Jump to content
Trout Unlimited Canada - Northern Lights Fly Fishers

Jim Fox

  • Content Count

  • Joined

  • Last visited

  • Days Won


Jim Fox last won the day on August 16

Jim Fox had the most liked content!

Community Reputation

8 Neutral


About Jim Fox

  • Rank
    PMD Cripple

Profile Information

  • Location

Recent Profile Visitors

307 profile views
  1. The clavemaster skill that I am worst at is writing up a summary of the trip. When the event is over, I start thinking about next year, not reminiscing about this one. However, only a week late, here is a bit of an overview of the 2020 Alberta Conclave. We had a great turnout, considering the pandemic situation that is affecting us all. Attendees included: Irene & Dan - thank you for saving the site! Terry Michael Karen Ervin Alberta Al Andrew Zach Farrah and Pau Dave R I don’t think I have forgotten anyone but if I have, please forgive me. I arrived on Monday afternoon and found a crowd there already. I got a couple of hours on the Blackstone before dark and after dinner enjoyed a sip of whisky at the fire. The rest of the week went about the same - drive over a better or worse road to a fishing spot; endure sun, rain, hail, sun, repeat all day; fish in tough conditions and head home ready to sit down and jaw around the fire. Our “COVID Clave” camp was not that different from normal - just a bit more distance around the fire (which means it had to be bigger!). Fishing was slow, though I caught a beautiful bull trout on a dry fly and we saw some fantastic cutthroat taken from deep pools. I think the water was still pretty cold - insect life seemed to still be in a June mode in mid-July. Friday night, around another fantastic campfire, the whole group shared in a memorial to Scott Rowan. Scott was a long-time FF@ member, Alberta Conclave attendee, and my friend. I first met met at one of the Cataract Creek conclaves in 2001 or 2002 and he was a regular attendee thereafter. We fished together many times and shared many fires. My heart is sore at Scott’s passing. The 2020 Alberta Clave celebrated our memory of Scott with a very fine Irish whisky and great reminiscing. Saturday dawned with the same rain and sun mix that we saw all week. Karen and Ervin had already left by the time I rose and I took that as a sign to head back to civilization. On my way home, a tire blew out on the rented trailer I was towing and I did not have the right lug wrench. A friendly tow truck driver from Rocky came out to help and I was back at home in time for dinner. Another Alberta Conclave under our belts. 2020 has been a devil of a year. Our Alberta Conclave on the Blackstone River reminded me how important it is to be in contact with friends, old and new. That is what this is all about, our FF@ and NLFTF participation - the opportunity to bond with other fine people, to broaden our outlooks and deepen our friendships. My soul is fuller for having been part of this event. Thank you to everyone who did get out. For those who wanted but could not attend, you were missed but we will have another trip next year. The “COVID Clave” reminded me what an important event I have the honour of planning. I hope to see you all in 2021 with the sun warming our backs and rising trout before us. Jim Fox
  2. Last week, heavy rains in the area have raised the North Ram River enough to actually wash out part of the road, leading to the camp site we have used for years. I do not have enough time to re-scout for another option so I am officially changing the location. Mike Dell confirmed that the road to the site we camp at on the Blackstone River is open so that is where the Conclave Headquarters will be located this year. To drive, head west on Highway 11 from Rocky Mountain House. Go about 1 km west of the access road to Nordegg to get to The Forestry Trunk Road (Hwy 40/734). Turn north (right) and drive 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 little hill. There is a fairly large field on both sides of the road. If all goes well, we should be camped on the left side of the road. However, this is random camping and can't be reserved so it could be either side. Therefore, if you do not see a sign that says FF@/NLFT Alberta Conclave, look on the other side of the road. We have camped in the same location on several occasions before. There are numerous creeks in addition to the Blackstone in the area. Some are fed mostly through muskeg, meaning they stay clean during hard rain. I will bet someone will even take a side-trip to drive down to the Ram, though I have heard that it is quite dirty still. Google Maps says the site is here: 52.615902, -116.327583 This is the first time we have ever had to change the location of a conclave so close to the date. Share this with anyone you think might be interested in attending. I am making a large-ish sign so people can see our location easily. If there is no sign, I am driving a grey Toyota Highlander with the license plate SGX 814. You can also call me before about noon on July 20 at 403-471-3108 as I will be within cell range until then at least. If nothing else, COVID has taught us to be resilient. This minor change won't kill the conclave of 2020 for me. See you there! Jim
  3. 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
  4. 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
  5. 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
  6. Heading out this morning and I'll see you all there! Jim
  7. Thanks for this Dave! We will see you next week. Jim
  8. 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
  9. 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
  10. 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
  11. 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
  12. 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
  13. 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
  • Create New...