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Old 08-12-2020, 11:41 PM
Dielbo Dielbo is offline
Join Date: May 2020
Posts: 67
Default Central AB Creek Report (Prairie, Shunda, Hummingbird)

Spent a week camping near RMH and Nordegg and fished a lot the small creeks. They were all in great shape and I caught a lot of brookies.

Prairie Creek:

We camped at the PRA off of #752. The creek splits into tri buries Dry and Lick right there. It was tough bushwacking. So many fallen trees across the creeks. I was wet wading in shorts with my wading boots and my legs took a beating. Instead of laying out $50 for fly-fishing booties I bought a pair at MEC for $15 and they worked great. The stream was in great shape - water was clear. I started off trying some dry flies and had no luck. Same with a couple of nymphs. So I flipped some rocks and did an insect inspection. The creek was loaded with stonefly nymphs.

Stonefly Nymph https://imgur.com/gallery/RpYzl8m

I had a "Dirty Hipster" fly (with orange band just below the real thing) that was a perfect match. Caught a fish on my first cast and killed it all morning until I lost the fly to a tree that was too high for me to retrieve. I doctored another stonefly nymph (used a sharpie to darken it) that worked ok. Also caught some on #16 tan caddis pattern.

Next time I would work downstream more and try and target some browns. I didn't have a lot of time as my kids were swimming, dog was running in and out of creek, etc. Still a lovely little stream to fish. So many stoneflies! No browns were had but many beautiful Brookies were c&r.

Shunda Creek:

We camped at Upper Shunda Creek campground. I thought it was closer to creek but ended up being a 15 minute hike. The creek was gin clear, you could see everything. Required longer leader (11-12 ft) and a decent float. The choice of fly didn't seem to matter much. I caught smallish brookies on Adams, BWO, PDM, etc, all in the #18-20 range. Probably any midge in a small size would have worked.

Second time out with my boys we got hit by a wicked storm. Lightning, hail, torrential rain, etc - we hid under a tree until it became saturated and I sent my kids back on their bikes and I carried the rods. I got completely soaked.

I didn't really care for Shunda in this area. It was so small and clear with tiny brookies. Fun for the kids but not much challenge. It was also too long a walk from campground.

Hummingbird Creek:

We took a day trip on the FTR to Ram falls. Spectacular and there were some young guys who had hiked down and were fishing below the falls. Hope it worked out for them because that is a hell of a hike.

We looked at the North Ram but it didn't look too great. Kind of dirty and turned. We found some nice camping areas (for next time) on Hummingbird Creek (a tributary of the Ram River). It was the most picturesque spot - Hummingbird falls. I fished. Below the falls and couldn't get a cuttie to rise. As soon as I switched to nymphs, I found fish in every pool. I used a #18 Here's Ear and a #18 Copper John and hooked up a lot. It was beautiful and fun, will definitely go back.

I enjoyed the Prairie Creek campground the most. Lots of space and privacy. There were a ton of squirrels who tormented our dog. She was worn out by the time we left. The only bad experience was I sat in some sort of poison oak (or some such) when we hiked into the woods to do some shooting with my son's pellet gun, lol. It didn't seem busy and I never ran into anyone else fishing. Will definitely go back and maybe stay at Strachan so I can focus on more downstream fishing. Supplex pants would be a good idea if it's too hot for waders. I'll ha 've scars from wearing shorts. A Dirty Hipster #8-12 was the primo fly.

The Ram and Humming bird areas were kind of overrun by OHV's. So many and so much noise. Also garbage - everywhere. It was so tragic as it was startingly beautiful scenery. Like incredibly scenic. But I found junk everywhere - it was disheartening. All it takes are a few jerks to ruin it for e everyone. Might have to investigate further before next time to find areas that are OHV-free and maybe not busy.

Note: we rented a camper van and my kids camped in tents. The campervan was fantastic - a queen size bed, small fridge and a Coleman stove. The day it rained and hailed, it was nice to snuggle in bed and read books while it pounded down.

Never saw any bears, my spray stayed in the holster.

Ironically, I gave my boys a lecture on the dangers of falls like Ram and Hummingbird. At both there were people too close to the falls and swimming in what I thought were dangerous positions. When I heard the news today of the three deaths at Crescent Falls I was not surprised but still saddened. The problem seemed to be a lack of education - people were just wayto casual around the falls. I have Bronze Cross & Medallion (from a thousand years ago) but I would not wade into some of the spots I saw people in. There were kids frolicking in the pools a bove Hummingbird Falls, mere feet from falling into water over their head with considerable turbulence. Be careful out there lads.
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Old 08-13-2020, 07:22 AM
Bigwoodsman Bigwoodsman is offline
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: Edmonton
Posts: 6,796

Excellent and thorough report!

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Old 08-13-2020, 09:02 AM
trigger7mm trigger7mm is online now
Join Date: Apr 2010
Posts: 2,766
Default Central Alberta creek report

Great report! Thanks for that. We just were at nordegg last week. Fished a couple of beautiful creeks and caught some small cutties, but nothing really worth betting excited about. Where did you rent the camper van from?
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Old 08-13-2020, 12:22 PM
Dielbo Dielbo is offline
Join Date: May 2020
Posts: 67

Originally Posted by trigger7mm View Post
Where did you rent the camper van from?
From https://www.escapecampervans.com/campervans/big-sur/

The Big Sur is the only model in Canada. It's a modified Ford T-350. The paint jobs (well, wraps actually) are cool and you will be noticed. Funny, the most compliments were from the younger crowd (teens, early twenties) - gas jockey at RMH Co-op thought it was "kick ass," lol.
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