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Alberta Conclave 2024


Jim Fox

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Well, it is the time of year to be announcing conclaves.  The FF@ and NLFT group will be meeting August 5-11. The 5th is a holiday in Alberta and it is my hope that some choice locations will be vacated that day. I'll go out and grab the best spot I can find and hang up the shingle.

My first choice for location is to repeat on the upper Oldman River. However, southern Alberta is experiencing a pretty serious drought. Rain was almost non-existent last year and the current snow pillow is well below average. There is a chance that we may see some fishing restrictions by August. We managed to deal with time-of-day restrictions last summer but this year might be even more challenging, like stream closures. If there are restrictions in place, I will consider moving to another location that might have better water - North Ram, Blackstone, Athabasca/Berland. I'll let people know.

I hope you all will consider coming out to fish some of Alberta's wonderful waters. 2024 would be a great year for any of you who have had this trip on your bucket list - everyone is welcome. Reach out if you have any questions.

Jim

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  • 3 weeks later...
I do not like to change directions for the conclave but the water situation in Alberta is really not great. You can see in this Alberta Government report <LINK> that just about all of the river basins in Alberta are expected to be at low flows this summer. There are likely to be fishing restrictions in some areas, time-of-day restrictions like we had last year or perhaps outright closures. 
 
The Oldman River is part of a larger watershed that is used intensively by municipalities for drinking water and farmers for irrigation. The situation in this watershed is highlighted by this story <LINK> reporting that the lower Crowsnest River is essentially dry. Very scary news. While it is impossible to predict, I think that the likelihood of closures in the Oldman watershed are higher than they might be in other areas of the province.
 
Thinking about this situation, and after consulting with some of you, I've decided to move the location of the 2024 Alberta Conclave to the North Ram River at the Nice & Easy site. We have met up at this location before and it produces excellent fishing. In addition to numerous spots on the North Ram itself, there are a number of day-trip options. While the outlook for this area is not that much better than the Oldman watershed, there are fewer municipal or agricultural pressures on this system. 
 
The dates for the conclave remain August 5-11. If you have questions, please let me know. 
 
Jim
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Well we have about 6 weeks left before the 2024 Alberta Conclave and it is time for an update. While the water situation around Alberta is still not great, cooler and water weather has helped. Things are looking great!

We will be meeting on the North Ram River from August 5 to 11. The specific location is known as Nice & Easy (52.27072° N, 115.81243° W) and has lots of space for tents and RVs. The site is on the North Fork Road, about 10km up from the Forestry Trunk Road (Hwy 734). If you need more specific directions, let me know. Also, as usual I will put out a sign visible from the road.

For those considering coming for the first time, the primary game on the North Ram is westslope cutthroat trout on dry flies. They are the only gamefish in the Ram River, having been planted in the 1950s in a previously trout-less river. Most clavers focus on the North Ram while here but a number of other waters are available in the area (Blackstone, Chaco Creek, South Ram, North Saskatchewan, numerous tributaries, etc.). A lot of the Alberta Conclave veterans have fished this area a lot so there is good guidance available.

This year I bought a new mountain bike and I think I will bring it. The North Ram downstream of our camp site has few access sites from the road and I plan to ride downstream to access some water I’ve never seen before. If you are so inclined, bring a bike and we can explore.

Please let me know if you are planning to attend or you have questions. Fingers crossed for warm clear days with little smoke and plenty of water in the river.

Jim

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Hi Jim, 

I have booked time off and intend to be there until Thursday afternoon.  I was considering heading out to the blackstone gap, or somewhere north of nordegg on Sunday and meet up with the crew Monday evening.  

I have a beater mountain bike I can bring, should be ok with average off roading, nothing super technical.

Jeff Wilson

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Thanks for the note Jeff. I should be there sometime on Monday. Look for the sign. The Blackstone is a great place to stop for a bit of fishing adventure on your way to the North Ram.

As for mountain biking, the path I'm thinking about isn't technical. There are people who take OHVs down it. The biggest issue will be how many mucky holes we have to push bikes around.

Jim

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