Located in the Southwest corner of Alberta is a gem of a stream called
the Crowsnest River. It is an intimate little river that is crossable at most points yet still holds many good sized fish.
The upper sections are abundant with rainbow trout averaging 10-17 inches up to 20-23 inches, the occasional cutthroat and
brook trout, and many Rocky Mountain whitefish. Beautiful slick emerald pools spill from one to another in portions of this
stretch, and the tall pines hide the angler from the ever-present breeze. It is easily accesible from Hwy 3 in the Crowsnest
Pass. The lower section has increasingly good fishing for native Bull trout, and lots of cutthroats and rainbows...and very
rarely, brown trout. It has many fast riffles and excellent stonefly water, as well as some fantastic pools.
The Crowsnest River is quite literally full of fish from Crowsnest Lake
on the BC border all the way down to the Oldman Reservoir.
Crowsnest River Fish Species:
to around 20 inches (larger ones present but very rare)
to about 18 inches (larger ones present but very rare)
to 20 inches plus
(small) in upper
to around 20 inches
but a rare catch here
to 20 inches
You may choose between full-day or half-day (if available) walk-and-wade
trips for joining us on the Crowsnest. Please see our Trip Information page for what is involved in each and current rates.
Your day will start and end in Pincher Creek, Alberta,
or a meeting place en route to the river. If you do not have your own transportation, we can arrange to pick you up at
the Calgary airport or your hotel--call for availability.
The Crowsnest River is an incredible river to fish, and offers many different
opportunites in the same day. One minute we could be nymphing a seam that is producing numerous small fish, and the next
minute we might present a dry fly to a more discerning hog sipping midges in a back eddy. Ten minutes
later we might swing wet flies or streamers to fish we've spotted at the back of one of the numerous crystal-clear
pools. Everything from hoppers and salmonflies to midges and nymphs, the Crowsnest offers the chance to use them all with
success. The river is easily fishable and wadeable, and the scenery will be a fantastic backdrop for your day of fishing here.
The average Crowsnest rainbow trout is in the 14-17 inch range, with a
good number of 18-19 inch fish, though there are numerous smaller bows ensuring the future of this wonderful fishery as well.
Fish in the true 20in class and larger are quite rare here, but in the 2005 and 2006 seasons a few different clients
landed fish of 21in, and in 2004 we landed the largest rainbow we've have seen to date from this river at 23.5in.
The river also holds some Bull trout in the section below the falls, and they can reach lengths of 30 inches, though a more
common bull trout from the Crowsnest would be 20-25in. Numerous small fish will keep you entertained as well, and are a welcome
treat when the big ones aren't taking.
Almost every trip down to the Crowsnest in the past two seasons resulted
in good action and more than 30 fish landed. Lots of little guys and some really nice fish too! The main attraction is the
rainbows, and I don't think you'll find many who would not agree that this river holds some of the prettiest rainbow trout
anywhere. Also available in the river to a lesser extent are Browns (mainly below the falls), Brookies (uppermost stretches),
Cutthroats, and even a few Lake trout have surprised anglers over the years.