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Trout Unlimited Canada - Northern Lights Fly Fishers

Jim Fox

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Jim Fox last won the day on February 13 2019

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About Jim Fox

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    PMD Cripple

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  1. Four weeks out and it is time for an update. With all we are going through, I am very much looking forward to this trip. First on location, I will be heading up to the site on Monday, hoping there is sufficient space for us. I was up on the Oldman River a week ago and the camping sites were very full. If we can't get the planned-for site (location below), I will find another one that works and post a sign on the road. I will also try to head to cell coverage Monday night or Tuesday morning and post something to these lists. In whatever case, look for the sign with the FF@/Northern Lights logo. One change will have to be made from previous years. A highlight of the Alberta Conclaves past was the pot-luck dinner on Friday or Saturday evening. I do not know a way to do this and deliver a measure of safety so I am going to cancel the pot luck. We can simulate that fun time by all cooking our own dinners at the same time and eating together. I think we will also need to be careful about car-pooling to spots but we can probably deal with that on the spot. It is probably a good idea to bring masks to wear if sharing rides. In this challenging time, it is very important to me to make this trip. Not only to cut into the stress I am experiencing (and I am sure everyone else is) but also to remember Scott Rowan - long time Alberta Conclave participant and good friend. I look forward to seeing people coming out. All are welcome! The fishing will be as it is but no matter what the company will be great. At an appropriate distance of course. Please let me know if you are thinking about coming - you can email me directly at jim_and_dorothy@hotmail.com. Jim
  2. For those of you who do not follow the FF@ listserve or Facebook page, I am sad to pass along the news that Scott Rowan passed away a couple of weeks ago in Victoria. Scott was a regular attendee at the Alberta Conclaves and met many of you on our lovely Alberta waters. Scott was a good fishing companion for me for over 20 years. He is missed... Jim
  3. I normally send this announcement out early in the new year but 2020 has offered up many challenges so far. Now that I have time on my hands thanks to Coronavirus, I am making the formal call for the 2020 edition of the long-running Alberta Conclave! We will gather again on the North Ram River at the Nice & Easy site (located at 52.269793, -115.812253 according to Google Maps) from July 20 to 26 2020. This timing gets us later in the summer but away from the long-weekend crowds. The location is the same as last year. It is a great site, directly on the river with abundant space for a large group. There was even an outhouse, with a lovely view. The site is located about 10km east of the Forestry Trunk Road (Hwy 40) on the North Fork Road. When we get closer to the time, I will supply easy to follow directions. The Ram River system holds abundant and sometimes spectacularly large Cutthroat Trout. Hiking is often required to get to some of the best spots but last year a 20" cuttie was caught within sight of the campsite. Other options in the area include the Blackstone, the Upper North Saskatchewan, and Frenchman's Creek (though you might have to bribe someone to show you this one). There will be a pot-luck on the last or second last night, good company, some fly-tying, some BSing around a fire and fine fishing in a beautiful location. Newbies, partners, kids and dogs all welcome! I will send out some more information and reminders closer to the date. Hope to see you there! Jim Fox
  4. Heading out this morning and I'll see you all there! Jim
  5. Thanks for this Dave! We will see you next week. Jim
  6. So just a week to go before our Ram River gathering. I got a question about how to get there and here (thanks to Michael Dell) are a couple of options: From the east, the North Fork Road turns off Hwy 752 at the Strachan campground. There is pavement for 8 km, then gravel for the rest of the 54 km. Some sections are good gravel, some are rough. Watch the signs as there are a couple roads which fork off. The Nice & Easy site is at the bottom of a long hill just after the road takes a 90 degree bend to the west. I think it is the first place you can see the river for quite a long time. One alternative way to get there is to take highway 11 to Nordegg, and then go south on the Trunk Road to just before the bridge over the North Ram River. Then east on the North Fork Road. The amount of gravel is about the same both ways, but the North Fork Road from 752 is an hour long trip, whereas it is an hour to Nordegg on 11, and then another 1/2 hour down the Trunk Road, and another 15-20 minutes to km 62. Another alternative is to take 752 all the way to the Trunk Road (732) and then up the Trunk Road to the North Ram. This is the longest and has the most gravel, but you cross over Elk Creek (4 or 5 bridges) , the Ram River, Lynx Creek, and Cripple Creek (3 bridges). I go this way sometimes for the extra fishing. Last time I was there I drove in on the North Fork Road from Strachan and it was not in good shape. It may have been upgraded at some time but it gets a lot of people pulling trailers along it and is very potholed. I find the route through Nordegg to be a more comfortable drive. Barring any issues, I will be arriving Monday afternoon. I will have a sign made up that you will be able to see from both directions. Look for my grey 2018 Toyota Highlander (license PFN 857). If there is no room at the Nice & Easy site, I will find an alternative so just keep looking for the sign. See you all there next week! And don't forget to bring your barbecue recipe for Saturday evening! Jim
  7. Good morning everyone! I have been away from my planning for some time but now that July is here I am back at the planning for our 2019 summer gathering. Winter and spring were difficult at work this year but now that I've had a bit of a vacation, I am re-energized for our get-together. Just a reminder that we will be gathering on the North Ram River, at the location in red below. It is easy to find and I will put a sign up when I get there (likely on the afternoon of August 5). I will make a more visible sign this year. The site is very level with room for RVs large and small and lots of nice tenting places. When we were last there, we even had the use of an outhouse. I decided to forgo making pizza this year - it is too much work and extra cargo. We will still try for our normal Saturday night pot-luck. I will encourage everyone to consider the theme of "Barbecue" - bring something that typifies what that word means to you. Or not - there will be no enforcement. Bring your dry-fly gear, your bear spray (though we've seen more bulls than bears here) and be ready for a fantastic fishing get-together! Contact me if you have questions. Jim
  8. Tired of winter yet? I sure as heck am. While the sun is shining brilliantly outside, the mercury is hovering below -25C. It is time to start thinking about summer and fishing! The combined FF@/Northern Lights group has had great luck the past two years located on the Blackstone but I like variety. This year, we are going back to the North Ram River, just a short drive south from Nordegg. We will camp at a place I think is called Nice & Easy, located at 52.269793, -115.812253 according to Google Maps. We camped here when we last stayed on the North Ram in 2015. It is a great site, directly on the river with abundant space for a large group. There was even an outhouse, with a lovely view. The site is located about 10km east of the Forestry Trunk Road (Hwy 40) on the North Fork Road. When we get closer to the time, I will supply easy to follow directions. The conclave will be held from August 5-11. The Ram River system holds abundant and sometimes spectacularly large Cutthroat Trout. Hiking is often required to get to the best spots but it is worth it! I want to try some South Ram fishing this year, as well as follow Tyzun one day to see if his stories are true. Other fishing opportunities include the upper North Saskatchewan River, the Blackstone River and Frenchman’s Creek. If you want to access this last bit of water, expect to supply Michael Dell with a really good bottle of scotch. Let me know if you are interested in coming out, or just show up. This year, I promise the sign will be more visible. Jim
  9. Flyfishing Conclave 2018 - Update and PotluckJust about a week away from our meeting on the Blackstone River. I hope everyone is still able to show up. I haven't heard any reports from the area but the weather has been fair throughout Alberta and we are not seeing the fires or other inclement events we have in previous years. Flows in nearby rivers seem normal or a bit high for this time of year. Higher-than-normal water may mean colder water and maybe even better fishing than last year. Should be a great time. Last year we made pizza for a social meal on night and I was thinking about that again this year. However, I am back in a tent this year with no way to keep dough frozen so I think we should go with a potluck. Saturday night, bring a dish that you love and want to share with others. Don't bring too much - most times we end up with way way too much food. Pot-luck drinks also welcome! Let me know if you have any other questions before next Monday. See you there!Jim
  10. Kos, bring whatever flies you have and people will help you out I am sure. Seriously, what I focus on (that you can get in a fly store) includes mostly attractor patterns like stimulators, foam hoppers, and other large floatable dry flies. Not too large, though the biggest fish I saw caught last year was on a monster foam hopper on a #6 4xl hook. We don't chase hatches so some standard caddis and mayfly patterns will also work. Snowshoe hare Usuals, purple parachute mayflies (#12) and cdc & elk are some of my go-to patterns when things are difficult. You may want to bring a few streamers to go after bull trout but they came well to dry flies last year. Bring your tying stuff too, if you can. There will be some master tyers there, ready to give you tips. Jim
  11. Well we are about a month away from our 2018 edition of the Alberta Conclave from August 7 to August 12. As a reminder, we are meeting in the same location as last year on the Blackstone River, just north of Nordegg Alberta. To drive, go about 1 km west of the access road to Nordegg to get to The Forestry Trunk Road (Hwy 40/734). Go north to Chungo Road - a major road peeling off to the left. Drive up Chungo Road until you cross the Blackstone (it will be the first decent-sized river you cross) and up the hill. We should be camped on the left side of the road but this random camping can't be reserved. Therefore, if you do not see a sign that says FF@/NLFF Alberta Conclave, look on the other side of the road. Google Maps says it is here: 52.615902, -116.327583 I have not really thought about a potluck yet but I'll mull it over and propose something in the next week or so. Maybe pizza again... Hope to see you all there! Jim
  12. It seems like everyone loved last summer's Blackstone gathering so much, they want to try again. Once again, the FF@/Former FF@/NLFT/Whomever shows up will gather on the Blackstone River the week after the August long weekend - August 7-12. The Blackstone is a beautiful central Alberta stream with cutthroat, rainbow, brookies and bulls. Last year we caught a surprising number of bulls, possibly because of a hot summer and low water - they start heading upstream towards spawning grounds months before the event. In addition, there are lots of other waters that can be accessed a short drive up or down the road. Overall, this was an excellent location for fishing last year and I expect this year to be great as well. As a theme, a picture Alberta Al posted on facebook a few weeks back makes me think about hats. Bring your best fishing hat - be it weird, wild or just plain lucky. If it is a beret, you and Al will match! Last year, we had a very large group come out and everyone enjoyed themselves thoroughly. I hope that some of you come back and others, who haven't traveled to an Alberta gathering may make this your year. Let me know if you are interested or need any more information. An make your travel plans soon! Jim
  13. So I am not much of a conclave report writer, nor picture taker. However, from the organizer's standpoint this was one of the most successful claves we have ever had. A world-circling crowd showed up, lots of new friendships got started and lots of old friendships got renewed. Nobody seems to have divorced anyone, though I know several people who will chip in to get a "snoring tent" for one participant should he choose to come again. The weather was wonderful and the fish were willing. How could it have been better? A set of pictures of both action and people can be found at Wally's site here: https://flywing.smugmug.com/FamilyandFriends/Fishing/AlbertaKlaveBlackstone-2017/ What makes a clave for me is the people. This year was great because of the people who came, and those we took time to remember. We can't have provided a more fitting event to remember Dell, Paul, Dave, Tom, Jim and all the other friends we have lost over the years. I would like to say a great big thank you to everyone who came out. You are the event and you made it wonderful. Also thank you to those who tried to come and were prevented by immigration law, work realities, and superb fishing elsewhere. I hope we get to see you next year. Jim Fox
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