Entries tagged with “winter fly-fishing”.

It’s hard to believe the fishing season on the majority of the rivers and streams in SW Alberta has been closed for more than a month and that Christmas is only two weeks away. Unlike last year at this time, we haven’t had to deal with much snow, at least not yet.  But rest assured, winter is coming. Although there’s not a lot of snow on the ground at the moment, we’re bound to get our first good snowfall sometime before Santa pays his annual visit. We haven’t had a lot of snow, but we’ve sure been receiving a lot of wind lately. A couple of anglers who had been fishing on the lower Oldman, downstream of the dam, stopped by the shop this afternoon to say they had been blown off the water. I guess the 100 km per hour winds made it tough to stand up, let alone trying to casting into it.

Crowsnest River at Highway 507 Bridge

I went for a drive the other day to check water conditions on the Crowsnest River. Ice is beginning to form along the edges, but there’s still plenty of open water in the stretch between the Highway 507 and East Hillcrest Bridges. If you’re planning to check it out for yourself in the coming months, this section generally has the most ice-free, fishable water.

On another note, our 2012 Fly-Fishing Schools have been scheduled. We’ll be offering a couple of Beginner Schools in May and June. In addition, Jim & Lynda Mclennan will be returning next season to instruct a couple of schools. Gift certificates are available for any of these classes, and make a great “stocking stuffers” for Christmas. Click here for information regarding our Beginner Schools. Click here for info regarding Jim and Lynda’s Schools. Certificates are also available for our guided fly-fishing trips. Call the shop at 403-564-4333 or 1-800-267-1778 for more information.

We’re all familiar with the old proverb, “When March comes in like a lion, it goes out like a lamb.” Well, the opposite is also true, and if the spring-like weather we’ve been experiencing so far this month is any indication of what’s to come, I won’t be putting my snow shovel away just yet. Southern Alberta has been basking in warm temperatures for several weeks. Actually, it’s been more than a month since Crowsnest Pass has received any significant amount of snow or any of the cold temperatures we normally have to endure (or expect) at this time of year. It’s been kind of nice to be getting positive, double-digit daytime temperatures in late February and early March, but you know we’re going to pay for this - sooner or later. I’m guessing were going to be “paying the piper” before month’s end!

Temperatures in the Pass have climbed to +12°  Celsius (55° F) some days. As a result, most of the ice has disappeared from the Crowsnest River. Normally at this time of year, the majority of ice-free water is located between the East Hillcrest and Highway 507 bridges. The river downstream of Hwy. 507, through to Lundbreck Falls, and toward it’s confluence with the Oldman Dam Reservoir, is usually locked in ice until late March or early April. Not this year, though, and it’s possible to fish the entire section of river between the East Hillcrest Bridge and the reservoir. If you’re planning to wait a few weeks before heading out, keep in mind the section between Lundbreck Falls and Highway 3 closes at the end of March. If you’re unsure of what’s open and what’s not, be sure to read the regs before you go.

"Horseshoe Bend" on lower Crowsnest River

"Horseshoe Bend" on the lower Crowsnest River (March 8/10)

I managed to get out fishing for a couple of hours yesterday afternoon. The temperature was around 10° Celsius and winds were light. The river was crystal-clear, low and easy to wade. There’s still some ice shelves along the river, but they did not pose any problems, at least in the section I fished. Prior to hitting the water, I drove down below Lundbreck to check water conditions.

Update: Crowsnest Pass received about an inch of snow overnight. A precurser of what’s in store? Perhaps, but the “short-range” forecast is calling for clear, sunny skies tomorrow, and temperatures of 10° C by Friday.

Lundbreck Falls

Only a bit of ice remains clinging to Lundbreck Falls


The river was crystal-clear, low and easy to wade

The river was crystal-clear, low and easy to wade

Crowsnest River rainbow trout

I landed four rainbows in a couple hours, using bead-head nymphs (Pheasant-tail and Prince), and Wire San Juan Worms