Well we have had a pleasantly mild start to March despite the cold front moving in temporarily. We especially enjoy April as the month where Alberta starts to truly warm up. Water conditions are low and clear as usual for this time of year, and are warming up slightly as we move towards spring. Fish will still be in slower and deeper runs and holes however making nymphs and streamers the name of the game most days. Calgary streets and neighborhoods have lots of snow on the ground so as warm days approach, expect the banks below storm-water outlets to be very dirty.
The sun can certainly bring about healthy midge hatches but we still aren’t seeing predictable numbers of fish rising. If you do happen to have a dry setup with you keep a sharp eye out for consistent risers. Mother’s day is a ways off but it heralds the first of our major seasonal hatches. You can be sure however that the river is full of healthy size 14 cased caddis feeding steadily. Try an olive or dark toned caddis pupa fished close to the bottom. Bloodworm or dark chironomid patterns can also be very effective and are a good partner with caddis on a tandem rig. With clear water this time of year give brighter streamers a try. Light olive or white patterns can be very good but remember that it is still too cold to expect fish to chase food at high speed or over long distances. Look for slow moving runs where the fly will swing at a slower walking pace.
Dry Flies – Ritt's ARF Midge Adultz size 18 to 20, Theo's Melting Pot Midge size 18 to 20
Nymphs – Wired Caddis Olive size 14 to 16, Howell’s Shuck It Jigs Olive size 14 to 16.
Chironomid Frostbite Pupa size 18.
Streamers – Galloup’s Mini Dungeons White size 6, McCune’s Sculpin Tan size 6.