Saturday, April 28, 2007

A River Runs Through It

I know what you are thinking and yes I know the tittle of this post comes from the movie by the same name. However that being said, not everyone knows that the movie is based on the book "A River Runs Through It" by Norman Maclean". Fly-fisherman including myself had this book in their collection long before Robert Redford made the movie.

All week, I promised myself that I would be on The Lower Bow come Saturday morning one way or the other. The pieces came together nicely and by 6:30AM I had my truck pointed to the east. Of course a quick stop at the Tim Horton's on the lake in Chestermere for coffee to go was the first order of business.

While the drive to Mckinnon Flats south of Langdon proved to be enjoyable, with the sun warming the cab of my truck nicely and the radio murmuring softly in the background, my thoughts were on hooking up on trout such as the Brown in my landing net. Mckinnon Flats is used for a access point to the river for anglers. The river also offers opportunities to view waterfowl and birds along the river valley and you can also see birds of prey soaring overhead as well.

Of course numerous stops were made as various photo-ops presented themselves along the way, such as these Northern Shoveler Ducks in a roadside pond and further along growing in a patch of Prairie Grass, Prairie Crocus flowers.

Of course it was not all about fishing, as I found myself climbing the slopes of the river valley for the times that a break from wading and fishing was in order. The views as you can see in this photo are superb along this stretch of The Bow, and yes that is snow on the shoreline across the river that is hanging on, but not for long with the beautiful temperatures I enjoyed today.

While I was wandering on the steep slopes of the Valley overlooking the Bow, I found a handy stump on which to hang my gear along with my flyrod, as not to break the rod in two or my neck as I tried to save my flyrod doing something stupid. I know this from past experiences including a time on The Sheep River west of Turner Valley when I destroyed a pair of new Bare waders while saving my favorite rod (one of them). I will not tell you what happened but believe me it was not one of my finer moments while flyfishing.

The climb to the top of the slopes proved to be a worth the effort, with my first photo of the year of one of my favorite birds, a Western Meadowlark sitting on a fence post that runs along the ridge of the valley. I grew up on the prairies and always enjoy my visits to places like Dinosaur Provincial Park in Southeast Alberta where you can hear and see Meadowlarks in abundance. The Western Meadowlark has a flute like warbling song that is wonderful to hear and I never tire of hearing. I did not have a long enough lens with me to show you his yellow underparts including a black "V" on the breast. Expand the photo, as this Meadowlark is worth the closer look.

After retrieving my gear including my flyrod which served me well as the day proved to be very fruitful with this gorgeous Brown Trout in my landing net that I hope you appreciate as the photo proved hard to get while trying not to let my DSLR go for a swim. I also landed several Rainbow Trout that were released as was the Brown Trout. This last photo I shot of myself, as I give thanks to the river gods for a wonderful day on the Lower Bow.

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