Looks like the blog has been acting up lately and needs some major work soon. I have been busy packing to move so I will be embarking on a major site re-design after my move is complete and I have settled down. Sorry for the inconvenience lately when using the site.
September 30th, 2014 · 2 Comments
Trout….Trout…And more trout.
It has been a great summer so far on the Bow River south of the Calgary city limits. I was a little worried about the quality of the fishing this season after we had our devastating flood last year. Despite what was called a “major catastrophe”, the fishing has been incredible since run off. The 2013 Alberta floods were caused by a low pressure system carrying warm, moist air from the Gulf of Mexico, which developed over Montana and started to move north toward the foothills in late June. Blocked to the west by the Rocky Mountains and to the north by an Arctic high-pressure system, the storm dumped more than 200 millimetres of rain – about half the average annual total for the area – in only two days. The rain alone would have caused a flood, but the warm humid air and rain falling on snow also melted the mountain snow packs, and the still frozen ground was unable to absorb any of the extra water. Apart from its localized nature and the fact that it remained stationary for so long (features still being studied by meteorologists) this weather system was not very different from other well-documented storms that have occurred in the area.
There has not been the numbers of fish caught previous to the major flood but I have seen 30 plus fish day’s this summer! Those numbers of caught fish boggles my mind, considering the flood of 2013 was unlike anything I have ever witnessed in my life. It is not the river it once was, most all the locations have changed drastically. It is a whole new ball game out there! Many prime holes have now been littered with rocks and don’t even look the same as they once did. The banks have changed and in some places, you cannot even get to fish the shoreline in many places, that shoreline simply does not exist any longer!
The new Bow River is challenging this year, as a fishing guide I had to re-discover new holes and holding locations for the resident rainbows and browns that were once plentiful but now are sparser. If you know your prey well, you know what kind of cover and areas to find them. For those anglers who are new to the sport of fishing, I suggest looking into what kinds of fish you are hunting, and get to know them well before you head out to your local river or lake, this will save you time on the water and make your trip more productive. There are so many great books and web sites today on trout fishing, if that is what you are doing; that will help you save time and footsteps while out on the river.
What I noticed this year was many more ledges created after the flood. These are prime holding locations for both rainbows and browns. The fish will sit and wait for food to drop over the ledge creating a perfect location to either pull off the river and shore fish, or when floating, anchor in the water and run the lure in the deeper water just below the ledge. There are some large trees in the water from last year’s flood which make perfect cover for trout. Find the submerged trees and you will surely find as few fish. We have had many good days on the Bow River this year. My clients have enjoyed double digit days on a few occasions. Last weekend my two clients combined landed over 20 fish not including the ones that spit the hook and got away.
Another great fishing season has almost come to an end for me! Two more guided trips, one in the first week of October and one set for the third week. This year is almost in the books. Hoping you all had a great fishing season and landed some beauties like I. Special thanks go out to my customers who keep coming back for more trout year after year. It is both my honor and my pleasure to row you into those scrappy rainbows and feisty browns.
Tags: Gone Fishing
Up and at it early today, camp coffee and Todd’s breakie sandwich and we were all set to mount up on the quad’s and hit the many trails along the Oldman River. The quad trails inter twine all along the rivers edge and is an incredible way to travel the scenic mountain landscape of the southern Alberta terrain. I have never ridden a quad so this was a total bonus for me. So many places that are accessible only by ATV that otherwise cannot be seen from any road or walked by foot.
We packed the tool box of the quads with drinks, tackle and our fishing gear and headed out on the trails to find the deep pools of the Oldman River. We were hoping to land a few large Bull Trout that the river is known to produce. The Alberta record Bull Trout was caught in this river basin many years ago, my name would look great in the Alberta record books. A short 2 Km quad trip and we were at the first juicy looking pool, deep gourged mountains was the back drop and even deeper pools at the end of long choppy runs.
We dismounted the ATV’S and strung up our rods, no time to waste around here. I chose a Live Target trout parr in the Brown Trout color and Todd went with a CD 7 Rapala. We walked up the river and decided to fish the tail out of the first pool with no hits or no chasers. We both moved up into the middle section of the pool where it look more profitable. On a rock pile, straight in front of us was a steep rock wall with a deep seam running along the rock face. Todd said go ahead and make a cast! My first attempt was into the swirling water that lined the edge of the rock face. With a few twitches of my lure the first fish was on the line fighting furiously to kick my hook free from it’s mouth. He was sure scrapping hard to buck my lure! A tight line and skill and he was landed on the rocky shore line i was standing on. What a serious adrenaline rush!
The Oldman has many species of fish including Rainbow, Cutthroat, Bull Trout as well as plenty of Rocky Mountain Whitefish. I knelt down to unhook a beautiful Cutty and Todd snapped a few quick pictures before I released him back into the crystal clear water. Before I could pick up my fishing rod and recast in the pool, Todd had another sweet Cutty on his Rapala minnow imitation. The head and middle section of the pool was loaded with 2-3 pound Cutties and I was lucky to land 4 awesome fish in this short stretch of river. We exhausted the pool until no more fish were hooked.
A short walk around the corner and there is the next pool waiting to be plucked clean of fish. This river is amazing, around almost every corner is a pool that excites every one of a fishermans senses and makes one drool with anticipation. This is stream fishing at it’s finest!
Pure bliss and sheer excitement awaits you here.
The next pool was as good as the first, another two amazing cutties for me and a few for Todd as well. Once the pool has been fished it’s time to see new water. Todd said it best “the first hook to hit the water is the one that catches” This proved to be true in many sections of river today. We took turns in each pool, fishing etiquette if you will. I relate it to golf in a way, a player will not walk across another players line when he is making a put; same thing here on the river. Having a great fishing partner at the same skill level is a total bonus, we both have respect and complement each other.
We traveled many Kilometers today and fished a 4K stretch of the Oldman River. I landed twelve awesome Cutties and Todd caught almost as many. The river was alive today with hungry trout. To say it was fun would be an understatement. Tomorrow will be our last day of fishing here before we pack up and head back to the Calgary concrete jungle. I can only hope Saturday will be as good or better than yesterday was. More untouched water and super feisty fish await our arrival. I look very forward to the next surprise in the next pool of trout fishing heaven!
A guest post by Joel Cowen at http://www.austinkayak.com/
Camping is the most affordable vacation you can take but these inexpensive camping secrets can help make your camping trip even better and easier on your budget.
Taking a Warm Shower in the Woods
Missing a nice hot shower while you’re out in the woods? Take a warm make-shift shower at your campsite by painting plastic gallon milk jugs black (flat, not gloss), filling them with water and letting them sit in full sun for one to two hours. You can use the warm water to wash clothes and dishes too.
Repurpose Old Shower Curtains
Stay dry and clear of bugs by saving your old vinyl shower curtains and using them as ground cloths or tablecloths. Sudden thunderstorms often happen on hot, humid days so just cut a hole in the middle of a shower curtain and you’ll have an emergency poncho for rainy days.
Three Amazing Camping Secrets
Are you prone to cold feet? Place a piece of aluminum foil, shiny side up, in your boots to warm your feet using the radiant heat. You can save a lot of room and some cash by saving ketchup and mustard packets from restaurants and drive-thrus to take when camping. Stuff a bunch of those plastic grocery bags into one plastic grocery bag and take them along to create a temporary clothes line between trees by tying them together.
Baby Wipes Are Not Just for Babies!
You can save money and space by using baby wipes instead of toilet paper. You’ll get more “wipes” out of a container of baby wipes than two or three rolls of toilet paper.
No More Fumbling Around in the Dark
Use rechargeable solar lighting (the kind you put in front of your house or along your driveway) instead of flashlights to save on batteries. You need to make sure you leave the lights out in the sun during the day so that they can fully recharge.
Soggy Matches Don’t Light Fires
You should keep your kitchen matches nice and dry by dipping them in melted paraffin before you go camping. Or, you can save those old prescription bottles and using them to stash matches in so they don’t get damp.
Easy Roaring Fire
Cut waxed milk cartons into tinny strips, make bundles of the strips using twist ties and use them for kindling. This is especially handy if it has been raining and everything is soggy. However, if you don’t need kindling, cut the bottom out of 1/2 gallon waxed milk cartons to make handy (and sturdy) beverage cups. These cartons also make great, mini-garbage “cans” that won’t leak or disintegrate.
Don’t Let the Insects Bite
Mosquitoes and many other insects that bite do not like the smell of vanilla. Take along a small bottle of vanilla extract and dab some at your body’s pulse points while camping. If you do get bit, use Orajel to relieve the itching, or numb the aching, of a bug bite.
It’s Soup Time!
Not enough bowls for everyone? Simply cut out the bottom of an empty, plastic 2-liter bottle and smooth edges with a piece of sandpaper. You can make the bowl as deep or shallow as you want it and re-use it later as a water scooper, digging tool or makeshift pet bowl.
Well, almost! Just let the dishes dry in the sun. Ultraviolet radiation kills germs and you won’t be wasting any paper towels.
Keep Your Camping Area Neat and Tidy
A collapsible clothes hamper lined with a trash bag makes a nifty trash can that can be easily picked up and emptied. Take the trash bag out at the end of the camping trip and you’ve got a clothes hamper in which to store dirty clothes.
No SPF, No Problem!
Sometimes we forget to put on sunscreen or don’t think the sun is strong enough to give us a sunburn, only to discover that we have an uncomfortable and painful sunburn. Applying ice will relieve the burn temporarily while used wet bags of tea can cheaply soothe a sunburn if no ice is available.
And the best camping secret of all–don’t forget the duct tape! It’s a quick fix for any and everything from a rip in your tent, to bandaging a wound or sealing the bottom of your pants to keep out unwanted bugs, dirt and grass burrs.