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…
Underdog without cape
cuttbow, I believe
same thick cuttbow caught on size 16 mahogany
size 18 flies
same rainbow, on size 18 hacklestacker bwo
Mornings on way to one of my favorite trout rivers with Abby…SW Alberta.
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.
It was 35C/95F in the river valley on Sunday. A lot of low, flat water. No bugs to speak of. No bugs for a while now. Just bright sun, heat radiating off of the river rocks and glare. A lot of walking and looking in the dead calm. Occasionally a subtle surface disturbance would bring me out of the heat induced daze. It would catch my attention. A trout or a mirage?
brown on grasshopper
rainbow on ant
rainbow on beetle
the road out
dinosaurs crossing the hot plains
mountains cloaked in smoke and heat
Corrugated steel mining shed; a remnant…
“We cannot direct the wind, but we can adjust the sails”.
There was a wind warning today. I saw part of my neighbour’s eaves trough tumble down the road. At least I think it was his? I should check mine!
On the eastern slopes of the divide in SW Alberta it’s always windy and if you don’t fish in the wind, well, you’re not going to get out very often. So I decided to go and just deal with it. I’d be casting a streamer and figured if it got real bad I’d just flip the fly and feed line or roll cast a lot. My plan was to fish a section of the river that is braided so I’d could find some protective areas behind islands and gravel bars.
late november brown trout
If there is anything good about the wind around here, it’s generally predictable: easterly. The other good thing is that in the summer time it blows terrestrials (grasshoppers, beetles, etc.) into the water. None of that today as we have transitioned to winter.
I thought that if things became unbearable out there I would pretend I had travelled a long, long way to the Rio Gallegos in southern Patagonia where sea run brown trout and gale force winds rule the river, and you deal with it by tugging down on your Beret and just keep casting! My shoulder still aches. I’m well past the 100 pitch mark in my 9 inning angling career.
I caught several Rainbow trout and coincidently, one Brown (not sea run but resident), which was the prize of the day. I was standing on the bank four feet above the water and swung my fly through a fairly shallow side channel with an even flow. As the fly tightened to the bank a brown trout glided out from some wood structure and nabbed it. I saw the whole thing from my elevated position. It made the day. I fished until dusk and then headed home guided by the North Star, or was that the Southern Cross?
sw alberta brown trout