Author Archives: Vic Bergman

Crowsnest Pass, Alberta photographer

Crowsnest River Cobwebs

I went fishing on the Crowsnest River today. First time out in a while. When I went into my garage this morning to collect some of my gear, I noticed there were cobwebs on my wading boots. That’s not a good sign. I’ve never seen this before. I guess it had been longer than I thought since I was able to wet a line. I laughed to myself, then brushed off the cobwebs and headed to the river.

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Spring in the Crowsnest

Spring officially arrived about two weeks ago. Although the weather has been a bit unsettled lately, it looks like winter is gradually coming to an end in the Crowsnest Pass. The ice is receding on some of the local lakes and rivers. Anglers are making their way out onto open water once again.

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Winter

It’s been a cold winter in the Crowsnest Pass. Between mid-December and mid-January, the temperatures were brutal. We also received a fair amount of snow. I have spent a lot of time digging out this winter. It seemed like as soon as I cleared the driveway, sidewalk, front steps, and patio of snow, it would snow another foot.

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Crowsnest Mountain Reflections

This summer I visited Emerald Lake on several occasions to try and duplicate a photo taken in the 1930s by Thomas Gushul, a well-known Crowsnest Pass photographer. Emerald Lake is located along Highway 3, west of Coleman, near the Alberta-British Columbia border. The picturesque lake is connected to Crowsnest Lake via a shallow channel, 50 metres in length. Most travelers are unaware the two lakes are connected, as the highway bridge passes directly above the interconnecting channel, blocking it from view. When Thomas Gushul took his photo, these bodies of water were considered an extension of each other and regarded as one lake – Crowsnest Lake.

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Bamboo Trout – Part III

I’ve been able to get out fishing a few times since my last post. Each time, I used my Shakespeare bamboo fly rod. I acquired this rod in a trade about thirty-five years ago. It’s a 9-foot, three-piece, 8-weight outfit. I’ve nicknamed the rod, Romeo, in honour of William Shakespeare, England’s “Bard of Avon,” not to be confused with William Shakespeare Jr., inventor of the level-winding fishing reel and founder of the Shakespeare Fishing Tackle Company, who produced my fly rod. To my knowledge, William Shakespeare Jr. and his father, William H. Shakespeare, of Kalamazoo, Michigan, were not related to the English playwright, poet, and actor, whose name they shared.

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Bamboo Trout – Part II

Over the past month, I’ve been able to get out on the water a few times by myself. With temperatures climbing above 30 degrees Celsius (85°F) on some days, I’ve been fishing the cooler headwater reaches of a couple of local trout streams. It’s places like this where I enjoy using my bamboo fly rod the most.

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Bamboo Trout – Part I

As a young boy, I used to go for my haircuts at George’s Barber Shop in Coaldale. My father would usually take me here when it was time for a trim. The shop was located in a small, white stuccoed building just off Main Street. Inside, it was set up like any other barbershop of the day. There was a barber chair, along with all the usual accouterments of the trade – hair trimmers, clippers, scissors, razors, combs, and towels. There were chairs where customers would sit and wait their turn while conversing with George. What set George’s Barber Shop apart from the typical barbershop was the array of fishing tackle that was for sale. The walls were covered with all sorts of lures, spinners, lines, and other fishing paraphernalia. Clear plastic boxes stacked on shelves were filled with colorful trout flies. There was a rod rack near the front where bamboo fly rods were on display. I’m sure there were fiberglass fly rods in the rack as well, but I remember being drawn to the bright, honey-coloured cane rods.

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Blairmore Cemetery Repair Work

There are about a dozen heritage cemeteries located in Crowsnest Pass. Many of the early citizens and founding members of our communities are buried here. Some of their graves date to the early 1900s. Many of the descendants of these people have also passed away or no longer live here. As a result, some gravesites have been neglected over the years and have fallen into disrepair. Exposure to the elements, combined with the growth of trees, bushes, and other vegetation, has taken its toll, particularly on some of the older graves.

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May or December?

Less than two weeks ago, we were enjoying summer-like weather in Crowsnest Pass. It was sunny and warm, with daytime temperatures registering in the mid-20 degree Celsius (75°F) range. After a long winter, people were glad to be able to be outside wearing t-shirts and shorts. A lot of people were out biking, hiking, and walking their dogs. The nice weather also drew numerous anglers onto some of our local trout waters. Life was good.

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Frank Slide Bouldering

Bouldering has become an extremely popular activity in the Frank Slide. On any given day, you will see multiple groups of people hiking into the vast expanse of the slide in search of limestone boulders to test their climbing skills. On their backs, they carry padded foam mats – crash pads, to be placed at the base of the boulder. It’s the only form of protection from injury they have, should they fall. This type of free climbing is made without the use of ropes or harnesses.

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