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Old 10-02-2017, 08:55 PM   #1
vtflyfish
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He's BAAACK...

The Manitoba Parkland was worth the trouble of going to. So was fishing with stillwater guru Phil Rowley, who organized the trip and clinic. He's been fishing the Parklands for 10 years. Every morning before fishing he put on a little seminar over breakfast. Some involved insects we don't have here like the massive backswimmers. Another considered leaders and properly rigging indicators. At the end of each day we traded notes. Very informal but an excellent learning environment.

The ponds are way spread out, an hour at least from where we were staying. Most were wooded, beautiful places. All were dark, rich and filled with food, ranging from fathead minnows (clouds of them, all 3/4" long) to backswimmers and boatmen to conventional things we'd recognize here.

One lake has a new species for me: tiger trout. They are exceedingly handsome, big, and fight like crazed beasts. Another had rainbows of huge proportions. That lake winter killed three years ago so the bow in the picture is only 2 1/2 years old. And then there are browns...

The rainbows and browns like to cruise the edges of the Thule reeds, vacuuming up any innocent creature that doesn't run and hide quickly enough. You can see the V-wake coming. This presented an interesting technical situation because your fly had to be exactly in their path. The key to success was using an indicator and putting an accurate cast 6" off the reeds before your fish came. A balanced bruised leech or ice minnow tied on a 60 degree hook worked like magic.

That magic came at a price: a large number of fish took the fly at speed and kept on going, snapping 2X tippet like it was sewing thread. Many fish and flies were lost this way. I've never seen anything quite like it.

Then there are the backswimmers. Several afternoons they took flight and fell awkwardly back into the water. The trout crushed them. Probably because they inflict a very nasty bite.

One of the true joys of the trip was the people. Truly friendly and welcoming, a joy to be around. The scenery surprised me. Yes, it's flat and in places you could watch your dog run away for two whole days. Other parts are forested and the whole area is a study in browns, golds and strong, raking light.

Would I go back? Yes. I'd jump at the chance.
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File Type: jpg Bow.jpg (134.6 KB, 282 views)
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Old 10-02-2017, 09:01 PM   #2
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It was so nice here when you were out there. You should go again! Tomorrow!
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Old 10-02-2017, 10:02 PM   #3
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So Tiger trout are the Manitoban equivalent of splake...?

Nice fish, looks like a good time. Surprised to see you in a jon boat.
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Old 10-03-2017, 09:12 AM   #4
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Beautiful fish.

Last edited by aft paddle; 10-03-2017 at 09:49 PM.. Reason: discretion
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Old 10-03-2017, 10:31 AM   #5
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Awesome! That area has long been on my radar, but mainly for tigers. I never really knew much about the bows and browns. that rainbow is FAT
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Old 10-03-2017, 11:28 AM   #6
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Awesome! That area has long been on my radar, but mainly for tigers. I never really knew much about the bows and browns. that rainbow is FAT
The rainbows have a mind boggling growth rate. The oldest fish in that lake are 2.5 years old and range from 22 to 25". Someone else in the group weighed a 24" fish and it was just over 7 lbs. It really doesn't matter how long or heavy they were. Even the 22" fish were tippet busting acrobats. Unlike rainbows I've caught elsewhere these guys didn't make long runs. Instead they stayed in close, surged and jumped. It was an effective strategy for them. Probably 25% broke off or got free. One of the contributors is Manitoba's barbless hook law (which I like). That said, I caught my fair share. I'll post some more rainbow pics tonight.
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Old 10-03-2017, 09:05 PM   #7
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So I read your post entirely without looking at the pics(wasn't signed in). And I'm glad I did, those monsters may have been to much of a distraction otherwise. Those are some amazing fish. Congratulations on what I'm sure was an EPIC trip. Sounds like the kind of place that should be on every trout fisherman's bucket list. Except for one thing. Where's the brookies? As we all know that is truly the best "trout".
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Old 10-03-2017, 09:06 PM   #8
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Welcome back VT! May I ask if your line selection was vastly different from our ADK ponds? Those lakes out West and in Canada look very nutrient-dense compared to our ponds. I'm thinking shallow water tactics work best.
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Old 10-03-2017, 09:56 PM   #9
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Welcome back VT! May I ask if your line selection was vastly different from our ADK ponds? Those lakes out West and in Canada look very nutrient-dense compared to our ponds. I'm thinking shallow water tactics work best.
You are right about the nutrient richness and shallow water tactics. I fished indicators using a floating line about 35% of the time which I never do around here (gonna try it though!). Most of the time I used a clear intermediate. I also played around with the washing line technique (full sink line, booby on the point, small fly up on the leader), which worked OK but dragged up weeds.

I have to say that the most fun was using the indicator with a balanced leech 2 feet down and cast into the lane of an approaching fish. Wait for it...Bam!
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Old 10-07-2017, 07:09 PM   #10
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A few more pics

Enjoy.
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Old 10-08-2017, 07:18 PM   #11
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Jeez VT!! Those are all slammers! Look as big as carp but are trout!! You must `ve been in Hog Heaven!!
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Old 10-08-2017, 09:09 PM   #12
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And for those wanting to follow the adventures of Ross, here's one from Wyoming yesterday, the Miracle Mile.
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Old 10-09-2017, 02:17 PM   #13
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Beautful fish. Do you really wear a white casting glove? You don't happen to be a Scottish Luthern minister do you?
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Old 10-09-2017, 04:23 PM   #14
vtflyfish
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Beautful fish. Do you really wear a white casting glove? You don't happen to be a Scottish Luthern minister do you?
No Scottish Lutheran here. That's just the glove I use to keep a firm grip on the fish for pictures.
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