I remember being a young child of maybe 10 or 11, trekking through the thick brush near the bank of a small trout stream in the Rocky Mountains of British Columbia, with my Dad, my Brother, and a small spin-rod in my hand. We had just caught endless tiny brook trout in a small pond that I will always remember. My father thought he would challenge us with some moving water, and although I now forget the name of that stream, I will forever remember that afternoon, and the thick, impenetrable brush of the British Columbia Wilderness. It was miserable. All I wanted was to go back to the pond beside the highway, where I could cast, walk around, and catch fish. Where I could breathe without inhaling bugs. Where the sun made it through the canopy, and branches didn’t get flung back at my face every couple of steps. It felt like we would never reach the creek, and soon enough I began to complain like the little boy that I was. “Dad. What are we even doing? We are never going to reach the Creek.” My father looked at me with a grin…
“Son, this here is called Bushwhacking, and if you ever want to be a real fisherman, you better learn to love it.”
Fast forward 10 years and I guess I did learn to love it. Now, I am the one dragging my old-man out into the the middle of the backwoods, with him trailing in pursuit, hacking through the trees and wondering where the hell I am taking him. Ahh… The sweet feeling of payback.
Want to be a Bushwhacker?
The requirements are simple; all you need is a fly rod, a thirst for adventure, and a passion for fishing. And maybe an indifference towards aching blisters and ticks.
Our blog will pass the waning hours of your work-week perfectly. It will inspire you to get out fishing and explore the endless abyss of the western Canadian forestry roads. It will offer the sarcastic, over-cynical musings of a broke, under-equipped, sometimes delusional fly-fisherman (thats me!) who is just starting to figure it all out. It will also have content posted by you, the readers and other members of our network, in case you get tired of me. All of our contributors from across Alberta and BC will keep you updated on the conditions on our major rivers with our bi-weekly river updates and trip reports. Follow us on facebook and instagram and share your stories and photos with each other, meet new people, and stay updated on giveaways and events (im thinking a fish-a-thon!).
Read about some of the hidden treasures found in our drainages in the Bushwhackers Bounty contained in each section of Where we Fish. The point of our site is not to giveaway all the secrets that have accumulated over generations of anglers, nor is it to take you to the honey hole of each stream. That would defeat the purpose. As anglers we guard our secrets out of necessity, out of
fear of another ruining our perfection.
But we don’t have to fear our own kind; the truth is, there is plenty of water for all of us. You just have to go find it.
Fly-fishing for the Glory
There is nothing glorious about Bushwhacking your way through nasty wilderness. There is, however, something glorious about watching a fish come up to the surface and sip your dry fly. Something that makes you appreciate the natural world, and the connection you have with it through that fish. The harder we work for our fish, the more we appreciate them. The more we immerse ourselves into their environment, the more we come to understand our relationship with it.
The monster fish truly deserves to be captured, and reveled in, shared with friends. But its the story behind that fish that is truly important in our minds. The story behind every fish; the big ones, the small ones, the ugly ones. The stories of the people who share the passion for catching fish on the fly. Why it matters that we earn our fish, and respect our waters. And the simple truth of this sport is that sometimes, you don’t catch the big one; sometimes you don’t catch anything at all. These are the days where when this sport can truly teach us a thing or two, if we are willing to learn.
Today, more and more people are fishing. The Rivers that my Father grew up fishing are now clogged with Anglers young and old, all searching for that connection, for that moment of exhilaration, and for the next instagram photo. The Fly-Fishing community is bigger than it has ever been, and it seems as though social media has become a boasting board for who can catch the biggest fish. One might almost begin to think its EASY to catch monster trout like that, given the amount of photos that pop up on my instagram feed. Well, at Bushwhackers, we know that it’s not easy. And we also know that if you are going out onto the river strictly to catch an instagram photo, then you are probably not doing it for the right reasons.
We believe fly-fishing is not about personal glory; its about the glory of the world around us. And that is what we live by at Bushwhackers.
Our goal is to remind people that one never has to feel claustrophobic when fishing our waters; there is literally endless backcountry for one to explore, where one is unlikely to see another angler. And getting out there is usually half of the fun. We want to help you find the next place that you will fall in love with, and then you can cherish that spot as your own.
We want to inspire you to go and find, and earn, your own perfection.
Because that is what it means to be a Bushwhacker.