Thursday, 7 May 2009

Sometimes the fishing gods smile on you. And sometimes they just laugh!

It's been a long, cold winter and I've been looking forward to getting out on the water and hooking into some big stillwater lunkers since ice-on in November. I decided Wednesday was the day to finally head out and could think of no better way to spend it than on the water hunting for big trout with a good friend. So Phil and I made plans to hit Muir lake. Phil picked me up at about 12:30pm and we headed out, looking forward to some of those football shaped trout Muir is so famous for. Word was out that the trout made it through the winter even though the aerator on the south end of the lake shut down while the lake was still frozen (thanks to some furry critter that chewed through the power cable). My expectations were high, the thoughts of hungry trout and high catch rates filled my head (sort of like sugar plums dancing through a kids head at Christmas time but way better). When we got out onto the lake we headed over to one of my favorite spots trying to stay out of the wind. It was too shallow for strike indicators so we tried boatman and backswimmers using a washing line technique (floating boatman on the point with a wet boatman or backswimmer as the dropper). We saw many boatman in the water so we just knew we'd do well ('cause we're experienced stillwater fly guys). And after about 30 minutes we decided to move (so much for experience). The results where Phil one, Doc zero. Phil decided he wanted to try a little bay neither of us had fished before, so off we went. We anchored in about 2ft of water casting out to about 8ft. We tried leech and chironomid patterns under an indicator. End result here? Phil zero, Doc one bump. The day wasn't turning out the way I had visioned it. We fished in every decent spot on the lake and the trout were just not in the mood to feed. They were however in the mood for other things (like sex). Spawners were rolling, splashing and chasing in the shallows and we could have targeted them all day and probably done very well but apparently this is bad form (or so says ex-"BC" stillwater guy Phil). So we stuck to our normal fishy hangouts and kept plugging away. At the end of a cool, rain soaked day; the score was Phil six, Doc nothing. I did hook into and loose a few but couldn't get 'em to the boat. I'll tell ya, getting skunked on Muir is a humbling experience. Makes me re-think everything I've learned over the years. The fishin' gods were smiling on Phil yesterday but laughing at me. Not laughing as hard as Phil though, he was having a real good ol' time. Not sure if he was laughing so hard at me or my funny jokes though. Hey Phil, "Maybe I thould wefwase that, I'd like to thee her gallop thlowly".

Here's a real quick video of a male spawner that Phil caught on a booby. Hmmm... horny males going after boobies; who'd a thunk?

Sunday, 3 May 2009

Spring Has Sprung

I guess it's time for me to start blogging again. I've been so busy with work, updating The New Fly Fisher website and just life in general, I haven't really found any time for blogging and I guess it shows since my last post was in February.

According to the rest of the world, the 1st day of spring is March 20. Of course if you live up here in the Great White North, the first day of spring is really when the ice comes off the smaller lakes (at least that's my interpretation of the first day of spring).

Friday May 1st was that day. Up until April 30th, most of these lakes still had ice on them but stillwater anglers all over the Edmonton region watched the wind clear our local lakes (at least enough to get a boat on the water). Our most popular lake in the area is Muir Lake located just west of Edmonton and on May 1st the lake opened for the first day of fishing. May 1st every year sees loads of anglers (usually of the fly fishing type) and the lake resembles more a bowl of cheerios than a trout lake due to all the float tubes. I heard that the fishing was pretty decent with some nice 24 inch rainbows being caught (at least for those that found a parking spot). I heard is was a lot of fun but i wouldn't know for sure as after three hours doing up a ton of paper work with month end reports, I headed over to Phil's house where we loaded my 'toon and tackle into his truck and headed east to meet up with Jokey (Joe). Jokey doesn't want me to post where we were as he likes this quite little fishery all to himself, so I won't mention it's name. I will tell you that we all caught just over dozen trout each. My biggest was a fat twenty incher, Jokey landed a nice 22 incher and Phil's biggest was about 19". When I pumped the throat on a few of these trout I saw loads of blood worms (midge larva) up to size 10, some size 14 boatman and some lake lint. Odd I didn't get one on a bloodworm or a boatman pattern even though I tried for a good 45 mins. Seems they sure liked the leech patterns though. We fished them suspended under an indicator and they almost always took it right after we twitched it. They didn't want lots of movement but other than the odd trout, they wouldn't take it sitting completely still either. Had a great season opener with a couple of great guys and some nice fat trout. Welcome back spring.