On my most memorable day I didn't catch one fish. In July
I was staying at a B&B up in Beaver Mines and (on the
second or third day) I was introduced to two 28-year-old
women who had just traveled there to take a one-day fly
fishing course from the folks at Crowsnest Angler.
One lady (DL) was from Edmonton and the other (LP) was
from Brazil ... a visiting scientist working with sheep
reproduction in Red Deer for the summer. The shop had
matched them up so they could drive down to the Crowsnest
Pass in one car.
They were both stunningly beautiful ... imagine Andy McDowell
and The Grrrrrrl from Ipanema (who could also play great Bob
Marley on acoustic guitar and naturally 'cover' his stuff in
Portuguese) ... and the next morning (as they were heading off
to school and I was heading off to the Castle River) they asked
me if I'd like to join them for supper that evening up in The
Hmmm ... gotta check the Palm Pilot ... let me see if I can fit that in.
It was a great evening at the best restaurant in The Pass.
The ladies were scheduled to leave the next morning. But...
they hadn't actually been "on the water" at the school and,
although DL (with the car) had to be back in Edmonton ...
LP did not.
We hatched a plan ... LP would go fishing with me the next
day and stay one more night at the B&B and then fish the
next morning for a bit until I loaded her onto a Greyhound
(back to Red Deer) in the afternoon.
The B&B was booked solid for that extra night, but our hosts
graciously arranged a sleeping area in the surgically-clean
main-floor laundry area and on the last morning (as always)
they fed LP and the rest of us like royalty...and LP's breakfast
was quietly "comped!"
Where to take her for that first full day? Hmm ... a few days
earlier I had been on a day-hike with several nice folks from
the Castle-Crown Wilderness Coalition, and on the drive back
down the valley, the hike organizer (a very-knowledgeable
local guy from Beaver Mines) pointed out a barely-visible
trail leading off the gravel road.
"It'll get you to a beautiful and empty section of the river," says he.
(The West Castle ... strictly Catch & Release)
Fine by me.
He was right. The trail was built/modified to be walkable-only,
and the riverbank was pristine and empty. My new friend and I
spent a magical day on about 2km of the river and I got to see
her hook and land her first trout (a fine 12" rainbow) on a fly.
On the last morning we fished the Crowsnest (where that big
evergreen leans over the picture-perfect pool) and caught
No matter...nothing could have matched that quiet
first day/first fish (for my new friend) on the West Castle.
Big hugs at the Greyhound Bus Depot (if I could call it a
depot) in Pincher Creek... and on impulse I gave her my
We still e-mail each other. ~ Ron in Winnipeg