Leader to Tippet to Fly

One thing connects to another….

Leader to Tippet to Fly

Leader to Tippet to Fly - One thing connects to another….

Fishing the Manitoba Parkland

Our spring trip to the Manitoba Parkland region has come to an end.  What a trip it was.  Eight days of fishing for trophy trout.  Over that time we fished six different lakes:


  • Patterson Lake
  • Tokaryk Lake
  • Pybus Lake
  • Twin Lakes
  • Persse Lake
  • Gull Lake


The first five are associated with the FLIPPR program (Fish and Lake Improvement Program for the Parkland Region). FLIPPR focuses on the development and maintenance of a trophy trout fishery in the Manitoba Parkland region.

In its 12th year the program has many successes to point to and the region is slowly being discovered as a top North America still water fishery.  Gull Lake is a brook and rainbow trout lake in Duck Mountain Provincial Park.


The first four days as part of Fly Craft Angling’s Prowling the Parklands Stillwater Seminar.  Phil Rowley offers a great seminar that is a combination of teaching and fishing.










The teaching component focused on chironomid techniques and the fishing gave everyone lots of opportunity to practice. The accommodations at Arrow Lake Outfitters and Ranch work well for the way the seminar is set up.  This was our group’s second time around.  Phil along with cohosts Bob and Karen Vanderwater provide a great experience that is highly recommended for both first time and fishers returning to the Parkland.

For the last half of our trip we moved up to Roblin, closer to the western FLIPPR lakes – Twin Lakes and its healthy population of tiger trout and Persse Lake as well as lakes in Duck Mountain Provincial Park.  We based ourselves at the Harvest Moon Inn.  The Harvest Moon worked out great and Roblin itself offers a variety restaurants and services for fisherman.

The fishing over the course of the eight days was great.  Each of the lakes offered their own challenges and rewards although the rewards for a couple of them were harder to discover.  I’ll post again with more details about the fishing itself.  Here is a shot of a Tokaryk Rainbow.


Getting Ready!

In less than two weeks four of us are heading to the Manitoba Parklands for a week in search of behemoth trout.  The lure of large rainbow, brown and tiger trout is one that brings some people to the region year after year.  We made our first trip to the area last September with results that tempted us to make a return trip.

Here is a link to a blog post by Dave Jensen from a recent trip to the Parkland area.  As if we didn’t need more encouragement.

A Week Late and …..

Work has taken me to Iqaluit, Nunavut in the Canadian Arctic.  I took a short walk this afternoon to Sylvia Grinnell Territorial Park just outside town.  Here is the river by the same name.  Apparently it is a great place to fish for Arctic char.  But I am a little late.  Winter comes early and quickly.  Last week most of this ice was not here.  Maybe next time…

Winter Reading – A Growing Choice of Fly Fishing E-Zines

The sad reality in this neck of the woods is that local fly fishing is severely compromised at this time of year.   In some cases the season for legal fishing has closed or is close to being so. Even where it remains open, cold and ice are a major deterrent.  While steelhead are a possibility treks to the closest rivers are not insignificant so don’t happen as often as they might.

The net result is that we have moved into a season where dreaming/planning and fly tying have become the most significant  aspects of my fly fishing activity.

Blogs provide a great source of vicarious fishing sustenance but the other growing digital media that interests me is electronic magazines. Depending on your perspective you might not share my enthusiasm but from where I sit, they are definitely welcome – particularly during the hard water season.

I thought I would list some of the fishing e-zines that I have come across. The list seems to be growing every day so I am sure there are some great ones that I haven’t come across.

Catch Magazine – Because I like both fly fishing and photography, this is a favorite e-zine of mine.  Superior quality pictures and embedded video are the focus.

This Is Fly – One of the pioneers in the fly fishing e-zine world, this one probably caters first to a younger crowd but don’t hesitate to check it out even if you don’t think you fit that category.

Ten and Two – The Angler’s Journey – This magazine focuses on both fishing and the local culture.  The issue on fishing in Argentina had me hooked.

Streamside Canada – Local bias here but if you are looking for stories about Canadian fly fishing destinations, check this one out.

Rise Forms – A new arrival, this online magazine focuses on the literature surrounding fly fishing.  Poetry, fiction, artwork its all there.

Flyfishers Inc. – This one focuses primarily but not exclusively on New Zealand fly fishing – not a bad focus at all in my opinion!

Contemporary Sportsman – This one covers fly fishing as well as hunting sports.  The publisher is launching a new e-zine soon.  Called Backcast, it will focus on salt water fly fishing.

Several print magazines are introducing digital versions of their magazines to better serve their subscribers.  Among these are the following:

Fly Tyer Magazine – You can now subscribe to a digital version of this must have magazine for fly tyers.

Northwest Fly Fishing, Southeast Fly Fishing and Eastern Fly Fishing – This family of fly fishing magazines provides digital copies of back issues of the news stand magazines.

The Flyfish Journal – This is a relatively new print magazine.  The first two issues have had some great articles.  If your preference is digital, you can subscribe and have access to an electronic version.

I am pretty sure I have just scratched the surface of what is currently out there as far as digital fly fishing magazines are concerned.  And, no doubt more will emerge.

This collection will keep me going for a while but if you have others that you enjoy, share them.

Currents of Belize

I came across this video about fishing life in Belize.  I’ve never been but perhaps one day.  In the meantime, the story of this video gives a great insight into the people of Belize and their lives around the fish that attract so many to their country. The pressures of development are changing the people’s way of life – some for the good but not all. Hopefully a sustainable future will be found for the people who call Belize home.

Currents of Belize from McJ Digital on Vimeo.

Ausable River, West Branch

Last weekend we took a short trip to Lake Placid, NY. Coming from a fishing perspective, one of the best known features of the area is the Ausable River. Since this was not specifically a fishing trip, time on the water was limited. I did manage one early morning brown trout on the second day. The water was pretty high but falling. This week conditions should be great – typical.

West Branch Ausable River


Pennsylvania Road Trip

Last week we took a few days and headed down to Pennsylvania.  We had a couple objectives in mind – to experience steelhead fishing on the Lake Erie tributaries and second, to revisit Lancaster County with its prevalent Amish traditions.

The steelhead idea was more mine but my wife humored me.   This was all new to me and since this wasn’t specifically a fishing trip, I really wanted to see things for myself and maybe experience what it was like to catch a steelhead.

Thursday morning after breakfast we headed out from Erie to explore the creeks to the west of the city.  First stop was Walnut Creek – specifically the lower portion near the lake.  Since it was still early in the season, the water was relatively low and the fish had not advanced far upstream, the fishing was concentrated in this area.  Nothing like I had experienced before but somehow people seemed to make it work.

The few holes were well fished and after watching a few steelhead landed and more than a few lost, we continued on towards Elk Creek.

It was a little calmer in this area but that might have been related to the fact that the fishing, according to some was slower on the Elk.  After making not that this might be a spot where I could elbow in, we headed off to another spot on the Elk further upstream.

This was further upstream where the fishing didn’t seem to be as heavy but as we watched several fish were caught so evidently at least some steelhead had made it this far upstream.  I made another mental note to consider this spot for myself and did return here later in the afternoon.  I was able to work myself into a spot on the pool in the last photograph alongside a guy with spinning gear who evidently new how to fish.  I watched him land three nice steelhead in fairly rapid succession.  I chose to work a streamer through the area as the local fly shop owner had indicated they were working and this was a technique I could relate to.   Probably it was luck rather than my streamer experience but eventually I did hook into a steelhead and eventually land and release him.  It was probably in the 24 inch range but what a spectular looking fish and powerful.  Although I tried, there was no repeat and as the late afternoon wore on, I was becoming acutely aware that the layers of clothing I had applied were not sufficient to hold out the cold so I packed it in with the goal of returning the following morning.

Friday morning I was up before sunrise hoping to experience the pull of another steelhead before we headed southeast to Lancaster.  I arrived at the parking spot in the dark to find at least half a dozen vehicles ahead of me and most of their occupants were gone – presumably ahead of me to the river.  Oh well – I prepared as rapidly as I could and aside from tying a fly onto my line in the receding darkness, things went pretty smoothly.  I found a spot on the water amidst several other fisherman and although I saw one hook up shortly after sunrise, things were definately slower than the day before.  Slow for me meant no hits and no fish.  The morning fishing ended early.

Friday morning we headed down to Lancaster County for a few days.  Although I managed a couple hours fishing on the Tulpehocken River Saturday morning, the rest of the trip was touring and shopping.  The Tuplehocken is an interesting river.  It was late in the season but I found trout rising to Tricos but didn’t have any success in enticing them to bite.

Lancaster County is home to a large Amish population whose lifestyle is clearly evident as you tour the rural countryside. Sunday morning we toured the backgrounds looking for covered bridges and of course numbers horse and buggies.

Pine Grove covered bridge is the only double-span, double-arch bridge in the county.  It was first built in 1816 and then rebuilt in 1846 and 1884 after flood damage.

All together a great road trip.

More Newfoundland

I got around to processing a few more images of Newfoundland.

Cull Harbour was an interesting spot.  You got to it by a narrow bridge.

We spent an afternoon on a whale watching tour from Bay Bulls.  The whales didn’t disappoint.  We probably saw a dozen different whales in total.  They were in the Bay feeding on caplin and didn’t seem to put out by the boat.

Besides whales, we saw a lot of birds including these puffins.  The lack of a longer telephoto lens is evident.