Fishing Report - April 17th, 2019

Spring has finally sprung! Warmer temperatures should hopefully mean more bugs and more aggressive trout. We want to remind you to renew your fishing license as they expired on March 31st. Please remember that your license isn't valid unless it is signed. The new fishing regulations are online and we've been told now that the election is over the hard copies will be sent out. 


Central Alberta - ES2

Most rivers in this region are really starting to colour up with the higher temperatures causing a substantial amount of melting. When the water is dirty it is important to try to trigger the trout’s lateral line with movement by using streamers or larger nymphs. In times like this think about dark profiles, which will have a more visible profile in dirty water. Keep an eye on flows (available at ) and plan your trips accordingly. During the warmer days, water levels will rise and rivers will accumulate more runoff throughout the day, and then recede slightly in the night and early morning.

  • Bugs to expect in the coming weeks are – BWO’s, Midges, March Browns and Skwalas.


Bow River

The Bow has been fishing well as of late. Most of the snow on the banks of the river is gone and the river is generally free of ice. Again, the river will often start the day clear but by mid-afternoon gain quite a bit of colour. This will be the cycle until most the city and valley snow has melted.

Although most of the ice is gone we want you to consider these things when you are approaching the river and fishing early spring:

1)    The ice can drastically alter the river throughout the winter months so if you have not been out since the fall, your familiar run may have morphed into something very different. Be careful when wading and if visibility is restricted consider a wading staff to help gauge depths.

2)    Remember to continuously look up river to stay away from debris coming down river.

3)    The ice shelves and banks can be unstable. One misstep can result in many different and unfortunate scenarios.


If you are looking to float the Bow, the following launches are open:

  • Glenmore, Fish Creek, Policeman's Flats, Mackinnon Flats, Jensen's and Carsland


Recommended flies are:

Nymphs – Zebra Midges (Red,Black) Sz 16,18, San Juan Worms, Copper Johns (Various Colours), Girdle Bugs, Kaufman's Golden Stone

Dries – Grifiths Gnat, Midge Clusters, Blue-Winged Olives, Skwalas

Streamers – Woolley Buggers (Black, Olive, Brown) Muddler Minnows, Sculpzillas, Sex Dungeons mini-dungeons.

(Black and Olive leeches have been very effective recently at producing large browns).

Southern Alberta

The Crowsnest was clear a week ago and the lower Oldman below the dam had rumors of fishing well. Skwalas should be keeping the trout well fed on the Crowsnest.


Nymphs – Zebra Midge (Black,Red) Sz – 16,18,20, San Juan Worm, Copper John (Black,Red) Sz - 16,18, Kaufmans Golden Stone, Girdle Bug

Streamers – Wooley Bugger (Black,Olive) Sculpzilla, Muddy Buddy Black, Jaw Breaker

Dries – Grifiths Gnat Sz 18, Midge Cluster Sz 18, Parachute BWO Sz 16, 18, Traditional BWO Sz 16, 18, Skwala Stonefly (various patterns) size 8-10.


Kit Recommendations

Nymphing - A standard 3X leader with different tippets to give you the option to go lighter is recommended. The water may be clear but the fish should not be leader shy this time of the year.

Many of our customers have been enjoying the use of tippet rings so if you have yet to try them you may want to give them a shot.

·      Dries – Because the bugs this time of the year are small you should make sure you are equipped to go as light as 5X but 4X should do the trick and hopefully help you land a few more fish.

·      Streamers – For streamers we say no lighter than 10lb and remember that fluorocarbon is much more abrasion resistant.

·      Although temperatures are reaching the mid-teens, water temperatures are still cold for wet-wading. Make sure to protect your skin by wearing long sleeve shirts that offer UPF rated protection from the sun. Polarized sunglasses are also a great idea to protect your eyes from harmful UV rays as well give you the ability to sight fish much more easily. 


If you make it out and feel like sharing a story or photo we always like hearing what you are getting up to. Instagram @bowrivertroutfitters

By Jeff

Leave a comment

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.