate Boatmen!

Here are some backswimmer imitations that were shown to me by my buddy Rick. These patterns are so effective. 

2mm foam, some black dubbing and black silly legs make for a great pattern


Spectacular Michelle Lakes

Michelle Lakes is an amazing place to fly fish. Last year on the exact same day, we had 10 cm of snow but yesterday it was shirt sleeve weather. We loaded up the at Icefields Helicopter at first light. Ralph took us up to Michelle Lakes on the short 15 minute flight. When we landed, it was already 8C at 8:30 am. Wow, it was going to be a perfect weather day.  A large group of curious mountain sheep were hanging out at the lake.We wandered down to the water and rigged up. The golden trout were already rising as the shadows were slowly leaving the lake. We were there to celebrate Larry's brother, Ken's, 70th birthday. What a perfect way to do just that!

The golden trout in Michelle are not large but they are colourful this time of the year! Small micro leeches like a size 16 Glen's Leech worked great. Today we made another discovery. Small Ice Minnows on Head Turner Beads got the attention of the goldens. I threw a few ice minnows into our kit for the day on a whim. As it turned out, they were the ticket. Tying ice minnows on a size 14 jig hooks with a head turner bead turned out to be the fly of the day. Small brassies in a variety of colours work great too.

Karen and I took the time to explore most of the lake today. The golden trout were quite aggressive in several areas. The drop offs along rocky shores are quite productive. The water was so clear that you could see the trout 5 or 6 feet down turn onto our flies and strike. Sight fishing is a lot of fun.

Well the helicopter picked us up at 5 pm. The flight out was amazing. Our day was picture perfect. What a way to celebrate a 70th birthday!

Happy 70th Ken!

Tiny Ice Minnows Worked Great Today

Larry's First Trip to Michelle Lakes


The Trout Are Eating Everything

What a spectacular Fall we are having in Central Alberta. The trout are putting on the feedbag as the water temperatures start to drop. Daphnia, leeches, shrimp, boatmen and backswimmers were on the menu today. It is a great time to be a fly fisher in Central Alberta. Stripping your favourite backswimmer, Tokaryk Specials, blobs and micro leeches work great this time of the year.

Backswimmers, Shrimp and Daphnia

Shrimp and Leeches



Friday, September 23, 2022

BWOs Can Be the Answer

I had an interesting experience yesterday. I was out buying some cross cut rabbit so I could tie up a Master Splinter Mouse fly pattern for a tying order I was working on. I bumped into a fly fisherman looking for BWOs. They were not to be found so I told him to drop by my house and pick up some. I pulled out half a dozen from my fly box that I had tied up a few days ago and he was off to his favourite brown trout stream. Last night he sent me a picture of this beautiful brown. That certainly made me smile.


Walleye Love Mylar Minnows

Phil Rowley developed a mylar minnow for casting and retrieving a number of years ago. I made a few changes to this effective pattern to make it balanced. I often jig it under an indicator or just jig it off of the bottom. The walleye love it! I add a 5/32nd tungsten bead under the mylar tubing to get the minnow balanced!


Tuesday, September 20, 2022

Walleye on the Red Deer River

One of the cool things about the Red Deer River is the diversity of fish species within its waters. There are days that I enjoy targeting Walleye. My "go to" patterns include a fly called a Candy Corn. It is a fly designed by my friend Dave Green. It is an easy tie. You can tie them as streamers or balanced. I do like to fish them slowly under an indicator (8 feet down) and let the current do the work. Tie them up size 8 or even larger. Trout love this fly too!