Alberta’s Red Deer River is not a river for everyone, though the 22″ average brown trout certainly are a major draw. The river is a below average fishery that provides patient people world class fly fishing opportunities for world class brown trout. There are days through the season with no trout caught no matter how hard the fly fishers and guides work. When the trout are on, however, the river produces moments you will not ever forget. We’ve hosted trips where one day is barren of trout while the next day offers 30+ rising trout in the 20 to 27″ range. The Red Deer has gained a schizophrenic reputation, if not a bi-polar one, with each personality to the extreme ends of good and bad. Every fly fisher who aspires to hunt large brown trout on the dry fly on the Red Deer River must ask themselves the question “Am I prepared to wait two days for a 4 to 6 hour window of exceptional fishing?” If the answer is no, please consider our other trips. If you are keen on the concept of hunting and stalking large browns on the dry fly, please join us.
The Red Deer is best described as a giant spring creek with spurts of freestone. Much of the water is flat and moderate flows with subtle surface features, though the in stream structure is abundant. It is a shallow river with good hatches, a combination that leads to rising trout when relatively few insects are present. A key feature is that the river is not heavily fished. Most floats see no other anglers, perhaps sharing the river with one other drift boat per reach a day.
The river opens the third Friday of May annually. The fishing is generally good until June 8 when runoff causes the river to be muddy every other day through about June 21. From late June through early August the fishing can be very good throughout the day. August can produce good hopper fishing. September generally sees unsettled weather mid month which brings on good mayfly and caddis hatches. From opening week through mid October, when the conditions are on, the fishing can be good.
Accommodations for floating the Red Deer are local hotels in the city of Red Deer, or a guest ranch set on a spring creek west of Red Deer. Depending on your schedule and interests, we will work with you on the best accommodation for you.