august, slow

” The horse I bet on was so slow, the jockey kept a diary of the trip”.

Henny Youngman

It’s late summer. Not much happening. Things are dry. No real rain in months. The grass crunches under foot. It’s almost the same sound as brittle snow in January. Forest fires are burning west of here. They have been burning a good part of the summer. The air has been smoky for weeks. Fresh, clear Rocky Mountain air is a myth.


smoke-filled sky

Hatches on my local rivers are weak. Eventually we will run out of Weak and then enter the Strong realm again as things cool and BWO’s (may fly) make an appearance.



Surface eating fish are hard to find during the day. You have to fish real late, on the edge of darkness, or real early. When the sun is up it means prospecting with terrestrial bugs: grasshoppers and beetles or their creative derivations.



I missed a great fish the other day. Its rise was slow and it ate my impression even slower than slow. It lingered and I struck too fast pulling the grasshopper fly out of its mouth. I’ve been doing that a lot this year. Hmm…have to pause longer before I strike…got go slow.

Some photos from past couple of weekends.




snoozing on firm mattress




One Week, Late July

“It’s the Otters. That’s why there are no big fish in the Crowsnest river anymore. Otters don’t belong in western Alberta. They should have never been placed here by the environment people. There’s just little fellers left; just minners. Oh well, I guess a feller still might have a fighting chance if he tied on a Quigley to his line”.

Angler standing in Crowsnest river


river art (2)

roadside general store

I just finished a week of trout fishing with a friend. I tried to take full advantage of the opportunity and the long warm days as I won’t have much time off the rest of the summer. The dry-fly fishing was challenging. There was an absence of bugs on some of our local rivers, and a few of my favorite waterways were off-color. It also hasn’t been a good grasshopper season so far. Hopefully that will bloom as August progresses. In spite of the conditions we did manage to connect with some good fish: quality more than quantity. Not a bad deal. Most trout were caught on dries sight fishing; some on streamers. We did a lot of hunting…sometimes that’s the best part.


st m

rainbow caught on dry fly in shallow water, by author

bull stand

fernie bull trout, caught by joe f

river art (1)

river sculpture

owl deadon



dry fly rainbow, caught joe f.


mountain cutthroat, caught by joe f. on dry fly

grass banks (2)

tailwater bow, caught by joe f. on streamer

One day when hiking a trail back to our car we passed an old abandoned homestead along the river. Three owls were perched side by side in the top window. One flew away before I got a photo. Then we noticed two deer inside, taking advantage of the shade mid day. When they spotted us they exited the front door as if they were leaving their home. We also saw two giant eagles, osprey and hawks. The river valley was simply alive with life. It was nice to share it with a good friend. I hope you enjoy some of the photos…


watching shallow water bank for feeders

two shacks


owl full


crow bow 34

sipping rainbow on dry in one foot of water, author

me crow

rainbow on dry, author

cliff (1)

joe f. below

bull t

amazing fernie bull trout, caught on streamer by joe f.