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Jim Fox

Alberta Conclave 2019

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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

 

 

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h

Hello Jim  i went last year for the first time so  i am interested will see about  the timing closer to the date mentioned  looking forward to it

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Getting ready for the trip, going to try a new fly. Tyzun may be impressed or not .... lol

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Dan

 

Nice tye on the Hippie Stomper. Is the fly a good producer for you? I've heard a lot of good news on the pattern but have not tyed any up yet so I'm looking forward to your thoughts on the pattern.

 

Vince

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Not familiar with "Nice & Easy". Is it a private campground, or is it that horseback staging area on the NFR?

I usual boondock further west.

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Nice and Easy is the random camping site on the North Fork Road where it comes to the North Ram River from the east. So called because this is where Nice Creek and Easy Creek which join together upstream flow into the North Ram.  

 

So probably the horseback staging area as you describe it (though it's more like a quad staging area as I have never seen horses there, cattle, but not horses).  Not to be confused with the outfitters camp west of the Forestry Trunk Road. 

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Thanks Michael. I am looking forward to it if I can convince Fern to go.

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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

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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

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Jim, just an update on the North Fork Road. I travelled it last Week and it was in fine shape (relatively speaking). It had just been graded and I didn't see any sign of construction work going on.Heading down on Tuesday and staying at Strachan campground for the night and then up to Nice & Easy.

Dave

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What a great few days on the North Ram with a group of terrific fellas. Jim, wally Terry, Michael, Jimmy, Irwin and the rest of you, I had a great time and really appreciate you showing me the conclave ropes, even though i passed on all that scotch.:blink: The weather could've been better but the fishing was perfect...except for my last cast on the last day when a 20+ cuttie snapped my St. Croix Legend. If i can find the video on my laptop  I'll post here. it was pretty funny, but i managed to handline it in anyway.

Thanks again. Wish I could join you on The freeman this weekend, but the wife has other plans.

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