The challenges and rewards of chasing Alberta’s brown trout on the fly


The author is regularly drawn to Alberta’s brown trout streams

It’s the last week of September and I really should be duck hunting. The flights of northern bluebills and canvasbacks are due to arrive any day, and typically I’d be scouting my favourite diver lakes and ensuring my boats, motors and decoys are ready to go. Instead, I’m chest-deep in an Alberta spring creek, swearing to myself as I try to extract my Turck Tarantula, once again, from an overhanging willow branch without going in over my waders. I’m not having any fun. Or maybe I am. It’s hard to know, and that conundrum is the very essence of my fly-fishing experiences with brown trout. Whatever the case, I’m fascinated with these challenging fish, and that alone is enough to continually lure me back to the Alberta streams they call home. Here’s why, and what I’ve learned in the process…