Entries tagged with “spring runoff”.

Today is opening day for the trout streams in southwest Alberta. It’s not uncommon for rivers and streams in this area to be flowing high and discoloured on opening day, and this year is no exception. Temperatures have been cooler than usual this spring, which is slowing down the snow-melt. The cooler weather we’ve been experiencing over the past month is probably a good thing. Conditions could have easily been a lot worse had it been warmer, especially with the amount of rain we’ve received over the past several weeks. Warm temperatures, combined with above-average snow-pack and heavy spring rains, are a recipe for disaster. We all remember what happened in 1995. Fortunately, it doesn’t appear this is going to occur this year. Providing we don’t get too much more rain over the next week or two, conditions should begin to improve shortly. Water levels on the Crowsnest River are beginning to drop and it’s clearing up. Visibility was approximately 2 feet this morning.

View from the East Hillcrest Bridge yesterday, looking upstream

 Even though water conditions are not ideal at the moment, there are a few anglers on the river today. They’re catching some fish, too. One fellow stopped by the shop while I was writing today’s blog to rearm his fly box with woven body stonefly nymphs. He had caught a number of nice rainbows this morning using this fly and decided it might be a good idea to to pick up some more while he was in the area. He was in a hurry to get back on the river and didn’t stay long. I can’t say I blamed him. Now if we could only get some sunshine!

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 runoff has begun on the rivers and streams in southwest Alberta, including the Crowsnest River. Water levels have been rising gradually for a week or so, as warm temperatures are beginning to melt the snow at higher elevations. After checking the Alberta Environment web site, it appears the snow storm that passed through southern Alberta earlier this month helped a little, in terms of increasing our mountain snowpack. However, with the exception of a few places where snow accumulations may be slightly above average, most areas are currently sitting at below average measurements for this time of year. Providing we don’t receive excessive amounts of rain over the next several weeks, the runoff could finish early this year. Maybe everything will be fishable by June 16th, when the season opens on all the trout streams in this part of the province.

If you’d like to fish somewhere/anywhere while waiting for the runoff to subside, you may want to head over to one of the local trout lakes. The fishing has been quite productive at Lee, Beauvais and Beaver Mines lakes. Summit Lake, located just across the border in BC, has also been providing good fishing as of late. Remember, though, you’ll need a BC license to fish here.

Crowsnest River Salmonfly Hatch

I checked the lower Crowsnest River this morning for signs of salmonflies and found a couple of empty shucks on the abutments of the “Iron Bridge,” just downstream of Hwy. 3. It looks like these big bugs are beginning to hatch on the river, and right on cue, too. It’s not unusual for the emergence of these stoneflies to coincide with the spring runoff. Wouldn’t it be nice, though, if the river cleared up a bit, before these insects have finished hatching?   


The spring runoff has started on southern Alberta's rivers and streams

The spring runoff has started on southern Alberta's rivers and streams

We’ve changed to our summer hours and are open 9:00 am – 6:00 pm, each and every day. We’re really excited about the coming season and look forward to seeing all of you again.
Help Wanted in Fly Shop
We’re looking for summer staff in the shop (June – September/October). Duties will include retail sales, issuing angling licenses, stocking shelves, store clean-up, providing local fishing info/advice to customers … etc. Resumes can be sent via email to Vic Bergman (info@crowsnestangler.com) or dropped off at the shop. They can also be mailed to: The Crowsnest Angler – Box 400, Bellevue, Alberta T0K 0C0. If you’re friendly, enjoy meeting people, and you like fishing and talking to others about it, and would like to work in a fly shop for the summer, we’d love to hear from you. Applicants must have fly-fishing experience/knowledge. Only successful applicants will be contacted for an interview.
2010 Licenses
 A reminder that Alberta and British Columbia angling licenses are available at our shop. If it’s more convenient for you, it’s possible to purchase your licenses online.  For Alberta Wildlife Identification Numbers (W.I.N.) and angling licenses, click here
BC licenses are available by clicking here. If you’d like to pick up your BC license at our shop, and you had one last year, remember to bring it with you. In order to issue this year’s license, we need your “Angler Number.” You can also record the number on a slip of paper. If it’s an Alberta license you require, bring your W.I.N. card to the shop. Until next time!