Friday, July 22, 2016

Fly Fishing British Columbia and Alberta

Most of the time, going fishing means the morning on the water or possibly a day trip. Either way, it is usually a short affair fit between other activities and obligations. Occasionally, we have the opportunity to do something a little bigger. Travel little further. Explore new territory.

My four years in Virginia Led to a lot of shotgun day trips with my buddy Kevin who goes by the name coastal explorer and has the blog 

For a while we have been talking about doing a bigger trip. And if we're going to do something big, we want to be really big.

After lots of planning and a few changes here there, we decided on five days of fishing in the Kootenays in British Columbia and southwest Alberta. 

The native fish in this area are whitefish, westslope cutthroat and bull trout. Some streams hold brookies and others bug rainbows (like the crowsnest but it was blown out while we were there). 

These are big bug fisheries. Golden stones, large mayflies, and frequent hatches. That's what feeds these big fish.

There are lots of great fly shops and guide shop options throughout the region.  Fernie has two guide shops (we used Elk river guide company - our guide Darcy was great). There are also a couple nice shops with different feels in Alberta. The Coleman fly shop and cafe is a nice place to get coffee and breakfast before hitting the stream. 

Oh, and if you are looking for a place to stay in Cranbrook where you can get a cozy room and awesome breakfasts, the Singing Pines Inn was phenomenal. It is basically a bed and breakfast which is a treat when on a trip where you are doing lots of walk and wading.

This was one of those trips that goes down in the books. Camping at the Fernie provincial park, getting up early for coffee and breakfast, all day on the stream, a late night meal ( hit up The Curry Bowl!!) then back to the tent. Over and over. It is fun when you get into a new rhythm and wake expecting to be on the stream. By the last day or so, we transitioned to that feeling. 

I returned refreshed and longing to see my family but thankful for a great trip. 

Enjoy the smattering of photos below. 

Expect a video in the following weeks!

Ha. The JOY on Kevin's face in almost every pic does great justice to show how much fun we had. 

Saturday, July 16, 2016

Bound for Fernie

Today I'm heading to British Columbia for a week of fishing! This is sure to be amazing. My Virginia buddy Kevin and I are flying in to Spokane and then driving north. Cutties, Bulls, and Bows await. I've scrambled to tie some stones, caddis and beetles. I'll buy the PMDs and anything else specific that seems to be biting. If I can, I'll share photos along the way. 

After a week at the cabin with my son, I'll be missing him but technology is on our side with plenty of opportunity to FaceTime or call. 

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Father's Day Weekend at the Cabin

Family. Food. Fishing. Great weather. Great weekend. It is awesome to be a dad to such an amazing kiddo. It is awesome to be a son to such an amazing dad. 

Monday, June 6, 2016

Morning on the Middle Branch

Sunday morning came sooner than expected. I was woken up by a 2-year-old boy with enough energy and joy to change the world for the better. Since, mom is into the second trimester and needs a little extra rest these days, we needed a plan.

What to do?

Pack some snacks.

Grab the fly box (the tenkara gear was already in the car).

Put on a Mickey hat, "puddle boots" and a "buggy"-catching sweatshirt. 

I look down at the passenger seat. The tenkara emblem shines back at me through the dark rod tube.

This rod has been a phenomenal tool when fishing with David. With him on the backpack carrier, it allows for quick shots at fish while on our hikes.

Not even 8am and the sun was in full force. At our backs the entire trip, casting shadows across the pools, scattering fish this way and that. Even that was more fun for David. He could see brown trout darting this way and that searching for cover.

My bare forearms made for great horsefly bait. David collected the carcasses. These flies are like gold to him. 

The stream has lots of structure thanks to the rehabilitation from TU and the help of the local landowners. I'm nothing but grateful for their permission to fish this stream.

We had a few fish on, but none to hand.

No matter.

Mom got to sleep.

The air was warm and fresh.

Daddy and David got to have a picnic on the tailgate.

You know the feeling when you get to hang out with someone much cooler than you? Like an athlete you emulate, or meet a famous musician, etc? That's what spending time with David is like. He is so much cooler than me. He just doesn't know it yet. One day he will, and that might be tough, but until then, we will soak up these mornings without reservation.

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Journey to West Texas

David loves his Grandparents. All of them. But he was particularly excited to visit his Papa in Texas who is a cow doctor and works at the cow hospital (kind of). 

We hopped a couple flights and spent a long Memorial Day weekend in Farwell, Tx. It is a small town on the border of New Mexico. It is dairy country. It is farm fields. There are trains. David's dream come true!

Bear shared his window seat with David.

Cracking pecans with Papa/

David likes pecans :)

The local donut shop had sausage and egg biscuits that could keep you full for a week.

We saw LOTS of trains

The storms rolled through Farwell and hit Lubbock and Dallas instead.

"Cows eat GRASS!" - David

Lots of cows at Papa's work. 

No, David, you can't bring one home.

We got to see a horny toad too!
We are so lucky to have David. And David is so luck to have such awesome grandparents! 

Not pictured is the Lubbock Zoo. The Cannon Airforce base air show, and fresh pecan pie.

Until next time!