Saturday, September 23, 2023

Off to the Parkland Region in Manitoba

It has been 3 years. The Parkland Region of Manitoba is a fabulous place to fly fish for so many species of trout! COVID has definitely put a damper on our opportunities to get to the Russell/Roblin area! The lakes are beautiful especially when the fall colours are out. This area is also part of the flyway for migratory birds, so you will see snow geese, cranes and geese moving though. It is definitely a popular place to hunt for migratory birds.

With a little luck, we hope to shake hands with tiger trout, brown trout and rainbow trout! I will definitely have a trip report in about 11 days or so!


Thursday, September 21, 2023

Enjoying the Last Day of Summer on the Water

What a beautiful day. It is the last day of summer and we had a heavy frost last night. Karen and I decided to have a second cup of coffee before we headed off to chase rainbows. We arrived around 11 am. Leaves on the trees were definitely displaying their vibrant fall colours. We were armed with shrimp and boatmen/backswimmer fly patterns. The shrimp flies worked great late in the morning and about 1:30 pm we switched to boatmen fly patterns. The Bubba Gump Shrimp was a winner right away and then Phil Rowley's  Greater Water Floatmen pattern along with flashbacks kept the action quite steady!

Our first throat sample of the morning showed that the rainbows were feeding on a combination of daphnia and small shrimp. The water temperature was down close to 60F and the rainbows were definitely on the prowl looking to put the feedbag on!

Early in the afternoon, the rainbows started darting and slashing just below the surface looking for boatmen and a few backswimmers.. I switched from indicator fishing to casting and retrieving. I was stripping a boatmen that had a bead so it would get down a bit. Karen switched to flashbacks just 3 feet below her indicator. I would say the catch rate was about the same. The warm afternoon sunshine and steady action made the afternoon slide away too fast. It was one of those days you just do not want it to end. 

Can you see the boatman Fly Pattern in the mouth of the Rainbow?

Daphnia, small shrimp and some water mites in this throat sample

This throat sample was full of small shrimp!


Tuesday, September 19, 2023

A Very Cool Backswimmer Pattern-The Suspender Backswimmer

 This is another very creative concept from Phil Rowley. The idea is to suspend a backswimmer just below the water surface using a piece of a foam cylinder (bobbie cord) to keep the backswimmer in the proper upside down position. Take a look at the video! Phil has had several excellent days using this unique backswimmer pattern.

Fish these with a floating line. Just wait the trout love these!

I have been topping up my backswimmers and boatmen section of my stillwater fly box. Off to the Parkland Region of Manitoba in a few days.

Sunday, September 10, 2023

Excellent Boatmen/Backswimmer Fly Patterns

It is backswimmer and water boatmen season! These videos can help you with fly patterns and how to fish these great fall patterns.


Yellowstone Cutthroat

I LOVE cutthroat trout! There are 11 catchable subspecies of cutthroat and sadly a few that are now extinct! We are lucky in Alberta to have several backcountry lakes in Banff National Park that have yellowstone cutthroat! Yes, you have to work for them but the effort is well worth it! 

My buddy Pat and his girlfiend, Ashley, took these images while we were hiking about 10 days ago! There is one very interesting image of a yellowstone that survived an attack by an osprey.

Thanks for the images Pat!

Pat having a blast.

Sunset Cutts


Tuesday, September 5, 2023

Brook Trout in the Backcountry of Banff National Park

I love brook trout! Their colours are amazing and better still, the places they reside are beautiful. Yesterday was Labour Day Monday. I usually love to watch CFL football but Steve, Taryn, Chili the Dog and I decided to hit the backcountry in Banff National Park. We hiked in close to 10 km to a backcountry lake teaming with brookies. I had tied a bunch of chernobyls and put them in a corner, hoping to get out brookie fishing.  I suggested to Steve that we should get out to chase brookies. He was up for the adventure. We shouldered up our packs at shortly after 10 am and a little more than two hours later, we were at the lake. We layered up and then strung up our 4 and 5 weight rods. I was determined to just use dry flies. The brookies are usually quite responsive to chernobyls. It was about 10 C at the lake which is just below tree line. The brookies were quite aggressive and they absolutely destroyed my chernobyls. Steve was using a fly called the "Blue Bastard" and the brookies were all over it! Taryn was using a hot spot nymph and she caught her share of brookies too! All too quickly the afternoon passed. The daylight hours are getting shorter so by 4 pm we were heading back to Taryn's Tiguan. Out feet were tired after out walk out. I think Taryn said we walked 30 000 steps and we climbed 157 flights of stairs. That was 22 km of walking! We were hungry. We devoured our supper in Canmore and then rolled back to Red Deer. It was definitely a satisfying day. 

Chili the photo bomber!

Chernobyls are simple to tie and so effective! Foam rocks!