22 December 2010

Merry Christmas tidings ! Al has finished hunting ...lots of cdc feathers for next years little green men. We wish all of you a warm and happy season. Here's to warmer temps and great winter fishing!

13 November 2010

susies first pike

Mid November and BWO'S are still being taken up top...our sweet cdc elk hair caddis has been my fav this fall...really lucky to have had the month of October off to fish...and fish we did,perfect conditions with co-operative trout!The shopis open again 8-5 wed-sun...my first pike.

22 September 2010

finally SUNSHINE

To those of you who persevered thru the last 10 days of grizzly weather,casting size 18 to 24 blue winged olives,astounded that green drakes were still coming off and figuring out emergers were usually,but not always the answer;CHEERS!!!Finally sunshine and the waters are cleaning up quickly.Maybe they'll turn onto hoppers,and larger insects, but give me B.W.O.'s anytime...pic of Al weathering it out and yes this brown was caught on a size 18 blue wing olive. Till later...Susan

25 August 2010

september coming

Waters are all low now and easily wadeable. The fishing; as usual is extremely productive even with the bigger trout starting into their finicky phase! Don't be counting on the big guys rising ,they're willing and ready ,but hanging back for a nice presentation of imitative patterns. Green drakes on the Oldman are still coming off,but we'll soon be seeing lots of the smaller insects in profusion.New patterns are in the shop,hours remain the same from 8-6 everyday.Get ready this September is going to be awesome!!Susan

02 August 2010


Whew, the heat wave has subsided ,rivers are all in great shape,and fishing well. Still some stones fluttering about,lots of PM D's...we have some nice new patterns in the shop. Crow rainbows are starting to be finicky,but still lots of action!!Shop is open 7 days a week from 8-6. Wishin' you good fishin', Susan

09 July 2010


The summer is finally here...and it's hot!The Oldman ,Castle drainages are clear and running at average flow now..Crow is just about back to normal levels,nice and clean.Good time for big dry flys!Just thought I'd post this as Edmonton seems to think we are under water with floods...??tight lines, Susan Crowsnest cafe and Flyshop

30 June 2010

Canada Day

It,s official ...Another beautiful green summer is unfolding like the wings of a golden stonefly tumbling on the surface of a gentle cascade ... well enough of that barff... Set The Hook!! .. it,s big fish time and the rivers are clear dropping fast .. good hatches are starting .. Wading can be dangerous and watch out for those spawning beds ... another hazard out there these day,s are river otters.They look cute and will taunt you're dog out for a swim . I was out with my old pals from Bamff Fishing Unlimited and there was a 28-30 pound laker landed on the second day.. just waiting for a picture from my guide buddy Scotty Campbell to post .. The Crows Nest Cafe' and Fly Shop is open 7 days a week now ..gourmet food for fisherman and gourmet flies for trout ... we have a new website for the cafe' which is crowsnestcafeandflyshop. something? G.LOOMIS is GOD of ROD Have a great Canada Day long weekend ... Al B.

15 June 2010

12 June 2010

Wild Turky Hunting and High Water

About the end of March everybody was talking about the winter drought and the forest fires due this summer .. I guess they just forgot about where they live .. the Alberta Rockies .. Skiing might have been slim this year but we are going to get that snow at sometime (after the Ski hilsl close ) .... Well we have had the most snow and rain ever in the last month and a half ... it was cold enough the higher snow pack didn,t melt much and the run off has been high and steady , with more snow building higher up.. so a good run off so far this year and more moisture in the ground than I have ever seen .. I got selected by draw , to hunt a wild turkey ... on the last few days of the hunt, I pulled the insoles out of my hiking boots to accomodate my waders and hunted the soggy hills .. it sure was different to hunt in the spring time with every thing turning green , and wild life every where .. I came across three grizzly's and three black bears in just a few days.. also
hundreds of deer ,a mother fox with about 8 mice in her mouth and still, hunting the next one and had two cougar,s growl in the trees close by. I would imagine at me .. and the Wild Turkey is the goofy 'est thing ever .. and I learned lots about them over the course of two weeks (thanx for the hunting time Suzy Q ) .. And would gladly hunt them with a camera until the next time I get drawn for the hunt .. (although I will miss the gun ) and the fine dinners from the bird ..turky pies tonight were excellent .. And with that experience behind me it is back to fishing season.. We had some good fishing on the Crow then it blew uot .. then it cleared a bit and is still high but fishing good ..some salmon flies are about. I saw my first one a couple weeks ago .. caddis .. mayflies .. midges .. salmon flies any time any day .. but don,t expect all the feeding to be one the surface .. Summit Lake B.C. just over the boarder is fishing great .. those rainbows sure fight ! The Oldman is high but not that dirty .. most of the trout have finished spawning, but watch out for reds , because they are right were you would like to wade ... Our little fly shop will be open 7 Days a week starting June 16th.( untill we burn out ) Opening day for all trout waters in Alberta .. we have a web site for the Crowsnest Cafe and Fly Shop now ... crowsnestcafeandflyshop.ca ... I think ? Any how I have to leave for a quick millwright job on Edson AB, And will fish my way there and back ... definately fishing Lk. Minniwanka in Banff on the way back for lake trout.. So reports on other waters next week .. Crowsnest Cafe and FlyShop 403-563-8510 for fishing info .. keep your tip up Al B.

06 May 2010

May Report Crowsnest /Oldman River

Well , conditions change every couple of days with these May blizzards ...The Crowsnest looks beautiful and blue right now and a bit higher ...wade with caution .. I will check out the hatches tomorrow for possible blue wings , probable midges and some times a brown caddis hatch in this lousy spring weather... This snow will melt soon when the sun comes out this August ..and the river will get some colour.. keep in touch .. Gary T. caught a good Lake trout in the Crowsnest river in the lower section again (5-6# lbs. )Suzie has been tying streamers and fishing them this winter , they look like crap, but fish bite them (because they can,t stand the colours) ... she has caught some nice rainbows lately ...and Kirby just stands around muttering about DRY FLY Fishing and bothering people .. The Oldman R. is muddy by Ft. Macleod and upsteam to Pincher creek ....clouded above that ... and muddy coming into the reservoir ..then clear in the closed section ...not much for hatches in this cold weather... The Bow R. looked great around Canmore the other day also .. Suzy ,Gary ,Kirby ,dogs and I visited the Palmer Ranch Springs, and the wind blew , the sleet sleeted and then for a grand final'e .. a horizontal blizzard of dollar size flakes ... I could barely see the end of my rod for an hour, and fishing a white line as usual .... for near an hour I covered that water with various flies and techniques ... the white noise of wind, waves and big wet snowflakes .It was eventually hypnotizing .. lost in casting a white line into a blasting tunnel of snow .. when the blizzard died I saw the first trout in an hour slowly wag it's way under my now visible line.... 15 feet out ... the white noise repressed .... and soon I hear the beep of the Suburban horn , Suzie is done ..broke off a big one, on one of her crappy streamers , the heater is on ,and she ready for home . The boys are back... Gary Taje landed a classic Palmers Ranch chromer ...and he had a Queen Charolette island grin.. watch out for spawning reds .... Al B.

28 April 2010

Crowsnest River Fishing Report /April 28 th

The River has cleared up a bit with this cold weather ( visability was 4-5 ft .) , but with the full moon, miniscule midges plagued the water .. size #28 would be too big..making it tough fishing ... but I did catch fish on a #18 midge pattern fished deep on both the Crow and the Oldman. A few skwalla adults skittered about with out being ate . We did not see many May flies hatching even with the bad weather , but it is still April and it,s going to change soon .. Visibility was good this week .. Suzy and I will be fishing the Upper Bow River tommorow in the snow ...guess we picked the wrong week to have a holiday! The streets of Calgary will get a good wash with this weather but that will probably blow out the lower Bow ...maybe we will check it out around Cochrane and report back Saturday .. good luck out there ! Conditions will change soon .... Al B.

27 April 2010

Peace River and back

Heading north from Coleman at 6:00 am to the Mighty Peace River by Ft. St. John .... I was fueled for the 1300 kilometer drive by caffeine . Unfortunatly the last good cup of coffee was bought in Bragg Creek just two hours north of our Cafe' .. It,s amazing what people think is good coffee these day,s ... but I was forced to drive on... pulling into Ft. St. John at 9:00 pm. A couple of times I almost poured a coffee out the window but drank it down and cranked up Jimi Hendrix just to keep my eye,s open... After working on this compressor rebuild for a week I got my act together and drove up stream in search of clean water ... I am certainly spoiled, living in the mountians and I am not impresssed with the northern bush and rivers that have been flowing mud since modern industry rapped the north .. but I heard of the legendary clear water that flows from the Bennett Dam in B.C. After 45 minutes of driving , the Mighty Peace River was in veiw ...clear and blue , it was big, jet boat big ! So decending the valley I was soon standing on it,s banks or should I say shores . Ted Dansen (guy from Cheer,s) once said , "having sex with Whoopey Goldburg was like throwing a weiner down a hallway ". well thats how I felt casting a fly rod at that much flowing water... fairly insignificant .. and I didn't put on waders when I got out of the truck , my first thought was of the Alberta Didymo algae on my wading boots ... for the first time in years I had travelled to a potentially Didymo free enviroment . ... I fished up stream not able to reach good water without wading , so what did I dredge up on my heavy steamers but Didymo !! Hey I'm a tourist up here ! But what a beautiful place on this planet... I would love take a week and float that valley . Across from me was an island made up of just cliff face 80 feet high, that split the Peace in two ...each half of the river was far bigger than the Thompson River . Work was over a week later and on the radio they announced that Premier Cambell will have that part of the Mighty Peace River and all it,s farm land damed for hydro power .. So you have two years to go experience the mighty river ... Rainbows, Dolly Varden , Artic Grayling , Pike ,Walleye ,Goldeye and more . I suggest you contact Darren Thiel at BACK COUNTRY Outdoor Shop 250-785-1461 for info ..he is quite enthusiastic about his fishery ... GOOD BYE .. MIGHTY PEACE

05 April 2010

21 March 2010

Dry Fly Time

I left the fly shop the other day after closing with Winston the dog . We hit the Crowsnest River for a couple hours ,still using the same nymph combo from the other day . I touched a couple of trout but observed two rises on a slow foam line and switched to a flymph or floating nymph in the size #18 midge catagory ..Seems like those two trout were onto me already and I did not rise them to a fly. Winston was having some concerns and charged the woods barking a few times , we were downwind of whatever ?? and I could not smell the whatever ? so it wasn,t a spring bear, which don,t usually smell any better after months of napping . After a bit of trying,I got keen on catching my first dry fly trout in 2010. Winston and I walked upstream , heading for a cliff pool with a big foamy slow back current , thinking "where the foam collects the food collects".If there was a steady riser ,this was the best winter dry fly spot for this mile of river..I bypassed the runs in between... Reaching the cliff pool the foam was thick and coffee coloured and looked just like the creme'fresh on the espresso we try to recreate daily at the cafe'. We got this new espresso machine ( I AM NOW HOOKED ON IT ).I scanned the pool of coffee creme'...the current was so slow, the thick foam just jiggled a bit as it circled round , there was definitely a suspicious jiggle in the foam coming off the rock point .I stood watching the 40 foot round bowl of espresso for a rise.. I realized then that I had "no lead" or indicator on this new rod.. (TFO TiCrX) for the first time since I pulled it off the rack at the shop in December, I had on just a dry fly...I kept an eye on the suspicious creme' ,especially where it came off this rock point .. ..Not to disturb the possible riser I cast off to the side into the clear water of the main seam as it pushed along the cliff wall . I cast a while admiring the Z-axis type action of this 5wt. The TFO bounced 70 foot casts up against the wall and would have gone further if there was room or need ..The creme' jiggled just off he rock point , I had my riser ! and waited , not taking my eyes off that spot. The trout jiggled the foam again and I had my target pin pointed and a presentation straight up the back current from where I stood ... Forty feet of line , leader and tippet straightened out four feet over the water and hung briefly then dropped softly into the coffee creme'...cutting a straight line an inch deep into the bowl of espresso .. there was a quiet fizz of tiny bubbles breaking and the dry fly was gone ...about four seconds past and the creme' jiggled ... I set!.... the line went tight and solid , a feeling like only a hefty trout or snag can do . Creme' from the tight line had flung into the air followed by a tail slap that flung a wad of it against the rock face ...seconds later my trout shot out of the center of that perfect bowl ...it was like a fly fishing addict/espresso junkies dream .. the lined ripped through the foam until the tussle was over and a thick 20 inch Crowsnest rainbow came to hand ... the serenity of the pool was trashed for that single trout rising in the pool and myself , I looked up stream to the next pool .. the sun was low and light fading .. that was a good moment, I thought, I'm done ,that first dry fly fish of late winter .. if you can call sinking a #18 dry fly into an inch of brown foam dry fly fishing .... my patient retriever and I made our way back to the truck . Well that was three weeks ago now and more fish have been caught on a dry since .. expect to see little winter stones mostly black #18 and #16 and olive#16 of coarse some midges ..some Skwalas soon ..I am off to fish the mighty Peace River .. back in 3 weeks . Suzy will be in the shop to help you out .. Al B.

11 March 2010

great day

We are so spoiled..The Crowsnest river is running low , cold and productive.As is per usual this time of year, nymphs are by far more productive, but even the most novice tied streamer..which I am just learning to tie has done very well..good time for any one who wants to learn.. weather dependent . little precipitation has helped and I am sure more will come. All in all this winter flyfishing has been well terrrific! all the best Susan

10 March 2010

March Crowsnest River up date

We haven't bothered to ski Castle Mountain or Fernie for six weeks .. we are still waiting for snow ! Oh well , the fly fishing has been getting better and better the last three weekends (Monday and Tuesday for us) We close the Crowsnest Cafe' and Fly Shop two days a week until May, then Suzie and I go full out until Steelhead season in October. Any how ,the trout are starting to wag those tails and feeding less selectively on midges with this warm weather .. There may be some bigger nymphs moving around under those currents, as a variety of nymph patterns fished more actively without a indicator have worked for me the last 3 weeks ..Dave Osberg ,Susie and I have been out the last 2 days. On Monday Suzie decides to fish a dry .We haven't really hit a good midge hatch for a couple weeks ... Suzie fished a few good looking dries to no avail.She asks me for advice occasionally and sometimes she even listens but not often (marriage does that ). So I tell her what I have seen ,which wasn't much, a few black spiders and some blue bottle house fly's as far as terrestrials go and no midge hatch . So I suggest a small black rubber legged beetle/spider guy in her box and she pulls out the giant version of it ,size #4 and ties it straight on to the 3x leader she was fishing her streamer on "let me put some finer tippet on there for you Suzie". Ok fine... I tell her that I am going to catch up to Dave and" don,t waste to much time on the skinny water" as there is not many trout in it this time of year .. I leave her in the corner pool and tromp hundreds of yards up stream until I spot some fish .. white fish.. and some big ones . My first cast was short,just trying to get some line out really ,when my fish senses tell me to set the hook ! Just a little white fish , but it spooked them all out.. I fished the adjoining bucket of water but could not spot anything to keep my interest.. I wanted Suzie to be in sight ,but I was impatient , wanting to get to bigger slower winter water.. I tried to spot fish as I stalked along the bank ice and stopped at a favourite deep pocket, and fished it with out a glimpse of a trout through the clear waters .I thought I would at least spook a few ? Well finally I can see Suzie downstream working her huge dry fly , driving it across the river into the wind .. God ! She is taking all day... She never listens ! At least she is in sight and I feel better for her safety . I can watch her from the first big pool that Dave has no doubt already trashed and gone on to the next. I did see a couple rises in the slow water and saved those casts for Suzie . Now Dave has come back down stream and we watch together as Suzie works all that shallow crappy water ... We can't stand it after a while and we fish it all ... Suzie fished the nice little pool bellow were I tried and got nothing with my very successfull nymph rig and yanks a fish ..and it gets off . So she catches up to us finally with just a beaming grin ... What did you catch him on Suzie ? She responds .. on my #@$%**&&* dry fly ... were you not watching? I landed two and lost about four all in about a foot of water... That wife of mine she never listens to me ! Well I must have pushed them all to the other side for you ..I didn't spot Em ! Well to make a long story short Suzie has been chucking streamers lately, and trying too copy my ties .. one she cut the marabou tail short and straight as I was trying to teach her about fly/hook proportions the day before ..I tried to suggest to her that one should stay In her fly box as a lead eyed damsel fly pattern ..So she and Dave O are fishing yesterday and she has to go use it and catch the the big fish of the day .. Dave says at least a 21 inch fat rainbow ..We will get this picture off Daves camera and onto the Blog it... looks like a beauty; but she's not holding it right!! When will she start listening to me ? P.S Dave O hooked a twenty inch plus Brown trout ,that jumped twice and broke him off and yes the Crows Nest River is totally ice free from top to bottom and the lower section is open to fish for this month .. check the regs, Ill'e get that picture ... And Suzie Rules with Dry Fly... bye for now Al B.

22 February 2010

19 February 2010

To Blog or Not to Blog ?????????

HAMELET .....To Blog ... or Not to Blog ! That is the Question ! Whether ' tis Nobler in the World Wide Web to suffer the Slings and Arrows of outrageously abundant information ... Or to take Casts against a Sea of Natures Variables . And by Casting , Conquer them ....... To Cast to Sleep , to Cast some more ..... and between sleeps we tye , with the hope to end the heartache of natures thousand natural shifts -that fish are heir to ... 'Tis a Consumtion ! ..... Devoutly to be Fish'd ; ... To Cast ... to Sleep , Perchance to Dream - Aye- There's the Rub .. Muscilin for my line .... For in that Cast of Death ! No dreams may come , Til we have untangled this motal coil,- Tis a triangle taper.... Alas we must give pause; theres the respect that makes "calamity" of long lines .... For Who would beor the Whips and Scones of Immoral Timing . The Obsessors Wrong ; the proud Mans contumely , the pangs of Despis'd Love , the Rods delay .. The insolense of office , and the spurns that lack of patience are merit of th' unworthy takes.. when his quietus make ; To tye with bare bodkin ; What fly would fardels bear ? To Grunt and Swear Under Weary Rod , but of that , the Dread of Cast Learned only after Death! Still it's th' undiscovered country from whose bourn no angler returns , puzzles the will ... and makes us rather bear those casts we have that fly to others that we Know Not Of ?. Thus conscience does make cowards of us all ... and Thus the native hue of Lengthy Trout ! .... Line is sickled o'er sipping fish with vague casts , I thought ? ... an enterprize of great pitch and moment. With this regard their currents turn awry my offerings and loose the name of action ..G. Loomis... I Think ! ....soft you know . The fair Oncorhychus and floating nymph .... Whisper Creek in thy orisons ... BE All My SINS REMEMB'ERD .. ! OPHELIA ..... Good My Lord ...FISH ON!!!

23 January 2010

nice winter rainbow


Well...Here we are...the freeze has subsided and there is open water...As is typical (it seems) the big ones are slow to respond, but respond they do..streamers and nymphs..the boys did well on tiny midges the other day and I lucked into some co-operative rainbows on size 6 streamers ...The Crowsnest is fishing well and with the last week of warm weather it's fairly easy to walk and wade. The beavers have not taken a siesta, nor have the otters...Al and Gary went out for late night Ling cod, a few hearty souls were up to the same and did well. The Cafe and flyshop is open Wednesday thru Sunday from 8-5 ,and if you need any info etc,please call toll free 1-877-363-3258 or at the shop 403 -563-8510.

22 January 2010