27.12.12

September 2012: Golden Days and Downtown

September was an incredible month. Guiding stayed busy through to the end of the month, and we fished our butts off. I had the opportunity to guide some former customers from Michael and Young late in the month, and we landed the biggest rainbow I'd seen all season. The dry fly fishing tapered off after the middle of the month, and we turned to nymphing.
 

 
 
We had some great days, but there's always tough days while guiding, because hey, its fishing after all. Even on those slow days we usually managed to find at least some fish. It truly makes you realize how important the overall experience is on those days when, as a guide, you are responsible for that experience regardless of how the catching is.
 


 
 
In late August we had done a float through downtown Calgary with a friend, Nick, on his way through town after finishing up his guide season. Typically not fished very much, this stretch has a lot fewer fish than the lower stretches of the Bow, but we found some great fish and had a blast, so Josh, Paula and I floated that section again a number of times in September. We pretty much exclusively streamer fished it, which is one of the most exhausting and thrilling ways to fish out of a boat for browns. Seven or eight weight rods with sink tips and two very very heavy streamers, cast and retrieved almost as quickly as humanly possible is a heck of a workout, and the chases, strikes and hookups are violent and visual.
 
Josh Nugent photo

Josh Nugent photo

Josh Nugent photo

Josh Nugent photo

Josh Nugent photo

 
 
One of the most amazing experiences of the season was our last float through downtown. I'd met up with Josh and Paula after guiding, halfway through their float. Fishing was tough, and it was dark before we hit the weir. As we approached it, we noticed a faint green haze in the sky, which we quickly realized was the northern lights. Josh raced over to the far bank to try and capture a time lapse, but by the time we got there the lights had faded almost completely away. We rowed back and headed through the weir. When we came out the bottom the sky lit up again, and we watched an absolutely spectacular show from the bank of the river.
 
Josh Nugent photo
Early summer when I was still back in BC and had started taking a lot of pictures, I'd decided that I wanted to do some hiking into some of the beautiful alpine lakes around the lower mainland. That plan obviously fell through due to the move, but then I learned about golden trout. There are only four places to fish for them in Canada, and they are all alpine lakes in Alberta. Not only that, but Josh and Naoto had been into a couple and did a couple of guided trips in August.
 



 
 
Josh had another client that had been desperate to fish for golden trout for years, and he asked Paula and I if we wanted to join him and his client on a day trip into one of the more accessible lakes. I have to admit that, although extremely excited, I was also a little worried after hearing that the hike was about five km basically straight up the side of the mountain. Yes, it was hard, but we did it, and in less time than I thought I would be able to. We caught fish that day, and managed to sneak in a few more trips before the end of the month and before the mountains froze up. Goldens, though their average size is very small, are absolutely one of the most beautiful fish I've ever been fortunate enough to catch, and the locations they live in breathtakingly beautiful. Fishing for them is definitely one of the highlights of my entire fishing career.
 

Josh Nugent photo

Josh Nugent photo


Josh Nugent photo



 
 
One thing I'd not had a chance to do aside from the first day of my early July trip out to fish with the girls was fish one of the more well known streams in the mountains for cutties and cuttbows. Josh invited me to head down with him and a friend of his, and we spent two days on the system towards the end of the month, and the fish were still looking up. We didn't catch a ton, but found some quality fish. I think overall in September, with the Bow, the goldens, and the mountain streams I did more sight fishing for trout than I've done in the rest of my fishing years combined.
 


Josh Nugent photo


Josh Nugent photo

 
 
September, like August, went by much to quickly. I learned a ton, caught some amazing fish, had some fantastically fun days on the water with clients.

2 comments:

Marty Sheppard said...

That's a pretty much AWESOME September!

k8 said...

Agreed Marty! Those pictures are breathtaking Ade!