The Elk River and local tributaries opened June 15 to begin a much anticipated fly fishing season. The above average snow pack held the fishing back much longer than normal and most anglers were finding success a few weeks into July. We were fortunate to receive the warmer weather in the last two weeks of July as it helped bring the water levels down and the clarity up.
The sweet, sexy gravel bars and river definitions have now revealed themselves and the fishing is in full swing. August usually proves to be a steller month bringing families out to the river banks and fish up to the surface. The cutties are hungry and aim to tease and please the new, old or lapsed angler making the Elk River Drainage prime fishing water for families and individuals of all ages and fishing skill levels.
The Elk River is a freestone river and the mornings can be slower than the afternoons. The water temperature takes time to warm up and as we are in the Rockies; the evenings tend to be on the chilly side. We always make jokes that the fish are on “Fernie time”. If you are a keener and can’t resist the morning fish, try throwing on a caddis or something like a yellow or orange stimulator, pale morning dun or test your luck with the bull trout and put on a big streamer. Otherwise it can be a wise idea to let the morning sun warm up the water. Once the water temperatures start to warm up, the bugs become more active and of course the fish start to move.
If the afternoon is hot, I suggest throwing out a terrestrial – give those fish something to rise for! In the late afternoon, evening and even on a cloudy afternoon, August is one of the most productive mayfly months of the summer and if you are along the river banks take a look around and you will be sure to see signs of graceful green drakes, blue winged olives and pmd’s flying around.
There are many resources available in Fernie, whether you are looking to get into fishing, are interested in a lesson, would like to hire a guide or just receive general tips and equipment suggestions; give us a call.
See article in the local Fernie Fix magazine: