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Fly Fishing Fantasy

The winter wind howls across the Alberta prairies, and the snow falls faster than the Oilers in the NHL standings. Bundled up inside the house, I tie flies with a fishing show on tv in the background, and reminisce about the season of fly fishing that has just passed. Many people hate the dead of an Alberta winter, myself included; but, it is at least good for re-stocking supplies and re-energizing yourself for the season to come! As I pour a stiff rye and ginger, I drift off into a fantasy about being on the water and how the upcoming spring season might unfold...

 *Fades off into a daydream*

With the spring season beginning abnormally early this year due to warm weather and the proper amount of rain, I get the gear ready to fish some local lakes. Everything is in perfect shape. My waders aren’t leaking, my leaders aren’t old and brittle, and my fly line is certainly not cracked! The wading boots have no holes in them, and I have more than one of that perfect fly that works well all the time! Wait a minute...am I dreaming? ...Oh well, let’s keep going with this! I get down to a local lake, and to my surprise, nobody is fishing out there. I can’t get my pontoon boat set up quick enough.

What a surprise! The pontoon boat only takes a few minutes to set up. I better call that in to the record books...if such a record exists...nah I’ll just head out fishing instead. As I kick off the boat launch with an intermediate sinking line and a black #8 Cone-head Mohair Leech, I immediately get a hit in eight feet of water. Showing no rust at all, I hook up and am into the first trout of the season. A fierce battle ensues and the trout jumps five times before bowing to my six-weight rod. To my delight, this is one of those Tiger trout that I have been hearing about from Manitoba, but this is Alberta! How it got into this lake, I have no clue; but it looks HUGE. This hen measures in at 28” which has to be an Alberta record. Hmm, there never used to be anything but rainbow trout out here...strange. The day goes on with more large trout and a perfect chironomid hatch to highlight the first trip out! Ahh what a day!

Only a day passes by, and I get another chance to head out fishing. This time I am off to Central Alberta to fish some small creeks for brown trout. Gas is down to $0.49/Litre just like when I was a tyke, so driving all over the place to find decent fishing won’t be an issue.

As I get close to a favourite creek of mine, I see gigantic stoneflies hatching all over the place. This could be a fine day of brown trout fishing! This time of year, I usually have to fish nymphs slow and deep, but this is a pleasant change. With my waders and boots on, my rod strung up, and my fly boxes stuffed, I wade into the creek.

On the first bend I notice a pod of rising fish. All I can see is their mouths sipping dry flies, so I can’t tell exactly what size they are. Usually the willows are tough to deal with around the creek, but it almost seems like someone moved them away from the stream banks so I can lay down a perfect cast! By this point there is drool almost running down from my lips as I can sense a monster brown trout taking my fly. I strip some line off the reel. Just enough to make a 20 foot cast to the rising browns. Hmm, better take another step up just for good measure. Okay, I am in perfect position now and ready to cast!

The line flails in a perfect line as my cast looks to have improved magically over the winter, and the #8 golden stone dry fly lands directly above the biggest rise form. My heart beats faster as the fly drifts ever so slowly downstream. I see some movement towards the fly. I tell myself to wait a split second to set the hook if it happens to eat my fly. The fly continues drifting downstream...further and further. A big mouth suddenly appears behind the fly and sips it down! Oh it is going to be a big one! The battle is hard, but before I know it, I am just hauling the fish in. The fish comes to my net, and to my shock it is a....

*Wakes up abruptly from daydream*

A whitefish??? All of that effort was for a whitefish? I guess it is the dead of winter, so I’ll take it. I finish off my stiff drink and turn the channel to the Oilers game. Oh great, they got scored on again. It’s going to be a loooong winter. Hmm, might have to pour another drink!

Tim Tchir, WesternSportfishing.ca

Written by: Tim Tchir

Email: tim@westernsportfishing.ca