Welcome to Trout Fodder; your guide to Alberta hatches, aquatic entomology, and fly fishing.

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Resolute Lake Presentation

I will be doing a presentation on Resolute Lake at tomorrow night's Northern Lights Fly Fishers/Trout Unlimited meeting in Edmonton. Resolute Lake is a tiny, remote Alberta lake that few people have been to, or fished. If you are interested in adventure and mystery, come on out and enjoy the show.

Sunday, November 8, 2015

Swimming with the Fish

Late in the season most trout in streams and rivers tend to move to the deeper holes to while away the winter months. They will still feed opportunistically and will take a well placed nymph on occasion, but for the most part conserving energy is the name of the game. On the warmer late autumn days they may move to riffles adjacent to the deep water to feed on emerging Baetis mayflies (blue winged olives). Drifting a nymph down the riffle and into the transition to slightly deeper water will certainly result in a few takes. 

This video was shot right on that transition on a day when Baetis mayflies were emerging. With the camera positioned right behind a rock where the riffle spills into the hole, you can see how close some of the fish were holding to the transition zone. Here, a foot or so of broken water was all they needed to feel safe

The season has drawn to a close on  most east slope streams here in Alberta but this is something to keep in mind for next fall.

Monday, October 26, 2015

Going, Going...

The open water season is winding down - the signs are all there...

An over-night skiff of snow
Winter's teeth closing in on the edge of a shaded run
And cutthroats congregating in deep winter holes
For the die-hard fly angler there are still a few Baetis mayflies hatching in the "heat" of the afternoon. These trickling hatches are sometimes enough to bring fish to the surface, but it is the tiny, drifting Baetis nymphs that will attract the most attention.

Thursday, October 8, 2015

Morning Calm

I love this time of year. Calm, crisp mornings and pleasantly warm afternoons. There's no better time to head out to the local trout lakes.

Monday, July 27, 2015

I'm Praying for the Rain

Cutthroats are often thought of as fair weather fish due to their propensity to rise to dry flies on bright sunny days. While this may be true, like most trout, when the feed is really on, so are they. This past weekend was a perfect example of this. Green drakes (among a few other mayflies) were popping - and with the cooler and often drizzly weather slowing the act of eclosion, and keeping the duns on the water a little longer, the cutties were feeding with reckless abandon. Fly anglers who were prepared for the weather and didn't mind being out under adverse conditions were the ones having all the fun.

The contrast from two weeks ago was an interesting lesson in fly selection - green drakes were the dominant hatch on both occasions, but the fish were targeting slightly different stages of emergence. Two weeks ago was mostly hot and sunny, and water temperatures were higher. Emergence of individual bugs was a relatively quick event so the fish were targeting the duns as they waited for their wings to dry and were attempting to flutter away. Here, the paradrake out fished the emerger 10:1. This past weekend being cooler both in terms of water and air temperature, coupled with the damp conditions meant that the act of emergence was a little slower. The fish were more focused on nymphs just starting to emerge in the surface film. My green drake emerger out fished the paradrake 10:1. All of this highlights the importance of not just knowing what insect is emerging, but having a few flies to match more than one stage of the hatch. 

If you are interested in tying my Green Drake Emerger it is quite simple. Just tie an unweighted Hare'e Ear nymph in dark olive with an antron tail, rib with brown 2/0 nylon thread, and tie in a post style tuft of natural deer hair. When fishing this fly apply some floatant to the deer hair only, and then saturate the body and tail with saliva. The fly should hang in the surface film and look just like the nymph as the cuticle splits and the adult is just starting to work its way out. 

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Fishing With Wood

A little headwaters cutthroat action on the wood fly rod this past weekend. There were several bugs hatching and it seemed the trout were feeding on something different at every hole. Alternating between a few different fly patterns did the trick on most risers but it was the Green Paradrake that took most of the fish.