September has come and gone and we’re already more than half-way through October. Where did autumn go? Except for what remains on the mountain tops, all of the snow that fell earlier in the month has melted. It appears we won’t be enjoying the magnificent fall colors along the Crowsnest River valley this year, or at least to the extent we usually do. The -15° Celsius temperatures we experienced a few weeks back froze most of the leaves on poplar trees and other vegetation in the valley, before they had the chance to change color. Instead of being adorned in brilliant hues of red, yellow and gold, the majority of  trees are quite dull in appearance. Oh well, there’s always next year … right?

All of the rivers in SW Alberta, with the exception of portions of the Crowsnest River and Oldman River downstream of the Oldman Dam, close at the end of this month. After today, there’s only ten days left to get out and do some late season fishing on the upper Oldman, Livingstone, Castle, Waterton rivers and their tributaries. Once these streams close it’s still possible to go fishing, but you’ll have to stick to the open sections of the Crow and lower Oldman. Check the angling regs before heading out. If you’re not sure where these sections are located, you can also stop by the shop. We’ll be glad to point these areas out to you on our map. Note: A couple of streams, including Mill Creek and a portion of the Belly River, closed Sept 1st. 

I’m often asked, “What does a fly-fishing guide do on his day off?” I usually reply, “Why he goes fishing, of course.” And just like any good mailman; rain, snow, sleet or hail, won’t prevent a dedicated fishing guide from venturing out for the day. Ice that’s several inches thick along the shoreline of a lake won’t stop him, either. Just ask one of our guides, Pat Kelly, … he’ll tell you! Below is a photo sent to me earlier in the week, showing exactly what I mean. That’s “Skipper” Pat (without a first mate) at the helm of the icebreaker, “HMS Kelly.” Now that’s what I call dedication!

A reminder that we have changed to winter hours. Our fly shop is open 9:00 am – 6:00 pm, Tuesday through Saturday. We’re closed Sunday and Mondays … to go fishing, of course!

Pat Kelly breaking through ice. Photo courtesy of Terry Hrudey.

Pat Kelly breaking through ice. Photo courtesy of Terry Hrudey.