Gord Silverthornes' Kootenay Fly Shop was the first stand-a-lone fly shop and outfitting business established in Fernie, BC. Fulfilling a childhood dream, Gord opened his fly shop in 1995 and now offers first rate accommodations in the attached Tightlines Lodge. The Tightlines lodge is the perfect venue to experience one of the best trout fisheries in North America! The Elk River is home to some of the largest - and one of the last - remaining populations of wild, pure strain West Slope Cutthroat Trout in the world! An incredible trout fishery with very good hatches and incredible dry fly fishing, the Elk River is a must see for any serious fly angler. The Elk is also home to one of the strongest populations of Bull Trout found in North America. It is not uncommon to see "Bullies" over 30 inches and weighing in excess of 20 pounds!

Typical Length of Stay

Trips of any length can be arranged. Tightlines Lodge does require a three (3) night minimum stay.

Accommodations and Lodging

Tightlines Lodge Master SuiteCentrally located in the town of Fernie and just a short walk from the legendary Elk River is the Kootenay Fly Shop and Tightlines Lodge. It is a unique lodge filled with character, perfect for groups, families, or couples. A spacious 3300 sq. ft. dwelling with three floors, foyer and three decks with a full sized BBQ and a beautiful eight person outdoor hot tub to relax after a day of fishing.

The Lodge is self contained with all of the comforts and amenities of home. The lodge has a fully equipped kitchen complete with a large fridge with freezer, ice machine, dishwasher, Microwave, crock pot, coffee maker, toaster, toaster oven and all of the utensils to do food on your own - a great facility to prepare group or family style meals.

The Master Suite located on the second floor with stunning views of Mount Fernie and Three Sisters. The room is well appointed with a king bed and a queen futon couch, a private shower/bath, and a 32" HD television. The room also has a door leading to an attached deck with the hot tub. There are two additional rooms with two twins in each, a room with one queen, and a room with one twin bed.

The "living room and dining area" is very comfortable with two leather sofas with end tables, coffee table, dining table, and CD player. There is also a "family room" with two sofas, four traditional chairs, a love seat, 42" HD plasma TV with DVD player, a round table, and a good selection of puzzles, cards, and other games.

Food and Beverages

Fernie has very good dining options that are all within close proximity to the lodge. There are several burger bars and also good restaurants like Yamagoya Sushi and The Curry Bowl. Tightlines Lodge is happy to arrange a cook for you if you would rather have meals prepared for you in the lodge. Lunch and nonalcoholic beverages are included during each of your guided days.

Fishing Information

Beautiful Elk River System HybridKootenay Fly Shop & Guiding Co. prides itself on providing the visiting angler with the best opportunity for success while fishing the waters of the Elk River and the East Kootenays. The Kootenay Fly Shop is also the base of operations for Dave Brown Outfitters while fishing in the Fernie area. Gord and Dave work very closely together with their fishing programs in the area, ensuring that you as a client are fishing with the best guides that the region has to offer!

Elk River
This freestone river originates from the Petein Glacier of the Macdonald Range in the Canadian Rockies and flows into the Elk Lakes where much of the glacier silt deposits, leaving a very clear, emerald green river in the summer. As it journeys toward the Kootenay River, the Elk River picks up nutrient rich and fertile waters from the tributaries feeding a wide range of aquatic insects. The Elk River is thought by many to be the best dry fly river in North America. The river system supports a very healthy population of large West Slope Cutthroat Trout averaging between 10 and 18 inches - with many up to 22 inches. It is not just the dry fly-fishing that draws anglers to the Elk River. Serious streamer fishermen are drawn to the area and enjoy casting whitefish sized streamers in hopes of hooking into a double digit Bull Trout. The Elk River is known for its very large Bull Trout which can grow to 36 inches and 20 lbs!

The Elk River offers great diversity for the fly angler as it is large enough for floating but has many braided sections - especially on the upper river - ideal for wading giving you the feeling that you are fishing a small creek. With the mild climate on the western slopes of the Canadian Rockies there are many great angling opportunities throughout the winter months. The pre runoff time (late-March - early-May) can provide some very good dry fly fishing with skwala stones, blue wing olives, and midges. The main dry fly season on the Elk typically kicks off in mid-June with excellent Golden Stone fly hatches followed by Western Green Drakes and the fishing is fantastic as the water drops through the summer and into the fall. Usually by September the Elk River is low and very clear bringing on the Blue Wing Olive Hatches which carry right into October.

Bull River - The Bull River is a tributary of the Kootenay River, and like the Elk River, flows from the Macdonald Range of the Canadian Rockies. This fast flowing, mid-size river has many boulder sections and lots of great structure. With scenery that is absolutely breathtaking, floating down the Bull River along the Steeples Range with towering peaks on either side is one of the most beautiful drifts that you can do. The fishing pressure is low with sections of the river having very high concentration of Westslope Cutthroat Trout. The trout are a bit smaller in size than those found in the Elk River, with fish ranging from 10 to 14 inches. The Bull River offers float trips or walk and wade trips with the best fishing found from late July through to the end of August with good hatches of mayflies and caddis.

Wigwam River - The Wigwam River is located a short drive from Fernie into the wilderness via logging roads. The Wigwam river is designated as fly fishing only. A river like no other, the Wigwam is a pristine gem. The spring fed waters are ideal for spawning Bull Trout, members of the Char family, as they require extremely clean cold water for spawning - making the Wigwam River an ideal location. In the spring of each year the Bull Trout journey all the way up the Kootenay River from Montana to the Elk River - and then the Wigwam River where they spawn in late fall. With such incredible water quality, the Western Green Drake hatches here are some of the best found on any river. Some of the largest Westslope Cutthroat Trout in the entire Elk River system are found here. With meadow sections to fast flowing runs with large boulders and deep clear holes, this river will have you believing that you are fishing in New Zealand.

Michel Creek - Michel Creek is probably the most fertile and nutrient rich tributary of the Elk River. High populations of trout (some in the 20" class), good hatches, and very easy walk wade access, make Michel Creek a favorite with anglers visiting the area.

Lakes - The Elk Valley region of British Columbia has an abundance of excellent lakes. While the alpine lakes offer Cutthroat Trout, the lower elevation lakes can produce very large Rainbow and Brook Trout with the occasional Bass! Bass. Many of these lakes are accessible by vehicle and are a short distance from Fernie. When spring arrives in March, the ice comes off the lakes in the Elk Valley and anglers have the opportunity to enjoy world class fly-fishing with excellent hatches of Chronomids.

Heli-Fishing Trips - A scenic helicopter ride can be arranged to take you to one of the many remote high mountain lakes nearby. Imagine fishing a lake with no one else around, enjoy fresh cooked fish for lunch, and take in some of the most breathtaking scenery in all of the Rockies! Call Yellow Dog for details and pricing.

Boats and Equipment

Float fishing on area rivers is done via McKenzie-style drift boats designed for fly fishing.

The Kootenay Fly Shop is a full service fly shop with a large selection of products from the finest names in the business. The shop is stocked with the best flies and tackle for fishing in the area. Rest assured that the fly shop will have anything that you might need while visiting the area.

Non-Angling Activities and Options

Breathtaking scenery!Situated in the spectacular Canadian Rockies in Southeastern British Columbia, Fernie is quickly gaining a reputation as a year-round adventure destination. Recently voted the Best Small Town in BC, Fernie makes an ideal vacation destination. Fernie's Rocky Mountain setting and untouched natural beauty offers visitors year round opportunity for adventure. Horse back riding, mountain biking, white water rafting, golfing, shopping and hiking are convenient and available.

The lodge is within easy walking distance of downtown and a great base to see the sights and experience Fernie. There are good restaurants like Yamagoya Sushi & The Curry Bowl, local bars, an organic market/cafe, day spa, children's playground and park, as well as many other sights and activities.

How To Get There

We suggest flying into Glacier International in Kalispell, MT and renting a car for the drive to Fernie. Fernie is approximately 118 miles from Kalispell and the drive typically takes about 2 hours and 15 minutes. There is a small airport in Cranbrook, BC (Airport Code: YXC) that has customs and accepts small private planes.

Arrival and Departure Details / Times

Guests can arrive at the Tightlines Lodge anytime after 4 p.m. Check out time is before 11 a.m.

2013 Rates / Package Costs

Packages at the Kootenay Fly Shop and Tightlines Lodge can be completely customized to include any number of nights lodging and guided fishing days. Please call Yellow Dog for details and custom package pricing.

* Remember that Yellow Dog's services are completely free! When you book a trip with Yellow Dog, you never pay more than when you book directly with the lodge or outfitter.

What's Included

  • Number of nights lodging as specified
  • Number of days guided fishing as specified
  • Packed cooler lunch on the water each day
  • All non-alcoholic beverages
  • All equipment needed - waders, fly rod, and all flies
  • Ground transportation from Fly Shop to the River

What's Not Included

  • Transportation to Fernie, BC
  • Fishing Licenses and alcoholic beverages
  • Gratuities for the lodge staff and your guide
  • Breakfast and dinner (meals at the lodge can be arranged)

Travel Arrangements

Yellow Dog has a full in-house travel and reservations system, and can assist with airline tickets, hotels, transfers, and all travel logistics for every destination that we offer. Contact us at 888-777-5060 or info@yellowdogflyfishing.com for more details on airfare ticketing, travel services and trip insurance.

Other Information

Tightlines lodge is happy to arrange a cook to prepare meals at the lodge. Please contact Yellow Dog for details and pricing.

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