Bow River Fishing Report April 5, 2024


With more snow in the forecast it seems like later in the week might be the best time to get out there. Water clarity will be an issue and levels will be on the rise, but try to get out there when conditions allow.

    Continue to focus your nymphing on deeper pools and runs. Fish as slowly, and as deeply, as possible. If you are not ticking along the bottom at some point in your drift you probably should add split shot and/or more tippet. Getting hung up will happen.

    The streamer fishing has been picking up, for the most part it will still be deep and slow, but fish are now eating in the moderately fast water. 

    Trout spey can be used to cover open water more efficiently and with minimal effort. Swinging flies through a pool, or run, can be a great deal of fun. If you are interested in trying something new maybe give trout spey a try.

    Hatches of midges are certainly less active during the cold weather, but watch back eddies and soft inside edges of pool for snouts. If you do see risers, long leaders and small dry flies are the way to go.


    Does your fly line need a clean? A line cleaner might be the ticket. A clean line will improve both your casting and mending. A new fly line could also be in order, depending on the condition of your current line.

    Please pinch your barbs. Pinching your barbs will usually make releasing fish is easier on both you and the fish. A net, and/or catch and release tool, can also help with this process.

    We continue to ask that you handle your fish with care by:
    1. Minimize air exposure
    2. Eliminate contact with dry surfaces 
    3. Reduce handling time

    Our Level 1 Fly Fishing Course is a full day introduction to fly fishing. The first half of the day is spent in classroom. Here you will learn the basics about equipment, tying knots, how to deciphering river structure, insect life life cycles and more. The afternoon half of the class will be spent covering the basics of casting in a dry land setting.

    This full day course costs $150, lunch included. Register in-store, by phone, or on-line.

    The first three sessions on May 5, 11, and 25th are full. The next available date is Sunday June 2. Click here for further course dates and availability

    Please note: 

    As per the Alberta River Basins web application

    Date Level (m) Flow  (m³/s)
    2024-04-05 12:00:00 0.870 45.70


    As per the Government of Alberta Website

    The March water supply outlook is a long-term river volume forecast for the period from March through September.

    The above normal amount of precipitation that fell in February has resulted in an increase in the March-to-September forecasted volumes for all basins in the South Saskatchewan River Basin. Highlights of the March water supply outlook are below:

    • Milk River basin – Still forecasted to be much below average but the forecast at Eastern Crossing (where the river crosses back into the United States) has increased by 10% from last month.
    • Oldman River basin – Increase in forecasted volumes ranging from 4 to 10% vs the February forecast but still expected to be below average, except for the Belly River which is much below average.
    • Bow River basin – Forecasted volumes increased 6 to 11% vs February. Flow volumes expected to range from below average to average.
    • Red Deer River basin – Forecasted flow volumes expected to be slightly below average to average. Dickson Dam forecast increased by 1% vs February forecast. Outlook for Red Deer River at Red Deer is unchanged.
    • North Saskatchewan River basin – Forecasted flows are much below average. Lake Abraham forecast has gone up 4% and Brazeau has gone down 2%. Forecasted river flows in Edmonton are unchanged.

    Bow River Flies to try: 

    Dries: Midges: Doug's Gnatty Boy, Griffith's Gnat, Parachute Midges, and Zebra Midges. BWO: Double Vision BWO's, or Foam Emerger BWO Biot are worth a try. 

    Streamers: Tungsten CH Sparkle Yummy, Karnopp's Space Invader, Tungsten Found Ya Bugger, Bow River Bugger, or Clouser Minnow. Leeches: Aaron's Leech, Tungsten Peacock Leech, and black, brown or olive Woolly Buggers.

    Nymphs: Wire Worm, Atomic Worm, Ninch's Fish Finder, Chenille Worm Dropper, Will's Chai T, Kaleidoscope, TJ Hooker, Tungsten Prince, Copper John's, Zebra Midge's (Red, Olive or Black), and Tung Brassie Copper. 

    Trout Spey: Aqua Stu's Ostrich Intruder, Jerry's WMD Sculpin, Mini Me Graboid, Mike's Mini Sculpin Black, and AF Mattoli's Spey Bugger.

    Plan to attend our After Hours Presentations. Next up: Waders, Tuesday April,16. 
    When you do venture out, stay safe, wade carefully, and still watch for floating ice.

    When the weather changes and the water clears, get out there! Tight lines!


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