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Articles by : Guy Woods and Contributors


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Mid—Summer Small Stream Trout on a Fly Rod

Above: Small streams in mid-summer can be a challenge to fly fish, but occasionally you are rewarded with a real beauty like this brown trout. This mature trout helps make the effort all worth while, but smaller trout can make you smile just as much.

A Whirling Disease Resistant Rainbow Trout

The Hofer Strain of Rainbow Trout is Resistant to Whirling Disease

    There is great news that holds promise for our threatened Bow River strain of rainbow trout. The answer may come from a genetically resistant strain of Kamloops trout that was first identified in Germany. The Hofer strain is resistant to Whirling Disease and it is being hybridized with other strains of rainbow trout to save the fishery in Colorado. This hybridization may also be done on our beloved Bow River strain in the future; if necessary. This discovery holds promise.

Late Summer Trout  - Dry Fly Patterns

Above: Grass hopper dry flies are just some of the many terrestrial dry flies that work great in late summer, when picky trout can be hard to catch. There are many hopper, ant and beetle fly patterns that will bring feeding trout to the surface.

“Stream Bank Stabilization Sites are featured in this issue.”

“Go Online to get more on the Hofer strain of Rainbow Trout.”

Bighill Creek Stream Bank Stabilization Sites

Right Photo:

This steep eroding stream bank was first planted in 2014, on the Bighill Creek in the Town of Cochrane. The plants are now starting to establish a thick network of roots in the unstable soil on the severe slope, on the outside bend in the stream channel. This has greatly reduced silt loading into the creek over the last few years and the bank will further stabilize over time.

A local JP Creek strain of rainbow trout

First Planting Creates Fish Habitat

ATCO Planting—The Last for Spring

Above: On June 8th, the last spring planting for the “Bow Valley Riparian Recovery and Enhancement Program 2017” was completed on West Nose Creek in the City of Calgary. A team of volunteers from ATCO planted 500 native willows and trees in just a few hours time. ATCO has been participating in the program for the last 5 years. This year’s planting was part of their “Day of Caring” annual volunteer program.

Above: Willows planted on the Bighill Creek in 2014 are now providing overhead cover, growing out across the surface of the creek in some areas. This has created substantial fish habitat for the resident trout population in the BH Creek. More positive results such as this are yet to come, in this riparian restoration planting program. It is nice to see some benefits like this so far.

New Generation of Rainbow Trout in the Bow River

    This summer, thousands of small rainbow trout entered the Bow River from the Jumpingpound Creek. The new generation of rainbows was a result of a successful spawn and egg hatch in the spring of 2016. It has been a few years since our last successful hatch on the JP Creek, so this recruitment event was good news for local fly fishers that fish this reach of the Bow River in Cochrane.

A Great Growing Season — So Far

    The spring planting season was a success this year and there is more planting planned for the fall. So far, a total of 7,830 plants are in the ground on all three streams in the program. Those streams are West Nose Creek, Nose Creek and Bighill Creek.

    The volunteer contribution is at 137 volunteer person hour, with a total of 28 people chipping in on the Bow Valley Riparian Recovery and Enhancement Program for 2017.

    This spring and early summer has provided ideal growing conditions for our crop of native willows and trees. Growth has been fast with a good survival rate.

    This will continue if we get adequate rain over the later part of the summer. If we don’t, the plants are close enough to the water’s edge that stream moisture will help.

    Another positive for this year’s crop is the fact that we haven’t had any major flood events on all three streams. Because the plants were not impacted by high flow situations for the first three months since they were planted, they were advanced enough by then to handle any minor flooding that may occur.

    Additional plantings will happen in October, before this year’s program is completed. Over 8,000 plants will be in the ground by the time the snow flies in our area.

A Mouth Full of Squirrel

Three Year’s of Growth Along The Stream Banks of West Nose

    In the first week of August, I inspected a reach of West Nose Creek that had been planted with native willows and trees in the 2015 Bow Valley Riparian Recovery and Enhancement Program. It was great to see how well the willows and trees

were fairing after three years of growth.

    The new plants were getting taller than the summer riparian grasses and they were draped over the water’s edge, which was the objective when we first planted them in the spring  of

2015. In another few years these plants will be providing the shade and cover habitat that is part of the overall plan for the program.

    A good growing season this year was evident in the tall new branches and thick foliage.

Above: This small stream brook trout fell for a favourite Bow River Streaming Wet Fly pattern. This turned out to be a pleasant surprise for the fly fisher — me.


Improved Water Quality


Stream Bank Stability


Cooler Water Temperatures


More Fish Habitat


Bio-Filtration of Surface Water Run-off


Removal of Silt in the Stream Channel


Reduce Silt Loading


Improve Invertebrate Habitat


Create Wildlife Habitat

Riparian Zone


Willow Planting Event on West Nose Creek, Calgary

If you live in or near Calgary and you would like to chip in and plant some native willows along West Nose Creek—Here is your chance. A volunteer planting is planned for Saturday, October 14th, starting at 9:00 AM. For more information, email: . I will send you maps for the location and details on what to bring. It should be a fun morning of planting for those interested.








In This Issue


September 2017 Issue