Fishing while Touring the Canadian Rockies
The Canadian Rockies offer some of the best fishing found anywhere in North America. Spectacular scenery, fresh mountain air and a variety of pristine lakes, rivers and streams provide the perfect backdrop for fishermen of all ages and abilities to enjoy this wonderful outdoor activity. While spin-cast fishing opportunities are not to be missed, the Canadian Rockies are heaven-sent for the fly-fisherman. The winter also presents a magical opportunity to experience world-class ice fishing.
The east slopes of southern Alberta's Rocky Mountains are renowned for their Blue Ribbon Trout waters. The waters of "The Upper Bow River" near Canmore and the environs of Kananaskis Country offer the discerning fly-fisher a myriad of opportunities for superb fly fishing with no shortage of dry fly activity and spectacular scenery. Within a few minutes drive of the townsite of Banff, the waters of Johnsons Lake, Lake Minnewanka and Two Jack Lake offer some superb high water alternatives for both fly-fishing and spin-cast artists. Alternatively, venture deep into the backcountry to challenge the cold water streams and lakes of the high alpine terrain.
On the BC side of the Rockies, some of the best fly fishing in Canada can be found on the Elk River near Fernie. The deep lakes of the BC Rockies also provide exciting spin-cast opportunities that captivate fishermen from around the globe.
The fishing action doesn't end in the fall, however. The majestic Canadian Rockies offer some of the best ice fishing experiences in the world. Set out on the beautiful Kananaskis and Spray Lakes in a heated hut and jig a gorgeous lake trout from the frozen waters.
Guided Fishing Tours
"I'd rather fish than eat," said Bing Crosby, "And I'm Always hungry." In this same spirit, Extreme Rockies offers fishing throughout the Canadian Rockies in conjunction with the best fishing guides the region has to offer. Wade a river, paddle around in a belly boat, learn to flyfish, float in style in a MacKenzie drift boat, or drop your lure through a hole in the glacial ice. From mini vacations, Ladies Only trips, day trips and overnight excursions, Extreme Rockies is your 'hook up' for a great fishing vacation in the mountains. Don't take any chances, we'll make sure you get the best guides for all of your fresh water fishing desires:
- Fly Fishing (Walk and Wade & Drift Boats / Rafts)
- Spin-cast Fishing (Canoes)
- Ice Fishing (Heated Huts)
Recommended fishing trips while touring the Canadian Rockies, or contact us to help plan your very own customized guided fishing excursion with the assistance of our expert advice (be sure to ask about group discounts):
Lake Minnewanka Charter Fishing
Fish in comfort in a 22 foot cabin cruiser fully equipped with everything you require, including: rods, reels, tackle and the most modern electronic and sonar equipment to help locate fish. Our boats are also complete with safety equipment, plus two-way radio contact with our dock office for your comfort while on your expedition. The boats can be completely enclosed and are heated for your complete comfort - never worry about the weather. Lake Minnewanka Docks are 5 minutes from Banff.
Banff Drift Boat Fly Fishing
"Drift Boat" trips offer access to approximately 8 - 15 km of river with the currents and guide doing all the work! With the exception of a short drive, you will spend 5 - 9 hours on the water with an expert guide. Includes Guide, instruction, transportation, Lunch and Fly Fishing Gear. In Banff or Canmore.
Banff Wade and Walk Fly Fishing
The "Walk & Wade" trips take you to the best local spots with trips lasting from 4 - 6 hours. These flyfishing trips are suitable for all skill levels. If you are a beginner or expert, we can organize a memorable trip to accommodate you. All the equipment you will need is supplied from quality rods, reels, lines, and flies to waders and raingear. A picnic lunch and drinks are also provided. In Banff or Canmore.
Alpine Lakes Belly Boat Fly Fishing
Fish pristine alpine lakes fed from glacial meltwater in search of prize Cutthroat trout. All the equipment you will need is supplied from quality rods, reels, lines, and flies to waders and raingear. A picnic lunch and drinks are also provided. In Banff or Canmore.
Banff Walk and Wade Lure Fishing
Fly fishing not really your thing? Perhaps you would like to try some fly fishing for part of the day but would rather catch those wily wild trout tossing lures with a spinning rod. Well, you can. Our guided walk and wade lure fishing trips on the Bow river are all inclusive, including Luxury transportation, fine food and drink, Alberta fishing licenses, top notch fishing gear, waders and Big Jim as your expert guide. In Banff or Canmore
Ice Fishing on Spray Lakes
Big Jim's heated fish catching shack is home to world class angling for aggressive deep bellied Lake Trout. "The Shack," set up high in the Spray Valley, is surrounded by awe inspiring mountain landscapes, the sounds of silence, and some of the freshest, cleanest air on Earth. Everything is included to make your getaway peaceful and relaxing. Luxury transportation, top-notch fishing equipment, Kamavik Ice Boots, Alberta fishing licenses, fine food and drink, and a wise guide are all included. In Banff or Canmore.
Jasper's Maligne Lake Charter Fishing
Maligne Lake has nothing but trout. Literally. Stocked with rainbow and eastern brook trout Maligne Lake provides the best fishing opportunities in Jasper National Park. A professional guided fishing service is available that includes pick up at all townsite hotels, transportation to and from Maligne Lake and the provision of all necessary equipment for a day of fishing.
Elk River Fly Fishing
There's no finer place to fish than the uncrowded 'Blue Ribbon' Elk River and no more productive method than from one of our McKenzie style drift boats or a custom rigged rafts. From the narrow chutes and pools of its upper sections, through the meandering braids of the middle Elk, to the 500 ft deep canyon of the Lower Elk, this river is blessed with some of the best dry fly fishing in Canada. Beside the banks, in the riffles or laying low in the runs, it's never too hard to find a 14" - 18" Cutthroat trout willing to 'smash' a surface presentation, with fish to 21" not uncommon.
Maximum capacity of two persons per guide.
Fish the scenic lakes and challenging streams of the Rocky and Purcell Mountains for Rainbow Trout, Eastern Brook Trout, Cutthroat Trout, Kokanee Salmon, Bull Trout, Rocky Mountain Whitefish, and Burbot. Fly fishing and mountain lake and stream fishing available. All fishing equipment and lunches are provided.
Maximum capacity of two persons per guide for fly fishing.
Fishing Regulations in the Canadian Rockies
There are a lot of regulations surrounding fishing in the Parks and if you do plan to fish you must get a separate Parks fishing license which replaces any other provincial fishing license that you possess. The cost is only $13.00 CAD ($7.00 for 4 days) and a summary of the regulations will be handed to you when you get your license. The licence can be obtained at any National Park visitor centre. Generally, the cost for a basic sport fishing licence in the Province of Alberta is $18.00 CAD/year for Alberta residents, and $36.00 CAD/year for non-residents. The price is about twice as much for a BC license. If you are only fishing in the National Park, then a provincial license is not required.
Since 1996, the use of lead sinkers and jigs is strictly forbidden. This new regulation helps to ensure the preservation of our Parks wilderness. Safer fishing tackle can be obtained in the form of tin, bismuth, steel, or special putty, that are not poisonous to birds.
Canadian Rockies Fish Species
Three native gamefish species can be found through most of the flowing waters and lakes of the area; Cutthroat trout, Bull Trout and the Rocky Mountain Whitefish. Among the non-native species, the Brown trout predominates the waters of the Upper Bow River, and is likely the most actively pursued of all the mountain trout. Rainbows and hybrid Cut-Lows (Rainbow Cutthroat cross) are showing up in greater numbers annually in Headwater rivers and streams. Within the larger lakes of the BC Rockies, you'll also find impressive Kokanee Salmon and and Widemouth Bass.
Likely the most sought after species of all Trout is the Rainbow. This trout is an olive-green color with heavy black spotting over the length of the body. The adult fish has a red-colored stripe along the lateral line, from the gills to the tail. Rainbow trout in lakes are usually lighter colored or a more silvery color than those in streams. They can be caught on artificial flies, spoons and small spinners.
Also known by some as the Dolly Varden, the bull trout is a long, slim fish with a large head in proportion to its body. The fish has an olive-green to grey back and silvery sides which are marked with pale yellow to red spots. There are no black spots on the dorsal fin of this trout. This species is the official provincial fish of Alberta. The spawning fish are usually quite large (over 30 cm), and are very vulnerable to capture by bears, ospreys and people. For this reason the Alberta Natural Resources Service has placed a zero possession limit on this fish throughout the province.
The brook trout is one of the most colorful trouts with a dark green back with pale wavy lines. The sides have a purple sheen with blue-haloed red spots and the lower fins have a black stripe behind a pale leading edge. Brook trout can be taken with all types of fishing lures and baits.
Cutthroat trout are named for the bright red-orange streak in the fold under the mouth. These trout are native to the mountain and foothill streams of southern Alberta. Cutthroat prefer colder water than do the closely related rainbow trout. They spawn in the spring, which may be as late as early July in high mountain streams. Cutthroat are usually caught on artificial flies, small spoons and small spinners.
While not an indigenous species of the Canadian Rockies, the Brown is certainly a "landed immigrant" if not a naturalized citizen. Brown trout are golden brown in color with large black spots on the back, and red spots, some with pale halos, on the sides. They are the only trout with both red and black spotting. They can be caught with artificial flies, spoons and bait (except in waters with bait bans), such as worms.
Mountain whitefish have large scales, no spots and small mouths with no teeth. The general body color is a bronze-white or greenish white. In Alberta, this fish is often called Rocky Mountain whitefish or (incorrectly) grayling. Mountain whitefish feed primarily on bottom-dwelling aquatic insects, but will also feed on terrestrial insects on the surface. They have also been known to feed on other smaller fish and on fish eggs.
| Banff, AB|
| Canmore, AB|
| Kananaskis Country, AB|
| Lake Louise, AB|
| Waterton, AB|
| Jasper, AB|
| Radium, BC|
| Invermere, BC|
| Fairmont Hot Springs, BC|
| Panorama, BC|
| Kimberley, BC|
| Fernie, BC|
| Golden, BC|
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