July 2018

From The Guide Seat

 

I am happy when local fly fishers want to fish the Bow. Most want to know more about the river, how to fish it and mostly which flies to use.

The first thing I like to ask clients when we head out is “Are you confident with your casting and presentation skills?” If not, we are always happy to provide lessons along the way.

I clearly remember the first fish I ever caught on the Bow, after several failed attempts. I was using a #4 Black Wooly Bugger. After I caught that fish, I continued to use that pattern every time I went out, stubbornly not changing the fly for the conditions I was fishing. After all, I caught a fish on it once! I did this for a whole summer, only occasionally changing my fly. And when I did change my fly, I didn’t really know why, other than I wasn’t catching fish on my tried and true magical streamer.

Eventually, through the grace of other Fly Fishers on the river, some books and some advice from local fly shops, I started to learn about the bugs, when they hatch, how to read the water and where fish likely hold during different times of the year.

The very first thing I noticed as I tried new methods and different set ups, was I could cast! I could lay a fly anywhere I wanted. I could perform a roll cast while in tight situations, I could shoot line across the seam, or I could lay a dry fly nice and easy above a rising fish. All those days of casting, getting hooked on the bottom, losing precious Wooly Buggers in trees and grass, and catching myself in the back, actually did me a world of good.

If you are one of the many new to the sport, getting tangled and messed up, keep at it. Soon enough you will find that confidence and the fish will follow.

Summer 2017

I suppose I take it for granted, getting to experience our river in every season. The fishing can be spectacular, but the scenic valley where it all happens is often even more stunning.  While moving to likely holding water and the next seam or riffle, keeping an eye out for willing Browns and Rainbows to stalk, and watching strike indicators for subtle eats, I often forget to look up.

As we get into fall and my favourite time to fish the Bow, here are some moments that stand out:

-The 70+ year old senior lady that landed a giant Brown, even though her line somehow wrapped around the anchor rope. Her comment after landing the fish? “The water is such a beautiful green.”  Her husband cheering us on was priceless!

-Rowing within 5 Feet of a Huge Golden Eagle and the client sending me the slow motion Video. I was re-tying a leader and didn’t even see it until it moved.  (Posted on the website)

-The little Mink who caught a nice rainbow and hid it in the rocks before I could get a good picture.

-The veteran Fly Fisher, 1st time on the Bow River, telling me the 16” rainbow he had on was the hardest fighting trout he had ever experienced. Later on he hooked a 20” fish and the surprise on his face made the whole trip!

-All the first timers that saw their confidence in their casting stroke build throughout the day and the smiles on their faces when they fooled a trout!

I learn something every time I head down the river. So far this season, a big thank you to all those moments that made me look up.

Tight Lines to all.