Thursday, September 30, 2010

Tour of Calgary Bow River Weir Project (Harvie Passage)

Tour Details:

When: Saturday, October 2, 2010. 1:00 – 3:00 PM

Where: Meet at the Project Site Trailers: NW corner of 17th Ave SE and Deerfoot Tr.

What to bring: Please bring steel‐toed boots, safety vest and a hard hat. Please inform us if you do not have access to this PPE. Dress warmly as we will be outside for the duration of the tour.


The Calgary Weir is part of the Western Headworks system situated on the Bow River just 3 km east of downtown Calgary. The headworks system, including the headgate, sluiceway, weir, and fishway structures, were constructed in 1975 by PFRA, and are used to supply water to the Western Irrigation District.

The 152 m long ogee weir represents the only barrier to boaters and fish passage within the 100 km long reach of the Bow River between Bearspaw Dam and the Carseland‐Bow River Headworks. The weir also created an extreme drowning hazard that has claimed several lives over the years.

If you are interested in this event please RSVP to Jared Fath at by Thursday, September 30th.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Here’s your chance

Bow River Shuttles
Calgary Public Session participants - Wed Sept 29

Most of you care about Alberta's water and the upcoming water rights review that may leave Albertans without a system that prioritizes water for basic human needs or healthy rivers. What happens on land also matters. Many of you may or be turned-off by oil sands, but you can make a difference today and tomorrow.

Here’s your chance
to speak up for clean water and air in
Alberta’s oil sands region

You can change how oil sands are developed in Alberta. For the first time in history, the Government of Alberta is asking all Albertans to do their part to help develop oil sands responsibly. You are being asked to complete a simple online work book on a land-use plan that will determine the development of oil sands known as the Lower Athabasca Regional Plan.

The workbook only takes five minutes of your time, but your input could determine the effect oil sands will have on future generations. Your input will determine if Albertans now and in the future will have a healthy environment, clean water, clean air, wildlife, fish, and a sustainable economy.

Do your part. Have your say on how oil sands develop in Alberta today.

1) If you live in Calgary, go to a session:
September 29, 2010: Glenmore Inn, 2720 Glenmore Trail SE
TIME: 4:00PM – 8:00PM

2) Send your comments to:
Alberta Land Use Secretariat
Mail: 9th floor, Centre West Building,
10035 – 108 Street,
Edmonton, AB T5J 3E1
Phone: (780) 644-7972, Fax: (780) 644-1034

3) Fill out the workbook by October 8, 2010:

Five considerations to help fill out your Lower Athabasca questionnaire and comments - For details, click here:

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Remembering Roderick Haig-Brown

Several years ago, Armand and I visited the Haig-Brown Heritage Property near Campbell River, BC. We spent some time exploring the trails that run through the property, which is on the banks of the Campbell River.

The past Sunday, Sept 26, (also World Rivers Day) the annual Haig-Brown Festival took place at the Heritage site.

Writing for Canada's Globe and Mail, Cinda Chavich notes that Roderick Haig-Brown "isn't as well known as he should be outside the fly-fishing world. A prolific Canadian outdoor writer, fly fisherman and conservationist, he was a visionary when it came to environmental advocacy."

Globe & Mail

Via: Midcurrent

Monday, September 27, 2010

DNA Clouser Minnow

Fly tying by Aaron Caldwell from Fish Tales Fly Shop (Calgary).

“This video really caught my eye with the great production value and tying techniques. Pause at 18 seconds in for a money shot of this fly. Wicked proportions on this Clouser and a nice efficient tie.” – Pacres, The Daily Fly Paper Blog

Via: The Daily Fly Paper Blog

Sunday, September 26, 2010

World Rivers Day (Sept 26)

Global News visits Rivers Day founder, Mark Angelo at home and looks at thirty years of history and an event that has gone global.

World Rivers Day

More on World Rivers Day

The Big Wild, a conservation partnership between MEC and the Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society, dedicated to protecting at least 50% of Canada’s wilderness, thinks the sound of a river represents conservation. That’s why we’ve created two awesome tools all about river education.

The first is an infographic that zeros in on the world’s top 20 longest rivers and compares their length and volume.

The second tool is a collection of 16 unique sounds you might hear standing on a river bank in Canada. You’ll be entered to win a $250 MEC gift card if you can identify as many animals as possible, based on their call.

Links to infographic and sound collection here:

Saturday, September 25, 2010

2010 Alberta Fish Rescue

Trout Unlimited Canada is once again preparing for a busy and rewarding September and October — when our staff, chapter members and a large number of dedicated volunteers will save over 30,000 fish during TUC’s annual Fish Rescue Program.

TUC’s Fish Rescue program began in 1996 on an irrigation canal near Caresland on the Bow River. The program has since expanded to include six different canals in southern Alberta fed by the Bow, Highwood, Belly, Waterton, and Oldman rivers. Most of these canals do not have screens to prevent fish from entering the canals.

TUC, our members, volunteers and our partners provide invaluable leadership for projects like the Fish Rescue, ensuring our coldwater resources are wisely managed and protected.

The 2010 TUC Fish Rescue program begins Thursday Sept 30 at the Max Bell Arena in Calgary.

More information here:

Friday, September 24, 2010

Burning Water & Water on the Table

There are several more films with a water theme that are being screened at the Calgary International Film Festival.

These two are scheduled for Sunday afternoon.

Burning Water Trailer V.1 from Bunbury Films on Vimeo.

Burning Water

When the Lauridsen family of Valhalla Farm, near Rosebud, Alberta, discovers that the strange bubbles in the water it relies on for bathing, drinking and watering its cows is full of methane—and that the tap water can be lit on fire straight out of the kitchen faucet—it begins a fight for the truth behind an unsettling phenomenon that has been occurring in towns across North America.

Sunday Sept 26 2010 @ 2:30 pm

Read more here:

Water on the Table

Water On The Table is a character-driven, social-issue documentary by Liz Marshall that explores Canada's relationship to its freshwater, arguably its most precious natural resource. The film asks the question: Is water a commercial good like running shoes or Coca-Cola? Or, is water a human right like air?

Sunday Sept 26 2010 @ 4:30 pm

Read more here:

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Dirty Oil

“Neve Campbell narrates Academy-Award-nominated director Leslie Iwerks’ (RECYCLED LIFE) scathing behind-the-scenes film about the “black gold rush” taking place in Northern Alberta’s oil sands.”

This film caused quite a stir recently when it was reported that the film was partially funded by the Alberta Government.

See what all the fuss was about.

Dirty Oil is part of the Calgary International Film Festival. It is being screened at the Plaza Theatre on Saturday Sept 25 at 4:30pm.

More information here:

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Streams of Dreams

Based in British Columbia, Streams of Dreams provides watershed education through community art. Stream of Dreams murals are calls to take care of streams, rivers, lakes and oceans.

Two years ago, after my shuttle season was over, we spent some time in Courtnay, BC. We stopped at a school yard fence to admire a significant number of fish that had been placed there by the children.

Via: Moldy Chum

Monday, September 20, 2010

Fly Fishing Symposium (TUC - Bow River Chapter)

Featuring: Dave and Emily Whitlock
Weekend Seminar
October 16-17 (Saturday / Sunday)
9am - 5pm both days

Delta South Calgary
135 Southland Dr SE

Seminars include:

The Nymphing System
Knotless Connections
Tailwater Tactics
Fish Foods and Imitations
Fly Tying: Matuka Sculpin / Red Fox Squirrel Nymph
Plus more....

Tickets $100
Earlybird Price $75 (before September 15)

Tickets contact TU Office
Kimberly Davidson

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Deformed fish found in lake downstream from oilsands

EDMONTON—The fish are hard to look at.

One whitefish has a golfball-sized tumour bulging from its side. Another is simply missing part of its spine, its tail growing from a stumpy rear end.

One has no snout. Another is coloured a lurid red instead of a healthy cream. Others are covered with lesions and still others are bent and crooked from deformed vertebrae.

All were taken from Lake Athabasca, downstream from the oilsands in northern Alberta, and were on display Thursday.

Read more:

Friday, September 17, 2010

RA Beattie takes home top honours

RA Beattie has given us permission to screen several of his excellent movies at our Back Cast Fly Fishing Film Festival.

We were happy to learn that Beattie Outdoor Productions "When Guiding Goes Gangster" was a crowd favourite and won the Best Humour award at the The Drake Magazine Fly Fishing Film Festival last week.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Freshwater yield dwindling

Bow River Shuttles

The prairie provinces, including Alberta's Bow River, above, get 12 per cent of Canada's freshwater yeild, as population for the region has grown from 1.6 million in 1071 to 4.5 million in 2006, says StatsCan

Spring rain, snow melt
production has fallen 8.5%

By Kelly Cryderman,
Calgary Herald
September 14, 2010

Canada's renewable freshwater supply dropped dramatically over three decades in the most populated areas of the country, with the prairies particularly hard hit, according to a new report from Statistics Canada.

"If we want to be able to manage our water and understand what's happening with water over time, we need to know where it is, how much we have and how that's changing over time," said co-author Heather Dewar.

...Studies such as the Statistics Canada report are often difficult to stomach when Alberta has just gone through a cool and rainy summer, said Joe Obad of Water Matters, a conservation group.

"When everything looks green, it just slips off of peoples' political radar and makes it harder for decision-makers to make tough decisions."

But the Alberta government needs to pay serious attention to its long-standing promise to examine and re-vamp the province's water allocation system to deal with population growth and other climate changes in the years to come, Obad said...

Read more here:

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Plenty of Rising Fish

"We had a nice trip and saw sun, rain, wind, and overcast weather in the six hours we were on the river.

There were plenty of rising fish although most of them were small ones.

We managed to hook several larger ones in shallow water on #18 parachute adams and also landed a nice 20" rainbow on a backswimmer.

We took our time and enjoyed the scenic float. Overall, we didn't land a bunch of fish but had a good time.

Early in the afternoon there were lots of Tricos around and later on the BWOs made their appearance."

The Bow River
McKinnon Flats to Legacy Island
Saturday Sept 11 2010


This fishing report, and others, will be included in the next weekly "River Report". If you would like to recieve a copy of this popular e-report, just send your request to .

The subscription is complementary, and is available to any interested person.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

1St Annual "Blue Ribbon Bow River Cleanup"

Love your shoreline, love your community

Join the Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup

The 1St Annual "Blue Ribbon Bow River Cleanup"

September 18 & 19, 2010

The Bow River, between Calgary and Carseland, has a well deserved reputation in the fly fishing community of being a world class "blue ribbon" trout stream.

However, there are some who float the Bow who seem oblivious to this, and who treat our river as a garbage dump.

One long time fly fisher, Peter C., sent us a fishing report back in August. At the end of his report, he wrote:

"It is disappointing to see all the trash left by weekend floaters - broken glass, food hampers and left over float tubes and clothing. My dog was lucky not to cut his feet. I wonder what the landowners think? Will we get banned from using the river bank?

By the time I reached McKinnon's I had a garbage bag full of junk. It just p--s me off to see the abuse of the river bank. All we seem to be able to do is pick up other people's trash."

We invite all Bow River fly fishers to join hands in a "Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup" (GCSC) event scheduled for the weekend of Sept 18 & 19 - The 1st Annual "Blue Ribbon Bow River Cleanup".

Take along a pair of canvass gloves, a few garbage bags and a pen or pencil on your float trip that weekend. See if you can match Peter C.'s efforts by leaving your reach of river a little bit cleaner that you found it on that particular day.

If you're planning a walk and wade trip anywhere along the lower Bow River, consider doing the same.

This event applies to any section of the river, from the Glenmore Trail/Graves Landing boat launch to Johnson Island at Carseland Weir.

To be part of this event, GCSC asks each participant for two things:

1. All participants MUST sign the Liability Waiver

2. Participants fill out and submit their Data Card, which is a record of what garbage was picked up.

After your participation in this event, I would ask that you please scan and email your completed Waiver forms and Data Cards to

As the volunteer "GCSC Site Coordinator" for this event, I will compile the results from the Data Cards into the Group Summary Card and submit that to GCSC.

We encourage everyone who is planning to be on the Bow River on that weekend to make of point of signing up and being part of this national campaign!

To register for this event, please contact me with your interest as soon as possible. I will send you the Waiver form and the Data Card.

Thank you.

Kindest regards,
Michelle Magotiaux

Garbage Pickup:

a) Fish Creek Provincial Park and Wyndham-Carseland Provincial Park: The managers of the Provincial Parks have notified their respective contractors that there might be extra garbage at those boat launches on that weekend.
b) McKinnon Flats: Alberta Conservation Association has advised their contractor of the same.
c) Policeman's Flats and Legacy Island: Bow River Shuttles will pick up garbage at those sites.

The Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup is the largest cleanup in Canada and one of the largest cleanups in the world contributing to the Ocean Conservancy's International Coastal Cleanup. Since inception of the program, nearly one million kilograms of shoreline litter has been removed from our fragile ecosystem.

Be a Date Detective

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Johnny Reid scores big at CCMA Awards

Johnny Reid, the Scottish-Canadian crooner whose new album A Place Called Love debuted at No. 1 in Canada, picked up the coveted fan's choice award, single of the year and, at Saturday's CCMA Gala Dinner, bestselling Canadian album for Dance With Me and songwriter of the year shared with his co-writers, who include Victoria Banks.

Reid brought the house down with his new single Today I'm Gonna Try to Change the World -- complete with bagpipers and an entire gospel choir.

Source: Toronto Sun

Watch video here:

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Fly Fishing Symposium (TUC - Bow River Chapter)

Featuring: Dave and Emily Whitlock
Weekend Seminar
October 16-17 (Saturday / Sunday)
9am - 5pm both days

Delta South Calgary
135 Southland Dr SE

Seminars include:

The Nymphing System
Knotless Connections
Tailwater Tactics
Fish Foods and Imitations
Fly Tying: Matuka Sculpin / Red Fox Squirrel Nymph
Plus more....

Tickets $100
Earlybird Price $75 (before September 15)

Tickets contact TU Office
Kimberly Davidson

Trout Unlimited Canada

Friday, September 10, 2010

Participate in the Public Lands Act Regulation Survey!

The Government of Alberta is proposing changes to the regulations within the Public Lands Act to support better land management and stewardship. The Public Lands Act prescribes what is legally allowed or prohibited on public land. The changes will set out specific rules, for example, how visitors can use public land, how the rules are enforced, and how appeals are heard.

Public consultation is a key step in the process to develop these new regulations. Public comments will be reviewed and considered in guiding the development of the new regulations.

Please note:

- You will only be able to access the survey once
- It will take approximately 30 minutes for you to complete the survey
- Survey closes Friday, September 17th

To link to further information about the survey, visit the My Wild Alberta homepage at:

Alberta Wilderness Association: Comments on Public Lands Act Regulations consultations

Environmental Law Centre: Comments on the proposed Public Lands Administration Regulation

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

I am the river

"Imagine for a moment that we are water molecules moving along the river's flow, and we belong to it...more than it belongs to us."

Renowned artist Derek Besant has created a contemporary art installation of 12 larger than life photo-based water portraits of local Calgarians. The water portraits appear on Calgary Transit buses, C-trains, LRT stations and Pattison Outdoor Group billboards from July 17 – September 13. Besant uses his imagery as a metaphor for humans' relationship with the life-sustaining Bow River, while reflecting the celebratory aspects of each individual's relationship with the Bow.

"People are 70 per cent water and we can think of Calgarians as being 70 per cent Bow River. This installation connects the people of Calgary back to the river," says Besant.

The river is made up of many unseen drainage tributaries, underground systems, aquifers and watersheds that spread through the cityscape like a nervous system. Besant's water portraits flow through the city, targeting key city sites above ground which echo these spreading water systems below.

Besant worked with project partner the Pattison Outdoor Group who generously donated the space to realize the installation across the city.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

The Sound of Hoppers

Well the day was windy so casting was a challenge but well worth the effort.

Starting with nymphing we found a few 12-16" fish for the taking but generally a slow start early on in the day. Ear's hare, prince and the worm seeming to do the best.

Later in the day with the sound of hoppers our attack switched to hoppers with droppers, this was the key with 8 fish in a small section being taken one after another with one so large it's belly laid in the bottom of the net and head & tail out of the net (I need a bigger net I guess!!! LOL)

The hoppers worked right till dark and the mosquito's at the end made for a fast take out...

The Bow River
22X/Fish Creek Park to McKinnon Flats
Friday Sept 03 2010


This fishing report, and others, will be included in the next weekly "River Report". If you would like to recieve a copy of this popular e-report, just send your request to

The subscription is complementary, and is available to any interested person.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Playing in the rain

At 10:00 am, our fly fishing clients were getting ready to put in at 22X boat launch. It was around 8C with light rain.

Similar to last Sunday, more than a dozen boats were floating the Bow.

By 7:30 pm at Carseland, it was clearing to the west, and the temp was up to 11C.

Tomorrow is looking good, with clearing skys and a predicted high of 13C.

Already, we have quite a few bookings for floats from Police to Mac.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Protect the Bow River: Pick a Green Car Wash

Eco Buzz
Compiled By Trent Edwards,
Calgary Herald September 3, 2010

Picking A Green Car Wash

Car Wash - Despite a bylaw against home car-washing, some Calgarians don't see what all the fuss is about.

But washing a car at home is a real threat to the health of our watersheds. That's why residents are not allowed to use any kind of soap while washing a vehicle at home, and dirt and oil must not be hosed off into a storm drain. The fine ranges from $75 to $10,000.

Meanwhile, it costs less than $10 to use a commercial car wash.

Commercial car washes send their waste water through the sanitary sewer system, which means the water will go through the filters of a waste water treatment plant before being deposited in the Bow River.

Read more:

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Lore of the flies

Shelley Bindon fly-fishing on the Blackstone River near Nordegg. The river is mostly narrow, requiring short, precise casts to avoid the trees and brush, but when it opens, the rocky beaches and gentle current make it easy to fish faraway undercuts where the trout like to hide.
Photograph by: Bruce Edwards, Edmonton Journal

Raise your hand if you've fished a lake in Alberta. Raise your hand if you've fished those lakes with flies. OK, now raise your hand if you've fished an icy cold mountain stream with flies. That thins out the field a bit.

I've been fishing Edmonton area lakes for decades, sometimes using bait, sometimes tackle and sometimes flies, which are hand-tied in patterns that imitate insects using materials such as feathers, thread and animal hair.

But until one rainy weekend in July, I had never had the pleasure of casting for cutthroat trout in a clear creek surrounded by chalky, mossy cliffs, wild roses and giant evergreens. It was exhilarating.

Read more here:
Via: Calgary Herald, Tues Sept 02, 2010

Original Edmonton Journal article plus seven photos here:

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

A beautiful and warm late summer day

Once during the trip I ran into a school of smaller browns and it was fun having them strike every second or third cast. Otherwise it was just steady fishing throughout the day.

A spare rod rigged with a handsome dry never wetted the surface as nymphing a prince's nymph paired with a size sixteen copper john lazily catted brought in plenty of fish.

Nearly zero rising activity even through the late morning hatches in any case. Never was too sure which nymph was working the best as most of the fish threw the hook somewhere in the net.

Browsing through a fly shop recently I heard someone remark negative about using barbless hooks but played properly most of the hooked fish cannot escape the fisherman's net is the way of it.

The largest fish was the last one, a 25 inch brown. She was thicker and fuller than the rainbows I had been catching and made a powerful upriver run as I was moving down still at river speed. The best rainbow was somewhere just above twenty inches. I remember thinking the rainbows seemed a little thin for this time of year but they fought well enough. That's sure.

Fish were mostly in the softer water near almost hidden seams.

A beautiful and warm late summer day for running the clear river.

Bow River
Graves Landing/Glenmore Trail to Policeman's Flats
Tuesday August 31, 2010


This fishing report, and more than a half dozen others, will be included in the next "River Report". If you would like to recieve a copy of this popular e-report, just send your request to

The subscription is complementary, and is available to any interested person.