Monday, October 31, 2022

Last Day Fly Fishing on the Eastern Slopes-Was It a Trick or a Treat?

My buddy Jay and I have a tradition of fly fishing on the Eastern Slopes on Halloween. It is the last day for fly fishing for cutthroat. Well we were treated with quite a snow storm on the way out! The weather forecast said 5 cm was possible. We got closer to 30 cm. Was that a trick or a treat? Not sure. The fly fishing was slow and the driving was an adventure in a winter wonderland. Winter is setting in for sure!


Sunday, October 30, 2022

Windy Afternoon Looking for Tigers

The wind sure has been rocking the last few days. Luckily it has been warm. After celebrating Karen's dad's 90th birthday, Karen and I headed out to Dickson Trout Pond in search of some tiger trout! Oh man the northwest wind was turning the lake on its side except for a few pockets. We were on foot so our options were limited although wearing our waders gave us some flexibility. We had a few hours and once we set up, Karen started connecting with several small rainbows using a Tokaryk Special. I was catching nothing so I switched to a tiny brill scud. I then started to catch some rainbows. I did connect with a rather large rainbow for Dickson. That was cool because it was not a brood trout! It did not take long for both Karen and I to catch some decent tiger trout, two of which were impressive sizes. The wind chased everyone else off of the lake. It was intense wind. We wandered back to the truck and headed back to Red Deer with a strong tail wind.

It looks like the cold weather starts to move in just in time for Halloween. I see that Lake Louise and the Icefields Parkway are blanketed with snow. Time to dig out the snow tires and skis!


Friday, October 28, 2022

Dickson Tigers

Tiger trout are so cool. They are a cross between a male brook trout and a female brown trout! Their vermiculations, colouring and aggressive nature make for a great sport fish! We have several lakes and ponds in Central Alberta that have tigers! Check the Fish Stocking Report to see where and how many have been planted in our area! Today, I walked along the shore for Dickson Trout Pond for 90 minutes casting a Tokaryk Special. I managed to hook several in my short day on the water. Micro leeches and shrimp patterns should also get you some hook ups! I just dangled a balanced Tokaryk Special about 4-5 feet down over weed lines as I enjoyed the warm afternoon sun. Next week's cold weather may result in some of our lakes/ponds to freeze over. I think we are down to the last few days.


Thursday, October 27, 2022

Fly Fishing Under a Chinook Arch,... Windy Day

I stumbled into the kitchen to pour a cup of coffee at 6:30 am. I saw my I-Pad and checked the weather for Rocky Mountain House. Surprise it is already 7C BUT the wind is rocking. That means warm air is racing down the eastern slopes towards the prairies. Chinook! Rick, Doug, Colin, Karen, Pepper and I were headed to what maybe our last trip to Cow Lake this year. We wondered if we would have to fly fish from shore or whether we could launch our two boats. The wind was howling when we arrived with a very distinct chinook arch right over our heads. Doug and Rick launched Doug's pram while Karen, Colin and I started to fly fish from shore. About an hour later, we decided that it was fine to launch my 17 foot G3. It was an excellent choice. We worked along the western shore which was out of the main wind. As the chinook arch moved east, the wind settled but it did not take long before another arch formed up and then the wind amped up. We were lucky enough to hook several rainbows and a few browns. Luckily it was a warm day for late October. Our best fly was a Tokaryk Special fished 6 inches off of the bottom! No surprise there!

The warm weather looks like it is sticking around for a few more days but then wintery temperatures arrive. Sigh! Dress warm and get out there. It is worth it!

By the way, it is also well worth your time to walk along Dickson Trout Pond. The rainbows and tigers are quite aggressive and there are many larger ones around! Tokaryks work great there too!


Tuesday, October 25, 2022

Tying a Tokaryk Special

A Tokaryk Special is not hard to tie. There are only 2 tying materials. The original fly came from a pattern designed for Tokaryk Lake in the Parkland Region of Manitoba. The pattern has evolved a bit from the original. I like to tie it balanced from size 16 all the way to size 8! Here is how Phil Rowley and I tie it now! You can also tie the pattern with tungsten head turner beads, like the video below. This pattern has been a great choice lately on a variety of lakes in Central Alberta!

Sequin pins bought at Michaels.

I have settled on this dubbing for the pattern!

Step One
Build a chassis with a size 14 jig hook, a 7/64ths tungsten bead and a sequin bead. Be sure to super glue it! (I have been using Pro Tyer Hooks and beads from Canadian Llama Company )

Step Two
Tie in a marabou tail about the length of the shank of the hook!

Step Three

Make a dubbing loop and insert dubbing. Tying Note: Keep dubbing sparse. Then twist up dubbing with a dubbing twister!

Step Four
Wrap dubbing up shank of the hook and whip finish! Take a velco brush and give the dubbing a bit of a style.

Ready to go!


Monday, October 24, 2022

It Sure Was Frigid BUT the Fly Fishing was HOT

Oh boy, the weather has dramatically returned to seasonal temperatures. What a shock after such a long run of beautiful warm fall days. Lakes will start to freeze soon and many fly fishers are trying to get a few more trips out to the lake. The trout are all packing on the weight and feeding heartily. 

Yesterday I ventured out to Dickson Trout Pond. I bundled up and had an excellent afternoon catching tiger trout and rainbows. Little did I know that Rick was walking along the causeway doing the exact same thing. He connected with several beautifully coloured tiger trout and several rainbows.

Well this morning, Rick and I decided to go back to Cow Lake. There was a heavy frost and mercury got down to -6C. We left a bit later in the am. We launched my pram, then bundled up. Wintercoats, long johns, toques and boots kept us warm. Karen even threw in some hand warmers. We were comfortable. By 10:30 we were fly fishing. We set up with Tokaryk Specials tied balanced (size 14) and we did not change flies all day. The rainbows were so aggressive and we landed several specimens that were close to 10 pounds. The light wind moved our indicators that were set for our flies to be about 2.5 feet down along the edges and closer to 3.5 to 4 feet out in the deeper water.

The rainbows were fat and strong. We had a great time tangling with these large specimens. After a quick picture the rainbows rocketed away. Wow! I did connect with a nice brown trout it was the only one of the day.

We called it a day at 5 pm and headed back to Red Deer. We hope to get out there at least one more time. Trout are putting on the feedbag. It is a great time to fly fish. Bundle up and you will have a great day!