This season, Fly Fusion Magazine Editors Derek Bird and Jim McLennan find themselves deep in the backcountry of British Columbia’s Kootenay region. With fly rods in hand and grizzlies not far away, they explore stunning and remote locations for oversized cutthroat and bull trout, but the fish are not all they’re after. The series captures the experiences that make a fly-fishing trip more than just catching fish. Fly fishing connects the individual to others, to generations, to fish, and to environments.
Co-hosts Jim McLennan and Derek Bird team up with Paul Samycia of Elk River Guiding Company in search of Kootenay River bull trout. They face serious challenges as the early spring weather is anything but cooperative, but they eventually discover exactly what they originally desired to find: large bull trout hungry for deeply swung streamers.
With over 7 billion people on the planet, its difficult to find places where the water runs cold and clear and where the human footprint is nearly non-existent. Jim, Derek, and Paula (Fly Fusions social media editor) helicopter into one of these places, and what they find far exceeds their expectations. In fact, the fly fishing is so good they cant help but keep it a secret.
Deep in the Rocky Mountains, the Upper Elk River twists and turns and meanders before it eventually connects with a larger drainage. In its headwaters the trout are numerous and eagerly take well-presented dry flies. In this nostalgic episode, the cohosts float the small stream and are reminded few pastimes exist that rival the draw of fly fishing.
A long drive down backcountry logging roads places Jim, Derek and Paula (Fly Fusions social media editor) into a basin where no other soul exists. They travel the proverbial extra mile and find large trout that have not seen artificial flies in years. The eager trout make for stunning cinematography and an unforgettable day on the water.
In this episode the hosts cast both traditional patterns and oversized foam flies for westslope cutthroat on the St. Marys River, a picturesque freestone stream originating from the Columbia Mountain Range in southeastern British Columbia. During their float trip through large canyons and unique clay structures, they discuss some of the different stereotypes associated with fly anglers.
For fly anglers its becoming increasingly difficult to find pristine and unpopulated rivers. In this episode, Jim and Derek explore a river where they catch large rainbows and bull trout and where the only other anglers on the stream that day are the grizzly bears.
The Horsefly River is one of British Columbias gems. Its got all the right ingredients to earn this status: deep runs, perfect riffles, log jamsand fish. The stream draws large, hard fighting rainbows from Quesnel Lake at specific times of the year. On this autumn float trip, Jim and Derek find some of these rainbows and also a few other surprises in some of the deeper water.
This episode features a unique hybrid between lake fishing and river fishing. Fly Fusion TV hosts, Jim McLennan and Derek Bird, fish the creek and river mouths that run into one of North Americas largest fjord lakes. The sockeye cycle draws them there, but theyre not fishing for the salmon that have traveled over 500 miles to spawn in the glacial streams feeding the lake. Theyre there to take advantage of the wild rainbow trout that rely on the spawning salmon as a food source.
The Blackwater River in British Columbias Cariboo region features a unique strain of rainbow famous for their aggressive feeding behavior. The trout in the river system are wild, but because of their characteristics, the strain is used to stock lakes throughout the province. In this episode, Derek Bird and April Vokey (Fly Fusions steelhead editor), travel deep into the Cariboo backcountry in hopes theyll be successful in presenting dries to eager trout.
As the Quesnel River runs through the Cariboo region, its comparable to Jekyll and Hyde. The river that leaves the lake is slow and meanderingits a forgiving stream. If a fly angler misplaces a fly while casting from the drift boat, theres time to pick up and hit the water again. After a few kilometers, the river transforms into a powerful and erosive agent moving quickly through the sparsely inhabited region. In this episode Jim and Derek have to adjust their angling tactics in order to successfully fool the strong resident rainbows.
In this episode Jim and Derek explore sections of the Cariboo River in Watermasters. Though the river is a high volume stream, there are sections where rock outcrops provide a break in the flow, creating a trout sanctuary. Because of the fast flowing nature of the river, the wild rainbows are strong and readily take nymphs and dries.
In this episode Fly Fusion Magazine editors Derek Bird and Jim McLennan pursue some of western Canadas most treasured troutBow River rainbows. For Jim this is his home water. Hes fished and guided on the river for a good portion of his life, so he makes the task of locating large trout look effortless. Derek, on the other hand, ends up botching a few takes before finds himself in step with the rivers cadence.
Fly Fusion Magazine editors Derek Bird and Jim McLennan look for as much information as they can find on a remote section of river and find nothing, which is exactly what they hoped to find. In this episode the hosts explore a Rocky Mountain drainage that holds cutthroat and bull trout, and both are eager to take a well-placed dry.
Fly Fusion Magazine editors Derek Bird and Jim McLennan show up at one of Jims favorite stretches of river just as major windstorm blows down the valley. They set up the rods in hopes that the wind will push terrestrials onto the water. When the wind finally dies down, their persistence is rewarded with a number of spectacular trout.
Fly Fusion Magazine editors Derek Bird and Jim McLennan plan to fish a well-known stream, but due to fire closures, they end up high in the Rockies on a small lake at the base of a towering peak. This episode features a spectacular ride into a place where the hosts experience spectacular fishing. This is one of those experiences where plan B makes a person forget there was any other plan.
Fly Fusion Magazine editors Derek Bird and Jim McLennan take a chopper ride over one of Canadas most jaw-dropping landscapes on a journey into a secluded trout stream. Amidst the backdrop of large waterfalls and steep canyon walls, they find eager trout willing to take dries.
In this highly visual episode, Fly Fusion Magazine editors Derek Bird and Jim McLennan take time to talk to each other about the most memorable events on their trip to Alberta. Enjoy this behind the scenes episode where the hosts discuss the big rainbows they caught on the Bow River, challenging presentations to difficult trout in high mountain streams, and the unforgettable Rocky Mountain backdrop they experienced from a chopper.