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Eastslope Adventures, Alberta
by Ben Taylor

“Tom and I fished 5 days — July 25 to 29, 2011: The water was high while we were there, so we had to fish with nymphs and indicators, out of rubber rafts, but did get out to work certain pools.

On day #1 on the %#^ River, with clouds and rain, we hooked only a few fish (18 inch browns) on dry flies, and did not do much better day #2 (on the XYZ River) again because of the wind, rain, and clouds. Then, as the weather improved on day #3, two of us hooked 17. We only counted hooked fish, because they were so big and tough that we landed only a few of them, all over 20 inches. They are so strong and wild when hooked, that you can’t follow them down the river fast enough in the rafts that we floated in. And if you did, you would have to drift by a lot of good water, so we just hoped they would come back up river — and most did not.

On day #4, in two separate rafts, two of us hooked 40 fish, all rainbows. I got 24 of those with Cam. The average fish was easily over 20 inches, and on day #5, switching guides, we hooked 35. I was able to land 10 of 15, and except for two or three 16 to 18 inchers, they were all over 20 inches, and three were over 22 inches — and fat — and so strong — when hooked, they took off like bonefish!! The largest I landed weighed between 6 and 7 lbs. Tom hooked 20, and had one on for half an hour that he and Cam were sure was over 12, maybe 14 lbs. I had one on that took off and never stopped, not once, and took all my line and 200 feet of backing. Had to put the brakes on with about 10 feet of backing left and the hook pulled out. Did not have time to follow him, and if we did, we would have had to leave the pool, and we were at the take-out spot, too, so would have had to row back up against the current for an hour. As a result, I caught three more in the same pool.

Anyway, it was terrific, even though I would have liked a little more dry-fly action. It is a very fragile fishery, and could not take too much angling pressure. But it is fairly well protected for now — like Montana 50 years ago.”

Thanks for the report Ben!

Charles recently visited this fishery. Stay tuned for his trip report later this week!

Give Charles a call at 800-552-2729 if you’re interested in fishing for some of the largest and strongest rainbow trout you’ll ever see!