33. Thirty three days until the official season opener of 2015. For some, 2015 started January 1st. Those in southern Alberta have a few options to shake off the rust throughout winter, that is if their casting arm even accumulates any rust at all. The Bow remains open through the city of Calgary along with multiple other tailwater/outflows, one spring creek in central Alberta and one spring influenced freestone stream in the far southwest corner of the province. There are so few secrets left in the realm of Winter fishing in Alberta.
Up north we have a select few options, but in reality the day to really look forward to is April first. There's many bull trout/brown trout fisheries north and west of red deer that open April first. Its a pretty exciting time of year. If you can get on the fish, its usually very easy to convince them to eat, after a winter of barely eating anything at all. That being said we just returned from one of my new favourite winter fisheries. We spent the long weekend in the mountains, didn't run into another soul on the river, and even managed to get our hands on some bulls. If you gave me the option of driving south to the likely crowded waters on a long weekend, versus driving to the mountains with a river to myself, and trading off average rainbows for "small" bulls, its a pretty easy decision to make. At least for me. Fishing to me is spending time with friends alone, outdoors, so those little "get togethers" down south drive me crazy. April opener down south can be ridiculous too, we drove up on the Saturday opener and showed up to 17 anglers on a 800m stretch of river. No thank you. The secret's out on likely the "Best" April opener fishery in southern Alberta, and if I wanted to fish in a picket line I'd drive to lower mainland BC during salmon season.
I'm going to be extremely lucky if i get out again before April first. I thought this last trip would just cure the itch, but instead, It fired me up, and it also resulted in an expense of about 300 bucks in the form of a new reel, and a sweet little 2wt for the upcoming season. But I digress...
2015 Has gotten off to a good start, in terms of media making. Which is saying a lot because we came up almost entirely empty handed last year as far as the potential for a full length video goes. Sam's working his magic in the editing booth, and I'm HOPING, we have something in the next 3 weeks. Guaranteed we have two videos, we got some pretty neat stuff in the mountains, along with some Florida footage that continues to get pushed back. But I keep making promises, and I keep letting those who are interested down. Things for us slowly came to halt around December.
But with the way 2015 has started, I'm hopeful. The system we have in place now, is something that we believe is going to deliver to the full potential, its going to be different. No longer are the days that we're just going to hope on stud fish, that phase passed this last year. Its going to be about the experience, and the adventure, and what fly fishing is really about. There might be some smaller fish, but we're going to try and make this about the experience. We aren't banking on select weeks to shoot, because we made that mistake last year, and nothing came of it. 4 un-finish-able videos were the result. But that wont happen this year, because photography is going to take a bit of a back seat.
With all that in mind. You will likely see some Cutthroat stuff mid April, some central Alberta Brown trout stuff May/June, July you'll likely just see Bulls... August will turn to Cutthroat and Grayling, and then September will slow right down with all four of us in school. However if we can work something out, there is going to be some incredible bull trout media coming your way end of September/early October (don't worry, they wont be spawners).
But don't hold your breath. Life seems to have a way of throwing you for a loop.