The Stream of My Youth

I have always enjoyed fishing for trout in small streams and creeks. It was at one such place in southwest Alberta, where as a young teenager, I was introduced to fly-fishing while on a school camping trip. Within a week or two of returning home, I became the proud owner of a brand new fly rod.

My equipment consisted of an Open Road fiberglass fly rod outfit, purchased for me by my parents at a Woolco department store, where my mother worked. I can still picture myself hunched over in the back of our packed station wagon, winding the long length of fly line onto the reel while heading out on a camping trip to Waterton Park with my family. I had just completed ninth grade and it was the beginning of my summer vacation. The two months that followed would be filled with one fly-fishing adventure after another.

The photo at the top is from a postcard that dates to the early 1970s, about the time I started fly-fishing. I like it because it reminds me of the stream where I experienced this sport for the first time.

Base Camp - Waterton Park

Base Camp – Waterton Park
(ca. 1972 – 1974)

It’s been more than four decades since I last fished the stream of my youth. Despite my long absence, I have not forgotten the countless days I spent walking along its rocky, cobble-lined banks and wading its ice-cold waters in blue jeans and sneakers. I would cast my crudely-tied Tom Thumb dry flies into its crystal-clear pools and watch colorful 10-inch cutthroats rise eagerly to them. Once in a while, a 14-incher, a trophy, would come to hand. I have great memories of fishing here with family and friends and hope to return to this special place in the near future – if only to see whether it remembers me. When I go, I’ll be sure to bring some of my crudely-tied Tom Thumbs.

Click on the photo of the Tom Thumb fly below to read about my return visit to the stream of my youth. 

Article References & Credits

Postcard – Anticipating Supper
VB Collection

This entry was posted in On The Water and tagged , , , .


  1. Kurt Lindberg July 18, 2018 at 7:20 am #

    A great story indeed! Thanks for sharing, my story is similar but in Montana instead of Waterton. A wonderful sport that has taken me many places and given me countless adventures I will never forget too! Thanks again

    • Vic Bergman July 18, 2018 at 8:42 am #

      Hi Kurt,

      Memories is what fly-fishing is all about! Glad you enjoyed the post.

  2. Terry Hrudey July 16, 2018 at 4:22 pm #

    Nice story! Now are you going to identify this “Frenchman’s Creek?” I can guess at a few possibilities.

    • Vic Bergman July 16, 2018 at 4:47 pm #

      Hi Terry,

      I’m glad you liked the story. I guess I should have said, “To be continued …” at the end of the piece. I’m hoping to go back in the next couple weeks and will reveal everything then. It’s been so long, I hope I remember how to get there! I know you like to fish somewhere not too far from here. That’s all I can say for now. Thanks for stopping by.

      • Terry Hrudey July 16, 2018 at 4:55 pm #

        That was enough of a hint – I don’t recall the name of the creek but I know exactly where it is. Of course I’m sworn to secrecy.

        • Vic Bergman July 16, 2018 at 5:11 pm #

          Hi Terry,

          I figured you would probably know the location. We’ll keep it a secret between us for now. I spoke with someone today who lives close by and he recommended I go soon. Until then, I’m going to be busy tying flies.

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