With so many teams booking in early, and so much interest being shown in the 5th NFFC, the Grande Prairie local organizing committee and FFC have agreed to raise the maximum number of competitors/teams from 60/12 to 80/16.
I recently wrote to Jim Epp, president of the Peace Country Fly Fishers, and asked if he could offer any words of advice about lake fly patterns for the fall period. In his reply Jim wrote:
"As this event is going to be held in the fall, most of the major hatches will be over and the fish should be feeding well on just about anything put before them.
"Moonshine and Kakut are shallow, nutrient rich and quite hard, so they support good quantities of scuds, as well as the usual insects. If we don't have much cool weather, visibility can be a factor. Generally, going small isn't necessary, though we could have a good hatch of small chironomids as they hatch from ice-out to ice-up.
"Spring is a little different. It is a smallish but deep bowl-shaped lake with a very narrow littoral zone, so insect life isn't prolific. What bug zone there is, though, is very good. It has tremendous hatches along the shoreline in the warmer months, as well as some deep-water chironomids. This lake has a good population of five-spine sticklebacks and the trout feed heavily on them, particularly the bigger fish. If we have an early and cool fall we might see the weird "backward" water boatman hatch. I know all of the books say this is a spring thing, but I have run into this hatch too often in the late fall. This lake is the clearest of them all and sometimes you have to fish pretty fine. A real pain when they're on the sticklebacks.
"I wouldn't leave my attractor patterns at home, either. On all of these lakes the craziest flies are sometimes the real deal. Woolly Buggers, Doc Spratley, etc. all have their day. We have a long winter here and the fly tier's imagination sometimes goes over the edge."
So there you go -- get tying....