Another Streambank Stabilization Site – 2019

It is nice to watch as our streambank stabilization sites transform into a healthy riparian habitat. All it takes is some planted willows and trees, plus some good luck on the erosion damaged stream banks, as far as rodent damage and flooding are concerned. Then if you can wait for the results over time, you will eventually be rewarded.

The eroding streambank shown above has been planted with native willows, a few years earlier. Prior to planting, this site would load tonnes of clay and soil into the stream channel every year. The buried cable shown in both of the photos is no longer active.

This photo above shows how our native plants have grown over a few years’ time. The streambank site is now stabilizing and new growth will help hold the stream bank’s slope together, in the future. Presently, there is very minimal silt, clay and soil loading at this site now. Even the natural grasses and sedge are now growing in and around the willow plants. This cost-effective method of streambank stabilization is working great!

Here is another photo (Above) of the site. This shows the bank site later on in the summer when the grasses are tall and the willows are thick with leaves. The water levels are lower and aquatic weeds are building up in the stream channel.

The photo above is some second-year willow plants, in the spring. As you can see, they were planted on an eroding and very unstable streambank. You can see how the willows are frozen into the creek’s icy surface, during the winter months. Check the photo below for an after shot of the site, a few years later.

This is what a recovering stabilization site should look like. Lots of new growth, with some growing native willows. The shaded water below the willows is ideal for trout habitat. The upper area of the collapsing streambank will take years to stabilize, but it will happen over time. The most important thing to remember is that the planted willows will help protect the toe erosion on the bank. Plant growth will continue up the exposed slope, where the cable is now visible.

Since the streambank stabilization plantings on Bighill Creek were completed, a definite improvement in water quality and streambed substrate have been noted on the lower reach of Bighill Creek. Less soil is being washed into the stream channel and this is showing great results! There is no question about it, this planting program is doing some real good for the creek and its occupants, the resident trout population.

Two-Tone Olive Nymphs

On some of my nymph ties, there are two colors of dubbing used on the abdomen and thorax of the pattern. Usually, the underside of the thorax is slightly lighter in color than the abdomen. I also like the pearl Mylar that blends in nicely with the olive dubbed body.

The olive body and Mylar ribbing do go well together on this pattern. The thorax is a slightly lighter shade of olive, on the underside of the wing case. I use a tan thread and a brown ink marker to color the thread on top of the wing case before I cement the thread. This leaves the underside light and the top side dark. The dyed olive Indian hen saddle on the tail and legs goes great with the olive color.

The mayfly nymphs have plenty of gas bubbles around their bodies when they are ready to hatch, so the added sparkle of the Mylar imitates this. I have a wide selection of olive dubbing, both in dark and in light color blends. It is a good idea to have a variety of shades of this nymph in your fly box. This pattern is a must for lake and pond fishing.

In previous posts, it has been mentioned that long leaders are used when you are fly fishing lakes, with a dry fly line. A 14 to 18-foot leader can be used for dry fly and surface nymph fishing. I tie my own custom leaders, but if you don’t, just obtain a 9-foot leader with a heavy tip, like 1x and add some tippet to make the leader longer. A long length of fluorocarbon leader on the very end is a good choice for nymph fishing. The fluorocarbon sinks faster for nymph fishing, and ordinary tippet material can be used for dry fly fishing. The olive nymph pattern above, or one like it, can be fishing using a slow or fast retrieve, or just let the nymph sink and suspend. Watch the end of your fly line for a take, then set the hook easy.

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