River levels have been declining and runoff, whatever that is going to be, seems to further delayed by cooler weather. The river above the Highwood is high with about 2 feet of visibility. Below the Highwood, however, visibility can be considerably worse, depending on what is coming out of the Highwood.   


Bow River Streamers (left to right from top): Clousabou, Veil Leech, Sparkle Minnow, Gartside Leech, Flesh Eating Sculpin, Bow River Bugger.

The caddis are here! However, the dry fly fishing has has been off and on, with the fish rising sporadically, mostly due to fluctuating river levels. The wind, of course, continues to be a factor. The evening caddis hatch is happening. You should hope for calm sunny evenings and consistent flows. A few Golden Stone Flies have been spotted recently and the hatch should start happening in the next few weeks.

If worms are your thing we have lots of worm tying options

Deeper walking pace water in pools and current seams should be targeted for nymphing. You should get hung up occasionally, or you probably are not getting deep enough. Try adding split shot and/or lengthening your leader.

Streamer fishing has been very good. Larger streamers have been producing well. A trailing leech can also often be the ticket. The fish seem to be moving due to the rising water. If the flows level out the fish should settle back into their more usual lies.

Trout spey has been working well. Swinging wet flies through runs and riffles has produced some good fish and exciting takes. Skating flies has produced some pretty spectacular takes.

Wading Socks are a great way to beat the summer heat (if it ever gets here). Wet wading season is almost here. Actually, wet wading season is already here for some of the hardier souls.

Please pinch your barbs. Pinching your barbs will makes the whole releasing process a lot easier for both you and the fish. A net, and/or catch and release tool, can also help with this process.

We 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 and tying knots. You will also learn how to decipher river structure, predict insect life life cycles, and a lot more. The second half of the day will be outdoors, covering the basics of casting in a dry land setting. Students should be able to cast 30' by the conclusion of the session.

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

Some space still available for June 22. Click here for further course dates and availability


We have several boat bag options to keep your gear organized.

Bow River Flies to try: 

Dries: Swisher's Dancing Caddis, Peacock Caddis, Purple Haze, Galloup's Double Stack Caddis, Neversink Caddis, Yellow Rubber Legged Stimulator, RIO's Skater Tot, Chubby Chernobyl, or Micro Chubby.

Streamers: Veil Leech, Clousabou, Bow River Bugger, Sparkle Minnow, or Flesh Eating Sculpin. Leeches: Aaron's Leech, Tungsten Peacock Leech, and black, brown or olive Woolly Buggers.

Nymphs: Worm variations, Jimmy Legs, TJ Hooker, Rubber Legged Squirrel, Will's Chai T, Kaleidoscope, Tungsten Prince, Copper John's, BH Extended Body Caddis Pupa, and Caddis Sparkle Pupa.

Trout Spey: Rio's Pocket Rocket, Aqua Stu's Ostrich Intruder, Jerry's WMD Sculpin, RIO's Artificial Intelligence, and AF Mattoli's Spey Bugger.


As per the Alberta River Basins web application

Bow River Level at Calgary - WSC

Bow River Level at Banff - WSC

Still plenty of snow in the mountains, who really knows what's going to happen. Warmer weather could start things flowing again. Try to get out there whenever conditions allow. Please continue to wade with caution and watch for floating debris in the river.

Tight lines!


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