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.