Trips on the Bow River

There were some east slopes cutthroat trout and bull trout residing in the river as Calgary developed into a city. The rainbows were, by good fortune, put in the Bow River back in the twenties. These former Mcleod river (California) stocks were on their way to Banff National Park when an train accident occurred delaying them from being stocked in the park lakes. The ultimate desiccation of the trout was prevented when someone suggested releasing the cargo of trout into the river, the Bow River. A few years later a British gentleman released brown trout into the river.

Both species survived many decades in the river and have become the dominant residents. Flowing through Calgary the river provides water for the citizens. Several reservoirs were constructed along its flow during the forties. Industries were established in Calgary and they required water and labor.

The oil boom and support manufacturing caused Calgary to expand and grow into a major center of almost 750,000 population. The Bow River developed as a result of Calgary’s growth. In the early years untreated sewage had been released in the river changing its character from freestone to almost chalk stream. With the artificial enrichment and nutrients the grasses grew and create a place for new and fertile bio mass development attracting insects and allowing the fish to achieve rapid growth.

Environmental concerns forced the city fathers to protect the river from industry and pollution and the result has been improved sewage treatment and careful monitoring of all industrial areas and the establishment of the storm drain marking program called the Yellow Fish Road.

Day Float Trips

Welcome, the day begins with either pick up at your area hotel or meeting at one of the area’s fly shops. Depending on the fishing that we are experiencing (early or late) will determine the pick up time. A day lasts about 12 hours from pick up to delivery back to the meeting spot. The length of time on the water is flexible to meet your needs.

We will stop by an area fly shop to get fishing licenses and any extra tackle, leaders and flies that we may need. A list of equipment is covered under “Questions”.

After short drive to the access site we will wader up, set up tackle and then launch the boat. Our vehicle will be moved down stream by a shuttle service and will be waiting at the end of our float trip.

Lunch and refreshments are provided by the guide for the day trip. If you have any preferences such as: regular versus diet soft drinks, allergies etc. please let us know in advance.

We have no control over the fishing, whether the trout will bite or not but what we can guarantee is to suggest method, fly pattern and technique that will hopefully get you into trout.

Walk and Wade Trips

After a near-quarter-century on the water – I have not done a lot of walking in the last few years. Bow River Anglers can however provide guides guides that enjoy the walk wade trips.

In this great province of Alberta there are many top quality fly fishing experiences on our streams available. We have the Crowsnest R., the Oldman R., Prairie R., North Raven R., Raven R., Clearwater R., Livingstone R., and many more. These trips make for a long day or arrangements can be made for overnight stays in the area.

Contact us for rates and availability

Overnight Float/Camp Trips

One of the best ways to enjoy the Bow River is overnight camping. This will allow you to enjoy the float trip and angling during the day and if you wish to fish extra-time is available because you are on the river overnight.

On the camp trips I will provide the tents, air mattresses and meals. You will require your own sleeping bags and a change of clothes. The campsites are rustic with all meals are prepared on open fires. The extra gear will be transported by separate boat and the tents will be set up for us.

The Bow River has several islands that we can camp on and the angling is usually pretty good in the evenings providing the wind doesn’t blow too hard.

Best of all – on the camp-out’s you’ll get to enjoy Chef White’s near famous Dutch Oven cooking – where you’ll learn:

  • What is a Dutch Oven?
  • Selecting the right Dutch Oven (size)
  • The seasoning is everything
  • Heat sources: Coals Vs Charcoal
  • Dutch Oven uses: Not just for baking
  • Regulating the heat