Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Love That Clear Water

I find it amazing that so many people pack their rods away by late September and begin their winter angling hibernation period. Fish still rise to dries on the Elk River in October and the water is as clear as it can get at this time of year.

With October comes cooler weather, lower, slower water and the disappearance of other anglers. Combine these factors with a hungry and eager trout population and you have all the ingredients necessary to create a legendary day of angling. The fish still eat large flies, perhaps because of the October caddis that are still flying or perhaps it's because the cold nights signal winters approach and a sense of urgency takes over.

Spencer, my brother Kevin and I hit the Elk River last week experienced that legendary feeling. The trout started on small ants and as the day progressed and water warmed the Fat Albert started to strut it's stuff. Huge bottom dwellers began lifting there massive bodies from the basement of the river and gently sucked down the size 10 and 8 fat alberts.

It was a beautiful thing to watch as most fish never broke the surface, instead they just gently flared their gill plates out and drew the fly in. The fish for the most part were free of hook scars and were not the usual suspects of the summer. We hooked a lot of fish in different lies many of whom have probably spent most of their lives hook free which is not typical of a free rising Elk River Westslope Cutt.

The weather was a big help, the sun drenched skies were paramount in creating the surface feeding activity. So if any of you plan on coming up here for some Octoberfesting on the Elk, keep an eye on the Fernie forecasts and look for the sun globes.

Currently I am in Bangkok and am enjoying aromatic and spicy curries....a long way from the soft sipping Rocky Mountain cutts. If they were here I would likely be enjoying them in my curry--catch and release is a bizarre and foreign concept to the people of South East Asia

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Month in Review

September did a bit of everything...made me look like a hero one day and a shivering idiot the next. I got to ask a client for the first time if he was on fire....and he was. The weather was varied with some pretty serious and wet cold fronts but overall it was a great month of angling.

The Elk showed me some sunshine and lit up for some truly remarkable days. The fish were eating BWO's particularily the spent duns and spinners and the fly of the month on that river was no doubt the Crystal Meth Spinner (Jeff Mironuck will attest to this). The only problem with the fly was how deep it was getting eaten and after a few sad and bloody moments I opted for another fly that they wouldn't suck down so far.

The West Kootenay's had it's moments....both good and ugly. The Columbia popped up 1 1/2 feet one morning and blew the feeding lanes apart and put the previos epic fishing on hold. The other stream(s) in the area were on fire though, the smaller water produced larger numbers of rainbows raging in size from 10 to 20 inches. All on dries which makes everyone (most) a lot happier.

I am getting a new camera tommorrow which is great, my old Pentax went for a swim in the back of my boat at the take out ramp and I've been without photos for a while. We're stepping it up quite a bit in pixallation and settings so I'm looking forward to posting some better and more interesting shots as well as some hi-def video. I have some fly photos to update here

In two and a half weeks I am off to Thailand to work with my tiers and will be updating that journey on the site....thought it might be interesting for you to see how it all goes down over there in the land of smiles. I will be gone for a few months and will be returning with an arsenal of new foam patterns along with all the other usual suspects. I feel really blessed to have this has an extension of the guide service....such a beautiful place to visit/work.

The season is winding down, I struggled through a slow start on the Columbia today with some shitty weather and some moody fish, but when the sky settled and the rains stopped some fish began feeding on caddis and we were able to close out with some decent dry fly fishing. Two more days to go and then it's angling 4 me time.