The Sock

“Keep calm and wear odd socks”

-David Spires


rainbow caught on PMD by author

My fishing sock returned! I’ve missed it. We’ve been separated for 6 months. I accidentally left it in New Zealand in a rental car at Christchurch airport. My friend, Roman, found it when he thoroughly checked the hatchback of the rental before his return flight to Canada.

The sock travelled a great distance. It went from Crowsnest pass to South Island NZ, was worn daily on many great rivers, then travelled back to Canada with Roman to Ontario. There it stayed for several months, dry but very eager to wade and fish again.

The sock finally returned to its home, the Crowsnest Pass, when Roman came out for an angling trip, with his two boys, Christian and Daniel.

It’s a well-travelled neoprene Simms sock. Now ready for duty on my local streams. It has been reunited with the other one. A sort of balance has been resorted and all seems right with the world!

Here’s a photo of the international jet-setting sock looking happy to be home again…


This past week I had the opportunity to fish with some friends: Joe, Roman, Rick, Christian, Daniel and our four-legged tag along, Abby. All good angling mates. Fishing at times was tough but at the end of the week we all caught some fish….and a few great ones I must say. All were taken on dries, mostly sight-fishing. The weather was good…summertime in SW Alberta.

Some memories from one week in July:

-Joe’s favorite line, “Hey Bobby, I’ve got another one on”. One of his browns and a rainbow were the prizes of the week.


rainbow on a PMD dry fly



brown on PMD dry

-The boys, Christian and Daniel, double hauling into the wind. Both great casters. They picked up some nice ones and ended their trip with a multiple fish day on a cutthroat stream. Their favorite lines: “Hey Bob can you pull my fly line through the rod tip” and “My fly is stuck in a bush, can you un-hook it for me”.  Some of their fish…


brown on dry



electric cuttbow on beetle



cutthroat on drake dry

Other memorable events: Rick casting from a seated position on the river; and the boys repeatedly asking their father, ” Can you untangle this”…


river crossing


bull trout

Roman and Christian chasing a bull trout



the group working a pool






long day



brown on beetle


rainbow on dry fly

I hope to have the chance to fish with them again next summer…in the meantime I’m going to put on that happy sock and wade a local river.











Early July, fly fishing and golf

“I’m not feeling very well – I need a doctor immediately. Ring the nearest golf course”

-Groucho Marx


It’s July. Primetime. Primetime but I haven’t seen a lot of fish up eating on the surface in spite of visiting several rivers. My favorite prairie river looks dead. Winter kill due to low water last summer, then a tough cold winter? I don’t know. I do know I covered 5 miles of it this past weekend in the heat and didn’t see fish where I usually see them. It looked empty. It was a ghost town. Music from a Sergio Leone movie started playing in my head while I walked, looked and saw nothing. Too bad. It’s the best sight fishing river around and the most challenging. It’s a place where you have to use your full skill set and fish almost perfectly in order to fool its large wary trout.


My local tail-water river is kind of producing.  Early morning has been good but not at the other end of the day. No evening risers! What’s up? Not enough bugs…hatch not dense enough? I’ll try again one night this week. Maybe my last outing was simply an anomaly. It usually fishes well just before the sun goes down. It’s when big trout start munching in the shallows in locations where bugs collect.


chic drift boat


My local river, the Crow, also didn’t have rising fish the other night. Some PMD’s were out but no significant response. No large sippers. Hum!!!



The immediate and long range forecast is hot: 30 to 35C for next two weeks. I’ll have to fish early or late, or both, on my favorite rivers and fish the streams way up in the mountains mid-day. That’s the plan.


Maybe golf would be easier!?

I once met and angler in upstate New York who when asked if he played Golf replied,  “Not while I have a pulse”.


dog tired, end of day