Entries tagged with “dry-fly fishing”.


Fishing conditions on the Crowsnest River and other trout streams in SW Alberta are shaping up … finally. Water levels are continuing to drop daily and the rivers are becoming wadeable once again. I like fishing the Crowsnest this time of year, because there’s so  much going on, in terms of insect activity. The river is quite clear and the trout are beginning to rise to dry flies.

Dry-fly fishing has started on the Crowsnest River

I was fishing on the Crowsnest River on Wednesday and there were plenty of adult golden stoneflies, yellow and lime Sally stones, caddis, pmd mayflies, and even some green drakes on the water. The best part, though, was I only encountered one angler the entire time I was out. Not bad, considering it’s almost the middle of July. The fishing was pretty good, too. I fished a hopper-dropper rig most of the day … a Stimulator or SA Hopper dry fly, using a Bead-head Prince or Copper John dropper. About half the fish I caught were on dries, the rest on nymphs. It was a great day!

Dry-fly fishing on the Crowsnest River

It’s hard to believe we’re already into the middle of July. With all the rain and cool weather we’ve been receiving lately, it seems like summer has yet to begin. The good news, though, is that the sun is shining again in Crowsnest Pass and it looks like the nice weather is going to stick around for a while. The Crowsnest River is in great shape and the trout are being very cooperative, particularly with dry flies.

Dry-fly fishing on the Crowsnest River

Dry-fly fishing on the Crowsnest River

 All of the rivers and streams in southwest Alberta have cleared up nicely since last weekend’s rain. There’s lots of insects hatching on the river these days, including golden, yellow and lime Sally stoneflies. Stimulator dry flies have been working as well as anything, when trying to imitate these bugs. Green drake and pmd mayflies are also hatching in good numbers and are drawing trout to the surface. If you’re planning on fishing in the evening, be sure to include a few caddis and rusty spinner imitations in your fly box.

A happy Crowsnest River angler

A happy Crowsnest River angler

 Yesterday, I had the opportunity to spend the day with Hunter Neal, a fly angler/professional photographer visiting from Connecticut. Hunter was in Crowsnest Pass for a couple of days two years ago and was so impressed with our beautiful scenery and fishing he decided to return. This time, he’s here for a month. We had planned to shoot photos in the morning and fish in the afternoon, but got carried away snapping pictures and ran out of time for anything else. Maybe we’ll try fishing next week. This time, we’ll probably have to leave our camera gear at home. Otherwise, I’m sure it will be a repeat of yesterday.

Thanks Hunter, it was great to be able to spend the day with a real “pro.” Thanks also for all the great photo tips!

Hunter Neal at work

Hunter Neal at work

Dry-fly fishing on the Crowsnest River has been excellent as of late. A variety of insects, including mayflies (pmds, quill Gordons, flavs and green drakes), caddisflies and stoneflies (golden, yellow and lime Sally stones) have been providing some of the best fishing in recent memory.

Between guiding and working in the shop, I haven’t had much of a chance lately to get out and do some personal fishing on the Crow … that is, until last evening. Rolf and I headed out after supper and worked a section of river upstream of Lundbreck Falls. We fished from 8:00 pm until dark (10:00 pm). There were already a number of good size trout feeding on the surface when we arrived at the water’s edge, albeit sporadically, but as soon as the sun dipped behind the Livingstone Range the river came alive with fish.

We found some trout “snouts” rising along a willow-lined bank and worked them for about an hour, trying to figure out what they were eating. There were quite a few flavs on the water and lots of rusty spinners in the air. Caddis, and yellow and lime Sally stones were fluttering in the bushes along shore. We tried a few different fly patterns, before discovering it was caddisflies the fish were interested in – or at least it appeared that way. After snapping off a couple of big fish that came up to our Elk Hair Caddis dries, we managed to land a couple of good ones, including a gorgeous 20-inch brown trout at dark. Browns are becoming more prevalent upstream of Lundbreck Falls and this was the largest one I’ve caught here to date. Now, I just need to start concentrating on the lake trout that are showing up downstream of the falls. Where do you suppose they came from – Crowsnest Lake?

The fishing has been awesome on all of southern Alberta’s trout streams, so try to get out soon!

Crowsnest River, Alberta

Rolf setting the hook on a rising trout