Monday, October 8, 2012

Late Summer on the Bow

Fishing at first light on the Blue Ribbon Bow River

I had the pleasure of planning a trip to the Bow River with my long time friend and fishing buddy Nick Sliwkanich in late August. Living on the Bow, I had admittedly become somewhat complacent. Whether it be due to laziness, or just lack of care, I had found myself becoming one of those guys who kept the same San Juan worm, big strike indicator rig on all the time. That all changed on this trip.

Nick sighting fish off of a high bank late afternoon
Nick had been out fishing earlier in the week on the bow and was using a finesse presentation if you will. A small elk hair caddis and a tiny...and I mean tiny emerger behind it. He had told me that every fish he'd caught earlier in the week he spotted before he caught...and most he caught he saw actually open their mouths and take his subsurface offering....Needless to say, I changed my set-up.

Nick netting a nice rainbow that took his dry fly offering in a slow moving stretch of water
The product of spot and stalk fishing on the Bow

We fished the late afternoon/evening and hit the water first thing in the morning the following day. We were rewarded big time. The morning went great on dry flies and as the sun climbed, we spotted a pod of at least a dozen trout against a bank in a smaller run. The trico hatch was massive and many fish were keying on emergers...perfect scenario for our set-ups. We stayed in one stretch of water watching fish for a couple hours and took turns picking off 8 or 9 fish between the two of us...the smallest being a 17" rainbow! Not a bad way to spend an afternoon and a totally unique way of fishing the Bow for me!

A colorful brown trout taken sight fishing late August

One of the most surprising things about the fish that we hooked and/or missed setting the hook on was the fact that they bit so light or quickly that the dry fly didnt even get pulled under when they took the dropper fly. This is where a good pair of polarized glasses come into play. Most times the flash of a white mouth under water was a tell-tale sign on a fish taking the tiny offering.

Nick with a surprise catch, a Bow River Cutt-Bow

We caught a few different fish species and many different size-classes of fish, all on light 4 or 5 weight set-ups with what would be considered light fly rigs on the Bow. Was it worth getting up at 5:00? You bet, it also changed my plan of attack on hot sunny summer days on the mighty Bow River!
Strictly Dry Fly or Dry Dropper Set-Ups were used on this outing
Andy Releasing a Decent Rainbow on the Bow

Thanks for reading, hope to see you all on the water and tight lines on your next adventure!

-Andy Tchir

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