The Sock

“Keep calm and wear odd socks”

-David Spires

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rainbow caught on PMD by author

My fishing sock returned! I’ve missed it. We’ve been separated for 6 months. I accidentally left it in New Zealand in a rental car at Christchurch airport. My friend, Roman, found it when he thoroughly checked the hatchback of the rental before his return flight to Canada.

The sock travelled a great distance. It went from Crowsnest pass to South Island NZ, was worn daily on many great rivers, then travelled back to Canada with Roman to Ontario. There it stayed for several months, dry but very eager to wade and fish again.

The sock finally returned to its home, the Crowsnest Pass, when Roman came out for an angling trip, with his two boys, Christian and Daniel.

It’s a well-travelled neoprene Simms sock. Now ready for duty on my local streams. It has been reunited with the other one. A sort of balance has been resorted and all seems right with the world!

Here’s a photo of the international jet-setting sock looking happy to be home again…

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This past week I had the opportunity to fish with some friends: Joe, Roman, Rick, Christian, Daniel and our four-legged tag along, Abby. All good angling mates. Fishing at times was tough but at the end of the week we all caught some fish….and a few great ones I must say. All were taken on dries, mostly sight-fishing. The weather was good…summertime in SW Alberta.

Some memories from one week in July:

-Joe’s favorite line, “Hey Bobby, I’ve got another one on”. One of his browns and a rainbow were the prizes of the week.

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rainbow on a PMD dry fly

 

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brown on PMD dry

-The boys, Christian and Daniel, double hauling into the wind. Both great casters. They picked up some nice ones and ended their trip with a multiple fish day on a cutthroat stream. Their favorite lines: “Hey Bob can you pull my fly line through the rod tip” and “My fly is stuck in a bush, can you un-hook it for me”.  Some of their fish…

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brown on dry

 

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electric cuttbow on beetle

 

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cutthroat on drake dry

Other memorable events: Rick casting from a seated position on the river; and the boys repeatedly asking their father, ” Can you untangle this”…

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river crossing

 

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Roman and Christian chasing a bull trout

 

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the group working a pool

 

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abby

 

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long day

 

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brown on beetle

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rainbow on dry fly

I hope to have the chance to fish with them again next summer…in the meantime I’m going to put on that happy sock and wade a local river.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

august fins

“August is like the Sunday of summer”

dorsal

We’ve had some clouds, some summer storms, some sun and cool nights and therefore  river temperatures have remained alright even though the water is low. It looks like we might get through August without any angling restrictions. South of the border (Montana) the situation seems quite different.

I’ve been sight fishing small terrestrials and on one river Tricos; one of my favorite hatches. It’s a good time of year as a few trout are rising and the Blue Jays (baseball) are in the hunt for the playoffs. I want to see Jose Bautista hit a late game homer and fling his bat again…the best “take that!” moment in baseball I’ve seen in a long time.

Here are some river images from the past couple of weekends…I struck out several times but did manage to hit a few long ones…

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adipose

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abby

 

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round up

 

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sleep

cuttbow

cuttbow

 

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double trico

 

 

le soleil

“It was so hot I saw a roasted turkey fly by”

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Summer finally returned after a cool spell and it was nice to wade in shorts and river sandals after spending three weeks in waders. Local rivers are low and heating up (temperature).

I was able to take advantage of the blue sky and full sun to spot some great fish and fool a few. It is amazing how tight you can get to a feeding fish in shallow water if you have the sun at your back and wade carefully, even on down and across presentations where you are in front or above the fish, not behind.

I learned how the sun can “blind” fish on the Missouri river many years ago while casting to a roaming pod of sipping trout. By standing still with the sun over my shoulder I watched a dozen large fish feed just a rod length away. They were oblivious to my presence.

For me, so much about fly fishing has to do with light; they are intertwined.

My favorite sight fishing river had few PMD’s on it this weekend and no other hatch. In response I fished beetles and crickets… my favorite way to go. I had the place to myself in spite of it being peak holiday season; lots of people on the road; local fly shops busy. The river was mine for a day. Amazing!

Here are some landscape and trout photos while sight fishing the past week. All fish caught on dries.

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updown

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hills

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claws

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wheat

globow

distshot

handsupport

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

early summer, long days

Overheard at a Baja taco stand:

” You know why I love this place Frank? We’ve been here for a solid week and I haven’t seen one person wearing Lululemon! Absolutely nobody! And we’ve been here for a week”!

clouds wide

Some riverside photos from past two weekends in SW Alberta. The trout were caught sight casting, Pale Morning Duns, size 18 and 20…small stuff…and one fish on a beetle. The trick was landing them while an eight month old retriever new to the game was in hot pursuit.

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riverside trout bum, trout chaser

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wispy

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tree old

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drive

drive back to mountains

 

 

 

Roman’s Royal Coachman

 

“If the world were perfect, it wouldn’t be”.

-Yogi Berra

The last couple of weekends I’ve fished a local tailwater river 2 or 3 times. Hatches have been sparse with the bright sun. Due to the same weather conditions and clear water, however, spotting trout has been possible. And fortunately some have been willing to rise.

On my last outing I was with a friend, Roman, who was visiting the region. Early on he landed a great rainbow on a black cricket like pattern. Later on we located several large bank fish that were feeding  inconsistently. They were picky and rejected most of what we tossed their way. Bug life seemed minimal and their feeding behavior was somewhat of a mystery.

Roman changed flies several times and then pulled out an old attractor fly pattern, a Royal Coachman, from his Magician’s top hat and started casting it with authority as if commanding the trout to rise. And they did. Mesmerized, they kept coming to the fly.

Then he reached out, his hand palm up and said, “try this”. It was another Royal Coachman. I tied it on and then magically, Presto, just like that, landed a large rainbow with the fly.

We missed several others that day but the fish we landed were very spectacular. All were caught sight-fishing with dry flies.

Here are some photos from the Royal Coachman day and from the weekend before when there was more cloud cover.

 

A Rainbow

It was all clouds above. Alone in the river valley. In the middle of the foothills; middle of nowhere. A storm was coming. Then a fin broke the water. Just one. A rainbow.

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rainbow trout on dry fly

 

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the rainbow bent the hook

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crowsnest river

 

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The Price Of Gold

AN encounter with two young boys while walking my dog:

Hey, look at that dog! Mister can we pet your dog?

– Sure. She’s young so she might be a bit hyper at first and jump a little but she’ll be ok.

She won’t bite?

-No, she’s friendly.

What kind is she?

-She’s a retriever, a Golden Retriever.

How old?

-Just six months…still a puppy.

I have a Lab, a black one….called Bruiser.

-Labs are great dogs. Kind of like a retriever in temperament.

What’s your dog’s name?

-Abby

Hi Abby…thanks for letting us pet her.

_No problem.

Hey Mister you know why they call them a “Golden” retriever?

-No why?

Cause they’re worth the “Price of Gold” ! (smiling with hand outreached in front of his face rubbing his thumb together with his finger tips).

-Hey, I like that. I’ll remember that. See ya.

 

Here are some riverside photos from past weekend:

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rainbow on dry

 

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skwala stonefly and crude impression

 

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same trout

 

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