Monday, November 16, 2015
Tuesday, February 17, 2015
For those of you who don't know our history, the four of us started a free website in 1999/2000 called "Fly Fishing the West". Back then we could post maybe a half dozen pictures to our page. After having about 10 views to the site, it would shutdown on overload for a few hours (Something unheard of nowadays). A year later, we discovered another free hosting site that allowed us to have more capacity for pictures, and even videos! That year, a magazine came out with the name "Fly Fishing the West" (not in existence anymore), so we came up with the name "Western Sportfishing".
Fishing videos on the internet were almost unheard of at the time. They couldn't be long or of a particularly high quality; but we put a few up and had a great response! Those old videos are in our archives on the website. In 2004 or so, we all pitched in some money and bought a domain name, and picked a hosting site. We have been here ever since. Over the 15 years we have grown each section of the site. A few years ago, we produced three DVD titles: "2007 Western Sportfishing Video Series", "Hook n' Vise Vol. 1", and lastly "Western Canadian Journey". It was a blast to make these videos, and even cooler that we were mentioned in the reviews section of Fly Fusion Magazine as well as the Fly Fish Alberta blog.
We started doing this as a fun way to share our fishing adventures, while also educating everybody along the way. That is still the goal for this website. It has been great to meet many of you loyal followers in the community or out on the waters. We would like to let everyone know that to celebrate our 15th year, we are hoping to film a few episodes in our TV show format (as shown in our 2007 DVD's) for viewing on our website as well as on our YouTube channel. Look for them later in the year. Also, watch for other exciting announcements throughout the year!
Finally, thank you all for being with us for the last 15 years of this journey! Without you, our website would not still be going. Thank you, and remember that you can keep in touch with us through almost every form of Social Media as well as email.
Thursday, March 6, 2014
My question is this...why has the trend been for some individuals to put themselves above all others and the sport, and why are so many people massaging their egos? That attitude needs to be left at home, and these people need to start enjoying the sport for what it was made to be (as mentioned earlier)...good friends and family enjoying themselves out on the water creating memories, and acquiring new skills along the way!
|Western Sportfishing: Trev, Andy, Tim, and Nick|
Wednesday, August 14, 2013
|Kristy's first Montana brown|
|An upper-average size rainbow for Rock Creek|
|Rock Creek has lots of trout, and much of your fishing will be in runs, riffles, and pocket water. Move slowly and hit each seem and pocket. You'll be shocked where you find fish.|
|It was an amazing sight to watch this cutthroat come and gently suck back my sulphur dry.|
|I took my time and reworked the water. I was rewarded. ** Notice the Soda Butte in the background.**|
|5x tippet and a good fish --I had to chase it downstream a little ways to keep it out of some root balls.|
|A happy angler.|
|Fish the water well. Good fish live in subtle places.|
Wednesday, August 7, 2013
|Nick casts a dry fly to a rising cutthroat|
|Andy nets T-rev's fish. Trev was just resting his eyes in this pic lol|
|"Dead Man Walking" (Nick) and Andy fish a nice run|
|Nick casting for a (hopeful) rainbow trout|
|T-rev doing the honours while Andy holds his nice cutt caught on the streamer|
|The beer of the 80's lol...Old V...|
|The campground Buck makes an appearance|
|Nick working the nymphs|
|Nice pool for the streamers and nymphs...and a picture|
|Andy with a monster on my dry fly|
|Nick with an aggressive cutt that took a couple of runs at Andy's streamer before slamming Nick's Hoover nymph...or was it the Dyson Nymph??|
|Typical Westslope Cutt|
|Soaking in the scenery|
|T-rev spotting some bull trout. Then a rock fell off the cliff randomly about 10 seconds later, and landed in the water just in front of him. Needless to say he wasn't standing there after that lol.|
|Nick with a 24"er...no wait he's just doing the fly nation pose haha|
|"I SEEN one that COME up just over THURR"|
Tuesday, July 2, 2013
It has been a crazy spring to say the least. With a late ice-off for stillwaters to southern Alberta flooding and now a heat wave. The weather has been all over the map. With that being said we have still had some enjoyable trips out on the water. For myself, it has been one of the slowest seasons for catching, but the days out with friends and family have made up for the poor success rates. Hopefully the success picks up but here are a few shots from the spring season.
Friday, March 8, 2013
Okay, I guess that's all well and good, but I don't really have a single pattern that exactly fits all the criteria. I do have a few dry flies in my repertoire that are versatile, reasonably durable, simple and cheap to tie, sit low for a good presentation, but float for a long time, catch little brookies as well as pain-in-the-ass browns, and require just a minimal bit of general maintenance. I can even tie them down to a #24 without needing to alter the pattern to make it possible...
So what am I actually talking about here? Well, before I keep going, let's backtrack a hair over a dozen years ago, to the late days of the '90s and early 2000s....
After a few of my rookie influenced teenaged attempts to plump up my fly selection, I took the Comparadun fly that I used so often with good success and bought a few of the new to me CDC feathers from my local shop after seeing an SFOTF episode. I tied up a small variety of Comparadun styled flies using some #16 light wire hooks, hackle fibres for a tail, either ginger or olive CDC chopped up for some rough dubbing, and some paired white or dun CDC tips for wings.
The result? A supremely cheap, easy to tie mayfly, that floats well in a decent chop, can float a small nymph below it if it came to it, and after rinsing the fly off in the water, squeezing it dry with a handkerchief, and adding a tiny amount of CDC oil, lasted forever. This thing worked wonders and accounted for a lot of trout during my misspent youth. Well, not really misspent because I was fly fishing after all, but you know...
I caught a lot of small stream trout on those simple CDC flies, trout that had already seemed to wise up to the attractors being used by an onslaught of fly fishers that joined the ranks back then.
Okay, back to 2013, where there are more fishermen than ever, less good public water, smarter fish in many streams, not to mention less dry fly hackle thanks to some sort of recently deceased fad that involved horrendous prices and Steven Tyler.
Re-enter CDC. I would have to say that for any kind of dry fly, save for the largest hoppers, stones, attractors and the like, this is possibly my favourite material. You can buy a bag of dun/dark beige Petitjean CDC for around ten bucks: enough to tie well more mayflies and caddisflies than you could reasonably expect to go through in a normal year. You can even use it for hackle on an Elk Hair Caddis type pattern, and those long, mobile feathers just scream "life-like." I like to collar some of my nymphs with it; it traps air bubbles, flows extremely well, and moves just right.
And trout are suckers for that.
I guess I would encourage people to try CDC if you haven't yet. I know that CDC is one of the most popular dry fly materials in much of Europe, but it is often on of the last-resort type of fly tried out here.
I'm thinking of a story here, that happened early last fall on the Bow River. I was working my way back to the truck in the late afternoon. I'd sight-fished a mile or so or river edge, and slowly worked my way back down, picking up a couple of the trout I'd flubbed the first time and maybe a couple others ones too. That part isn't really important.
I came across a couple anglers standing high on the bank looking at either a slow back bay or trying to see into a shallow riffle about 70 feet off the bank. It was difficult to tell from a hundred yards away.
As it turned out, they were doing both. There were a couple trout rising out in the riffle, and another one slowly cruising in the back eddy. I guess they had fished the eddy for a while with no luck; I told them I had a similar experience earlier in the day, and encouraged the guy who was actually holding a rod to go try for the active risers. He said he had been, but hadn't gotten a take.
Taking the situation into account, I suggested a slightly longer leader (I think he was using a total leader/tippet of about 9 or 10' to 4x), including a 2.5' 5x tippet and a low floating caddis. There were caddis around us, but no fresh ones. The rises were slow and deliberate, meaning the bugs in question weren't moving much, probably caddis that finished laying their eggs upstream a little ways, then just sort of sat there drifting until either time or a trout finished them off.
As it turned out, the flies he had tried were popular but heavily hackled and high floating caddis dries. I offered the guy a Henry's Fork Caddis; it's made of a biot body, a CDC (and mallard flank, if you are into following the original recipe to a T) wing, and a medium dun hackle over a peacock herl head. Brilliant, easy, and a great trout-fooler.
The result? A perfect 18 or 19" Bow River rainbow on his first cast. He was happy, I was happy, and when he told me he had recently taken up tying, but had never used CDC before, I offered another H.F. Caddis as a model. It isn't like I suggested he do something off the wall or bizarre, but a low-floater with CDC sure seemed to work well, and I was genuinely pleased that he caught that fish.
A week or so later, Andy and I caught a few nice Bow River rainbows during an evening hatch, again using CDC caddis (well, at least I was). Later in the fall I caught more than a few browns from a small spring creek near (sort of) where I live on a Stalcup Biot Dun (a size 18 of the blue winged olive variety).
For some great patterns, Rene Harrop and Shane Stalcup are well known "local" tyers who generously created patterns with CDC. There are tons of great European CDC tyers, probably most notably Marc Petitjean. If this interests you, check out the book Fly Tying With CDC.
I would say that the best, or at least some of the best, flies to tie if you're going to start tying with CDC would be the Henry's Fork Caddis (Harrop) and the CDC Biot Dun (Stalcup). Both flies are simple and use roughly the same ingredients to complete (some Superfine/fine antron dubbing, turkey biots, CDC, and some half decent cape hackle. I've substituted the original peacock herl for dubbing on the caddis' head, with no noticeable ill effects). They also both catch fish. The only concession I make to the fly, and subsequently the speed at which they can be churned out, is the small layer of Zap I lay over the thread-base before wrapping the biot; it's simply a matter of better longevity and fly survival rate.
|Henry's Fork Caddis. A very productive Rene Harrop fly. #14, olive body with a grey wing.|
|Stalcup's CDC Biot Dun, minus the mallard quill overwing. #16 Pale Morning Dun.|
|Petitjean Caddis. #16, grey/tan (marketed as beige), and just awesome-as-hell looking.|
Happy tying. Only a few more weeks guys. Hang in there.