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tourists from usa choose bow river fly fishing in alberta

Why Are Tourists Choosing the Bow River as their Fly Fishing Travel Destination?

tourists from usa choose bow river fly fishing in alberta

If you’re looking for a great fly fishing destination, the Bow River should be at the top of your list. This scenic river offers wild Rainbow and Brown Trout, Rocky Mountain Whitefish, as well as some beautiful scenery.

The Bow is also a great place to spend a weekend camping out or staying in Calgary with all of the luxuries and conveniences that the city offers.

Keep reading to discover how to choose the best fly fishing company package when coming from overseas, and tips to make the most of your trip in Alberta.

fishing guide alberta with trout

Which Fly Fishing Company Offers the Best Packages to International Visitors?

When it comes to finding the best fly fishing company that offers packages to international visitors, there are a few factors that you need to take into consideration.

The first thing you need to think about is what kind of fishing experience you are looking to have. Some companies specialize in freshwater trout fishing, while others offer a saltwater experience found in sea and ocean charters. The Bow River offers some of the best freshwater fishing around.

Once you have narrowed down your search, take a look at the different fishing packages that each company offers.

Many companies have different packages for international visitors, which can include everything from flights and accommodations to fishing guides and equipment rental.

It’s also important to consider the cost of the different packages. Some companies are more expensive than others, but often you get what you pay for when it comes to fly fishing.

Ultimately, the best company for you will depend on your individual needs and budget.

If you are a first-time fly fisher coming from overseas and want a first-class, educational, yet fun and memorable day trip on the water, Bow River Fly Fishing Company is the right choice for you.

We provide all the necessary gear, instructions, and experienced guides to make your adventure a day trip you will remember for a lifetime!

As lifelong students of fly fishing we love to see you pick up on the excitement we feel every time we cast a line. We are happy to work together with you to customize your fly fishing excursions!

We are one of the most popular fly-fishing companies in the Calgary area welcoming visitors from all around the world, including fly fishing enthusiasts from south of the border in the USA, to Europe, and even Australia.

And we are continuing to customize and expand our fishing trip packages to make sure everything is accounted for; especially for visitors coming from overseas.

How to Choose the Best Alberta Fly Fishing Package when Coming from Overseas?

When traveling from overseas, picking the best Alberta fly fishing package can be difficult. You want to make sure you get the most out of your trip, while also ensuring that everything is taken care of for you.

Here are a few tips to help you choose the perfect package:

Package Cost

Some packages are more expensive than others, but it’s important to make sure that you’re getting what you expect for your money.

Location Package

Some packages are located in remote areas, while others are closer to civilization. If you’re looking for a remote experience, be sure to choose a package that’s located in a good fishing area. We’re happy to answer any questions about our Alberta rivers and streams and what they offer for fly fishers.

Travel Plans

Some areas of Alberta are only accessible by plane or boat, so make sure you choose a package that’s close to where you want to fish. We specialize in fishing the Blue Ribbon stretch of the Bow River, below the city of Calgary.

Fishing Type

Alberta offers some great trout fly fishing opportunities, but there are also plenty of other types of fish available in different parts of the province.

Do some research on the different areas and choose one that offers the type of fishing you’re interested in.

family of tourists come from usa, europe, australia on bow river

Package Features

Some packages include all of your meals, while others require you to bring your food. Likewise, some packages include lodging, while others do not.

At Bow River Fly Fishing Company, we offer multiple packages to suit everybody’s needs.

From family fly fishing trips that are kid-friendly and can accommodate 2 parents and 2 kids, to a full-day fly fishing trip where you can spend up to 12 hours with one of our experienced, fun-loving guides.

We’re also offering unique accommodation at Spirit River Ranch near Calgary, situated right on the banks of the Bow River.

Plus, we are open to customizing your fly fishing trip and provide additional resources including but not limited to: Layered clothing appropriate for the season, sunscreen, sunglasses, and more.

Feel free to explore all our offerings and fly fishing packages here.

5 Tips When Booking Your Fly Fishing Trip in Alberta

Planning a fly fishing trip can be an enjoyable and rewarding experience, but it can also be challenging if you don’t know what to do.

We will start with some general tips to make the process easier and ensure that your trip is a success.

Then, we move on to fly fishing tips in Alberta, especially for people coming from overseas.

fly fishing bow river drift boat

Start By Determining What Type of Trip You Want

Do you want to fish for trout in a remote mountain location, experience fishing from a drift boat, or hunt pike in a large lake? Is this a family vacation or a fishing excursion with friends? Are you a first-time fly fisher who wants to spend extensive time with an experienced guide?

Once you know what type of trip you want, start researching destinations that fit your criteria.

Shop Around

There are many great fly fishing destinations out there, so be sure to compare prices and find the one that’s best for you.

Alternatively, you can talk to friends who have been on fly fishing trips and get their recommendations on where to go and what to do when you’re there.

Plan Your Trip Carefully

Make sure you know what each destination has to offer and what type of fishing you’re interested in doing. Also, make sure to research the regulations governing fishing in your destination country or state.

After selecting a destination, book your flights and lodging as soon as possible. Many popular fishing destinations are booked months in advance, so don’t wait until the last minute to make reservations.

fishing guide outfitters netting trout

If you are coming from overseas for a fly fishing trip to Alberta, there are a few things you need to keep in mind.

Tip 1: Plan Ahead

One of the most important things is deciding when to go. The fishing season in Alberta generally peaks between April and October. If you’re planning to fish the famous Bow River, keep in mind we experience a mountain run off period, where the river becomes unfishable for most of June. Make sure you ask your outfitter about river conditions.

So, when booking your fly fishing trip in Alberta, be sure to ask your guide about the best time of year to go. Some areas are only available for fly fishing during certain times of the year.

Tip 2: Get the Licensing Part Ready

Make sure you are familiar with the regulations and licensing requirements for fly fishing in Alberta. Some specific rules and regulations govern fly fishing in this province, so be sure to know what they are before you go.

Tip 3: Choose your Destination Wisely 

Not all areas of Alberta are created equal when it comes to fly fishing. Therefore, make sure to do some research beforehand to find out which area best suits your interests.

Another thing to consider is what type of fish you want to catch. Alberta is home to many different types of fish, including rainbow and brown trout.

You will want to choose a location that corresponds with the type of fish you are targeting.

Tip 4: Get the Gear Ready

Make sure you have the right gear and equipment for the type of fishing you plan on doing – this can make all the difference in terms of the fly fishing trip experience.

Get fitted for a good-quality fly fishing rod and reel before your trip, and it’s important to have the right gear when heading out on the water. We provide equipment as part of all our packages, please inquire to learn more.

Also, dress appropriately for fly fishing in Alberta. The weather can be unpredictable, so it’s best to come prepared for anything.

fishing guide alberta with trout drift boat

Tip 5: Make Sure You Book with a Reputable Company

There are many fly fishing companies in Alberta, so do your research and choose one that fits your needs. Here are some reasons why choosing a reputable company is a big deal for people coming from overseas:

Experienced Guides

A good fly fishing company will have experienced guides who know the area well and can help you catch fish. They will also be able to teach you the proper techniques for fly fishing at all levels. Our guides are full time, spend a lot of time on the water and love being out there.

Knowledgeable Staff

The staff at a good fly fishing company will be knowledgeable about all aspects of the sport, from casting to tying flies. They can answer any questions you may have and help you get the most out of your trip. At Bow River Fly Fishing Company, you’re booking directly with Scott Smith, owner and head guide.

Quality Equipment

A good fly fishing company will provide high-quality equipment for its guests. At Bow River Fly Fishing Company we provide all that and more! We specialize in working with first-time fly fishers and love to introduce everyone to this pass-time turned obsession.

We offer a wide variety of fishing trip packages and can customize a fishing adventure for your family, a corporate event, or a large group.

Book your fly fishing trips and excursions today!

Bow River Fly Fishing – Final Thoughts

There are many reasons why tourists are choosing the Bow River as their fly fishing travel destination.

The river is known for its world-class trout fishing, and there are many different sections of the river that offer something for anglers of all abilities. The scenery is also spectacular and it’s easy to find a quiet spot to fish on the Bow River.

What’s more, the city of Calgary is located close by, so visitors can enjoy all the amenities of a city while still enjoying the peace and tranquillity of nature.

learn how to fly fish with guide bow river

Discover Fly Fishing Lessons for Beginners in Alberta

By Scott Smith, Lead Fishing Guide 

Welcome to Fly Fishing!

Snake Oil and Magic Beans.

You’ll learn to wave the magic stick over the water and produce fish on every command. You will be flawless in your technique; always make the right fly choice and land every fish you encounter. Your skills will bring fish to your net every time you venture out to your favourite waters.

The truth lies somewhere in the pursuit of perfection, the peace it brings, the need to know what’s around the next corner.  At least that’s why I do it. Your reasons can be entirely something else. Somehow, that makes Fly Fishing a worthy pastime (read obsession) in my opinion.

There are some links included below, so you can explore some of the technical stuff. I can tell you, there is nothing like the real experience of a guided fly fishing excursion!

What Will I Learn on a Guided Trip?

Above all else, Have some fun! This is YOUR Day! Don’t take yourself, or us too seriously. Take lots of pictures.

learn how to tie flies for fly fishing on the Bow River in Alberta.

Fly Fishing Knots and Line

It seems obvious, but often overlooked by new fly fishers. Knots are critical.

Read this great blog post from DriftHook.com about how to tie fly fishing knots.

You’ll need to have a few basic knots in your tool belt. We’ll show you a few basics to tie line together and attach your flies to your line. Yes, you will practice these on your trip.

You can learn about specific knots like the improved clinch knot, blood knot, overhand knot, surgeon’s knot and the albright knot.

Many a fine trout has been lost due to a poorly tied knot. It’s never happened to me, but I’ve heard stories.

There are several knots that have no name, but often have colourful adjectives associated with them. You will become an expert at these with a simple flick of your wrist! The line will be tangled so badly and quickly, you’ll be baffled that what’s before you is actually even real!

I find a sense of humour and a decent set of snippers are critical in these situations.

Learn Fly Casting

You must be able to place a fly well enough to fool your quarry. Yes, we can help you do this!

Your first few casts may appear you are trying to swat the fish away intentionally. However, with some practice and some easy-to-follow instruction, you will begin to present the fly with hypnotic precision! Well, maybe not hypnotic or even precise, but well enough to catch fish. That’s all we need on day one!

Where Are the Fish?

Yes, you are moving the line. It’s obeying and landing mostly where you want it to.  Well done! This is fantastic news and a boost to our confidence! Question, how come you’re not catching anything?

Other than seeing the fish you are casting to; you really need to know how to read the water. That is, you need to know where fish are likely to hold.

Fly casting into the water is an excellent start, but the fish are not actually everywhere in a river.

We will go through this process with you the entire trip and teach you the basics. You will be whispering in big trout in no time!

Bugs, So Many Bugs

Yes, Fly selection is important. Size, Colour, Profile, depth, season etc.

I have heard it or read somewhere that trout have an IQ of about 3.

I am not at all concerned that they fool me consistently. I like to believe I’m matching wits with Mother Nature and not just the small minded, single purposed trout. Yeah, Mother Nature is wise and I’m in sync with her.  Makes me feel better on those slow days.

You’re gonna need plenty of flies! I mean, the rainbow trout will eat one of them, right?

Learn more about which bugs Bow River Trout love and prefer throughout the season on our fly fishing resources page.

We will cover bug identification, selection and how to fish them in very basic terms. This will be enough to get you started on your journey.

fly fishing lessons for beginners

 Join Us this Fly Fishing Season near Calgary, Alberta!

Our goal is to introduce you to a pastime that has become a lifelong pursuit for us. We want you to learn to fish and then leave us and see for yourself what’s around the next corner. Oh, and take your fly rod with you.

Book your spot for one of our guided fly fishing trips including our Beginners Float! Get one-on-one fishing lessons from one of our experienced guides and enjoy access to some of the best fishing spots in Alberta.

learn how to fly fish with guide bow river

Fly Fishing Lessons and More!

We offer a variety of fly fishing packages from half day and evening adventures to full day excursions, private shoreline fishing lessons.

We can even put the flies aside and take you on a Bow River sight seeing adventure, where you can experience the beauty of the Bow Valley and Southern Alberta, for its majestic landscapes in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains and all of its wildlife.

Learning to Fly Fish on the Bow River could be your next adventure. If so, we’d love to see you. And as always, if you have any questions about our guide services, feel free to contact us here or on social media.

bow river fly fishing landed trout

Bow River Adventure #64 – The Shoe-less Trout Story

By Scott Smith, Fishing Guide

Great trout fishing days are plenty, but great fishing moments are where stories are born, exaggerated and become “mostly” true the more they are told.

This story is mostly true. 2021 Fall. Fishing on the Bow River with fellow guide Luke Russell.

Take a few minutes and enjoy.

Rainbow Snacks (AKA BWO’s)

I’m on the oars in Luke’s boat, rowing him into fish like a champ. Luke is sticking several nice Bow River Trout and I’m doing the same. We happen upon a very happy, active, feeding fish. We can see him taking BWO’s, sipping in a rhythm that let’s us know he’s happy and in a good place spiritually. I spotted this fish the day before, at around the same time of day, but couldn’t cast to it. I was fishing solo.

We pull over to have a go at this nice-looking Rainbow.

Small problem. The fish is directly above the roots of a downed tree, tucked in near the trunk with the roots giving it roughly 3 feet of protection to it’s left. We can’t stand upstream of the fish on the steep bank without spooking it, or at least this is what our semi professional instincts tell us.

We pull in down stream of the tree roots, park the drift boat out of sight and climb up the ridge to take a better look and assess the situation. After all, this is a feeding fish. Feeding fish are easy to catch, right?

Seriously, problem solving on our day off?

Climbing the ridge, we stay low. I’m not sure it made a difference, but in case anyone was watching, we looked like we knew what we were doing.

bow river fly fishing blog rainbow trout

There he is. A nice looking male, sipping casually and consistently AND we could see the bugs floating right into his yap. We chose to watch him for several minutes and of course, I didn’t think to get any video. Like I said, this story is mostly true.

It’s decided that Luke will cast to the fish. He can’t stand in the river below the fish. He would have to wade too deep and the current deflection from the root ball is too strong, not to mention the noise and thrashing would likely scare our quarry to deeper cover. As mentioned, we are semi professionals.

Well that didn’t work!

The plan is Luke will stand in the front of the boat, I will stand behind the boat and push it out just far enough so Luke can cast upstream of the fish, letting his presentation float into the food line. Textbook plan and easy to execute. We can hardly contain ourselves with anticipation!

I can’t see the fish at all from my vantage point, so I rely on Luke’s guidance for boat placement. Our worthy opponent, sees the fly, refuses the fly and continues to eat the naturals. We can hear it snicker.

We pull the drift boat back out of sight to re-group.

Another trip up the bank. I now have sand and silt in my wading sandals, enough to make me annoyed and uncomfortable. Yes, I am a fair-weather adventurer. This becomes important in a minute.

Once again, staying low, I get to my vantage point. No fish. Gone. Just not there. Damn, we put it down.

Luke joins me to see for himself. I am getting older and, well, you know.  Satisfied, Luke heads back to the boat. Let’s get on with it.

Generous Rainbow gives us a second chance! (Good Karma is real)

I look a little longer. Patience rewarded; our friendly rainbow appears from the main seam. He floats out of sight and back again a couple of times. Soon enough he’s grabbed a table and starts feeding again. This time, he is on nymphs. I can see his mouth opening and the tell-tale sway trout have when they feed on nymphs. (Read more about the types of bugs Bow River trout like on our resources page.)

“Luke he’s back, feeding on nymphs now” Luke is at my side again and with a quick nod, heads back to the boat, grabs his Hopper Dropper rod and gets in position.

Yeah, we’re still gonna try our best NOT to land this fish.

I head back down the bank, stopping in the shallows to clean my sandals. Thinking Luke will wait the 45 seconds for me to rinse out the annoying sand and gravel. Remember, fair-weather adventurer.

The next thing I hear, as I’m sitting on the bank, one sandal in my hand and one half on my foot, “Scott, I got em! Scott, get in the boat! I got em! He’s taking me upstream, around the tree, he’s gonna break off! Scott, Scott!!”  For some reason, this exchange comes out of Luke as a loud, deliberate whisper.

A little surprised and now laughing hysterically at my fishing partner and myself, one shoe off, one half on, I must pull the boat closer to shore so I can get in and help rescue the mission.

In the same loud whisper, now sounding a little more desperate. “Scott, you’re pulling the boat the wrong way, I can’t stretch anymore!”

Now completely in stiches, one of the oars gets stuck in the sand! “Scott, Scott, we’re gonna lose him!”

It’s not lost on me, landing the fish is in jeopardy and the narrative has now changed from “I got him,” to “WE’RE gonna lose him.”  I would say the same thing to Luke if the roles were reversed. I’m sure I have on several occasions. That’s just how it works.

The Shoe-less Trout gets Netted

Somehow, this fish stays on, Luke plays him masterfully and we get the boat and fish clear of the tree. A few feet down river the fish is in the net. Luke probably mentioned something about damn fine boat skills, but I’m kind of humble.

We pause for a picture, mostly because we are both still laughing hysterically and quite honestly can’t believe this is a landed trout.

We hope your adventures are many, your tangles are few and your stories get bigger and bolder the more you tell them.

Check out our 2022 fly fishing packages to book your spot early. Feel free to get in touch if a Bow River Fly Fishing Adventure looks like a good day out!