Monday, August 06, 2007

Blue Wings of Distance

I had already decided last evening that nothing was going to keep me from heading out on a day of exploring the area of the Highwood Valley that is home to the Buffalo Head Ranch. If you have not heard of the Buffalo Head, then you will have to stay tuned for a further post that will reveal all to you. All I can tell you for now is that the ranch was originally founded by George Pocaterra in 1905 and then sold to R.M. Patterson (Canada's first outdoor-adventure writer) who owned the Buffalo Head Ranch through the 1930's and 40's. The story of the Buffalo Head Ranch is for another day however as I am still gathering photos that I require and one of the photos crucial to my post on the Buffalo Head Ranch lies up Packhorse Coulee to Grass Pass and then to the Boundary Pine made famous by RMP in his book "The Buffalo Head."

The photos of my fly fishing on Flat Creek is directly related to the Buffalo Head as this creek borders the Buffalo Head. I had parked my truck just upstream from where the Flat joins the Highwood. I had intentions of making my way upstream along the Flat to check out a number of points of interest that RMP refers to in his book "The Buffalo Head." Of course it would not hurt to bring my fly rod along as I had not fished "Flat Creek" for some time and besides it would be a waste not to sample the fishing in this very pretty creek with its riffles, pools, and drop dead gorgeous scenery.

I have to say that this is one of my favorite times of the year for fly fishing, as I am able to leave my waders at home and wade wet. I wear quick drying pants with sandals on my feet and it is just a super way of wading creeks such as "Flat Creek" where there is no need for felt soled boots. I cannot tell you that I landed any trout of any great size, as I was putting more effort in to the photos I required on this day than concentrating on fishing. Having said that, I caught a large number of these tiny trout in my photo above that were more than willing to rise to my dry fly. I highly recommend creeks like the Flat to my friends who ask me where to take their sons or daughters fishing. The water is easy to read and the pools are close enough together with a lot of these tiny trout to keep any kid (or older kids, see photos) entertained. I missed several good size trout due to a lack of concentration on my part, as I was looking at the scenery and trout are unforgiving if you miss their rise, as they will spit out the fly and head for cover. On this day, I really did not care.

As I said it was not all about fishing and I did see more than just the waters of the Flat as I shot the photos I required to add to my Buffalo Ranch file. I found my self looking up at a grass hill where I spotted this cool looking "Limber Pine" eking out a living on this very dry slope. I tell you it almost did me in with only sandals on my feet to climb up closer for a photo, as I had not brought a long lens with me . I cannot recommend sandals for this type of activity unless you have a death wish. I was still picking all kinds of thorns out of mu toes after I arrived home.

Along the way I came upon these cattle being moved from one pasture to another and could not pass up the opportunity to capture these photos, as these cowboys went about moving the herd. I really enjoyed watching the cattle dogs doing their thing. It was amazing how efficient they were at keeping the cows bunched up. I shot photos of them hard at work and loved it. I believe there were four cattle dogs and they saved the cowboys a lot of work on this day. So after a great day in the foothills of "The Canadian Rockies," I must head for home as duty calls. Till next time.

Canon EOS 20D with 50mm 1.4 @ f13 - 1/750mm - ISO 800

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