Schmap

Note And Photo From :- Kelowna Trout Angler.

Schmap.

If you are in Calgary or going there, then take a look at the attached links.

 From The Watersedge  have been chosen to submit one of our pictures to the mapping service. So take a look at our picture of the Deveonian Gardens. It can be found at the following web page and can also be found via a mobile phone connection at the second link.

http://www.schmap.com/calgary/sights_zoos/p=34947/i=34947_24.jpg

also if you use a mobile phone.

http://www.schmap.com/?m=iphone#uid=calgary&sid=sights_zoos&p=34947&i=34947_24

Thank you to those at Schmap who voted for us.

Sturgeon Rising.

You set out for a sturgeon fishing session with high expectation. 

 The rods are powerful, the reels large and the line tends to be about 130 lb breaking strain.  On your first trip you have little idea of what to expect. You’ve seen the pictures and have read the articles by the lucky few that have been on the trip. You sit and soak up the scenery hoping that your rod tip will bend towards the surface of the water as a sturgeon takes hold and runs with the bait.  Often the rod tip bounces delicately and then moves steadily for a short distance.  This is the time to strike!  As the fish powers away you start to get a feel of the size of the thing which is attached to your line.  Pumping and pulling eventually brings to the surface a creature of prehistory in all it’s glory.

Sturgeon

It’s an amazing sight and at that moment all tiredness disappears from your body as you are now faced with the problem of how this fish is going to fit in your arms for a photo shoot.

A good guide should be there to help and advise. Take a look at Steve Kaye’s site.

http://www.sturgeonhunter.com/

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Cold Cruise

I am always amazed at the way these cruise ships sit on the water.  I understand the theory of bouyancy and what’s going on, but if you take out the Physics, then you must feel a sense of amazement.  It looks like a reverse of the iceberg principle with more of the ship above the water than below it.

This particular ship was edgeing it’s way through the channels between the mainland and Vancouver Island. I hope the passengers on board had taken time to spot the Orcas as they rose around the vessel.  I was travelling along in yacht, made of concrete, hoping for enough wind to sail rather than use the engine. The guide who owned the boat was a specialist in whale photography and he recounted the tale that Orcas had been spotted "surfing" the wake from the propeller of these ocean going cruisers.

Presumably they are catching something in the wash, but it is much nicer to think that they like swimming behind these large ships just for fun.

Cold Cruise

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Getting Ready.

The Fraser River, BC, Canada.

Leaving early one morning, I pulled off the lane, down to the edge of the shingle. I was amazed at the sight of about 200 trucks and campers all positioned so that they could fish off the beach for the salmon.

This is salmon fishing on the Fraser at the height of the season.

Bar Fishing On The Fraser River

 It’s busy, you hope for a good run of fish and that you don’t get caught in another fisherman’s line.  Most of the time the anglers on the bank were using beach style techniques with the odd person spinning. In the distance you can see one of the many boats used by the guides, or the regulars, who seek to avoid the crush of close quarters fishing.

Luckily Steve, the guide, and I were heading further upstream for a morning session fishing for salmon.  The rest of the day was to be spent pursuing sturgeon. For those seeking a little more peace it is always possible to find another spot away from the crowd.

Take a look at Steve’s web site and see some of the fish which the Fraser can produce when you are in the company of someone who has a good feel for the water and has the relevent tackle and techniques.

http://www.sturgeonhunter.com/

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Rocky Mountaineer.

Note And Photos From :- Kelowna Trout Angler.

Rocky Mountaineer.

I have a fascination with trains and my first job in England involved an intimate working relationship with British Rail. The Rocky Mountaineer was a train which we had always wanted to travel on, and for many years we visited the travel agents in England and dreamed. Now our time had come and the dream was to be excorcised. There is a great choice of where to join the train, and options as to which carriages to travel in.  As this was to be a ‘once in a lifetime trip’ we decided to travel ‘Gold Leaf’ and join the train in Calgary, travelling through the Rockies to Kamloops for an overnight stop and then on through the Fraser Canyon to Vancouver.  Riding in one of the glass domed carriages we had fantastic views of the surrounding mountains and forests, and the staff were wonderful.  They kept us well informed during the whole journey and quickly alerted us to any wildlife along the way. The food was exceptional. Bison steaks, salmon and various other delicacies were eaten with great enjoyment.

The line takes you along the banks of the Fraser River, sometimes crossing valleys on tressles with sheer drops either side of the rail.

Rocky Mountaineer

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St. Leonards Sea Front

Note And Photos From :- Kelowna Trout Angler.

St. Leonards Sea Front.

When in England I feel compelled to visit the seaside at every opportunity. Usually inclement weather fascinates me more than at any other time. Sun, sea and sand is often raised as the reason for any coastal visit, but for me the rough weather is the draw. If you live near the coast then naturally you want the sea to be calm, with small ripples for waves breaking on the shore, be it sand or shingle. However you miss a great deal of the power and majesty of the sea by only venturing out in good weather.

Away in the distance there is Rye Harbour covered by cloud and the great shingle bank that runs out to Dungeness.

I took this shot about 2 pm on a blustery April day at St. Leonards-on-Sea, Sussex, England. This particular spot holds a memory of storms nearly 30 years ago when I would come down to this railing and tie my sea rod to a rail. The wind would howl as my neighbour and I would cast out into the rough water. That little beach you can just see is normally 60m wide, but when the storms come and there is a high tide, the waves come right to the promenade wall.

St Leonards Sea Front

We made the journey to St. Leonards and decided that we would fish through the high tide. The wind, rain and spray didn’t worry us because there was a shelter on the pavement where we used to spend our time.  I don’t think our catches were spectacular or merited the time spent, but the sights, smell and the noise of the sea – now that’s a different matter. Well worth the trip. The atmosphere was further enhanced if we fished at night, then the phosphoresence was something to see and the whole scene would get extra illumiination from the promenade street lights.

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Waves

Note And Photos From :- Kelowna Trout Angler.

Waves.

Sun in the blue sky and air temperature of about 29C. This was an early morning fishing trip on the Okanagan lake. Usually the morning sees a calm water surface, but this state should not be taken for granted. When fishing you need to keep a watchful eye towards the mountains in the background.

Waves

Trolling at a speed of approximately 2mph, with such surroundings, lulls you into a false sense of security. The wind can rise from the area toward the left of the picture and gusts can reach 18 to 20 knots with waves which are short in wavelength and often changing in direction.  This can happen in about 10 to 15 minutes.

Enough of the gloom – sit back and imagine yourself travelling in the boat and looking back at this view and being mesmerised by the waves generated by the propellor.

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Hell’s Gate.

Note And Photos From :- Kelowna Trout Angler.

Hell’s Gate.

The mighty Hell’s Gate in British Columbia, Canada. It’s on the Fraser river and is a most spectacular sight. As you stand in the car park you have no idea of the scale of what you are about to explore. The tourists leave the buses and step onto the tarmac, chattering in groups and posing for pictures. The entrance to the ticket booth is very un-assuming, as all entrances should be. The gift shop should never take emotion from the spectacle to be seen.

Tickets purchased and through the turn style you start to get a sense of what awaits you as you look across at the mountain opposite. Logic and a lighter wallet tells you there is a magnificant sight to be seen below. Gradually the line shortens and your approach is monitored as you get into the cable car, which is going to descend and cross the river, taking you to the viewing platforms on the other side of the gorge.

Air tram

Doors are closed, the guide pushes the button and you’re off. Down you go, looking at the safety of the booth you have just left and suddenly there’s a view of the river.

Hell's Gate

 It’s a lot wider upstream of where you are and there seems to be a great deal of turbulence below.

Hell's Gate

 Looking away downstream, you know the river is much wider, but here at the Gate the river is squeezed and the Fraser is constrained to a narrow channel.

Downstream

The statistics of Hell’s Gate are somewhat staggering in themselves. At this point the river is only 35m (110 ft ) wide and the river flows at a rate of between 350 to 15,000 cubic metres per second. What we see now resulted from an accident in 1913 when the Canadian railway blasted it’s way through the Fraser Canyon.

The Train

There was a rock slide and the spectacular result is history.  There have been huge floods since that time, with the largest in the late 1940’s, giving depths of several hundred feet and destroying the bridge and airtram.

Hell's Gate Bridge

While you stand on the bridge and look down at the river give some thought to the salmon that negotiate this passage. They leave the sea at Vancouver and start a journey which may cover 1100 km in their search for their spawning grounds. The lower Fraser may not be easy, but  this spot?. When the landslip occurred it did substantial damage to the annual return of salmon. Some say salmon runs are still only 90 % successful, even today, but that’s a topic for another time. To be fair, there is constant monitoring and work is in progress to mitigate the damage. There is a fish pass, which dramatically reduces the river speed and enables the salmon a safer passage past the spot.

Hell's Gate Fish Pass

 Many words have been written about the Fraser river and the Fraser Canyon and I can do little more than direct the reader to books on the history of the area. It makes challenging reading and gives great insight to both nature and to human endeavour.

Since writing this article I have met a small group of kayakers who have actually paddled down this part of the Fraser river.  I think they’re crazy !!!  I’m also led to believe that you can try and run the river on an inflatable raft.

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Avons.

Note And Photo From :- Kelowna Trout Angler.

Avons.

The old name of Avon has been used across the spectrum, ie a boy’s name, cars, tyres, cosmetics and UK counties.  For me the name Avon is associated with rivers, fishing rods and floats.

 This is not to be a history or open discussion of rods only a few ramblings. I say this because the web is littered with heated debate about one thing or another and this is not the place – only gentle musings of what was, is and perhaps may be.

There have been some notable Avon rods in the past and they start with split cane.

There was the Wallis Wizard, a rod made famous by F.W.K. Wallis. I believe he was the Mayor of Nottingham at one time.  His name has been synonymous with the rod, a particular style of casting, the Hampshire Avon and one time record holder for the barbel. A fish caught from the Royalty fishery at Christchurch, Hampshire, England.

Any discussion of cane rods will usually bring in the Wallis rod and the debate may become heated. There is a spectrum of opinion from the devotees who almost feel that they have discovered the ‘Holy Grail’ of coarse fishing rods. There wil be those who use a glass fibre equivalent of the rod and then there is the efficient, computer designed carbon rod.

Where you sit at the table will be determined by your sensibilities. The old cane avon is a beautiful piece of cane to behold and to use. It feels right as you sit in the reeds on a mild summer evening waiting for the float to disappear. I don’t believe it to be as efficient as some would have you believe. There you go – controversy already.

I have had the pleasure of using the Wallis Wizard rods from both Hardy’s and Allcocks and those used by some noteable anglers, but for me the magic ends when I put the rod down. It is not the thing I seek. Many years ago I enjoyed many fishing trips with an angler that used to fish with Wallis on the Hampshire Avon.

The late Claude Taylor wanted his Wallis rod renovated and I was honoured with the task. He always said he would try the rod again and use his old Hardy Wallis reel. There is a picture of Claude in an excellent book by Peter Wheat, and he gets a mention in John Bailey’s book. Claude, however, was a good technical angler for all species and he gave me many insights into the minds of barbel anglers of the period, in particular, his days with Wallis and tea on the banks of the Avon.

 However, Claude wanted me to use the newer Hardy glass Avon which he regarded as a much better rod for all types of fishing. Often we would sit under some old trees and float fish together for carp using the Hardy Avon and goose quill floats. At that time Claude’s sight was good, but as it failed I modified his floats with big sight bobs so we could still fish.

I digress, such is the tide of memory. Claude taught me the Wallis Cast using the centre-pin reel on the Avon rod and to this day I still use the centre-pin and Avon rod ( albeit in carbon ).

The Wallis Avon was a good rod to use at the time, but in many ways the efficiency improved with the Richard Walker Avon rods. Again they were split cane. The Avon rods were the softer rods of the MK IV stable which gave us a set of serious specimen rods covering carp down to tench, roach and chub etc. The Avon styles heralded the birth of the generation of specimen angling. You can argue whether you agree or disagree, but this is not a forum, only a light hearted mention. The historical perspective can be sort elsewhere, although I welcome anyone who has knowledge that may be put on the site with any pictures that they might like to share. As with all cane rods there were different companies producing the rods, or you could buy the blanks and make up the rod to your style. There was also that breed of skilled artisans who would follow the writings and make their own rods in their sheds. I tried many of these home made rods and the attempts were always a joy to behold.

I think the coming of glass rods spelled the end of an era, although cane is not totally dead, only in the mass market. Maybe that’s a pity. Glass Avon rods were produced at 10′ and 11′ lengths and endorsed by many celebrities. I still have a fondness for both my cane and glass Avons. Mainly because I recall days spent in good company on silent pools or meandering streams in search of fish. Each rod has an associated fish which lingers in the mind.

Fibre glass went through the solid and hollow phase with varying degrees of success, but there was the talk of lighter materials having been developed. Carbon, boron, kevlar etc., were all names in the air.

Carbon fibre finally came and we moved into an emotive age of rod manufacture and use. It seems the old skills had gone and been replaced with the "easily" made carbon rods. This was to deny the great skill and knowledge of the scientists and mathematicians who develop such rods and the engineers who design the actual machines for testing and mass production. There were and are, some excellent rods made with many of these companies engaged in space or tube technologies, even car racing.

As you can see there is great scope for emotive debate on the merits of all these rods. Not here. We only seek to peek through the door. There are sites where the debate rages and you can air your view point. Me, I’ll go fishing and be by the waters edge, sometimes using a rod from each of the stables, and I will be transported back to some English water where I sought a particular fish and the emotion of that time, place and moment will be enough.

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A Seaside Town.

Note And Photo :- Kelowna Trout Angler.

A Seaside Town.

I make no apologies for showing pictures of the seaside. It’s a topic that I love. It’s the smell of the sea, the noise of the waves upon the shore and that raw power which always enthralls me.

Standing at the watersedge thinking of far away places and trying to imagine what it would be like to sail for a new life on some distant continent or fishing from a small boat in a large sea. All challenges which I doubt I will ever tackle.

 Bognor, West Sussex, England.

Bognor

I know the sky is over cast and I do not intend to be critical of Bognor, I love it.

Those of you who know the area will have a mixture of feelings. Some may find the area depressing and others love the place. For me it has everything the seaside town has to offer and more in the surrounding area. A good place to stay and use as a base for the exploration of Sussex.

The picture shows a sign in the distance for bathers and although I have chosen a cold and dour day, come here when the sun shines and the weather is warm. You will begin to understand why people live near the sea and once it’s in your blood you can never live far away from it’s sights and sounds.

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