Archive for March, 2011

The weather has improved in Crowsnest Pass, since my last post. Spring arrived officially last week and temperatures are finally beginning to warm up enough to start melting some of the snow and ice in the valley. Hopefully, this melting will occur gradually. Otherwise, we could have some real issues with water levels later this spring.

Yesterday, I dusted off my fishing gear and headed down to the Crow for a few hours. Fishing opportunities (Chinooks) were rare this winter and I wasn’t able to get out on the river for several months. It’s amazing what a week of warm weather can do. Sections of the river that were completely froze last week are open and fishable again. There’s still areas with ice cover, and lots of ice shelves around, but there’s no problem finding open water to fish.

Plenty of open water to fish

 The river was clear and in good shape, and there was no problem wading. The snow was knee deep in some of the treed areas along the river, but I had no difficulty getting down to the water.

The river was clear and wadeable

There were lots of small winter black stoneflies crawling along the snow-covered stream banks. I also saw a few ducks, some Canada geese and a small herd of mule deer. It was great just to be on the river again. The trout I managed to catch were chunky and appeared to have wintered well. Like me, I guess!

Early spring rainbow trout

What a winter its been in Southwest Alberta. Many long-time residents of Crowsnest Pass say all the cold weather, along with the copious amounts of snow we’ve been receiving, are reminiscent of the “good old days,” when winters were for real.  All I know is its been crazy cold since Christmas and we’re running out of places to put the excess snow. What we need right about now is a good old-fashioned Chinook to come by and help melt some of it! Goodness knows, my arms, shoulders and back would sure appreciate it. I didn’t think it would be possible to wear out a snow shovel, but I proved it could be done.

View of the shop today from road, looking across the property. Snow from parking lot piled 6-8 feet high.

Chinook winds have been few and far between this winter. In fact, I don’t remember when we had our last one. Oh, we’ve had plenty of wind in Crowsnest Pass over the past several months, but not the warm, Pacific-born westerlys we’re famous (or infamous) for. I know that many of the residents around here, not to mention any of the anglers in southern Alberta currently suffering from cabin fever, are longing for the day when a Chinook Arch will once again appear across the western sky. For they know, once they see the tell-tale sign, by way of a large band of clouds arching over the mountains along the Continental Divide and nearby foothills, that relief is on its way! In the meantime, I guess I’ll have to pick up a new snow shovel.