Apr 17

The Maiden Voyage of 2016

brown-trout-of-the-bow-river

Taking The Rapala’s To Brown Town

With the weather unseasonably warm and the water gin clear, I decided it was time to shake the winter cob webs off the Saturn watercraft and take her for the first float trip of the year. I spent two previous days in Banff taking pictures and unwinding from the concrete jungle. It was a much needed getaway from the city noise! I woke up early and checked out from the Tunnel Mountain Resort before ten o’clock in the morning, I wanted to make it back to Calgary before noon and launch the boat by one o’clock at the latest. Before I left the hotel I called my friend Steve to see if he wanted to accommodate me on the trip. Steve is the Rapala Representative for most of Canada, his territory covers from Alberta all the way to Thunder Bay, Ontario.

Steve picked up the phone after the fifth ring and was totally down to hit the river and hook into some early spring trout. I headed East back in the city and loaded up the gear from my house, then over to my mom’s place to pick up the boat. Normally I make the lunches for all trips but I was running a little late and had to settle for Tim Horton’s. We launched out at Policeman’s Flats at 1:00 and made the slow trip down to McKinnon Flats where I was told the boat launch was open for take out’s and put in’s. Steve asked me what lure he should tie up first, and I suggested the BX Minnow would be a good start. I opted to go with a Countdown for my first lure. These lures work well in deeper pools and holes, but will often get hung up on the bottom if you don’t hold your rod tip up high in the air. When the water levels are low, it is wise to have two rods rigged up for your day’s adventure! I usually go with a lure that will dive into deeper holes, and another rod rigged up with a lure that runs shallow, like an original floater or the new Shadow Rap Shad, which will dive to around 5 feet, but also rises to the top when you stop the lure on your retrieve. Read the rest of this entry »

Mar 31

Bow River Boat Launch Report

March 31, 2016

I was down exploring the boat launches this past weekend. I have been dying to get in the boat and float the river. With all this lovely weather we are having, I think it is way past due for me! The ideal float right now would be Policeman’s Flats to McKinnon Flats but the gate at McKinnon remains closed until April the 15th. The good news is, legacy island is ice free now and ready for put in’s and take out’s. I stopped at Legacy Island last Saturday and decided to fish for an hour before heading south to Carseland. I landed a sweet brown trout after 40 minutes of fishing. I then packed up and drove the short 15 minutes to the weir where I was ecstatic to see no ice around the launch.

The boat launches that are open on the Bow River now are Graves Landing (Glenmore Trail), Policeman’s Flats, Legacy Island and Carseland Weir. The launches that are closed are 22X and McKinnon Flats as they are in the protected park. Both 22X and McKinnon will open April the 15th 2016.
I will be launching this Saturday from Legacy to Carseland and will give you all an update as to how that stretch fished and how long the float trip took to complete.

Tight lines and happy fishing friends.

Feb 29

February Fishing Fun on the Bow River

 

The Fish Get The Best of Me

As the month comes to a close the river is now wide open and totally ready to fish. After several days of having the flu, I finally felt better and was really ready to get out of the condo and onto the banks of the river. I posted on Facebook that I was looking for a fishing partner to slam some of the Bow River’s finest, and Doug Replied promptly that he too was ready to get out. I picked him up at 11:30 at his house and we swiftly headed south on the Deerfoot to a location I always have success in. After arriving we witnessed five trucks in the parking location and thought the river banks may be lined with anglers. I immediately though I was not the only one who felt cooped up. Once we hiked down to the river bank, we had the river all to ourselves; I guess the other anglers were further downstream.

We veered over the bank and I noticed we needed to walk a little further down river to get to the primo locale. The bank is steep and my wading boots have no spikes so it was a little tricky getting down the hill. We finally made it to the bottom and I could not wait to unload my Rapala Countdown into the wild blue yonder. Doug opted to bring his fly rod and had a nymph tied up with an egg on the top of his tandem rig. We both had our waders on so I let Doug wade out and I walked down river to give him room to heave his flies out into the top riffle. I walked the bank down to the middle of the run and then waded out to maximize my cast. I was working my minnow slow, with long pauses and small tweaks of the rod tip, and before long I had a strike and a few on, all but briefly. The fish spit the hook seconds after it grabbed a hold. I got to see the fish and knew it was a brown trout. I was sure hoping he was not the lone ranger of that stretch of river. There is lots of room and water here to fish, so I was hoping there were a school of fish hanging out.

Quite a few more empty casts and I decided it was time to get out of the water and stand on the bank to snap a few pictures and take in the beauty of the day. It is also wise to give the location you are fishing a rest, and either tie up a new hook or rest the one you are casting. Even a few minutes rest will produce another fish in the exactly same location you were just casting. I watched a golden eagle glide over our location, gracefully and silently then banking off and landing into the far tree line. It was exactly why I got outside and down to the river. I put both feet back out into the cold flowing water and began to cast again using the same retrieve speed and method and before long, another taker smacked my lure, and again evaded capture. Some days this really bothers me but today was not one of them. I chuckled to myself and brought the lure back into hand. The fish always tell me a story, and that is what makes most of us experienced anglers catch more fish I believe. I don’t say this to be egotistical, rather to let you know that you can learn lots when even the fish hit and get away. What my initial thoughts were was one of two things.

1. My hooks were dull and they needed to be swapped out for laser sharp Eagle Claw hooks.

2. My retrieve speed was too fast with the Rapala Countdown and I needed to switch hooks to slower moving bait. Read the rest of this entry »

Jan 31

Open Water Fishing The Bow River At Last

bow-river-winter-fishing

Bustin loose straight to the Bow River

It has been way, way too long since I was able to cast a lure into the river. I think the last time was November of 2015. That is far too long for long for a complete fishing addict like me to be dry! Moreover, it has been a few years since I was able to hook up with my best friend Tom and fish the Bow. Tom and I grew up together since we were five, and have fished most every river and lake in Southern Alberta together. You know how that goes, life and children get in the way of fishing every week like the good old days when we were out there every week slamming trout, or Walleye, or Pike from a lake or river somewhere off the beaten path in Alberta. I am just both happy and grateful Tom and I could connect for those few hours and fish once again.

For me, coffee always precedes a day on the river, and that usually means we meet at a Tim Horton’s somewhere close to the river. Nothing says “I am Canadian” quite like a meet up at Timmy’s.  I had to rack my brain a little as to where we were going to start our day on the river. Generally I pick slow deep holes in the winter where I feel fish will have spawned or will stay to over winter. My gut told me to bypass these places and head for some water that had weed beds. Weed beds in the winter provide both food and cover for the fish, and is always a great place to target lazy winter trout. I decided on a nice long stretch of deep slow water at first, which is nice and close to the house. If there were no fish holding or feeding in this area, I had a second spot picked out further downstream. We rushed out of the truck and double timed it to the edge of the river. I let Tom fish a spot close to the bridge, fish always seem to hold either in front or behind the bridge pillars. Tom has not had a fish on his line in almost a year, so I gave him the best spot in the river to start out fishing. After all, that’s what friends are for right. Read the rest of this entry »

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