Reflecting on the couple of years we have been in Calgary it became apparent the we have been neglecting the Bow River as a fishing destination despite the fact that it is an amazing fishery with numerous access points within minutes of our house! Inspired by a call from our buddy Rick who wanted to get some fishing in on some flowing water for a change … we decided to fish the Bow River at Policeman’sFlats.
Rick arrived at our house and within a few moments we had his geared loaded into the truck and we were off. We put on our waders and strung our rods quickly as we watched some pretty heavy traffic at the launch with some boats putting on and others hauling out at the end of their fishing day. Finally ready and with rods in hand we proceeded to hike downstream to a large pool that had proved from previous fishing forays to have some good fish lurking in its depths. Surprisingly we were the only ones there despite the high volume of shore anglers and boats that we had observed in this popular launch area.
More so known for his lake fishing prowess, Rick was a bit rusty when it came to fishing rivers and his river fly arsenal was seriously lacking in diversity and numbers. Being the great friends we are, we set Rick up with the first of many hand tied (with love) flies, opting for the Wired Golden Stone and Squirmy Wormy combination under an indicator. It didn’t take long for Rick to snag his rig on some wood at the head of the pool requiring a break off and complete re-rig. This happened a couple more times before Rick undaunted, decided to explore further downstream.
Fishing the same fly rig, a few smaller Rainbow Trout came to hand but the fishing was notably slow. We did manage to spot a few shucks and some large golden stone flies on the wing but the fish were not showing themselves to us at all.
Rick finally made it back from his exploratory hike downstream just as some active storm weather rolled through. He didn’t manage any fish but returned with valuable intelligence on the downstream reach that we had yet to explore!
One of these days we will be on the Bow River when the bugs and fish have their acts together but until that time … thanks for joining us Rick and don’t worry about trying to replace all of the flies that gave themselves to the river so you could try and catch fish … we know just one of your secret chironomids is worth a dozen #2 Stoneflies!