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Little Smoky River Last Week


troutbum
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Hi all.

 

Now that I’m back into my regular routine, I thought I’d post a bit of a report on the Little Smoky River. My annual pilgrimage was cut a bit short this year, as I didn’t get as much time off as I typically do. However, I did get the time to hit most of our usual spots – so it was all good

 

Overall the fishing was OK. We had a couple of cosmic days mixed in with a couple of so-so days. Generally though, the bigger Grayling were still scattered throughout the river and hadn’t yet reached their Wintering holes downstream of Grizzly Junction. It was a different case when we headed upstream. There they were concentrated and on the feed. There was also the additional bonus of a good number of willing Bullies hanging around as well. While we caught the majority of them on streamers, my buddy Ron ended up catching 2 on a size 14 Mosquito!

 

The water levels this year were the lowest I’d ever seen, and most of the undercut banks that have previously been productive – were high and dry. Water temperatures were cold, ranging anywhere from 4 to 6C. This necessitated taking several breaks from the fishing to try to warm up the tootsies on the banks. Air temperatures ranged anywhere from 8 to 13C, but in spite of this, gloves were a necessity to keep the fingers warm when the winds started gusting.

 

As usual, the sun’s intensity dictated the activity levels of the Grayling. Even then, the fishing didn’t usually pick up until the 1 to 2 pm timeframe. Given the lower water temperatures, it wasn’t surprising that there was sparse hatch activity. Earlier in the day, streamers (with Olive or Black in them) worked best when retrieved S-L-O-W-L-Y – but by early afternoon, they would start rising sporadically – to take mostly midges and the occasional BWO. Ironically, the best pattern for the entire trip was the previously mentioned Mosquito.

 

And once again – to prove it hasn’t been a fluke the past two years – we were again able to target Suckers with a streamer. Although we did a couple fishing blind, most of them were sight fished. It is quite amusing to watch a Sucker take a streamer, and is hard to imagine – until you see it. Strangely enough, once hooked – they were more likely to jump then the Grayling.

 

I’ll leave the details of the hunting out, except to say that there were a lot of Spruce Grouse around, and once I met up with my buds – few of them escaped unscathed

 

Overall, it was a good trip, albeit too short to hold me over for another year. I’m not sure what the river is like now, as the weather turned the day we left. I’m sure a call to Marc Foisy (Fox Creek F&W) will clear any doubts or questions that you might have.

 

Tight Lines!

 

Frank.

 

Our humble Base Camp at Grizzly Junction (been a while since we’ve tented).

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Grayling caught by Ron. My quest to adequately capture their colouration in a picture continues.

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Ron attempting to net a Bullie caught on a Mosquito. Not a great shot except that you can just make out the fish making his dash for freedom in the bottom right corner of the picture.

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Bullie caught by Ron

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Frank

 

Thanks for the very detailed report and the pictures...awesome. The humble living quarters looked picture perfect...you guys set up a good camp. We were there a few weeks ago and had a blast but I'm sure the fishing has gotten better.

 

Vince

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Great report, Frank! I don't think you'll ever get the shot you want of grayling, though. I think they should be the poster fish for C&R, because in the water they're the most beautiful fish that swims, like a living rainbow (the spectrum, not the trout), but with more colours and iridescence. Then, as you take them out of the water, they turn to this drab, muddy-gray fish. Makes me want to put them back. Your only hope is a water shot. One of my favorites has the fish half in, half out, so you can see the difference.

 

Rick

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Thanks for the kind words Rick and Vince.

 

I took a shot of a male grayling in the water about 15 years ago and it's the best one I have to show their wonderful irridesence. I'll have a look for it and post it soon.

 

As to the accomodations, we certaintly didn't suffer. Years ago I used to camp at the bridge the second week in October in a dome tent. Man did we have some chilly nights back then.

 

Tight Lines!

 

Frank.

btw - I didn't run into any of my old ETFC cronies this year. This used to be one of the few times I'd run into them since moving down to Cowtown. Sigh!

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Don't forget the Red Deer at Dickson for rockies or parts of the Bow and Crow for browns and 'bows.

 

If the current weather holds, by November, elsewhere you may need a chainsaw to cast on open water.

 

But if you're here on the 21st, come on out to our seminar with LeRoy Hyatt.

Edited by dave robinson
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