Monday, May 5, 2008

Camping With A Pot-Head

Saturday morning I headed out to Prairie Creek campground near Rocky Mountain House for the Alberta Fly Fishing Forum 1st annual conclave. Originally we had about 15 people interested in showing up but because of the weather reports calling for bad weather and the fact that the local stream and lake reports for the area were less than desirable, only five members and a wife showed up. The participants included; Jokey, EHC, Tee and his wife, Troutfisherwill and myself. Turned out the weather was absolutely beautiful and we didn't see any rain or snow. Will showed up late on Saturday afternoon and we had all taken off to fish Mitchell lake by that time so he just hung out in the campground and made himself some supper. Word has it that Nordegg Sonya showed up as well on Saturday afternoon but Tee's wife couldn't remember where we went fishing so Sonya left and unfortunately didn't return on Sunday. The boys tied up some flies after lunch but before hitting Mitchell lake we checked out Ironside Pond. Only the shallow water was ice-free so that made our choice easy. Fishing was decent, Tee seemed to hook into quite a few, not sure what his final numbers were. I netted eight rainbows with the biggest taping in at 18 inches and I lost three. All were caught on either the Redd October blood worm or my Black Thread Midge pattern. EHC & Jokey both caught fish as well so nobody got skunked. Talked for a bit with Don Anderson, that's always interesting as Mr. Anderson is such an interesting gentleman with a wealth of information.

When we got back to the campground, we introduced ourselves to Troutfisherwill and then cooked up some supper. After dinner we all headed over to Jokey's campsite and sat around the fire telling jokes and sharing stories. It was worth the trip just for this portion of the evening as things got quite interesting.

Once it got dark and the fire was roaring I noticed Jokey look over to the picnic table. I wasn't really sure if he was looking at the table or looking beyond it into the woods so I asked him what he heard thinking that he may have heard a bear or something. He said he thought he heard something fall off the picnic table. Then a few minutes later he looked again. Jokey then gets up and says he thinks the water in his frying pan may be freezing as the temperature had really fallen by this time and that's what he thinks he hears. As he inspects the pan I see something hit the ground at a very high speed. So I got up and grabbed one of the two Coleman lanterns on the picnic table and lower it to the ground by Jokey's chair. That's when I saw it. One big ass bug. It's called a Giant Diving Beetle (Dytiscus spp) and are seen throughout Alberta. So now that I knew what was making the noise, I felt better especially knowing that it wasn't a bear. But the satisfaction quickly turned into hysterics as these falling bugs became more frequent in the next half hour or so. So frequent, It got to the point where they started hitting folks in the head. Now, I found this all rather amusing but Jokey was rather disturbed by the whole 'attacking beetle thing' and after getting hit by one of the bugs in the head he decided a helmet was the appropriate course of action. At this point he decides to place a pot on his head. Of course upon seeing this I'm laughing so hard that my eyes are tearing. None of us know much about these bugs like whether they bite or not nor did we want to find out but luckily the frequency of the diving beetles eventually diminished and Jokey's helmet came off but not before we all had a good laugh. Who would have known that Jokey was a pot-head.

Sunday we made the decision to fish Prairie Creek. Jokey packed it in and didn't fish with us on this day as he wanted to get home in time to play hockey for his men's league team and he had come a day earlier so had already done some fishing with EHC on Friday. The lower potion of Prairie was like most of the streams in the Rocky Mountain House area looking a little like chocolate milk but up stream of our campground, it was fairly clear. I always wanted to fish Prairie Creek but my interests lie in the sections that hold the bigger brown trout and not so much the sections we were fishing for small brookies. That of course didn't stop me from enjoying a fun day on a stream with good company so after packing up our camping gear into our vehicles we drove to the nearest bridge. Tee and Troutfisherwill set out up the stream and EHC and myself followed. We found some really nice water with many very fishy looking pockets of water but the brookies were not interested in any of our offerings on this day as no fish were caught. After a few hours and a sandwich on the stream we decided it was time time to start the second half of our day and head back to Mitchell Lake. Not sure how many fish were caught on this outing but EHC and myself both netted one 16 inch rainbow and I lost a nice 18 inch brown. This was my first trout trip of 2008 and I want to thank all the folks that showed up, I had a blast. I hope the next conclave sees more anglers come out.


vanckirby said...

would it be okay if i added your blog to my fly fishing links?

Mike (Doc) Monteith said...

Absolutely vanckirby and thanks for dropping by.


vanckirby said...

thanks! i just added you. keep up the great blogging and ill keep checking in.

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