Late July- Low and Slow

“I tell you, we are here on Earth to fart around, and don’t let anybody tell you different”– Kurt Vonnegut

Dry fly fishing has become a morning and evening affair due to sunny days, summer heat and some breezy afternoons. The water level on the Crowsnest river is low and slow and perfect for walk/wading and searching for rising trout. It’s nice to walk the water on a warm summer night and look for a fine trout. Here’s a good one which was spotted sipping just off of a bank in shallow water the other evening. It was fooled by a size 18 pmd dry fly: simple pale yellow thread body, light dun cdc for a wing and visibility, and a bit of dubbing up front to accentuate the thorax….really, a bit of nothing on a hook. The small fly held….ridiculous! A good trout landed and released. An evening I get to keep.

“I asked myself about the present: how wide it was, how deep it was, how much was mine to keep…”–Kurt Vonnegut

 

 

 

 

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fly fishing NZ 2019

skull

Yikes, that was brutal! Don’t know if I want to do that again. Tough trip. Dry-flies blowing upstream! Tough low-light conditions for sight-fishing. A lot of walking. Many days it was just a long hard slog: 10 miles plus. And in spite of our effort few fish were spotted. There simply weren’t that many opportunities. I think I averaged less than one quality chance per day. I saw less fish than in past seasons. Terrestrial fishing was almost non-existent.  Maybe the summer just wasn’t consistently hot enough in the regions that I fished? The angling was best when the sun was out. However, “blue sky” days were rare. Most of the time it felt more like winter than summer. In the end, I caught a few good brown trout on dry flies. Four of the best were spotted on a high plateau river that I’ve fished in the past. It is “known” water but receives less angling pressure than some of the other rivers I was on. Here are some photos…

lastone

nev1

lastfish1

 

windshop

most days water had a wind-shop

waik1

ahur5xx

rare still morning

ahurir 8

backeddy

nev6

5trees

nev9

morning

 

nev3

roman

roman throwing line

onehand

pairs

rays2

ahurir13

grasses

ahurir17

roman in the wind

lift

top

 

girth

 

nevv2

ahurir3

shadow1

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Autumn

Sun. Rain. Gale force winds. Snow. The weather has been all over the place and so have I. I’ve been driving around trying to find a regional river that has some bugs and rising fish. It’s been challenging.

reel insnow

oldman stumps

snow

My local tail-water river is running real cloudy…not good. Water management has also been drastically reducing flows resulting in several significant water drops. I found some stranded Parr (juvenile trout) in a puddle 20 feet from the river and transferred them in a plastic bag back to the river.

parr4

parr2

parr5

parr1

parr home

puddle where Parr found, snow-covered boot foreground

This tail-water river usually fishes very well in inclement weather. No dense baetis hatch occurred and therefore very few large fish up. However, I covered a lot of water and managed to find a couple.

brwnlong

brown trout

brwnside

brown trout

ab profile

abby

Another tail-water river I’ve had some success on this summer also had few bugs even on cloudy days. I did manage to hook up with a few great fish. This rainbow took a foam beetle.

best bow

rainbow SW Alberta

2legbeetle

chewed-up beetle

bestbowlong

 

beetles

beetle flies, car top frost

I decided to rocket down to the Missouri river for two and one half days. The first day (the half day) was incredible. Cloudy, little wind and tons of bugs. Trout were up everywhere on tiny baetis may flies. Opportunity knocked and although I didn’t fish well, I did fool a few on size 20 olives/baetis. The next morning the sky sort of cleared (Chinook Arch) and high winds came in. I tugged down my hat and gave it my best but got blown off the river and all the way back to SW Alberta.

ab wading

searching for a released trout

 

mobow

Missouri rainbow

sidechannel (1)

Missouri river side channel

molong

Missouri bow

sidechannel (2)

molong2

I fished a lot in the past two weeks. I was on holidays for one of them and managed to get out most afternoons. I hung in there with the varying conditions, put in my time and made some connections with dry flies.

bank snow

another storm

 

side channel

morning flat water and sun

end of day

lst day brwn

sw alberta brown trout, size 18 bwo

lastdaybrwn2

alberta brown trout, size 18 bwo

ledge rock

endofday2

end of day walk back to car