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About Sparkplug

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    Baetis Nymph
  1. Bow River Flows

    Scel, I think you've hit the nail on the head. This has to start with some bona fide scientific proof/analysis that quantifies the benefits to a river fishery from increased flow stability (and in reservoirs like the K-lakes, from more consistent water levels). One would think that tailwater fisheries would have been studied to death in this regard (in terms of the fisheries benefits from increased flow rate stability). If such study/evidence could in fact be compiled and projected to the Bow/Kananaskis/Spray systems to give some indication as to the potential benefits of further flow stabilization, then we might have the basis to put together a public interest case to take to AEP. It ain't much in the public interest to have TransAlta line their pockets by manipulating flows/power generation the way they do, so even a modest scientifically-predicted fisheries quality improvement (in both the rivers and in the lakes/reservoirs, would be ideal) would likely have weight with AEP.
  2. Cork ring replacement on rod

    Do you find Gorilla Glue's expansion when cured to be problematic?
  3. What Are You Tying 2018 Edition

    Thanks, interesting. Do you think it is being taken as a scud or damsel imitation? What size do you normally tie it in? One way to weight it but not fatten it up too much might be to tie in a strip of weight wire down the back of the hook shank. Gary Lafontaine tied a scud in this manner that he figured rolled over on its back when at rest, and righted itself when pulled, hence broadcasting the flashback.
  4. How to move forward?

    Personally, I tie what I use/have need for in my fishing. My principal enjoyment in fly tying comes from innovation, tweaking "standard" patterns with different materials, color combos, etc. All of my most effective patterns have come from this. The basic skills/techniques involved are fairly universal, regardless of what you are tying. So unless you have ambitions to become a commercial tier and feel a need to be able to pound out any and all sorts of flies, I don't think you would be "hindering progression" if you only tied streamers or dries, to the exclusion of nymphs. I'd say tie what you enjoy tying, and can/will need and use in your fishing.
  5. A sobering read.

    Let's not forget Enmax's new Shepard power plant. The plant uses water that would otherwise have been discharged from Bonnybrook back into the river. Now, that water is instead routed to Shepard, where the majority of it is evaporated in the plant's cooling tower. Not a drop back into the Bow. As such, it is a net massive withdrawal of water from the Bow. Modern combined cycle plants like this are now being built with air cooling elsewhere. There's no reason why Shepard couldn't have been built with air cooling, instead of this huge consumptive use of Bow River water. The plant's cooling tower plume is a fixture on the horizon in SE Calgary; all that water going up into the sky, rather than back into our Bow.
  6. BWO

    Yes, while chironomids are in fact a non-biting family of midges, the question to my mind is whether trout in the spring in the Bow preferentially key upon chironomid larvae and pupae, as they generally seem to do in stillwaters. I don't fish the Bow nearly as much as I do trout lakes, but I see reports of plain red hooks working on the Bow early season that would strongly suggest chironomid larvae - bloodworms - in the trout diet. I would guess that in the fall, when there are fewer chironomid larvae/pupae available to the trout compared to spring (along with fewer larvae/pupae/nymphs generally), so less feed/biomass down near the bottom may have the trout looking up more.
  7. BWO

    Perhaps the trout food options are different spring vs. fall. Certainly would be more chironomid larvae/pupae around in spring vs. fall, that could affect feeding patterns (subsurface vs. surface). Others (e.g., Brian Chan) have produced indicative trout food makeup charts for stillwaters, which show shifts in trout food priority/availability over the year.
  8. What Are You Tying 2017 Edition

    Further to the BS/WB question above, this season I fished a tandem rig, with a large (#10) backswimmer pattern up front, tied to run back-down through the water, and a #16 water boatman pattern (swimming back-up) on the dropper. Both patterns had foam in them, to give relatively neutral buoyancy/very moderate sink. The whole mess was fished on a floating line, with the rapid short pull retrieve started as soon as the flies hit the water. Somewhat surprisingly, the results were about even, in terms of number of fish that took the backswimmer versus the water boatman. There seemed to be far more WB in the water than backswimmers, but given that the hookup results were about even, I'm glad I fished the tandem rig.
  9. Pink And Purple Are In?

    I have found that on chironomid patterns for stillwaters, pink and purple (especially purple), in UV, have way outfished natural colors. This may be on account of how trout see these colors at depth, or could be due to the "something different" factor.
  10. I Take Pictures

    Very nice. You like the Radian? Trying to decide between that, and the NRX
  11. What Are You Tying 2017 Edition

    As we're approaching fall, I'd like to get some thoughts from my fellow tiers about backswimmers and water boatmen. Last season I did well on a boatman pattern in size 14, mottled rubber legs, body of gold/silver crystal chenille, back of tan foam (marked with black marker), and an amber glass bead head. Fished with a 2-3" rapid strip, as soon as it was plopped into the water on a floating line, it got hit hard. I recently read about backswimmers, as the larger and less numerous cousins of the water boatmen, and how your odds are improved by fishing a tandem train of a backswimmer (in the size 10-12 range) in front, and water boatman trailing behind. Anyone have some recommendations as to backswimmer pattern ideas? I understand that they swim on their backs (hence the name), so patterns should be tied such that the back runs like a keel. Any thoughts as to whether backswimmers (or WB) are better tied as buoyant patterns, and fished on a sinking or sink-tip line, so as to give a bob upwards on the pauses in the retrieves? Thanks Sparkplug
  12. Curious About Kanaskis Area

    It's not so much "power demand", as it is TransAlta's use of the K-system hydro plants. The K-system hydro plants total less than 50 MW of generation capacity; Alberta daily demand peaks at around 10,000 MW. The K-system hydro plants are inconsequential to meeting demand in the province. Their primary benefit these days is to TransAlta, who dispatch them in response to the (hourly) price of electricity in the province, essentially at their discretion (and to their economic benefit). As consequences, the lake levels and river flows fluctuate wildly. Glenmore, at least, is not subject to this hourly fluctuation, but rather is managed on a more seasonal basis. It is not drawn down over the winter nearly to the same extent as the K-system reservoirs. The challenge with Glenmore is all the residential development downstream, and flood protection of that. There is no valid technical reason why the K-system hydro units could not be operated in a more stable mode, closer to true run-of-river (subject to some flood protection/water storage seasonal considerations). A case would have to be made to AEP that changes to the hydro operating licenses to stabilize lake levels/river flow rates was in the public interest.
  13. Curious About Kanaskis Area

    A number of years back I watched a kid pull a rainbow from the lower lake, which his dad then weighed on a hand scale - pulled it down to 12 lbs. The dams don't have to come out. Nor do the turbines - simply changing their operating license to have them operate as more run-of-river could significantly stabilize lake levels and better establish and maintain littoral zones. I'm not a fisheries biologist, but I can't help but wonder what the potential of these lakes could be if the water levels were more stable. We have other dams/reservoirs in the province that are operated in this more stable level mode (e.g., Glenmore Reservoir), so it certainly can be done.
  14. Curious About Kanaskis Area

    Though not really an answer to your question, Don, a follow-on question might be how good UKL and LKL (and Barrier L as well, I suppose) would be if hydro operations there were managed differently (i.e., on more of a run-of-river basis) to maintain more consistent lake levels. Much has changed in the electric industry/market in Alberta in the last couple of decades, such that these units now are virtually inconsequential to the market and/or power system stability in S Alberta - today, from an electrical output standpoint, they pretty much serve only to line TransAlta's pocket, to the detriment of the fishery. Yes, there are still flood control benefits, but I think there still is a substantial opportunity here to further stabilize lake levels (and thereby improve the fishery) by further restriction of the hydro unit operating fluctuations. Today, TransAlta can virtually do as they please. Stabilization of lake levels and enhancement of the fisheries in the lakes is likely far more in the public interest than seeing TransAlta's pockets lined.
  15. Fully agree with Troutlover's concept, buoyant flies (streamers) on short leaders, full sink line. For some reason the best color combo for me on the walleye is purple over yellow.