Archive for March, 2009

Winter Fishing The Bow River

Homing In On March Trout

Today was a day a trout fisherman could not pass up the opportunity to get the hooks out and the line wet. Soon the weather will turn cold again and we will be watching fishing shows on television. So off to the Bow River we go and catch some of our own trout. There was three days of warm weather here in Calgary so there was a copious amount of water draining off the streets and into the Bow River system. This made the water dirty, and yesterday it was too dirty to fish. But I remained positive and returned to the river today for some trout fishing action. Dean played hooky from work and Tom was on his way as he had the day off. Tom said “I have that fishing itch I just have to scratch”. You know the itch he means, the one where you are cooped up for weeks and no fishing has been done for months.

Spirits were high and the hooks were sharp. Up the icy bank and into the deep hole I walked gingerly, ice cracking half way up the river. I was the first to arrive, and therefore I was able to latch into four nice rainbows before Dean and Tom arrived to meet me. As they say “the early bird gets the worm”, well actually he gets the trout. Dean was walking up the bank and I could see him in the distance as I battled my fifth rainbow within an hour. It looked like it was going to be a day for many rainbows. Then Tom showed up and then the river became quiet, like Mother Nature turned off the switch. A brief period passed with no trout hooked but then as the day started, the river came alive once again.

Tom was into a respectable brown trout that measured out at twenty three inches. The camera shutter snapped a few pictures and then Tom released the fish back into the chilly stained water. As tom released the fish into the Bow River, I held onto his coat just to make sure he did not slip and enter the river. Ice hanging over the rivers edge can be dangerous so when you are walking on it you must check it first for stability, getting wet when the water is this cold will end your day immediately. No one got their boots wet only their hands from releasing the fish we caught back into the river. Catch and release is a great idea to preserve the fishing resource we have here in Alberta.

Today we were predominantly using crank baits such as the Rapala Countdown, the Rapala Husky Jerk and the spinners were working also. I was using the Bang Tail made by Lure Jensen and hooked into two rainbows with it. Dean approached me and asked me what color he should switch his lure to. I suggested he try the green Rapala as I have seen many big fish caught with it. It was approaching three o’clock and this has always been a great time here on the Bow River to catch fish. As the clock struck three, a huge Brown struck dean’s Rapala, the same green hook he just finished tying up. I could see the splashes from just down river where I was casting. I just knew this fish was extra ordinary so I clumsily trotted up the river to capture some video of his monster. This male brute was battling dean to the bitter end with many head shakes and rolls to try and shake his lure free. No way was Dean about to loose this fish. He reeled him slowly into the bank and chose a spot where he could get close enough to grip him. All twenty seven inches came out of the water; this is what we were looking for all day!

As dean’s eyes opened with amazement, I popped the hook from his tooth jaws careful not to harm this beautiful wonder. There was no problems unhooking him and we were able to capture the moment on film for you to see. When landing a fish this big, we are careful not to let the fish lay on the ice at all. It is better to keep the fish off the ice and get it back into the water as soon as possible. This reduces stress on the fish and improves the chances of fish survival. High fives were in order for this trout. I applauded dean for his skills and his presentation of the Rapala as it was necessary to do so. I hope you enjoy the picture of this Bow River fat boy. I know I enjoyed watching dean hook and land this exceptional trout.