As the freshet begins to clear, anglers from around the world count the days to June 15th, the day the Elk River opens for angling. The river runs right through the heart of Fernie BC, and offers world-class dry fly fishing. The Westslope cutthroat trout population is one of the last pure strain populations left on the planet. And the river is a literal stone’s throw away from the Fernie Fox Hotel.
Where to go
There are a myriad of ways to experience fly fishing on the Elk River. From short walk and wade adventures, to leisurely days drift boating down the river, the only limiting factor is the time available for you to explore its many bends and deep pools. You can fish along shoreline just across the highway from the hotel, or explore some of the more remote locations by parking at a highway pullout and hiking down the river bank to the water’s edge. And if time allows, be sure to explore some of its tributaries such as Michel Creek towards Sparwood, or the Wigwam system that connects to the Elk in South Country.
Best flies for the season
For early season, many local anglers use a variety of Large Golden Stone flies, Western Green Drakes and Yellow Sallys. Midsummer flies tend to be Deer hair caddis, Pale Morning Dunes and Hoppers. Late summer is best with Black Ants, Hoppers, and Beetle flies. For fall fishing, make sure to have October Caddis and Blue Winged Olives in your tackle box.All adults fishing on the Elk River must have a valid BC angling license, and also a Classified II Waters license. These can be purchased online, or at any of the local fly shops. The two most popular shops are Elk River Guiding Co, or Kootenay Fly Shop, both located on 7th Ave, just off the highway in town.Visit Tourism Fernie for more information https://tourismfernie.com/activities/fly-fishing
Or connect directly with one of the local fly fishing shops to book a guide, or buy the essentials for a day on the river.
Elk River Guiding Company- https://www.elkriver.ca/Kootenay Fly Shop- www.kootenayflyshop.com