We often receive calls from anglers who are in search of quality dry fly fishing for wild trout on less crowded, scenic North American freestone rivers. A seemingly simple request but in today’s competitive world this quintessential fly fishing experience has become increasingly hard to come by. Over the years we have directed anglers to the Elk River Guiding Company located in Fernie, British Columbia. They specialize in drift and wade fly fishing on the waters of Southeastern British Columbia and Southern Alberta where anglers can enjoy the magic of exceptional dry fly streams.
Elk River Guiding Company offers customized itineraries throughout these areas. Some of their favorite rivers include the Elk, Wigwam, Oldman, Crow, and other local tributaries. Anglers can choose from a wide variety of quality accommodations and fly fishing scenarios targeting browns, rainbows, westslope cutthroats and bull trout. Elk River’s most popular packages run from three to six days and can cover as much or as little country as desired. This is a great destination for couples and hardcore trout hunters alike. Numerous non-angling activities are available for those who would like to take in the region’s superb scenery.
Elk River Location:
Elk River Guiding Company is located in Fernie, BC (southeastern BC).
Elk River Guiding Company is located in Fernie, British Columbia. They specialize in drift and wade fly fishing the waters of Southeastern B.C. and Southern Alberta. Their home river is the Elk river. With an estimated 5,000+ fish per mile, the Elk River system has a tremendous population of indigenous Westslope Cutthroat Trout. A combination of the number of trout, the aggressive nature of the species and the guiding approach, provides beginners and experts alike with some of the best dry fly fishing in Canada! The Elk river provides seven separate days of drift boat fly fishing and countless walk and wade tributaries to explore. Two of their other favorites are the Oldman and the Crow rivers. Elk River Guides are professional, knowledgeable, and experienced.
There is no set “fly fishing lodge” in the area, however we have numerous options ranging simple hotels to fine lodges such as Island Lake that offer fully catered meals. This is a great trip for couples and hardcore trout hunters alike. Peak months are from mid-July through September.
Elk River: The Elk River is known as one of the most pristine and premier dry fly fisheries in the world. A spectacular freestone river filled with deep pools, dancing riffles, and various back channels. The Elk River holds a very healthy population of Wild and Native West slope Cutthroat Trout, along with Bull Trout and Mountain Whitefish. It is the dry fly action from the abundance of sporadic and mixed insect hatches that makes this river so popular. The average size of the cutthroat will range from 14 to 18 inches with an occasional fish in the 20" range. The Cutties in the Elk River are very thick, "Big Shouldered" fish due to the single, barbless hook restriction and the high levels of insect productivity. A day of dry fly fishing on the Elk River is nothing short of amazing and will keep you coming back for years to come.
The Crowsnest River is a classic Rainbow Trout river located along the continental divide in SW Alberta, only a 45 minute drive from Fernie. Meandering through the eastern foothills of the Canadian Rockies, the Crowsnest River is a small walk n' wade stream full of healthy & wise rainbows reaching the 20+ inch range. This quaint river has over 1500 trout per mile and quite the reputation for hosting remarkable hatches. This river is crossable in most sections and is known for fast riffles, pools and sight fishing for big fish along high banks. Rich in history and scenery the Crow offers ample opportunity for the angler seeking the challenge of mastering the fine art of deception and presentation.
Hiking, canoeing, massage and spa services.
Accommodations and Meals:
Island Lake Lodge: The lodge is located in the Cedar Valley amongst an old growth cedar forest. The Red Eagle, Cedar and Tamarack Lodges, sleep up to 48 guests in 26 rooms. Each lodge has cozy rooms with en suite bathrooms. The lodge features an outdoor hot tub on a large deck off the main level providing great views of the mountains, lake and forest. There are comfortable living rooms on both the upper and main floor. There are no phones, computer jacks or TV’s in guestrooms – so you can relax, watch the sun set from an outdoor hot tub, or enjoy a massage as you look forward to a gourmet meal. The lodge includes a spectacular 60 seat dining room, with a 3,000 bottle wine library. The lodge also features the elegant Spa at Island Lake.
At Park Place Lodge all guest rooms have been designed and furnished with guest comfort in mind. For guests looking for the added space and convenience of an apartment style room, studio units are an ideal choice. The hotel is complete with a restaurant and bar, pool, hot tub, gym, and a beer and wine shop.
Day 1: Arrive Fernie, BC and check in to accommodations.
Days 2-6: Full days of guided fishing.
Day 7: Depart lodge.
2020 Rate: CAD $1,900 plus taxes per person for a 5 night/4 day package at Park Place Lodge
Included: Accommodations and guiding as noted on your invoice
Not Included: HST, Fishing Equipment, Airfare, staff & guide gratuities, meals, alcohol, licenses.
Species: West slope cutthroat, rainbow trout, brown trout, bull trout
Season: July – September
Map: Fernie, BC
Time: The time in Fernie is one hour later than Pacific Standard Time.