STREAM FLY FISHING THE ROCKY MOUNTAINS PART ONE
It was five thirty in the morning when the moving house that was to be our home for the next ten days pulled up to the driveway. Soon we were on the road for our fly fishing adventure to southern Alberta. Four of us were planning to explore the rivers and streams that dot the landscape near the Crowsnest Pass region.
Later that evening we pulled into the Castle Falls Campground, located on the shores of the Castle River. This glacial feed stream holds cutthroat trout, whitefish and a few rainbow thrown in for good measure. Friend Phil Brake had been fishing this part of Alberta since 2001, a semi-annual pilgrimage that went back to his childhood. Growing up in southern California, he learned to fly fish at an early age, hiking the mountains near his home in Fresno. When he invited me along I figured why not revisit this part of the world.
During my days filming The Complete Angler television series, I had shot three different shows in this region. Two of them were with Vic BerGman, the co-owner of the Crowsnest Pass fly fishing shop. Vic is also a top guide in the region and he agreed to be a guest on the show. Our first show was shot on the scenic Crowsnest River down east of the town of Bellevue. Then Vic loaded up his drift boat and headed south of the dam of the Oldman River near Lethbridge. Both trips proved productive and we put together two of my favourite shows in the Complete Anglers series.
A TAD RUSTY!
While my stream fly fishing skills were a little rusty, friend Phil had me back in the saddle right away. One of the first things I learned how to do was to tie on a dropper rig, in this case an Emerger fly that floated with a nymph tied off the trailer hook. Our first fish was right in front of the campground as Phil and I headed downstream while Bruce and Len went upstream towards the falls. Phil quickly caught a couple of small whitefish and a cutthroat while I was shut out. Switching over to a Prince nymph on the dropper rig, I caught my first cutthroat on a small side pool next to the fast water. That was just the start of some great fishing the next nine days.