27 April 2009

End of April Report

April might just be my new favorite time to fly fish the Crows Nest River ,or has it just been a long winter . The snow is been falling on and off for the last week and a half . In mid April , a few day's of stellar weather brought some higher dirty water from that lower elevation snow melt. With this colder weather water levels have remained up ,but the water has cleared nicely. Today I fished the Crow in sub zero conditions with lots of ice on the guides ...trout rose in some of the usual spots as March Browns and a very small black midge were on the water in good numbers. I had caught two nice rainbows before I busted the very tip off my fly rod while trying to break rather thick ice off of it . Thats a new one for me ! (my favorite Loomis) It has been a different kind of day on the Crow every time I fished it this month. Bug hatches ,flow , clarity , weather , etc. ... it's been interesting . Bugs To Look Out For...Size #16 black stone ,size #12 black stone ,size #16 March Brown ,size#18 Blue wing , size #14 tent wing caddis , #22 Tan micro caddis , Skwalla stones if the sun ever comes back out and any midge any time and hope they are bigger than a size #28.. Nymph accordingly ... If I was a bird watcher , I would get out there as the snow cover has sent birds to the river for food and migration is on full time. Watch Out for Trout Sitting on Reds.... a few early spawners are sitting in some fast shallow tail outs.. IN THAT .... PERFECT CROSSING WATER ..EGGS HATCH IN JULY INTO EARLY AUGUST ...WADERS PLEASE BE OBSERVANT

23 April 2009

The New Season

A lot of excellent fly fishing has occured since Aprils Fools Day.. Suzie , Gord( Kootenay Fly Shop ) , dogs and myself had a couple of stellar Crows Nest spring days.. Fresh tracks in the river side snow , sunshine, rising trout.. and multiple hatches .. On searching , one could find those pods of competeing rainbows.. Spring excitability was evident .. Working the rising fish with some delicacy , one pod could not be put down ... Even after an hour and a few lipping,s a change of pattern tossed out could hook a fish from this eager line up . I have mostly fished dry midge patterns and road tested a few little black stone fly nymphs and dries on that day and up too this present date.... Gord fished a variety and size of nymphs that day and did well with nymph and indicator .. After the dry fly run ,I fished my little tungsten nymphs O -naturel . I could see long fish feeding suspended in deep pools ,moving on the bugs ..Watching the fish , I set my hook on seeing the white from the inside of the big mouth , in an instant the mouth was closed and my line was tight.. I would bring a young British couple here two days later .. First a lesson on the water, all the while that same hungry dozen , rose feverishly thirty feet away..The keen one was the guy , he was a good gear angler back home ,you could tell he had a good fishing sence.. Now to get a crash course in fly casting ,then go through the fundamentals and mechanics of fishing a flowing stream ,then to stalk , hook and land a respectable Crows Nest rainbow in a afternoon ,is quite an accomplishment . After an hour at least on the risers , the lunch was relaxing and then a breeze hit the cliff wall ,no mercy for the rookey Brits .. Another hour he (we) tried on the risers untill they had seen every small midge pattern I owned.. We had to find some other risers.. The next rising pod were in one of those technical re-circulations , they didn't take our abuse.. Time to nymph . I could see those big fish , 5 feet deep in the off coloured flow.. big black midge shucks formed a foam in the back eddy...nymphing time.. I was already set up..The wife was the first to hook up solid . I guided her through the fight . Her first trout was to be a thick, 20 inch pissed off rainbow that hit the black nymph as it swung through the swift tail out.. The husband took over the coaching while I got in the water, camera and forcepts ready.. She was a natural and did not know it , she was really there for her husband and the scenery , but instantly she was completly into it.. the fishless husband was stoked , he knew he had just got a fishing partener for life ! I pointed him at the risers in the re-circ temporarily . I got the wife into a good position again and in 2 casts ,swinging through the tailout , another flash, and solid hook up in the fast water . A 18 inch repeat of the last performance.... It was a beautiful Alberta day ,the sun was getting lower in west , the thrilled but fishless husband whispered " we can go now , I am very happy my wife caught those " I Knew he was going to catch a fish here and now with no problem ..Looking over his shoulder I could see five or six of those long suspended shadows , mouths flashing white as they slid over and chomped on their bugs. That's fine with me sir , but could you just stand here and fish at these guy's ,while I gather the gear ... Here take this nymph rig , I tied a few of those nymph's last night and one's on this rod also.. I tipped him onto those fish suspended near the rock wall .. His good fishing instinct set the hook on the long trout that moved sideways abruptly ...there was a flash and a good fight, but a brief one.. One more hook up and release and the third came too hand , a nice 17 or 18 female rainbow. I have no where to go ... Nows the time..let me check out that rigging.. After he landed his second ever trout on a fly rod , his wife nudged him out of the hot spot.. The trout were onto our fly and snubbed it after serious looks. While she fished, I tied a midge pattern as a trailer on his. Now the two fished side by side. He immediately hooked into that first long fish on the trailer , then another . She gently took the rod from his hand ,his hand uncontrollably released from the cork...it,s O.K. take this rod I just rigged it up .. The couple fished side by side, new fishing partners and first time fly fishers .... I slowly packed up ... A great ending to a beautiful spring CrowsNest day.... We could have fished all the way back, but talk of some excellent Alberta Big Rock Ale at the Rum Runner Pub turned us west over the hill side and closer to the truck . ... AL B .

03 April 2009

April Fools

Don,t forget to buy you're new Alberta Fishing Licence...April 1st. is an appropriate date for renewal and officially kicks off another fishing season for us fools... This year there is a special Fly Fishing Licence in Alberta ..It cost $ 8.50 extra ..it's a government surcharge, called a casterbation fee.. Comments or Inquiries at albertarelm.com or Phone 1-888-944-5494 An Adult licence for an Alberta Resident Adult is $25.66 + $8.50 for a total of $34.16 There is no youth flyfishing licence as they are not allowed to casterbate.. Little Black Stone Flies were on the water today and those extra large spring midges that waited over the winter to hatch. We have some perfect dry flies at the shop.. I didn't see them but Suzie and Gary reported seeing some Blue Wing Olives and Suzie caught a nice rainbow on a size #18 ( Suzies little green Man) of course.. Gary caught a respectable fish on his first cast as he did the day before... the trout would immediately smarten up ,so that was it for that pool.. Some trout that live under a bank in a little side trickle ,came out to the seam to rise.. I touched 3 of them with no good hook ups ..then they stopped and did'nt come back out even two hour's later on the way back... no sign. The bigger pools had no risers just a pair of geese per pool ..swimming around . I found some bigger fish that had moved into a bigger trickle attached to a big pool.. they rose aggressively, they were going to get caught feeding like that... I crawled in over the smooth snowy island and worked the back fish first. I had on the smallest black sparkle dunn (# 20 ) Suzie had in the shop , I worked it gently through the rising fish on 6x , these bigger fish didn't take it ...I bit off the shuck as close as I could to the flies butt ... I rested the fish a couple minutes and they feed aggressively, occasionally one would pop straight up out of the water past it's pectorals, probably grabbing the occational black stone ..They took the little black clipped sparkle dunn , which for a change was actually smaller than the big#16 midge natural, floating buy...After landing two and missig two it was all over except for the yelling. The yelling was at Gary's big brown lab called Gus .. the stick crazy lab had, with stick in mouth ran into Gary's fly line and drove the sharp little #18 deep into his finger. There was blood and much yelling , as usual Gus was not fazed by the blood or yelling and bounced around tail a wagging.. Gary had his back to me for a while and was messing around on the edge of the ice, probably taking the hunk of meat off his hook .His brother being a fish cop ,Gary new all the laws about bait fishing on the Crows Nest river.. After some line untangling he turn to face the river and meet the bouncing lab ,stick In mouth again. Gary yelled commands at Gus which caused much excitment and higher bouncing...The yell turned into more of a scream as the bouncing Gus broke the ice at Gary's feet.. It was painful to watch as the broken slab tilted and the pair slid off into the river I have never seen Gary dance but he must have been good in the old Disco Days...Thanx to fancy feet, boot studs and flailing arms Gary didn't go swimming and there was much cursing #!!&**+#$#GUS!!^#!#!@GUS .. something like that... When I left my little island , I meet them down stream sitting in the snow bank watching for risers.. Pals again..