The weather was fantastic for March on the prairies, 8C, bright clear skies and no wind! Brian Meagher and I did a short walk and wade trip within the Calgary city limits and over two short hours landed a number of fish, both browns and rainbows and shook hands with a few others. Right at the end of the day I lost a large brown that I too agressive with as I had to get going to meet some friends for dinner. As it turns out I miss judged Calgary rush hour traffic and ended up 20 minutes late due to an accident.
I fished nymphs under an indicator as well as working a few runs Czech Nymph style. My best fly was one I put together a few years ago when I was filming an episode of The New Fly Fisher on the Crowsnest River in Southern Alberta, the Stillwater Baetis. All of my fish came to this fly.
The Stilwater Baetis is a simple fly tied out of Stillwater Solutions (SWS) tying materials that good friend Brian Chan and I designed in partnership with Superfly International. My two favourite body colors are olive dun and light olive, for the light olive version use light olive SWS bleached pheasant tail and chartreuse wire ribbing. I am sure tying some out of the claret pheasant tail would work too. The tungsten bead is key, as the added weight tungsten provides gets the fly down quickly and keeps it. Baetis nymphs are active swimmers and the Bow is home to probably millions of them. They are a constant component of the daily drift cycles on many rivers including the Bow. I would recommend you add a few of them to your fly box as well.
SWS Baetis-Olive Dun
By Phil Rowley
By Phil Rowley
Hook: Mustad C49S #14-#18
Thread: 8/0 Brown
Tail: Stillwater Solutions Bleached Pheasant Tail, Olive Dun
Rib: Fine Copper Wire
Shellback: Pearlescent Mylar
Body: Stillwater Solutions Bleached Pheasant Tail, Olive Dun
Thorax: Stillwater Solutions Soft Blend Dubbing, Dark Summer Duck
Bead: XS Gold Tungsten