Entries tagged with “turtle mountain”.


If you were awake early yesterday morning and looked outside toward the heavens, you probably saw the lunar eclipse. Total lunar eclipses are fairly common and there is one visible somewhere in the world, about every 18 months. However, yesterday’s eclipse was special, because it marked the first time in nearly 400 years that a total lunar eclipse has occurred during the winter solstice. The last one took place in the year 1638. Unlike today, there were no cameras around back then to record the event. I suspect there were thousands of photographers and videographers recording this one, not to mention the countless numbers of curious skygazers. I happened to be one of them, camera in hand.

For a while it looked like it was going to be a non-event in Crowsnest Pass, as wave after wave of clouds passed over Turtle Mountain, obscuring the moon from view. I had chosen a location along the edge of the Frank Slide as my vantage point. Even with the cloud cover, it was bright enough to walk in the woods without a flashlight. Then, just before 1:00 am there was a break in the clouds and a magnificent red moon appeared high above Turtle Mountain. It was awesome!

It will be another 391 years, in the year 2401, before another total lunar eclipse will form over this mountain and Crowsnest Pass on the winter solstice. I’m sure it will be as spectacular as yesterday’s. Merry Christmas, everyone!

Southern Alberta is recovering from its first snow storm of the year. In Crowsnest Pass, there’s 18-20 inches of fresh snow covering the valley floor. The sun broke through for a few minutes yesterday morning, as I was taking the photo below. It was the first time in a couple of days where Turtle Mountain and the Frank Slide were visible. It looks like even more snow has fallen at higher elevations. I’m sure this will be good news for the local ski resorts. Not so good if you were hoping to get out fishing on the Crow over the next few days. Temperatures are not expected to climb above -14°C through the weekend. The long range forecast appears brighter, or should I say “warmer,” and it’s suppose to be above freezing by next Friday.

Lots of fresh snow in Crowsnest Pass

 Speaking of Turtle Mountain, the Alberta Geological Survey has been conducting research on this mountain for several years, using hi-tech equipment to monitor its structure and instability. According to their web site, “the first priority of the monitoring system is providing early warning to residents of a possible catastrophic rock avalanche.” That’s comforting to know, particularly if you live in the “splash” zone! 

In addition to some of the monitoring equipment, there are web cams set up on top of the mountain and along the valley floor. If the mountain’s South Peak ever breaks loose, like the experts believe it will at some point in the future, it’s nice to know we’ll be able to watch in real time. If you’re interested in looking at some neat web cam photos, click here. There are also some cool time-lapse movies.

Welcome to the official blog of The Crowsnest Angler Fly Shop & Guide Service. Yup, we finally have our very own blog! This is something I’ve been thinking about doing for some time now, and to make a long story short … I’ve decided to become a blogger, like millions of others. I realize it’s still early, but I think I’m going to enjoy doing this, too. Thanks (I think?) to all those who provided the encouragement, and particularly Stuart for helping me with everything.

The content of my blog will be geared largely toward fly-fishing in Crowsnest Pass and surrounding area. I’ll also talk about some of the things occurring in and around the shop. And who knows, from time to time I may even include other interesting tidbits of information (not “Timbits,” as in Tim Hortons), and perhaps even the occasional anecdote or personal point of view. 

For those of you who don’t know about us, I’ll give you a quick rundown of who we are and what we do. We operate a full service fly shop & guide service in Crowsnest Pass, Alberta, Canada. We’re located along Highway 3, in the town of Bellevue, about a 2-1/2 hour drive southwest of the city of Calgary, or 90 minutes west of Lethbridge. If you’re travelling to the Pass from the east, you’ll see our fly shop on the north (right) side of the highway as you approach Bellevue. Turn right as soon as you pass the small campground. The Crowsnest River, one of Alberta’s premier trout streams, is located directly across the highway from our shop, and is only a stone’s-throw away. From here, you’ll get a great view of Turtle Mountain and the famous Frank Slide. If you look further west, through the V-shaped gap between Turtle and Goat (Bluff) Mountain, you should be able to get a glimpse of Crowsnest Mountain towering in the distance, providing it’s not obscured by clouds. If you’re heading here from the west (British Columbia), look for us on the left side of the highway, once you’ve passed through the Frank Slide.

Our fly shop, with Turtle Mountain and the Frank Slide in background

Our fly shop, with Turtle Mountain and the Frank Slide in background

I’ve been guiding in Crowsnest Pass and area since 1984 and our fly shop opened in 1993. We carry a complete selection of fly-fishing equipment and gear, including flies, leaders, rods, reels, waders, accessories, maps, books, videos and angling licenses (Alberta & BC). We also provide guided fly-fishing trips in SW Alberta and SE British Columbia. That’s right, we’re licensed to guide in BC, as well. In addition, we offer fly-fishing instruction and conduct various schools throughout the season. We specialize in providing local advice and information on fishing in this area. If you’re heading this way, please stop by and say hello. You can get more details regarding our fly shop and the services we provide by visiting our web site. The link to our site is also located in the sidebar.
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Oh, and before I forget … if you’re looking for genuine Timbits donuts (and perhaps a “double-double”), there’s a Tim Hortons in Blairmore. You’ll see them on the south side of Highway 3. It’s only an 8-minute, 40 second drive from our shop. Trust me, I know!