Oct - Dec 2012: Browns, Ice and Escaping to Paradise



After  a whirlwind couple of months, October slowed down considerably. The weather varied from cold and snowy to warm and sunny. We still had a handful of guided trips, and managed to get out a handful of times ourselves. Paula and I took her dad and uncle out for a float on Thanksgiving and found a few nice fish. She and I also spent a day in the mountains in heavy winds, which made fishing tough, to say the least. We had some epic bwo fishing for smaller cutties on a smaller stream that was a little more protected from the wind, and Paula coaxed a beautiful cuttie up to the surface at the end of the day. Late in the month we had a couple of good days nymphing the Bow, and found some amazing rainbows and browns.

Paula Shearer photo
The last couple of weeks of October is always filled with breathless anticipation as we all wait to hear if one of the most amazing steelhead rivers on earth will open up. At the end of the month it was announced that it would open, and Josh, Dean, Paula and I headed out the night before the opening on Nov 1st. I'd never fished opening day before, and my goal was for us to get first pass through a run. Josh and I stayed up all night, while Paula and Dean managed to snag an hour or so of shut eye. We were up at 4, and hung out in the dark on the rocks. That morning was one of my best days of steelheading ever, with four fish hooked and three landed. Josh missed one on the dry, and Dean lost a heavy buck at the beach. That night I saw a number of amazing friends I hadn't seen in months, and spent some time in the best pub there is.

Josh Nugent photo

Josh Nugent photo

Josh Nugent photo
A week and a half later Paula and I headed back out, and the fishing had slowed down somewhat, but Paula hooked and landed her first fish on the river, and Stevie found a couple. I had a few good grabs in the 6 days we fished, but no actual hook ups. We spent a lot of time with good friends, and while Paula's mantra was "I'm not drinking tonight" there were copious amounts of beer and shots consumed.

The next month was fairly quiet, as it got really cold in Calgary and the river was full of ice and slush. I tied a ton of flies, and decided, on the basis of a great job offer, to stay in Calgary for the winter. Mid December I headed back to the coast to pack up my place and put it in storage. It was great to get the chance to see a bunch of people, and I made it to the M&Y Christmas party. On my way out of town I was able to spend two days with Ape, who I'd barely had the chance to talk to since May. Then I headed up to meet Josh and Zach in steelhead paradise. That afternoon they both landed beautiful fish, and before I new it the next day was done and we were headed back to Calgary.

Paula Sheaer photo

Zach Southgate photo
Christmas was quiet and relaxing, and with temperatures ranging from -20C to below -30C with wind chill fishing was not really an option. Its warmed up a little in the past couple days, and we made it out for a few hours yesterday. Tomorrow is New Year's, and I have to admit I'm in a little bit of shock that 2012 is almost over. I'm excited for 2013 will bring. I'm thrilled to be working for Fly Fusion and the International Fly Fishing Film Festival this winter, and hope I can make it back to the coast a few times in the upcoming months to scratch that steelhead itch.

Thanks everyone for following along. Can't wait to share my adventures in 2013 with you. :)


1 comment:

chipmunk said...

One of my Favorite blogs you wrote to finish off the year!. Great friends and memories!