Entries tagged with “police outpost lake”.

On Sunday, I travelled to Police Outpost Lake with my brother-in-law, Paul.  This lake is located southwest of Cardston, about an hour and a half drive from Crowsnest Pass. It’s stocked with rainbow trout. I had not fished here since the delayed harvest regulations were implemented about three years ago, and figured it was time to go back for a visit.

View of Police Outpost Lake

 We arrived just after 9:00 am and within thirty minutes had launched the boat and were fishing. It was a bit windy and cool most of the day, but not enough to make things too uncomfortable. From time to time, the sun would poke through the clouds and it would warm up nicely. We starting catching trout early on and by the end of the afternoon had landed a couple dozen fish, some measuring 18 inches. There were three or four float tubes on the lake and about a half dozen boats. It wasn’t very busy at all, considering it was a weekend. We caught most of our fish on Copper Johns and Glenn’s Leeches, under a strike indicator. There were a few chironimids (midges) hatching, but the fish didn’t seem too interested in feeding on them, at least where we were fishing. Later, we heard some anglers in the float tubes had good success “chronie” fishing. By three o’clock, the fishing tapered off and within an hour we were on our way back to the Pass. We’ll be back!

Paul netting a nice Police Lake rainbow trout

It appears Spring has arrived in southwest Alberta – or has it? The weather has been quite unsettled as of late and while we’ve already had some nice days in Crowsnest Pass, other days have felt like we’re heading back into winter. Just when you think it’s safe to put the snow shovel away, Old Man Winter pays a return visit.

A little bit of everything in the six-day forecast

There's a little bit of everything in the six-day forecast. Sunday & Monday just happen to be my days off! Where should I go fishing?

The spring runoff is just around the corner. Most years, this occurs between mid-May and late June. The severity and duration of the runoff depends on the mountain snowpack and the amount of rain we receive in May and June. Currently, the snowpack in the mountains of southwest Alberta varies between “average to slightly above-average.” Last week’s heavy snowfall definitely helped things out, particularly in the region south of Crowsnest Pass toward Waterton Park. Water levels are gradually beginning to rise on most rivers and streams, and all it will take now for the runoff to commence is a bit of warm weather and rain.
Water levels are beginning to rise on most of SW Alberta's rivers an streams

Water levels are beginning to rise on most of SW Alberta's rivers and streams

 Terry sent me an email the other day, saying he and his son, David, had made a trip to Police Outpost Lake on Saturday. Judging by the pictures below, it appears they had an awesome day. Lots of fresh snow and a beautiful view of Chief Mountain. It sounds (and looks) like the fishing wasn’t too bad, either. All of the trout lakes in southern Alberta are ice-free and fishing well. Once the runoff starts, the lakes will become popular places to fish.

Where's the boat launch?

Where's the boat launch? Photo courtesy of Terry Hrudey.

A great view of snow-covered Chief Mountain

A great view of snow-covered Chief Mountain. Photo courtesy of Terry Hrudey.

A chunky Police Lake rainbow trout

A chunky Police Lake rainbow trout. Photo courtesy of Terry Hrudey.

Over the past couple weeks, I’ve received quite a few calls and emails from people wondering about the ice on Lee Lake and whether or not it’s off yet. By this time last year it was completely ice-free and anglers were already enjoying some decent fishing. I checked on Friday (April 10th), but it was still frozen and there was no sign of it beginning to open, even along shore. While there, I noticed a bunch of Canada geese standing on the ice by the island, directly across from the boat launch. It was great to see they had returned to the lake from their winter retreat in the south. They were also squawking as noisily as ever. It seemed like they were waiting for the ice to come off, too, and some appeared to have already staked out the choice nesting sites on the tiny island.

What a difference three days can make! I drove to the lake this morning before heading to work, to check things out.  As I approached the highway turnoff, I noticed a vehicle in the Lee Lake parking lot. This could only mean one thing, right? My hunch was correct, there was open water and a couple of people were fishing from shore. As of this morning there’s about 30 to 40 feet of open water near the boat launch, more in other places. Barring a return visit by Old Man Winter, Lee Lake should be ice-free by the weekend. Other lakes in southwest Alberta, including Beauvais, Dipping Vat and Payne (Mami)  should start to open soon, if they haven’t already. Beaver Mines and Police Outpost lakes are situated at higher elevations and usually become ice-free a bit later than some of the others. It won’t be long now and there will be a lot of happy lake anglers, and Canada geese!

NEWS FLASH … I  fished the Crowsnest River yesterday. First time out this spring! Post and photos to follow. Below is a photo of Lee Lake this morning.

Lee Lake beginning to open

View of Lee Lake this morning from the boat launch