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Trout Unlimited Canada - Northern Lights Fly Fishers
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Dismal Creek Blitz

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Please reply to this email with your availability for angling (Dismal Creek Blitz) on May 30 or the alternate date on June 6. See details below.
Dismal Creek Blitz
We are planning a joint venture with ESRD on Saturday May 30. Our objective is to capture as many Arctic Grayling on Dismal Creek as possible. Teams will be paired up for PIT tagging and recording fish that have been tagged in the past. We will record data such as size and location for each fish caught as well as collection of fin clips.
  • There will be some difficult locations (such as the log jam) and some easy locations at bridge crossings.
  • Our club members will be joined by ESRD biologists from Edson (and maybe some from Red Deer) for this event. If stream conditions are bad, our fallback date will be June 6.
  • Last year we caught 91 Grayling on Dismal Creek, and the ESRD team caught an additional 66 Grayling. Dismal Creek will be one of the main focus areas this year.
  • We will have a Fisheries Research License, which will allow our volunteers to fish at prescribed locations as part of this project before the season opens on June 15.
  • We had good results on our early season visit to Dismal Creek log jam last year.
Annual Report
The annual report was presented on April 29. A copy of the club presentation is available for download from our website. At the meeting, we had some presentations from a team of students at NAIT, as well as from ESRD staff from Edson. A synopsis and some comments can be found here on our club forum.
Grant Submission
We were successful in our grant application from Alberta Conservation Association. ACA has granted us $21,500 for our project this year. The main focus will be creation of a report that summarizes our findings and recommendations for the 5 year project; continued temperature and angling studies; additional observation of stream crossing issues.
2015 Angling program
More details about the angling program and distribution of additional maps and field kits will be done in early June at the wind-up Barbeque for the Northern Lights Fly Fishers. More details will be sent later in May.
We hope you can join us on May 30 - please let us know so we can plan the Dismal Creek Blitz!
Ken Monk and Jim O'Neil
Northern Lights Fly Fishers / Trout Unlimited Edmonton

 

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I love catching these guys.

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Bruce Fennell, Jim Dow and I went to DC02. At the bridge we talked to a quadder who was camped downstream. He was unaware of which species of "trout' were in the stream, and the regs so I enlightened him. Jim Dow told him the rules about driving quads on streambeds, and assured him that the conservation officers patrolled this area frequently.

 

After a short hike upstream we started fishing at a nice pool. Jim had hits on his first casts, so it looked like a promising day. Bruce was also getting hits, but it looked like these were little ones that couldn't get their mouths around their flies.

 

It was another 1 1/2 hours of hard fishing and a lunch break before we actually caught anything. This was an 11 cm grayling that I caught on my tenkara rod, my first this way of fishing.

 

Then we fished upstream for another 3 hours with nothing coming to the flies. We found a beautiful, deep pool that we covered with casts. Nothing.

 

We crossed Dismal above the pool and looked upstream. It was about 3:30 then, and Jim sat us down on an ant covered log for a conference. The pool below us was the best we had seen, and Jim thought we should keep fishing there. Two things became apparent to us. Ants were crawling up our waders, so we got off the log. And we saw a grayling rise twice in the pool.

 

After Jim and Bruce tried drifting flies from upstream over the dropoff without any interest from the grayling, Jim spotted a predacious beetle in the slack water next to shore. Bruce took a bunch of photos of the beetle on Jim's reel, and the stick Jim was using to pose the beetle.

 

Then we crossed the stream and tried the pool from the corner point. I hadn't tried my tenkara from above because I didn't have enough line to reach the dropoff. So it was my turn. I had been using small imitative flies (Griffith's gnat, CDC BWO, beadhead PT) so I decided to switch to a large sakasa kebari fly tied with peacock quill and partridge hackle. On my third cast I had a strike and landed a 35 cm grayling. But in the confusion over trying to get a measurement we lost the grayling and were unable to tag it.

 

Jim and Bruce rigged up heavier nymphs and indicators. Jim caught a 38 cm rocky mountain whitefish. Then as I was demonstrating indicator fishing to Bruce with his rod, I caught a 33 cm whitefish. Bruce hooked a 30? cm whitefish which "ralphed" off when he got it close to shore.

 

After that we fished downstream through all the nicer pools, but nothing was caught. The one nice pool we found was 8-10 ft deep, and looked like it would be an over-wintering pool. (Very similar to the nice pool on the Freeman where Dennis got stuck in the mud.)

 

We fished for 6 hours, got our water sample, landed 2 grayling and 2 whites. Water temp 10 degrees C when we started, 14 degrees when we finished.

 

I am looking forward to hearing other reports.

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Thanks Michael , great report , looking forward to getting out next trip.

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Karen was doing most of the catching, a few grayling and a RM white which kept Paul and I tagging....along. She was doing a little cheating by catching a grayling that had been caught and tagged earlier in the day. It was great to get out on the stream again. Paul is compiling our report to be posted later.

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...yes it was a fantastic day...here is a picture of John with his fish caught...and a picture of Karen with another fish on...

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We had 24 volunteers out yesterday, working in groups of 3 or 4. We hit 7 sites on Dismal Creek on Saturday and caught 47 Grayling in total - including a large number of adults.

Many of those fish were injected with a PIT tag, allowing us to scan them later to determine how far they are moving. In fact, about 10% of the fish caught on Saturday were previously tagged.

The Grayling seemed to be stacked up in pools. Several pools that were angled successfully in the past did not yield any fish this time around.

Grayling were caught at the logjam, just below and above. We also caught fish at the upper and lower ranges of Dismal Creek - there were fish throughout the range.

 

Thank you very much to all the volunteers who came out. This was a very successful day and we feel a lot of momentum with ESRD and other stakeholders.

 

We are planning one or two more Blitz days this summer/fall. We will also continue with our angling program as we have in previous years.

Field kits and maps will be distributed at the club barbeque on June 10.

 

Ken & Jim

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Here's a shot of Rick, tossing a fly using his cane rod, and one of Dennis on the ascent back up the river bank above the log jam.

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Dennis are you climbing or praying? I think we are going to get a story from you on this one.....

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Awesome pictures and storey lines guys. Looked like a good day to be out on the water and good to hear that fish were caught. As far as Dennis is concerned...he does stop from time to time in order to give thanks for a good day of fishing.

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For sure a storying coming on this one. And yes to praying that the top would come down to me. It was a good day and the climb is not for the faint of heart.

 

Tight Lines Always

Dennis S

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Dennis...that is why we bring a rope along...it is always easy to get down, but a real bugger to get back up...

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Ken...good to hear that fish were caught both below and above the log jam...that almost indicates that fish are getting through...this outing should help tremendously with all the fish caught and tagged...

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A big thank you goes out to Ken and Jim for their work putting this outing together and a big thank you to all of you out there fishing, tagging and reporting on your day...

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Dennis, I remember that climb from last year. Brutal. Even more discouraging when your group doesn't catch anything.

 

Thanks to Ken and Jim for putting this together, and thanks to everyone for their reports and pictures.

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Photo of Ken demonstrating proper Tenkara technique - photo taken after he went a little too deep for his chest high waders. He did dry out after a few hours. We did catch a few Grayling so it did make the climb out a little less of a workout.

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it was all in the technique in landing that puppy. Lucky I had the Guru of landing fish to walk me through the landing of that baby. It was release with loving care into the bush behind me.

 

Yes Ken and Jim thank you for the great work and planning in this outing it went off with hardly a blip.

 

Stay tuned to the escapades of the 3 Graylingteers Still trying to catch my breath from that harrowing climb.

 

Tight Lines Always

Dennis S

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Paul taking the water temp. as we enter Dismal.

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Karen perfecting her roll cast with coach Paul's encouragement.

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Kit is ready, now we need a grayling or two.

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Here we go!

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Boys

 

Very nice pictures. John, the above picture is very cool and holy smokes is that every a huge dry fly in it's mouth. Length of fish and size of fly?

 

Vince

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Thanks Vince,

The camera is a 10 year old 3.2 megapixel Pentax but it is still good for these trips. The grayling was a 12"er and the fly was a size 12-14 with lots of hackle on the parachute which the grayling seem to go for. It was fun, but 2/3rds of the day is travelling and hiking to get onto the water then the return trip home. Got to go to where they reside, right. Reminds me of what one of our former Oiler coaches when he said, "We can't win at home and we can't win on the road and I can't think of any other place for us to play."

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Had another great day on Dismal , I'm not a Tenkara virgin anymore . A 39 cm. grayling on a Tenkara fly that John tied for me, nice, and the rod handled it well. Ken had caught on a Tenkara fly Orange and Partridge, so I tried one and it worked , second cast...... We caught some new fish 25 cm to 39 cm. and some ESRD had caught last weekend. We fished water that Paul and I fished a few years back and then father up stream that was new to us , ESRD had fished last weekend. We also saw some fresh bear scat , but not the Butt it came from, good thing .Tested the bear bangers for Ken and Kurt.. Walked 7 KM about 4.5 on the creek and 2.5 in the hot sun , road warriors . Later we tried Rat creek and it was not providing us any excitement as we arrived around 4:30 , Orange gunk at the shore, it was a hotish day and I was hoping to wash my face ,,, not in this $#it , I said..... Home we came , after an ice cream from Tomohawk ,,, emmmm!!!! Again a great day on the water with some great friends.... Looking forward to the next trip out to Dismal....(((Time is wrong, that's GMT. )))

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Yes, it was another great day on the water...lets play that "Where is Waldo" ...can you find the fisher in this picture...if you see it right away, don't say anything,lets give others some time to look/

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