Local Trout Water and Dog

With only a light breeze on Sunday I checked out my local tail-water river. Spring in SW Alberta has been slow in coming. Nothing new. I’ve been itching to get out as there is a ton of snow in the mountains and when the temperature finally heats-up and it begins to rain, a serious run-off will occur and it could last awhile….possibly a couple of months. So, the opportunity is now to sight fish (and hopefully the next couple of weekends) as the water is low and fairly clear.

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There were some bugs on the river: midges were the most numerous type; then some Skwala stoneflies; and just a few BWO mayflies. I saw very few rising fish. It was a slow day. However, I managed what looked like a Cuttbow (hybrid) on a dry…a nice one, and missed a good brown trout at the end of day.



Next weekend should be a bit better as hatches intensify. The BWO’s will get the fish looking up and rising.


Between Casts

The wading boots are hanging in the shed. Instead, I’ve been hiking on weekends. Next week I’ll toss flies again. The local ski hill is closed for the season and it’s only Feb 16th; no snow; go figure. They’ve tons of it back east; none here…yet.


side horse


i4 donk



Blur Photos

It has been too cold around here to put on felt sole boots. I’ve traded them in for snowshoes this weekend. Here are some pictures taken while driving to and chugging along the snow trail.

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wind generator in the valley

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x-country tracks


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snowshoe tracks


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ribs along the trail


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high above valley


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portable corral


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portable corral


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entrance gate to acreage


Listening for Life


I went to a local tail water river two times in the past week feeling hopeful. However, there was no dry-fly action in spite of a lot of Midges being around and even some Blue Wing Olives. I was excited to see drifting mayflies after several months. I guess that’s something only a fly angler appreciates. It’s been a long winter and slow developing spring and water temperatures are still very cool: 38F. Usually at this time of year I can pick up a couple of surface feeding fish late afternoon once the bugs get going. It begins with whitefish rising, then some smaller to mid-sized trout, then when the hatch really gets popping and bugs accumulate, some bigger fish get involved. No such luck. I sat on a section I know well, looking and especially listening for life. On large broad water in bright light and with a lot of reflection, it is often sound that gives a trout’s surface feeding position away. I would catch fewer fish on dries if I was hearing impaired. I looked and listened for a long time then gave my eyes a rest, looked elsewhere, and just listened. Silence. The river never woke up. I plan to return one more time before run-off but I might not get a chance as the last three days have been hot and soon they will open the dam and release enough water to turn the Sahara green. Then I’ll have to wait a month or two for the river to settle down and clear. If things don’t work out locally then Plan B is to jump in the car and make the trip south to the Missouri river for the upcoming long weekend. May is usually a good dry fly month there. I’ll get riverside and listen for life.

dead pheasant wing

soft spot where bugs were collecting


eastern slopes snowpack