Fishing Report - May 12, 2917

Fishing options have opened up this week with the start of pike season. Pike fishing enthusiasts have been taking advantage of the warm temperatures and enjoying a great start to their season. Haul out the slightly heavier gear if you’re headed after these toothy critters to minimize stress and allow you to release the fish more quickly. Big flies tend to entice the big girls – yes the large ones are female – so don’t be shy about chucking a big streamer like the new Menage-A-Dungeons or Silk Kitty, or stick to a tried-and-true whistler or bunny pike fly. Be sure to use a wire leader and carry a good set of pliers when you’re fishing for these toothy critters.

Closer to home… We continue to see decent bug life along the Bow river. Midges, BWOs, and caddis dries are out. Below the surface the food source is varied and includes golden stoneflies, caddis and mayfly nymphs; cranefly larva, worms, leeches, and minnows. The fish are in good shape. We’re still seeing primarily brown trout being caught but the rainbows should be back in the Bow system soon (after they finish spawning.)

River clarity has dropped due runoff water and localized rain. Visibility was estimated at about 2 feet this afternoon. We continue to recommend staying above the Highwood if you’re floating – or at least sticking to river left below the confluence of the Highwood and the Bow to avoid dirtier water. The reality is we are in the early stages of runoff and water has started being released from the dams. Despite increased flows the river is still fishable. Streamer fishing in particular can be very productive in this slightly dirtier water.

Flies to try:

Dries: for the optimist or the patient angler out there. If you’re patient (and lucky) try parachute midge, parachute adams, Swisher’s Dancing Caddis (12-14), Aaron’s caddis emerger. (Mother’s Day Caddis may actually be here for Mother’s Day this year!)

Nymphs: San Juan worms, rubber leg squirrel nymphs, jimmy legs, peacock leeches, squirrel leech – it’s ok to dead drift these small “streamer” patterns;  Evil weevil, pheasant tails, prince nymphs, copper johns.

Streamers: Bow river buggers, skiddish smolt, sparkle minnows, Galloup’s dungeons, black and white clousers, Kreelex minnows.

In other news we received several notices this afternoon from Banff National Park.

Johnson Lake and associated inflows and outflows are closed to fishing until further notice. The area is also closed to public use (in general) until June 30. The general use closure is to allow the Park to conduct fisheries management work in the region.

Additionally, effective immediately felt soled wading boots are prohibited within Banff National Park. The other mountain national parks are also working toward a ban of felt soled boots. According to a conversation last week with provincial biologists, there is currently no plan for this ban to be implemented province wide.

Lastly, launching a motor boat at Lake Minnewanka Reservoir has been made a “restricted activity.” “Any motor boats that have been in waters outside Alberta or British Columbia in the last 30 days must undergo a provincial watercraft inspection, and possess a valid inspection BEFORE launching into Lake Minnewanka.”

Happy Fishing Folks! Could be a great week on the water.

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