Fishing Stillwaters

It appears the spring runoff has started on the rivers and streams of southwest Alberta. The warm temperatures we have been receiving over the past week has been causing more snow in the mountains to melt. As a result, water levels have been rising on the rivers and they are becoming discolored. With rain in the forecast this week, the runoff will likely increase in intensity. Providing we don’t receive prolonged rainfall, conditions should begin to improve in a few weeks. In the meantime, we can always head out to fish some of our local stillwaters.

That’s what I did Sunday and Monday. My brother-in-law, Paul, was in town and we were able to go fishing on Lee and Beaver Mines lakes. It had been a couple of years since Paul and I went trout fishing together, and it was nice to get out with him once again. The weather was perfect both days – some sun, some cloud, and light winds. Lee Lake treated us well the first day and we caught quite a few rainbow trout. They were “cookie-cutter” in size and appearance – all between 10-12 inches. Not very big by any means, but fun to catch. We only saw one large trout all day, maybe 20 inches in length. It was cruising the shallows, but it saw us first and darted away.

Beaver Mines Lake
Great scenery

On Monday morning we headed over to Beaver Mines Lake, where we had better success, as far as trout size and excitement was concerned. The fishing was steady all day and we caught some decent rainbows. Purple Balanced Leeches were on the menu and that’s all we used for fly patterns the entire day. Why bother trying other flies when you have something that’s working?

Colorful rainbow trout

The fish story of the day happened shortly after lunch when Paul hooked into a fish that tore off most of the fly line from his reel. A couple of times, Paul managed to guide the fish close to the boat, but each time it shot off, peeling out a bunch more line. Ten minutes later, we still hadn’t seen the fish. It didn’t want anything to do with us and was staying deep. By now, Paul’s arm was getting sore and we were wondering how long it would be before the thin 4X tippet on the leader would break. Slowly, Paul worked the strong fish in close enough to give us our first glimpse. It was huge bull trout! A few minutes later, the big fish came to the surface and after a couple of attempts on my part, it was netted. It was Paul’s first bull trout, about 26 inches in length. Not bad, if I say so myself!

Fish of the day
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  1. Bob Costa June 2, 2019 at 8:06 am #

    What a surprise for Paul. Great catch! I’m late on this as I was in Portugal eating squid and octopus. Yummy stuff but I’m ready for our kind of fishin’. Cheers!

    • Vic Bergman June 2, 2019 at 11:03 am #

      Hi Bob,

      Thanks for your call this morning, and for the invitation to go fishing tomorrow. I’ll have to take a rain check, this time around. It sounds like you had a great time in Portugal. Squid and octopus are something I would enjoy. You’re never too late to comment. Hope you catch some pike, if you head out tomorrow. Thanks for stopping in!

  2. Herb Vitale May 16, 2019 at 6:51 am #

    Glad you guys had a good day. About to be summer here.
    Miss you and your beautiful SW Alberta. Will take a shot at some warm water fish this weekend. Our best to you and Carol.

    • Vic Bergman May 16, 2019 at 2:26 pm #

      Hi Herb,

      Great to hear from you! We are still in spring mode here. It’s raining and water levels are rising on the Crow. It’s that time of the year. Hope you catch some fish this weekend. Say hello to Linda.

  3. David May 15, 2019 at 2:08 pm #

    What a catch. Paul looks to be pretty happy with his catch. Congrats!

    • Vic Bergman May 15, 2019 at 5:00 pm #

      Hi David,

      Yes, Paul was very pleased with his bull trout. It’s been two days and he still has that smile on his face. We had a great couple of days fishing! Thanks for visiting.

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