Joe and I decided on heading out to Dolberg Lake last Thursday. Joe is a good fishing buddy of mine, you may know Joe as the moderator of my Alberta Fly Fishing Forum (A.K.A Jokey). We always try and fish together but our schedules don't usually work out that way. Dolberg Lake is a two hour drive from Edmonton not far from the town of Barrhead and is known for producing some nice size rainbow trout and during the spring and fall is also known for decent catch rates. In the heat of summer however, the fishing can shut down quite often and may not be as productive. We were hoping this day would not be one of those days. Joe picked me up at 6am and as I loaded my 'toon into his van, I noticed how humid and foggy it was. When we got in Joe's van I checked the temperature and it read 15c but it felt like 19 or 20c. It wasn't until we turned onto highway 33 that I found it odd to still have all this fog in the air and it wasn't until we reached the lake that I clued in and realized that it was smoke in the air and not fog at all. We set up our boats and tackle and got on the water quickly. This was Joe's first time to Dolberg and asked what productive areas I've fished before. I pointed out five decent spots on the lake where I've had success before and since neither of us wanted to fish with 30ft leaders, we headed over to the old inflow. We both immediately got into fish, nothing big but they were biting and eventually I hooked into my biggest of the day at 18 inches.
After some time on the water, Joe and I both wondered if we were close to a forest fire as the smoke got so thick we could barely see the shore line. It wasn't until I got home that that I heard the reports that the smoke was due to BC forest fires out of the Williams Lake area. It was around supper time that I noticed the smoke starting to clear and as the sun started getting lower in the sky, the bugs came out to play. Caddis, boatman, backswimmers, midges and mayflies all became active.
Joe was catching a ton now but it wasn't until later that he started hooking into bigger ones and eventually beat me with about a 22 incher. He did hook into quite a few decent size bows but he just couldn't keep them on.
Joe stuck to the leech patterns and continued catching fish and I, like most of the day, kept experimenting with different flies. I finished the day off fishing dry flies without much luck. All in all though, a great day on the water with a good friend and many trout caught. What else could a guy ask for?