Trout that would be the talk of the town on other rivers are a common occurrence on the Bow River. The Bow River is by no means a one-lunker-a-day fishing hole. Today fisherman catch more fish over 20 inches than fish that are less than 12 inches. When you take your next fishing trip on the Bow River you will soon see why people from all over the world come here. Bow River “bullets” as they are called by the local fishermen, are some of the hardest fighting Rainbow trout in the world. I remember floating on the Lower Bow last year 2005 after the flood that hit, I was kicking back taking in the scenery when a monster Rainbow took hold of my offering. The trout hit so hard it almost pulled my rod out of the dingy; I reached over the side of the boat to get my rod back in the boat.
There are a number of great destinations in Alberta to go on a fishing trip.Â So why are so many anglers from all over world coming to Calgary to fish the middle or Lower Bow River? I feel itâ€™s because of the size and sheer strength of fish being caught here. Normally there are rivers in Canada where you can catch a large number of small fish and there are also places where you can catch a few large fish. But the Lower Bow River is one of those rivers where you can catch a lot of large trout. On one of my many fishing trips on the Bow River, I have had days when catching five trout over 20 inches in two hours has not been uncommon. Nineteen to 23-inch trout are daily occurrences on the Middle and Lower Bow River.
The Bow River’s size and length make float trips a very popular way to fish the river for a number of different reasons. Click here to book a trip. The first is that with a boat you have access to the entire section being floated. Banks, islands and deep channels are all accessible with a boat. On this stretch of the river there are some very deep holes that hold monster Brown and Rainbow trout with my biggest Brown measuring 28 inches in length and my biggest Rainbow at 27 inches.
This float from Calgary to Carseland allows a number of different day trips. The float from the highway 22X Bridge, to the Carseland weir takes approximately 11.5 hours which is possible in the summer months. You can also shorten your trip by exiting at either Policemans flats, or at McKinnon flats. When floating this section of the river be sure to bring your camera as the fish on this stretch of the river tend to be very large on average and as well as the fish, the scenery is absolutely spectacular. If peace and quiet is what you are looking for, than this is the stretch of river you will want to spend your day on.
The lower Bow River winds its way trough, for the most part, private property and has a lot less shore pressure as does the river within the city limits. It is not uncommon when floating, to catch a large quantity of fish over 20 inches in length due to the fact that this stretch of the river has less shore pressure and therefore may reward you with the fish of your lifetime. Big Rapala’s in Rainbow or Brown trout patterns work very well while floating through the deeper holes. Casting directly upstream and reeling your lure with the current will tend to reward you with a monster Brown or Rainbow trout. An equally effective method when floating is to cast either a large to medium sized spinner or, a large crank bait into the banks and then retrieve at a medium speed back toward the boat.
One of my favorite ways to fish the Bow on this stretch is to bottom bounce a #9 Panther Martin, silver for Rainbow, and gold or black for the Brown’s which is usually a surefire way to catch lots of trout on your float. Another effective way to catch trout on your float trip is to cast a spinner upstream and let it flutter all the way to the bottom of the river. Once the spinner has hit the bottom of the river bed, if it even gets a chance to without being slammed by a trout; slowly peel the spinner off the bottom and then let the spinner fall back down again. It will not take you very long if you have the right spinner on to land yourself a big Brown or Rainbow trout.
The Bow River sets the benchmark in North America for trout over 20 inches in length. On most rivers and streams 20 inch fish are rare or nonexistent. On the Lower Bow River they are expected. The Lower Bow River is today, and has been for many years, a river that produces trout that are larger than average than virtually any other trout stream in North America. Year after year on this stretch of the river many fishermen commonly catch trout that are 20 to 25 inches in length. As a result of this undeniable fact, the Lower Bow River is probably Canada’s most famous trout stream. Once you catch one of these massive extremely hard fighting trout, you will soon see why people from all over the world come to the Lower Bow River year after year. Click here to book a guided float trip.