Friday, 29 August 2008

My TV Debut

Just an update for those that live in the Edmonton area and/or pick up Citytv (channel 7 on Shaw). Marina from Citytv has e-mailed me to let me know that the fly-fishing show I did for Nick's Nosh will now air on Monday, September 8. Not sure what time exactly but I believe it runs between 5:30pm & 6:30pm. So tune in for my TV debut and watch me make a fool out of myself (God I hope not).

Thursday, 28 August 2008

Goldeye On The Fly Part 2

Not a lot of folks fly fish for Goldeye. For that matter, not a lot of folks even know what a Goldeye is. I'm not going to go into much detail about the characteristics of the Goldeye but if this is of interest to you, I linked to a page with good information on the Goldeye at the beginning of this post or you can just do a google search. What I will tell you is that they will readily rise to a dry a fly, they have piranha like teeth and smaller mouths similar to a whitefish. Now as far as information on catching Goldeye on the fly, there is very little information available. Here are some bits of information that I have heard about fly-fishing for Goldeye and my responses to them.

They are most active at dusk
. From what I have observed, this is true. We usually get to the river about two hours before dark and at first, you can see the Goldeye occasionally rising out in the middle of the stream and out of casting range. As it gets darker the rises become more frequent and the fish start to move in towards shore. By the time the sun has completely set, the rises are everywhere including behind you at the shore line.

Goldeye won't take your fly unless it is twitched or on the swing.
It all depends on what is hatching. If there is a thick mayfly hatch on, this may not be true but for the most part from my experience, Goldeye like to see some bit of movement on the fly.

Tie on a stimulator or an elk hair caddis and your guaranteed a good time.
Although both the stimulator and the EHC patterns work incredibly well, that is not an entirely true statement. From what both myself and Phil Rowley have experienced, Goldeye are opportunistic feeders but according to the hatch, they will become selective. Twice now, Phil and I have seen hatches of small mayflies, once with what we believe is a mahogany dunn hatch and then again with tiny white winged blacks (tricos). The mahogany mayflies were about a size 14-16 and the tricos were about a size 22 -24. When fishing while the mahogany hatch was on, other fly patterns (stimulator, EHC, mayfly patterns, etc) would work as long as the size was close. But when the trico hatch was on, the Goldeye seemed to be very selective in both size and shape of our presentation. The week before I saw that mahogany hatch, my buddy Joe and I had experienced another mayfly hatch but these were much bigger in sizes 10-12. We believed these to be brown drakes but they may have also been mahogany mayflies. When this hatch was on, we were using larger flies in different patterns and doing well but as the the hatch went on we also had to to go down in size and change patterns to a mayfly imitation.

Goldeye are definitely fun to catch on a dry fly. They fight pretty good due to their profile and now I know they are not as easy to catch as I had previously thought. If you're lucky, a stimmy or an EHC will get you good results but you may still have to work for them and yes... "match the hatch".

Sunday, 24 August 2008

Goldeye On The Fly

It's been a while since I posted. I got back from my family vacation on Friday and did very little fishing ('bout an hour total combined line wetting time). My wife, youngest daughter Hunter, her friend Dana and myself took a trip down to the Crowsnest Pass in Southern Alberta. Ya, I know; how could I visit the Crowsnest and only spend an hour fishing? Oh, it's much worse then that. I didn't even wet a line in the Crowsnest River! Well, this being a "family" vacation meant little to no fishing so the only time I got to wet a line is early morning when everyone was sleeping and late evening before we turned in for the night.

We camped at a beautiful little mountain lake called Chinook Lake. The water was crystal clear and the setting was very nice. Not much of a beach for the kids (about the size of a postage stamp) but it was a beach just the same. Only problem was it rained so much the kids got very little use out of it. We did do some hiking on some nice trails. We even managed a black diamond trail. At the end of the hike, everyone was quite impressed that they conquered the black diamond trail although while we were scaling it, they weren't overly impressed with me for suggesting it. The pass itself didn't see as much rain as our campsite so we did manage to see some wonderful sites. All were impressed with the Lundbrek Falls and the coal mine tour was a big hit. As a matter of fact, I would recommend this mining tour to all that have the opportunity to take it in. The Frank Slide Interpretive Center was closed for renovations but the trail was open with a lot of good information at the kiosks. Because of all the rain, we couldn't go horseback riding as the trails were to slippery for the horses. Lots of sad faces in the car when we had to head back down the mountain without getting a chance to sit in the saddle. Even with all the rain, all in all we had a very enjoyable time.

Before I left for our vacation, I did get some fishing in. I had a chance to fish Muir and it was on fire for about three hours before dusk. I only took one pic of my biggest for the day. This rainbow was 22 inches+.

The Friday before I left I met up with Joe (Jokey) who is a moderator on my Fly Fishing Forum and a couple of his buddies. We went after goldeye on the North Saskatchewan River and did ok. Not sure how many I ended up netting (around 10) and Joe with about 5 or 6. They really are a blast to fish for on dry flies and fight pretty good too. Then on Sunday Phil and I went to the same spot on the NSR as Phil had not yet had the opportunity to hook into a goldeye. He indeed got his first G.E. while fishing a mayfly pattern. It wasn't as productive as the Friday but we hooked into a few. If you want to give fly fishing a try for goldeye, show up about two to three hours before sundown and twitch a stimulator, mayfly or EHC wherever you see rise rings. You can improve your chances with a hopper-dropper setup.

Phil and I are off to fish the NSR again tonight. Hopefully the fishin' will be a little better than the last time we were out.