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Golden Trout


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Hi guys

I am a member of Gwent angling society in Wales

A few of us have traveled from Wales Edmonton and then to the Pincher creek region 6 times in the last ten years. We have thoroughly enjoyed each trip. The Castle, Carbondale and Mill creek are my personal favourites where I have had good catches. We have also fished the Freeman river for Arctic Grayling and the mountain lakes of Kananaskis have also proved kind. The most enjoyable and scenic was the Lake of the Horns in the Highwood valley though it is hell of a hike to get there and back in a day.

I have also scrambled and sweated up the scree slope to fish the Southfork lakes for Goldens trout. I now only need one golden to complete my set of Alberta game fish but have to admit to being skunked on each of my three attempts. I found the fish in the upper lake but could not arouse interest in any sort of fly or by using any of my usual methods.It could be that they were not on the feed but probably more likely I was not up to the challenge. The weather was warm,sunny and with no wind each time. I am wondering if I should be going there when the weather is poor such as the snow storm we had one August. Can anyone help me to get one however small?



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A well respected fly-fisher who used to write a trout update for one of our local fishing magazines (someone once called him the Wayne Gretzky of fly fishermen in these parts) posted this in 2006 on the old Fly Fish Alberta website about the goldens in the Barnaby Lakes.....



"To catch a big golden now, your best bet would be to go to Barnaby 6-8 years after a stocking. Next year (2007) or the year after (2008). After that most will be dead of old age and you have to wait until they stock it again, then wait for 'em to grow up.


The Barnaby lakes should all be on a 2 year stocking cycle but they aren't so timing becomes everything, at least for the biggies. Sad thing is, there are thousands of doomed fry that perish every fall in the outlet of Rainy that could be transferred, but it seldom happens".


Hope that helps.



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Thanks for the help and thoughts about the old fish dying off. Such an idea had never entered my head since in Wales all our brown trout lakes are self sustaining.

I will give the upper Southfork lake a go in August this year so I hope the big ones have not died yet. A few years ago I could see plenty of small fish under the scree slope at the far end of the lake. the trouble is they would not take my fly. I only saw one good fish of about 1.5lb swimming past me several feet down. He was gone long before I could get my line to him. That brings home to me another difference between Rainbows/cutts and browns in lakes. In Wales the lake brown trout tend not to cruise looking for food but take up station in a particular location much as they would on a river. You can usually spot a regular rainbow fisherman on our lakes because they hardly move. It is a waste of time staying in one spot for browns and fishing it all day. You may get a fish or two but then will be covering barren water. Over here you "Cast and Walk". ie. take a stride or so between each cast to find the fish. One upland lake I fish called Claerwen is about 14miles (sorry we are still in miles) in perimeter. I have once or twice fished right around the lake in a day. You obviously don't fish every yard but search out good spots and move on.


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