Southern Alberta
September 02, 2023

Southern Alberta

The fishing on our southern streams has continued to be nothing short of amazing. Fish are eating all sorts of things and have not been shying away from much when it comes to the smaller (smaller being #16-20) dries. River levels continue to be on the low side however, it hasn't seemed to have hindered the water temperature or the trout's energy. This is an area worth hitting right now as it can be quite an action-packed day.

One thing we have noticed since our last report is: that the fish have moved back to their usual holding spots for this time of the year. That means that if you see something that you think might be fishy by all means fish it! You never know what might be hiding. It seems that when fishing the faster water as of late you can get the job done with a hopper on the smaller side (as small as a #12), a nice classic mayfly imitation in a #16ish size, or a flying ant. But as far as the slow stuff goes, well, that's where you are going to have to lengthen that leader and tie on something small and techy (like a #20 spinner perhaps). The fishing can be tough in the slow stuff but if you can get the job done the reward can be quite good.

As mentioned the fish are rising but as is the case with cutty fishing, the fish don't start looking up until noon O'clock or around then. So, that means that your morning is going to be made large in part of either nymphing, throwing streamers, or fishing hopper-dropper. But as the day carries on you will see the great shift happen and when it does it is a thing of glory, lemme tell ya. Aside from how to fish it, you are probably wondering what to fish. Well, allow us to elaborate. Currently, we have been seeing a good amount of hoppers (from size 6-12), caddis (in a 14 or 16), midge, and ants. We have also had the welcome arrival of BWO's so throwing a couple of those into the fly box isn't a bad call. The most popular way of rigging these up during this time of the year is either with a hopper-dropper rig or a hopper dry-dropper (both strategies are also great for figuring out what the fish like more). Remember that the more you try different variations, the quicker you will get dialed into exactly what they're eating. If you would prefer to throw the big meat whistles, then our suggestion is to try and fish something that resembles a baitfish (along the lines of Cranford's Pandora Box or Skerik's Public Flasher just to mention a couple). The faster strips have seemed to get more takes as of late but that can always change so if you don't have luck ripping your streamer lightning fast try to slow your retrieve down as that may be enough to trigger a big hit.

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      • Streamers: Jointed Urchin Tan #4, Wilson's Sparkle Minnow Sculpin #4-8, Doc's Articulator Olive #4, Galloup's Dungeon Olive/Black #4, McClure's Kill Whitey White #2, Sherik's Public Flasher Pink, Ron's Cone Leech Olive #4-8, Trevor's Mini-Loop Sculpin Olive #6, Bjorn's Hog Hooker Rainbow #4, The Grinch #6
      • Nymphs: Brassie Red #16-20, Copper John Black #16-18, Patriot Soft Hackle Red Ass #14-18, Rainbow Czech Nymph #16-18, Frenchie Olive #16-18, T.J. Hooker Coffee/Brown #4-10, UV Rainbow Czech Nymph #12-16, TJ's Rainbow Assassin #16-18, Tungsten Ready Baetis Nymph #16-20, Jiggy Lightning Bug Black #16-20, Jiggy Catch Rubberleg Coffee #8-12, Bloom's Tungdart #14-18, Kryptonite Caddis #14-18
      • Dries:  CDC Hi-vis Caddis #12-18, AC Caddis Pheasant Tail #14-16, Rip Chord Caddis #14-16, Last Cripple Green Drake #10-12, CDC Thorax March Brown #10-14, BWO Thorax #14-20, Rocky Mountain mint #14-20, Parachute Hopper Brown #8-12, KB's Sleazy Rider Purple #8-12, Humpy Chernobyl #10-16, and Hopper Skippy Tan #8-12, Fat Albert Tan #6-12