We know folks are anticipating opening day for the Eastern slopes and anxious to get back to fishing the Bow. From all reports, conditions are about where they should be for this point in the season; rivers are running a little high and slightly off color, but dropping and clearing. The quality of upcoming fishing days will be impacted by how much rain we get across the province.
Recent high streamflow advisories have been lifted for most of the province and the proposed outflow from upstream reservoirs is projected to stay pretty consistent with current levels for at least the next couple of days. Once flows level out a bit we will start to see the Bow clearing from it’s current “double double” state to ”streamer green” or better.
The reality is the Bow hasn’t had much pressure lately. Some folks have been fishing from shore but driftboat excursions have been pretty limited. We had a report from Bow river guide, Paul Grindlay on Thursday after he spent the day on the Bow. He figured visibility was about 6″. Leeches were his most effective fly of the day.
As water levels start to recede it’s a good idea to be on the lookout for stonefly activity. Turn over the occasional rock and check for active bugs along the shore. Receding water and blooming wildroses are both good indications that it’s time for these bugs to become more active. Caddis are still around and you may see some occasional mayflies.
Flies to try:
Dries: skid bitch, Swisher’s LLS Chernobyl, Fat Frank, Fat Albert, Swisher’s Dancing caddis, Jake’s Hi-vis UV Olive Caddis, CDC and elkhair caddis, parachute adams.
Nymphs: dead drift a leech pattern – in black, brown, claret, olive. San juan worms, cranefly larvae, caddis pupa like Joca’s caddis pupae or the Evo Caddis Pupae, Smethurst’s Stone Bomb, Rubber Leg Squirrel, chenille stone.
Streamers: Swisher’s Sex Dungeons in black, white, olive, or natural. This pattern consistently produces and can be used for a variety of species and conditions. Wooly grubber in brown or black, Thompson’s Hopscotch Sculpin, Black and White Clousers
We reached out to Susan from the Crowsnest Cafe and Fly Shop on Wednesday. She reported that the Oldman and Castle were big and slightly off color. The tributaries of the Oldman are in better condition. The Crow – which was in decent shape earlier in the month but affected by recent rains – was lowering and should now good. The forecast for the weekend is looking good and that good weather should help things along.
Several folks have been on preliminary scouting trips and report similar findings.
Vic Bergman at the Crowsnest Angler has a recent report up that’s worth checking out if you’re heading his way.
Flies to try on Eastern Slopes:
Dries: Salmonfly imitations, stimulators, lime trudes, yellow sallies, Dunnigan’s Dunn Dunn PMD’s, Keller’s Peppermints
Nymphs: stonefly nymphs, prince nymphs, caddis pupae, Evil Weevils.
Streamers: Galloup’s Dungeon or Menage-A-Dungeon (a triple articulated fly), Catch’s cousin It (not heavily weighted), Clark’s Rat (heavy conehead), clouser minnos, Kreelex minnows.
Please be sure to exercise caution when wading. Higher flows mean areas you could cross late in the season last year are probably impassable. Also be aware of instability on stream banks wherever you go exploring this weekend.