Well now that Stampede week is over things were able to return to a somewhat more manageable pace. With only 13 trips out this week we slowed right down. Hot temperatures early in the week made for some tough days and low water levels. Early mornings have still been very good but now the incredible dry fly fishing with big foam stones is slowing down by 8:30 instead of 9:30. We had several days on the Bow River with 18-30 eats on big foam stones, although sadly often only 2-3 of those were being converted into landed fish.
Josh had the former Alberta Premiere and Calgary Chief of Police out on a Bow Float. Rain the night before dictated a slightly later start and yet it was still the early morning hours that made for the best fishing. They both hooked some really impressive trout but these hard fighting and acrobatic fish did not want to make it to the net that day.
Two of Josh’s guests, from SK, returned again this summer and met Josh at 3:30am to try and repeat on their epic morning from last year. Last year James and Randy had Josh’ season best day for big foam eats with over 60, and this morning they weren’t far behind. They didn’t hit the 60 mark but they did make it into the 40’s which is a pretty epic day for big foam eats. One fat fish fought so hard jumping then running straight under the boat and jumping on the other side again that it snapped a rod tip. This was also the first morning that “Walter” was encountered. A massive brown (somewhere in the 24-26″ range) ate 3 times but they couldn’t put a hook in him. This is now 2 years running that James & Randy have the highest number of eats in a single day.
The following day rain bumped the water up again and the dry fly fishing in the morning was slow but when they switched over to streamers things got exciting. Without question this has been our best week for big fish. Walter was searched for but not found this morning however several “Walter” sized fish were hooked. Len had 4 fish over 24″ hooked but wasn’t able to land any of those brutes, but as a solid consolation he hooked and landed this 23.5″ brown 10 yards above the takeout which had to be landed by chasing it on foot downstream of the takeout. Pretty impressive day when you can see and hook 4 fish in that 24″ or larger size and then land a fish a hair under that in the takeout.
The mountains are also fishing well with stoneflies still producing, but our Green Drakes are now starting to show up and when they do the cutties are all over them. Naoto, Josh, Akasha, Jeff, and Ken were all in the mountains this week and cutties in the 17-19″ range were landed consistently, plus Kathryn’s giant and several cutbows in the 20-22″ range. Its so much fun to watch how aggressively cutthroat smash Green Drakes. Naoto and Josh even took a day O.F.F. from guiding to do some fishing themselves and the green drakes made for an exceptional day with many extremely heavy, healthy fish, including a new personal best pure West Slope cutty for Naoto.