Jump to content
Fly Fusion Forums

Introduction


Delray
 Share

Recommended Posts

Hi,

Delray here. I live in the UK just outside London, I'm the wrong side of 60, falling apart at the seams, fortunate to be recently retired, live a simple life of watching Rugby, walking my dogs, drinking UK ales and fly fishing (well, I call it fly fishing; others may disagree...). That's me summed up.

I've signed up to this forum as I've booked myself a fishing trip to Alberta this coming September and thought it would be as good a place to learn stuff, although I'm going to be guided so will by and large do as I'm told to do.

I won't be posting too much, and hope you guys and girls won't mind me asking the occasional question, but mainly, I'll just be reading and absorbing.

Cheers and best regards,

Del

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Welcome to the forum.  As Murray mentioned, September can mean fantastic fishing in Southern Alberta.  Last year, it was the blue ribbon month for me.  This year could be an interesting one for us, depending on what happens with our snow pack.  There is an incredible amount of snow in them thar hills right now, so looking more like the potential for a high water year than what we've had the last couple.  Lots of great, experienced folks on here that give pretty sage advice.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

What can I say? Thanks so much for taking time to reply to my intro, making me feel so welcome and positive the trip will be a good one!.

It's a 9 day trip of which I've 'engaged' Maxwell (I don't think I need to mention his surname...) for 4 days, and I fly in to Calgary on the evening of Sept 9th. 

Just as an aside, I only chose September and Maxwell after 1) reading a report from a brilliant guide/angler from England (Jon Barnes) after his visit to Alberta in September last year, and 2) looking at MR's website and finding a photo of Jon being guided; I figured a guide being guided must be a high recommendation.

I can't make further fishing plans yet, but I hope I can fit in a meeting with 1/2/3 etc of you guys.

Once again, thanks for your replies, they are very much appreciated.

My best regards,

Del

  • Like 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 6 months later...

Good morning!

Well, it's been 7 months or so since i decided to visit Alberta, and with a week to go until I fly to Calgary I think it's time to ask some questions and do some planning...

Actually as i mentioned before, Monday the 10th Sept to Friday the 14th is all sorted with Maxwell, it's just I'm not sure after that, but after reading an old thread on a forum over here I've got this urge to do a bit of a drive, a very scenic drive, and end up in Rocky Mountain House, fish somewhere up there on Monday and Tuesday the 17th and !8th Sept.

Does anyone know a thing or 2 about the town and about the fishing? The forum thread to which I referred mentions the Ram and the Blackstone Rivers, amongst others, but by that time, cash will be low, I really won't be able to afford a guide and I can't find much info on access places to those rivers (or any others if anyone has suggestions). I don't think going any further North will be practical;  that can be next year....

Finally, I hope you've all had a great spring and summer on the rivers, and that you've left a few un-caught fish for me to have a cast at, and here's the question I kind of don't want the answer to..........what sort of condition are the streams/rivers in?  Doesn't really matter, I'm coming over, I'm going to fish, I'm going to have a great time.

Cheers everyone,

Best regards, Del

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Early fall is a great time to fish Alberta and you should do well. The streams will be low, clear, and cool. Near Rocky the browns in the Clearwater River will be willing to play. The Raven and Stauffer are also good but quite challenging. The area of the Ram that garners all the raves is extremely difficult to access on foot. Unless you want to book a helicopter you would do well to not try. The Blackstone is easier to access but the river bed is in a high energy flood plain and the wintering holes change too much to produce numbers of cutthroat but is still fairly good. There are other streams in the area that are fun but come with their own challenges. Fishing out of Rocky you would be doing a fair amount of travel.

I believe you would do better to go south out of Calgary and fish out of the Crowsnest Pass. The area has very good fishing for Cutthroats, Rainbows, Browns, and Bulls. The Crowsnest River and Oldman River and its tribs are easily accessible and information on where and how is easily obtained in the local shops such as Crowsnest Cafe and fly shop in Coleman where you will not only get info and needed flies but also your lunch and or breakfast.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

As earlier in the year, many thanks for the personal messages (so far, Yonderin, DXH and Gary), they are much appreciated and you lot on here are obviously very passionate and knowledgeable about fly fishing your streams and rivers.

Apologies that I didn't state what Maxwell has in mind for me! 10th, float the Bow, then 11th to the 14th drive South to the Crowsnest Pass area (staying at Kai's place, Eckardts Tecumseh Mountain Guest Ranch) and fishing wherever Maxwell tells me to fish and doing whatever Maxwell tells me to do;  strange that, as when I was a kid, i never ever did as I was told.

I have a niece in Fernie, so will take a day out there, but not fishing as don't want to buy a BC license as well as an Alberta one. The weekend I will spend touring; I really fancied driving to Medicine Hat as i may never have the chance to visit a town with a name like that again, but I'm not yet decided. Checked out a couple of websites that mentioned Black Diamond and Nanton as nice places to spend a few hours in, and they are obviously closer and easier to do.

That leaves Monday and Tuesday the 17th and 18th to find somewhere to fish for a few hours, and it seems the advice is to stick around the South West Alberta area, but I'm not discounting driving up to Rocky Mountain House quite yet as was looking forward to the drive up there as a day out in itself.

Once again, many thanks for the advice and for reading my posts; I'm getting 'right up' for this trip now it's only a week away.

Cheers and regards to you all,

Del

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi Delray,

 

Don't let the above post discourage you. We have many different types of rivers and species to fish for up here, within 3 km of town or within 200 km of town. I'll send you a PM later when I have some more time with some info. I'm going to be up in the mountains bighorn sheep hunting at that time but if I was around would for sure take you out fishing! There are several places to access the south ram on foot and a hundred to access the north ram. The blackstone and tributaries also offer great fishing.

 

As for Medicine Hat, cool name, nothing to see. Just a city on a parched prairie. The cypress hills an hour south of town, however, are beautiful, but you dang near need a few days just for that!

  • Thanks 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

The Hat isn't much for a tourist destination in itself and is a 3 and 1/2 hour drive from the Pass.  Fort Walsh is quite interesting but is another hour drive to the other side of the Cypress Hills. 

Nanton has the Bomber Command Museum about an hour and a half the Pass.  South of Longview is the Bar-U Ranch historic site, around the same drive time.

In the Pass are the museum (including the old Alberta Provincial Police barracks), Bellevue Mine tour and Frank Slide Centre as well as the historic driving route.  One thing that is impressive is the effort to preserve local history.

In and near Fort McLeod is the Fort Museum and Head Smashed In Buffalo Jump which are just under an hour drive and between the two of them could pretty well fill in a day. 

 

 

 

  • Thanks 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

6 hours ago, northfork said:

Hi Delray,

 

Don't let the above post discourage you. We have many different types of rivers and species to fish for up here, within 3 km of town or within 200 km of town. I'll send you a PM later when I have some more time with some info. I'm going to be up in the mountains bighorn sheep hunting at that time but if I was around would for sure take you out fishing! There are several places to access the south ram on foot and a hundred to access the north ram. The blackstone and tributaries also offer great fishing.

 

As for Medicine Hat, cool name, nothing to see. Just a city on a parched prairie. The cypress hills an hour south of town, however, are beautiful, but you dang near need a few days just for that!

No intent to short change the Rocky area. Just thinking if a guy has only two days you cant go wrong with the Pass. I fish the rocky area quite often and love it with the Clearwater being at top of my preferences. It is definitely worth exploring.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

2 hours ago, Gary said:

No intent to short change the Rocky area. Just thinking if a guy has only two days you cant go wrong with the Pass. I fish the rocky area quite often and love it with the Clearwater being at top of my preferences. It is definitely worth exploring.

I'm sorry if it came out that way, I didn't mean to lash out at you. Just wanted him to know that he would have options locally if he wants to chase browns or brookies, agreed it's not the most ideal base for cutt fishing but the nordegg motel sure could be. He did mention he was already going to be in the pass otherwise I agree fully, it's a much better base camp.

Good suggestions there yonderin. I quite like learning about the local history, and the pass sure does have a lot. As a newcomer, you'll also notice the way of life changes as you come north too. Southern Alberta generally is much more laid back and slower (the way it should still be all over), as you come towards my neck of the woods where oil and gas is king, you will notice people aren't as friendly, everyone is in a hurry, etc. We have as much diversity in people as we do landscapes here. There is lots to see and do up this way as well if you decide to make it up. Lots of accomodation options in Rocky and more water than you could ever fish. I'm still working on it!

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks so much for taking time to 'write' all this stuff up; I really appreciate it.

Northfork; thanks for the comment on Medicine Hat! Hunting for Bighorn Sheep eh? I watched some videos of them perched on canyon slopes; good luck chasing them around on that!

All the very best,

Del

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Enjoy your vacation Del. Give Kai and his dad my best. You picked a great place to stay for your time in the Pass. Try a Good Morning Bagel at the fly shop.

Like Northfork said the Rocky area has some unique places to chase fish and you will enjoy it.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Cheers Gary, the support I'm getting is very welcome.

Now, how about this....? Just gone 9p.m here and flicking around the limited sports channels I have, looking for some viewing, and live (I think) on UK TV is Edmonton v Calgary in the CFL! Calgary leading 13-10 when I had a quick look.

I've still not decided what to do, but suspect that over the weekend I'll make my way up to route 93 and follow that up to route 11 stopping overnight wherever there's a room and hopefully find a meal and a beer or 2.

Best regards,

Del

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Welcome to Canada!! This has nothing really to do with fishing, but if you have a couple of days off and want to see something truly unique and epic, take a day and drive to Drumheller. You likely won't have a chance to see another paleantological site and museum of this quality and complexity.  It is a true "once in a lifetime experience".

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...

Hi professori; many thanks for your suggestion, but it came in on the day i left so I wasn't able to follow it up (only checked mails when away), and in any case with the weather change that occurred around the 12th, 13th 14th (depending on where you were), I stayed in the South anyway.

Only just got home after another Brit Airways 'balls up'. A wonderful time was had in your beautiful province, Maxwell was both great company and guide, and I'll do a more complete report when my head recovers.

Cheers all,

Del

 

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

What a trip!! I'll keep it short.....

The Bow was not so good; all the boats on the 10th Sept seemed to struggle that day, but a good day getting to know Maxwell.

3 days total on the Oldman and the Livingstone with Maxwell and the weather got colder and colder until on the Friday we had a high of 5 degC or so, but the fishing (and fly hatches) were brilliant. Fished a dry pretty much all the time and got lots of Cut-throats and some hybrids, all (compared to home) of a good size, largest probably 18 inches, smallest around 10 inches and all lovely plump, fit fish. Missed almost as many as I caught, lost quite a lot, including some big'uns!

When you read reports and watch youtube videos, you get the idea it's easy and for some it may be so, but I had to work hard as 1) I'm not used to these wonderful 'gin clear' mountain streams/rivers with odd flows, back currents etc, 2) I'm of average ability, and without Maxwell, I would have spent 2 days just getting used to what's going on, but with his 'tutelage' I was able to do 2 afternoons on my own catching a few more to brag about when I got home!

Fantastic trip although I'm sad to say I didn't get up to RMH (and Prairie Creek), in fact over the weekend of the 15th I went down to Montana to get warm, and back up on the 17th to fish the Livingstone and Oldman again.

British Airways's performance on the way home was dreadful, but there you go; s..t happens.

I'd love to say I'll repeat next year, but International flying is no fun (especially through time zones), but hopefully that memory will recede and the fishing memories will hold on.

Cheers fellas! Thanks for advice and comments, and just one last aside; I passed through Okotoks and Black Diamond on the way back to Calgary; 2 really nice looking places, BD providing me with a lovely sausage roll and cup of coffee at a bakery.

Best regards,

Del (I didn't keep it that short did I?)

  • Like 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Del, 

Good on you for such a positive attitude. You fished through some of the toughest and strangest weather I've seen for this time of year. However, I expect you had the place pretty much to yourself as not many would bother to venture out in those conditions. September usually has very good weather for fishing but you hit it at a very bad time unfortunately. Glad to hear you had a good time regardless.

Adams

 

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi Adams,

The morning of my last day with Maxwell, the scenery was even more visually stunning with a dusting of snow on the trees and hillsides and after 10 mins of fishing around 10.45 am or so, I could scarcely feel my fingers; it was b....dy freezing. We had a couple during this very cold period, which made the day as it was the only encouragement we had to continue. By 2.30, it was a balmy 3 degC, and all was forgotten with the fish waking up. By 4.30, a halcyon day had been had (had been had??).

As I'm typing, my juices are getting going and I'll be checking flights pretty soon, but not BA. 

Last thing, in case any 'outsiders' are reading this; apart from the fishing, The Crowsnest Pass has plenty to keep you interested besides the fishing including some great cafes (Gary; the Morning Bagels from the Fly Shop Cafe are outstanding as is Susan's welcome), at least 1 excellent pub, (Rum Runner) and some interesting and tragic history. Not forgetting the hiking, although at between 4000 and 5000 feet, I did get a bit breathless on occasion.

Cheers all.

Del

 

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 3 weeks later...

Delray,

For your next trip you might consider Air Canada from LHR to YYC return. I share your dislike of flying - economy class is a dreadful, thinly disguised medieval torture with whomever one flies with. Air Transat also offers a once per week service from LGW to Calgary. A family member used this service recently and found it satisfactory. Westjet operates this route as well,  and though it is a Calgary based company and I have many friends working there, their trans-Atlantic service is relatively new and the aircraft type is the now aged B-767, and Westjet is operating old Qantas airframes with associated reliability issues. 

I missed this whole thread until today... but I am sitting in Southwest London as I type... I’ll send a PM at a later date with a few questions if you don’t mind. 

Cheers and tight lines.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...