Fishing in the Hinton/Jasper area is an excellent way to make sure you have a great day. Here is an account of just one of the many great days that I have enjoyed fishing the Eastern Slopes.
Our morning started early. When I pulled up to Richard’s hotel at 6am, he was already waiting outside (you just gotta like that!) Within minutes I could tell this guy was pumped to try some fly fishing. He explained that although he had fished all of his life, he had never had the opportunity to fly fish and was so excited about it he didn’t get much sleep. ( I didn’t mention that the same thing happens to me before a fishing trip.) So off we were on our adventure, heading south of town to a little lake called Sparrow Lake. This lake can be a hot little fishing hole at times. Hopefully this would be one of those times. The ride out was enjoyable with some excellent conversation and several stops so that Richard could snap a few pictures of the local wildlife. We saw a cow and calf, moose, elk and several whitetails. We also saw a big ‘ol porcupine that is probably now the most photographed porcupine that ever lived. Richard had never seen one before and was quite amazed that such a strange animal existed.
The drive passed by almost too quickly when we arrived at the lake. I launched the freighter and we were fishing. I think Richard had watched a whole lot of videos, because I have never seen anyone get the hang of casting a fly so easily. Not that it’s all that hard to learn, but it was literally 5 minutes and he was yelling “Fish on!”. We spent the next few hours casting and catching a fair number of smallish sized trout, which produced a whole lot of “YEE HAWING!”, and comments about the size of the shoulders on these fish. As always I was having as much fun as Richard was. It’s always enjoyable to watch the surprise on a persons face. The first time they feel that burst of power that a trout sends up a 4wt fly rod. (I think he’s hooked.)
Well hunger caught up to us about noon so we put in for a shore lunch. Fresh fish over an open fire. It doesn’t get much better that that. After lunch Richard went down and snapped a few scenery pictures and then we were back at it again. At this point my new friend decided he wanted to catch a lunker. Well this didn’t turn out to be as easy as it sounded. We must have tried 20 different patterns before we enticed a fat boy up for the hit. But when Richard set the hook on this fish, you could see it was well worth the effort.
I was urging him to keep his rod up, palm the reel, let him run, don’t horse him, all of which I know he didn’t even hear. It didn’t matter anyway. He landed that fish after some truly amazing runs.
I snapped a photo with the tape measure on the fish so he could have it mounted, and Richard released it so it could be caught another day.
The rest of the day was spent trying to catch that fish’s dad but in the end it was not to be. (That’s fishing)
We finished the day with a few more small trout and then headed back north to Hinton. Although we never did get one of the truly monstrous fish that live somewhere in this lake, it was as it always is, a great day fishing!