That’s why they call it fishing not catching!


Highlights of the 2008 Fishing Season

North Raven Browns

Spring Backyard Trout……..

The early spring brown trout action was spectacular this year. The trout were all healthy and hungry. Most of the time I was using my new favourite lure the Rapala X-Rap which has the right combination of flash and twitchy action. Some may say that fishing with lures is cheating and I agree but who can resist catching dozens of large wily browns just because they can’t help themselves. The best method for fishing this time of year is to take recklessly long cast up the straight sections of the bushy river and bring the lure down stream with the slow current past the underwater lairs of big browns. Of course all the barbs are pinched and the hooks sharp and smiles big.

When the snow started to melt the water levels in the river began to drop and the fishing picked up. There were many trout in the backwater below the house both browns and bulls. One day I would catch browns the other bull trout. They were hitting on rapalas and jigs. The largest bull trout went 27 inches on the fly rod and the brown just around 20. I can’t wait for fall and the water to clear to see if my friends are still here after a terrible oil spill in the river in June. I hope the oil company keeps their promise to monitor the effects of their action. The following story is of one night I caught a lunker.

Tonight was like any spring night in Alberta, scattered showers and a cool breeze barrelling off the foothills. I pulled my vest over my shoulder and headed out the door. Five minutes later I was standing on a sand bar rigging up my eight weight with 8 lb leader material and a large brown spun deer hair bugger. The river was still off colour but was on the mend. My plan was to wake my fly in the shallows near the current break where the silt was not as thick. I was sure a brown or maybe a bull trout was using this as an ambush location for wayward suckers and sculpins. Several casts in I had a boil behind my fly and I quickly flicked the rod tip to get the fly back in the zone. Wham a 17 inch bull raced off with my fly and a short while later I did a quick flip with the pliers and he was on his way.

The clean water from a spring was mixing with dirty water and a definite seam was forming downstream of me. I made a long cast and began my retrieve giving it some rod tip action and all of a sudden the line was ripping between my fingers. I was in to a big fish and quick minor adjustments to the drag on my real as he made time for the current. Pulling the rod low and the right I turned his head back into the back water. I thought for a second he had wrapped me in some junk but it was this bruiser dogging on the bottom. The feeling of being out of control with my eight weights was rare. Finally he got close to shore and I tailed him. By this time it was dark, I snapped a few picture with the flash and returned him to his lair. I had to use the lights on the quad as I rode the trails back to the house. Now back @ my fly tying bench I made several more of these bulky sliders for tomorrow.

Pike and Whitefish on Ice

Pike Lips

Pike Throat

Pike on Ice

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Highlights of the 2008 Fishing Season