post storm

DSCN5493 (2)

A big snow storm this week. Some melting occurring. Rivers still low and clear. Brief angling days for the dry-fly angler. It’s usually a 2 to 5 pm event.  This past Saturday trudged through the snow to the Crowsnest river. In the bright sun and low water conditions fished to some surface feeding rainbows on my knees.

DSCN5506 (2)

DSCN5520 (2)

last

DSCN5513 (2)

DSCN5507 (2)

naturals and an impression

DSCN5512 (2)

DSCN5499 (2)

DSCN5508 (2)

great flat water

DSCN5505 (2)

DSCN5495 (2)

DSCN5504 (2)

snowbanks show off the hatch

 

some

SOMEone flipped the switch at the end of August. September has been real cold so far. SOME mornings snow at elevation. SOME mornings right around zero. SOME mornings even colder. On Saturday it was 3C pretty much all day and foggy. SOME good Baetis hatches. SOME good fish have been looking up. SOME selective. SOME very, very selective. SOME frustration getting them to commit. SOME failure. SOME success. SOME brown trout. SOME photos from past two weekends. All trout, not SOME, taken on size 18 BWO’s.

DSCN5206last

flies

size 18 BWO’s

 

bwnet

 

brwnleg

taken on hacklestacker BWO, size 18

DSCN5445

focused river guide

DSCN5458 (2)

broad tailwater and wind

DSCN5460

low challenging clear water on crowsnest river, fish landed below

DSCN5459 (2)

classic crowsnest river rainbow

 

DSCN5455 (2)

same brown below

DSCN5443 (2)

DSCN5450 (2)

DSCN5456 (2)

brown trout on size 18 parachute BWO

 

transition time

Sliding into Autumn. Pale Duns have had their day. Blue Winged Olives are just starting. A few Mahogany may flies around too. The dry-fly angling has been challenging during the transition. Visited four very different rivers over the past few weekends. It was hard to find rising fish. Had to walked a lot and search. Not easy. Not many opportunities. Caught a few nice ones. Missed a couple. Time spent roaming around beautiful SW Alberta in search of trout is always enriching…

horse1

abbyclif

Underdog without cape

cutbowwater

cuttbow, I believe

cliffpiles (1)

cuttbownet

same thick cuttbow caught on size 16 mahogany

leavewaterton

upstream

mtsdist

topbow

great rainbow

DSCN5398

trout spotting

flies

size 18 flies

bridge

cliffpiles (2)

same rainbow, on size 18 hacklestacker bwo

casting dries under Beijing sky

August. Hot as “H”. A Sky full of smoke. Looks like a smog blanket in Beijing. It’s burning west of here. In British Columbia. The residue is drifting eastward. We had almost two months of it last year. To quote Yogi Berra, ” It’s Deja Vu all over again”. Cool, clear Rocky Mountain air… total myth. It’s a heat wave. Fires are burning. And I’m casting flies/fries under a Beijing sky.

smoke4

smokey sky

smoke

on pmd size 18

smoke8

smoke6

smoke7

river 10am

smoke1

rainbow on pmd, size 18

smoke3

cdc pmd size18

smoke5

 

coulee trout

Sunlight finally fills the ravine. The river can now be searched from above. Climb out and up. Follow a deer or cattle path. Perch on the edge. Watch for life. Look for movement in the flow. Then drop back down…

DSCN5125x

DSCN5143

brown taken on size 16 pmd

DSCN5121

DSCN5130

DSCN5148

DSCN5120

DSCN5151x

looking west; continental divide

DSCN5146x

rainbow on pmd

DSCN5117

 

An evening on the Crow

The Crowsnest. A small river. Really just a stream. Beautiful. Some call it the perfect trout stream. Home to impressive rainbows. The closest river to my house. A walk away.  When summer takes hold and small flies hatch, its large trout slide into the slow/soft water areas and feed subtly. Often in shin deep water or even less. Here’s one that was located the other evening in the shallows…taken on a beetle.

DSCN5014

DSCN5013 (2)

DSCN5012 (2)

summer, sort of

Over the long weekend I went to 3 rivers to see how they are shaping-up. It was unsettled weather: cool and high winds. The dry-fly fishing is improving daily. Hatches are strengthening. Some trout are willing to rise. Here are some photos from Saturday’s outing. All trout taken on small dries under a big sky…

DSCN4994 (2)

DSCN4991 (3

DSCN5001 (3)

DSCN4993 (2)

DSCN5005 (2)

DSCN4999

DSCN5003 (2)

brown trout

DSCN5004 (2)

 

the riffles

DSCN4986 (3)

a riffle trout

When looking for rising trout I watch the flat water river sections first. That’s where they are easiest to spot. If there is no activity then I search the riffles. Trout in this location are much more challenging to find due to the water being broken and faster. Throw in river glare and spotting can be especially daunting. So I focus on very shallow sections. Often  water just six inches to one foot depth. Large trout feeding sub-surface in very skinny water occasionally break the surface, and therefore make noise and notify you that they are around. Sometimes it’s barely perceptible above the constant sound of the flowing water. But you get good at hearing it. You just have to stay in one place for a while and listen. Large trout in the shallow riffles also push or displace water as they intercept nymphs and emergers, and occasionally rise for a dun. Their feeding can disturb and slightly change the riffle surface pattern. Again, almost imperceptible. You have to concentrate and watch the water to notice. It’s all subtle. You have to observe and concentrate…kind of the key to learning and becoming a better fly angler or really a better anything.

DSCN5008 (2)

riffles

The trout in these ultra-shallow areas can often be enticed to take a dry-fly or a dangling emerger pattern. On my broad local tailwater river fish hooked in the riffles sometimes have to sprint 40, 50, 60 yards before they get to the main deeper flow. Thrilling first runs. Thrilling stuff.

DSCN4987 (2)

simple dangling fly, black wing for glare

Of course an angler can fish the riffles blind by swinging a streamer or prospect with a nymph below a strike indicator, or below a big dry-fly. These can be effective ways to cover these bumpy areas and catch trout.

I find spotting them first before casting, however, requires all of your senses and observation skills, and the practice further develops and hones your angling abilities. A decade ago I would have walked by the riffle stretch I fished this past Sunday afternoon and spotted nothing. It’s the same now as it was then…but now I see (and hear) more.

DSCN4985

trout in riffles