Most of the time, going fishing means the morning on the water or possibly a day trip. Either way, it is usually a short affair fit between other activities and obligations. Occasionally, we have the opportunity to do something a little bigger. Travel little further. Explore new territory.
My four years in Virginia Led to a lot of shotgun day trips with my buddy Kevin who goes by the name coastal explorer and has the blog sweeetandsalt.blogspot.com
For a while we have been talking about doing a bigger trip. And if we’re going to do something big, we want to be really big.
After lots of planning and a few changes here there, we decided on five days of fishing in the Kootenays in British Columbia and southwest Alberta.
The native fish in this area are whitefish, westslope cutthroat and bull trout. Some streams hold brookies and others bug rainbows (like the crowsnest but it was blown out while we were there).
These are big bug fisheries. Golden stones, large mayflies, and frequent hatches. That’s what feeds these big fish.
There are lots of great fly shops and guide shop options throughout the region. Fernie has two guide shops (we used Elk river guide company – our guide Darcy was great). There are also a couple nice shops with different feels in Alberta. The Coleman fly shop and cafe is a nice place to get coffee and breakfast before hitting the stream.
Oh, and if you are looking for a place to stay in Cranbrook where you can get a cozy room and awesome breakfasts, the Singing Pines Inn was phenomenal. It is basically a bed and breakfast which is a treat when on a trip where you are doing lots of walk and wading.
This was one of those trips that goes down in the books. Camping at the Fernie provincial park, getting up early for coffee and breakfast, all day on the stream, a late night meal ( hit up The Curry Bowl!!) then back to the tent. Over and over. It is fun when you get into a new rhythm and wake expecting to be on the stream. By the last day or so, we transitioned to that feeling.
I returned refreshed and longing to see my family but thankful for a great trip.
Enjoy the smattering of photos below.
Expect a video in the following weeks!
Ha. The JOY on Kevin’s face in almost every pic does great justice to show how much fun we had.
James Prosek paints two versions of the Bull Trout in “Trout: An Illustrated History.” This is a good example of variation between subjects. No two trout look the same. Whether you are talking Brown, Brook, Rainbow, Cutthroat, etc, etc etc. The same probably goes for all fish (sunfish/bluegill or even carp for that matter).
To assist in finding some of the details of these fish, I have been searching images on the web in addition to using Prosek’s fish as a guide. As such, there tends to be a few more differences between my and Prosek’s rendition.
Slowly but surely, I’m moving along. I may make a photobook with shutterfly when this is all done. Some way to have these sitting out in coffee-table-book style. Right now, I just have a file cabinet with all of these hidden away. That’s no fun.