Entries tagged with “spring fishing”.

It’s springtime in the Rockies, including here in Crowsnest Pass! We got off pretty easy this winter, compared to last year. I know we’re not out of the woods yet, and anything can happen between now and summer, but it didn’t seem like we received very much snow in Crowsnest Pass this winter. Yet, when you check the Alberta Environment website, their data indicates average to much-above-average mountain snowpack in southwest Alberta. It appears the snowpack is greater north of Hwy. 3, than it is in the south.

The section of the Crowsnest River between Lundbreck Falls and Highway 3 is closed to fishing from April 1 to June 15.

I went for a drive yesterday to check conditions on the Crowsnest River. I stopped in at Lundbreck Falls and chatted with a couple of anglers who had driven down from Edmonton. They were going to fish the day, then head home. They had only been on the water a short time when I caught up with them. One of the anglers mentioned he had already caught a nice rainbow trout. Making a six hour drive to fish for eight hours, and then driving another six hours to get home at the end of the day is what I call dedication. At least, they wouldn’t be going home skunked!

Below are a couple more photos of places I checked yesterday. I also headed over to Lee Lake. About a week ago, there was a bit of open water at the boat launch, but cooler temperatures over the weekend caused it to freeze again. I’ll update conditions, once they change.

If you’re planning to go fishing on the Crowsnest River soon, remember the section between Lundbreck Falls and Highway 3 is closed April 1 to June 15. The section upstream of the East Hillcrest Bridge is also closed until June 16. If you’re in doubt about what sections are open, check the fishing regs. Watch out for ice shelves along the river and fish with a friend.

Yesterday, as I was leaving the parking lot at Lundbreck Falls, a robin flew in front of my truck. I guess spring has arrived to Crowsnest Pass, after all!

The Crowsnest River downstream of Hwy. 3


Downstream view of the Crowsnest River from the Hwy. 507 Bridge.

It was one of those March days when the sun shines hot and the wind blows cold: when it is summer in the light, and winter in the shade. ~Charles Dickens

It’s taken its time this year, but it looks and feels like spring has finally arrived in Crowsnest Pass. The grass is green once again and some of the wildflowers, like prairie crocus’, are in full bloom. Temperatures remain a little on the cool side, but at least we haven’t had to shovel any snow for a couple of weeks.

Prairie crocus' are in full bloom in SW Alberta

 The spring runoff has started and streams are flowing high and discoloured. Most of the trout lakes in the area are ice-free, providing anglers with the opportunity to whet a line while waiting for the runoff to subside and rivers to open. I spent a couple days fishing Lee Lake last week and had lots of success. It was fun catching fish on Lee, even though they were mostly small ones.

Lee Lake is ice-free and fishing well

 There was concern that some of the lakes around Crowsnest Pass may have experienced winterkill. However, there is no evidence of this occurring, as of yet. I didn’t see any dead fish along shore on Lee and I checked Beauvais Lake yesterday. There was concern that Beauvais may have been hit, but I didn’t see any sign of dead trout here, either. While I was there, I spoke with a couple of boat anglers who had spent the day fishing and had caught quite a few trout, including a few browns. Unfortunately, it appears Summit Lake, located across the border in BC, didn’t fare as well. We have been receiving reports since the weekend of numerous fish laying dead along the shoreline. It may not all be bad news, though, as trout have been seen rising on the lake.

Summer Hours

With the long weekend coming up, we would like to inform everyone that we are returning to our summer hours. We’ll be open each and every day, 9:00 am – 6:00 pm, until mid-October. Hope to see you soon!

The weather has improved in Crowsnest Pass, since my last post. Spring arrived officially last week and temperatures are finally beginning to warm up enough to start melting some of the snow and ice in the valley. Hopefully, this melting will occur gradually. Otherwise, we could have some real issues with water levels later this spring.

Yesterday, I dusted off my fishing gear and headed down to the Crow for a few hours. Fishing opportunities (Chinooks) were rare this winter and I wasn’t able to get out on the river for several months. It’s amazing what a week of warm weather can do. Sections of the river that were completely froze last week are open and fishable again. There’s still areas with ice cover, and lots of ice shelves around, but there’s no problem finding open water to fish.

Plenty of open water to fish

 The river was clear and in good shape, and there was no problem wading. The snow was knee deep in some of the treed areas along the river, but I had no difficulty getting down to the water.

The river was clear and wadeable

There were lots of small winter black stoneflies crawling along the snow-covered stream banks. I also saw a few ducks, some Canada geese and a small herd of mule deer. It was great just to be on the river again. The trout I managed to catch were chunky and appeared to have wintered well. Like me, I guess!

Early spring rainbow trout

It appears Spring has arrived in southwest Alberta – or has it? The weather has been quite unsettled as of late and while we’ve already had some nice days in Crowsnest Pass, other days have felt like we’re heading back into winter. Just when you think it’s safe to put the snow shovel away, Old Man Winter pays a return visit.

A little bit of everything in the six-day forecast

There's a little bit of everything in the six-day forecast. Sunday & Monday just happen to be my days off! Where should I go fishing?

The spring runoff is just around the corner. Most years, this occurs between mid-May and late June. The severity and duration of the runoff depends on the mountain snowpack and the amount of rain we receive in May and June. Currently, the snowpack in the mountains of southwest Alberta varies between “average to slightly above-average.” Last week’s heavy snowfall definitely helped things out, particularly in the region south of Crowsnest Pass toward Waterton Park. Water levels are gradually beginning to rise on most rivers and streams, and all it will take now for the runoff to commence is a bit of warm weather and rain.
Water levels are beginning to rise on most of SW Alberta's rivers an streams

Water levels are beginning to rise on most of SW Alberta's rivers and streams

 Terry sent me an email the other day, saying he and his son, David, had made a trip to Police Outpost Lake on Saturday. Judging by the pictures below, it appears they had an awesome day. Lots of fresh snow and a beautiful view of Chief Mountain. It sounds (and looks) like the fishing wasn’t too bad, either. All of the trout lakes in southern Alberta are ice-free and fishing well. Once the runoff starts, the lakes will become popular places to fish.

Where's the boat launch?

Where's the boat launch? Photo courtesy of Terry Hrudey.

A great view of snow-covered Chief Mountain

A great view of snow-covered Chief Mountain. Photo courtesy of Terry Hrudey.

A chunky Police Lake rainbow trout

A chunky Police Lake rainbow trout. Photo courtesy of Terry Hrudey.