Jul 31

Spin fishing the Bow River, Secrets to success

brown trout fishing the lower Bow River


The Secret to Success

Success is earned most times and fishing is no different. Success comes with studying your quarry and knowing its habits, as well as its habitat! There is a lot to learn about fishing and how to be successful on most outings. There are many resources to help you maximize your catch ratio and your time on the water.

Guided spin fishing trips bow river Calgary

The first part of the recipe is being organized and choosing the right fishing hooks for water conditions. The size of your imitation baits will also be important here. I like 2.5-3 inch baits in the summer and fall as last year’s minnows have grown to this size. These sized baits are perfect for larger fish, that are on the feed early morning, and late in the evening. When the water is clean, use more natural color patterns like the rainbow color, the brown trout pattern, brook trout pattern or anything that matches the forage in your river. I like greens in the Bow River as they match a rocky mountain whitefish minnow.

rainbow trout fishing the bow river

Fishing the right time a day will also play a huge part in success! I have been fishing very early in the morning, 5:30 AM sun up, and packing the days trip up at noon. The temperatures have been far too hot later in the day which is harmful to the fish not to mention, they lay low and don’t really feed! You can still find a few fish feeding in bumpy runs or chutes during the heat, but your odds go way up if you fish early in the morning when water temperatures are ideal. Getting on the water before any other anglers puts you ahead of everyone else and on top of those hungry fish. Your odds of catching more fish of greater sizes go way up. Remember anglers, the early bird does get the worm!

July spin fishing for brown trout Bow River

Once I hit the water in the boat, I pay close attention to what types of water I catch my first few fish in. If its ledges, I focus my efforts more on those locations, and stop and fish them for greater duration’s of time. Sometimes I spend twenty to thirty minutes on those prime lies. If it is fast flowing water in the middle of runs, then I will look for that kind of water all along my float trip. Lately the fish have been concentrated in corners of the river where the water flows off the bank choppy, and into deeper sections of the deep parts of the center of the river. Its subtle places like this where people often overlook, but if you have caught fish here in your previous outings, you will know that this water is prime and needs to be probed with the right depth hook.

Bow River fishing Calgary Alberta Canada

I have had an incredible summer finding big fish in these structural points in the river, and I hope you have been catching them as well. These are some pictures of the fish we have been enjoying the last month here on the Bow River. Both myself, and my clients have been extremely happy sport fishing the River this month. I hope you have been finding success on your’s as well.

rainbow trout fishing Calgary Alberta

Jun 28

Bull Trout fishing the lakes of Alberta, Canada



Weekend getaway to Paradise Lake

Have you ever felt the need to just pack up and go, get away from the concrete jungle and noises of sirens blaring into your room at night? Have you just packed up your camping gear on a whim, hooked up the boat to your truck and burned rubber heading straight to a mountain paradise? That’s exactly how I felt; precisely what I did this past weekend! I felt the need for some rest and relaxation coupled with perhaps a few Bull Trout the lake has to offer. To be honest, it was more about the rest and relaxation then it was about the fish, they would simply be a bonus.

I made the hour and a half drive from Calgary Friday afternoon after work arriving at the campground before the sun went down. I never had much time to get my gear unpacked and set up, but managed to do it without any hassle. First the tent, then the air bed and blankets, followed by the stove and cooking supplies for morning breakfast. I had wood with me and decided to light a fire before retiring to bed for the evening. I sat in my lawn chair and listened to the crackle of the fire pondering where and how I was going to catch my first fish the next morning. I let the worries of life fly away like the smoke rising from that crackling campfire. When I am here, I am alone and the troubles and stresses of life seem to naturally melt away. It’s as if the place has magic powers, removing all worry from my mind. Maybe it’s the fresh air, or perhaps it’s the sheer beauty that surrounds one in a 360 degree view. I let the fire die down after an hour and slipped into my sleeping bag to retire for the evening; by this time it was 11:30 and I was dog tired.


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May 28

April showers bring May flowers, and big fish !!


Halloween In April

It’s been sometime since I wrote a blog post so I felt the need to sit down this evening and tap the keys for a few hours and let you all know how the fishing has been on the Bow River. I have been out quite often shore fishing, as well as several guided fishing trips on the Bow River. The brown trout fishing has been stellar to say the least. After the rainbows went up the Highwood River to spawn, it left the Bow River wide open for some killer trophy brown trout angling. Both I, and my clients have caught several jaw dropping browns, both from the boat, and on the banks of the river. I have been looking at some new lures and new colors to try this year for trout on the river. The lure that caught my eye is the Rapala Shadow Rap Shad, in the Halloween color. I gave this lure a good thorough work out, both from the banks and the boat, and it’s a trophy taker indeed! Early season brown trout fishing on the Bow River has been much better than seasons past. Shortly after the rainbows head up the Highwood River to spawn, it leaves the browns hungry and ready to feed up.


For the most part, I have been fishing the stretch of water from Policeman’s Flats to just below where the Highwood River converges with the Bow. The water has been stained up too much to fish any further below the Highwood! I acquired some new Rapala lures and was dying to give them a shot on the Bow. I am always looking for new ways to catch bigger and better fish each and every time I step in my boat. I asked my good friend Steve if he could join me on a trip to try the new tackle I was itching to cast. He agreed and we headed out of Policeman`s Flats to find some bruiser browns. When I acquire new lures that I have never fished, I am always curious as to how they look in the water, and what techniques will work best to catch the intended quarry. The day we fished, the water had a slight stain but was clear for the most part.

The Rapala Shadow Rap Shad has some very realistic looking colors and also boasts a rattle inside the lure, which will get the attention of some of the most sluggish of fish. We launched the hook down into the river in all the usual locations, and in the first forty five minutes of our journey downstream, we both came up empty handed. It was bizarre to say the least, and it was not for lack of trying that’s for sure. When this happens, it can usually mean a few things,

(1) The fish are tight lipped and not feeding that particular hour or day.

(2) You may be fishing the lure to quickly for the water temperature that hour or day

(3) The fish may be laying up in different types of water (ex) slower water.


We slowed up the presentation of the lures, and added a pause on the retrieve, and we got hits. I decided it was time to fish slower water, water that most anglers would scoff at or totally ignore outright. Remember friends, fish move into all kinds of different locations of a river. The fish are not always in the same spots and in the same kinds of water! This will change week to week and day to day. That’s why I absolutely love fishing a big river like the Bow, its challenging every single time you fish.

After moving into different water, we found fish, BIG FISH. Steve reeled into some tank brownies and I caught some absolute beauties myself. The Halloween Shadow Rap Shad was slaying monster browns all day and I looked at Steve and said with a smile, “we have a winner here“. If you have not already tried the new Rapala Shadow Rap Shad, or the Rapala Shadow Rap, I would strongly suggest you pick some up HERE up and try them on your local river or lake!

Now to switch gears and start fishing the lakes of Alberta while the Bow River finishes it’s run off. Huge thanks to all my friends and clients who fished with me in April and May.



Apr 02

Bow River spin fishing April 1st 2017

The new fishing season kicks of with a HUGE bang.

rainbow trout fishing bow river 2017

The water has cleared and it’s the beginning of a brand new fishing season. New licences for the 2017 season were issued today! I had to make a quick pit stop at Canadian Tire to acquire my new licence before heading south to launch my jet boat on a solo mission. I make the mad dash for the licence and then launched the boat at Policeman’s Flats at around 11:15 AM. Upon arriving in the parking lot at Police, I saw a few boats with trailers parked and several cars and trucks in the lot. Those vehicles are usually anglers who park there and walk either up or down the river to the prime holes located close to Policeman`s Flats parking lot. I rolled up slowly and angled the boat towards the awaiting water. I could see the nice blue coloration as I exited my truck, quickly getting my waders on and tying up my lures before backing the boat into the water. I parked the truck and locked the door, and as I was walking down towards the boat, a fly fisherman had stopped to chat with me. He rolled down his window and stated “the fishing was awesome today, they were hitting on bead headed nymphs“. I politely said “that’s rad, thanks for the heads up“ as I swiftly made my way to the awaiting boat.

I jumped into the boat and decided to head down river instead of up. I warmed the jet up for a few minutes before gunning it and blasting a short distance down river into a back channel that usually holds some monster trout. I had tied up a Live Target smelt and decided it was time to launch it out in to slow deep pocket of water in the back pool. On my first cast I got action. My rod tip dove over but this fish never hit like a trout. I caught a quick glimpse of the fish as it rolled and came to the surface; a monster Pike had taken my offering. The new regulations came into effect today, and as stated, all fish must be released including Pike. The fish was hooked deep and I think I may have accidently killed the fish trying to remove the hook for the back of his gills. I took as much care as possible to release the fish as per the new regulations, but I will say I never cried over killing the Pike. I stayed in the back pool for a few minutes and came up empty, so I opted to fire up the motor and keep trucking downstream. Not far down, say three hundred yards, there is another deep run I like to fish. In the summer it usually holds some big fish, but when the water is cold like it is now, it`s always hit and miss. I lifted the motor to try my luck. After one pass I came up empty and kept moving down river to more prime locations. Continue reading