Elk River Fishing Report – July 2013

The mighty Elk River is finally coming into it’s own and looking like the humble river we are used to; except with many new river dynamic changes.

Water levels are dropping and clarity is continuing to improve.

One of the most important bits of information I can share with you is about the changes in the river. There are many of you that bring your own boats, pontoons and even tubers that float the river. Over the years guides have rescued many people, lending spare oars, picking up lunches, gear and people. It’s the worst feeling ever. So please my friends …..be careful!

For those of you that are used to floating the river every year; make sure that you take it slow around the corners to get yourself in tune with the new changes, turns, bends and hazards that have presented themselves after the excessive water. The Olson put in looks completely different! The beautiful big chunky rocks on the other side of the river with the cliff above…are gone; the whole bank washed in and pretty much buried those rocks and took away the sweet fish habitat. For the river that you used to know; the first time floating will be a re acquaintance.

One of the tricky hazards is right near the beginning of the Olson stretch; as you are heading down around the first big corner the river decided to do a spliztville. The left channel now has a tree right across it, it is obvious and you just can’t go thru. The right hand channel is a bit tricky and you have to be super careful as the water levels continue to drop. As much of the river bank is littered with big trees; this chute also has a rather large tree sticking out from the right hand bank with another tree on the left hand side of the chute; you gotta go thru; tuck in your oars, line yourself up and be careful. Hopefully in the next week or so someone will chop ‘er down to make it a safe passing for others.

It always amazes me how many people we rescue on the river that are tubing that have no idea what’s around the next corner. I love tubing the Elk River and think it’s a great joy ride, but so many don’t have a clue and there is no education anywhere for the unknowing. So tubers……back paddle like crazy!!!!

[Elk River reports]

Just above the golf course is a massive log jam; there is a soft eddy on the inside corner that helps you out; but the last few days I have gone bye I keep thinking that some tuber is going to fly right into it…We stopped to make sure a party barge got thru some sections; they were smart enough to have 3 people oaring …. The Hosmer to Fernie stretch and beyond are pretty good; some of the crazy S- bend hazards have been removed and quite a bit of it is smooth sailing.  There are however new gravel shelves that have shifted and river redirection.

As the water drops; I will do my best to inform you of any other changes or hazards. If you have any questions; please feel free to drop me a line or give me a shout – 250.423.1597 / beckie@fernieflyfishing.com

[Beckie Clarke] Now onto the most exciting part…the fishing! Fishing in dirty water is a bit tricky, but now that the shelves,  inside corners and gravel bars are showing their “skin” with visible depth; boy it sure makes a difference…. The fish are tucked in tight to the corners and if you are a gunner of a shot with your line; you can slip that big ass bug into the pocket water as the boat rips bye; this is producing fish; but tricky for most to make the shot. Better off to fish the long slow banks tight in behind the rocks. Bounce your fly through the foams lines and dance it off the inside corners. You will have success. Ah; how I love you Elk River. Even after this flood, you still never cease to amaze me.

Have 2 rods rigged up; quicker changing from going from “the dark side” to dry fly. Who doesn’t like to see that mouth come up for your dead drifting bug? Can’t resist the temptation to throw a dry fly around, do it and you will be rewarded. [Elk River]

Fernie BC Fly Fishing

There have been a healthy hatch of big and small golden stones, bright yellow sallies, green drakes and caddis flying around. The evening have also let loose a few PED’s

If the going gets tough; then it’s a simple switcharoo to the nymph and bobber……


Nymphs:  Brown Jimmy Legs – Sz 10, Prince Nymph sz 8, BH Hare’s ear sz 14 – That’s all I tried and caught fish on each one of ’em.

Dry Fly – Remember – the Elk River is not a one fly fishery! It’s all about presentation, presentation, presentation!

Orange Stimulator (Stimi Chew Toy) – Sz 10, H&L Variant – Sz 12, Dornan Water Walker sz 10, Yellow Stimulator sz 14, Green Drakes sz 12, Tan Elk Hair Caddis sz 14.

Most of all – have some fun and call us if you would like a trip!!!!