I just spent a week fishing in my region. Most of the summer I have been a weekend angler. It was nice to be off work and stretch several river days together. I fish better when I have more time. I also tend to stop and take more photos while roaming around searching for trout.
I had one cloud covered rainy day and a strong hatch of tiny olives, and a few larger ones, occurred. The trout were mainly on emergers. I fished a few different dangling fly patterns with some success. The key word is, “some”. That was the easiest day.
emerger pattern, foam post for flotation, hook bent out by trout
caught on olive emerger pattern
blue winged olive flat
The other days were full sun and therefore much more challenging. A few were calm, most were quite breezy. There were still some bugs around but not a lot. The rises were infrequent with the bright sky. And when they did occur they were real subtle. Just spotting the faint sips was an accomplishment. I often had to listen for signs of surface feeding on the blinding sun glazed flats. Most of the good trout located were hovering in just inches of water. It’s my favorite type of angling. In skinny water you have to be “sneakier than sneaky” in order to fool them. Mistakes are rarely tolerated… few second chances. To make things even more challenging the trout were generally only feeding on tiny stuff. Time flew by. Hours seemed like minutes. Relaxing? No. Engrossing? Yes. Fun? Yes.
On another river I used the sun and elevation when possible to my advantage in order to spot fish in the shallows. Then I’d drop down, choose my approach and try to fool them.
snow in the mountains
All week I casted olives when they were around, and fed beetles and ants to located trout when there was no hatch. While roaming around I found some old sheds; hiked some smooth wind sculpted hills; took pictures of small trees ( prairie bonsai) which always attract attention in the stark terrain; and caught a few wonderful trout. I also met a sheep herder taking a nap in the shade of my Jetta. He’s an old friend. Every year without fail we run into each other riverside.
One week, one fly, two feet…
great Pyrenees herder
A few snaps while walking one of my favorite trout streams and looking for an early season midge hatch and trout. No trout spotted but some great clouds filled the ceiling of my big western room.
SKY SHOTS WHILE WALKING THE CASTLE RIVER valley and along the Crowsnest river.
I put the dry fly rod away in its quiver for another season. Walked along the lower Crowsnest river valley and took some pictures of the rolling grasslands.
“And Fall, when yeller harvest moon and the hills growin’ brown and golden under a sinkin’ sun.”
wild rainbow trout
wild rainbow trout
Some of my favorite sight fishing trout rivers run down in coulees out on the high dry plains. Here are some landscape photos from my last outing.
Coulee definition: Kind of a valley or drainage zone. The word comes from the French Canadian coulee, from the French word couler meaning “to flow”.
searching for trout, looking into the flow
still looking up
beautiful trout dorsal fin
“The dogs with the loudest bark are the ones that are most afraid”.
“Wow, the river is higher than I expected! Maybe up a foot or two. I knew it was up but I didn’t think it would look like this. I don’t see any bugs. Usually there are some around at this time of day. Maybe the bigger flow squelched the morning hatch. Sudden changes aren’t usually good, especially when it’s extra water being released. I’ll take consistency any day. I’ll always take low and clear. Then you can tease them up even if there are no bugs around. Spotting trout is going to be challenging. They could all be down bottom feeding. I’ll have to cover a lot of ground just to locate one good fish. I’m not into walking a lot. I didn’t sleep much last night. I’m bushed. Dam neighbour’s dog barked from 2:30 to 6:00 am, and then my alarm went off. If that happens again tonight, I’ll call the Municipality. I’ll make a complaint. They get a dog and then tie it up in the backyard and ignore it. They don’t walk it. They don’t pay attention to it. They put it out back and tie it up. I don’t get it. It just sits there all day. It barks at anything and everything. It just needs some attention and care. It needs a walk, or a run. That’s all it needs. Ok, there’s a fish. He’s a good one; a big back on him. He’s moving around. Where did he go? Ok, there he’s over there. It’s the same guy. He’s really moving around. I better get something out in front of him fast before he moves off to deeper water; before he disappears on me. I need to get a fly in front of him. With these conditions I might not see another one all day. This is my shot. Man, I’m tired. My heart’s racing. I hope that dog doesn’t bark tonight”.
Some landscape and trout pictures from past two weekends walking the coulees…
rush hour traffic to river, prairie style
rainbow trout on dry fly
big trout can bend hooks
rainbow trout on dry fly