August 1-15, 2009
This year's 3rd annual trip to Fernie, British Columbia and the Elk river valley is now history. Jules McCann and myself had a wonderful two weeks fishing the area with our guests, catching lots of beautiful westslope cutthroat trout, along with some rainbows and bull trout, and sharing many good stories over late night beers and scotch.
This was also the year we saw a wide array of wildlfe. We saw more Elk this year than in all past years combined. We saw bighorn sheep, moose and calves, eagles, osprey, coyotes and deer. This is the first year that I did not see a bear, though our guest Andy Cappotelli had a large black bear pop out of the grass 15' away while he was tying a new fly on! Luckily the bear ignored Andy and went along it way across the river.
The weather this August was much more variable than in past years. We had 3 days where the temps never rose above the mid-fifties, with cloudy skies and scattered showers. Steelhead weather. Despite the cool weather, these days saw pretty good action, and excellent green drake and BWO hatches, especially on the smaller tributaries to the Elk. We also had some hot days--at least during the first week!
We got into some very nice bull trout swinging large streamers, and landed several 30" and larger fish. It doesn't get much better than catching 18-20" trout on dry flies and then 30" fish on streamers, all out of the same run!
Once again the guys and gals (thanks Paul, Braydon & Beckie) at Elk River Guiding Co. did a wonderful job of setting us up each day and getting us going in the right direction. The guests floated mostly with guide Darren Yuers, who always does a great job, but also floated with Steve Harris and Kevin Green, both excellent guides also.
We again stayed at the Alders, our comfortable 6 bedroom log home retreat for the week. Jacuzzi, sauna, several decks. . . . you get the picture. We're looking forward to next year.
Here's what our friend Sheila Ditullio had to say about this year's trip:
Hi Vince, Just want to thank you once again for the wonderful fishing trip in British Columbia. This is my 3rd trip to BC and they only get better. The Elk river is as majestic as ever and gives up big, beautiful cutts so generously and naturally - almost like it knows in advance we will always return these wild fish to their homes where they belong. I will never tire of the eagles that fly over the beautiful rivers, the Elk that cross the strong currents and the Canadien rockies that are all around us - God gives us a little heaven on earth in BC. So much of fishing is about faith and friendships. You and Jules were such wonderful hosts; I would watch you study the streams and then venture out - always believing there are fish somewhere in those waters full of slippery rocks and beautiful banks full of wild flowers. I vividly recall Jules giving me one of the best runs on the Elk while fishing one evening, so kind. I vividly recall fishing with you on the small streams and you always skipped perfect runs so when I walk behind you I could fish them first, so kind. Fishing is life; it involves deep friendships, patience, persistence, a sense of humor and learning. I will be forever grateful to you for introducing me to new waters and for teaching me to fish and so much more. The last line in all your e-mails and on your web site is "God does not deduct from a man's allotted time the hours spent fishing", that is so true. I believe God does not deduct from a man's allotted time spent fishing because that is when we are closest to God and nature and when He opens our eyes to many things including beautiful fish and beautiful country - to be still and know that I am God (one of my favorite passages in psalms) Thank you, Vince, for another wonderful trip. BC never gets old and the fishing and friendships only get better. Your friend,SHeila.
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