Sunday, August 21, 2011

Comin' Over the Top!

A Slabtown Resident Cutthroat

Check out that beast!!! Phil Dupuis hooked that on a little unnamed creek somewhere in the Elk Valley on one of his eight days here fishing with us. Had a blast with him and his wife Julie over that week....lots of humour and some epic fishing. The tribs are in great shape right now and dropping steadily and the Elk continues to fall opening up more venues for fish to hold on although we've lost some as well, but overall flows are excellent and should remain so throughout September.

Ants have been making appearances and the fish have been committing suicide on them. Such an amazing time to fish the Elk and anyone who has hit an Elk River ant hatch has been stunned by the numbers of fish that the ant hatch brings up. It's hands down the best dry fly fishing of the year and it should be with us the next few weeks; great time to book a trip.

The guides took a day off and hit the Oldman River in Alberta and it was on as well. Tons of rainbows in soft seems sipping PMD's and responding well to drag free presentations. The river is stacked right now, when it's on like this it is perhaps the finest dry fly fishnng you'll find for rainbows. It's an incredible float and I'm super stoked about getting back there.

PMD's ANTS and CADDIS are all making my life a lot easier....thank you flies and of course the fish.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Beta Theta Fireball

The Tank, Scott, Jonny Bravo and 2NA Fish 

Every once in a while we book a trip that turns into a little more than we expect. Upon booking the trip the normal questions are asked the standard details are taken care of and a meeting time is set. Most people show up to that meeting point with their fly fishing gear, a flurry of questions and perhaps a bag of nuts.....maybe a cigar or two. This last trip was a little different than that.

After a brief introduction we got down to the business of transferring the gear from their SUV to our trucks so we could get to the river. I reached for gear bags and noticed a stockpile of beer and whiskey which I assumed was for the duration of their 3 day trip. I grabbed the gear threw it in my pickup turned around to help with the last of the gear and saw the members of the group crossing the road with the entire stockpile of libations. It was at this point I realized I was dealing with professionals here...this was no stockpile for the trip, these were daily rations and for the first time in my years of guiding I realized I would be short on cooler space if I was to keep water in it which at the time I thought was a good idea.....always good to keep the guests hydrated.

Gene Simmons w Joel Jah Raven

For day 1 I rotated beers into the cooler and kept the water chilled at the bottom of the icy chest. After six hours in the boat I realized that there was about zero fucking interest in the water and that the beer and whisky were becoming scarce. After consorting with Joel it seemed like a good idea to keep the boats rolling at a comfortable pace to ensure that the fraternity brothers would not hit the take out dry and thirsty. A late but sparse hatch had us hanging on a bit later than anticipated but these guys were here to angle and were keen to stick a few more fish before the end of the day. The refreshments were gone but the crew was in good form and left the take out looking forward to the next days float.

On day two we picked the group up at their ski hill condo and I was expecting to see a haggered and beaten bunch. That was certainly true for a few of the lads but there was no indication of them caving in to the mere pressure of a bad hangover. The rations had been slightly increased in the form of larger whiskey bottles and beers were being passed around and opened before I could get them into my waterless cooler. Sometimes it's best to stare the demon right in the eyes and show him you've got the balls to get the job done.

After a short ride to the boat launch and some smack talk we hit the river and began angling with moderate success. There was a brief PMD hatch along a trenched gravel run that got a few early few fish up then the hatch faded and the fishing slowed with a few more being hooked before lunch. Post luch had us hooking some decent fish out of some trenches but both boats seemed to hit a hooking slump as the weather got shittier. After going about 2 for the last 7 fish this system hammered us with heavy rain which is usually not a problem except that about half of us were without rain jackets so we ended up suckholed under a small spruce leaning into the river.

We built a fire and waited it out for a while...never a dull moment though; these guys had endless stories. I'm a big fan of fishing after lows roll in so I was stoked to get on the river and start throwing mayflies. The mayflies got going for a bit and we stuck some decent fish before closing on a good spinner fall.

Next day I decided that these guys needed to see some big CUTTS so we headed to some of the tribs and hooked some large trout in some really tight, cool spots. Most of the fish that day were hooked close to the lumber with the biggest one coming out of tree in about two and a half feet of water (above). Not many fish hooked that day but all were quality fish and it was nice to share that water with a group of people who could truly appreciate it. By the end of the day the coolers were empty and the whiskey was gone but spirits were one of the groups case--really high--. It's always nice to see your guests drive away feeling this good (clip below--notice the bank score spincast rod in his hand)....Hard to call this job work when you spend days with people like this. GOOD TIMES thanks bastards better get back here for more abuse!!!!

Monday, August 1, 2011

Elk is Looking Good

The Elk has cleared considerably and is dropping fast which has given us a lot more water to fish. Each day opens up some new buckets and features that are left from the intense spring runoff and it's been cool catching trout in some new spots. The river has been fishing really well at certain periods throughout the day and the fish seem to be keying in on stoneflies.

The PMD hatches and spinner falls are starting in some of the sections and some of the tributaries are starting to clear, drop and fish well. In a week all the drainages should be fishing well and we'll start to climb into the back 40 for some small stream/big fish walk and wades.....STOKED about that!!!