Fishing while surrounded by the Rocky Mountains on the Upper Bow is what one pictures while dreaming of fly-fishing. The scenery is absolutely spectacular and breathtaking. The river contains glacier silt giving it a bright turquoise colour. When people see pictures of this glacial water, they think it’s been Photoshopped!
Seclusion on our Upper Bow River trips near Banff and Canmore are a major draw for fishing these sections of river. There are so many tourists hitting the trails, visiting Lake Louise, Banff, Bow Falls, Emerald Lake that visitors just accept they are going to see a lot of people wherever they go in the mountains. When you float the river with us, it is unlikely you will see another person for the entire day. Enjoy the beauty of this pristine setting truly immersed in nature without the noise of other people, and without anyone in the back of your photos.
Wildlife on the Upper Bow is an added bonus to the day. Not a day goes by without seeing Bald Eagles and Osprey soaring above the river hunting for prey. We will hear the signature call of the resident loons and see them diving underwater for fish minutes at a time. We occasionally see Black Bear, Grizzly Bear, Elk, Moose, White-tailed Deer, Mule Deer, Big Horn Sheep, Mountain Goats, Fox, Coyotes, and Wolf on the banks getting a drink or crossing the river. Being in a drift boat as opposed to a jet boat allows us to see these majestic animals without scaring them off before we come around a corner.
The fish are all Wild Brown Trout and we exclusively dry fly for them on the surface. The size range of fish on the Upper Bow is between 8” and 14” with some fish all the way up to 20”. We fish while drifting down the river, and get out and fish while standing in the river wearing waders at a multitude of good runs along the river. We routinely have trout hit your fly on the surface between 30 and 60+ times per day per boat.
Fishing on the World-Famous Lower Bow is an absolutely amazing experience. These Blue-Ribbon trout will blow your mind! It is truly shocking how powerful and fast these fish are - they are not your average trout! Every week we have a handful of fish take us into our backing. Wild Rainbow Trout and Brown Trout abound with the normal range of fish between 15” and 24” with a chance at trout in the 25” to 29” range. We routinely hook up between 25 and 45+ fish every day per boat. The consistency of large trout is what sets the Bow River apart from any other river in the world.
We will choose from 4 different sections based on where it is fishing best. We can fish within the city limits where the river is nestled in the valley with parks and treed walking trails lining the river. We can also choose to float where the river will take us directly past downtown. Snap a photo with the Calgary tower in the background like we did when doing photo shoots with the Conde Nast Traveller and Canadian Geographic! When we leave the city, the cliffs and beauty of the river both increases. There is no development on the river, and it feels like you are hours from civilization. You will see other boats on this section of river, and the occasional wading fishermen. These are the sections that people will come from all over the world to fish for a week. We switch between dry fly, nymphing, Hopper/Dropper, and streamers based on what the fish are dialed into.