It was cool
and dry in the mountains when we arrived on July 11th for our semi-annual
fly fishing trip to the Crowsnest Pass region. Two years ago the streams and
rivers in the region had been fairly high and fast. Totally different
conditions greeted us this year and that was a good thing. Water conditions
were relatively benign, with lower water levels and medium flow. In fact, when
talking to Vic Bergman the first night, he said he was hoping for rain for the
next couple of weeks in order to increase the flows a bit. Vic owns “The
Crowsnest Angler” fly shop, a must stop in Bellevue. I have known Vic
for years and he was to recommend us five key dry flies for our adventure.
After spending some money, we headed back to the Highway #22 turnoff and away
we went to the Livingston River. Here we would set up camp for the next few
days of fishing in the region. Our first day of fishing saw us try “The Gap”, a
very famous upper middle section of the Oldman River. Unfortunately angling
pressure, along with rain and severe wind gusts limited our effort that first
day. Any attempt to get a dry fly into
the wind was usually rebuffed in the section we were fishing. Our other team of
anglers had picked a section in which they could cast down wind into the
current. As a result, they caught more fish than us. Still, another lesson
learned and adjustments made so we were ready for
Brake and I headed out to a different section of The Oldman, one in which we
really hadn’t tried in previous years. Wow, did we make the right call. In our
second pool, Phil hooked a real nice cutthroat in the 20 inch range, that gave him
a battle right to the end. He was using
a Pale Morning Dun, with a black ant dropper off the back. After that fish, I
switched over to a Purple Haze dry fly with a black ant dropper. Wow, did that
ever work! Now both Phil and I had
pretty much non-stop action for the rest of the day.
still caught some fish on a couple of the other dries, this one proved to be
number one this week.
for me my trip was cut short. Thursday morning I suffered chest pains and had
to make a trip to the hospital. One week and one stent later I made it back to
Winnipeg. I should be back on the water shortly though. Fast action by my
friends at the campsite helped limit the damage. It also helped that one of my
friends on the trip is a medical doctor. He got me aspirin and on the road to the
hospital in five minutes after recognizing the symptoms of a heart attack.
Thanks Gerald and Phil for everything you did!