Gideon (pictured) says: "Get ready for some big eats." It's caddis time! Water levels are down a little, and clarity is pretty good right now. Run off is holding off, for now, and the weather looks pretty nice. Big rainbows are coming back to the river. Hope for some calm winds and a bit of sunshine to bring on the caddis, and the big eats. Get out there!

I asked some of the boys what they would use for flies this week. Streamer, Nymph, Dry.


Flies from top to bottom: Gideon's picks - CH Sparkle Minnow, Jimmy Legs, True Stone Fly - Duncan's picks - CH Bow River Bugger, TJ Hooker, Seam Sucker Caddis - Daniel's picks - Veil Leech, Jimmy Legs, Jake's Trigger Belly

Dry fly fishing has been pretty tough due to the wind, but the caddis are coming off and the fish are rising, given the right conditions. Fish have been caught on dries by persistent, and watchful, anglers. Watch for the evening caddis hatch, which is starting in earnest right now, and hope for low wind and sunny evenings.

Focus your nymphing on deeper walking pace water and current seams. Stonefly nymphs have been working particularly well. A double stonefly rig can be just the ticket right now, or pair it with another fly you believe in.

Streamer fishing has picked up. Fish are now moving and starting to work faster water. The fish have spread out a bit, due to a slightly more consistent flow, and can now be found more consistently, close to under cut banks.

Trout spey with large dark flies, and an aggressive sink tip, have been producing in the heavier water. Swinging flies through runs and riffles is an effective way to cover water quickly, with minimal effort.

June is the month of afternoon showers. A good rain jacket can save your day.

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


The rocks are slippery this year, and if we don't get significant run off this spring this will continue. How is your traction? Stumbling around the river is not fun, especially now, with the high water. Maybe studs are the answer. There are several options, the one that works for you will depend on your boots manufacture.

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 second half of the day will be spent covering the basics of casting in a dry land setting, with the goal of being 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.

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 a while 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: Swisher's Dancing Caddis, Peacock Caddis, Purple Haze, Double Vision BWO's, Foam Emerger BWO Biot, or Micro Chubby.

    Streamers: Veil Leech, Tungsten Found Ya Bugger, Bow River Bugger, Seasoned Geezer, or Flesh Eating Sculpin. Leeches: Aaron's Leech, Tungsten Peacock Leech, and black, brown or olive Woolly Buggers.

    Nymphs: 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

    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
    2024-05-31 12:00:00 1.381 134.00

    Water levels and clarity may change due to run off, or flood mitigation measures, but still 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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