Creeks Still Flowing Good
There are still open sections on the Bighill Creek, as of yesterday. This gives the viewer an opportunity to see that plenty of flow is still traveling down the stream channel. It is comforting to know we still have good flow this time of year in the Bighill. Water quality and its volume of flow are major concerns these days, with so many flood events happening on this continent. Our wild trout populations are dependent on a good supply of flow coming out of the ground and its water table and aquifer.
December’s Crispy Cold Mornings On The River
Double Ribbing Nymph Patterns
Using just silver wire for ribbing on your nymph patterns works great, but if you would like to add additional sparkle to your flies, try double ribbing with a flashy Mylar to enhance your silver wire rib. This is a technique that has been used by tiers of Atlantic Salmon Flies and Steelhead patterns for many years. The wire is wrapped over the smaller more fragile tinsel or in this case, Mylar. The double wrapping helps prevent sharp fish teeth from snapping your sparkle ribbing.
If you use this method of double wrapping, you will get more mileage out of your nymphs, with a little added sparkle. The Crisscross nymph uses the same double wrap, but the wire is over wrapped in an opposite direction. On some days, while fly fishing the Bow River, I will use a little extra sparkle in my nymphs, to entice a take.
The Fence Bank Stabilization Site
There are some key bank stabilization planting sites that are a little more important than others, the fence bank stabilization site is one of those. Since our planting of native willows along the water’s edge at the site, the new growth has definitely stopped further erosion at the site, even after a major flood event this summer. Over the next few years, the planted willows should shoot up in height and thickness.
Since our first planting, the end of the fence was moved back slightly, to insure that it would not collapse into the creek. Now the growing willows should stop future toe erosion on the high stream bank. We get fish habitat and erosion prevention, all from our planting efforts over recent years. The planting was part of the “Bow Valley Riparian Recovery and Enhancement Program”.
New Article On The Jumpingpound Creek Stream Bank Stabilization Project 1996
I have just added an article update on the 1996 JP Creek stream bank stabilization project. This project was designed by Alberta Environment, River Engineering Branch, and implemented by Bow Valley Habitat Development, of Cochrane. Just scroll to the top of the page and click on the link or title.
It is amazing how the deflectors changed the course of the JP Creek and stopped an unstable steep stream bank slope, from continuing to slide into the stream channel. This has reduced the annual silt loading on the lower reach of the JP Creek and helped improve spawning conditions for the migrating rainbow trout that move up the JP to spawn every spring.
The success of this project demonstrates how landowners, NGO’s and provincial government agencies can come together and work towards resolving negative impacts to our local trout streams. The Jumpingpound Creek is the only spawning tributary for rainbow trout, for the Bow River, between Ghost Dam and Bearspaw Dam.
New Willow Trout Habitat – Immeasurable!
Over this past summer, it was really nice to see that some of our first plantings along the streams in our program, were starting to provide incredible fish habitat. The willows on the stream banks, were now overhanging the surface of the stream, with some submerged cover as well. These habitats are hard to access, but experience thru fly fishing, tells me the overhead cover of willows is being used to the full extent.
Fly Fishing – Thoughts of Bye Gone Days
At one time, I thought it maybe impossible to ever see rainbow trout spawning on Bighill Creek, in Cochrane, but now my expectations have changed a bit. The lower reach of Bighill Creek has cleaned up so much in recent years that rainbow spawning, in the future, maybe within the realm of possibility. Rainbow Trout need cleaner flowing streams in the spring of the year, so that their eggs will not smoother or asphyxiate under a thick layer or film of silt. The Jumpingpound Creek is ideal for spawning rainbow trout, but it is the only spawning tributary on this particular reach of the Bow River.
It would be nice to have a backup stream, where the rainbow trout could spawn, somewhere between Bearspaw Dam and The Ghost Dam. The spring runs would always provide some very pleasurable fly fishing, during the spring migrations on the river. This was the time of year when you could hook into a large Bearspaw rainbow trout, but poor fisheries management, with liberal harvest limits on the Bearspaw, resulted in a diminished stock of the JP Strain of rainbow trout.
I remember back when we were radio tracking the spawning migration up the Jumpingpound Creek, some rainbows would travel 35 kilometres up into the forestry reach of the JP Creek. It is doubtful we will see that kind of activity during the spawning season, in our present day fishery. Hardly anyone still fly fishes during the spring anymore, because there just isn’t the number of trout that there once was.