Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Tough Conditions!

Who says fly fishers aren't tough!  Last Friday I spend an educational day guiding on Millers Lake located just west of Edson Alberta.  Weather reports were calling for overcast skies, 60% chance of rain and cool temperatures.  I confirmed with my client, Ruth the preceding day to see if was OK with the conditions.  Sunday was predicted to be a better day.  More on that later! Without hesitation she wanted to go.  We arrived on the water around 10am and begin setting up the boat and gear.  As with all clients I ran through the set up we would be using, the flies and rationale behind my plan of attack.  The goal of all of my trips is to educate clients on the charms of stillwaters so they can apply some of my approaches the next time they get on the water.

As conditions were dour I expected fish to be somewhat inactive, reluctant to chase the fly and to be located in the deeper regions.  My suspicions proved correct.  Our approach for the day involved hanging a small chironomid pupa about about 2-3 feet above a balanced Sparkle Leech under one of my Quick Release Indicators.   Within about half an hour we had our first fish of the day take Ruth's black & red Ice Cream Cone.  A careful throat analysis revealed zoo plankton. Confirmation once again that fish were hanging out along the deep water edges or suspending in deep water.  Zoo plankton are light sensitive and tend to stay deep during daylight hours.  As the day progressed trout changed their focus and began targeting the balanced leech.   I experimented with a number of depth settings and having eight feet between leech and indicator was the winning ticket.  We toughed things out until 5pm when the almost constant rain let up.  Thanks to my wife for the hot soup she provided for lunch.  It provided much needed warmth to our cores.

All in all it was a great day that exceeded my expectations given the conditions.  Ruth caught and released numerous fish with a few going at least four pounds.  Millers is clear lake so the resident rainbows are nickle bright.  Gorgeous well conditioned fish.

If my guiding season is going to proceed like this when conditions are challenging I can't wait for warmer weather to get the hatches going.  Don't worry I know better but still it is fun to dream.

I still have a few limited guide days available so if you are interested in spending some time with me please let me know right away.

Although the weather office called for better weather over the weekend it was not to be.  It turns out that Friday was the best day.  A nasty low pressure system rolled in from Montana and spat out ugly weather for the balance of the weekend. This included a couple of inches of snow.  The balance of my weekend was spend peering out of my window shaking my head extolling the virtues or lack there of when it comes to prairie springs!   I did have a chance though to catch up on my Fly Fusion column and prepare for my next trip.  Four days exploring the Parklands region of southwestern Manitoba for trophy browns, rainbows and the hyper aggressive tiger trout.  I will be provided a complete report when I return.

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