Bow River Float Trip
Our outfitting business was built on the Bow. It’s our name! Our guides have years of experience decoding the Bow, a river that has a steep learning curve. Whether you are a first-time angler or a seasoned vet on a mission, we can connect you with a guide that will get you into the goods.
A full day float trip is the premier guided service that we offer and make up the bulk of the trips we run each season. Likely you will be floating a section of the Bow south of Calgary. We often fish this area because higher levels of nutrients in the water downstream of the city boost insect numbers, providing the trout with ample food and you with a shot at quality fish.
We are happy to facilitate floats in the Rocky Mountains near the town of Canmore and the upper city/downtown sections of the bow, though fewer numbers of fish mean that these floats are often best appreciated for the opportunity to catch fish in unique settings rather than for numbers and size. Depending on the time of year and your preference you might toss foam stonefly and grasshopper patterns tight to the banks, strip articulated streamers on fast sink-tip lines, or dredge likely runs with a classic indicator setup. It’s all here on the Bow River.
Our Rate: $700 / Day
Gratuity and taxes not included
Book your next trip!
Drop us a note or call us at (403) 282-8868
Most trips last 8-10 hours. Our guides are flexible. If you have any specific needs or expectations let us know and we will make it happen.
Most trips typically start between 7 and 9AM. However, we are more than able to accommodate any preferences you might have for starting time.
Lunch is included! Your guide will provide lunch and drinks (non-alcoholic). Please let us know about any dietary restrictions.
Certain stretches of the river are more productive than others depending on the time of year. Your guide knows the Bow like the back of their hand. They will pick the best stretch of river based on current conditions to give you the best opportunities to find success success on the water.
We can accommodate a maximum of two customers per boat. Additional boats will need to be booked to accommodate more anglers.
All your gear is provided by us at no extra cost. All you need to bring is a hat, sunglasses and a fishing license. Feel free to bring your own gear if you would like.
Your guide will be in touch to figure out where the best location to meet you is. We want to make this as easy as possible for you.
Typically the season runs from April to October. However, the best time to fish the Bow is early July through September. Check out this hatch chart for more info on when the bugs you like are on the water.
As a world-class fly angling destination, the Bow is home to hard-fighting McLeod strain rainbows, trophy sized brown trout, and several other lesser-targeted game fish species. The Bow begins its journey bracingly cold and robin’s egg blue as it originates from Bow Glacier in Banff National Park. Snaking eastward through the iconic Rocky Mountains, the Bow exhibits multiple personalities as it flows downstream through the Bow Valley to Calgary and beyond into the prairies. Epic mountain scenery and a chance at rainbows, browns, and even a few bull trout make this an ideal stretch of river to truly immerse yourself in your surroundings.
The Bow River in the Calgary area is a fishery that has no parallel. Deep runs snug up against forested banks in the upper city section along the Douglas Fir Trail. A kaleidoscope of steel beams and glass windows mirror the Bow as you drift through the heart of downtown Calgary, where office workers and oil executives alike often keep a pair of waders in the office. Nowhere else does a fly angler have a legitimate shot at landing a wild trophy trout in the middle of a major urban center. Move downstream, and the water within Fish Creek Provincial Park is a preview of what is to come once the river exits the city limits to the South. As the second largest urban park in Canada, Fish Creek’s grassy parkland ambles up to wide, level sections of river that are ideal for Spey style fishing.
The Bow is at its best downstream of Calgary, as increased concentrations of nutrients support dense insect populations. Sandstone cliffs and grassy overhanging banks are typical of this section as the river cuts a canyon through table-top flat farmland. This is the section we drift most often as it typically produces the finest fishing in terms of numbers and size. Prime attractions on the Bow include the annual mating event of the Golden Stonefly in July, which coincides with the world-famous Calgary Stampede. Early mornings and large foam flies produce spectacular fishing. Prolific caddis hatches occur well into the evening at this time of year. September brings clear weather, quieter rivers and grasshopper fishing that will have you looking at nearby real estate listings. Grassy, overhanging banks become hanging buffet tables for trout, and a light breeze is the equivalent of ringing the dinner bell. This is a nuanced, year-round fishery that holds rewards for the novice angler and the trophy hunters alike.
We exclusively fish using Catch & Release methods and encourage the use of single barbless hooks. If the water temperature rises above 68 F, we stop fishing as dissolved oxygen levels become too low for fish to survive being caught.
A 50% deposit is required to book a guided trip. Deposits are refundable for any changes made prior to 30 days before your scheduled reservation. Cancelled trips inside 30 days of your reservation date will result in you forfeiting your deposit regardless of the reason for cancellation. Credit card cancellations will be charged an additional 5% to cover our processing fees.
We operate in all safe weather and water conditions, therefore inclement weather, water or non-desirable fishing conditions are not reasons to cancel. Often “bad weather” is the best fishing weather! If we deem that the weather or water conditions are unsafe or un-fishable, we will be happy to refund your deposit or re-schedule your booking for another date. Travel insurance is recommended on extended trips and multi-day bookings.
Our guides will work their hardest to get you into fish and make sure your experience on the river is fun and memorable. It is always up to your discretion to provide a gratuity or not but if you have had a fun and enjoyable day your guide will certainly appreciate it. A fair tip for a day of guided fishing is around $100 plus or minus depending on the service provided. (Roughly $50 per angler)