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Fishing captured my interest early in life.

As a farm kid in northern Alberta I would sneak down the dirt trail leading to Wandering River which was frequented by pike. I used a twelve-foot pole with an equal amount of line and in the springtime resorted to wire snares which were illegally legal! The introduction of spinning reels created a more effective way to hook pike, walleye and perch in the many lakes of Lac la Biche.

Annual salmon-fishing expeditions to British Columbia resulted in countless appetizing fish feasts enjoyed, a life-time of memorable friendships developed, breathtaking scenery relished, and successful new fishing techniques acquired.

Fly-fishing came later. While visiting with my friend Peter, in Merritt, British Columbia, I couldn't help but notice his keen sense of excitement whenever fly-fishing was mentioned. Watching him tie flies and listening to his story of catching Wally, a huge steelhead, on a fly in the Thompson River, sold me on the use of long, slim, delicate fishing rods. A cover photograph in a famous fishing magazine, was proof of his success story.

Alberta, with its thousands of miles of clear meandering rivers and streams, is the perfect destination for serious fly-fishing. At a Calgary Sportsman's Show, I met a young man named Kurt, who kindly offered to escort me to some of this province's best streams and I owe much to him for my present enjoyment of fly-fishing. We still travel and fish together whenever work and family permit. Hiking along peaceful, welcoming water-ways has also provided the exercise I need to restore and maintain my physical health and strength. Since taking early retirement I've endeavoured to become an amateur entomologist, studying stream insect life. As a result I have been known to hide in my fly room for hours at a time, tying flies and pondering over fish hide-a-ways which I'd love to visit in the next 100 years.

Fishing is a game of rewards, whether you are lured by the whisper of a rippling pool, or the excitement of competition. One of my goals for 2001 was to catch and release 1000 trout. I came very close to reaching that number when I included the fish caught by my clients. A day netting one hundred fish hasn't yet materialized, so that challenge is being carried over.

Guiding clients along local streams is sheer enjoyment! Enthusiasts from overseas, the States, across Canada, and local areas, all exhibit the same exciting response as each fish transmits its energy through line and rod. Teaching fly-casting to those with new interest in this growing sport is equally enjoyable.

Teen-age sisters, when asked how they would summarize their first attempt at fly-casting, responded, "It's a real art!" I heartily agree that fly-fishing is a continual learning process requiring physical skills, talents and mental abilities from which one can receive positive and rewarding experiences on every trip.

Others can't seem to get enough of the breathtaking scenery waiting to be discovered in our foothills and mountains. Still others look forward to spending their off-days relaxing bank-side or seriously endeavouring to out-wit the numerous trout which frequent the riffles, runs and pools.

One of the best ways to have a successful fishing trip in a new area is to hire a guide who has knowledge and expertise. As your guide, I am familiar with weather patterns, water temperature, vegetation growth, and where the fish are. I look forward to guiding many more adventuresome guests into the world of fly-fishing at its best in our inviting Alberta streams.


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