Cypress Hills and the Missouri River

Discussion in 'Trip Reports with Pics' started by nomlasder, Jun 4, 2006.

  1. nomlasder

    nomlasder Active Member

    Nov 30, 2003
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    Just got back from a great week with visit to Elkwater Alberta and a couple of private lakes on the west end of Cypress Hills. David K and I went to a seminar put on by Brent Schlenker with Brian Chan, Phil Rowley and Denny Richards. A great bunch of guys, with a ton of experience.

    As usuall for us, the weather didn't cooperate, but so what. Windy, rain and unseasonaly cold. The fish in Cooper Lake never did turn on, even though the water temp was 59. With over one hundred rod hours, only two fish were caught. Anderson Lake was very productive, and even let me cacth a fish or two. Red and green chironomids about 1 inch long were the flavor of the day but maroon seal-buggers had a good show also. It's funny, with all the line technology, sink rates etc, thier prefered method was bobber fishing. Simply suspend weighted bugs, a specified distance, in this case 9', and wait for the magic.

    Most of the fish in Anderson Lake were 5 to 8 lbs but with some larger. On our last trip around the lake, David hooked on for about 8 seconds as it hit so hard and ran off prependicular to his line and broke off 2x like it was nothing. It reminded me of how a Silver hits. WOW.

    Monday was a travel day, and we went to the Missouri River around Craig. Flow controlled, it was as the fly shop described, a very large spring creek. The first couple of days was mostly nymphing and discovering what patterns worked the best. Size 18 and 20 caddis and mayfly nymphs. The third day was a bummer as the water level dropped a foot and was 10 deg hotter than the previous days so the fish just seamed to shut down. Late in the evening, sundown, the caddis came out in huge numbers. Spent a good deal of time trying not to spook big fish feeding in slack water, with moderate success but a lot of fun. Splash an oar, and send some ripples accross the water and you would send them down for 15 minutes. Patience, stealth, 12 ft leaders with caddis emergers, and of course beer for the waiting time, landed a couple nice bows.

    The last day we mixed it up a bit, just see what might work. The most productive nymph turned out to be size 16 bead head copper john tied in red and dry was of course a size 18 caddis. The surprize was the seal bugger in maroon and orange fished deep through back water. If we had been more successful, this may have produced some of the larger fish as we were broken off very quick with 4x several times fishing with the buggers.

    We only took a few pics as the fish were very tough to revive so we got them back in as soon a s possible. Average Bow was 15" to 18" and same for the browns. We did spend almost an hour trying to get a big brown (over 2')feeding but never got him. I guess that's why he got big.

    Plenty of walk in spots for those without a boat, and there are no suprizes on the river so pontoons would also be a good choice. If you get a chance, its a good fishery, with pleny of opportunities.

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  2. chadk

    chadk Be the guide...

    May 10, 2004
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    Snohomish, WA.
    "Most of the fish in Anderson Lake were 5 to 8 lbs but with some larger. "

    Dang, sorry to hear you had such a crummy time ;)