Sunday, September 13, 2015

Stellako on a dry fly

I had a bit of time this weekend and my choice was take the boat out to a lake or wade the Stellako river again trying to fool rainbows with a dry fly. Well, dry fly fishing won, so off I went.

Last night I tied up a few dry fly patterns and had one on and ready to go before even reaching the river. Having fished it just last week I already had a plan for where I wanted to fish and went straight for those spots.

Despite some pretty good wind, all it took was one cast and I was already into fish. A healthy rainbow who put up a nice fight and some acrobatics came to hand and was released. The first stop produced a few decent fish and then went quiet. I wandered downstream, hooking into a few small fish on the way. I stopped at a nice pocket of water and happened to look upstream just in time to see the back end of a black bear duck into the shrubs on the opposite bank. As I looked down stream around the corner I could see another black bear, on my side of the river, standing on the bank.
I figured I had better leave them alone and went back up stream to where I started.

When I reached the head of the river, the rain and hail decided to make an appearance which made my decision to leave a little bit easier.

Today wasn't the fast and furious action of last weekend but some nice fish were caught. I think something was trying to tell me to put away the fishing rod and pick up the rifle. I saw six deer on the short drive to the river and two bears on the river. We'll see what happens next weekend.

The fly of the day was a cinnamon caddis type pattern, larger than I would have thought seemed to be more effective in bringing the rainbows up.

Hook: standard size 10 or 12 dry fly hook
Thread: 8/0 tan thread
Body: rusty brown dubbin
Body hackle: brown dry fly hackle
Rib: extra small copper wire
Wing: elk hair

Saturday, September 5, 2015

Stellar day on the Stellako - Dry Fly Fishing

This morning I woke up to beautiful sunshine as fall approaches at a steady pace. I grabbed my fly rod and off I went to what has to be my favorite trout stream, the Stellako River. Thinking there would be sockeye in the river I packed some egg patterns I could drift under them to entice the many rainbows lurking behind them looking for an easy meal. Along with the egg patterns I packed some stone flies in olive, tan and black (all of which were effective this time last year). Lastly, I threw in some dry flies, and among them a few cinnamon caddis.

When I arrived at the river there were a couple of guys pounding the water near the inflow from Francois Lake. With a smile and a nod I walked on by, down stream, to find some water of my own. I didn't have to go far and I found some pockets of water amongst shallows. Thinking it looked fishy I tied on a cinnamon caddis a sent out my first cast. Should have started the Gopro before I cast because that first cast yielded a 12" rainbow. Oh well, next fish maybe? After releasing the little rainbow I turned on the Gopro and kept fishing the pockets of water as I waded down stream. Every pocket of water gave up fish. Some more than others and some bigger than others. Put it this way, I didn't have to work for any fish today. The rainbows must have got the memo and were hungry. I lost count of how many fish I landed, the majority of which were around 8" but there were some big fish in there too. I landed a handful of 14-16" acrobatic and strong rainbows and fought a beast that I thought was a sockeye before it leaped into the air and showed its chrome.

I had a bunch of new egg patterns I wanted to try out on this trip but couldn't bear to stop fishing dries. Some of the takes were aggressive and the fish flashed up from the bottom and slammed the fly. Other takes were a slap of the fly to drown it and then they would take the fly. I missed a few being too over zealous and trying to set the hook at the sight of the first splash. It's so hard to hold back and wait before setting the hook. The water was crystal clear and you could see the fish holding, flashing or coming up for food. At one point I watched a little rainbow snap at my fly on the surface four times as it skated across the current before it finally got a hold of it. Very fun to watch.

If you are up in this area I would highly suggest a stop at this little gem of a river. Bring lots of flies, they trashed a number of mine.