Posts Tagged ‘B.C.


early morning…

on a B.C. lake some 20 years ago..chasing Kamloops trout.

Salmon Lake in British Columbia….beautiful Kamloops Trout



Wildflowers-BC-Salmon Lake SwittersB

blooming in Eastern B.C. next to a lake.


Fly Tying & Fishing: Little Fort Leech (Variation)

little fort leech variation swittersb

Yes, a version of the ubiquitous Woolly Bugger, The Little Fort Leech. Without question, and for whatever reasons, the best dark WB I have ever used. Yes a basic black or dark brown WB will produce, as will almost any colored body combination given the right location and presentation. However, this pattern can be fished wit confidence on stillwaters and rivers. Simple to tie, this variation has a variegated marabou tail rather than the traditional Black marabou with a bright splotch of red hackle or marabou tied atop the black. The abdomen/thorax is lightly palmered with dark brown hackle. It is unweighted save the bead head. I tied this fly on a stout size 8 hook. I came upon this pattern about 20 years ago in Little Fort, British Columbia at a fly shop and have never stopped tying this very basic fly.

LFLs SWittersB


Fly Tying: Dragon Fly Pattern Options

There are reportedly 5800+ species of  Dragon flies on this planet. For fly fishing purposes, it can be simplified down to one simple concept (dare I say that) and that is re the shape of the nymph. Longer, sleeker or shorter, rounder. Both styles of nymphs are predatory and excellent patterns to deploy beneath the water’s surface particularly in lakes, or slower, backwaters of rivers. BC Info re Dragons

Wisconsin Water Monitoring Group Photo


Fly Fishing: Golden Trout (Introgression & Tetched)

I have fished for this hybrid golden and once the novelty (there unique appearance) wears off, there is a sense it is a bit odd…a bit off. Yes, the fish took the fly, but once they did the word mediocrity comes to mind. The words sludge, drag, short circuit, tetched come to mind. Maybe others have had an entirely different experience with this strain of ‘trout’….hybrid Golden- Rainbow Trout . I believe these hybrids are different than the California Golden Trout.

“Years of exploitation, mismanagement and competition with exotic species have brought these fish (Golden Trout) to the brink of being designated as threatened. Introduced brook trout (Salvelinus fontinalis) outcompete them for food, introduced brown trout (Salmo trutta) prey on them and introduced rainbow trout (O. mykiss) hybridize with them, damaging the native gene pool through introgression.”  A different perspective of introgression.

Ugh...A Disconnect (Pennine Trout Farm)

The man’s happiness aside, the setting and the fish go hand in hand…manufactured environment and manufactured fish. This was exactly the kind of setting (less refined) in which I encountered my goldens. I don’t seem to mind traveling to B.C. and catching triploids, a hybridized trout, why do I have such a block on these other trout? Aesthetics, personality…I just don’t know.


Chironomids, Buzzers, Midges, Gnats (For the B.C. Snowbound, Vertical Flyfisher..June is coming)




Skeena River Lottery? Are Guides Ruining Access for the Do-It-Yourself FFer?

 The Skeena is essential and one of the last remaining, road-accessible strongholds of truly authentic steelhead culture. After all the camera crews pack up and leave and take their boxes of Green Drakes back to Bozeangeles, it’s our hope there will continue to be campfires burning the midnight soul somewhere within that valley, ringed with a few quiet real steelheaders you’ve never heard of and never will, who’ve managed to set up their lives for a few weeks off in fall, to gather somewhere special and experience a magic extremely personal. It’s that kind of place.

I, we, urge you to literally take 10 seconds out of your busy day, click here to quickly learn more and sign the petition against this. Not only does it affect anyone who’s ever dreamed of an unguided Do-It-Yourself trip to Skeena Country, imagine the sustainable tourism dollars the entire Skeena Valley could lose at the expense of a few selfish Smithers guides who just want a little more room for their clients. Newsflash, dickhead guides: Tough economies always lead to an increase in poaching.


I have not had the luxury for many guided trips (maybe a half dozen). I have enjoyed them all and will do it again…more out of friendship than as a client…but, the essence of all this escapism, for me, is to do it alone or at least mentally alone and the freedom. Friendships and grab ass are fine, but at least for me, there is a solitary component, a singular connection, I crave.

Update: I post this comment from bacon-to-fry, who raises some good points even if he is a self-admitted dick…he has some key points. I would only ask that those that use this typical ecobot enviro argument, provide examples and documentation in the Western Hemisphere (and no not South America or Mexico) of these extraction company abuses. I am not quick to promote any heavy industry near pristine headwaters (excepting AMWR..fucking drill), but we do not argue our cases convincingly with ‘coulds, mights, maybes, perhaps, potentially’ hand wringing. How about a solid critique of Highland Valley Copper Mine in BC. Someone dish out what a catastrophie that operation has been (if it has?). Where should mineral extraction ops be, once they are removed from all watersheds? I assume they should be permanently outlawed?

Any way, because bacon-to-fry fishes my home waters that I want preserved, I am going to lend him an ear, even if he is wound a bit tight (and, yes, I am looking for that time machine and don’t fuck with me once I’m in it!). Actually, bacon could use a little alone time, now and then. Just teasing bacon. He made me consider beyond the end of my swinging hook.

 bacon_to_fry Says:
November 24th, 2008 at 10:55 am

happy to explain.

1. advocacy: wild, native steelhead and salmon need all the friends they can get, and by limiting the amount of fishermen from the americas and europe that make a real physical and emotional, experience-based connection to the valley, i.e. potential advocates, we all lose. much peer-reviewed science is supported through private donation now (case in point, the US-based Wild Salmon Center’s increasing presence in Canada’s Skeena Country, where they believe they’ve got a real chance of saving what’s left of the last, great anadromous fisheries regardless of what country that fishery might be in.) and without advocates ponying up for science that influences policy, no science that might help here gets done there. or in kamchatka, where things haven’t gone completely to shit. or anywhere, including BC. these fish run the gamut, headwaters to the estuaries to the sea, and their presence have long been an indicating factor of riverine health. despite false boundaries, biology thankfully, remains global.

so hell yes, come fish the sandy and clackamas with me. check out how badass it is to hook bigass wild steelhead within 20 minutes of your front door and when the time comes, help me fight for my local waters now not with blind knowledge, but with a clear picture in your head of what we could lose. guarantee you’ll fight with a lot more passion and conviction. easy as that.

2. economy: canaduh, mid-to-north BC in specific, relies on resource extraction for a lotta their cash, so if sustainable dollars are taken away from town like smithers, terrace, hazelton’s local economies, etc, what local’s gonna put up fight next time some giant boom and bust company comes around and wants to fuck up their woods or drinking water? in this case, the rules benefit a few guides, NOT the residents of the area.

without fish bringing fishermen to these places, locals get hungry and these extraction companies promise jobs (albeit ones that could irreparably damage the environment and quality of life). on the other hand, if us dumb americans keep coming north and blowing cash on food (restaurants, delis, groceries), beer, petro, lodging and campgrounds, guides, gear, boat repair, shuttles/helidrops, these towns (and those on the main highway arteries running south to north) see a seasonal infusion of capital they’ve learned to count on each year. cash that doesn’t cost them their environment and makes it far more possible for them to stand up and defend themselves when those boom/bust companies come knocking.

above all, as i’ve said above, when times get tough, poaching increases. the poaching of a pretty finite resource.

regardless of which side of the border i sit on, these fish swim in a common ocean and evolved from california to kodiak island long before some cartographer scratched out the 49th parallel. in a day where we can’t deny the globalization of business and now have to accept responsibility for our actions on a world financial level, why do we stop there? in this case, fish are business and if it’s all about money (and make no mistake, it is), then why shouldn’t i have an opinion here about what happens there?

i’ll stop now because i’m starting to sound like a dick, but ‘cmon nick. this kind of shit’s so much bigger than you or i or anyone’s desire to fish alone. want solitude? get a time machine.


Chironomid Fishing Technique & the flybc forum

Chan's Pupa


 “As I stated earlier, when things are right I do feel more involved with my deep water chronomid fishing— retrieving the line up (which can make a big difference) in a smooth, jerky, slow, fast, whatever motion. . . . it keeps me motivated and interested. Don’t get me wrong– I love fishing indicators also and will continue to do so– but deep-sinking-line Chronomid fishing adds a little more “technique” on my part which I thoroughly enjoy. Most of all I love the direct contact with the fish during the take. It is amazing and at times truly heart-stopping…..”
Often, the trout will not take the fly as it is moving, instead they take it about 10 seconds after you stop what-ever motion you are providing. Just about the time you think to yourself “well, there is nothing there this time . . . ” a fish takes hold. If you move it constantly you get a lot less takes than if you move it and rest. Often these resting distances should only be a foot or so apart (about two or three hand twists, or one or two smooth strips). Moving it too far up before resting seems to cause the trout to loose interest.”
(January 6, 2007 by Johnnycronny on the Flybc forum site).
This site is a good learning tool for chironomid presentation techniques and for the gathering of information about BC lakes. Register for free and log on and participate. Similar to, the participants have their own clique, but that is to be expected over time, and ok. Much to learn…give as much as you receive…which is true for any forum you enter into.   
Leighton L. Trout~by Hoof @ Flybc

Leighton L. Trout~by Hoof @ Flybc


Stillwater Leech (Wind drifting a maroon leech pattern)

Brushed Leech

Brushed Leech

I have recently watched two television shows showcasing Brian Chan fishing BC lakes (Hatheume & Heffley). In both episodes he was fishing in the Fall and utilized the Brush Leech pattern. What was novel, to me, was that he used a slip strike indicator above a Leech pattern. Chan cast the rig out and let it wind drift, much like he has advocated wind drifting chironomid patterns. I am not sure why I have never considered doing this. Not sure I have ever noticed anyone doing it either or I would have probably tried it at sometime. I don’t know if I want to use a slipping strike indicator because of the casting, Chan just lobbed it out there in an open loop and watched for the indicator to move and did a quick strip set. The indicator slid down the leader to the fly. This is apparently a well known rig in BC, with indicators marketed by Rowley and Chan. The Leech was used as one of a few food options in the Fall. 
The other technique I read about is similar. A leech below the strike indicator. The Leech is adjusted so that it reaches below the algae bloom and is manipulated either by wave action or retrieve to enticingly undulate in view below the bloom. Both of these techniques are similar to chironomid fishing except with some form of Leech. I think a weighted pattern, but not overly weighted, would sink to the desired depths. A bead head or evenly wrapped/weighted shank would break the surface. The wind drifted method is more of a horizontal/diagonal presentation and the beneath the algae bloom presentation is vertical, ala chironomids.
Passing this on to those, like me, that had not previously recognized the technique.                

Brian Chan, Roche Lake, Dubbed & Brushed Leech


 Last night, I was watching a sat. channel and the World Fishing Network. A show called The New Fly Fisher was on. I didn’t expect much, but Brian Chan was the guest flyfisher at Roche L. in B.C. I have seen Chan at expo shows, written to him and talked to him once over the phone. Watching the show last night reinforced what I have always thought. Chan is a very nice guy. Of course, he catches frigging amazing diploids and triploids, but he is just so seemingly humble and a well spoken teacher. Chan and the host were fishing this past Fall, I believe, and the fishing wasn’t fast but it was still productive using a green leech with a beadhead. Later, during a ‘how to tie’ segment, the host demonstrated how to tie the Leech they were fishing. It was not a typical Woolly Bugger. It was similar to what I have tied in the past. Dazzle or a Sparkle or Ice Dub dubbing (something long fibered, synthetic and bright) and was used and applied by a dubbing loop, which was then wrapped around the shank from the bend to the front bead/eye. I am not adept yet at showing a sequence of tying steps but the pattern was so simple I can explain: A typical streamer or Bugger hook was used, thread attached, and red wire attached and a dubbing loop was constructed at the bend from the wire. The dubbing was slightly pulled apart and strands (1/2″ or so)/clumps of the shiny dubbing were placed between the two pieces of wire, as you would with normal dubbing. Once the loop was filled, the loop was spun and then the ‘noodle’ was wrapped forward up the shank to form the body. The fibers of the dubbing would be brushed back to form a tail as in a streaming comet. I have tied similar flies, but without the wire loop…just using a normal thread dubbing loop. I will have to try this and see how it looks. Definitely good reinforcement and some extra weight uniformly added. Chan had great success, only appearing to use the green leech. Chan is a credit to the B.C. fisheries and reflective of many of the people I have encountered in the Highland, Kamloop, Merrit to Salmon L. area. The show was ok and the fish were willing and how I wish more of our fisheries were in the NW.

So, the flies (clumped in the box) look good and I have plenty of them. And this raises something I alluded to a few days ago re the archaeological dig in my garage. I have so many darn flies. Do you do this? Tie just to tie. I go on binges, tying that special pattern you read about in a magazine or see online. I tie a dozen this or two dozen that. I finish and go onto the next pattern. The problem is, I do a lot of tying in the Winter when I am not fishing for Trout. Salmon and Steelhead are the focus. So I tie and put away and FORGET. Later, what the hell…look at what I found. What a nice surprise. I am awash in flies. But tying the easier subsurface patterns is enjoyable. I wish I spent as much effort tying dries. How nice to discover dozens of Adams and BWO’s. I wonder if we could call these Leeches: Chan’s Comet? That would be a bit presumptious. Ok..a Brushed Leech pattern.     


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