Photo By Benjamin Day
Although we've had consistent flurries this week, fishing in the Bow River has been steadily improving as ice-off is nearly complete and run-off has not arrived. Water levels are still low and crystal clear. The fish still mostly seem to be holding in somewhat deeper and slower water. The recent cold weather will keep them there for a bit longer. Some healthy looking fish have been seen in nets lately. Let’s keep them that way by pinching barbs, landing them quickly, and minimizing handling time.
Be aware of flood mitigation construction along the south bank at Centre Street bridge, construction work at Fish Creek bridge, as well as work on Stoney Trail bridge in South Calgary. Access to McKinnon's flats is open as of April 15.
Streamers are a great choice for fishing from now right through runoff. Smaller articulated patterns like Galloup’s Mini Dungeon in various colours to suit light conditions will do well. Leeches like RIO’s Stand By Me will do well as always.
Waterboatmen have been making an appearance, try incorporating these patterns into a nymph rig. Prince nymphs are always a good choice.
Down in Montana the Skwala hatch is well underway and our head guide Logan Whitehouse reported rising over twenty fish in an outing on the Bitterroot River last weekend. Our Skwala season is not far behind and nymphs will produce now. From mid afternoon onwards when temperatures increase is when dries may work. Try skating foam patterns across the current while gently lifting the rod tip.
Two-handed trout Spey techniques have been very popular this spring and it’s a blast bombing mid-sized trout intruders to the other bank. Take advantage of the low and clear water conditions to access wading spots just upstream of a deep drop off and swing deep into the bucket. In a month or two the water will be too fast and high to safely swing to some of these spots.
Lately we’ve had lots of folks coming by the shop to ask about trout Spey on the Bow and recommendations for rod weight and length. We consider an 11 foot 4 weight to be the sweet spot for chucking a good assortment of small and midsized bugs. Step it up to a 11’-12' 5 weight to toss any streamer you would on your single handed 7 weight.