About the Bow: The Bow River flows from Bow Lake in Banff National Park and through the beautiful Canadian Rocky Mountains before cutting through the city of Calgary and continuing its journey toward the Canadian Prairies. The lower stretch of the Bow River – the section below the city of Calgary – consists of 55 [...]
April is early season for the Bow. Until mid-month many fish are still in their wintering holes. There can be excellent fishing as the bugs start getting more active with warmer weather toward the end of April and into May. During this period the larger rainbows move up the Highwood to spawn so as April moves into May expect fewer 19″-plus rainbows.
June is runoff month. The Bow will steadily rise through mid-June and typically get very dirty with the runoff from the mountains. Generally, as the water rises the fishing slows – trout don’t like rising water levels. However, once water levels peak and start to stabilize and especially when it begins dropping (usually third week of June) there can be some of the best streamer fishing of the season.
The river is steadily dropping and clearing except for the odd thunder shower which can raise/dirty certain river sections. There is activity throughout the day from first thing in the morning right through to late into the evening with the variety of bugs hatching. The spawning rainbows have typically made their way back into the Bow from the Highwood with the highwater of June and are feeding aggressively to recover from spawning. Some July days can be “season-makers.”
Hatches: Caddis, Trico’s, Hoppers, Crane Flies, Mahogany Duns Patterns: Caddis patterns in #14-18, Hoppers including Charlie Boy Hopper and Trixie the Hooker hopper, Tricos in #18-22, Tilt Wing Duns, Parawulffs, Compara Spinner, beadhead nymphs in #12-18. What to expect weather/fishing conditions: The river drops substantially and is typically quite clear although it can still be affected/colored from isolated rain storms. [...]
Low, clear water is the typical order of the day with weed beds having developed over the summer. September is the single busiest month for guiding on the Bow due to the consistency of the fishing. With cooler nights and warm days the fish are in their happy place and feed actively most of the day packing on the weight before winter comes. You’ll also notice that the average 18 – 19” rainbow seems to have taken steroids. They fight amazingly well and stun even experienced anglers.
Hatches: BWO’s, October Caddis, Hoppers, Water Boatman, Backswimmers, Midges – October can have huge variations in weather which dictates the hatches. If we end up with a warm Indian summer we can continue to have great mayfly hatches as well as some caddis. If it gets cold then midges are the only bugs that hatch. [...]