Duck prints on river ice…
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…
The flow has finally dropped on a local tailwater river. There are now many more targets for the dry-fly angler. Many of the softest feeders I spotted in the shallows were Cutthroats and the hybrid, Cutt-Bows. They were often much more demanding and discriminating than the other risers. It’s mainly small flies hatching, Pmd’s size 18, 16. Challenging at times…with the slower water many rise to duns.
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…
“I’m not feeling very well – I need a doctor immediately. Ring the nearest golf course”
It’s July. Primetime. Primetime but I haven’t seen a lot of fish up eating on the surface in spite of visiting several rivers. My favorite prairie river looks dead. Winter kill due to low water last summer, then a tough cold winter? I don’t know. I do know I covered 5 miles of it this past weekend in the heat and didn’t see fish where I usually see them. It looked empty. It was a ghost town. Music from a Sergio Leone movie started playing in my head while I walked, looked and saw nothing. Too bad. It’s the best sight fishing river around and the most challenging. It’s a place where you have to use your full skill set and fish almost perfectly in order to fool its large wary trout.
My local tail-water river is kind of producing. Early morning has been good but not at the other end of the day. No evening risers! What’s up? Not enough bugs…hatch not dense enough? I’ll try again one night this week. Maybe my last outing was simply an anomaly. It usually fishes well just before the sun goes down. It’s when big trout start munching in the shallows in locations where bugs collect.
My local river, the Crow, also didn’t have rising fish the other night. Some PMD’s were out but no significant response. No large sippers. Hum!!!
The immediate and long range forecast is hot: 30 to 35C for next two weeks. I’ll have to fish early or late, or both, on my favorite rivers and fish the streams way up in the mountains mid-day. That’s the plan.
Maybe golf would be easier!?
I once met and angler in upstate New York who when asked if he played Golf replied, “Not while I have a pulse”.