Sunday, 27 April 2008

Tying My Favorite Midge Patterns

I spent both Saturday and Sunday tying midge fly patterns. Three patterns in sizes 16, 14, 12 & 10. In the order they appear here, these three are my all time favorite stillwater midge patterns.

#1. Redd October

This is a very simple midge larva pattern and the most productive pattern I've ever used. I invented this bloodworm pattern based on the red holographic butt section of my third favorite midge pattern, the X-mas Chronie. The trout's response to the Redd October was simply unbelievable. I've never had as much success with any other fly before or since. For step-by-step tying instruction and recipe go to my web site here.

#2. Doc's Thread Midge

I came up with my version of the thread midge in the summer of 2006 after a day fishing deep for lunker rainbows at Star Lake. Black chironomids were emerging and I was doing well until I ran out of black colored patterns. When I got home I went to tie up a dozen but didn't have any black material for the body so I just used black 8/O thread. When I went back to Star the next day, the fishing was even better so I've been tying them this way ever since. Click the pic for a larger view.

Hook: Mustad C-49S sizes #18 - #8
Thread: Black 8/O (other colors can be used)
Head: Black Bead size 3/32
Body: Black 8/O thread
Rib: Fine gold wire
Thorax: Peacock Hurl
Gills: Stillwater Solutions Midge Gill (white yarn)
The shine on the fly is from applying Sally Hansen's Hard As Nails.

#3. X-Mas Cronie

I invented this pattern at a Flies 'N' Beer night at my old club (Santannas). I wasn't sure if the fly would work or not but when I got out to Muir I couldn't keep the trout off. I tie this pattern on a Mustad C-49S Caddis Curved hook but it can be tied on any caddis hook. I've had outstanding success with this pattern on every stillwater fishery I've wet a line and if you give it a try, I'm sure you will too. For the recipe and step-by-step tying instructions, visit my web site here.

Wednesday, 23 April 2008

Entomology Continued

I found some more videos regarding entomology. These videos are fly fishing related as apposed to the last ones I posted. I hope you enjoy them.

This first video deals with the bugs you find in streams.

This next video deals specifically with the Damselfly nymph.

So as of today still not able to get out to any open water around Edmonton. We had a horrid snow storm that started Saturday and finished on Tuesday. Even up here in north-central Alberta, we don't usually get snow storms like that in April. The storm dropped over 30cm's of Snow (that's just shy of a foot for my American friends). The snow is starting to melt now and should all be gone by Sunday (again). Let's hope that that's the end of the snow 'til October. Since I'm wishing, I might as well wish for no snow 'til the end of November.

For all you hockey fans out there, you probably heard that the Calgary Flames (Edmonton Oilers arch rival) were eliminated last night by the San Jose Sharks. Being an Oilers fan, it's hard to root for the Flames but since they are a Canadian, I was hoping they would win. Since they didn't win though, I'd like to add...

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Saturday, 19 April 2008

Entomology Classes

You ever wanted to go to university and take an entomology course? While searching around YouTube I found some videos called Introduction to Entomology both parts 1 & 2 brought to you by the University of California. The videos an hour each and are not specific to fly-fishing but they do give you some detailed information about insects and their life cycles. Very informative videos that move along quickly but not highly entertaining by any means. Anyway, if this is something that might interest you then give them a look.

Here's a great little video called: Midges: Chapter 5 of the "Bugs of the Underworld" DVD. This video is a little more fly-fishing related and gives you stillwater fly anglers are great look at emerging midges.

And finally (nothing really to do with entomology though) here's a podcast from Fly Fish Radio with Mike Andreasen on Stillwater Fly-fishing. Good information here.

Stillwater Fly-fishing
(Click this link to hear it now)

Sunday, 13 April 2008

Muir aerators are out

Dam! I forgot my camera at home today and didn't realize it 'til I was half way to the lake. I'm sorry to say I have no pics for this post and especially no photo of Emerson falling off the dock into the lake (he's so lucky no cameras were out). What a glorious day though. It got up to 23 Celsius which is 73F for my American friends. That's really nice for this time of year way up north here in Alberta. Our regular temps are around 9 degrees Celsius (48F) for this time of year. Anyway, I headed out to the lake but unfortunately not to fish. No, It's that time of year we take the aerators off of Muir Lake. If you're not sure what aerators are, they are like fountain sprayers that shoot water into the air to capture oxygen and it then gets cycled through the lake so the fish don't die during the winter. There are other forms of aerators as well but we use this kind. For more info click here. About 10 or 11 of us showed up all under the umbrella of the Fisheries Enhancement Society of Alberta (FESA). Included under that umbrella are four local Edmonton clubs: Trout Unlimited Canada (Edmonton Chapter), the Edmonton Trout Club, the Northern Lights Fly Tyers & Fishers and the Edmonton Old Timers Fishing Club. We have two aerators on Muir Lake and it took approximately an hour for each aerator. After that we enjoyed some BBQ'ed smokies and BS'ed for a while. There are some exciting things in the works for FESA and TU for this summer but I'll save those for another day. Anyway, Muir does have some open water but it's not open to fishing until May 1st. I didn't see any trout rising while I was there but I did see tons of water boatman, a couple of backswimmers and one damselfly nymph as well as a few adult midges. Michael Dell and I also saw two diving beetles, one was huge which he picked it up to show some of the guys. I thought it would bite me so I didn't even bother. Now that we've been out to Muir though, I'm getting really itchy to wet a line. Might have to make that Bow trip soon.

Saturday, 12 April 2008

Naked Chick With Dick?

So what's all the internet buzz about right now? Well it has to do with fly-fishing. It also has to do with a naked woman. And a very well known someone by the name of Dick Cheney. This Whitehouse photograph of Mr. Cheney shows a great big smile and some nice dark sunglasses. But check out the reflection in the glasses. You gotta admit, it does look like a naked woman. For the whole story click here and draw your own conclusion. Oh; and how 'bout that title for todays blog post eh? Ya, I came up with that all by myself (Doc pats himself on the back). I wonder how many perv's will end up here?

Nice catch! But is it really fishing? I guess it could be considered fishing but it's definitely not my idea of fishing. This trout was caught at an indoor fishery located at Ouldleusen, near Dalfsen in the Netherlands.

Just outside of Edmonton close to Spruce Grove and just off the Devon highway, there's a pay and play pond. The name of the place slips my mind at the moment but my buddy Brent and I stopped in there one day just to take a look. We were told it's stocked with both rainbow trout and steelhead. The way it works is whatever you catch, you must keep and at the time we were there it cost $2.00 an inch. Now in my mind, that's not fishing as the pond is so small you could easily cast across it. I guess it would be ok to get a small child started into the sport of fishing but for an adult, I just don't see the sport in it. So an indoor pond would definitely be out of the question even at this time of year when our waters are either frozen over or closed to fishing. Your thoughts?

Saturday, 5 April 2008

Stillwater Fly Fishing School

I must be a really good friend or just plain stupid. (I'm not looking for feedback on that statement). I'm now going to send potential clientel to my buddy Phil for close to the same thing that I offer (only I offer one on one instruction). What the hell, Phil's been a good friend and has taught me much since he's been in the Edmonton area. So with that said, if you're interested in a two day introduction to stillwater fly fishing school, here's your opportunity to learn from Mr. Rowley himself.

Fishin’ Hole – Stillwater Fly School Itinerary – May 24 & 25 2008


9:00 – 9:15 Introduction and Opening
9:15 - 10:00 Understanding Lakes
10:00 – 10:15 Coffee Break
10:15 – 11:15 Equipment (Rods, Lines, Reels, Boats, etc.)
11:15 – 12:00 Knots and Rigging
12:00 – 2:00 Lunch Break (on your own)
2:00 – 3:00 Entomology (Bugs)
3:00 – 3:15 Coffee Break
3:15 – 4:00 Approaching a New Lake
4:00 – 4:15 Closing and Review


9:00 Meet at Lake (to be determined)
9:00 – 9:30 Observation tricks and techniques
9:30 – 4:00 Fish ‘til you drop

NOTE: Course participants MUST have their own boat, pontoon boat or float tube

Course Cost is $150.00 + GST

Register Today at your nearest Fishin’ Hole retail store.

I'm almost finished my indoor spring cleaning and fixing. It's a week long process, you know, cleaning the storage rooms, vents and light fixtures, the covers for the bathroom fans; all the things you leave for that once a year cleaning. Plus I fixed all the loose and broken things around the house like the toilet paper roll holder as well as changing all the burnt out specialty light bulbs, tightening bathroom toilet seats and replacing the spray nozzle in the kitchen sink, etc, etc, etc. I just have the windows left to clean and then the garage. Ya, that #&%$ing garage! That might take me a week. If you saw my garage, it's pretty much a holding tank for everything we've accumulated over the years and don't want in the house. I'm really gonna have a garage sale this year and get rid of this stuff (of course I say that every year). So what does all this have to do with fly-fishing? Well here in Edmonchuck, there's really no fishing possible at this time of year as the trout lakes are frozen over still and the open water at Wabamun is closed to fishing for the spring spawn. So it's the perfect time for fixing and cleaning. You see that way when it comes time to hit the open water, my wife can't hold me back for unfinished tasks. There's nothing worse then telling your wife that you're going fishing and hearing that hated reply: "Are you forgetting you promised to fix the...". Of course if I'm feeling really sneaky I could just say I have a client. That works until she wants the income for the bank deposit but by that time it's too late. And then I pay for being sneaky.