I have a love/hate relationship with October. Fall is in the air along with its beautiful colors; feisty and fat fish; and seemingly endless paperwork. Every year I question why we decided inventory counts/and our business year end should be the same month that pretty much all of our major orders for next year’s inventory are due…. That is the administrative challenge that is October! Although we stay open for business as usual our crew is admittedly working head’s down on counts these days – please bear with us.
While this means that our personal fishing days are limited, we are still seeing many folks headed out for some time on the water. Most folks are picking their day or their time of the day with an eye to the sky and thermometer but folks are still getting out. Next week’s return to milder weather will see Terry, Mike, and maybe a couple of our other guides back on the water with clients eager to get in one more fish before winter.
Bow River anglers need to be prepared for a variety of fishing.
As always, the SJW should be a staple in your box. Don’t be shy to play with a variety of this tried-and-true fly for the Bow including the Reese’s Pieces, hotspot worm, chenille worm. Try partnering a worm with another nymph – a second San Juan could be the ticket – or a small lightning bug, copper john, evil weevil, BWO killer, red headed stepchild, or prince nymph. I could go on. Remember these are simply a few suggestions for your consideration. You likely have a favorite pattern or two already in your box that will do the trick…. pheasant tails, hare’s ears,copper bobs, small stonefly nymphs like a rubber leg squirrel, or your dad’s or child’s creation. Try these creations. You don’t know whether they’ll work until you do. And if you try them and they work – keep them in the mix.
If you’re still wanting to work fish on the surface you’ll likely have to go small. Hi-vis parachute adams, Dunnigan’s DUNN DUNN BWO, BWO spinners might do the trick provided you can see them when you’re fishing them.
Streamer fishing has been intermittent. The low water levels mean you don’t need a heavy sink tip or particularly heavy fly. Clouser minnows, sex dungeons, skiddish smolts, Kreelex minnows, Bow River buggers, or variations of buggers could be effective.
Remember we are entering the season of the spawning brown trout. We’re hearing reports of test redds along the river. Please be respectful and leave the fish alone if you see them on a redd. We get that they’re fun to target because they’re aggressive and territorial. But pulling them off their redd is stressful and could impact the success of their spawning season. (We want these fishes’ babies to be on redds of their own someday.)
One more request. Please take the time to complete Alberta Environment and Parks latest angler survey “North-Central Native Trout Recovery”. And maybe before completing it take a read of Dave Jensen’s latest article on FlyFish Alberta.
There is no shortage of issues facing fisheries in Alberta. As some of you may know there’s been a petition against the proposed logging in the headwaters of the Highwood at the shop for several months – thanks to everyone who’s completed that petition and lobbied the government in other ways – “The harvest plan for the Highwood Junction has not yet been approved.”(Take a Stand for the Upper Highwood’s Facebook Page) While this is great news, there are many other battles needing energy from anglers and other outdoor enthusiasts across the province. If you enjoy the outdoors in Alberta we encourage you to get involved. Several organizations are out there and can use all the help/involvement they can get – here are a few (apologies for those I’ve missed.)
- The Bow River Trout Foundation
- The Oldman Watershed Council
- Trout Unlimited Canada
- The Bow River Chapter of Trout Unlimited Canada
- Friends of Fish Creek
- Cows and Fish
- The Bow River Basin Council
- Take a stand for the Upper Highwood
- Alberta Conservation Association
- The Calgary River User’s Alliance
- The Angling Outfitter and Guide Association of Alberta (for guides and outfitters)
- The Calgary Hook and Hackle Club
- Northern Lights Fly Fisher’s (Edmonton)
- Chinook Waters Fly Fishing (Lethbridge)
- Calgary Women Fly Fishers
As we finish up our inventory counts we will re-focus our energy on things around the shop and issues that need voices. Our “end of season sales” will be announced in the next couple of weeks and we will also start seeing some of the cool, new stuff we’ve been ordering. We invite you to stop by the shop in the next few days or weeks to check things out.