March Freeze

Anxiously Waiting For Spring and Planting Season

Here it is, almost mid March, and yesterday it was below minus 20 with a wind, in the morning. I was outside collecting willow and tree cuttings for this spring’s riparian planting program, so keeping on the move made the cold less noticeable. But I am ready for some warm weather and the soon to come spring thaw!

It is good to see some snow at this time of the year and we can probably expect some more yet. A good spring run off and ground soaking is always good for the trout and our riparian plants from recent years. Getting off to a good start with plenty of spring moisture in the ground is a bonus for us volunteer willow and tree planters.

So far, we have 9,300 native plants for the ground this spring, and the total could go higher yet. I am very pleased to say that we will definitely break the 70,000 plant marker in our “Bow Valley Riparian Recovery and Enhancement Program” this year. It will be a great tally for the sixth year of our riparian planting program. The majority of the 9,300 plants will be designated for West Nose Creek in Calgary, again this year. However, large numbers of native plants will end up on Nose Creek, in Airdrie, and Bighill Creek in the Town of Cochrane.

Above: These new willows that we planted are going to really start to show up along the stream banks this year! This will be their sixth year after planting.

The Brown Caddis Dry Fly

A great attractor dry fly for both lakes and streams is the brown caddis dry fly. The color brown excites the trout into taking this dry fly when there is no apparent hatch happening. So this makes the fly a good choice forĀ  enticing a trout to take the pattern on reaction, when it hits the water, on a lake, or drifts overhead on a stream. Dyed brown deer hair or elk hair is the secret. When the sunlight hits the brown deer hair the pattern seems to light up on the surface.

The fly is ribbed with a shiny mylar ribbing to add some sparkle to the pattern. Heavy hackle addes to the floatability and allows the trude wing to float properly on the surface. A size 12 or 14 is the best range in hook choice. A curved dry fly hook is also better for the flies balance.

Soon, my winter fly tying will end and it will be time to move on to other pursuits, so it may be a while before you see another post on fly tying this year.

About Guy Woods

I am Director of Bow Valley Habitat Development, based in the Town of Cochrane, Alberta, Canada. I love to fly fish and it is this past time that prompted me to get involved in the field of riparian and fish habitat enhancement. I have been working in this pursuit for over 40 years!
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