Tuesday, 26 February 2008

I keep missing fishing dates

Saturday night was the Edm Tu & NLFT&F's fundraiser at Bo-Diddley's. I missed that due to family issues. Monday was the monthly TU meeting. I missed that due to my nine year olds science fair (I helped her with the project part of Saturday & all day Sunday, it was a project on the human stomach. Why the stomach? I'm not really sure but it turned out well). Of course I let my daughter Hunter (on the left) and her science partner Cali, color, paste and write out all the information them selves. When I got to the fair I found out that apparently, I could have done all the work for her. Hmm. Anyway, between work and family, I just can't seem to get out to any fishing events. I hope the summer is a little kinder to me.

Speaking of work and summer, not only do I guide in the warmer months but I also DJ. Not to toot may own horn; but I am pretty good. Ok, I'm tooting my own horn. Anyway, I specialize in weddings, birthdays and company parties. The season will be starting up again in March and by May I'm usually working every Saturday night until October. If you're looking for a DJ, check out the company I work for; AJ'S Group. For those that have been to West Edmonton Mall, you may remember AJ as the piano guy at Sherlock Holmes back about 10 years ago. Now you can find him at O'Maille's Irish Pub.

In my last post I put up some videos that I personally enjoy watching. Well the video with the great cinematography has few more up on the net. The company's name is Danica. Check out both of these. Teaserkort & Teaserlang. I love both of these videos, just awesome to watch. I hope this is what we can expect from the Trout Bums Diaries Tour coming to the Edmonton Public Library on March 6.

If you've got a small boat (14' or smaller) and you'd like to haul it around o
n the roof of your vehicle but it's just to heavy and awkward for one person, you may be interested in this. I think it's a great idea. There's even one for a canoe. Best Selling Boat Loader In The World.

Sunday, 24 February 2008

Some pretty cool videos

Just added these to my favorites on YouTube. I have fun looking for videos that I actually enjoy watching. I might enjoy them for different reasons. This one I enjoy for the calm serenity I feel while watching it. It reminds me of how i feel when I'm on a stillwater fishery. Check it out;

Here's one that I really enjoyed because of the cinematography. Who ever shot this is very good at their craft. I believe it's a trailer for a film called "Fly-fishing Europe".

If you fish you've definitely heard this song by Brad Paisley before and more than likely saw the video. It's always fun to watch it a few times every year however, so if you haven't watched it in a while, give it a look.

This video is for the guys. Ya, Chicks Gone Fly-Fishing (behind the scenes). What can I say? I'm weak to the sins of flesh. How does that song go? "You can look at the menu but you just can't eat." Words to live by when you're married. That was a big hit in the 80's. Remember the name? 'No One Is To Blame' by Howard Jones.

I didn't make it out to the TU Edmonton / NLFT&F's fundraiser at Bo-Diddley's on Sat night. Had some family issues come up that had to get dealt with and it was way to late by the time things were settled. I was looking forward to it too. Oh well, next year. I heard they had a good turn out though. Hope they raised some good money.

Friday, 22 February 2008

They don't understand us

Have you noticed that people who don't fly-fish, don't understand us. And it gets even worse with those who don't fish at all. When ever I try and explain fly-fishing to a non fisher, I feel like they have a mental picture of me sitting on a dock, shoeless with my straw hat and coveralls holding an old wooden pole that hosts a string with a worm dangling from an old rusty hook. Sort of like an old Norman Rockwell painting.
Even those that do fish (spin or bait), just don't get what fly-fishing is all about. And there are so many folks out there that believe fishing is directly linked to consumption. Countless numbers of people I've talked to when asked if they fish respond with statements like, "no, I don't like the taste of fish" or "no, the fish in Alberta don't taste very good". We've really got to change this correlation.

So my view on fly-fishing is this: Fly-fishing is the next step, the evolution if you will of fishing. It's the enlightenment of not just with what can we catch fish with but the why, where, when and how. It's like a life-long search for all the answers, a determination to absorb all that can be absorbed from the never ending amount of information involved into the sport of fly-fishing. It's hunting but on a different level, a level where our brains are more of a weapon then the rod and lure. Fly-fishing is a sport, passion, hobby and an art all rolled up into one. It involves physics, entomology, botany, ichthyology and hydrology. And yet with all that we cram into our brains, we get in or on the water and just enjoy the moment, take in the beauty, relax and just try and catch a few fish.

Thursday, 21 February 2008

My fly is not so original

When I invented the X-mas Chronie, I fashioned it from the Illuminator. There were obvious changes. Bead head, colors, materials, etc... So lately I've been in correspondence with an American fly angler by the name of Joni who apparently has a version of my X-Mas Chronie. Her pattern is a little different but basically the same tie. She uses a copper bead and copper wire wrap as well she named her pattern the 'Irish Spring'. As you can see, it looks pretty darn close. I guess Phil was right. There are no new flies out there. Somebody somewhere has already thought of it. I guess the trick is to add your own little personality traits to it, traits that will catch you lots of fish to boot. What really caught my eye though was a double pupa fly. I've seen this done with other patterns but never a chironomid. I asked Joni if the catch rates were higher with the double and she responded; "I have caught fish on the double, but don't notice it being an improvement. More one of those flies for the fisher. But I did tie some for a swap and one of the FF's here did well with it." Definitely an intersting tie Joni and maybe worth a try come spring. Thanks for the use of your pics.

Just a reminder not to forget the Trout Unlimited fundrasier happening this Saturday night February 23 in conjunction with the Northern Lights fly tyers & Fishers. It all takes place at Bo Diddley's Roadhouse (11650 142 Street) starting at 6:00pm. Tickets are available at the door for $12.50 and that gets you a steak sandwich with caesar salad served at what ever time you order it. If you're at all worried about not knowing anyone, just show up and sit at the table with me and my wife, we're fairly hospitable.
We'll be raffling off a Winston Boron flyrod and a Loomis GL4 fly rod. There is also a silent auction featuring fishing and non-fishing related items and a 50/50 draw. Come and bid on silent auction items and support the chapter. I believe that NLFT&F's will be donating some of the money raised to Casting For Life as well.

Also, there will be an Edmonton chapter TU meeting on Monday February 25 in the Seminar room at the Northgate Lions Seniors Centre (7524 139 Avenue) at 7:30 pm. Our guest speaker from the Alberta Conservation Association will be talking about a restoration project on Bearberry Creek (near Sundre). Hope to see you come out as all are welcome even if you haven't yet purchased a membership this year.

I'm trying to get the wife to let me go fish the Bow now that we're seeing temps up above zero but I seem to be getting some resistance. Seems there's a lot of chores that need to be done around the house. Hmmmm! Shack Nasites really setting in now! This fishing game I found only gets me through a few minutes, I'm going snaky.

Monday, 18 February 2008

Family Day

It's Family Day today. No, I'm not standing on the banks of the Bow River with my laptop right now, nor did anyone in my family want to go out to a local lake and stare down a hole in the ice. So far however, we haven't done anything as a family today other than a family meeting and cleaning up the kitchen. We have a Jenn-Air stove with the indoor BBQ and it was my turn to clean up the drippings and grease from the steaks we had last night. That can get messy and if it gets left too long, quite nasty as well. I guess the plan this evening is to play board games with the family. I like a few of these games like; Are you smarter than a fifth grader, Clue, Trivial Pursuit, etc... but there are a few that drive me nuts like Sorry! or ones that take entirely to long to finish like Monopoly. Anywho, we'll be playing a few of those games tonight right after me and the wife make up some hot food. Boy do we love our hot food, and our favorite is Curried Lamb. We rarely ever make that though and when we do, we usually substitute the Lamb for Beef. If you like hot food , here's a great recipe to try...

2 lbs. beef, 2-inch cubes, trim off fat
4 potatoes, peeled, cut into 2-inch cubes (originally calls for 2 potatoes)
1/2 c. oil
2 med. onions, diced
2 ripe tomatoes or canned
1 tbsp. ginger/garlic paste
Salt/pepper to taste
1 heaping tbsp. curry powder to each lb. meat (mix with water to form paste)

In frying pan, heat oil and saute onions until they start to turn dark brown. Add tomatoes, garlic/ginger paste and curry paste. Stir frequently until mixture becomes pasty.

Add beef cubes; stir gently for 2-5 minutes. Don't scorch it though. Add water if it gets too dry. Cook until nearly done. Add the potato cubes; stir and mix in spices.

Add water or stock to just barely cover the mixture; cover, simmer 20-30 minutes or until beef is tender. Add salt/pepper and hot sauce to taste.


Speaking of yummy, I found this great hot sandwich maker for your vehicle on the net. This is awesome for fishing trips and it's only $20.

  • Plugs Directly Into Your Cigarette Lighter Socket
  • Non-Stick Cooking Plates
  • Power-On Indicator Light
  • 5 Amps
  • 5 Foot Power Cord
  • 90 Day Manufacturers Warranty

Think I'll pick one of these up. No more cold sandwiches on my trips for myself or my clients. If you wanna check it out for yourself look here... RPDF168 Road Pro 12 Volt Sandwich Maker

Saturday, 16 February 2008

A.F.F.F. 1st Annual Conclave

After many, many years running The Fishin' Alberta Message Board, last spring I finally started up my own fly-fishing message board called the Alberta Fly Fishing Forum. This came about from a few e-mails I received from folks that were now left with a void due to Dave Jensen closing down his popular board, the Fly Fish Alberta Forum. My new board has been up now for only 10 months and is doing very well. It now enjoys a membership of 653 anglers as I write this and growing more every week. Of course not everyone participates on the forum, a lot just look and read but our core group of posters are a bunch of great guys and gals. I would like to see more members getting involved but if not so be it, no pressure here. Day in and day out on the board, we get to know some of the members but you can't really put a face or a voice to the posting name so I thought it would be a nice idea for a forum fly-fishing get together. A conclave if you will. Everything was done democratically, as we voted on the the month, weekend, area, and campground we'll stay at. Here is what we came up with.

The 1st Alberta Fly Fishing Forum Conclave has been set for May 3rd & 4th and we decided it will be held in the Rocky Mountain House area at Prairie Creek Provincial Recreation Area. There are many fisheries open at this time of year in the Rocky area with the six most popular being:

* Stauffer Creek (North Raven River)
* Beaver Lake (special regulations)

* Prairie Creek
* Ironside Pond (C&R regulations)
* Clearwater River
* Phyllis Lake (stocked with some brood stock)

If you are planning on attending, please post so we can get a count. In your post, please state if you are for sure coming, if there is an excellent chance of you coming or if you are going to try but not really sure.

Also in your post, give us an idea of a few activities we could do as a group both during the day and on Saturday night (for example, a one hour, one fly, biggest fish competition during the day and wings and beer on Sat night). Also, are you interested in a group site or individual sites?

This looks like a good time and a nice way to meet other members of the forum. All are welcome, hope you can participate.

FOR SURE = So far we have 6 for sure (barring really
bad weather)
Excellent Chance = We have 2 that barring work or other things that can come up are in.
I'll Try My Best = 2 members have said they'll try and make it.

AFFF Conclave Countdown

So if you haven't checked out my forum as of ye
t and you'd like to join us on a fly-fishing conclave, become a member and come along. All members are welcome.

Friday, 15 February 2008

Phil Rowley has left Superfly?

So at the NLFT&F's meeting on Wed night, someone asked why I wasn't at Phil Rowley's party. I told them that I didn't know Phil was having a party. So when I get home, I phoned him up and left a message on his answering machine, asking if I missed his birthday or something (I know it's not his birthday 'cause we both celebrated our birthdays together at the Keg last year in May).

Well when I got home this evening, I checked the answering machine and Phil had left a message saying it was his bon-voyage party as he has left Superfly for a new job. And if I wanted to know more I would have to call him.
"Huh? Left Superfly? He's not moving is he? What the? I'd Better call him".
So, I phoned him up and sure enough, tonight (Friday) was his last night with Superfly. He then goes on to explain he was offered an opportunity that he couldn't resist. He would still have ties with Superfly and his Stillwater Solutions tying materials as well as presenting for Superfly at some of the shows doing tying demonstrations. Ok, so now I'm going nuts and I ask him; "So who ya working for?" He tells me that he is the new director of marketing & communications for the TV show The New Fly Fisher. Unbelievable! Wow! Talk about a dream come true. So I told him, if he needs any help (scraping barnacles of the bottom of boats, hooking trout on the end of lines for good camera shots, etc...) better call me dude. To top it off, he doesn't have to move to where the head office is in Ontario, he can work out of his home in Sherwood Park. All I got to say is; congratulations Phil, you deserve it buddy.

Thursday, 14 February 2008

February 14... Bahhhhh Hum Bug! & Denny Rickards

Happy Valentines Day! Went out and bought my wife a nice card and a heart shaped box of chocolates. She's working 'til 8:00 tonight so she hasn't received her gift as of yet. I know it's not much but I'm not a real Valentines day guy. Just knowing it was invented by the greeting card companies has turned me sour towards it. At least with Christmas it has deep meaning underneath all the commercialism. Anyway, looking forward to the Oilers game on TV tonight. They're just off a fresh win against Minnesota and tonight are playing the San Jose Sharks. I really should be shoveling the driveway but I just don`t feel like it. So it`s going to + (plus) temperatures here in Edmonton for a few days. If you`re not familiar with Alberta weather we have a saying here... If you don`t like the weather; wait a couple hours. Our weather changes so dramatically at times. Last week we were into this cold snap of -35 degrees Celsius (that`s -31 Fahrenheit for our USA brothers out there). Now for tomorrow, the temps will be reaching +5 Celsius (41 F). Monday for many Albertan folk is a holiday known as Family Day. Well, Family Day in Calgary will be +3, perfect for a day fly-fishing the Bow River. I know, that sounds selfish. After all, the day is supposed to be spent doing something with the family. Which is exactly why I wanted to get the whole family into fishing. Not to be however. So do I dare even ask the wife if I can go fish the Bow? Hmmmm....!?

Heh, I was looking (`cause I never really stop) for stillwater info on the net and came across an interview with Denny Rickards presenting stillwater tactics on Fly Fish Radio. I don't agree with everything he believes but overall there's some real good info, give it a listen to here.

Oh, hockey game`s on. `Til tomorrow.

Wednesday, 13 February 2008

Northern Lights Fly Tyers & Fishers

For those of you who have not heard of this club, it's a popular fly tiers and fly fishers club here in Edmonton. Not really sure how many members are in the club but you can usually count on seeing 20 - 40 members every meeting (more when a special guest is presenting). The meetings take place every Wednesday night from Sept thru April. In the warmer months they get together informally as a club to fish or meet and tie flies. But it's in the winter when all the fun stuff happens. Some tie flies, some just hang out and chat and some take in the the nightly presenter. Usually you'll have someone presenting a couple fly patterns, rod building techniques, fixing your casting stroke, or whatever. I don't attend many of these meeting but when I do I usually have a good time talking with like minded fly anglers. I went to my first meeting of 2008 tonight. The presenter was showing us products to keep you safe while out in the wilderness (bear spray, hydration packs, self inflating pfd's, etc...), the information was useful and the presenter was well spoken. The main reason I went to the meeting tonight however was to give the club a $50 gift certificate I picked up from Lux Steakhouse & Bar because it's time once again for the annual NFLT&F / TUC silent auction and fundraiser. Every year the club in conjunction with TU Edmonton put on a fundraiser to raise money to support different events, needed electronics, tools, and whatnot. This years auction takes place on Saturday February 23rd at Bo'diddley's Roadhouse. Tickets are available in advance or at the door. Your $12.50 admission includes a steak dinner and some of this years proceeds are going to Casting For Life. Hope you can make it down and if you do, come on over to my table and sit down and chat with me and my wife.

Tuesday, 12 February 2008

Becoming a guide

So in my last post I wrote that I would tell you about how I became a fly-fishing guide. It all started with my thirst for knowledge. I was looking on the internet for methods, fly patterns, lakes, rivers, creeks, campgrounds, etc... and wasn't really finding all that much information pertaining to the Edmonton area. So I thought about a fly-fishing information site regarding the local stillwaters close to Edmonton. After a couple more years went by and my knowledge grew more and more through reading and experience, I finally thought it was time to start up Fly Fishing Edmonton. Around this same time I was quite active on a message board known as The Fishin' Alberta Message Board. I posted a lot and helped out many new anglers with questions on fly-fishing and float tubing. At the end of my posts, I always left a link to my web site and e-mails started flowing in with question after question. I answered what I knew and researched what I didn't. It even got to the point where folks were asking me to meet them at a lake to teach them fishing techniques or in a field and teach them fly casting. It was my wife that suggested I start guiding clients on the local lakes. Although I thought it intriguing, I never really took her suggestion seriously. Not sure why exactly, maybe because of my web site or how much I was helping others but the owner of The Fishin' Alberta Message Board asked me to take over his board for him as he didn't have the time to monitor it any more. I accepted and have been running the board ever since. I was corresponding with a lot of anglers on the board and with this new responsibility also came opportunities to advertise my web site even more. The forum however had many more spin and bait fishermen than it did fly anglers, so while I was moderating this board, I was also posting on the Fly Fishing Alberta Forum. This was a fairly new board specific to fly angling and it was there that I met a young angler by the name of Brian Peace. We corresponded some and I wrote about my interest in learning the proper techniques to fly-fish and specifically to nymph fish the Bow River. He asked me if I'd like to drive down to Calgary and promised to get me into some fish. I did and he did. While on this trip, he explained to me that he was going to open a guiding business specifically to clients wanting walk and wade trips and clients that wanted to learn how to fish the Bow River for themselves. I thought that was a great idea and watched as he opened Bowcrow Fishing Adventures. It worked for him as he found a niche in the fly-fishing industry. People wanted to learn for themselves and didn't all just want float down the Bow, be told were to cast and reel in fish. I started thinking about the people that lived around Edmonton and according to the e-mails I was receiving, how they wanted to be taught so they could go catch for themselves. And that's when I decided to start up Edmonton Float Tube Adventures. It was (and still is) an affordable way for anglers to learn the secrets to stillwater fly-fishing. I did it first only out of float tubes, then I added pontoon boats and now I've remodeled a flat bottom boat specifically for stillwater fly-fishing (thanks to some ideas from my buddy Phil Rowley) and am introducing that this season. I've changed the name of my guiding business to Edmonton Stillwater Adventures as the boat gives more options to different techniques.

Ok, that about sums up how I became a guide. Starting tomorrow I'll get into daily news and updates and maybe just BS a bit on fly-fishing..

Monday, 11 February 2008

About me continued

So, the family moved to Edmonton when I was nine (turned 10 in grade four here) and right away, dad went out and bought a 12 foot aluminum car topper from Sears. He did a little research at the local tackle shop and we started fishing Hasse Lake and often. We also fished some other trout lakes as well as Pike and Walleye lakes and even a few streams but Hasse was our second home.
This is where I really learned about flies, fly tying, fly rods, etc... But my Dad seemed to be getting farther away from traditional fly-fishing and was doing more and more trolling. He always used his fly rod but even when trolling hardware like flatfish, he never picked up his spinning rod (unless we were after Pike or Walleye which wasn't very often). I on the other hand used my spinning rod way more often than my fly rod. Not really because I wanted to but rather because dad sort of insisted. I don't know, maybe dad was to cheap to buy me sinking line and an extra spool but all I had was floating line and that's what he used 95% of the time. His philosophy was; never have both rods presenting at the same depth, if ones on top then the other is below the surface. Of course his fly line was always on top so I would use my spinning rod with the help of some split shot and a swivel to keep my fly -usually a Doc Spratley- about 3-5ft under the surface. As I grew up, I saw my father cast less and less, and I from the dock or from shore was casting more and more. That is until I turned 17. Everything else seemed more important at that age. There was girls, partying, football, friends and girls (yah I know I said girls already). Then when I was about 19, me and a buddy started fishing together and I realized how much I missed it. I even started taking girls fishing, you know just for some alone time. I continued fishing into my mid twenties maybe getting out a couple dozen times over a summer but only picked up my fly rod a few times. Then one day I decided to get into fly fishing more seriously. I was tired of sitting on shore waiting for a bell to ring and wanted to be actually fishing even if I wasn't catching anything. I had this recurring memory of my Dad casting to this lunker trout at Hasse and hooking into him. It was the biggest trout I had ever seen and that's the experience I was after. So I set off to buy myself a new fly fishing outfit and I've been hooked ever since.

So that's my story, hope you enjoyed it. I could have went on for ever about my DJ years and how I got the name Doc, how I ended up buying into and owning Santannas Nite Club for 15 years, becoming an electrician, going back to college and taking the Emergency Medical Responder course and so on but that doesn't really have anything to do with fishing. Maybe tomorrow I'll tell you about when I decided to start my guiding company, Edmonton Stillwater Adventures.

Sunday, 10 February 2008

Getting with the times

So every boy and his dog has a blog. Every boy but me it seemed. Well I figured it was time to get in the game. I tried the Facebook thing but it took to much of my time to do absolutely nothing. All I did was add little applications to my facebook and think of little messages I should add to my friends accounts. I deleted my facebook account after three weeks and never looked back, just wasn't my thing.

As far as this blog, 90% of it will be fly-fishing related. The other 10? Well who knows?

Since this is my first blog post, I'll tell you a little about myself. My name is Mike Monteith (AKA Doc). I'm the owner of the information web site Fly Fishing Edmonton, owner/guide of Edmonton Stillwater Adventures, owner of two fishing message boards - Alberta Fly Fishing Forum and The Fishin' Alberta Message Board. I am also the Editor/Publisher of the information web site Float Tube Fly Fishing although the information on this site is great, the site seams to be frozen in time as I don't have access to it or Ed for that matter.

I started fishing at the age of three in CFB Chatham New Brunswick and received my first fly rod at age four. Here's the picture of that day but I don't really remember it.

I guess (according to my father), I caught fish on that fly rod but I only remember still fishing for sea trout. My Father grew up in Fredericton and started fly-fishing at an early age. My Grandmother used to tie flies and sell them in town as well as supply my father with what ever he needed (she never actually fly-fished though, just tied). When my father got station in Chatham (he was in the Airforce), he guided American's on the famous Miramichi River which pretty much starts right at Chatham.
When I was five, we moved to Winnipeg and we lived there 'til I was nine. I remember many more fishing trips in these four years of my life. A few took place with cousins and bicycles on the Red River but most of my fishing memories took place fishing from our green cedar canoe up in the Duck Mountains of Manitoba. I also remember having our heads checked for wood ticks at school in early September by our teacher. And I remember how bad the horse flies were, jumping around flailing my arms, looking like a complete idiot on the beach trying to get them to not bite you, then jumping in the lake as a last resort and watching them circle the surface of the water waiting for you run out of air. Man, when they bite, that hurts so bad. My Dad showed me one day how slow they were, once they land just slap them and kill them. After that, I didn't spazz out any more but every once in a while, if you didn't feel them land, OOWWWW!!!!
We moved to Edmonton in 1977 and I've been here ever since. I'm 40 now so I've been fishing these local trout lakes around Edmonton for 30+ years.

Edmonton continued on next post.