October 28th

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Late October. It’s closing down. Hard to find rising fish. On Saturday saw a couple of trout surfacing inconsistently on my local river late in the day when the wind died down. Missed them. No other opportunities that day. On Sunday changed it up and took a drive through the mountains into British Columbia. Fished the Elk river in Fernie in the afternoon. Hoped for BWO’s. Hoped for some rising Cutthroats. Found some. Nothing big. Caught several. Missed several. Not a great hatch. Actually quite weak. As I said, it’s closing down. I had to search slow collector areas; back eddies, etc., in order to find some rising fish. Only saw one other angler as I worked my way upstream. It was a young boy and his grandmother. He was fishing. She was supervising. They were standing above at a deep, clear, calm pool next to a huge log-jam, spotting cutthroats and occasionally catching one. When they saw me they said, “We didn’t think there would be anybody else foolish enough to be out today”. With a big smile the boy showed me a photo of a Cutthroat he had just landed. A great fish. He didn’t know what fly he caught it on. I checked. It was a small parachute Adams.

I went just upstream of them and fished a slow area. Two fools casting dry flies in late October in the rain, sleet and snow. Two fools, a grandmother and a wet dog.

Some soggy, foggy photos…

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side channel


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one clear photo!

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more beaver cuttings


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challenging walking river’s edge, busy beavers


East Slope, West Slope

I’m a fortunate angler to live along the Continental Divide. If I don’t like the river and weather conditions on one side of the Rockies, I can drive fast and cross over in one hour or less and check out the situation on the other side. The east slope and the west slope are like night and day. They are completely different environments and sometimes have contrasting weather patterns. The Alberta east slope is dry, more wide open and breezy, and the British Columbia (BC) west slope is wetter, therefore has more vegetation (trees) and is usually less windy.


east slope river



west slope, elk river


west slope, elk river side channel

big elk

elk river

I crossed into BC this weekend as there were 100km an hour wind warnings in my region of Alberta. I fished the Elk river. With the predicted relative calm and overcast sky I was hoping for a Blue Winged Olive hatch. There was a very brief one late afternoon and I eventually found some rising cutthroat trout. An early trout was caught on a cricket pattern and afternoon rising fish on a size 20 Olive pattern: natural color deer hair wing tied forward, a turn or two of medium dun hackle clipped on the bottom, grey thorax dubbed and grey body, amber trailing shuck on a Klinkhammer style hook that allows the body to dangle. Sounds kind of complicated but I’m sure any fly tied the right size would have worked. Here are a few weekend pictures of the east slope, the west slope and some BC cutthroat.

The skin of a cutthroat feels just like a brook trout…silky smooth.


big cutt2

west slope cutthroat


west slope cutthroat


west slope cutthroat