sight-fishing

I was on the Crowsnest river this past weekend. Sunday was a rare nice day and warm. It felt like Spring! Some Midges were out in the afternoon, however, no fish were up on the section I was on. I even saw a couple of Blue Winged Olives at about 4pm. Just a few but promising. With no rises I started focusing on the river bottom instead of the surface. It’s a completely different type of looking. Through the river glare I eventually spotted a few dark shadows creeping along the bottom mid-pool. They would travel upstream six feet or so then drop back a bit, and then repeating the cycle. They were active. They were feeding. I managed one on a size 18 PT nymph with a cassette tape wing case and a small black beadhead. A dull fly; no shine to it. I landed a classic Crowsnest river rainbow. No hook marks. It was nice to be out sitting riverside in the sun. Nice to sight-fishing again. A new season.

the tree

On my favorite trout stream there is this tree. I never reach it on my first day hiking the river. I always get to it at the end of my second long day of fishing. On my third and final day on the river I start where it stands and work my way upstream.

It stands out as there is little around it. And I like the shape. It’s not an impressive Oak, or Magnolia, or towering Douglas Fir. It’s a small tree. Not much bigger than a bush. But there it always stands at the end of my second day on my favorite river. My favorite tree…

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Canyon Trout

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I went down into the canyon. It’s a fairly long walk. I haven’t been there in several years…beautiful place, eerie at times, especially when you’re alone. I took Abby with me.

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The angling was a bit slow. We are kind of between hatches: the Pmd’s are waning and the hoppers (not really a hatch) aren’t doing the “hop” yet. The canyon can be a good place for terrestrial fishing as bugs get blown off of the cliffs and fall into the river. The trout eventually clue in to this.

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They weren’t looking up on the weekend, however, I did manage to fool a few fish in the shallows that were willing to rise: rainbows. I was on the hunt for brown trout. Some fish took a good look at my fly but were skeptical and turned away. I saw several nice ones on nymphs but they wouldn’t budge from the bottom. The good thing is there were fish around and I spotted some.

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Abby on the cliff

Sight-fishing in the canyon can be challenging as the light-coloured cliffs reflect sunlight  casting an intense glare on the water.

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I’ll go back when the grasshoppers are more prevalent (hopefully soon) and the fish are on the lookout for them and showing themselves by rising. Then my terrestrial fly impressions will be more productive.

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