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Sparkplug last won the day on April 1

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About Sparkplug

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  1. Sparkplug


    Figured that suggestion was inevitably going to be made sooner or later in this thread... Been seeing a lot of adults in past week in Calgary (damsels that is), not going to speculate as to male or female, almost all of them blue. I would guess that regardless of adult coloration, the nymphs are all in that light green - dark olive/brown color?
  2. Have seen them come out of the water to swipe at flying damsels and dragons...now if you can show one taken on a size 24 Trico, that would be something...
  3. Guess it shows, they'll eat anything...have had many a fine experience chugging a floating fly (i.e., bass bug) in shallow waters for pike, the bigger the wake the better, and having them come right out of the water to take it, never mind any sort of gracious slurp. They always seem to target the front of the fly, so I'd second the thoughts above regarding a wire bite tippet.
  4. With the change of government, several Ministries' websites have basically been gutted/purged. Awaiting new gov't policy directives, I guess.
  5. The boat generally doesn't move around that much, such that my target casting area generally is always within range.
  6. So I'm going to go a bit contrarian here...I have a 12' alum boat and I run it with only one anchor, off the bow. Let the boat windmill in the wind - in big wind/waves (which for a 12' boat, don't need to be all that large in order to feel big) it keeps the bow pointed into the wind/waves, which is good for safety/stability. I like to cover a lot of water when I fish from an anchored position, so letting the boat windmill around is somewhat helpful in that regard. I also often fish multiple-fly rigs (where allowed) and more than once, I'm somewhat ashamed to admit, I've had a fish break me off by dragging the line over the anchor rope, and getting one of the other flies on the rig caught on the anchor rope (can't always keep those big ones away from the anchor rope during the fight). I imagine this would be more of a risk when two or more anchor lines down. I should note that most of my fishing in this boat is by my lonesome, so I can cast wherever when the boat is windmilling. If more than one person in the boat, better fixing of the boat via multiple anchors may be desirable.
  7. Never too old - good for you for taking an interest. I agree that taking some casting lessons from a reputable shop is a great place to start. Some of us are "self taught" - I didn't have my first casting lesson with a qualified instructor until 30 years into my flyfishing time - but it was amazing how those lessons straightened out some long-practiced bad habits. I would also say that the other best thing to do is read, read, and read some more - from the classics (e.g., "Masters on the Nymph" was a seminal one for me, as was Charlie Brooks' "Nymph Fishing for Larger Trout"; Gary Lafontaine's books; etc.) to the wealth of great stuff available today on-line. I have found that keeping a good fishing diary has also been very helpful as a learning tool (particularly for those of us whose memory may not be quite what it used to be), particularly from year to year - noting not only whether you caught any fish on a particular outing, but other helpful observations such as insect activity, water conditions, weather, etc.
  8. FishnChips, The marginal cost of generating electricity by burning gas is material (natural gas price x the heat rate, or amount of gas burned to generate a MWh of electricity). The marginal cost of operating hydro is virtually zero. Thus, hydro will always be used (dispatched) first to respond to price compared to gas, economically speaking. The only thing that can possibly mitigate/change TransAlta's operation of these hydro facilities is regulation, through greater restrictions on their operating licenses. A case would have to be made to AEP that it is in the public interest to have these facilities re-regulated (i.e., operated in more of a run-of-river mode, subject to much tighter daily fluctuation limits) to protect/enhance fisheries, as a priority over TransAlta's economic interests.
  9. Right on, Fishteck. The Alberta Electric System Operator ("AESO"), who administer the wholesale electricity market in Alberta, publish the hourly wholesale price for electricity in the province here: http://ets.aeso.ca/ Go to the "Historical" tab, and select "Pool Price". Then enter the date range of interest, and up pops the hourly wholesale price history. Generally, there is a materially higher hourly electricity price during the day, than at night, as electrical load in the province correlates strongly with daily human activity (household, work, etc., vs. sleeping at night). Hence the pattern in the Bow hydro flows you show above - flow the water (and thus generate electricity) during the day, when the price is higher, and cut back at night. Water in these relatively small reservoirs is valuable/scarce, and hence its value in the form of electricity is to be maximized in accordance with hourly electricity prices. The further bad news is that with all the wind generation we are adding in this province, this will increase electricity price volatility (due to the fact that wind energy generation is intermittent, and somewhat unpredictable - cannot be controlled/matched to load). Hence, when the wind blows at night, when we are generally surplus electricity supply anyways, it pushes down the price. Conversely, when demand is high and the wind isn't blowing, price shoots up. In Feb this year, through the cold, wind generation was almost nonexistent in Alberta - and we had very, very high electricity prices accordingly. So as more wind adds to electricity price volatility, the economic driver to screw with these hydro flows to take advantage of that peak electricity pricing will only increase. Coupled with the TransAlta hydro PPA's expiring in 2020, this could be a "perfect storm" for even more jacking around with these hydro facilities, with further detrimental effects to the fisheries.
  10. "Perch killing tax" - love the idea, though may need a more politically correct name. If applied to all licenses (which I agree it should be), it would probably have to be in support of a more province-wide program, which in other areas may be towards creating new QF's or other activities to enhance specific local fisheries, rather than to just be about killing perch (not to take away from the importance of doing that, in certain waters). Some other brainstorm ideas, that could be supported by such a fund (no particular order): - Fund some legal/regulatory work to take on TransAlta and create more restrictive operating licenses (towards run-of-river operation, with greater lake level stabilization as a key operating limit parameter) for the K-lakes hydro system; maybe get some benefit in terms of stabilizing K River flows? - Buy out the landowners around Dipping Vat Lake, and restore that to its former status - Further aeration/development of new QF's, e.g., some of the potholes W of Calgary (maybe multi-species?), e.g., Norman, Frederick? - Perch-killing/lake rehabs in RMH area
  11. So in light of this, I would like to ask (genuine question - I don't know the answer to this - want to see what everyone thinks), what would be involved in undertaking a high-profile "rehab" project on a lake like Cow? It sounds from the post quoted here that Cow was much more popular as a trout fishery, than it is as perch/pike. So would it be a stretch to think that the angling community would generally be supportive of trying to restore Cow back to being a trout fishery - just Cow Lake, as a first step (for now)? Pike/perch crowd can go to wherever the pike/perch are otherwise.
  12. Ah, my favorite topic...actually FishnChips, Alberta has more than ample peaking power generation, without the Bow system hydro at all. Hydro elsewhere (e.g., NSR system) and, increasingly, gas-fired generation provide all the peaking we need. In 2020, the current Power Purchase Agreements to which most of the Bow hydro plants are subject expire. Then TransAlta can basically operate these unfettered (from an electricity market dispatch standpoint - still subject to their operating licenses (Alberta Environment) and any flood mitigation protocols). These hydro assets are old, and have been fully depreciated for some time, so there really is no economic argument to be made to say that they could not be operated in another mode, i.e., more run-of-river, and with downstream flow stabilization as more of a priority, than on-demand peaking generation. Your electrical supply disruptions are a function primarily of the distribution system operation, wherever you are located. Alberta operates as an electricity pool - all generation output is sold into an pool, and then distributed from there. You should talk to your local distribution "wires" provider if you are having supply reliability problems. It has nothing to do with generation.
  13. I think Trailhead hit it on the, er, head here with this comment - the catch-and-keep group (of whatever - trout, perch) is (very?) large. Thus I wonder, might our quality trout fisheries objectives be better served by concentrating only on a small number of lakes (at least at first), as showcase projects, and leave the rest for the catch and keep crowd, if they so love their stunted perch or heavily stocked trout? Essentially, supply and demand - keep up the supply of the put-and-take fisheries (as hard as it is to write that), while working to transition some waters to QF trout status. Others on this forum know better than I do (and will I'm sure correct me, if what I'm about to write is wrong), but our experience to date with lakes such as Muir, Beaver, etc. that have seen more effort towards the development of QF's there have not been subject to illegal perch stocking (yet). So maybe QF trout waters will continue to be respected, if there is still a supply of put-and-take fisheries (including some with perch). Perhaps the only blanket regulation change should be a significant increase in penalty for being caught/convicted of transporting live fish. Both sides of the perch zero retention/liberal retention debate discussed here have merit. But maybe a doable "win" for us is to at least get some increased focus on creating a few more higher quality trout fisheries first, with tighter regs, stepped-up enforcement, etc., rather than try to come up with a province-wide magic bullet change.
  14. Over the years I have found that odd colors (or attractor patterns, I guess) have more often outfished the more natural colors described above in this post (not to slag the natural chiro's in any way, as all of the aforementioned patterns have been good as well). I particularly like one with a UV hot pink marabou tail (about full body length), deep purple holo mylar body ribbed with maroon wire, UV purple ice dub thorax, and a pearl white bead. Mmmm, deep purple.
  15. Early last spring, a Northern Flicker went to work on a house down the street from me. Owners are snowbirds - imagine the shock of coming home and seeing basically all of the wood trim work on your house drilled up and ruined. Took most of the summer to repair, mostly by replacing with non-wood materials like stone. However, for some strange reason one trim board above the front door was not repaired/replaced. Sure enough, last week, as I was walking by in the morning, I hear the rat-a-tat-tat of the Northern Flicker, hard at work one year later. Now drilling holes in between the ones he/she drilled last year (infill drilling?).
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