Bow River Guided Fly Fishing Trips

The Bow River flows from Bow Lake in Banff National Park and through the beautiful Canadian Rockies before cutting through the city of Calgary and continuing its journey toward the Canadian Prairies. The lower stretch of the Bow River – the section below the city of Calgary – consists of 55 kilometres of nutrient-rich water that’s renowned for its abundant numbers of trophy-sized rainbows and browns. Fish Tales is located just minutes from the world-renowned Bow River which is where we focus most of our guided experiences. Join us pre-runoff in April/May or throughout the summer and early fall. Whether you’re a dry fly enthusiast, newcomer to the sport, or crazy about nymphing or chucking streamers our guides will work hard to give you a day to remember.

The guide on the oars is what will make your day on the water more memorable. Our guides all love what they are doing. They’re all guys who are easy to spend a day in the boat with. Their enjoyment comes from watching you catch fish. Their enthusiasm is contagious. Top that enthusiasm with quick access to the river, a full-service/well-stocked fly shop complete with knowledgeable staff, and tasty lunches and you know you’ve made the right decision to book your next Bow River adventure with us.

What to expect

Guided days on the Bow generally run 8-10 hours or more. Guided days typically start and end at the Shop. Start and end times vary somewhat depending on the time of year.

Clients who book a guided day with Fish Tales have access to our loaner waders/boots for their day on the water (included in the daily rate.) All our guides also have boat rod setups for use by clients. Of course, if you have your own gear – and want to use it – please bring it.

Our shop staff will ask you a few questions when you make your reservation that will help us co-ordinate your day with your guide. And we’ll be in touch with you again a few days before your float to finalize start times, dietary needs, and other details.

Give us a call to book your trip! (403) 640-1273

2020 Guide Rate $700/DAY

Includes: 1 or 2 anglers per guide, a deli-style lunch, full day on the water with the guide’s undivided attention, and equipment if necessary.

Call (403) 640-1273 to book your trip!


COVID 19 Update:

To reduce risk to fishing clients and guides and comply with provincial recommendations we are implementing the following precautions: 
  • Clients and guides will need to wear masks, buffs, face coverings throughout their trip (including to and from the river) when 2 meters distance cannot be maintained. 
  • Prior to each trip clients and guides will need to complete a self-declaration statement specific to COVID 19. 
  • Lunches will be individually packaged to minimize handling. 
  • No sharing of equipment - clients will need to bring their own gear OR will be provided with sanitized gear for their use for the day. 
  • Hand sanitizer will be available for each trip participant for their personal use throughout the day. 
  • Staggered meet times at the start of the day to minimize numbers in the store and allow physical distancing at launch site (at least among Fish Tales guides.) 
  • Each guide/client group will need to be separate during lunch. 

Safety and legal considerations: 

Personal flotation devices must be worn within the city limits at a minimum. No alcohol or cannabis permitted. All trip participants must sign a waiver of liability before their trip. 


Booking & Cancellation Policy

Guided trips can be booked via email or by contacting the shop at 403-640-1273 or toll free at 1-866-640-1273 (North America.) We require 50% deposit per boat/day when you book. Your deposit – minus a $50 handling fee – is refundable with 30 or more days notice of cancellation. Should you cancel (including re-scheduling) your booking with less than 30 days notice your deposit is non-refundable. Payments can be made via cash, debit, cheque, Visa, or Mastercard, or etransfer.

If the Bow River is deemed “un-fishable” by Fish Tales management and/or guides we’ll refund your money in full, take you to another area, or apply your deposit to another date.

Please book early to ensure your choice of dates.

Our Guides

Terry Johnson

Terry’s been a key member of the Fish Tales team since 1999. He continues to work in the shop during the “off-season” and has been integral to developing the Cuba Flats Fishing business. His level-headedness, easy-going nature and constant sense of humor helps lighten the day.
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Mike Venhuis

Mike loves being out on the water and his enthusiasm for fishing is infectious. He’s recently been bitten by the steelhead bug and had some great successes with two-handers. He’s also traveled and fished saltwater for tarpon, bonefish, and whatever else might swim by. He’s in the shop several times each week to pick up a few flies or some tying materials – fishing is his passion. When he’s on the oars he works hard to get you in to fish.
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Douglas Pippus

Doug Pippus got into the guiding business because he loves teaching people about the Bow River fishery and to help fund the work he does for disadvantaged people in developing countries during the off-season. Doug is a hard-working, patient, calm, easy-going man. He is unassuming, kind, compassionate, attentive…. All of these are great traits for a guy on the oars and combine to make him an easy guy to spend a day with!
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John Roggensack

John is a fun-loving guy who loves being on the water. He’s managing to make a living from his two passions – music and fishing. John has recently become “somewhat obsessed” with saltwater fishing and large tarpon, bones, and “those damn permit….”
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Ben Helesic

Ben grew up fishing the Bow River. His passion for fishing is obvious and he loves helping folks get in to fish. He's been fortunate to enjoy some fly fishing travel adventures to Mexico, BC's Steelhead country, and most recently Eastern Canada. He's a keen young guide who loves spending time on the water. 

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Blair Yerxa

Blair is a funny guy who doesn't take himself too seriously. He's easy-going and good-natured, patient and observant. He enjoys working with all skill levels of anglers and all reports indicate he "works his butt off" while on the water. 

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