River levels are on the rise. The rain has started things moving in the mountains and a large push of water is on its way from Banff. This push could last a couple of days, or maybe longer depending on what happens in the mountains. The rising water can put the fish off, as can discoloration. The Highwood is rising and adding to the flows, and colour. Below the Highwood visibility can be considerably worse. A wait and see approach seems to be the way to go this week. Maybe hit a lake, or spend time with your family.


This Week's Proven Winners (left to right from top): Keller's Center Stage Caddis (2), John Deer Caddis, Conrad Sculpin, BH Rubber Legged Squirrel, Double Stack Chubby Chernobyl, Tungsten Found Ya Bugger, BH Extended Body Caddis Pupa.

The caddis are here! And the dry fly fishing has has been off, and on, due to fluctuating river levels and the wind, of course. The evening caddis hatch is happening, and days with calm sunny evenings and consistent flows are your best bet. See what happens with the river this weekend, and get out there if/when you can. A few Golden Stone Flies have been spotted recently and the hatch should start happening in earnest in the next few weeks.

A new leader is always nice. Maybe replace that one that you used all last year and is now pretty much butt section with tippet tied off.

Continue to seek out deeper walking pace water in pools and current seams to be targeted for nymphing. A two nymph system, using combinations of worms, leeches, and stone flies(in any order you desire), can be very effective in high water. A 9' leader to the first fly, followed by a second fly about 16-18" below. You can also follow with split shot underneath, which is very effective, and very difficult to cast. Risk verses reward.

Streamer fishing has been very good. Larger dark streamers with a trailing leech can also often be the ticket. The fish seem to be moving out into mid-river lies due to the rising water. If the flows level out the fish should settle back into their more typical lies.

Trout spey has been working well. Swinging larger dark coloured spey flies through runs and riffles has produced some exciting takes. A heavier sink tip will help to take your flies down in the higher water.

Tippet can be used to extend the life of your leader, or extend your leader for those extra fussy fish.

Eastern Slopes Update: 

As strange as it may seem, Hoppers have been heard, and spotted, on the Eastern Slopes.

At this time Eastern Slope streams are high, clear and fishing well. Things could change at any time though, so temper your expectations.

Dries: Parachute Adams, Elk Hair Caddis, Yellow & Orange Stimulators, H&L Variant, Parachute PMD & Western Green Drakes

Nymphs: Traditional Prince, Pheasant Tail and Hare's Ear Nymphs, Smethurst's Stone Bomb,

Please pinch your barbs. Pinching your barbs will make releasing the fish a lot easier for you, and the fish. Also, if you happen to catch yourself, you also will appreciate the lack of a barb

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.

Click here for further course dates and availability


We have several pack options to keep you on the go. Excellent for either travel, or backcountry fishing trips.

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

The rain has started things moving. The river may be out of commission for some, or part, of the weekend. Try to get out whenever conditions allow, and please continue to wade with caution and watch for floating debris in the river.

Tight lines!


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