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2017 Conclave - Back To The Blackstone!


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#1 Jim Fox

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Posted 24 February 2017 - 08:20 PM

Following up to last year's trip to the Wildhay, the FF@/Former FF@/Whoever-shows-up group will be gathering on the Blackstone River the week after the August long weekend - August 8-13. The camp site will be where Chungo Road crosses the Blackstone (Google Maps says here 52.615902, -116.327583), where we camped the second year - west of the road. With luck any rain and hail will stay on the east side of the road.

 

The Blackstone is a fantastic central Alberta trout stream. It is a bit off the beaten path but fishes like it. Also, there are a number of other spots within day-trip distance. We may be able to do a long pontoon float through a section not accessible from the bank and thus virtually unfished. For the really affluent and adventurous, there are helicopter flights from nearby Nordegg up to alpine lakes that hold golden trout. There is really something for everyone.

 

The theme this year is traditional fly fishing - bring you tweeds, your north country spiders, your cane, and your deerstalker cap. Also bring your single malt, ale and anything else you deem traditional. We will swing wet flies on traditional horsehair and put our feet up with a wee dram at the end of it all. 

 

A special part of the experience will be remembering our friend Dell Coppock, who passed away late in 2016. On our first Blackstone trip, Dell just showed up at our campsite. He said he woke up that day and drove up from Spokane on a whim. We had a terrible few days of weather but it was a memorable trip all the same. I have a goal to be like Dell when I grow up...

 

We would be happy to welcome back any of you who have ventured to Alberta for one of these events before. If you haven't come before, this is your year! There will be lots of space for fishing, spectacular scenery and a warm receptive crowd around the fire. Pets and partners always welcome.

 

Jim Fox



#2 dipperdan

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Posted 24 February 2017 - 11:00 PM

Looking forward to the clave, We have had great times, southern Alberta and North Central. Haven't fished that area for many years. Thanks very much for doing this Jim. Irene and I should be out there....



#3 Michael Dell

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Posted 25 February 2017 - 01:16 PM

Some memorable moments from that first Blackstone trip. (Not my first, but the first time I got to show these guys where I had been fishing.)

 

Huddling under the tarps while the hail pounded down all around us.  The drink of the clave: single malt scotch with hailstones.

 

Corn fritters. Alas we will never have the like again.

 

Desperately searching for any clear water to fish.  The Blackstone was dirty all the way up to the oil lease road. Thanks to local knowledge we found a few clear streams to fish. 

 

Kat Cruikshank's witty saying that I christened the defining phrase of the camp.  Not that I can repeat it here.

 

Rain, snow, hail, sunshine.  Followed by rain, snow and hail. 

 

Wally's excellent tarps without which we would have all packed up the second day.

 

Scoring a case of Big Rock Traditional. 

 

And then we came back to the Blackstone the next year at the right time and the fishing was much better. 



#4 DennisS

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Posted 26 February 2017 - 12:17 PM

Hi Jim Brenda and I are sure hoping to be there again this year. Sure enjoyed last year. Blackstone area sure has lots of fishing oppritunities. I will make sure I have a couple of big tarps. If one comes prapared that way it won't rain. See you there.


Tight Lines Always
Dennis S.

#5 Jim Fox

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Posted 26 February 2017 - 10:13 PM

Tarps will be great Dennis. Even if they are just to keep the sun off the beer!

 

Looking forward to seeing you there

 

Jim



#6 Jim Fox

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Posted 24 July 2017 - 08:17 PM

We are just over 2 weeks away from the conclave. We have people planning to attend from around the world so it should be a fantastic time. 

 

This is going to be a bit bigger event than I though but we will still keep it in the style that everyone knows and loves. Fires will be visible from space (as long as we are allowed fires) and we will ensure a significant acreage of tarps is available in case it rains. This year we are trying to have a class affair so there will be a tweed dress-code (meaning wear it if you have it). There may be a prize for the best tweed outfit. 

 

Saturday is traditionally pot-luck so plan on something to share. I will also bring my pizza oven so one night we can bake pies. I'll bring fixings too but if you have a favorite topping, bring it along.

 

Just to recap:

 

  • Alberta Conclave Date: August 8-13
  • Location: Blackstone River, where it is crossed by Chungo Road. This is about 15km north of Nordegg, AB. Google Maps coordinates are 52.615902, -116.327583. Let me know if you need directions.
I will be there on the afternoon of 8 August. Normally, Wally Lutz gets there first (being retired and all) so look for his camper on the west side of the road. When I get there, I will put up a sign.
 
Let me know if you need any info, directions, or whatever. Looking forward to seeing those who have confirmed. Everyone else, feel free to just show up.
 
Jim


#7 Jim Fox

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Posted 04 August 2017 - 08:14 PM

OK, so one last note from me before heading up to the river. It looks like we will have a good turnout, though a couple old friends will be missing. If decides they are interested, by all means head out. We will sort out a place for you to sleep, a meal to keep you sustained and a drink to keep you warm. Bring your own sleeping bag because there are limits...

 
The weather seems promising with only a bit of cloud and precipitation forecast.
 
One night we will be doing pizza so feel free to bring a topping of your choice. Wally and I will bring crusts and sauce and a cooking method. It is refined from last year so we will be faster. On Saturday, we typically have a potluck. Bring something share-able but not too much. There is often enough to feed twice the number who show up.
 
Finally, take care in travelling up. Southern Alberta is tinder dry right now and there are fire bans and OHV restrictions all over. Things are a bit better in central Alberta but there is always a chance that it will change.
 
I will watch emails until Tuesday so feel free to shoot me a line here if you need to catch up. My cell is 403-471-3108 if you need to talk directly.  See you there!
 
Jim


#8 Rockyman

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Posted 04 August 2017 - 09:08 PM

I was up at the Blackstone a couple of weeks ago. The water was quite low but that can change overnight.

 

I wouldn't advise trying to drive up to the Gap unless you have a 4x4 and even then be careful if the roads are wet. There were some bigger "puddles" than normal on the way in and part of the road can get quite muddy.



#9 dipperdan

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Posted 05 August 2017 - 03:18 PM

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#10 dipperdan

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Posted 07 August 2017 - 12:35 PM

I have talked Irene into coming now... Hope there are some other wive's along!!!



#11 dipperdan

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Posted 14 August 2017 - 08:44 PM

Well we made it back from the " ABC" Alberta Blackstone Conclave. Had a great time, the weather was awesome and the fishing the same. Caught Rocky's,Cutthroat , Brookies and Bully's .

Meet CB from New Zealand, Sheldon from Mississauga , Tyson , Eli , and Sam from TO. Scot from Victoria , Al and Jack from Saskatoon, Wally from Edson, Jim from Calgary, Tony from Red Deer, last but not least Doug, John and Jocelyn, and Michael  from Edmonton. Hector was not able to make it , he was from Texas.

Thank You Jim for organizing the Conclave.Looking forward to the next one!!!

First fish for Al

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#12 dipperdan

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Posted 14 August 2017 - 08:46 PM

Bully

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#13 dipperdan

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Posted 14 August 2017 - 08:48 PM

Nice cuttie

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#14 Rainbow

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Posted 15 August 2017 - 07:18 AM

Thanks for posting Dipper, sorry I forgot my camera at home, it would have been nice to capture some of the nice ones you and Doug landed as well. My first clave, great folks, great fishing, great food & refreshments, great weather and all round great time.
J&J

#15 fishlover

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Posted 16 August 2017 - 07:16 AM

It looks like it was an awesome trip



#16 Paulf

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Posted 17 August 2017 - 03:08 PM

...always nice to see fish pictures...thanks for sharing...



#17 DennisS

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Posted 17 August 2017 - 04:05 PM

Sorry Jim and  guy's wanted to go but just the way holidays and work, worked out Brenda and I couldn't make it out this year.  Glad to see you had a great time and the weather cooperated.  All the Calves have been fantastic.  Hope to make it out next yr.

 

Dan again thanks for the great pic and offers for a bed. 

 

Dennis S  



#18 Jim Fox

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Posted 21 August 2017 - 08:44 PM

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.smug...lackstone-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


#19 Paulf

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Posted 22 August 2017 - 08:08 PM

Jim,

 

Thanks for sharing your experiences with us. Wally's pictures are fantastic... I have been trying to get out to one of these claves for a couple of years now....damn work keeps getting in the way...one of these times, I will make it out.






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