One Week, Late July

“It’s the Otters. That’s why there are no big fish in the Crowsnest river anymore. Otters don’t belong in western Alberta. They should have never been placed here by the environment people. There’s just little fellers left; just minners. Oh well, I guess a feller still might have a fighting chance if he tied on a Quigley to his line”.

Angler standing in Crowsnest river


river art (2)

roadside general store

I just finished a week of trout fishing with a friend. I tried to take full advantage of the opportunity and the long warm days as I won’t have much time off the rest of the summer. The dry-fly fishing was challenging. There was an absence of bugs on some of our local rivers, and a few of my favorite waterways were off-color. It also hasn’t been a good grasshopper season so far. Hopefully that will bloom as August progresses. In spite of the conditions we did manage to connect with some good fish: quality more than quantity. Not a bad deal. Most trout were caught on dries sight fishing; some on streamers. We did a lot of hunting…sometimes that’s the best part.


st m

rainbow caught on dry fly in shallow water, by author

bull stand

fernie bull trout, caught by joe f

river art (1)

river sculpture

owl deadon



dry fly rainbow, caught joe f.


mountain cutthroat, caught by joe f. on dry fly

grass banks (2)

tailwater bow, caught by joe f. on streamer

One day when hiking a trail back to our car we passed an old abandoned homestead along the river. Three owls were perched side by side in the top window. One flew away before I got a photo. Then we noticed two deer inside, taking advantage of the shade mid day. When they spotted us they exited the front door as if they were leaving their home. We also saw two giant eagles, osprey and hawks. The river valley was simply alive with life. It was nice to share it with a good friend. I hope you enjoy some of the photos…


watching shallow water bank for feeders

two shacks


owl full


crow bow 34

sipping rainbow on dry in one foot of water, author

me crow

rainbow on dry, author

cliff (1)

joe f. below

bull t

amazing fernie bull trout, caught on streamer by joe f.

6 thoughts on “One Week, Late July

  1. Les:
    We couldn’t believe when we saw the 3 owls stuffed next to each other in the window. They were like a row of teddy bears on a kid’s bedroom shelf. I wish I had more time to zoom in and focus. I snapped quickly as one flew away in seconds.
    I kind of find bull trout freakish, with the flatten head, etc. I have had encounters with them before trying to eat my prized cutts and rainbows. They are the only trout species my dog ever backed away from. Sounds like you may have caught some of those toothy monsters?

    • Given their habits, bull trout kind of remind me of the Mongolian taimen. I’ve caught a few small dollies incidentally in Idaho, none here in Montana. Depending on who a person talks to, arctic char or Dolly Varden from up north may be the same fish. They are a load of fun.

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