Bow River Fly Fishing Guide, Bow River Hookers, will take you fly fishing on the Bow River for trophy Brown trout. Bow River fly fishing guide and outfitter, Bow River Hookers, provides Bow River fly fishing experiences second to none. Bow River Fly Fishing Guide, Bow River Hookers, will take you fly fishing on the Bow River for trophy Brown trout.
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Bow River Fly Fishing Report and Condition Archives
Archived reports on Bow River fly fishing, the trout and the river

The following are historical records of photos and activities on fly fishing waters we visit.
Onx Corporate TripOnx Corporate Trip
September 24, 2009
Posted by Bill on Saturday, September 26, 2009

Organized by Russell Skeet of AM 1140 and the Weekend Angler, the OnX Corporate trip saw 7 boats on the water presenting Bow River fly fishing to 10 anglers. Only two of the ten fishers had ever held a fly rod in their hands before but that didn't affect the fishing result ... everyone caught trout. The trip started out with presentations of caps, rods, reels and lines to each of the participating fishers setting the tone for the entire day thanks to OnX Enterprise Solutions. After initial presentations the guides took over and showed this group of fishers why the Bow River is famous ... many, many trophy trout. A recap of the day aired on AM 1140 on Friday morning courtesy of Russell Skeet, morning News and Sport DJ over AM 1140 broadcasting out of High River. Thanks to Mark Spencer of OnX, Russell and all the participating anglers for a wonderful day on the river.

OnX Corporate Trip Recap Requires Windows Media Player

van der Vooren Clanvan der Vooren Clan
September 20, 2009
Posted by Bill on Monday, September 21, 2009

Tony Sr., Tony Jr., Randy, Jessica and Duncan van der Vooren joined us for two days of fishing the Bow River. The first day was a gorgeous day weatherwise if you don't count the gale force wind we battled all afternoon. It was sunny and warm, although windy, as this fivesome learned the craft of fly fishing the Bow. With an early start on the second day, the temperatures had dipped severely, it rained periodically through the morning tempered by a strong northwester throughout the day. However, fishing was somewhat better than average, especially for Jessica. The fish menu made an abrupt turn over night and with a new string of offerings and a few thousand casts, Jessica mastered the art of presentation. Nymphing was the order of the two-day trip not only because this group was entirely new to fly fishing but also because of the menu change. The van der Voorens are a wonderful family and a pleasure to have in the boats. While the men had two days of good fishing, they fell victim to the "estrogen edge" as Jessica schooled them on Bow River fly fishing.

Hesseler GroupHesseler Group
September 18, 2009
Posted by Bill on Monday, September 21, 2009

John Hesseler, John Hill, Nunsio DeSantis, Mike Meneffee and Matt Clear joined us for two days of fishing the Bow following two days on the Elk River. The first day was a constant battle with the wind and although all fishers nailed fish, it was an average day of fishing on the Bow. The second day, with an earlier start, was entirely absent of wind and a far more pleasant day to be on the water. Fishing was in keeping with the weather and all fishers had a tremendous day. Over the course of the two days of fishing the Bow, well over thirty, 20 plus inch trout were brought to hand punctuating the second half of a 4-day fishing excursion for this group. By far the flavour of the two days, as far as the fish were concerned, was a hopper-dropper set producing a catch that will be hard to duplicate in the future. This is a great group of guys looking for nothing but a good time fishing and in the process made it terrific for everyone involved.

Batty and BrownsBatty and Browns
September 14, 2009
Posted by Bill on Tuesday, September 15, 2009

All Peter Batty (MD) was hoping for was a 20 inch Brown Trout when he booked his Bow River fly fishing trip with us. With cloudless skies and a hot summer-like sun, I was skeptical about his chances in fulfilling that desire as we put into the water. Through the first couple of bends, action was slow further eroding my confidence in getting into a big brown. However, mid-way through the morning a few clouds started rolling in casting huge shadows on the water and after a number of rainbows, the best a 21 incher, Peter tied into a small brown. Clouds continued to build and at just under the half-way point, Peter hooked a good brown, a thick, heavy 23 inch Brown (pictured), well into spawn colouring and strong on the line. I joked about not yet getting that 20 incher he was looking for but a few hundred yards further downstream he landed a 20 inch Brown hen (see the Photo Gallery). Peter is an accomplished caster and a treat to have in the boat. He sets the hook on everything and was adept at incorporating everything I suggested into his fishing technique. To say this was a great day of fishing would be the understatement of the month ... it was a big fish day, both in quality and quantity. Peter marvelled at five 19 inch plus trout from a run the size of a pickup truck, 3 more along a hundred feet of bank on a hopper-dropper set, and of course the Browns. The river showed herself for the fishery she is on this day. I'm just glad I was there to share it with you Peter.

Len and WarrenLen and Warren
September 13, 2009
Posted by Bill on Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Len Stevens and his best buddy Warren joined us on the river for a new experience ... fly fishing. Although both had taken a one-day fly casting course several years ago, nymphing "Bow River style" was entirely new to them. Both casters, seasoned hardware chuckers, had many habits typical of open faced reel fishers that either don't work or have to be broken when fishing with a fly rod. Although they're not going to win any awards with their casting, they were effectively fishing the Bow at the close of the day. Samples taken from caught fish indicate the menu remains the same, nymphs in the size 28 class, and for two newbies to fly fishing, both Len and Warren handled the trout remarkably well on microscopic flies. Although the wind was brutal for both casters, it was still a great day of fishing on the Bow with some great guys.

Kammer and BlythKammer and Blyth
September 11, 2009
Posted by Bill on Friday, September 11, 2009

In spite of a horrific wind, Jamie Kammer and Darren Blyth enjoyed a wonderful day of fly fishing the Bow River. Although the forecast was calling for a virtually calm day, the wind started blowing shortly after we got on the river and never let up until take out. Regardless, both fishers rose to the challenge and chucked flies non-stop, all day long. While samples taken from trout brought to hand indicated the fish were feeding on subsurface nymphs in the size 28 class, both fishers successfully fooled many trout into eating what we were offering. In the final count, twenty plus fish were brought to hand on a day more suited to wind surfing than fly fishing. Most enjoyable was their eagerness to learn and improvement over the course of the day. Although they bugged me about being like a nagging wife, coaching them with each cast, it was a great day on the river with a couple of great guys.

Fish 'N Chips FundraiserFish 'N Chips Fundraiser
September 10, 2009
Posted by Bill on Thursday, September 10, 2009

As part of the Fish 'N Chips Fundraiser for the Canadian Mental Health Association, Calgary Region and Calgary Horizon Housing I had Kim and Jamie join me for a condensed float on the Bow. Although Jamie had held a fly rod a time or two and Kim had seen a fly rod before, both were virtual neophytes to fly fishing. Jamie was fairly quick to catch on to presenting the flies to the trout and nailed his first Rainbow a few hundred yards out of the gate. Kim took a little longer to get the hang of the whole process and went several bends down the river before tieing into his frist Bow River trout. In the end, it was a great day of fishing. Highlights of the day were Jamie's 20 inch Brown (inset, see the Photo Gallery) and Kim's 20 inch Rainbow (pictured, see the Photo Gallery). Jamie's brown was thick and heavy from nose to tail and dressed in pre-spawn colour. Aside from the fishing, the whole affair was focused on this very worthwhile cause to help people in our community in need. Thanks for a great day Jamie and Kim.

Mintz MenMintz Men
September 5, 2009
Posted by Bill on Sunday, September 6, 2009

Don, Todd, Trevor and Devin Mintz (AB) were enthusiastic as we put on the water although the forecast was for wind and cooler temperatures. The day started out wonderfully with Devin missing a few takes and Todd getting his first trout on a fly rod within a quarter of a mile of the launch. Action was steady through the morning although a ferocious wind challenged us from mid-morning on. Devin, having been on trips with us before, had an obvious edge as his experience with a fly rod and fishing the Bow River had him hooking up often. The catch this day consisted of quite a few smaller fish and those in the 17 to 19 inch class. Although the trout are fat and healthy, no fish that would stretch the tape over 20 inches came to hand. In spite of the wind, all four fishers were diligent and fished hard throughout the day. Thanks for your patience guys and a great day on the river.

Wason GroupWason Group
September 4, 2009
Posted by Bill on Sunday, September 6, 2009

Bill Wason, Bill, Bert and Bob (TN) joined us for 3 days of fishing the Bow River. Day one was picture perfect with little to no wind, good activity from the trout and a number of tight lines. Day two we got an early start to avoid other activities on the river, was a little slower in terms of fishing and ended in a gale force wind that literally blew us off the river. Day three, another early start, was arguably the best of the three days. Fish were on the take, the skies were cloudless blue and action was consistent throughout the float. Samples taken from trout show the menu remains the same as it has been over the last week and a half. A fairly significant Trico hatch bloomed mid-morning prompting some very short lived surface activity. The river has cooled with the shortening days promising good fishing as we move into September.

Nelson MenNelson Men
August 31, 2009
Posted by Bill on Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Greg, Curt, Ken and Jeff Nelson (AZ) joined us for three days of fishing, two days on the Bow River and the final day on the Oldman River. This was three days of endless humour and great fishing. Much to the dismay of the other three, Jeff probably took the honours in terms of the number of fish caught and possibly the biggest fish. Seldom were there moments throughout the three days that the brothers and Dad (Greg) weren't taking shots at each other ... all in fun ... all in just enjoying each other's company. If they weren't talking about fishing they were talking about enhanced performance automotives. This was a delightful three days with four "good ol' boys" who are just out to enjoy the excursion at hand.

Our Day OffOur Day Off
August 26, 2009
Posted by Bill on Wednesday, August 26, 2009

One might wonder what a fishing guide does on a day when he doesn't have clients to pilot down the river. I can't say what other guides do but, we go fishing. There was no ulterior motive as we set to the water other than to have a relaxing day of fishing and enjoy the river and the company. Dad, Tom and I got a relatively early start to the day and to getting into fish. Tom hooked the first Rainbow right out of the gate and action was fairly consistent from that point on. The river level dropped significantly over night ... shelves, buckets and benches in the river bed are becoming clearly defined. Shallow banks that held water and fish a month ago are now choked with weeds and exposed rocks. It was a wonderful day, warm, lots of fish and not a breath of wind. We are spoiled to live near and on such a tremendous fishery.

Kathleen outfishes BillKathleen outfishes Bill
August 23, 2009
Posted by Bill on Monday, August 24, 2009

One would think that years of fly fishing experience, familiarity with the fish, countless hours of covering the water and having spent most of one's life outdoors would give a fisher a bit of an edge over a virtual beginner. Not so when it comes to fishing the Bow River. For perspective purposes, Kathleen is the type of gal who believes she's roughing it when her hotel room doesn't have satellite TV or wireless Internet. Donned in a dress appropriate for 8th Avenue Mall shopping, we put to the water for a leisurely day of fishing, Kathleen's fourth day of fishing in her life. The morning passed with Kathleen missing several strikes ... she was gazing at scenery, birdlife or the fisher across the river ... a few lost and a few landed. As we floated over the water of a fast run known to be a good feeding bench for trout, Kathleen announced she'd hooked a good one. Nonchalantly she fought the trout as I positioned the boat for landing. As the Brown rolled beside the boat just beyond the reach of the net I suddenly realized that this wasn't just a good one, it was a BIG fish. Although the pictures don't do this trout justice, this was a tremendous 24 inch Brown, thick from snout to tail, deep throughout and magnificently coloured. Other good trout were taken on the day but none compared. A ferocious wind blew us off the river mid-day thwarting my chances at matching Kathleen's catch. Notes for future trips with Kathleen ... make sure there's a third in the boat 'cuz Kathleen won't hold the trout for pictures and I need a bigger boat to carry her wardrobe!

Jochems through DUJochems through DU
August 21, 2009
Posted by Bill on Saturday, August 22, 2009

Earlier in the spring, Bow River Hookers donated a one-day float to the local Ducks Unlimited Committee for auction at their Annual Fundraiser Auction. Greg Jochems purchased the trip and invited his buddy Gerry Samoisette to join him. Neither of these gentlemen are new to angling but their experience with fly fishing equipment was limited. It took both casters a couple of bends to get the hang of casting a fly and a few more to come to terms with the art of presenting the bugs to Bow River trout. Gerry owned the morning in terms of landed fish while Greg monopolized the catch in the afternoon. Of the twenty trout brought to hand, highlights of the day were Greg's hefty 18 inch Brown (pictured) and Jerry's 19 inch, late-day, Rainbow (inset). The big fish of the day never made it to the net but showed himself with some above surface acrobatics much to the delight of both casters. Bow River Hookers is proud to be part of the water conservation efforts of Ducks Unlimited Canada and would like to thank Greg and his wife Sandy for purchasing the donated trip.

Grasse BrothersGrasse Brothers
August 20, 2009
Posted by Bill on Monday, August 24, 2009

Ron and Lowell Grasse (AB) joined us on the river for what turned out to be an incredible day of fishing. Lowell is a neophyte to fly fishing while Ron is an experienced fly caster on waters much smaller than the Bow River. With his experience, Ron picked up on fishing the river quickly and was into trout a short distance from the launch. Lowell took a bit longer to get the hang of casting, presenting the bugs and setting the hook although Ron didn't get much of an edge from his experience as Lowell also took trout early in the float. Ron commented later in the day that you know you've had a good day of fishing when you turn down the opportunity to take pictures of 19 inch fish. Lowell, an avid photographer, assumed the photographic responsibilities of the day and provided all photos of the trip. Highlights of the day were Ron's 22 inch, deep, thick Brown Trout and Lowell's 20 inch, beautifully coloured Rainbow. With three double-headers on the day and 40 plus trout brought to hand, this was the kind of day when the Bow River really shows her stuff. This was a thoroughly enjoyable trip with two gentlemen who just relished in the experience, were enthusiastic about everything and never complained about anything. If attitude is reflected in fishing success, these two casters should always be holding a bent rod.

Emily and TomEmily and Tom
August 18, 2009
Posted by Bill on Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Emily and Tom Wooding (AB) joined us for a father/daughter float on the Bow River. Tom, with some fly fishing exposure, wanted to give his daughter a new fishing experience. Emily was accustomed to open face reels and pike of northern Alberta waters. Although this was Emily's first time fly fishing, she is a natural caster mastering backcasting with a fly rod before the mid-day lunch break. Fishing was a bit slow out of the gate but once we found the fly the fish would eat (identified from a sample taken from a fish) the frequency of eats took an abrupt turn. Timely setting of the hook was a challenge throughout the day as was landing these energetic trout for both fishers. Nonetheless, both Tom and Emily brought a number of Rainbows to the boat ... the Browns hooked were released in the distance. Highlights of the day had to be Emily's 22 inch Rainbow (see the Photo Gallery), her heavy 19 inch Rainbow (pictured) and Tom's utter enjoyment of the entire experience even though he fell victim to the estrogen edge. In the end, this was a great day of fishing with a pair of wonderful people. Thanks Tom and Emily for a terrific day on the river.

Me and my sonMe and my son
August 16, 2009
Posted by Bill on Monday, August 17, 2009

This was a special day for me, fishing with my son Joel. Amid hectic schedules for both of us, it took all summer to find a day when both of us were free to get onto the water and do a little fishing. While fishing was our focus, it wouldn't have really mattered if we hadn't caught a trout, just spending the day together would have been enough. The bonus was a great day of fishing. Trout were taken on nymph rigs, hopper-dropper setups and dry flies ... streamers weren't to the trout's liking on this day. The early part of the day produced mainly browns, the afternoon and evening catch was predominantly rainbows. We shared thoughts about politics, electronics, movies, the economy and fishing ... something we haven't done for a long time. It was indeed a great day on the river ... and the fishing was good too.

Keeping in TouchKeeping in Touch
August 12, 2009
Posted by Bill on Thursday, August 13, 2009

This was one of the rare occasions through the summer when Tom and I get to fish the river together. While we were out to just enjoy the day and do a little fishing, we were also testing the waters with different methods, approaches and bugs. Nymphing was the most productive although the fish size average was below what we would have expected for this time of the year. Hopper-dropper setups netted mature trout, as expected, but it was many, many casts between eats. Streamers attracted attention below the Highwood confluence but precious little above. The river has cleaned considerably over the last couple of days and as the level continues to drop, the trout are becoming more concentrated. Samples taken from fish suggest the menu has changed slightly with nymphs in the size 28 class making up the bulk of the feed. It was a great day of fishing, relaxing and just being on the water. I look forward to our next day together on the river.

Day of NymphingDay of Nymphing
August 2, 2009
Posted by Bill on Monday, August 3, 2009

Doug Jacobsen, California, in Calgary on business, joined us for a float on the long weekend. The river was busy with recreationalists of all kinds on the water. In spite of the pontooners, rafts, rubby dingies, canoes, bank anglers and boats of every description, fishing was good. We spent the morning nymphing with stones, leeches and small nymphs enjoying consistent and constant success. Hopper-droppers in the afternoon produced a couple of fish but nymphing was again the most productive. Doug seemed to be most effective when he had an audience picking fish after fish in front of other onlooking anglers. Highlights of the day were a 19 inch Brown (pictured) and a 21 inch Rainbow (inset). The river temperature is starting to have an effect on fish activity and the forecast rain will be a blessing, cooling the river down.

Nelson FamilyNelson Family
August 1, 2009
Posted by Bill on Saturday, August 1, 2009

Chris, Hae Kyong, Haegen Lee (9) and Jacob (7) Nelson of North Carolina joined us on the river for a split trip, Chris a full day, the rest of the family a half-day. The day was picture perfect weather wise but the fish were a bit reluctant to take our offerings. Fishing was tough through the morning although Chris did manage to land a couple of very nice Browns. However, the highlight of the morning had to be Haegen Lee's 19 inch Rainbow (pictured). After a few missed takes, this 9 year old sweetheart hooked, fought and landed the trout all by herself with only a little coaching. It was our sincere pleasure to have this family in the boats and on the river. Their enjoyment of the entire experience was a reminder to us that there is a lot to see and do on a float down the Bow.

Guides Fun FloatGuides Fun Float
July 30, 2009
Posted by Bill on Friday, July 31, 2009

With the river fishing very well of late and not much opportunity to be handling the rods ourselves, an open day in our schedules allowed Jason and I to get on the river. Jason invited JD, a beginner fisher, to join us and try her hand at fly fishing the Bow. In terms of a guide's day of checking out the river, it was a great day. In terms of weather, the day wasn't the best with rain, wind and thunder storms in the afternoon and evening. The fish menu remains the same as it has been for over two weeks and the clear water has small nymphs producing very well. Highlights of the day were JD's 9 trout to the net, her first trout on a fly rod (inset), a 21 inch Rainbow (pictured) and a 22 inch Brown Trout so heavy and thick it almost defies description (see the Photo Gallery). Although it seems to be becoming common place for inclement weather any time Jason and I spend a day on the river together, we had a terrific day of floating, fishing and just enjoying the Bow.

Proudlock FoursomeProudlock Foursome
July 29, 2009
Posted by Bill on Thursday, July 30, 2009

Mel, Malcolm, George and Gordon joined us from the UK for 3 days of fishing the Bow. Their first day, fishing the middle stretch of the Blue Ribbon Bow, was an incredible day with close to 70 fish brought to the net. Their second day, fishing the lower stretch, was a bit tougher chucking dry flies to banks and nymphing in between. Their third day, back on the middle stretch of the river, was a repeat of the first day with over 70 fish brought to the net. All four casters were keen fishermen and a pleasure to have in the boats. One an only imagine what they would have done if they'd have landed all the fish they were into. Hope you enjoy the rest of your tour gents.

Shawntel and KathleenShawntel and Kathleen
July 25, 2009
Posted by Bill on Sunday, July 26, 2009

With an open day to get on the river I took my wife, Kathleen, and invited Shawntel Graybill to join us for a day of fishing. This was Kathleen's third time on the river, third time with a fly rod in her hands and first time to fish with female companionship. This was Shawntel's maiden voyage both on the Bow River and fly fishing. Shawntel, a seasoned hardware chucker, found casting a nymph rig a bit of a challenge to start with, "so many things to remember", but got a handle on the technique a few bends into the float. Her open-face reel experience was an asset when it came to handling a fish on the line and although she didn't manage to land anything big, she did well fighting and landing the trout after getting hooked up. Kathleen, a fair weather fisher, improved with both fighting and landing fish as the day went on. With over 20 trout brought to hand on the day, the girls enjoyed a tremendous day of fishing. But only a tremendous day by my measure as both girls were just happy to be on the river, enjoying the sunshine, visiting, relaxing and laughing with a little fishing thrown into the mix. It is such a treat to be on the river with people who are thrilled just to be there. Thanks for a thoroughly enjoyable day girls.

The BowThe Bow
July 23, 2009
Posted by Bill on Friday, July 24, 2009

Josh Dubin (NY) is a repeat guest having enjoyed an exceptional day on the river in 2008. Expectations were high for this year's excursion as we launched the boat at Fish Creek Park. The tenor of the day was set not 20 feet from the launch as Josh hooked up on his first trout of the day. Action was constant from start to finish, 26 trout to the net, many released in the distance and many more that eluded Josh's set that he calmly referred to as a bounce off the bottom. Highlights of the day were two Brown Trout the first of which was gorgeously coloured. The second (pictured) could only be referred to as a pig, heavy from nose to tail, thick across the shoulders and deep throughout. This was without a doubt, a fine day to be on the river ... fabulous weather, fish on the feed and a fisher who was just happy to be out on the water enjoying a great day of fishing. It was a pleasure Josh ... I'm already looking forward to next year.

NuFarm Corporate TripNuFarm Corporate Trip
July 21, 2009
Posted by Bill on Wednesday, July 22, 2009

The day was picture perfect for the NuFarm multi-boat corporate trip under completely sunny skies, only fair weather clouds in sight and virtually no wind movement at all. What was originally planned as an 8 fisher excursion ended up being 6 fishers with only one fisher in each of two boats. None of the fishers had ever held a fly rod in their hands let alone fished with a fly rod. Regardless, it wasn't long after launch before all fishers were casting well enough to be catching Bow River trout ... the hooking up, fighting and landing them took a little longer. By the end of the float the six brand new fly fishers had stung over 100 trout. To say the river is fishing well would be a serious understatement. It was a great day of fishing, relaxing and enjoying workmates and nature. Thanks for a terrific day guys.

The BowThe Bow
July 10, 2009
Posted by Bill on Saturday, July 11, 2009

Dad and I got a late start on the river and an equally late finish. Under quickly disipating cloudy skies, the first couple of hours of the trip were the most productive. While we had a somewhat tough day of fishing, other boats, on the river ealier, reported good success from start to finish. The Golden Stone Fly hatch has advanced past Policeman's Flats and samples taken from landed fish indicate the menu hasn't changed much over the last couple of weeks. Fishing highlights of the day were a heavy, thick Rainbow (pictured) taken on a size 14 stone nymph and a thicker and heavier 22 inch Brown taken on a surface stone. As always, the best part of a day like this is getting out with my Dad.

Helping DU - Bow River StyleHelping DU - Bow River Style
July 9, 2009
Posted by Bill on Saturday, July 11, 2009

Jason Brander and Bruce Dunn purchased their fishing trip at a Ducks Unlimited fundraiser banquet in 2008. As neither of these gents have done a lot of fly fishing, the day was to be an experience ... and it was. Bruce landed his first trout on a fly rod and Jason caught his first Brown Trout. That is not to say they only landed two fish, they landed eleven on the day. Nor is it to say that's all they had on the line. They had a lot more take their flies, they just had a little trouble hooking them, fighting them and landing them. Highlights of the day were Jason's 23 inch Brown, 22 inch Rainbow (pictured) and Bruce's 21 inch Rainbow. Bow River Hookers is proud to support the conservation efforts of Ducks Unlimited. Thanks for the great day guys.

The Stones are Here!The Stones are Here!
July 5, 2009
Posted by Bill on Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Of the fishing seasons through the year, this is one we always look forward to. The Golden Stone Flies are emerging and the adults are prime targets for Bow River trout. This window of opportunity for taking trout on a large surface fly only lasts a week or two and leaves as quickly as it comes. Unlike the take on a size 14 Elk Hair Caddis or Blue Winged Olive, the take on an adult stone fly immitation is explosive, a thrill for even the most seasoned fly fisher. Additionally, the vast majority of trout coming up to take the stone will be mature trout, in the 21 plus inch class ... a fly caster's dream ... big trout, surface fishing. Jason and I hit the Bow looking to take advantage of this situation and were not disappointed. In addition to the stones, fish were taken on nymph rigs, hopper-droppers, steamers and other dry flies. It is a wonderfully diverse time to be on the river.

The BowThe Bow
July 3, 2009
Posted by BIll on Saturday, July 4, 2009

Dad and I got a late start today, not because of other obligations but rather by design. I wanted to take in the evening hatch if there was one. It was approaching noon by the time we set onto the water and the clear morning skies were giving way to fluffy, cotton ball clouds. Three hours after putting on the water we finally turned the corner, losing sight of the launch. We weren't slow to move down the river because of complications, we were slow moving down the river because of fishing and fighting fish. Over the course of the day, samples taken from fish indicate the menu is the same as it has been over the last few days (an imitation pattern awaits me at my fly tying bench). Trout were taken nymphing, on streamers, with hopper-dropper setups and on drys, close to 50 in total. As we loaded the boat in the dark (11 PM) we decided we had an exceptionally good day of fishing.

The BowThe Bow
June 27, 2009
Posted by Bill on Saturday, June 27, 2009

Today Dad, Tom and I went looking for rising trout. At least, that was the focus as we put onto the water. As the hours in the day passed with nil to very little hatch activity taking place, we simply nymphed our way down the river. In the beginning we stopped several times looking for snouts but the stops became less frequent as we made our way down the river. This is not to say the trip was a poor day of fishing. Quite the contrary. It was an excellent afternoon of fishing. We caught some small trout ... promise for the future, and we caught some good trout ... the Brown pictured was about today's average. The ratio of Rainbow to Browns was about 3 to 1 and the Rainbows are recovering nicely from the spawn. It was a great day to be on the river with sunny skies, lots of trout and great fishing partners.

The BowThe Bow
June 24, 2009
Posted by Bill on Wednesday, June 24, 2009

This is our first entry in quite a while. Not that we haven't been fishing ... we have. And not that we haven't been having success ... we have. No excuses. Today Tom, Dad and I floated the Bow on what turned out to be a glorious day. With virtually cloudless skies and only short spirts of wind, this was a very enjoyable day on the river. Stones, May Flys and Caddis made up the bulk of the hatches today. We were surprised by the condition of the Rainbows. As evidence by the trout pictured, the Rainbows are in remarkable condition in their recovery from spawning. Although not nearly as full as they will be a month from now, they are in far better condition on this date than in other years. The absence of a spring blowout may have something to do with it. Of the 30 or so fish we touched today, the majority were Rainbows which is also surprising given the cloudy water conditions.

The BowThe Bow
May 26, 2009
Posted by Bill on Thursday, May 28, 2009

Randy, Jason and I took a chance on this day and floated from Policeman's to McKinnon's. The river had been fishing tough over the last week or so and the rising water level was warning of the upcoming spring runoff. Reduced visibility in the 18 inch to 2 foot range was constant all the way to the Highwood confluence where the chocolate flow from the Highwood and Sheep ended the fishable water. Randy and Jason each took a mature Rainbow skinny and spent from the rigours of spawning but marking the return of the Rainbows to the river. An moderately significant mayfly hatch bloomed at mid-day but feeding fish were many, many casts apart. Brown trout made up the bulk of the catch although fishing continues to be tough. This may mark our last entry before the spring runoff hits and the river blows out. Hopefully the river will hang in there for another couple of days.

The BowThe Bow
May 24, 2009
Posted by Bill on Monday, May 25, 2009

Due to a fairly strong wind in the early morning, Dad and I got a late start on the river. Although we had every intention of getting on the river early, the wind forced us to sit around and wait for it to subside. By noon the wind had pretty well died off as we left the launch. The river is coloured, not as much as the Friday before but coloured just the same. The Didymo floating in the current is a constant frustration as it fouls the flies with every cast. Samples taken from fish confirmed that the fish are feeding sporatically or not feeding at all. As a result, fishing was anything but consistent. The spawn spent Rainbow pictured had plenty of length but very little in weight and visibility is obviously severely reduced. Nonetheless it was a gorgeous day to be on the water with lots and lots of sunshine, signs of spring everywhere and wonderful fishing company.

The BowThe Bow
May 22, 2009
Posted by Bill on Saturday, May 23, 2009

Occassionally there are days where you wonder what on earth you're doing on the water. This was one of those days. With a slight breeze from the southeast, Dad and I launched the boat at Fish Creek Park anticipating another glorious day on the river. By Cranston corner the wind had picked up to a gentle gale and as we passed the pump the gale was in full force. It was a bitter wind forcing us to pack on layers of clothing. Although the skies were clear and sunny with only fair weather clouds in sight, it was a miserable day for floating the Bow. Fishing was in keeping with the weather, not that great. The water level was up about 4 inches and dirty. Visibility deteriorated through the day and the floating debris meant constant hook cleaning. Although it wasn't the greatest day to be on the river it is still better than many other alternatives.

The BowThe Bow
May 16, 2009
Posted by Bill on Sunday, May 17, 2009

With the river quite coloured, Tom, Bill and Bill Sr. joined Jason and Randy Brown for a fun float from Policeman's to McKinnon's. Visibility at launch was about 3 feet although that deteriorated throughout the trip. Fishing wasn't exactly "hot" although fish were taken from launch to takeout. Randy took the highlights of the day, a couple of browns (pictured) several river miles apart. Bill Sr. was the most consistent angler taking half of the catch on this day. Although fishing may not have been at its finest, the day was a gorgeous spring day full of sunshine and very little wind. The Bald Eagle has returned to her nest, the Heronry was virtually void of Herons, the Rainbows have yet to return from their spawning run, Osprey have returned to their nests and we saw our first clutch of goslings of the year. We are reminded that floating the Bow River is about far more than just the fish.

The BowThe Bow
May 2, 2009
Posted by Bill on Saturday, May 2, 2009

After far too long a winter and an unusually cold spring, today's trip marked our first float of the year. Dad joined me on the river to enjoy glorious blue skies, virtually no wind and a very good day of fishing. Although somewhat spotty, fishing could only be considered to be very good with twenty plus fish being touched today. The trip started out with a bang as Dad tied into his first fish of the day, and year, not 80 feet from the launch. Surprisingly, the catch was pretty evenly split between Browns and Rainbows (most of the mature Rainbows are absent from the river on their spawning run). Dad's Rocky Mountain Whitefish rounded out our 3-species catch today. With the first really decent fishing day of the year, the river was busy with both bank and floating anglers. Our Cabin Fever is finally broken with a wonderful day on the river.

Vedder River SalmonVedder River Salmon
October 20, 2008
Posted by Bill on Tuesday, October 21, 2008

As the guiding season on the Bow River comes to a close for the year, the Salmon are running out west. Tom and Bill Windsor, Jason Brown and Todd Clark headed west for 2 1/2 days of fly fishing for Salmon on the Vedder River (October 18, 19 and 20). After a little difficulty finding rooms, the last room at the Rainbow Motor Inn turned out to be a gem with four beds, kitchen facilities and easy access. Hitting the only two days of sun in the forecast, the fishing was very good with around 150 fish touched by this foursome. The catch count was 4 Springs and the balance Chum in the 15 to 20 pound class. Although all fishers complained of sore arms and shoulders from fighting these heafty and powerful fish, the trip was a resounding success. Plans are already underway for next year's Salmon run.

The BowThe Bow
October 13, 2008
Posted by Bill on Tuesday, October 14, 2008

With the weather forecast calling for a ferocious wind, Dad and I were hesitant about taking to the river on this day. However, with the possibly of this being Dad's last opportunity of the year to fish the Bow, we decided to go anyway ... and it's a good thing we did. The day turned out to be absolutely incredible, not only from a weather point of view but also from a fishing standpoint as well. Not a half an hour into the float we decided to stop and fish a run. Standing thigh deep in the cold water, Dad tied into no less than 7 trout in a matter of about 20 minutes, all beautiful, healthy fish, 18 inches or better. This first run produced two double-headers, the best of which involved 20 and 21 inch Rainbows (pictured). The day started out with a bang and never let up until fading daylight forced us to row out the final hour of the float. Although fishing through the morning and early afternoon was markedly faster than later in the day, one fisher touching 50+ fish in one a day on the Bow can only be described as an incredible day of fishing. The only complaint on this day was Dad's rod arm wearing out from fighting fish. If this is to be Dad's last day on the river this year, I'm just thankful I was able to be there to share it with him.

The BowThe Bow
October 2, 2008
Posted by Bill on Friday, October 3, 2008

With the trees adorned in fall colours and a day to myself for floating and fishing, Kathleen and I took to the river to relax, do a little fishing and enjoy the breathtaking scenery down the Bow River Valley. Not particularly keen on the fishing itself, Kathleen was just happy to be out of the office and away from computers and phones. It took a while and a number of strikes before she managed to net her first trout of the day, a 17 inch Brown (pictured). She refused to hold the fish or get in the water so cradling the trout in the net for pictures was the only alternative. The highlight came late in the day, Kathleen's 19 inch Cutbow with tremendous markings and brilliant gill plates. We touched over 40 fish on the day, enjoyed the valley flora and fauna and each other's company. Fishing the Bow in the fall is special with gorgeous scenery, fat, strong trout and incredible weather ... days that are just plain perfect.

The BowThe Bow
October 1, 2008
Posted by Bill on Friday, October 3, 2008

Max Brown (TX), Shelby Johnson (TX) and Jeff Gilstrap (OK) joined us on a float trip arranged by Josh Pendleton of Dynamic Risk Assessment Systems. Max and Shelby put to the water as virtual neophytes taking the first 15 or so minutes of the float learning to fly fish. Jeff, by contrast, had a number of fly casting years under his belt. Shelby struck paydirt first landing a lovely 19 inch Brown Trout (pictured) 20 minutes into the float. Meanwhile, Max saved his engery for the big one, a 21 inch Rainbow (inset) 35 minutes into the float. Fishing could only be described as spotty as many seams and runs that usually produce were silent on this day. Nonetheless, all fishers got into a number of trout, some released in the distance, some simply a bob on the strike indicator, some brought to net. Again the weather was spectacular with cloudless sunny skies, not a breath of wind and temperatures even a Texan is comfortable with.

The BowThe Bow
September 30, 2008
Posted by Bill on Friday, October 3, 2008

John, Tom and Ted joined us on the river for a day of fishing through Brian Cassie. The day was spectacular, sunny, cloudless, dead calm and a balmy 26C to close out September. It took a bit for these gents to figure out the Bow River style of fishing, moving the bugs and setting the hook but in the end it was a great day of fishing. Almost more interested in the waterfowl we encountered, the river was alive with birds and wildlife from start to finish. Fishing was tough to start the day, not from the fish's point of view but certainly from the angler's as many offers went untouched by the slow and gentle bass sets the fishers were used to. Once they got the hang of setting hard and fast, the fish didn't fair nearly as well in escaping untouched. Showered in sunshine, surrounded by foliage in fall dress, with trout eating consistently and great company along, this was a great day on the river.

The BowThe Bow
September 20, 2008
Posted by Bill on Sunday, September 21, 2008

As part of a reward winning prize for Strategic Brokerage Services, Claudette ("C") and Tom Kirdeikis of Edmonton joined us for a float on the river having never fly fished before and virtually never fished before. It was one of those days a fishing guide looks forward to ... not necessarily because of the fish or fishing but rather because of the personalities of the two casters in the boat. Seven minutes into the float "C" tied into her first trout. Her excitement in having her first fish on the line was not only physically obvious but audible to everyone within three miles. Giving that first fish the famous "long-distance-release", moments later she was into her second trout and the dozen or so boats within ear shot of us were again entertained by her excitement. Such was the commotion in our boat every time she hooked into a fish all the way down the river. Her excitement with each hookup had me working a little harder to get her into the next one. Besides her excitement, she is a natural fly caster. Having never chucked a fly before, she was adequately back-casting within an hour of launch and reaching distances of far more seasoned fly fishers. Tom fell victum to the female edge only managing a few hookups and landing one very nice Rainbow but sincerely thrilled with the success "C" was enjoying. Because of time restraints, we had to cut short the float and with the landing of C's 9th trout of the day (pictured) rowed out over the last 2 hours of river. Highlights of the day were C's 21 inch Rainbow, 20 inch Brown and the profound pleasure of spending the day on the river with these two genuinely wonderful people.

The BowThe Bow
September 19, 2008
Posted by Bill on Sunday, September 21, 2008

The Shelton party of 4 joined us on the river for a good day of fishing. Andy, a transplant to Calgary from Texas, his brother Noel of Texas and two Albertans, Doug and Peter. I piloted Andy and Noel down the river and although Andy is the better fly caster, Noel got into some lovely fish. Quality of fish seemed to be the order of the day ... although the number of trout caught wasn't what I would have expected, the quality of fish certainly made up for it. One run produced a number of beautiful trout on a hopper/dropper setup, two of which notable because of their size (pictured). The highlight of the day and the icing on the cake was Andy's 23 3/4 inch Brown he took at last light on a nymph rod. These gents were a pleasure to have in the boat and their enthusiasm about all aspects of the trip reminded me that a float down the river is about far more than just the fish.

The BowThe Bow
September 16, 2008
Posted by Bill on Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Peter Verge of Calgary and Archie Thompson of the UK joined us for a wonderful day of fishing on the Bow. It was a gorgeous mid-September day with only a hint of wind mid-way through the float. In concert with the weather, the fishing was pretty good as well. Peter and Archie threw hopper/dropper setups from launch to take-out netting over 30 trout on the day. Only a couple were on the short side of 18 inches, only a couple on the long side of 21 inches, the majority in the 18 to 21 inch class. There were some slow stretches as the fish appeared to be congregated in pockets and seams all the way along the Policeman's to McKinnon's float. The first of two double-headers (pictured) came early in the float, the second foiled by Archie's long distance release. While the fishing wasn't spectacular like it can be on the Bow, it was very good and we consistently picked fish throughout the day. It was a pleasure to have these two fishers in the boat again (they were on a trip with us last year as well), they cast well, set the hook on everything and are just plain enjoyable company.

The BowThe Bow
September 15, 2008
Posted by Bill on Monday, September 15, 2008

Due to a trip postponement, Dad and I were able to get on the river for a glorious day of fishing. The weather was picture perfect ... warm, sunny and dead calm. The start of the day was slow with only a couple of hits while nymphing in the first couple of miles of the float. With a switch to hopper/dropper setups, action made an abrupt change. Few trout were hooked in deep, slow water. Most came in the fast, shallow runs we expect the trout to be in at this time of year. Over 20 trout were brought to hand over the course of the 7 hour day, most very healthy trophy class trout. From a trout and fishing point of view, the highlight of the day had to be the magnificent Brown I managed to tie into (pictured) in the last mile of the float. Apart from the fishing, the highlight for me was spending the day fishing with Dad on a glorious September day. I am exceedingly fortunate.

The BowThe Bow
September 13, 2008
Posted by Bill on Sunday, September 14, 2008

Bill and Noel Fox from Grafton, OH, included a Bow River float trip in their 5-day fishing excursion in Alberta. Having fished the Highwood the night before and turned nothing, they were eager to get on the Bow and see what she is all about. The rains through the night before had coloured the river slightly and certainly impacted some trout activity. It was a fair distance into the float before Denis got the first tight line of the day. However, as the river cleared under cloudless skies, fishing picked up. Of the fish brought to hand, the 23 inch Rainbow Denis caught on a hopper/dropper set (pictured) and the 20 inch Brown Noel caught on a nymph set (inset) were the highlights of the day. Samples taken from the netted fish showed water worms, caddis larvae and hook size 24 or 26 BWO nymphs made up the fish menu for this day. It was a wonderful day to be on the Bow and Bill and Noel got a good taste of what the Bow has to offer. Good luck on the rest of your trip guys.

The BowThe Bow
September 12, 2008
Posted by Bill on Sunday, September 14, 2008

Denis Couturier and his friend Jean, both of Calgary, joined us on the river for a day of fishing. The day started out very nice, blue skies, sun shining and only a hint of a breeze. However, at noon it started deteriorating and by take-out there was a constant drizzle, a strong north wind and temperatures that felt the drizzle could turn to snow at any time. Fishing could only be described as spotty as there was a fair distance between hooked fish. Even so, some nice trout in the 18 inch plus class were brought to hand. The most notable event of the day was the Blue-winged Olive hatch late in the afternoon that blanketed the river like a carpet giving the surface the appearance of being fuzzy. The morning, before the front moved in, was the best stretch of fishing although it wasn't particularly "fast" at any time through the day. Regardless, it was a great day to be on the river with two very enjoyable guys.

The BowThe Bow
September 9, 2008
Posted by Bill on Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Cal Brassard (Didsbury, AB) and Alex MacAusland (Calgary, AB) were the two fishers assigned to me for the 7 boat, 14 fisher, 1st Annual Charity Fishing Derby organized by Dan Thompson and Bow River Hookers. Cal, an experienced fly fisher, started the day out with a bang tying into a Rainbow not 50 feet from launch. Alex a complete newbie to the Bow and fly fishing got his first tight line only a couple of hundred yards out of the gate punctuating how quickly he took to the Bow River and fly fishing her trout. Of the 16 trout brought to hand, and at least that many released in the distance, two stand out as the hightlights of the day. Alex's first ever Brown Trout (pictured) had him beaming for several hours after the catch and Cal's 22+ inch Rainbow (inset) taken on a hopper/dropper setup. These two were a treat to have in the boat as their relaxed attitude and sincere appreciation of the river was contageous. Most trout came on either the SJW or chenille worm although a variety of nymphs produced for other boats on the float. This was a tremendous day of fishing with charity being the beneficiary. Hat's off to all involved for a great day and a great cause. We're already making plans for the 2nd Annual.

The BowThe Bow
September 8, 2008
Posted by Bill on Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Dad, Tom and I put on at 22X and floated to Policeman's for a rare day this year of we three being on the river together. Fishing wasn't exactly "on fire" although we did pick fish from start to finish. Dad tied into two heavy Browns just below the Deerfoot Extension bridge, both released in the distance and Tom tangled with a monster Brown just above Policeman's flats. The highlight of the day was Dad's Rocky (pictured) that looked like tapping it would cause it to explode. Dad is always anxious to catch a Rocky because while everyone else gets one from time to time, he doesn't. This was a wonderful day of fishing, trout and treasured fishing partners. While the river and fish are the focus on all our float trips, it is the time we spend together that will remain in our minds long after the images of the trout we fought and/or caught have faded.

The BowThe Bow
September 6, 2008
Posted by Bill on Sunday, September 7, 2008

Bob and Denise Hathaway from Tustin, California joined us for a terrific day of fishing. Although there were slow stretches of fishing through the day, we did manage to turn a number of trout. Denise owned the morning netting a couple of Brown Trout, one small, one average (pictured), before Bob had a sniff. Bob's time was the afternoon capping off a wonderful day on the river at dusk with a massive 21-inch Brown in full spawn colours (inset) on a streamer. At last light Bob was still chucking the streamer even though we couldn't see anything. While the day started out to be bright and fairly warm, the weather deteriorated throughout the day and we finished the day in a continuous drizzle and quite cool temperatures about a half-hour after the last bits of light left the western sky. Inspite of the poor afternoon weather it was a great day on the river with great people.

The BowThe Bow
September 5, 2008
Posted by Bill on Sunday, September 7, 2008

Every so often the Bow shows herself for what she can truly be. This was one of those days. On his first day of a 3-day trip with us, Carson Chen from Foster City, California was treated to a day of fishing that defies description. At no point on the float did he go much more than 10 minutes without a fish on. While we had intended to do a variety of fishing styles, the hopper-dropper was the ticket on this day and from launch to day's end all Carson did was chuck the hopper-dropper and fight fish, the smallest 17 1/2 inches, the best a heavy 23-incher, all Rainbows. Carson is a very good fly caster and I marvelled at the drifts he could attain with the hopper-dropper setup. He is also a pleasure to have in the boat with realistic expectations and complete respect for the resource. We lost track of the number of fish he was into early in the trip and even got to the point of turning down posing for pictures with 20-inch trout. With the cool weather and continuous battling of trout, Carson's wrists gave out with 2 hours left in the float. Thanks for an incredible day on the river Carson. Next time we'll try to get that Brown Trout for you.

The BowThe Bow
September 4, 2008
Posted by Bill on Sunday, September 7, 2008

This, a day for the guides, had Bill Sr., Marty Anderson, Clint Brown, Jason Brown, Tom and I hit the river. Although not what you would call a "hot" day on the Bow, the river fished very well and produced a number of very nice trout for all fishers. In keeping with years of experience, Bill Sr. took the highlight of the day, a deep, heavy, colourful, 23-inch Brown Trout (pictured). All methods of fishing produced (streamer, nymph, dry fly and hopper-dropper) but the most productive was nymphing. Samples taken from the fish indicate very little change in the menu for the last couple of weeks with extremely small nymphs making up the bulk of the diet. Imitations would have to be in the hook size 26 to 28 range, impossible to land a Bow River trout on. Although trout were taken on a variety of nymphs, several variations of the caddis and chenille worm were the best producers. This was a great day on the river with a great bunch of guys.

The BowThe Bow
August 30, 2008
Posted by Bill on Monday, September 1, 2008

The Bow is touted as being a technical river and the fish difficult to catch. It was this reputation that precipitated Kevin Schmelzle from Calgary and his buddy Vaughn from Edmonton to join us for a day on the river. Kevin had admittedly zero success on the Bow through sixty plus hours of walk and wade fishing. Vaughn had never fished the Bow and was just tagging along. Both are good fly casters and handle the fight well after hookup. Kevin was into his first Bow River trout early in the float while Vaughn took at little longer to get a tight line. Fish were taken on nyphms and hopper/dropper sets and although we tried, we didn't produce anyting on dry flies. Again the Chenille Worm and Prince Nymph were the best producers on the day although Vaughn had 5 chances on trout taking the hopper, hooking and landing one of the five. The purpose of the float was to give these two fishers some insight into the river, the trout and successful fishing methods for both. If takes, misses, and landed trout are the measure of fishing, they had a pretty good day. Hopefully they'll be better equipped to enjoy the Bow and her trout for years to come.

The BowThe Bow
August 29, 2008
Posted by Bill on Monday, September 1, 2008

This was one of the most enjoyable days I've spent on the river courtesy of Emily Elliott and Kathy Cassidy of Austin, Texas. I don't believe I've ever laughed so often or for so long as with these two gals in the boat. If they weren't taking digs at each other, they were bashing themselves for a bad cast or missed fish. The antics in the back of the boat when a Caddis flew down Kathy's blouse will be something I will long remember. Both girls were adept at casting the flies but found the hooking and fighting fish to be a bit of a challenge. Nonetheless, they both managed to tie into some nice trout, some brought to the boat, some given the long-distance release. Fishing was somewhat spotty along the river with the Prince Nymph and Chenille Worm producing the best results. Kathy introduced me to the "Kathy Twitch" that involved her rod, arm, shoulder and hips to make the bugs move. Emily demonstrated that if you give the trout enough pressure, they'll launch into the air everytime. Both girls were a treat to have in the boat and I'll welcome them back anytime.

The BowThe Bow
August 28, 2008
Posted by Bill on Friday, August 29, 2008

Bets Cassidy and Charlie Pursel of Bloomsburg, PA joined us for a beautiful day on the Bow. Bets, a novice fly fisher, took to the "Bow River style" of casting very quickly and seemed to be keyed in to the Brown Trout catching predominantly Browns on the day. Charlie, a far more accomplished fly caster, was our Rainbow man. Although the fishing wasn't what you would call "on fire", both fishers had several opportunities on trout. The best of Charlie's Rainbows was given the "long-distance release" while Bets (with a little coaching) demonstrated expert fighting techniques with the trout she brought to hand. Samples taken from fish showed much of what we have seen the past few weeks, the trout are feeding on dark nymphs in the size 28 range, water worms, caddis nymphs and stone flies. Bets first Brown was chuck-full of the microscopic nymphs. The avian inhabitants of the river valley delighted both casters with sightings of a variety of ducks, Eagles, Herons, Pelicans and Osprey. Both casters are a treasure to have in the boat and despite the hurricane winds late in the day, the trip was thoroughly enjoyable. Thank you for a great day of fishing, Bets and Charlie.

The BowThe Bow
August 24, 2008
Posted by Bill on Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Andy Blau from Piermont, NY joined us on the river today for a good day of fishing. Andy is a fairly accomplished fly caster and experienced fisher. Having just returned from a week-long cruise to Alaska, he was eager to see what the Bow has to offer. The upper end of the float was slow with only a couple of takes early in the float. At Jason's run we could see a good trout lying in the seam but had trouble presenting an offering he'd eat. Regardless, Jason's run produced a number of takes, a 19 inch Rainbow to the net and two other good trout were given the "long-distance release". The trout pictured was a 20 inch Rainbow taken half way through the float on a nymph. Although not furious, the action was consistent and capped off by a 22 inch Cutbow on a dry fly. The dropper of choice on this day was the Sparkle Caddis although other flies produced as well. The Bow didn't show herself for what she can be on this day but it was a great day of fishing and Andy is a pleasure to have in the boat. We didn't touch much in the way of small fish which suited Andy just fine. We'll work on getting a good Brown next time Andy.

The BowThe Bow
August 23, 2008
Posted by Bill on Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Doug Sawka, a long time friend from Edmonton, joined me on the river for an afternoon float from Fish Creek Park to Policeman's Flats. Doug, still recovering from major surgery, was not in peak fishing form although any day on the river is as relaxing as it can get. The day started out somewhat slow with only a couple of trout to the net by Cranston corner. From there on, however, the Bow showed herself for what she can be. Nymphs, Hopper/Droppers and dry flies all produced action for the remainder of the float. Trout ranged from 16 inches to 23 inches with Doug's highlight of the day being a 22 inch Rainbow (pictured). We hooked up on a big, heavy Brown in a fast, deep run only to see him once as he launched from the water and threw the hook. As one of only 2 or 3 days I get to spend fishing with Doug each year, this was a special treat for me. Special because of the company, the fish and the river.

The BowThe Bow
August 21, 2008
Posted by Bill on Thursday, August 21, 2008

This was one of those days when everything just comes together. Jason and I took to the river for a fun float, to keep in touch with the river and do a little fishing for ourselves. To some the day wouldn't be considered to be the best day for fishing but to Jason and I, it was made to order. Overcast skies, a light drizzle and virtually no wind until later in the day. These are the kinds days we expect to see good Browns and we weren't disappointed as Brown Trout made up 80 percent of our catch. Every method of fishing; nymphing, hopper/droppers, dry flies and streamers, all produced trout. There were a number of highlights on this day, Brown trout and the quality of fish topped the list; only a couple of trout in the 16 inch class and the rest were 18 inch and better. This was a thoroughly enjoyable day for Jason and me, not necessarily so for the 30 plus trout we touched.

The BowThe Bow
August 20, 2008
Posted by Bill on Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Rick Brown and his buddy Jim joined guide Jason Brown for a tremendous day of Bow River fishing. Neither Rick nor Jim had touched a fly rod in 10 years so they were virtual neophytes in terms of fly casting. Additionally, neither had floated the Bow so this was an entirely new experience for both of them. By day end they had netted 23 trout, had three double-headers, attained a new appreciation for the Bow and were tickled pink about the entire adventure. With water levels and temperatures somewhat stabilized, the trout were where we would expect them to be, in the runs and transitions. While a number of flies were effective on this day, including some dry fly action, topping the menu was the brown worm. Hope we've got you hooked on fly casting and the Bow River, Rick and Jim, and that you'll join us again sometime soon.

The BowThe Bow
August 17, 2008
Posted by Bill on Monday, August 18, 2008

Louis Gaither from Tennessee joined us on a day of fishing the Bow in between fishing for Pike and Walleye in the north and Cutties and Bull Trout in the south. On a day far more suited to parasailing (the southeast wind gusted to 35 mph), casting and getting a drift was a constant battle. Inspite of that, Louis didn't complain a bit and was just happy to be on the water chucking flies. Although he had a little trouble with the "hot" Bow River trout and the timeliness of setting the hook, he managed to pick fish fairly consistently throughout the day. The highlights for Louis were the biggest Rainbow he's ever caught (taken on a sparkle caddis hopper/dropper set) and his first ever first Brown (a Lockleven taken on the San Juan Worm). Nymphing was the most productive method on this windy day with Pheasant Tails and Chenille worms being the most consistent. All in all it was a great day on the river with trout, eagles, swallows and a BWO hatch at the end of the day that clouded the skies. I'll have a can of nibblets ready for you when you come join us again Louis!

The BowThe Bow
August 15, 2008
Posted by Bill on Friday, August 15, 2008

Although the webmaster of this site is reluctant to be in or on water of any kind, I managed to drag her out for a float for the second time this year. Kathleen, Bill's wife, is a complete novice to fishing and not what you might call an "outdoor" kind of girl. She doesn't like bugs, spiders, birds up close, or anything that slithers. Attempts to convince her to pose holding her first ever Brown Trout were pointless and the closest she'd get was cradling the trout in the net. Although she had about a dozen takes on the day, she hooked five but only netted one. She hasn't quite figured out the "setting the hook" concept or keeping the line tight once the fish is hooked. Regardless, we had a wonderful day courtesy of the Bow. Copper Bobs and Hare's Ears turned fish on the upper end of the 22X to Policeman's stretch while the leech and Sparkle Caddis did the trick on the lower end. Although Kathleen felt she was imposing, preventing me from fishing, watching her delight at her first fish made my day. I'll take her on the river again in a heartbeat.

The BowThe Bow
August 12, 2008
Posted by Bill on Friday, August 15, 2008

It is a rare day this year when we can get a group of fishers together for a float down the Bow. This day was one of those rare occasions. Bill Sr., Clint Brown, Jason Brown, Tom and I hit the Policeman's to McKinnon's stretch for a fun day of fishing. Although every fisher got into some nice fish, Clint was the one with the right touch netting a number of very nice trout. The day was a glorious day of sun, water and fishing. Through the upper end of the float, the black leech was the ticket. Through the middle, the Pheasant Tail, Copper Bob and Chinelle Worm were the hot flies. On the lower end, the hopper was the order. The river has been fishing very well over the last week or so and this day was no exception.

The Bow
August 10, 2008
Posted by Tom on Monday, September 1, 2008

Brandi McCrimmon booked a trip for her husband Jeff for his birthday. Jeff had been on a trip with me last year, and so already knew about my "special" technique. It was Brandi's first fly fishing experience and she pick up casting, mending, mending, and twitching very quickly. It was Jeff's day however, with an unknown number of fish hooked and landed, but the most memorable were three browns over the 20" mark. Next time if will be all about you Brandi.

The Bow
August 9, 2008
Posted by Tom on Monday, September 1, 2008

Tim and Brian joined me again this year, the only difference was it was three months later than their usual May float. The day started off with a bang with nearly a dozen fish hooked in the first mile. Although we still got fish thoughout the day it slowed considerably when the wind picked up from the east. The highlight of the afternoon was a favorite run I would walk the boat u back up to go through a dozen times and each time we would hook one or two fish. Lots of work but sometimes we have to do what we have to do.

The Bow
August 8, 2008
Posted by Tom on Monday, September 1, 2008

Sandy and Jan Negropontes floated the Bow for a first time fly fishing trip. It was one of those days we all dream about and the fish were eating. Eating pretty much everything we put in front of them, but the majority came on the faithful San Jaun. In all I guessed about 40 fish were hooked on the day. What I would call a very good day for a couple of first time fly fishers. Hopefully we can do a repeat on your next trip.

The BowThe Bow
August 7, 2008
Posted by Bill on Saturday, August 9, 2008

After a rather hectic July of guiding and a two week stint without a day off, schedules fell into place for a day when we could get Dad out on the river and fish for ourselves ... a fun float for Tom and me to see exactly what is happening on the river. The day started off with a bang and never let up until we hit the Highwood. Small nymphs produced on the upper end of the float but in summary, the fly of the day was the worm. Stone fly nymphs, Hare's Ears and Pheasant Tails produced sporatically amid the Trico hatch early and late in the day. As has become the standard of late, Dad took the fish of the day, a splendid, thick, heavy, 25 inch Brown Trout (pictured), a fish that could only be described as a "pig". On this day the Bow showed herself for what she really is, an incredible fishery and I can think of no way better enjoying what she has to offer than in the company of my father and brother.

The BowThe Bow
August 4, 2008
Posted by Bill on Saturday, August 9, 2008

Scott Cunningham, Scott Norris and Wayne Fuller joined us from Virginia for 3 days of fishing. The first two days were spent floating the Bow and the third, a walk and wade on the Oldman River. While these three were most interested in the entire experience of fishing these waters than actually catching fish, they had two incredible days on the Bow and a pretty good day on the Oldman. They marvelled at the Bald Eagle settling on the water to take a fish, were astonished by the size of the trout and drank in the magnificent flora and fauna of the Bow and Oldman River drainages. With the water on the Bow continuing to drop and clear, the trout were certainly on the feed through most of both days floating. Fish were taken nymphing and using the hopper/dropper setup but only Wayne managed to find a rising fish that would take a dry fly. Much to our delight, the chenille worm is back in season. The Oldman, more like the streams this trio is accustomed to in Virginia, produced some beautiful Cutties, Rainbows and Cutbows on a dry. It was a pleasure accompanying them on their three days of fishing and hopefully next time we'll be able to get them into some big trout dry fly action.

The BowThe Bow
August 2, 2008
Posted by Bill on Sunday, August 3, 2008

Cameron Grant and Wade of Edmonton joined me for a glorious day of fishing on the Bow. Not only was the weather picture perfect throughout the day but the fishing and fish matched the weather. Although the day was a little slow out of the gate, it didn't take long before both Cam and Wade starting picking fish. By day end both fishers had caught trout on a dry fly, a hopper-dropper set and nymphing, nymphing being by far the most productive. The average trout on this day was in the 19 inch range, the most notable a 22 inch thick, heavy Brown Cam brought to hand. The highlight of the day was the jubilation displayed by both Cam and Wade as they relished in their fourth double-header of the day. Cam's comment, "you know you've had a good day of fishing when you've lost track of the number of fish you've caught", pretty well summed up the day. Although fish were taken on a variety of nymph imitations, the fly of the day was the chenille worm. Given the spotty fishing over the last few days, it was nice to see the Bow show herself for what she can be, an incredible fishery. It was also a treat to have Cam and Wade in the boat, two fishers who are fishing nuts, good fly casters and set the hook on everything ... even weeds. It was a great day guys. I'm looking forward to the next time.

The BowThe Bow
July 29, 2008
Posted by Bill on Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Following an extended stint of having clients on the river, I finally got a chance to get Dad out on the Bow to do a little fishing. The day, weather wise, was almost picture perfect, the only blemish being a slight breeze for a short period of time. Fishing wasn't as spectacular as the weather but was good just the same. Interestingly, we didn't pick any small fish on this day ... all trout taken were above 18 inches. Dad's last fish of the day was a colourful Rainbow (pictured) still showing signs of the rigours of spawning. Flies of choice on this day were an imitation leech and the stone fly larvae. Other offerings took trout but not consistently. There was less weed floating in the river than in the last couple of days and visibility improved throughout the day. It was great to get a chance to spend the day with Dad and hopefully it won't be many days before our next trip together.

The Bow
July 28, 2008
Posted by Tom on Monday, September 1, 2008

Christy Garth and her husband spent a couple of days with me on the Bow. A couple fo very nice people new to fly fishing with a love of the out doors. Over the course of the two days we got into a nuber of fish mostly on nymphs and finally consistantly on the worms. This year is about 2 to 3 weeks behind because of our cool spring, but the fishing is finally really starting to pick up. Maybe we will see you again one day, hopefully the move is successful and your remaing time in the Rockies was everything you hoped it would be.

The BowThe Bow
July 27, 2008
Posted by Bill on Monday, July 28, 2008

Jack and Bill Busst joined us on the river as a result of a Christmas present from Jack's wife, Patricia. Jack had been absent from fly fishing activities for well over a decade and took a few bends to regain his rhythm. Bill had never fished the Bow or fly casted so this trip represented and completely new experience for him. By trip's end, Bill was casting effectively and had gained a whole new appreciation for the craft of fly fishing. Fishing was again spotty but consistent above the Highwood. Highlights of the day had to be the heavy Rainbow Jack tied into on a dry fly that straighted the hook out during the battle after the hookup, the Brown Trout Bill brought to hand (pictured), and the positive attitude of both anglers just happy to be out on the river. It was indeed a pleasure.

The Bow
July 27, 2008
Posted by Tom on Monday, September 1, 2008

Ian and Mike joined me on the lower Bow today. Ian has fished the river before and wanted to chuck streamers on the bottom end. A hot sunny day is not exactly what one hopes for when fishing streamers, however by the end of the day over 30 fish were hooked with a very high percentage of these landed. Both Ian and I learned a few new trick, hopefully we can try this again soon.

The BowThe Bow
July 26, 2008
Posted by Bill on Monday, July 28, 2008

Fly fishing should be an experience a father shares with his son. Such was the case on this day as Rob, Matthew, Jeff and Peter Swart took to the water in father/son combinations. Fly fishing for Matthew and Peter was an entirely new experience and both boys took quickly to casting, fighting and landing trout. The missing partner in this trip was father/grandfather Swart who broke his wrist two days prior to the trip. It would have been nice to have had three generations on the river. Regardless, every caster got into fish, although landing them was a different story. Fishing was spotty and trout were taken on a variety of imitations, the floating weed and algae being a constant challenge. Days like these, watching fathers and sons share a day of new experiences, are special and far too infrequent. They remind me of my youth and the wonderful days I spent casting a fly with my father ... and the days I still spend on trout waters with him. Thanks for a terrific day on the river guys.

The BowThe Bow
July 25, 2008
Posted by Bill on Monday, July 28, 2008

Ted Vanderwal and his fiancÚ Nichole joined us on the river from Edmonton for a beautiful day of floating and fishing the Bow. Nichole, a complete novice to fly fishing and the Bow River, caught on to the Bow River style of casting very quickly and turned a number of fish on the day. Here she is pictured with a Brown Trout she netted about half way through the trip. Ted, a caster with some experience, was snake bitten by long-distance releases and had a little trouble handling the "hot" trout in the Bow River current. Fishing was spotty throughout the day and the increased river level and floating weeds and algae made keeping the flies clean a real challenge. Nonetheless, both tied into trout at various times throughout the float. With your wedding less than a month away, we wish you all the best in the years to come. Hopefully we've got you hooked on fly fishing Nichole.

The BowThe Bow
July 24, 2008
Posted by Tom on Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Alex Cruz from Miami joined me for two days on the Bow. An interesting situation from my perspective, as from being ridiculed by salt water guides about my trout sets, it was enjoyable to be on the other side. Alex an experienced salt water fly fisher needed some coaching to lift his rod to "set" on a trout after eating a dry fly. It was a pretty good two days fishing with most of the success coming on streamers, a style of fishing Alex is very familiar with, as well as a number of fish taken on drys. It was most enjoyable watching him make "chasers" eat the streamers and seeing him stalk risers until he could actually see the fish in the water. Hopefully one day soon we can reverse rolls and I will be with you on your turf.

The BowThe Bow
July 19, 2008
Posted by Bill on Monday, July 21, 2008

Ben and Kay Mayberry (TX), joined us again on the Bow this year. While the fishing was slow and spotty, the weather was picture perfect for a day of floating the river. A variety of flies turned fish on this day and it seemed nothing was consistent or constant with each passing turn of the river. Nymphs under a strike indicator and hopper were both productive albeit not fast or furious. The San Juan worm had its moments as did the Bow River Bugger. Even stone flies turned a few trout on various stretches. What was missing in the fishing was replaced by the glorious cloudless sunny skies and the variety of flora and fauna along the river course. It was a wonderful day to be fishing the river with two great people. Thanks for a terrific day Ben and Kay.

The BowThe Bow
July 19, 2008
Posted by Tom on Tuesday, August 19, 2008

James and Cathy Cash from Tennasse joined me for three days on the river. Three tough days on the river, we caught a number of fish and at times the river showed off what it is capable of, but we shouldn't have to work that hard for them. We again had most of our success on the golden stone and a black leech. It was a very enjoyable three days with a couple of great people. If you ever come back to Canada hopefully you will look me up.

The Bow
July 18, 2008
Posted by Tom on Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Chris Brown and his wife from Vancouver Island fished with me today. And what a day it was, beautiful and sunny in the morning, heavy rain and hail in the afternoon. Even with the bad thunderstorms the Brown's found only positives out of it all and were most enjoyable to have in the boat. Although both were realatively new to fly fishing both caught a number of fish. Choice flies on the day were the golden stone and a black leech. Hope to see you both back real soon.

The BowThe Bow
July 17, 2008
Posted by Bill on Monday, July 21, 2008

Jim Chroniaris (Calgary) and Les (Bassano) are beginning fly fishers and eager to put all they learned in their recently completed fly fishing course to good use on the Bow. Unfortunately, much of what they were taught had lead them astray so much of this day was spent assisting them get back on track and fishing "Bow River" style. Both were eager students and quick studies as they picked up the casting and mending like far more seasoned fly casters. Even getting out of the boat and working seams and runs was undaunting to them as they quickly learned to effortlessly cast their offerings to the trout. It is days like these when I am know why I do what I do. Their excitement over the fish and their incredible increased proficiency over the course of the day was a joy to witness. I hope both of you have countless hours of enjoyment fishing the Bow in the years to come and success every day to put to her waters. I look forward to seeing you on the river.

The BowThe Bow
July 16, 2008
Posted by Bill on Monday, July 21, 2008

Ed Margola (Texas) booked four days of fishing with the intent of fishing the Bow for three and hitting the Old Man for one on a walk and wade. After the first day on the Bow, he opted to spend all four days on the Bow as the quality and quantity of trout caught his attention. In the end, his first day was his best of the four days of fishing. Not only did he get into a number of quality fish but conditions were just right and we spotted a number of trout sipping flies off the surface. Of the six fish he took on surface offerings, the best, a 23 inch Rainbow (pictured), took a size 14 caddis fly. Over the four days, Ed landed a number of good fish, missed several takes and exercised the famous "Bow River long-distance release" on a number of others. He was a pleasure to have in the boat and an eager fisher throughout even after our early morning, 6 AM start on the last day. Maybe next time we'll get that Brown you were after Ed.

The Bow
July 15, 2008
Posted by Tom on Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Devin Mintz of Smith Bits Canada who fished with me last year during the Oilman's float, joined me today with a guest on the first of his three trips he booked this year. fishing in the morning was fairly steady right up to mid day lunch. After lunch things slowed considerably and the fish were much harder to find. Choice flies of the day were the faithful red worm and a black leech.

The BowThe Bow
July 14, 2008
Posted by Bill on Monday, July 21, 2008

Trey Shanks and three buddies (Chris, John and David) travelled from Texas to join us on the Bow. These gents were a pleasure to have on the river with their ever possitive attitude and simple enjoyment of being out on the water. Fishing on the day was a bit tough with seams and runs which usually produce well offering little or no action. Fishing could only be described as spotty with long stretches between fish. With the river clearing and dropping, the trout were on the move and "hot" in the faster water. Nonetheless, it was a wonderful day on the river with four great guys. While the Bow did not show herself and what she can be on this day, we look forward to the next time we see you gents fishing her.

The BowThe Bow
July 13, 2008
Posted by Bill on Monday, July 21, 2008

This day was a guide's fun float day with Tom, Jason Brown, Dan Thompson, Bill Sr. and me venturing to the lower end of the Bow to check out that section of the river. Reports suggested recent action on adult stones was fast and furious on the lower Bow and the only way to confirm the reports was to fish it. Weather may have been our worst enemy on this day as it was clear and sunny throughout the day until a furocious wind took over in the last hour of the float. Reports of fishing action were from overcast, cool days, a polar opposite of this day. Fishing could only be described as deadly slow on surface offerings. A lovely 23 inch Rainbow (pictured) taken on an adult stone imitation was the highlight of an otherwise uneventful day of fishing. Most trout taken came on subsurface offerings. From our findings, fishing on the lower Bow, in contrast to the reports we had heard, is anything but fast and furious.

The BowThe Bow
July 12, 2008
Posted by Bill on Monday, July 21, 2008

Trevor Marten and three other buddies from Lethbridge (Doug, Tim and Sean) joined us on the Bow River again this year to try their hand on Bow River Trout. Although the fishing action wasn't a repeat of the year before, all fishers managed to get into a few trout on the day. Small nymphs were the order of the day although leeches, Bow River Buggers and the San Juan worm produced as well. Fish were in the usual places as expected with many brought to hand and at least an equal number given the long distance release. These gents are a pleasure to have in the boat and likely a welcome addition to angling pressence on any stream. It was a great day guys ... hope to see you again next year.

The BowThe Bow
July 10, 2008
Posted by Bill on Friday, July 11, 2008

The Winwood Corporate Float trip is a trip we annually look forward to. This year would see 14 fishermen in 7 boats trying their luck on the Bow River. This is a great bunch of guys looking for a little relaxation, an escape from the pressures of work with a little fishing thrown in. Depending on the guide piloting the boat, the fishers were exposed to all types of fishing from nymphing to stripping steamers and even presenting dry flies to the trout. Every boat saw fish and every style of fishing was productive on this day. While the focus of the day was the fish and fishing, the real reward was the day away from the office on a gorgeous river in great company. Although the day was a bit on the cool side and windy from time to time, it was a great outting for the Winwood participants and the guides alike. Thanks for a terrific day guys ... we're already looking forward to next year.

The BowThe Bow
July 8, 2008
Posted by Bill on Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Stan and Jon Lakefish, a father/son combo, joined me for a perfect day on the river. Under a cloudless sky and only a hint of a slight breeze from time to time, Stan and Jon planned this escape while on a family vacation in Alberta. Stan, a seasoned caster, pick up the "Bow River" style of fishing very quickly. Jon, a virtual neophyte, took a little longer to warm up to the idea of casting a strike indicator and nymphs although he was into fish very early in the float. It wasn't until late in the day he mastered the "tweek" to give the flies movement. Nonetheless, both fishers were into trout throughout the day. Again, samples taken from fish caught were completely different than the flies the trout would take. Caddis nymphs, Hare's Ears and Copper John's were the flies of choice on this day. While the fishing wasn't what it can be on the Bow, it was an above average fishing day and the attitude both Stan and Jon had toward the entire experience was refreshing. Hope the rest of your vacation was a success Stan and Jon and I look forward to the next time we have you on the Bow.

The BowThe Bow
July 6, 2008
Posted by Bill on Monday, July 7, 2008

This was a extra special day for me as I finally convinced by wife Kathleen to join me on the river. Not only was this her first time on the Bow but it was her first time with a fishing rod of any kind in her hand. With the river high and markedly coloured (16" visibility), fishing for a first-time fisher was tough. Although her casting improved as the day progressed, because of her inexperience she was relegated to fishing nymphs and small streamers in runs and seams. Typically we would have casters pounding the banks with streamers under these conditions but simply getting the fly out was enough challenge for Kathleen. There is little doubt that every fisher on the banks of the Bow within earshot was aware something was happening when she got into a fish. Flies of choice were the Hare's Ear, Copper Johns and Copper Bobs. Several other offerings were made with no results. The best fish on the day was a 21" Brown (pictured) and although a number of other nice trout made up the action, Kathleen's enjoyment of the day was the most rewarding.

The BowThe Bow
July 1, 2008
Posted by Tom on Saturday, July 5, 2008

Happy birthday Canada, I celebrated by spending a day on the river with Steven and his grandfather Jim. This will by far be one of the best stories of the season. Kaley Rich, Steve's fiancÚ booked this float trip for Steve for his birthday. Steve asked his grandfather, who is from Ontario, to join him. After hearing this story I knew this family will see many more birthdays together. Steve has had some experience fly fishing but Jim none and both were very new to the sport but took to the casting very quickly. Jim had a little more difficulty hooking and landing than Steve but both had lots of long distance releases. The most notable fish was a 23" Cut Bow, which is a cross between a Rainbow and a Cutthroat. I haven't seen one of the on the Bow for about three years and never one this big. In all it was a great day on the river with over 40 fish hooked, great company, and even decent weather. Thanks to Kaley who originated the trip. Steve you are a lucky guy.

The BowThe Bow
June 30, 2008
Posted by Bill on Monday, June 30, 2008

The Windsor trio (Tom, Dad and I) hit the river today for a fun float. Under cloudless skies through the morning and early afternoon, it was a very hot day and the cloud cover late in the afternoon brought welcome relief. Fishing was spotty and it seemed that whatever the fish appeared to be eating from samples taken from netted fish, anything but those imitations had hits. Beautiful fish were admired throughout the day but the highlight was Dad's colourful, heavy 24 inch Brown (pictured) taken on a size 14 Hare's Ear. Spotty fishing and slow strectches during the day are all forgotten when a monster like this is the prize of the day. Samples taken showed the fish were eating leeches, crane fly larvae, water worms, and caddis larvae. As is the norm, it was a great day to be on the water with great fishing partners.

The BowThe Bow
June 28, 2008
Posted by Tom on Saturday, July 5, 2008

Darrell Boer of Ontario and his brother in law Gordon, of Calgary booked a float trip today. Darrell, mainly a bass fisherman with spinning equipment and Gordon a non fisherman, wanted to give fly fishing the Bow River trout a try. It didn't take long to get these guys effectively fly fishing "Bow River" style and Darrell was into the first fish within 100 yards of the launch, and Gord with his first shortly after. The hook set and landing was a different story, but then this is a big river, the fish are "hot" and this is fly fishing barbless, so I guess the long distance release is understandable. The morning was slow with probably only a dozen fish stung by lunch. The afternoon was a different story with very consistent fishing right to the take out. Not sure who enjoyed the trip more, the bass fisherman, the non fisherman or myself. This is by far one of the best jobs there is, hard, frustrating, humiliating, and long some days, but very rewarding every day. Thanks guys for a great day. Hope to see you again in the near future.

The BowThe Bow
June 27, 2008
Posted by Bill on Saturday, June 28, 2008

Rick Bartlett (Georgia) was in town on business and decided to set one day aside for fishing the Bow. Under cloudless, blue skies, the river had been fishing well and cleaning with every passing hour. Unlike previous days, the trip started out slow. By the lunch break only 4 trout had been brought to hand even though samples taken from the fish suggested the imitations we were offering were among the items on the fish menu. Fishing picked up considerably after lunch. By day's end, 18 trout had seen the net and Rick figured he had touched over 40 fish in one way or another. A wide assortment of flies turned fish on this day and the only thing consistent was inconsistency. While Rick didn't bring a wall-hanger Brown to the boat, he marvelled at the consistently high quality of fish the Bow produces. Maybe next time we'll get that Brown for you Rick.

The BowThe Bow
June 27, 2008
Posted by Tom on Saturday, July 5, 2008

Ron Fry who did a few trips with me last year brought his other son Justin on a float trip today. As this was Justin's first attempt at fly fishing, it took a bit to get in the groove but wasn't long until he landed his first Bow River trout and on a fly no less. The fishing was not quiet as good as yesterday, but still fairly steady throughout the day. There were lots of long distance releases today and so not quite as many in the net as the day previous. Again a great way to spend a day on the river with a couple of great people. The river is dropping steadily now and cleaning seemingly by the hour. The fish have moved off the banks for the most part and we are now finding them in the runs and buckets more accustom to summer time. Samples from fish today was a repeat of yesterday, the difference was if we found something in a fish and tried something completely different we caught fish. Doesn't make sense but then if it was easy it wouldn't be the Bow. Hope to see you again later in the year Ron.

The BowThe Bow
June 26, 2008
Posted by Tom on Saturday, July 5, 2008

Burt and Corey Turnbull of Youngstown Alberta joined me on the river today for a post run-off float trip. The weather was good and the river has cleaned nicely with three feet of visibility. Burt was very interested in fishing the Bow this time of year as it usually produces good numbers of browns. And that it did, not necessarily monsters but very nice browns and a few rainbows as well. Fishing was very good in the morning and slowed in the afternoon, however in all it was a very decent day with over 40 hooked, and at least 20 were put in the net. Samples taken throughout the day showed fish were eating mayfly nymphs, leeches, worms, and the odd caddis pupa. It was another great day on the water with a couple of very enthusiastic, friendly, fellow Albertans.

The BowThe Bow
June 24, 2008
Posted by Bill on Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Although the water had coloured and risen a bit compared to the day before, Ned Pankhurst would not be denied his day on the Bow. Ned, a fish biologist from Australia, was here for a symposium at the University and booked this day for his road trip, the Bow his road, the drift boat his vehicle. Fishing was spotty throughout the day with pods of feeding fish in pockets and a fair distance apart. Picking fish was a challenge and although not continuous, it was consistent throughout the float. Ned's thriteenth and final fish of the day was an extremely heavy 24 inch Brown, Ned's biggest to date, that had both drift boat and fisher navigating the stream to track him down in the swift current. An accomplished fly caster and experienced fisher, Ned was a treat to have in the boat. Through his experience with fishery research and various postings, there was never a dull moment on this day. When the fishing was slow, the tidbits of information about fish and fisheries made this day very special for me. Thanks Ned for a great day of fishing and the wealth of information.

The BowThe Bow
June 23, 2008
Posted by Bill on Wednesday, June 25, 2008

For the first really fishable day on the Bow after the spring run-off, Larry Delf (Calgary) and his son-in-law Josh Dubin (New York) joined me on the Bow for a wonderful day of fishing. Both fishers were virtual neophytes to fly fishing and virgins to the Bow. It took a little while for Josh to get the hang of Bow River nymph fishing but once he got the hang of casting, presentation and setting the hook, he was on fire most of the day. Larry took a little longer to warm up to the art of setting the hook although his casting was adequate very early in the float. Many were the frustrations of missed set and even more frustrating, the long-distance releases. Nonetheless, these eager and persistent fishers managed to bring 18 or so fish to hand and a new appreciation for the river and its fish. It was a wonderful day of June fishing with very enjoyable company. Thanks guys. I'm looking forward to having both of you on the water again.

Beaver LakeBeaver Lake
June 2, 2008
Posted by Bill on Tuesday, June 3, 2008

For a fun day of fishing while the Bow River is blown out, Tom, Bill Sr., Jason and Bill headed north and west to Beaver Lake, a small lake west of Caroline stocked with Rainbow Trout and aerated to ensure winter survival. Beaver Lake is a beautiful little lake covering about 120 acres and offers the fly fisher a variety of scenic views, bird life and Rainbow Trout. Tom and Jason were on fire shortly after putting onto the lake and the action remained steady and high throughout the day. Although the majority of the fish caught were in the 10 to 12 inch class, a fair number of better trout in the 16 to 18 inch range were also brought to hand. The lunkers this lake is known to house eluded us on this day. Olive buggers were the order of the day although a number of fish were turned on a variety of other flies. Although the skies were cloudy and the temperatures cool, this was a wonderful day of fishing warmed by a catch of well over 60 fish and terrific fishing companions.

Eagle LakeEagle Lake
May 31, 2008
Posted by Bill on Monday, June 2, 2008

At this time of year when the Bow River is blown out and unfishable, those of us who are insanely keen fly fisherman search for other water and other fish to take the edge off of not being able to fish the Bow. On this day, Tom and I explored some water just east of Calgary, Eagle Lake. The lake is inhabited by Northern Pike and Walleye and the focus of our attention on this trip was for the Northern Pike. It was of interest to us that there was very little bird life on the south end of the lake and we assume that is because of a lack of vegetation on the south shore. Most of the Pike caught, about 20 on the day, were of relatively the same size although one smaller one was brought to hand. The day started out windy but as time passed the wind subsided and by early evening, the lake was like glass. It was a great day on the water even though it wasn't the Bow and trout.

The BowThe Bow
May 17, 2008
Posted by Tom on Monday, May 19, 2008

Morey Benton, from Ontario, booked a Spring Special trip again this year. Again we floated the "city" section with 2 feet of visibility at best and even more white algae floating. Fishing was tough and very frustrating, however the day started off very good with four fish hooked in the first run not 100 yards from the launch. The longest fish on the day was a 19 1/2 inch brown which was to date Morey's best. In all I figure we netted a dozen fish and lost at least that many, one of which was heavy near the end of the day that we never saw, maybe next year. Over all it was a beautiful day, great company, and not a bad day fishing for only one guy considering the river conditions.

The BowThe Bow
May 16, 2008
Posted by Tom on Monday, May 19, 2008

Steve and Chad, a couple of local fly fisherman who have had limited success on the Bow, booked a Spring Special trip to try and figure this river out. Due to the recent snow storm and with Fish Creek dumping mud into the river we were forced to float the "city", Glenmore to Police. The day started off slow but once we hit Fish Creek Park things picked up. In all over 20 fish were hooked on the day with lots of long distance releases. Most of the fish were taken in likely spots while out of the boat walking and wading. With only 2 1/2 feet of visibility and lots of white algae floating the fishing was tough and samples throughout the day showed the fish were not eating. Both Steve and Chad were nymphing effectively by the end of the day and hopefully they now have confidence in this amazing river.

The BowThe Bow
May 15, 2008
Posted by Bill on Friday, May 16, 2008

Tom and I spent the day on the river keeping in touch with the river and fish. It was a spectacular day of cloudless skies, hot sun and fishing. The day was hampered by a farily strong NW wind and cloudy water conditions. Visibility at Glenmore was about 3 feet but the chocolate contribution by Fish Creek reduced visibility considerably below her confluence although the river held her contamination to the right bank for several bends. At Police, visibility on the left bank was about 18 inches while on the right bank it was only about 6 inches. Nonetheless, we had a pretty good day of fishing. Tom nailed four browns right out the gate which ended up being the most productive stretch of fishing from the boat. For the remainder of the trip, productivity was highest out of the boat working seams and runs. Although we touched well over 40 fish on the day, nothing of any particular size was brought to hand. Several beautiful, fat trout in the 18 inch range made up the catch highlights of the day. The other highlight, the gosslings have hit the water and although not everywhere, several clutches distracted our attention from fishing throughout the day.

The BowThe Bow
May 13, 2008
Posted by Bill on Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Today was a fun float day although the wind and cool temperature made it somewhat less than perfect. Joining Dad and me on the river was Diana Cerda, an exchange student from Mexico, who had never fished before let alone fly fished on a river like the Bow. Diana is a quick study and took to the casting of flies with a nymph rig like fish take to water. With a little coaching she was stripping, backcasting and shooting line like a far more experienced fly caster. Although she was reluctant to actually handle her catches, we did manage to coax her into holding one (pictured). She brought a rainbow and brown to hand and turned a number of other trout that threw the hook in the distance.

Fish Creek is flowing mud and colouring the Bow significantly below her confluence. The east bank below Fish Creek has about 5 feet of visibility while on the west bank it is only about 2 inches. A bend or two above the Deerfoot extension the mix extends across the entire river with about 18 inches of visibility from there to Policeman's. Fishing success was significantly higher above the mix on the clearer side of the river. Worms were the order of the day even though a number of offerings were presented.

The BowThe Bow
May 5, 2008
Posted by Tom on Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Today we put two boats on the water with five guides and fisherman for a fun float. We again got access to the private launch at Policeman's and floated to there from Fish Creek. The day started off cool with a strong southeast wind but shortly after launching the boats the wind died down and it turn into a beautiful spring day. Dad, Bill, Jason, Clint, and myself were the group for the day. First trip of the year for Clint and second trip of the year we were able to float downstream of Calgary. Although a few fish were taken on streamers and small nymphs, the majority of fish came on the worms both our new red wire and our special chenille. In all over 50 fish were hooked during our 6 hour outing. During one of our stops in a favorite run the river produced over a dozen for Bill. The largest fish brought to hand was a 24" brown Bill landed and I'm sure we saw this same fish on our last trip on this section. There was a very heavy blue winged olive hatch with the water temperature around the 50░F mark. With the trees starting to bud, hopefully this trip will signal the official start of spring and we will continue to see increased insect activity with each passing day. A great day on the river with a great bunch of guys.

The BowThe Bow
May 2, 2008
Posted by Tom on Monday, May 5, 2008

On the river today with Bill and Dad for Dad's first float of the year. It was quite windy and cool and the fishing started off quite slow. We floated the city section today as the boat launches south of Calgary are either still iced up or not ready for use yet. It wasn't until about 1/2 way through the trip the fishing picked up. Again there was a midge hatch and a sparse scattering of BWO's. For the most part, fish came on the San Juan however about 30% came on small nymphs imitating the midges and BWO's. In all about 30 fish were hooked on the day, however only about 18 were brought to hand, lots were given the famous long distance release. Most of the fish were found in slower deeper holes as the water temperature is still cold. Today, as expected during this time of year, all the mature fish were browns. The only rainbows we saw were of the pre-spawn size 17" or less. Despite the wind and consequently the cool day it was great to get out on the river and now hopefully this will be a regular event as the weather should get better and better as summer approaches.

The BowThe Bow
April 26, 2008
Posted by Bill on Sunday, April 27, 2008

There are some days on the river that are purely exceptional. The second day for Fred Jr. and Fred Sr. from Austria was one of those days. Lauching at 17th Ave. under a cloudless, sunny sky, expectations were high. Those expectations gradually waned as bend after bend no fish were to be seen. After having a good Brown chase a nymph right up to the boat but no take, a quick switch to a streamer produced a beautiful 21 incher. That was the only landed trout until mid-afternoon. After the hot river-side lunch both fishers and fish were recharged. From that point on the Bow made good on her reputation producing close to 20 trout in the 18 plus inch class. After landing a couple of good Rainbows, Fred Jr. caught a 25 inch female Brown, a trout many fishermen fish the Bow all year for. Half an hour later he caught another 25 inch Brown (pictured), this time a male, dark and heavy. Despite the cold of the previous day and the lack of action through the morning on this day, both Freds were troopers and battled through adversity to finally bask in the glory the Bow River and its trout can present, a pair of trophies most fishers only dream of. I trust their memories of these trophy trout will stay with them until next time we have them on the river.

The BowThe Bow
April 25, 2008
Posted by Bill on Sunday, April 27, 2008

April fly fishing on the Bow River can be a test of fortitude. Such was the case on this day as Fred Jr. and Fred Sr. from Austria joined us for a very cold day of fishing. With considerable cooperation from the folks responsible for twinning the Glenmore bridge, we put in at the brand new Glenmore launch, the first boat to use that launch according to the workers. Fishing was spotty from start to finish as is expected for April. The count at the end of the day was 4 Rockies and 6 Rainbows. Several other fish, approximately a dozen, were turned or fought but escaped as both Freds practiced their long-distance release techniques. Of those, one notable Brown was brought to the surface for viewing but not to the net for pictures. The prizes of the day were a 21 inch Rainbow and a 20 inch Rainbow (pictured) Fred Jr. caught mid-way through the day. The biggest challenge of the day was the continual clearing of ice that built up in the eyes of the rods. In spite of the frigid temperatures, both Freds were a treat to have in the boat and on the River. They tirelessly sent offerings to reluctant trout from put in to take out.

The BowThe Bow
April 16, 2008
Posted by Tom on Saturday, April 19, 2008

Finally we are officially back on the river. With the recent bad weather and the boat launch construction this float was a long time coming. Jay, Bill and I did a short float today for the first one Fish Creek to the new boat launch at Policeman's Flats. The weather was less than ideal with a very cool northwest wind but the fish didn't seem to mind. Within 100 yards of the launch Jay landed the first fish of the year, a beautiful 18" brown. Then things slowed until our first stop where we got out of the boat and fished a very nice run. In all over 20 fish were netted on the day with only 3 under 16". Surprisingly, we even managed to fool 4 rainbows over 20". Usually they are out of the river on their spawning run. The browns over the 20" mark are still very colorful and remarkably healthly. There was an amazing midge hatch that made the boat black that I'm sure the fish keep full on throughout the winter. Fish were taken on worms, leeches, and small nymphs and they seemed to prefer them with some movement.

The BowThe Bow
October 27, 2007
Posted by Tom on Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Jeff and JK joined us on the Bow for a day of late season fishing. With ice forming in the eyes of the fly rods early in the day, action started early with the first trout brought to the boat in the first 10 minutes of the float. The rest of the morning saw fairly consistent action in the front of the boat but much slower in the back of the boat. JK would tell you Jeff was hogging all the water. After the lunch break, fishing slowed considerably for both anglers although Jeff did manage to get into a number of trout before takeout. The best fish on the day was Jeff's 20 inch Rainbow (pictured). Although JK had a little trouble hooking and landing fish, the day was a pretty darn good day for late October on the Bow. Thanks for an entertaining day Jeff and JK. Next time we'll put JK in the front of the boat.

The BowThe Bow
October 12, 2007
Posted by Tom on Saturday, October 13, 2007

Tom, Bill and Bill Sr. were joined by Josh Nugent today to have another fun day of fishing on the Bow. The weather, although cloudy and cool, was perfect for a day of fishing; for the most part, there wasn't a breath of wind. Bill Sr. had the catch of the day with a monster Rainbow (pictured). The length, depth and thickness of this trout was absolutely incredible. Josh hooked into a fish that tore to his backing three times before wrapping around a rock and completing his escape. We have no idea of the size of that fish, we never saw it. Again, we saw more trout in the 20 inch class than we had seen earlier in the week. It was a day of fishing you dream about with over a dozen fish landed in the 20 to 22 inch class and well over 60 fish brought to the net. Days like these burn themselves in the memory as the Bow was particularly generous today. A fabulous day of fishing on a tremendous river with exceptional fishing partners ... it just doesn't get any better than this.

The BowThe Bow
October 11, 2007
Posted by Tom on Saturday, October 13, 2007

With the onset of late fall and the unstable weather associated with this time of the year, the guiding season is coming to a close giving the guides an opportunity to get on the Bow for some fun days of fishing. Fishing is day-to-day now as the weather can change by the hour. The Windsor trio launched at Glenmore for an incredible day of fishing. The Brown Trout are certainly showing signs of the upcoming spawn as they take on very dark, brilliant colouration. A number of smaller fish in the 15 to 16 inch class were caught but the take on this day saw more in the 20 inch range than we have seen in the last week or so. This beautiful Brown Trout (pictured) is an example of what the Bow River has to offer in the late season. It is an absolute treat to gets days on the river at this time in the year and enjoy tying into the trophies of the Bow River.

The BowThe Bow
October 5, 2007
Posted by Tom on Saturday, October 6, 2007

With a cold northerner and snow overnight, only the most dedicated (or insane) fly fishermen were on the river this day. With ice in the gunnels and temperatures hovering around the freezing mark, Aaron Newsom would not be turned away from, potentially, his only chance to fish the Bow River. Fishing was spotty from start to finish. Samples taken from trout brought to hand close to the Glenmore launch confirmed we were using the correct flies. Samples taken further down the float only helped in knowing the fish were not feeding. Nonetheless, Aaron managed to catch over a dozen fish, three of which were heavy, healthy Rockies (Rocky Mountain Whitefish). The highlights of the day were a 19 1/2 inch Rainbow (pictured) and a 18 1/2 inch Brown Trout. Aaron mastered the "Bow River" style of fishing early in the day and was an absolute pleasure to have in the boat. Next time Aaron, lets' pick a warmer day.

The BowThe Bow
September 28, 2007
Posted by Bill on Saturday, September 29, 2007

In an effort to salvage a day on the river, at the eleventh hour Jerry Kaita and Bill Sr. joined me on the river for a spotty day of fishing. The long, slow stretches of water that offered hot fishing the previous 3 days produced limited success while the fast, shallow runs returned a number of trout throughout the day. With a cold front moving in, the day progressively got cooler and cooler and the biting wind got bitter late in the day. In spite of the weather, we three had a fabulous day on the river. Bill Sr. had a bit of trouble getting into anything of size. Jerry lead the way a number of trout, the most notable of which was a beautiful 22 1/2" in Brown (pictured). Several 18" class trout were brought to hand and another Brown, a 21 incher, closed out the day. It is days like these when the river shows what she's got that dim our memories of slower days. It is days like these, shared on the river with great friends, that the river is spectacular.

The BowThe Bow
September 18, 2007
Posted by Bill on Saturday, September 29, 2007

Dennis Ring and his partner came from Colorado to try his luck on the mighty Bow. Dennis is an accomplished fly fisher and demonstrated his ability throughout the day making long, accurate casts. Fishing was somewhat spotty on this day with action in many runs and dry sections in between. While Dennis brought a number of respectable fish to hand, the largest, a heavy, healthy Rainbow threw the hook just inches from the net. This is not unusual given the trout was likely in the 22 plus inch class and hooked on a size 16 BH Pheasant Tail. The 17" Brown (pictured) was typical of the trout taken on this day. It is always a treat to have an accomplished fly caster in the boat and Dennis certainly has to be considered one of those. Thanks for the terific day Dennis.

The BowThe Bow
September 17, 2007
Posted by Bill on Saturday, September 29, 2007

Daniel and Pierrette Deroche took advantage of a float trip provided to them by TD Industries and joined me for a great day of fishing. Daniel had several years of fly fishing experience while Pierrette was a virtual novice. Contrary to what is typical, the novice out fishing the experienced, Daniel was on fire this day. Although nymphing was productive early in the day, the excitement and anticipation of a hopper-dropper setup was Daniel's fancy and had us hitting the banks for a receptive trout for the better part of the afternoon. The highlight of the day was Daniel's 21" rainbow although a number of very good sized fish never made it to the net. It was a great day to be on the river, great fishing company in the boat and a great day of fishing. Thanks Daniel and Pierrette.

The BowThe Bow
September 1, 2007
Posted by Tom on Sunday, September 2, 2007

The Windsor trio had a late start on the river on what started out being a completely miserable day. However, the skies cleared and the wind subsided and the afternoon offered perfect weather on the river. Fishing was spotty until the switch was made from nymphing to hopper-dropper setups. The first fish Tom nailed on the hopper-dropper was a 23 inch beauty (pictured). Hook ups were fairly consistent for the remainder of the day. A variety of sizes of trout were brought to the net indicating an excellent age spectrum in the river and future potential. Samples taken from landed fish showed the same array of bugs as has been on the menu for the last few weeks. This was a day for us to keep in touch with the river and trout activity. The Bow did not disappoint and confirmed the river is fishing very well.

The BowThe Bow
August 29, 2007
Posted by Bill on Thursday, August 30, 2007

Jerry Kaita, Bill Sr. and I had a spectacular day on the river. The weather was sunny and clear with only a breath of wind from time to time. The day started slowly out of the gate as we followed an Alberta Fish & Wildlife crew shocking fish to get a population spectrum and count. While this was tremendously interesting, it did make for slow fishing for the first part of the day. In speaking with the officers, they anticipate the population of trout in the river remains at about 2500 trout per river kilometer. This was Jerry's first time on the Bow River and first time in a number of years to have a fly rod in his hand. The Bow River did her magic on this day. Highlights of the day were a 21" Rainbow Jerry brought to net (among several others he tied into) and a 23" Brown Bill Sr. did battle with. Fish were taken on a variety of flies both nymphing and via hopper-dropper setups although the caddis emerger seemed to produce the best. After fishing hard all day in a number of runs and stopping for pictures and fly changes, in a cloak of darkness we rowed out the last hour of the float enjoying the river, the full moon and the company. Hopefully we have Jerry hooked and he'll be back on the Bow with us sometime down the road for another great day of fishing.

The BowThe Bow
August 21, 2007
Posted by Bill on Thursday, August 23, 2007

Doug Linkletter and Jim joined us on the river looking for a relaxing day of fishing. Action was slow out of the gate but picked up a few bends downstream. Nymphing was slow throughout the day with most of the fish being picked up on a hopper-dropper set. Doug had a little trouble with the "hot" Bow River trout but managed to land several fish on the day. Jim was able to handle the fish a little better although he too did a number of long distance releases. The highlights of the day were a 19" Rainbow taken on a hopper-dropper and a 21" Rainbow taken on a Streamer. Small nymphs produced the best on this day; Evil Weavels, Hare's Ears, Pheasant Tails, Zug Bugs, Lightning Bugs and Copper Johns. Thanks for a great day on the river guys. Maybe next time we'll get that big brown for you Jim.

The BowThe Bow
August 17, 2007
Posted by Bill on Monday, August 20, 2007

As part of a Corporate get-away, Heidi and Am took to the Bow River having never fly fished before and eager to explore this treasure in their own back yard. As a team building exercise, the biggest part of the team efforts were to tease Heidi for the better part of the day. As has become the norm, Heidi out-fished Am landing over a dozen fish, missing more than she'd care to talk about and releasing a few in the distance. Am casted quietly from the back of the boat and turned several fish on the day but had some trouble handling the energetic Bow River trout. Worms, Copper John's, Caddis emergers, PMD nymphs, leeches, Pheasant Tails and Prince nymphs all turned fish on this day. It was a great day on the river with great people. Good luck on your new rod purchase Am and good luck with your hockey Heidi.

The BowThe Bow
August 11, 2007
Posted by Bill on Sunday, August 12, 2007

Nick and Nate Lane came from opposite ends of the US to try their hand at Bow River fishing. On the first of a two-day trip, the weather was anything but balmy. It was bright enough but the temperatures were more like what we expect in September than August. They had several hook-ups over the course of the day with more action in the morning and early afternoon than later in the day. Setting on the gentle strikes and then dealing with the power of the fish and the river resulted in many long distance releases. The highlight fish of the day was this 18.5" Rainbow Nate brought to net at the staircase. But the real highlight of the day were the two fishers in the boat, simply enjoying a day on the River. Thanks Nick and Nate, hope to see you again real soon.

The BowThe Bow
August 10, 2007
Posted by Bill on Friday, August 10, 2007

The second day on the river for Sharon and Bill Gould was a far greater challenge. It was significantly colder, windy through mid-day and a monsoon blew in early in the afternoon. Just keeping warm while fishing was a chore with waders, 5 layers of clothing and peep holes under rain coats to combat the cold and storm. Nonetheless, these two fished the entire float and turned upward of 30 fish on the day in spite of the wet and frigid conditions. Unlike the day before, Rainbows dominated the day with several healthy, chunky runners in the 18" range. It was certainly a pleasure to share two days on the river with them and I look forward to their return to the Bow. Thanks for two terrific days on the river Sharon and Bill.

The BowThe Bow
August 9, 2007
Posted by Bill on Thursday, August 9, 2007

Sharon and Bill Gould joined me on the river for a cold day of fishing. Overcast skies and the continual threat of rain didn't dampen their spirits at all. From launch to take-out, the two of them were like troopers, never giving in to the weather and thoroughly enjoying the experience on the Bow. Highlights of the day were Bill's 22" brown taken from the "Honey Hole" and Sharon's 19" Brown taken at Cottonwood but Sharon would be happy to tell you about the big one that got away. Several in the 16" to 19" class were brought to net and even the long distance releases were a treat for both of them. It was a pleasure having this pair on the river and their forever positive attitude is infectious. Thanks Sharon and Bill ... see you bright and early tomorrow.

The BowThe Bow
July 26, 2007
Posted by Bill on Sunday, July 29, 2007

This was our day on the river, a fun float day for Tom and I to test the water and keep in touch with fish activity. Tom spent a good deal of time early in the float stripping streamers. He felt it was time for streamers to start being effective and the only way to verify that is to try it. In the end, the streamers produced limited success and should be considered marginal at best at this point. Nymphing, on the other hand, produced very good results consistently throughout the day. Gale force winds from the east made casting difficult and management of the boat a continuous battle. By day's end over 30 fish were brought to hand and a number of other fish turned, missed or released in the distance. The highlight of the day, a 23" Rainbow obviously recovering nicely from the rigors of spawning and a number of Browns and Rainbows in the 18" to 21" class. Interestingly, 9 Browns were brought to hand before the first Rainbow of the day was caught. Any day spent on the river with my brother is a treat and learning session ... this day was no different as we explored neglected water and runs on a section of the Bow both of us are very familiar with.

The BowThe Bow
July 25, 2007
Posted by Bill on Sunday, July 29, 2007

Three generations took to the river today; my oldest son Joel, my father and I, for a slow day of fishing. Although Dad hooked into a few fish, this was his day for long distance releases. The most notable would be a heavy brown he tied into just above the Policeman's take-out that ran downstream to the end of his line and then breaking off. Joel faired better with a dozen fish brought to the net and several more misses and brief fights. I managed to get into a couple of good fish but the numbers were not what we are used to. The flies of the day were various coloured worms although sets were made with a variety of other flies as well. The water level on the Bow is dropping suggesting better fishing on the horizon. It was a cool day with a stiff breeze which challenged all three anglers throughout the day.

The BowThe Bow
July 21, 2007
Posted by Tom on Sunday, July 22, 2007

Brett White, Tim Thompson, Trevor Martens and Travis Grindle of Lethbridge are an absolute treat to have on the river and in the boat. These four gents from southern Alberta certainly know how to have a good time and how to fish. Laughter and camaraderie was the order of the day with a little fishing thrown in. Although there were some slow stretches during the day, these four sportsmen turned or picked fish fairly consistently from launch to take-out. Nymphing was consistently productive for the first 9 hours of the day. After switching to chucking drys and the first assault on the adult stone immitation, Brett, Travis and Tim opted to stay on drys for the remaining three hours of the float; three hours of continuous casting. A variety of flies drew action over the course of the day and in the end over 60 fish were touched in one way or another by these anglers. While the Bow didn't show what she really has to offer in terms of the pigs she houses, she certainly was generous on this day below and above the water. It was a pleasure guys. Thanks.

The BowThe Bow
July 19, 2007
Posted by Bill on Sunday, July 22, 2007

This was a particularly special day for me as my oldest son Joel and his wife Tamara joined me for a fun float down the Bow. Joel has been on the Bow before but this was a series of firsts for Tamara; first time in a drift boat, first time fly fishing and first time fishing the Bow River. Although fishing wasn't spectacular like the bow can be, there were times when Joel was on fire hooking fish after fish. Landing fish and taking pictures made the day far longer than was intended. Among the many highlights of the day was a 24" brown and two 21" rainbows. Worms were the order of the day but fish were also taken on Copper Johns, Pheasant Tails, Caddis Nymphs, Hare's Ears and Soft Hackles. Days like these shared with family don't happen often enough and are a complete treasure when schedules permit. I'm already looking forward to next time Joel and Tam.

The BowThe Bow
July 17, 2007
Posted by Bill on Sunday, July 22, 2007

Dan and Trisha Drefke of California joined me for a slower day of fishing on the Bow. Dan had been on the river the day before but this was Trisha's first time with a fly rod in her hands. Dan managed to keep pace with Trisha on catches early but Trisha pulled well ahead of Dan through the late morning and early afternoon. In spite of bringing far less fish to the net, Dan was a complete gentleman throughout encouraging Trisha the entire trip. By the end of the day the catch was likely about even but it was certainly a wonderful introduction to fly fishing and the Bow River for Trisha. Action came through various worms, PMD nymph, lightning bug, caddis puppa, leach and buggers. The company was as warm as the weather making the day thoroughly enjoyable for fishing and everything else. By the way, I'll keep my hands off your fishing rod next trip, Dan.

The BowThe Bow
July 15, 2007
Posted by Bill on Monday, July 16, 2007

Curtis and Colby Thorpe from Texas were to join me on this day but with other obligations, Curtis had to sit it out. Colby, 17, is an eager and jubilant young man. His casting ability, even with the bow river method, would put many far more experienced casters to shame. Although the day of fishing in the heat was somewhat slow, he never lost his focus or his enthusiasm, except when there was a goose or duck to be seen, and there are a lot of geese and ducks on the river. His passion for fishing and hunting was refreshing, and overwhelming to the point of him leaving me with a fish in the net before pictures to capture a gaggle of geese on film. One of the highlights of the day was sucking a fish and his exuberence about the whole process. He is an expert once the fish is on the line and showed lightning reflex with setting the hook as well as utter respect for the health of the fish on release. This day was a real treat for me and I hope to see Colby again, real soon. As Colby would say, "just git 'er done."

The BowThe Bow
July 12, 2007
Posted by Tom on Monday, July 16, 2007

John Kao and his daughter Erica from California joined me for a Bow River float trip. It was again going to be a hot day so we started a little earlier than normal. John suggested he just wanted to have a good day on the water see a new river and hopefully inspire his daughter to have the same love he does for fly fishing. Within the first hour of the float after a couple long distance releases Erica, who is ten year old landed a beautiful 20" brown in front of a very supportive audience. Erica by far had the better day but had a hard time landing these "hot" Bow River Trout. In all nearly 30 fish were hooked on the day but only five each found their way to the net. Samples again showed what we have been seeing all week long. With about two hours left in the float Erica was getting tired so we decided to row out. It was another great day with some great people, man I have a tough job. John, hopefully we achieve what you wanted and have now given Erica the fly fishing bug that will be with her a life time.

The BowThe Bow
July 12, 2007
Posted by Bill on Monday, July 16, 2007

This was, what turned out to be, one of the most enjoyable days I have ever spent on the river. Dierick Sparks and his buddy from Alabama joined me on the river for a little fishing, a whole lot of laughter and an escape from the pressures of work. The day was spectacular, not necessarily in number but certainly in quality of fish and the fishing experience. After nymphing for most of the day through the heat, as the sun dropped low on the horizon, drys were the order. The first fish to assault the dry was a beautiful 25" Rainbow. We turned a number of fish on the day and spent the last hour, after we could no longer see anything, let alone the flies, floating out and enjoying the scenery and company. Thanks guys, I'm really looking forward to the next time I find myself on a river with you.

The BowThe Bow
July 11, 2007
Posted by Tom on Monday, July 16, 2007

Nigel Barron from Scotland joined me for a morning half day float on the Bow. It was one of the most enjoyable trips I have ever done. Nigel was so happy to be on the river fishing and to see new water it was a treat to be with him. The morning started off with a bang, not 50 feet from the launch Nigel hooked into something big but we never saw it. A couple more lost and then one landed within the first half mile of the float. Then things slowed until we went small and started to pick up fish regularly. In all we put five fish in the net and lost a couple more than that. Again samples taken from the fish showed what I expected leeches, pmd nymphs, caddis pupa, and caddis emergers, this is certainly typical for this time of year but we have to keep checking just to see if something has changed. Nigel enjoyed his day so much we are going again on the 15th for an afternoon/evening float where hopefully we will get into some top water action.

The BowThe Bow
July 11, 2007
Posted by Tom on Monday, July 16, 2007

Chris and his son Tom (8 years old) Else from England joined me for an half day afternoon float on the lower section today, the second part of a double header for me. With the very hot temperature this week with no surprise the fishing was slow. In total we only put four fish in the net and lost about the same number. With the long fly rod Tom just couldn't set on the fish fast enough to consistently get hook ups, however he did get into a few but couldn't hold them. Samples again showed what I had expected however we did not see any leeches on this lower section of the river. We still had a good day and maybe when you come back in a couple of years Tom will be able to master these Bow River trout.

The BowThe Bow
July 10, 2007
Posted by Tom on Monday, July 16, 2007

Steve, Connie, and Al Baldwin joined us for a Bow River float trip today. They had been up visiting the Stampede but had booked the fishing trip well in advance. We had a slower day on the river today, the recent weather change certainly had something to do with it. Again not sure what the deal is with woman but Connie had the best day out of the three. Again samples taken from the fish showed they were eating pmd nymphs, leeches, caddis pupa and some caddis emergers, however none were as full as in recent days. In all it was another great day on the river with some great people, sorry you didn't get to see the Bow at it's best but maybe next time. Hope you have a great time on the rest of your trip to Alberta.

The BowThe Bow
July 7, 2007
Posted by Tom on Monday, July 16, 2007

John and Anne Gazankas, from Pigeon Lake Alberta were given a gift certificate for a Bow River float trip as a retirement gift. Neither had ever fly fished before but that didn't seem to matter as we had a fairly decent day on the river. I not sure what it is with woman and fishing but the total count landed on the day was 19 (close to that many were lost) and most of those were by Anne. We pumped a few fish throughout the day and most had leeches, pmd nymphs, and caddis pupa. Most of the fish we took were on similar imitations, and although there were some slow stretches it was fairly steady throughout the day. Another very enjoyable day on the river with a couple of great people. John maybe you should actually retire some time, or maybe you will get another gift certificate for your next retirement party. Hope to see you again sometime soon.

The BowThe Bow
July 5, 2007
Posted by Tom on Friday, July 6, 2007

The stones are here, drys on the Bow for these big fish, it doesn't get any better. Our golden stone fly hatch immediately follows the run-off and this year things were delayed a little due to the unusually wet and cool June. I try to save at least one day during this time to fish for myself, it is consistently one time when these trophy trout will willingly come up to take drys. It was the family affair again today, with Dad and Bill joining me for this special event. Bill started off on fire, it took Dad a little longer to warm up but once he did there was no stopping him. This picture was one of the many double headers on the day. Fish were taken on a variety of bugs throughout the day from caddis emergers, worms, streamers, mayfly nymphs, and stone fly nymphs. Oh, have I mentioned the STONES ARE HERE!!. Again today as the sun lost its height and heat, we switched over to drys. One of the takes saw a 20" rainbow completely out of the water when it hit the fly. This is amazing to see as these rainbows try to recover all their weight lost during the spawn during this one week hatch. In all we took close to 20 fish on big drys, and over 50 fish on the day. Again it was another great day on the river with great company, it can't get any better.

The BowThe Bow
July 4, 2007
Posted by Tom on Friday, July 6, 2007

David Coates from Van Nuys California joined me today for a Bow River float trip. Again we were on the upper section (seems I have forgotten there is a lower), it has been fishing so well it is hard to leave and look at different water. The day started off hot with the first 22" rainbow landed within 100 yards of the boat launch, and the fishing was fast and furious for the first two hours. However after that it slowed considerably with fish caught consistently but there were some slow stretches which are magnified when you have a start like we did. Samples taken throughout the day showed the fish were eating caddis pupa, caddis emergers, leeches, mayfly nymphs, dark brown worms, and golden stone fly nymphs. THE STONES ARE HERE!! Later in the day as we started getting into shade and with the sun loosing both its height and heat we switched over to adult stones and proceeded to watch some amazing takes. In all we landed over a dozen fish on drys and over two dozen on the day with many long distance releases. This surface action doesn't happen very often on the Bow, and for those who haven't witnessed it, this is by far one of the more special times on the Bow. It's a tough job I have, another fantastic day on the Bow with great company.

The BowThe Bow
July 1, 2007
Posted by Tom on Sunday, July 1, 2007

Canada Day today, it is our country's 140 birthday! A beautiful sunny day, a great day for having a birthday. The river is starting to drop considerably and visibility is improving now by the day with over three feet today. I was joined on the river today with Bob and Denise Hathaway from California for a float trip. The day started off hot with fish on the line and in the boat right out of the gate. Bob landed his first two fish but Denise had a little trouble with the netting but was hooking fish at an alarming rate. It wasn't long however until Denise perfected the landing technique and both had a great day on the river. By the end of the day both had landed fish over 20 inches and were into at least 30 fish in total. The biggest fish both had on however were given the long distance release. Again most fish were taken on the worm or a streamer with a variety of colors, however olive seemed to produce best. Again there were some pmd's and caddis hatching but still no stones, soon I expect. Another very enjoyable day on the river with a couple of great people who really appreciated what our river has to offer.

The BowThe Bow
June 28, 2007
Posted by Tom on Sunday, July 1, 2007

Following the spring melt that blows the Bow River out every year, fishing is generally very good. While the river flow is still very high and floating down the river is at mach speed, the river has cleaned somewhat and we could wait no longer to put onto her waters. Tom, Bill and Bill Sr. hit the river in what was to be a tremendous day. Although the numbers of fish were less than expected, the quality of the fish caught was a real treat. Most notable was the double header on Browns where the fish swapped ends of the boat so rods were passed between the two casters to land the fish. Although some nice Rainbows were turned, Brown Trout dominated the catch of the day. In spite of the wind that challenged every cast, it was a wonderful day on the Bow in awesome water, tremendous fish and great company.

The BowThe Bow
June 24, 2007
Posted by Tom on Sunday, July 1, 2007

Steve and Amber Grimaldi joined me on a float trip today for lots of firsts. It was the first trip of the year after the run-off, first trip with the new boat, first trip with the new wheels and first fly fishing trip for both Steve and Amber. The river was still running high but is starting to clean with about 2 feet of visibility, excellent streamer fishing water. The day started off good and remained fairly steady throughout the day. Amber 18 years celebrating her graduation picked up casting and mending very fast and is pictured here with the best fish of the day, a 23" brown. There was some hatch activity of PMD's and caddis, however the majority of fish were taken on streamers and of course the worm. It was a very enjoyable day with a couple of great people.

The BowThe Bow
June 2, 2007
Posted by Tom on Thursday, June 14, 2007

Ross from Calgary joined me for a float trip. One last trip before heading south to get the new Hyde drift boats. And as it turned out one last trip before the run-off hit. Ross had never floated the lower section of the Bow, so although he had done some walk and wading the float was a new experience on this stretch of the river. Fishing started off slow with only a couple of hits in the first hour. But things picked up after that, although it was not a great day we probably landed close to 15 fish on the day. Both rainbows and browns were brought but as probably all the rainbows are back now most of the fish caught were rainbows. It is amazing how many browns we get before the rainbows come back from the spawn and then how few we get once the rainbows return, at least for the first couple of weeks. There were two reasons for Ross's float trip one of course the fishing the second was to try out the drift boat which he ended up purchasing that day. Good luck with the boat Ross, I hope you get as many if not more hours of enjoyment out of it as I did.

The BowThe Bow
May 30, 2007
Posted by Bill on Saturday, June 2, 2007

Josh Nugent joined Bill Sr. and I for a terrific day on the river. Although the fishing for our trio was a little slow, Tom and the casters in his boat had an exceptional day. The Brown pictured here was one of the better fish on the day although his twin and several other very nice fish made up the action on this day. Josh resorted to stripping streamers for a large portion of the trip while Bill Sr. stuck with the usual producers with limited results. The day was a spectacular day of cloudless skies and only a hint of wind. Visibility on the river at launch was in excess of 4 feet but was drastically reduced downstream of the Highwood. With the high water level and flow in the river, the fish were hugging the banks from start to finish. Flies had to be placed within inches of the bank to find feeding fish. With our trip below the 49th for the upcoming week, the Bow will get a break and the Big Hole River of Montana will be the focus of our attention. The Salmon Fly hatch is days away.

The BowThe Bow
May 30, 2007
Posted by Tom on Thursday, June 14, 2007

I was joined today by Jim and Harold for a Spring Special Bow River float trip. Both reside in Olds about one hour north of Calgary. Jim was a first time fly fisher and Harold was a seasoned veteran. Before the trip started Jim suggested he was a little concerned about not having done this before and I told him not to worry, just keep his ears open. By mid-day Jim was kicking Harold's butt! He caught on to casting a fly and the "Bow River" technique very quickly and was doing everything right (thanks to Harold for some casting lessons prior to the trip). By the end of the day however Harold redeemed himself and numbers were probably fairly even (at least that's probably what Harold will tell every one, right Jim?). In all it was a great day, beautiful weather, great company, one of those days that makes "work" so enjoyable. In the end around 30 fish were netted on the day and lots were given the famous long distance release. I certainly hope to see you both again when the fishing gets good. Ha Ha.

The BowThe Bow
May 26, 2007
Posted by Bill on Sunday, May 27, 2007

Barrett and Mike joined us on the river for a somewhat slow day of fishing. Although the weather was fantastic, the flow on the river was extremely high submerging many of the runs we generally expect to take fish out of. Such conditions had us pounding the banks in search of receptive trout. Although fishing was slow and several fish were only on the line for a few seconds, at final tally each fisher managed to bring to hand both trout species the Bow is famous for, a Brown and a Rainbow. Both Barrett and Mike were enthusiastic right to the bitter end although visibility deteriorated thoughout the day with about 4 feet at launch and less than a foot at take-out. Both Barrett and Mike were enjoyable company on the river and we hope to see them back on the river soon. Thanks guys.

The BowThe Bow
May 26, 2007
Posted by Tom on Thursday, June 14, 2007

Veronique booked a Spring Special float trip on the Bow as a 30th birthday present for her husband Dan. They are from Calgary and have wanted to learn how to fly fish for a long time. As I was already busy that day, I was lucky enough to get Todd to do the trip. Wow three boats on the water the same day and it is only May! Fishing was slow for Veronique and Dan however they both managed to land fish and hopefully learn a great deal about fly fishing. They certainly had a great teacher. Hopefully Todd will have started them into the fantastic sport of fly fishing and we will see them on the river again real soon. Happy birthday Dan!

The BowThe Bow
May 19, 2007
Posted by Tom on Thursday, June 14, 2007

Tim from Red Deer joined me today for a Spring Special float trip. He had fished the Bow years ago but hasn't in the last few because of his location in northern Alberta. However a recent move to Red Deer allowed him to book a trip for the early season. The day started off with a bang, not 10 minutes after launch Tim landed this beautiful 22" brown. The rest of the day produced fish fairly consistently with about a 50/50 mix of rainbows to browns. Again the fish were tight to the banks, as water levels remain high while the ministry is trying to lower the water levels in the reservoirs west of Calgary in anticipation of the up coming run-off. We had a mix of hatches today, caddis in fairly good numbers, a few blue winged olives, and the odd march brown. A sampling of the river produced quite a few crane fly larva. Although Tim thought he had done better on some of his other trips on the Bow we did ok landing at least 20 fish on day. Actually very good for mid May, with only one guy fishing.

The BowThe Bow
May 16, 2007
Posted by Tom on Wednesday, May 16, 2007

The Windsor trio was together again today on the Bow for a slower day of fishing. The river level has risen several inches in the last two days changing the dynamics of the river slightly. Several quality fish were brought to hand over the course of the day including a 23" Brown (pictured) and a 22" spent Rainbow (insert). The wide variety of fish hooked confirms a healthy population of both Rainbows and Browns in the river. Visibility at launch was over 4 feet in contrast to the 18 or so inches at take-out; the Highwood is still very coloured. Fish were taken on the worm, Hair's Ear, Prince Nymph, Leech, Lightning bug and an assortment of other flies. Although the fishing was a little slow, it was a great day on the river with beautiful scenery, sunny skies, magnificent water and great company.

The BowThe Bow
May 14, 2007
Posted by Bill on Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Peter Verge and Archie Thomson joined me on the river today for an exceptional May day of fishing. Both are experienced casters making the day especially enjoyable. The day started out slow as we searched for flies the trout would take. Peter's ambition for the day was to catch a big Brown Trout. After a little coaching on fly presentation and the "Bow River" method of fishing, Peter started getting some results. It was never our intention to keep track of every fish he brought to net but I believe it would be fair to say it was in the twenties. He didn't manage to land a big Brown although he did catch several in the 18 inch range and a number of equal sized Bows. His trophy of the day was this 21 inch Brown. Peter also caught a 23 inch spent Rainbow, recently returned from spawning. It was a pleasure having him on the river and I hope to see him again real soon.

The BowThe Bow
May 14, 2007
Posted by Bill on Tuesday, May 15, 2007

The exceptional day of fishing for Peter Verge and Archie Thomson warrants a second entry for the day. Archie started the day showing me that he is no neophyte to fly fishing and repeatedly surprised me with his casting distance and accuracy. He indicated, long before we got on the water, that he wanted a good Brown Trout. Of the twenty some fish he brought to net, likely the biggest Brown of the day for him was only a flash in the water as Archie exercised the famous "Bow River" long distance release. Nonetheless he did manage to catch a number of Rainbows and Browns in the 18 plus inch category with the highlight of the day being this 23 inch Brown. The water was somewhat coloured with about 4 feet of visibility at launch and 18 or less inches of visibility below the Highwood. The Prince Nymph, Hair's Ear, Pheasant Tail, PMD Nymph and Leech all produced fish on this day but the order of the day, from the fishes' point of view was the red worm. Archie was continuous entertainment on the river and even though I had trouble with his King's English, I look forward to his next visit to the Bow.

The BowThe Bow
May 13, 2007
Posted by Tom on Sunday, May 13, 2007

Karl from Huston joined me on the river today and it was May in typical fashion, yesterday a high in the upper 70's today reached 35! As a first time fly fisher Karl took to the "Bow River" method very quickly and wasn't long hooking the first fish. In all we put a dozen fish in the net and easily lost that many. We caught a number of the spawning rainbows today which is a good sign they are back in the river. Fish were taken on a variety of bugs again including worms, prince nymphs, wooly buggers, hares ear, and bwo nymphs. Today was the heaviest bwo hatch I have witnessed on the river so far this year. It was a most enjoyable day and I hope to see you back soon Karl.

The BowThe Bow
May 12, 2007
Posted by Tom on Saturday, May 12, 2007

Today was supposed to be a guides day on the river, early in the year, to see what is in the river. Early in the morning one of the guides that was supposed to be with us was called to do another trip. So I was joined by Todd Clarke, of Dream Catcher Guiding Service, who I am lucky to have help me with trips from time to time and long time friend Randy Brown. It was an impressive day, not in numbers necessarily but in size. In total nearly a dozen browns over 20" were brought to the net and at least a 1/2 dozen rainbow over the 19" mark. We did catch a few rainbows that were spawned out marking the return of the mature bows. The fish were taken on a variety of flies again today including worms, hares ear, prince nymphs, pheasant tails and black wooly buggers. The highlight of the day was one of the many double headers where two almost identical 22" browns were put in the net at the same time. The Bow is fine, the fish are healthy and all indications show this summer will be nothing less than spectacular on the river.

The BowThe Bow
May 11, 2007
Posted by Tom on Friday, May 11, 2007

The three Windsor's were on the river today, Bill Sr., Bill Jr. and myself. It was sure nice to get on the water with them today. It was a perfect day weather wise with clear blue sky's and temperatures in the mid 70's. There were lots of fish hooked today on a variety of flies including worms, prince nymphs, pheasant tails, hares ear, and lightning bugs. The first fish after the highwood had at least 7 leeches in it and that was the preferred fly from there to the take out. Close to thirty fish were brought to hand and easily that many had the famous Bow River long distance release. The best on the day were two beautiful 21" browns and several rainbows in the 18 - 19" range were admired. In all it was a perfect May day on the Bow.

The BowThe Bow
May 2, 2007
Posted by Bill on Monday, May 7, 2007

John Walker and John Coppede joined us on the Bow from Wyoming for a somewhat slow day of fishing. Two Johns in the same boat presented a bit of a challenge during the course of the day but worked out well in the end. The day was a typical day on the Bow River in May. While the day before the fish were active on nymphs, this day they were otherwise occupied. Regardless, both Johns were troopers and hung in there until the bitter end. Putting on the river at 9:30 am and pulling into the take-out at 9:00 pm made for a full day of fishing and tired arms on both casters. The Rainbow captured in the photograph was the best fish of the day.

The BowThe Bow
May 1, 2007
Posted by Bill on Monday, May 7, 2007

Morey Benton and Peter had an exceptional day in May on the Bow. At the time of year when fishing can be spotty and changes from day to day, these two had a hot day of fishing. Morey had some experience with fly fishing but had never nymphed before while Peter was a newbie to the Bow and fly fishing. Peter was casting the fly like a veteran an hour after launch. Morey got better and better as the day went on with presentation of the fly. In the end these two got into over 30 fish and went home with plans to return later in the year. Morey managed taking three species on the day, Browns, Rainbows and Rocky Mountain White Fish. They both were enjoyable and endlessly entertaining company on the river.

The BowThe Bow
April 24, 2007
Posted by Bill on Thursday, April 26, 2007

It was a bit early to be on the river, however, for those of us who have waited all winter, it wasn't early enough. Jason, Bill Sr. and I floated from Policeman's to McKinnon and the day, for the most part, was slow fishing. At the same time, it was great to get back on the river. The River was coloured the entire float with about two feet of visibility until we hit the Highwood River. The Highwood was deeply coloured and pretty well made the remainder of the float unfishable. On the day we caught 5 Brown Trout and 3 Rainbows. The Rainbows were of the smaller variety with the mature Bows in spawning mode. The better of the Browns was a 21 inch female and a 23 inch male (pictured). Four other fish were never brought to the boat but they too were good browns.

The BowThe Bow
July 17, 2006
Posted by Tom on Tuesday, August 8, 2006

Sharon, a school teacher from Toronto, booked a float trip for her friend Nick of London, England. After some convincing, Sharon decided to join us on the float. Because of the extremely hot stretch of weather, we again floated the upper section. The best fish of the day, a 24" brown, Nick landed however due to a mishap by the guide (yours truely) there were no photos taken of the brute. Here Sharon shows off her first ever rainbow on a fly, and on the Bow no less. Congratulations, hopefully I started a new passion for Sharon and we will see you both again real soon.

The BowThe Bow
July 16, 2006
Posted by Tom on Tuesday, August 8, 2006

Lori Ryz booked a trip for her husband as a birthday present, and Dean joined him. They are a couple of local Calgarians who are just getting into fly fishing and wanted some pointers. We floated the upper section today, and, as of late, the fish were on the worms. The fishing was fairly steady all day. Here Troy holds one of the better rainbows landed. Happy Birthday Troy!

The BowThe Bow
July 14, 2006
Posted by Tom on Tuesday, August 8, 2006

Matt Hendry joined me for two days on the Bow again this year. The first day there were two boats on the water representing Brandt Tractor. The second day Matt and his brother Bob joined me on their own. The highlight of both days was the evening dry fly fishing, where Matt took this 23" rainbow on a Stimulator. It was a great couple of days and I will look forward to Matt's return next year.

The BowThe Bow
July 12, 2006
Posted by Tom on Tuesday, August 8, 2006

Marci Wuttke booked a corporate trip for the Elanco Animal Health Company in combination with their trip to the Calgary Stampede. In all there were 16 guests and 8 boats. Most of the guests were from Texas and involved in the cattle industry. Everyone caught fish, or at least hooked them. These Bow River rainbows are not the easiest trout to land. In all it was a great trip and I hope we see ya'all again next year.

The BowThe Bow
July 8, 2006
Posted by Tom on Tuesday, August 8, 2006

Jim, from Huston, Texas, joined me for a float trip today. The fishing was tough but steady nonetheless. Most fish were taken on nymphs as we floated the upper section today. It was another beautiful day with an experienced fly fisherman. The best fish of the day was this beautiful 21" rainbow. If I recall correctly, this wasn't the first time Jim has fished the Bow and hopefully he'll be back again soon.

The BowThe Bow
July 7, 2006
Posted by Tom on Tuesday, August 8, 2006

Keith Flatla and his son Mike from Gabriola Island, British Columbia, joined me for a day on the Bow. Keith and I grew up together, but haven't seen each other in over 15 years. It was a beautiful day reminiscing and getting to know his fantastic son. Both Keith and Mike caught fish, but the best was this beautiful 22" brown Keith landed. Most fish were taken on leeches, however the worm and streamers also produced. It was a great day. Thank you to Keith and Mike!

The BowThe Bow
June 29, 2006
Posted by Tom on Saturday, July 1, 2006

Today we were on the River with the Winwood corporate float, in all there were 14 guests on the river today, and it was one of those days you only see a few times on the River in a year.

We decided to float the bottom end, although the Highwood is still running cloudy it mixes well and has about three feet of visibility down stream. Kevin and Ed are pictured with one of the better fish of the day, however they are still showing signs of their tough spawning run, this fish will double his weight with a month.

The fishing started off good and lasted that way all day. Fish were taken on everything, worms, leeches, stones, and nymphs although leeches seemed to be the fly of the day. In all over 150 fish were landed on the day and everyone had a great time. Hopefully we will do this again in the future. Thank you to Winwood.

The BowThe Bow
June 28, 2006
Posted by Tom on Saturday, July 1, 2006

Today was a special day in more ways than one, first I got to fish with my brother, something I haven't done in over 15 years and we are finally able to fish the lower portion of the Bow as the river is cleaning after the recent rains.

The day started off great within the first 30 minutes this brown was spotted sipping drys along the bank and after a short stalk was taken on a caddis.

The rest of the day was spotty nymphing until 5:30 pm when a fish was spotted taking an adult stone. We switch to stimulators and from then on the fishing was non stop until the take out. The dry fly action is something we haven't seen in awhile on the Bow, hopefully it keeps it up. Also hopefully it won't be another 15 years before we get to fish together again.

The BowThe Bow
June 28, 2006
Posted by Tom on Saturday, July 1, 2006

I am including a second entry for this day as it was special in one other way, it was the first time I have ever fished with my nephew. It was also the first time Paul had given fly fishing an honest effort.

Within the first hour of the float, Paul took this beautiful rainbow while nymphing, his first ever Bow River trout. The rest of the day was slow, but he didn't give up and his casting improved with each hour that went by.

Once the fish start taking drys off the surface later in the afternoon, Paul was on fire landing over 15 fish on the day. Hopefully he I will have "hooked" him on this wonderful sport and will enjoy many more days together with him.

The BowThe Bow
June 24, 2006
Posted by Tom on Saturday, June 24, 2006

Brian and Alex Lee from Ontario, joined me on the river today. It was Brian's first time fly fishing in over 30 years, and it was Alex's first time ever. Both of them took to casting out of the boat very quickly.

The river is starting to clean from last weeks rains and we started out with about two feet of visibility. By the end of the day we had about three feet and the water level had dropped about six inches. We saw a variety of insects today, pmd's, golden stones, yellow sallies, caddis, plus other stones in the small variety.

The fish just wouldn't cooperate, we tried a variety of flies with little success. Alex did manage to land a beautiful healthy 22" brown, not bad for the first time with a fly rod in his hand. Brian hooked into two that would be atleast as big both browns. There were a few misses as well but a very slow day on the whole.

Bullshead ReservoirBullshead Reservoir
June 20, 2006
Posted by Tom on Thursday, June 22, 2006

Last day of our three day trip and it is down right miserable out. A very strong wind accompanied with a pounding rain at times makes you question your sanity. However we toughed things out until noon when we were too wet and cold to continue. By the way, we weren't the only crazy ones on the water there were four others that also braved the elements.

Fishing started off fast and furious, the strikes on these damselflys are arm wrenching, I have only experienced strikes this hard on the Bow a few times when stripping streamers. The fishing slowed about an hour after we arrived lots of refusals they just didn't really want any we were throwing. It seemed every time we moved we would fool a few and then it would shut down again. This last morning we were all into about six fish each.

In all it was a great trip. We need more of these lakes in this province, as with the traffic on this one it shows there is a demand for it. We also noticed a conservation officer at least once a day, which is a welcome sight. We will be back to this lake again in the fall, to again match wits with these true trophy trout. Anyone visiting it please use respect for the fish and the surroundings as this is a true jem.

Bullshead ReservoirBullshead Reservoir
June 19, 2006
Posted by Tom on Thursday, June 22, 2006

Second day of the three day trip, and we saw every type of weather today, sun, calm, rain, and wind. Todays high temperature was 62F and overall it was quite a pleasant day.

The fish didn't seem to want the chironomids or catatonic leeches like they did yesterday. We found that they were keyed in on a damselfly hatch, and although the naturals were olive, brown imitations seemed to work best. Success was found slowly striping them either out of the weeds from the belly boats or through the weeds from shore. When the wind became too much we would head to shore with as much success as from the boats.

In all we were all into about 10 to 15 fish each in about eight hours of fishing. We found it was much easier to land the hooked fish from the boats than from shore as the weed growth is starting to get thick and this was the first place the fish headed when hooked. The best fish on the day was again about a six pound beauty, we still can't get over how fat these fish are.

Bullshead ReservoirBullshead Reservoir
June 18, 2006
Posted by Tom on Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Father's Day today so I took my dad on a three day trip to Bullshead, happy Fathers Day dad. Jason, a soon to be dad also joined us on the trip.

We arrived at the lake late Sunday afternoon, and it was a beautiful evening. The wind was very light however it was quite cool, only 57F. It seemed the fishing was considerably better when there was a slight breeze rather than when the lake turned to glass. There was a very breif chironomid hatch along with a few may flies and caddis. Caddis cases were found in one of the stomach pumps we did.

We each hooked into half a dozen, on a mix of chironomids and catatic leeches. Fishing wasn't exactly fast but it was a nice start to our get away. Both dad and Jay caught their first Bullshead trout. The best that day was from Jay a beautiful male in the 6 pound range. We had a few break offs that we can only speculate on how big they were.

The BowThe Bow
June 9, 2006
Posted by Tom on Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Despite heavy rain fall over the past few days the river was quite clear, with 2 - 3 feet of visibility. We decided to float the city section, hoping the browns would be cooperative in the overcast conditions.

Dad and Jay joined me today for an afternoon - evening float. The day was quite pleasant, 60F and very little wind, a nice change. The fish just wouldn't cooperate, in all we only hooked a dozen fish, the best a 20" brown that hadn't recovered yet from the fall and winter. All species were taken today, browns, rainbows, and one white fish.

We stomach pumped one rainbow and found a number of dark may fly nymphs about size 12. However even though we had been imitating them closely all day the fishing was slow.

We did find some surface activity where a pod of rainbows were taking emergers but when the first fish was hooked the entire pod spooked. Still we had a great day, and are fortunate to have such a resource in our back yard. It appears the way the snow pack melted and the lack of timely rain the run - off will be non existant this year.

The BowThe Bow
June 4, 2006
Posted by Tom on Sunday, June 11, 2006

Again I am involved in the TV show Fishing With The Dodger that will air on City TV in Canada and the Sportsman Channel in the US June 17th. The show is based on a "viewers challenge", where three guides on the Bow go up against three avid fishermen who also fish the bow extensively.

It was a beautiful day in the low 80's however due to the hot weather and the snow melt the main tributary was dumping colored water into the Bow. Against the odds we decided to try fishing the colored water any way. With only 11/2 feet of visibility the fishing was hot right off the start. Streamers and dead drifting leeches were producing best.

Hatch activity was limited, blue winged olives, caddis, and yellow sallies were present but in limited numbers. In all both boats landed over a dozen fish, the best a 24" brown which didn't come from the guide boat by the way. Most of the fish were in the 20" class, not bad considering the conditions.

The BowThe Bow
May 23, 2006
Posted by Tom on Sunday, May 28, 2006

With reports that the Bow is blown out in the mountains and rain in the forecast, we decided to float the Bow one more time before spring runoff hits.

I managed to get a couple of boats on the water with my dad and Randy, and my guides Jay and Marty. The day started off slow but by noon things started to pick up. There was a heavy caddis hatch and the March browns were still around in good numbers. All together we landed 17 quality fish on the day with a mix of rainbow and browns, and everything worked including my first fish on the Bow on a dry this year.

We started off the day with about three feet of visibility, but were down to about a foot by the end of the day. We finished just in time as officially the runoff is here. I was a great last day of spring fish, I can now look forward to some more still water action.

Bullshead ReservoirBullshead Reservoir
May 22, 2006
Posted by Tom on Sunday, May 28, 2006

For a change of pace Mike and I decide to head to Bullshead for an evening and next day morning fish. This reservoir has special regulations which ensures lots of quality fish for non stop enjoyment. I love this time of year simply because for some reason people seem reluctant to book trips this early and provides me with some time to fish myself.

The weather was beautiful, 92 F, unusual for this time of year. When we got to the lake there was a heavy chronomid hatch and the fish were on them. In a total of 5 hours of fishing 18 fish were landed between the two of us. The largest was a 6 pound male beautifully colored for the spring spawn. These fish are not overly long but very fat and healthy.

By the way, Mike produces the TV show Fishing with the Dodger and this episode will air next week on City TV in Canada, and the Sportsman Channel in the US. Be sure to tune in to this show for some trophy Alberta still water action.

The BowThe Bow
May 18, 2006
Posted by Tom on Saturday, May 20, 2006

THE BOWS ARE BACK, today a number of post spawn rainbows were caught signaling they are returning from their spawning run.

We have been receiving exceptionally hot weather for this time of year. For most of the week day time highs have been in the mid 80's, and there is no change expected in the forecast. Thursday was no exception a hot day however there was some cloud cover. The river is up about a foot today and has slight coloration.

Jason, Randy and Billy were floating the lower section. On the first bend they ran into a golden stone fly hatch thicker than any of them had witnessed before. In all over 20 fished we hooked on the day, the biggest a healthy 23" rainbow. Everything took fish today, streamers, nymphs, and even drys fooled a few. By the looks of the rising water level runoff won't be far away.

The BowThe Bow
May 4, 2006
Posted by Tom on Tuesday, May 9, 2006

Jason and Randy joined me for a fun float today. It was another perfect Alberta spring day. A light wind, 70 F, good company it doesn't get much better. Again the blue winged olives showed up about noon, with quite a few in the large variety.

Water temperature was considerably cooler today, 42 F, as they have opened the dams, because the snow pack is starting to melt in the mountains.

Nymphing produced very well until late in the afternoon when we switched to streamers to keep the action going. In all we landed over 30 fish, at least 1/2 browns of the trophy variety.

The BowThe Bow
April 29, 2006
Posted by Tom on Tuesday, May 9, 2006

Ben Gelfant from Vancouver joined me again this year for an early season float. He couldn't have picked a better day, a day time high of 70 with a light wind, a beautiful Alberta spring day.

Fishing started off slow but as the heat of the day started to warm the water the fishing turned on. About noon the blue winged olives started coming off, water levels are very low and the peak water temperature was 52.

In all over 20 fish were landed, and although we were hoping to find some trophy browns only one 16" was landed. The majority of the rainbows were in the 16 - 18" range as the mature ones are still in the tributaries spawning.

It was again a pleasure spending the day with Ben and I look forward to his return later in the summer.

The BowThe Bow
April 15, 2006
Posted by Tom on Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Steve Harris from Cranbrook joined me on a float trip today. Due to time constraints we floated the "city" section today in search of some big brown trout. As was the case earlier in the week the day was cool 40 F which is the same temperature of the water. Water clarity was good and a heavy midge was present all day, with the blue winged olives showing up mid afternoon. All in all we have a good day with atleast a dozen mature browns brought to the net. The biggest a 23" hen that was in excellent condition considering the winter and fall spawn. Fish were mostly taken on streamers however earlier in the day small nymphs and San Jaun Worms worked as well. This was probably one of my better days on this stretch at this time of year.

The BowThe Bow
April 10, 2006
Posted by Tom on Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Jason took Paul and Dan from Fernie on the first float trip of the year. The weather was less than perfect a high of 40 F which matched the water temperature. Water clarity was cloudy due to the recent rains causing the tributaries to be cloudy. Midges were present most of the day and a sparse blue winged olive hatch in the afternoon was a welcome surprise. In all 16 fish were landed a mix between rainbows and browns on streamers, nymphs, and worms. They had to work hard for the fish but not a bad day considering the weather and the time of year.

The BowThe Bow
April 10, 2006
Posted by Tom on Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Ned and Brian from Whitecourt joined me for my first float trip of the year. With the weather conditions and the river clarity less than ideal the fishing was fairly slow. As I had expected the migratory rainbows had already left the Bow on their spring spawning run. In all a dozen fish were hooked on the day, mostly prespawn rainbows in the 14 - 16 inch range. All were in good condition reassuring us they wintered very well.

New Website up and Running
March 31, 2006
Posted by Tom on Friday, March 31, 2006

As of March 1st, the new website was unveiled. River is open and boat launches are accessible. Journal entries will start in about two weeks with the start of the fishing season.

The BowThe Bow
April 29, 2005
Posted by Tom on April 2005

Almost as if they have a calendar the migrating rainbows left the Bow to spawn by the 10th. They were within a day of when they left last year. So after the 10th, the majority of the rainbows caught were 20" and under (pre spawners), however once in awhile we would get a pig as they don't all leave the river to spawn. It is when the spawners leave that some of the biggest browns of the year are caught. On one of our floats in April we landed over 20 browns, the best a 24" slab. The afternoon blue winged olive hatches would literally blanket the surface of the river but very little surface activity was found. As the water temperature continues to rise the fish were found in faster water especially in the afternoon. They are starting to fight like the Bow River trout we know and love. Stomach pumps were mainly full of bwo nymphs, the odd stone and of course leeches. Other than the post spawn browns all the fish are very healthy, resembling footballs.

The CrowThe Crow
April 29, 2005
Posted by Tom on April 2005

Again we tore ourselves away from the bow to try the Crowsnest River. The stretch that had produced so well the month earlier was very slow. As with the Bow the rainbows had moved upstream to spawn in the closed section of the river. We decided to try the lower section where the migration upstream is interrupted by Lundbreck Falls. This stretch has seen lots of stream bank rehabilitation work and every bank diversion had fish on them. Although the numbers weren't as good as the previous visit, we still managed over 20 above average Crow rainbows. Success was found in the slower deeper runs and pools on small nymphs and brown stones.

The CrowThe Crow
March 31, 2005
Posted by Tom on March 2005

Twice in March we tore ourselves away from the Bow and gave the Crowsnest River a try. Both days were very successful, with over 30 fish landed between two fishermen. Success came on small hares ears, prince nymphs, copper johns and #10 san juan worms. The river was very low and the fish were found in the deep slower runs and pools. Encouraging was the size and shape of the 14" average rainbows, amazing was their colors. These fish were in great shape and beautiful displaying their spawning colors. This time of year is one of the best for catching the larger fish of the Crow.

The BowThe Bow
March 30, 2005
Posted by Tom on February, March 2005

The float fishing season started early this year with out first float trip on the upper stretch of the lower section Feb. 28th. With a very warm spring we regularly floated from then on. We were the first boat to float to the second take out down stream of Calgary on March 10th. The fishing these first few trips was somewhat slow, success on large stone flies, leeches and san juan worms was in deep holes and runs where the fish were congregated. Towards the end of March as the water temperature began to rise midges and small blue winged olives nymphs were the food of choice. The last week of March found the rainbows stacking up at the tributary in preparation for the spawning run. By the end of March we had done 18 float trips on the river, exceptional for this country.

The BowThe Bow
February 28, 2005
Posted by Tom on February, March 2005

Again it seems the journal entries have all but ceased to exist. So again as a new summer approaches I make an attempt to catch up with what has been happening this spring. As the rivers rise with the annual spring run off, it gives me a chance to get caught up on things that have been on the back burners for some time. In the next few entries I will get caught up with the events of the spring and then try to atleast give weekly updates from now on. Two of the biggest changes in 2005 is the addition of guided Southern Alberta Walleye fishing (check out the new page) and the addition of guided fly fishing in Southeastern B.C. (new page to come in a few weeks). I am very excited with both of these additions as it allows us to diversify the operations in Alberta catering to more than just fly fishers. As well with the expansion into Southeastern B.C. it gives "Hookers" a more diverse package to offer fly fishers.

Red Deer RiverRed Deer River
August 10, 2004
Posted by Tom on August 09, 2004

Here is a nice fish.

Red Deer River
August 6, 2004
Posted by Tom on August 08, 2004

Went to the Red Deer for two days to break up the monotony and look at some different water. This is a beautiful river (the tail race from Dickson Dam) located in central Alberta approximately one hour north of Calgary. The first afternoon and evening we floated from range rd. 20 to the Innisfail bridge. It is about a four hour float that can be made much longer with numerous places to stop and fish runs, wood, and pools. We landed three browns on this trip the largest 21" and the smallest 14". All were caught on either a black leech or a black wooly bugger. For the record book was a 20 walleye caught on a leech the first ever on the fly for Bill. And even better for the record book was an 8 oz brown bat landed by Jay also a first (and he hopes the last) on the fly. Three goldeye were also caught on this float all on drys after spotting them feeding in a slow deep run. This was also a first as the fisherman had never caught goldeye on a fly before and one had never even seen one.

The second day we floated from the dam to range rd. 20 in the afternoon. This is approximately a 31/2 hour float. We decided to try nymphing exclusively on this stretch. One brown of about 20" was landed about 15 minutes in, and expectations were high. We say a pod of 3 browns feeding in a flat shortly after that were put down by a jet boat before one could be fooled. The rest of the float we were continually releasing rocky mountain white fish. Over 25 in all. And although we had speculations no other browns were seen.

We then drove down to the Innisfail bridge and put in to float to the Penhold bridge, again another 3 hour float for the evening. The only rising fish we saw were goldeye of which four were fooled and brought to hand. This stretch we had the fisherman in the front running a hopper imitation with a pmd nymph dropper and the fisherman in the back running a streamer. Two browns were landed on this float. The first a 20" beauty and the second a 24" monster. Both were caught blind fishing. The browns in the Red Deer are much more colorful than the ones in the Bow. And although know where near as plentiful its been a long time since I've seen a 24" brown caught on a dry.

This is a very beautiful river. The upper stretch is quite fast with lots of beautiful deep runs, and structure along the banks in the way of fallen trees. It makes it quite difficult to nymph, with lots of break offs on sunken trees. The middle stretch has a mix of both the faster deep runs and the slow flats. The lower stretch has miles of prime brown trout water slow deep and beautiful. You can view the pictures in the Red Deer river album.

The Bow - 22 to McKinnon
August 3, 2004
Posted by Tom on August 03, 2004

The day started off cloudy and cool. Fishing was fantastic until the sun burned the clouds off and it started to get hot. When this happened the river again seemed to turn off. Some fish were caught after but very sporadic. The largest fish landed was a 22" rainbow that was full of blue winged olive nymphs size 18. As with most days now on the Bow since the introduction of barbless hooks as many were lost as landed. However they all go back anyway. The river is extremely clean and starting to get quite low. The beautiful runs of high water (post run-off) are all but gone.

The Bow - 22 to McKinnon
July 29, 2004
Posted by Tom on July 29, 2004

Took a friend with us today, it was only his second time fly fishing the Bow. We were into about 25 fish today but again it seemed slow. The upper part of this float the fishing was good but at about the half way point the river again seemed to turn off. Stomachs sampled had the same caddis pupa as yesterday, leeches and blue winged olive nymphs size 18. The only surface activity were small fish right before dark.

The Bow - Policeman's to McKinnon
July 28, 2004
Posted by Tom on July 28, 2004

Was a slow day. Bright sunny, and very warm seemed to have the fish off. We were into about 20 fish today, the largest about 5 pounds, but with three seasoned anglers we were expecting more. Stomachs were sampled in three different areas and all had caddis pupa about #12 light green with brown heads. The lower part of this float the fishing was quite slow.

The Bow
July 20, 2004
Posted by Tom on July 20, 2004

Norm joined me today for a float from 22x to McKinnon. Again a thunder storm the evening before had riled the river causing us to float the upper stretch. Not long into the float we lost about a 20" rainbow that gave us an excellent aireal display. On the day there were 8 fish landed, the best a 23" rainbow. We did manage one brown, however he was on the small side only about 14". The fish are in excellent condition and almost resemble something you catch out of a lake with their depth. Many more fish were hooked but as Norm hadn't been fly fishing for a long time and with the new barbless regulations, the fish got the better of us on most occasions. All recent pictures can be seen in the Summer 04 Bow River Album.

The Bow
July 16, 2004
Posted by Tom on July 16, 2004

Marc joined me for an evening walk and wade and a float the following day. On the first evening 5 fish were landed on nymphs the largest a 22" dandy. Just at dark the adult stones (golden) started coming back to the river thicker than I've seen before. One fish was landed on an adult imitation, and one large fish was lost. We got one brown tonight that resembled a foot ball. That night the was a very bad thunder storm in the City and the next day the lower section of the river was blown out. We were forced to float from Glenmore to Policeman's. The float started out ok but the last half was slow on the bright sunny day. In total four fish were landed and one very large (I'm guessing a brown) snapped us off.

The Bow
July 14, 2004
Posted by Tom on July 14, 2004

Highwood finally cleaned so floated lower section today for the first time in over a month. River has dropped about 11/2 feet in the last few days. Water temperature was 64F. Over 25 fish hooked today nothing too big. All rainbows that we know of, the largest a 22" beauty. Saw some adult stones (golden), lots of caddis, and pale morning duns, however surface activity limited right up until dark.

The Bow
July 10, 2004
Posted by Tom on July 10, 2004

Went on an evening fish in the city. Only caught two browns both were on the drys. First was taken while blind fishing and the second was a text book performance by my father as he casted to a steadly sipping 4 lb brown trout about one hour after dark. Hooked and landed the beautiful trout with an eager son watching the entire display. Summer evenings don't get much better than this.

The Bow
July 1, 2004
Posted by Tom on July 5, 2004

Canada day July 1 was spent on the river. We went on a float trip on the upper part of the "lower bow". Got in the boat at about 3:00pm and were off at 10:00pm. The river is high, about 2 feet above normal levels however clarity was good until we got to where the Highwood runs in and it was very muddy. The bow kept the muddy water from the Highwood confined to the south bank until about 1 mile above the take out when it finally mixed. We were into 25 plus fish most of which were caught nymphing with a worm/pale morning dun nymph combo. Fish were mostly found on the inside bank in slower water at or near the seam. Some dry fly action was enjoyed on pale morning duns, that were emerging during cloudy periods. Best fish of the day was a 6lb plus brown and 3 4lb rainbows. Observed brown crane flies dancing along the banks mid evening, along with clouds of caddis flying just above the water but very few actually on the surface. Very few risers were observed in the later part of the evening, probably left to early.

The Bow
June 30, 2004
Posted by Tom on July 1, 2004

Went on a float from Policeman's to McKinnons. On the river at 3:00 and off at 10:00. River is quite high, clarity was good above Highwood, but the Highwood was muddy making the south bank of the Bow dirty. However it didn't mix until just above Mckinnon. Were into about 25 fish today most on a worm, pale morning dun nymph combo. Fish were mostly found on inside bank in slower water at or near the seam. Some dry fly action on pale morning duns that were emerging during cloud cover. Best fish of the day was a 6 lb brown and three 4 lb rainbows. Dark chocolate brown crane flies were observed flying along banks, caddis flying above water but not much on the surface until sun set.

The Bow
June 28, 2004
Posted by Tom on July 1, 2004

Finally, I had some time to update this page. Actually start updating, as there have been no entries thus far. Hopefully I will be able to provide more frequent updates on at least a weekly basis.

The spring of 2004 was fantastic. Although the Bow was extremely low the fishing was great. March end and April were unseasonably warm which helped. The end of March to the first week of April saw large numbers of large rainbows being caught in staging areas before the spawn. By April 10 most of the migrating rainbows had left the river in search of spawning beds in tributary. By May 16 most of these rainbows had returned to the Bow, however all had signs of the toll spawning takes on these trout. The browns on the other hand are in great condition and feeding ferociously after the winter months. By the beginning of June the rainbows were already showing signs of recovering, with the odd one actually fat already. Heavy rains this month (June) have brought the water level up considerably. On June 10 the Bow had risen approximately 11/2 feet however clarity is still good as the cool temperatures have not allowed much of the snow pack to start melting.

Of note were fairly large numbers of bwo's and caddis in mid May. The first orange colored cranefly was observed June 3, about the same time the silver willow and wild roses started to Blum. Also large numbers of skwla stones were observed on the Red Deer river.

To date the best fish landed are 28", 26", and 27" browns, all females, and a 26" male rainbow. The best day May 19 produced 47 fish between 3 seasoned angles. The best not landed were 3 browns, 2 of which were first disguised as snags until they finally decided to move, and all proved with the new barbless hook regulation if they don't want us to touch them we won't.

Check out the pictures section of this site to see samples of our catches, especially the spring and summer '04 albums for the most recent.

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