It appears that runoff has yet to begin in earnest, and cooler weather has slowed down the caddis hatches, but they should pick up when the weather warms up a bit. The river has been fishable above the Highwood, but below the Highwood the water dirties up quite a bit. Significant hatches of blue winged olives with a sprinkling of some caddis and midges all happen last week. If fluctuation continues, or discolouration occurs, it might be a good time to hit the lakes.


Flies from top to bottom: Bloom's Para Caddis, Galloup's Double Wing Caddis, Swisher's Dancing Caddis,  RIO's Foam Run Caddis, and Elk Hair Caddis

Dry fly fishing is pretty tough right now, but you never know. Given the right conditions, and if you keep a careful watch, you might spot some risers. Watch for the evening caddis hatch, which could go off al any time.

If conditions allow, continue to focus your nymphing on deeper walking pace water, but don't neglect the tail outs, which can hold some of many pools larger fish. Stonefly nymphs have been working well, as have San Juan worm variations, and small attractor patterns like Chai T's. 

Streamer fishing has slowed somewhat, but has produced some large fish. Deep and slow will still be effective, but the fish are now moving and starting to eat in faster water. The fish have moved off the bank and seem to be holding off of bars and in more central pockets and pools.

Trout spey has been working well. Larger dark flies and a aggressive sink tip have been working well in the heavier water. Swinging flies through runs is a very effective way to cover a lot of water.

Pinch your barbs. Pinching your barbs will usually make releasing fish a lot easier. 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


With the high water you may want to think about a wading staff. These collapsible staffs are easily deployed during on river situations. Wading staffs provide three points of contact, helping to provide extra balance, and support, during river crossings, or treacherous wading situations.

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 decipher 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.

Dates are filling up quickly. The next available date is Sunday June 22. Click here for further course dates and availability

Tackle Swap

    Keeping the tradition alive. The Bow River Trout Foundation and the Hook & Hackle Club present the Bow River Tackle Swap.

    CKE Community Center, 1015 73 Ave SW

    An opportunity for those with fishing gear that has been sitting for awhile and needs a new home. 

    Garage sale style. Reserve your table to sell for $15. Tables are 8’ x 3’. 

    Admission to event is $2 for non-members and free for members of Bow River Trout Foundation or Hook and Hackle club.

    To reserve your table contact

    Bow River Flies to try: 

    Dries: Doug's Gnatty Boy, Griffith's Gnat, Parachute Midges, Zebra Midges, Double Vision BWO's, Foam Emerger BWO Biot, Doran's Water Walker Skwala, or Micro Chubby.

    Streamers: Tungsten CH Sparkle Yummy, Tungsten Found Ya Bugger, Bow River Bugger, or Skiddish Smolt.. Leeches: Aaron's Leech, Tungsten Peacock Leech, and black, brown or olive Woolly Buggers.

    Nymphs: Jimmy Legs, TJ Hooker, Rubber Legged Squirrel, Wire Worm, Atomic Worm, Will's Chai T, Kaleidoscope, Tungsten Prince, Copper John's, Zebra Midge's (Red, Olive or Black), Tungsten Soft Hackle BWO, Foam Emerger BWO and Trina's Bubbleback Emerger PMD. 

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


    As per the Alberta River Basins web application

    Bow River Level at Calgary - WSC

    Date Level (m) Flow  (m³/s)
    2024-04-05 12:00:00 0.870 45.70
    2024-04-12 12:00:00 0.762 34.60
    2024-04-19 12:00:00 0.895 48.50
    2024-04-26 12:00:00 0.957 56.90
    2024-05-03 12:00:00 1.045 67.80
    2024-05-10 12:00:00 0.996 61.60
    2024-05-17 12:00:00 1.418 143.00
    2024-05-24 12:00:00 1.394 137.00

    While water levels and clarity may be an issue try to get out there if conditions allow. Please wade with caution and watch for floating debris in the river.

    Tight lines!


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