Sunday, 2 September 2012

10 Years & Growing

This year, Alberta Stillwater Adventures turned 10 yeas old. We started in 2002 as Edmonton Float Tube Adventures and have grown year after year with more and more services offered. As we near the end of our 10 year anniversary, we've decided to expand a little more. I've recently added three new services to Alberta Stillwater Adventures. Our one day introduction to stillwater fly fishing clinics are still available but clients now have the option to book these clinics as a one day service or over two days.  The two day clinic will include everything the one day clinics offers but now gives clients more casting time and more time on the water to practice techniques and tactics. Also added to our services is our new Chironomid Clinic. Chironomids are the single most important food source for trout in productive stillwaters and this new clinic is designed to help anglers at being successful by understanding the life cycle and behavior of the chironomid in it's different stages, popular patterns used for imitation and on the water techniques & tactics. And just in time for Autumn, we've added a boatman & backswimmer clinic that will run every fall from the 2nd week of September through to the 2nd week of October. Clinics will focus on boatman and backswimmer entomology, fly patterns, tackle & set-ups as well as successful on the water techniques & tactics. For more information on these new clinics or any other services we offer, please visit Alberta Stillwater Adventures at

Tuesday, 24 July 2012

East Slope Cutts

I got a text from Garnet, one of my best fishin' buddies, regarding a day on the Blackstone River. Our Blackstone trips have now turned into an annual event. We try and get out at least twice a year and for our first trip this year, we decided to hit it up a bit earlier. We once again did the 4X4 thing and found Camp Grizly, this time occupied by a couple guys in an outfitters tent. They weren't around when we made our way down the cliff face which wasn't as easy as last year since the rain had washed out some of the steps that had been carved out and the big tree that was used to hang a portable shower was now down and blocking the way. The day however was bright with the occasional cloud but no rain at all. The water was higher than past years due to a wetter then normal July which made fishing a little more challenging. Runs that held cutties in the past were a lot faster this time round so we had to concentrate on slower water in pools and back eddies, meaning we walked by a lot of water that we would usually fish. I started out with a Stimulator but wasn't getting near the amount of action that I had become accustomed to so I changed over to a foam Stonefly. Not much changed in the action and although I ended up netting seven cutties and a rocky and Garnet picked up six cutties, it proved to be a day were we had to work for every fish. After hours of making our way upstream we decided to take it easy and not fish so hard and to just enjoy being out in one of the best places on earth. On the walk back we ran into the two guys camped out on top of the ridge. They didn't fair so well and only hooked into a couple of rockies (guess we didn't do so bad after all). Getting up the cliff face was a lot harder than going down but we were pleasantly surprised to find the fallen tree had been cut up with a chain saw, no longer blocking the way. Click on any of the photos for a larger view.

At least one more trip coming up shortly, this time a very good friend from back in elementary school will be joining us and he is not a fly guy, at least not yet ;)

Tuesday, 10 July 2012

Some FREE Fishing

In celebration of Alberta's free fishing weekend that ran July 7th & 8th, Tammy Karatchuk asked me to take her out for some fly tying and fly casting lessons. The video was shot at Cardiff Pond about 40 mins north of Edmonton. Free fishing weekends happen twice a year in Alberta, once in February and again in July. It's a great time to introduce those without a license to this wonderful sport as no license is needed but keep in mind, all regulation still apply.

Sunday, 8 July 2012

Doc's KISS Patterns

I thought it was about time to update my blog.  I've been busy with casting lessons and clinics and really haven't had too much time for fly-fishing myself so other than work, I really haven't had much to blog about.  This last spring however, I presented some tying demonstrations of my KISS fly patterns at some of the fishing clubs here in Edmonton and one of those clubs video recorded those patterns and posted them to their Northern Lights Fly Tyers / Trout Unlimited You Tube channel.  The flies I featured are all original patterns I came up with and work very well in the stillwaters around central Alberta.  I hope you enjoy these step-by-step patterns that are productive and easy to tie and.

Star Scud

Doc Swimmer

Big Ass Bloodworm

Doc's Black Thread Midge

Wednesday, 25 April 2012

Just Do It!

It's getting close. Can you see it in your minds eye? The sun glistening off the open water, the line screaming from your reel, the fly rod bowing to a hungry trout? If you can't picture this, maybe it's time to just do it. Maybe it's time to finally learn to cast that fly rod instead of letting it collect dust for yet another season. Come on over and take a look at my guiding site at AlbertaStillwaters.Com and see if some casting lessons or even a stillwater clinic may be the beginning of a relationship between you and mother nature that could last a life time.
The casting pond where I give fly casting lessons is now free of ice and right now we're taking bookings for the month of May.  Muir Lake, where I teach most of my weekend fly fishing clinics, opens on May 1st. Our clinics are one-on-one, maximum two students, and will teach you everything you need to know to be successful on your very next outing. Right from the tackle you'll be using, through stillwater entomology and the flies we use, to on the water techniques & tactics.  Sunday May 6th, come on out to Muir Lake for the AF3 Clean-Up & BBQ.  All volunteers will receive a free Bison burger and pop just for helping out and all you'll need to bring is a couple of garbage bags and some work gloves.  We'll even be drawing for some volunteer prizes donated by friends of Muir Lake like the Fishin' Hole, Fly Craft Angling and Grasshopper Outdoors. Bring your fly rod though, 'cause after the BBQ, we're all going fishing. Hope to see you there and I hope this spring, you Just Do It.

Wednesday, 4 April 2012

KISS Tying Presentation

BA Bloodworm
If you missed my presentation at the Edmonton Trout Club in March and you're in the Edmonton area, come on down to The Northern Lights Fly Tyers / Trout Unlimited club meeting at Queen Mary Park Hall @ 10844 - 117St. on Wednesday, April 11th at 7:30pm. I'll be presenting four of my KISS (keep it simple stupid) fly patterns. The flies I'll be sharing are four of my most productive flies that I use consistently including my newest pattern, the BA Bloodworm. Also a great time to see just what the Northern Lights club is all about. Hope to see you there.

Thursday, 29 March 2012

A Stauffer Beauty

Spring really is in the air.  Unfortunately, here in north-central Alberta our lakes are still locked in ice. It'll be some time yet before us stillwater guys get to wet a line in our preferred method and although we had a mild winter by our standards, it's still been a long winter.  So, Joe and I decided to to head out somewhere where we could wet a line.

photo by Joe Belohorec
I've fished the North Raven River three times previous to today.  Also known as Stauffer Creek, I've heard stories of the odd big brown being caught and I've seen photos of some decent trout from this small central Alberta spring creek but I've not experienced it myself.  On my previous trips, a 14 inch brown was a really good day, if I was lucky enough to catch anything at all.  So I'm not convinced I earned a big brown like this from Alberta's most legendary spring creek as I really haven't put in my time on this challenging fishery.  But it did happen just the same and who am I to complain.  We experimented a lot with different patterns and techniques and that experimenting paid off.  Joe was the first to land a brown today, it came in at around 14 inches.  He had a few other good hits in that hole as well and saw one good brown rise that was big enough for Joe to let out a holler and let me know (we assume it rose for a winter black stonefly as they were coming off in big numbers).  A black bead head bugger fished in a slow pool was the ticket today and produced both trout but the action didn't pick up until the sun came out around 1:30pm.

Not sure when I'll get back to this little gem but I do know one thing; I will be back. Great way to kick off our first trip in 2012.  Btw Joe, those sandwiches were awesome, thanks buddy, wings are on me.

Friday, 24 February 2012

Getting The Itch?

Winter still has a firm grip on us here in north-central Alberta.  Although it's been a favorable winter so far with temperatures well above the norm, we still won't be seeing any open lakes for another three months.  There are ways to escape though, fishing Staufer Creek in central Alberta or the Bow River downstream of Calgary looks inviting but for us stillwater guys, it's just a band-aid fix.  Other ways to past the time include tying flies, cleaning and repairing gear, reading and of course watching other people fish on YouTube.  As we get closer to spring, the itch of course gets stronger and to help reach that itch, fly fishing related social gatherings tend to help.  Or do they?  Sometimes, I think they just make the itch worse.  Here are a couple of gatherings you can look forward to in the Edmonton area until spring arrives.

Edmonton Boat & Sportsman Show
March 15th - 18th at the Edmonton Expo Center.  Although not a lot of fly fishing related presentations here, you can look forward to the Pieroway casting demos taking place each day on the casting pond.  And for those that really want to escape, the F3 2012 Fly Fishing Film Tour will be showing up to three times per day in the Hall B - B16 tent.  I recently went to the Internationale Fly Fishing Film Festival (IF4) that showed at the Garneau Theatre on Edmonton's south side and I tell ya, I if I thought I was itchy before, watching those fly fishing movies was like sitting in seats made of Poison Ivy.  The movies were very entertaining though and I really enjoyed them (even got some free swag).

On march 20th at 7:30pm, you can come on down to Queen Mary Park Hall @ 10844 - 117St. in Edmonton for a fly tying presentation by... well, me.  I'll be presenting four of my KISS (keep it simple stupid) fly patterns.  I tell people that I come up with patterns that are fast and simple to tie because I don't enjoy tying.  That's actually not true.  What I really don't enjoy is the back ache I get after tying up about four flies.  Pain can make people adapt quickly to make things easier.  The trick is to make it easier but still productive.  The flies I'll be sharing are four of my most productive flies that I use consistently.  If you've been considering getting involved with a local fishing club, this will be a great chance to get a feel for what a club is all about.  The Edmonton Trout Club even has it's own property on Spring Lake with keys to the gate available to it's members.  Hope to see you there.

On Sunday May 6th, join us at Muir Lake for a clean-up of the parking lot, boat launch and lake shore followed by a BBQ and then some fishing.  We'll be meeting at the lake @ 9am to start the clean-up.  Please bring garbage bags with you.  At 12pm we'll be BBQ'ing up some food.  Condiments will be supplied but bring your own meat and buns.  This is a public area so make sure to bring along non-alcoholic beverages.  After lunch we'll all go fishing, and I'll be offering free casting lessons to any of the clean-up crew that need some help.  I hope you can join us.