Bow River Trout – Fish Tales Fly Shop

Bow River Trout – Fish Tales Fly Shop


(majestic music) – That’s it. Give him the header. – [Colin] He’s got
some pink to him. Just beautiful. Welcome everybody to
The New Fly Fisher. I’m your host Colin McKeown. In today’s show, we’re
in beautiful Alberta. In fact the Bow River’s
right behind me, one of the top trout
rivers in North America. We’re the guests of
Fish Tales Fly Shop and we even have a
special guest today, and that’s Simon Gaweworth
from RIO Products. We’re gonna be talking
about streamer fishing, we’re gonna be talking
about dry fly fishing, we’re gonna be talking
about techniques for hopper droppers, a whole plethora of different
types of information that’ll help you
understand more about how to fish a river like
this for big trout. It’s gonna be a great
show, stay with us. (gentle guitar music) – [Announcer] The New Fly Fisher has been made possible thanks to Calgary tourism, Orvis Sporting Traditions, RIO Products, Superfly, fly fishing made easy. (atmospheric guitar music) – [Colin] Drift
boat fly fishing, I love it. What is even better is if
you can do it in September when the grasshoppers
are falling in the water. It’s a great time of year for
outstanding top water action. I have traveled to
beautiful Alberta to do a drift down
the famous Bow River, running below the
city of Calgary. The Bow is one of the
better known rivers in Western Canada,
because of massive numbers of trout the river supports. Plus the fact you
can literally stay in the city at a hotel. Calgary is a vibrant city with wonderful
accommodations, restaurants, and sights to see. But for this trip,
it’s all about fishing. Simon Gawesworth
from RIO Products joined me of the next few dasy, as he’s a huge fan
of top water action. And I of course and thrilled, because he’s a wonderful
person to share a boat with. Of equal importance, I’m looking forward to learning
a great deal from Simon as he’s a phenomenal angler
with a wealth of experience. Guiding Simon and
I is Terry Johnson from Fish Tales Fly Shop. Terry has been guiding
on the Bow River for 20 plus years
and is considered one of the top professional
guides in the province. Like Simon, I know Terry
will help educate me about techniques for
catching the big rainbow and brown trout the
Bow River’s famous for. Since it’s first
thing in the morning, Terry recommended we
start with streamers. Simon is an expert
on streamer fishing and shares some
great information on rigging options
for a two-fly set up. – [Simon] When I’m streamer
fishing out of a drift boat on a river like the Bow, there’s a couple of
things I like to do. First of all, in
terms of fly lines, I think it’s imperative to
have a line with a sink tip. You want your trout fly
to land close to the bank and drop down quickly, and so most of the
time I start off with a line with a very short
sink tip on the front end. This is an
intermediate sink tip, just a streamer tip line. You can go a faster
sink tip if you like. But a short sink
tip is much better than a long sink tip, because when you’ve
done five or six strips, you can pick up
and cast your line straight back to the bank where most of your takes
are gonna come from. So that’s the type of line
that is absolutely ideal for streamer fishing
out of a boat. Then on the front end of this, you want to put on a leader. This leader’s only
six foot long, 12 pounds, six foot
long, that’s perfect. And I tie off the front end of the 12 foot, six pound leader a thing called a tippet ring, which is this little ring
on the front end here. Now a lot of people
tie their first fly onto the leader here and trail a second
stream right off it, and that works
perfectly well for them. I like to fish a lot of
stops in my retrieves and so I want an arm, because with an arm my fly
has more independent movement, like this as you can see. So I like to fish
an arm off that, and that’s why a tippet
ring works for me. So if that appeals to you, get yourself some tippet rings, tie yourself off about a
six inch dropper like this, again about the
same in 12 pound. And that’s where you tie
your smaller streamer. And then after that, same
12 pound material here, about a foot and
a half to two foot onto the big large
fly at the end. And you really do
want to make sure your large fly is at the end, because when you cast,
that heavy fly pitches and pulls all your
line nice and straight. So that’s my rig when
streamer fishing, especially out of a drift boat floating down a river, like
the beautiful Bow here. – There you go, fish on. – I’ll turn him like
that, how ’bout– – [Simon] I like that,
just the usual tap tap and then on he went. He’s a leaper. Are you good with
the net, ready? – He’s all colored
up, I’m ready. This is how I will
look when I’m ready. – [Simon] You didn’t
strike like a heron today. – No no, you got to be a little
slower with these browns. – [Simon] Yesterday was a
heron attack with the net. This was like a
smooth, sedentary grab. – Alright, pretty fish. – [Simon] Beautiful
brown, look at that. – Pretty brown,
pretty brown, alright. – [Simon] Skunk’s out the boat. – [Terry] Anytime
now, there he goes. (lively guitar music) (atmospheric music) – [Colin] Every September,
anglers in the west get excited about grasshoppers. Like predictable Mayfly hatches, the winds of September
means that large numbers of grasshoppers will
be blown into the river where trout will
happily engulf them. On the Bow River, big trout
hang tight to the edges, looking for these
delectable terrestrials to fall haplessly
into the water. The question is always,
when will the top water grasshopper bite happen? In order to achieve
fishing success, smart fly fishers
will use a two-fly rig composed of a
grasshopper and a dropper tied to this pattern. Simon explains the set
up we’re using today to cover both the surface
and subsurface bite. – So in the boat today,
we’re gonna start off fishing what’s called a hopper dropper. And that is a rig where you
fish a kind of a hopper, grasshopper, but basically
a big floating foam dry fly, that is A, fish can grab it but B, also hold your
fly at a depth you want. And hanging off that, I’ve
got about two, two and a half, three foot, of basically
what’s called a dropper and a heavy jig hook style nymph with a tungsten bead. And the idea is
you throw this out and you float and
you watch your hopper and if a fish grabs a nymph, your hopper bobs under or
twitches or moves in the current and you set the hook. But equally, a fish
could grab this and if you see a fish
come up and grab that, then you obviously
set the hook as well. We’re looking for seams, we looking at the water
that changes currents. And always the
important thing to do, you want to make sure
that this floats down at roughly the same
speed as the bobber. Your nymph is doing all
the work underneath it. Today we’ll probably get
most fish on the nymph. So I’ve got on a short
seven and a half leader to one X. A very stout, short leader, because there’s a fair amount
of wind resistance on this. That’ll turn this
over with ease, and then there’s this drop two
and a half to three feet down and that is a typical
hopper dropper rig and that’s what we’re gonna be
using here today on the Bow. (twangy guitar music) – Two fish on the hopper
before 10 o’clock, that’s good, I’ll take it. – Yeah we’ll take that. – That’s better. Not giant, but better. – Well he’s almost
bending the rod. That’s good. – Well I can get
him to bend the rod. – Yeah, that’s a gooder. He says not today. – No.
– Not right now. – Yeah, steelhead.
– Alright. – I just tired him out. – Yeah, just keep jumping,
just keep jumping. (splashing) – [Simon] One mere
lift and you’re mine. – Here he comes, here
he comes, heads up. Nice.
– Well cone. – Nicely done. Boy, they’ve just been in
great shape these fish. Off you go. (splash) (atmospheric guitar music) That’s it. – [Simon] The fly
works with the hook on. I’m so relieved that it
wasn’t just my ability for setting the damn
hook, inability. (laughing) – [Terry] Oh dear. – That’s a better fish. Alright, have you finished
your shenanigans yet, brute. Get your head up. – [Terry] And skim
skim skim skim, nice. Alright, dry fly, nice. Alright feller.
– That’s a wee bit better. – A wee. There’s that fly right there. Open up, thank you. Okay. (splash) Nice. – So that was dry
fly and the fish rose and we floated down, made a
cast about two feet above it, did drift down and the fish, the
little bit of sunlight, you could see the
silver flanks come up. All the time in the world to prepare for the hook set and then down he came, set
the hook nice and easy, beautiful, that is dry
fly fishing at its best. Absolutely fantastic
way of catching fish. (lively guitar music) (atmospheric music) – [Colin] I love going into
a well-stocked fly shop. It’s like a candy store to me. Fish Tales Fly Shop, which
is located right in Calgary and not far from the Bow River is one of those
great candy shops. Since 1997, Fish Tales Fly Shop has become recognized
as the place to visit for local knowledge, technical
information and expertise. Owners David Blair
and Nancy Storwick have created a warm
and comfortable retreat for anglers young and old. Fly fishing equipment,
instructional courses, and guiding, they and
their staff offer it all. For fly fishers
visiting Calgary, this is a must-see fly shop. Later in the day, Simon took
out his two-handed fly rod and started swinging soft
hackle flies from the bank. This is a deadly technique
for catching trout and it’s also a lot of fun. – When you’re
looking at a river, one of the ideal locations,
you can see above me here and below me here, you’re
looking for water like this. This is a really good
typical soft hackle water. And you’re looking for
water that’s moving. You want the current
to swing the fly, you don’t want dead slow water, you want white water
that’s tearing down. I’m just gonna start with
a short line in here. Just get the line
and the tip out. And all I’m trying to
do is cast my end fly. I’ve got two flies,
the second one tied off a tippet ring. My point fly, the furthest fly, I want to cast it just
into the quicker water and then both flies swing
out of that quicker water into the soft water. And that’s why I like
fishing two flies, is you covering a lot of
water swinging with two flies. Especially when you
tie them off something like a tippet ring, which
makes it real easy to do. So now that’s swung round, I’m gonna go down
a couple of steps and pop my fly back out and just work my way
down this inside seam to the bottom. And that is swinging
soft hackles on a spey rod. (gentle uplifting music) Let’s have a look at
what soft hackles are. So I’ve got a little box here of my kind of go-to soft
hackles for most river fishing, I’ve got dozens of these boxes because I’m such a big fan. And this kind of
gives you an idea of the array of flies. There’s some large ones,
and there’s medium, there’s average
and there’s micro and then there’s tinys, but they all follow a theme. And that theme is
they have a hackle at the front of the head, that slopes back made of
a soft hen-type feather and the idea, hence
the name soft hackle, is that when you increase
and decrease tension your hackles pulse and give
this lifelike movement. And so this is a selection of the type of soft
hackles I have. These big ones I like
to use as point flies when I’m searching. Now these ones are October
caddis type colors, so if the fish are
feeding on October caddis or they’re feeding on
the pupae or the larvaes in the water, then I
might put on one of these. And then generally
speaking, you want to mix up and always have a smaller fly and my smaller flies might
be something down here. I got some gray ones, I’ve got
some ones with greenish body and gray hackles. I’ve got some yellow ones here, like PMD patterns, so you
can simulate the hatches with the soft hackles. You get the same kind
of color variations. And that’s a good thing to know, because when you’re
fishing to rising fish with soft hackles, if they’re
feeding on PMD’s, well, fish a yellow body one. If they’re rising on
blue-winged olives, fish one with an olive body. You’re gonna get
a lot more success by observing that color
scheme if you like. And if you don’t know
what those flies are, just go by the color. Look at what the color
of the natural flies are flying around or
lying on the water and pick something
similar to that. (gentle piano music) (reeling) There you are, that’s perfect. In exactly the type of water
you fish a soft hackle, I think he’s taking the
larger fly on the point. Decent fish. Just one of the joys of
fishing soft hackles, is the grab, the tightening
of the line they take. He’s a nice rainbow. Let’s get him in the slow water, so we can get him in. Now he’s on the small dropper. The small blue-winged
olive, soft hackle. Let’s see if we can
get him in here. (water rippling) Nicely done. A cracking little
rainbow off the Bow. Look at that for
a beautiful trout. (gentle piano music) (atmospheric music) (laughing) – Yes it is. – That’s a huge
fish, that’s a beast. – [Colin] I hit the dry right
at the end of the day here, that’s hilarious. – [Terry] The little
one too, that’s awesome. Yeah, try and get
him up on the– (laughing) Nice.
– That’s really funny. – Oh it drops off
right there, careful. That’s it, slide him over. Nice nice nice nice. Scoop him up. (splashing) – Well done.
– Boat launch fish. – That’s the way to end the day. – [Colin] That’s the
way to end the day. – Well cone Colin. Boy, we had pulled over
and said, that’s it boys. – [Colin] I’ll take
that any day exactly. – All of a sudden fish on. A beauty too. – [Colin] Beauty fish. – Look at that guy. See if he’ll behave. Oh yeah. Okay fish, there
we go, there we go, now he’s behavin’. Are you ready? I’m gonna let you slide out. (splash) – We hope you
enjoyed today’s show. What a fantastic fishery
the Bow River is. I want to thank the people
at Fish Tales Fly Shop for having us here, David, Nancy, Terry, Brian, we had a great few days here. And of course Simon
Gawesworth from RIO Products, who taught us a lot
about fly lines, how to tie different
knots, the leader set-ups, all of the things you need to be an effective fly fisher. If you want to learn
more about this show, about Calgary, Bow
River, go to our website, thenewflyfisher.com. Thanks for watching and
we’ll see you on the water. (gentle guitar music) – [Announcer] The New Fly
Fisher has been made possible thanks to Calgary tourism, Orvis Sporting Traditions, RIO Products, Superfly, fly fishing made easy. (falling rubble)

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