Archive for May, 2011

It’s taken its time this year, but it looks and feels like spring has finally arrived in Crowsnest Pass. The grass is green once again and some of the wildflowers, like prairie crocus’, are in full bloom. Temperatures remain a little on the cool side, but at least we haven’t had to shovel any snow for a couple of weeks.

Prairie crocus' are in full bloom in SW Alberta

 The spring runoff has started and streams are flowing high and discoloured. Most of the trout lakes in the area are ice-free, providing anglers with the opportunity to whet a line while waiting for the runoff to subside and rivers to open. I spent a couple days fishing Lee Lake last week and had lots of success. It was fun catching fish on Lee, even though they were mostly small ones.

Lee Lake is ice-free and fishing well

 There was concern that some of the lakes around Crowsnest Pass may have experienced winterkill. However, there is no evidence of this occurring, as of yet. I didn’t see any dead fish along shore on Lee and I checked Beauvais Lake yesterday. There was concern that Beauvais may have been hit, but I didn’t see any sign of dead trout here, either. While I was there, I spoke with a couple of boat anglers who had spent the day fishing and had caught quite a few trout, including a few browns. Unfortunately, it appears Summit Lake, located across the border in BC, didn’t fare as well. We have been receiving reports since the weekend of numerous fish laying dead along the shoreline. It may not all be bad news, though, as trout have been seen rising on the lake.

Summer Hours

With the long weekend coming up, we would like to inform everyone that we are returning to our summer hours. We’ll be open each and every day, 9:00 am – 6:00 pm, until mid-October. Hope to see you soon!

For the past couple weeks, we have been receiving numerous calls and emails daily from people seeking information regarding current conditions on the local trout lakes. It seems there’s a lot of anglers chomping at the bit. I’m one of them. It’s been an interesting spring, to say the least. You could probably sum up spring’s arrival in southern Alberta quite nicely this year with one word, “late.” By this time last year, all of the lakes around here were completely ice-free and lots of boats could be seen bobbing about on them. That’s not the case this year, though. The photo below was taken at Lee Lake yesterday morning. It shows about 20-30 feet of open water near the boat launch. I looked back at a blog post I made last year, where I had a similar photo of this lake. The main difference between these pictures is last year’s was taken March 22, a full six weeks earlier than the one I took yesterday. What a difference a year makes! 

May 4, 2011 - Lee Lake finally beginning to open

 Jim McLennan, of Longview, Alberta, stopped by the shop the other day and presented me with a copy of his first solo CD. Titled Six-String Gumbo, the recently released CD  features Jim playing acoustic guitar. Although Jim is perhaps best known in the fly-fishing world, where he is a respected angler, instructor and author, he has also been a serious musician for over forty years. I’ve had the pleasure of fishing with Jim a few times over the years and knew he was darn good at it. I knew his guitar pickin was something to hear, too, but until the other day I had never listened to his music. Can you believe that! We’ll, we’ve been playing his CD in the shop for a couple days now and we’re hooked! I’ve become an instant fan of his music. While Jim was in the shop, I mentioned I once played trumpet in the junior high school band. Now that Jim knows I can blow, maybe he’ll feature me on his next CD. I’m a little rusty, but I’m sure with a little practice I’ll be as good as before!

For more information on Jim’s new CD, click here.