December 2019 Issue of Stream Tender Magazine

I have recently downloaded the December issue of Stream Tender Magazine

This is a special edition, so be sure to check it out. It is a good read for really cold days like today. There are a few photos of lush green growth from this past summer, so this may cheer you up a bit.

Pool Habitats are A Big Hit With Wild Trout!

Recently, I was writing an article on log v-weir pool habitats, so I dug into some old photos to add to the piece. I found myself starting for long periods of time, at some of the photos, the pools looked so good after so many years since their construction. I decided to add another photo to this blog post, just to satisfy those of you that share a similar interest in such things.

Bow Valley Habitat Development built this Log V-weir pool habitat in 2007 on a small spring creek that held trout. Today, the pools are deep and hold trout. It is a pleasure to see them looking so natural in the environment. A trained eye might notice that they are man-made.

There is always something of interest to find in old photos of past project sites. Nowadays, with our native willow and tree planting program growing annually, I look forward to sharing some more photos of the results, over the years.

Clear Water  –  Dark Nymphs

An old-timer once told me: “The water is so clear in that mountain stream that the trout need to wear sunglasses.” This is one of the drawbacks of fly fishing a clear mountain stream, not that the trout wear sunglasses, but that they do have an especially good view of any fly fishers combing the stream banks.

I can still picture some of my own personal experiences of fly fishing for cutthroat trout on crystal clear mountain waters. There was one time that I was walking the Waipourous Creek and on the opposite stream bank there was a small cluster of willows, the current had undercut the roots right at water’s edge. This erosion had created a small dark, shaded and deep hiding spot for a trout, I thought. Then when my dry fly drifted into the jaws of a waiting cutthroat trout, that was about 18 inches in length, I knew that I had played my cards right.

Dry fly fishing is usually my preference, but occasionally, a nymph pattern will do the job. Dark nymphs are the first choice when scanning through my fly boxes. For some reason, the wild trout in clear mountain streams do prefer a darker color of a nymph. The number of dark color nymphs that I carry will usually cover all of my needs on a mountain stream that is usually filled with cutthroat trout.

This dark brown nymph is a classic for a small mayfly nymph imitation.

The standard size for most of my attractor nymphs is 14 or sometimes a size 16 hook.

A Mylar rib always adds a lot more sparkle to your nymph patterns.

There are so many variations of dark color nymphs, but they all stand out in clean flowing mountain streams. A bead head is sometimes required to get the fly down deep, but hungry cutthroat trout will come up to the surface for the right size and color of your offering. The nymphs shown above are relatively fast sinking anyway, due in part to their slender shape on a heavier wire 2x nymph hook.

This photo shows the author landing a fat cutthroat trout while fly fishing a mountain stream with beautiful clear water.

Lots of Water for Next Year

All of the snow that we have seen this fall will be good for the streams this next year. I have been watching the flow in the Bighill Creek all year and things could not be better for the volume of flow in the channel.  Even with this recent cold snap, the water is still flowing on top of the ice on the very lower reach of BH Creek.

The water is still flowing on top of the ice, as of the first of December 2019

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