The Bow river is Calgary's claim to flyfishing fame. It is classified
as a blue ribbon trout river and simply provides great fishing for large brown and rainbow trout.
The prime stretch lies in and southeast of the city of Calgary,
although good fishing for many species can be found throughout. The Bow is a large river with a gentle flow at most times.
It can provide fabulous dry fly fishing but for the most fish it is mainly a subsurface quest. The resident rainbows and browns
regularly top 20 inches...with the occasional specimen approaching 30 inches. You can expect numerous fish in the 16-22
inch range which, although exceptional in many rivers, is considered the norm on the Bow.
The river runs through a beautiful cottonwood valley and the river
itself has many islands and side channels. Fast riffles and glassy slicks are both common. Nymphing produces consistently
on this stretch, but when rising fish are found there is no experience equal to the dry fly fishing the Bow can offer. A 20+
inch fish on a size 20 fly is common. Stripping a large streamer can often produce the very largest fish, especially
near dark. We simply cannot say enough about the Bow...it has to be experienced. While it may not produce the
numbers of fish our mountain streams do, it is a wonderful river to experience and the thrill of a 4+ lb trout screaming
across the current puts a smile on the face of even the most stressed-out anglers.
to 29+ inches (average16-22 inches)
to 30+ inches (average 16-23 inches)
trout - Rainbow hybrid to 20+ inches
to 30+ inches (very rarely caught here)
to 22 inches
Northern pike, walleye, goldeye,
(all rare above Carseland)
You may choose between full-day or half-day float trips or walk-and-wades
in joining us to hunt for monster brown and rainbow trout on the Bow River. Please see our Trip Information page for what is involved in each and current rates.
If your time frame is flexible, we will recommend the optimal fishing period for your half-day or
full-day trip based on current fishing experiences. If, however, you're on a tight schedule during your stay in Calgary we
will be happy to work with your schedule.
What to Expect:
The average or better fly fisherman can expect a great time on the water
and at least one 20 inch plus trout (often several). The novice angler can expect to learn a lot of techniques for fishing
large rivers and fighting large fish, and hopefully land a few beauties as well! Numerous local anglers have come with
us to improve on their Bow River fishing techniques, and many of them write back to let us know that they are now taking fish
Trips start and end at your hotel in Calgary, or a meeting place in south
Calgary if you have transportation.
Summertime trips can expect good nymphing at first light followed by (usually)
a little slower action throughout the day if it is bright and sunny. During mid-day we stalk the shorelines for snouts,
work faster riffles with nymphs, or strip streamers through current seams. Overcast summer days can be excellent, with all-day
hatches and good nymphing as well. Of course the real highlight of Bow River fishing in the summer comes in the evening when
the fish move in to slurp hatching or egg-laying caddis.
Late summer into September you can expect to be doing most of your fishing
with a dry fly. Hoppers are a great way to fish the river at that time, and the takes are usually very violent and exciting!
Spring fishing (March, April and May) is a combination of nymphing and
streamer fishing, but is often some of the best fishing of the year.
If you dream of huge wild trout on the fly, the Bow is the place for you!