Alberta's Chinook Country -
Outstanding Fishing

Paul Prentiss
Six of us spent 15 days fishing in southwestern Alberta and South Eastern British Columbia. We covered some 14 streams over a 15 day period including the Bow, Crowsnest, Elk, Oldman, Castle, and the Saint Mary. Over the next few editions of this newsletter I'll talk a bit about our trip.
More than 1,000 miles of rivers, streams and creeks flow can be found in this area. July through September is the best dry fly fishing (hatches here are roughly a month behind ours and the rivers don't really clear until July). Some of the rivers, such as the Bow and Crowsnest, are well known but there are countless numbers of lesser-known streams in the region that offer exceptional opportunities for those wishing to explore.

The waters are crystal clear, cold and inviting as they flow below towering mountain peaks and through dense forests. Cutthroat trout are found in many of the headwater streams and always seem eager to rise to a dry fly. In many cases we're not talking about small fish.
Rainbows are the predominant species found in southern Alberta's larger streams. Brown trout are present in a number of rivers including the Bow, Oldman below the dam, Crowsnest downstream of Lundbreck Falls and Waterton. Bull Trout can also be caught in many locations.

Canadians are extremely friendly and my experience is that gaining access across private ranches is not a problem. Once on the stream you are on public property to the high water mark. My experience here reminded me of what Montana was like 25 years ago.

Do you like to fish big drys that you plainly can see 45-feet away and have a large cutthroat rise up from the bottom and aggressively nail your offering? Do you like to fish big yellow hoppers with rubber legs that need to be twitched on the retrieve to elicit a smashing take? Do you want to fish on public water where you won't encounter crowds in every likely spot? Alberta might be the place for you!

Next year we're going to be booking three one-week trips to this location at a very attractive price - give it some thought.