Calgary Alberta

Calgary is a modern, cosmopolitan city that has succeeded in maintaining some of its old world charm while blending contemporary architecture and amenities to its urban vocabulary. Ranked as the third largest municipality in Canada, it is also home to the second highest number of corporate headquarters of the country’s 800 largest companies. Among its many distinctions, the Elbow River and the Bow River join together downtown at the site of Fort Calgary, forming an integral part of the city’s history and character.

No stranger to the outdoor life, Calgary was the first Canadian city to host the Winter Olympic Games, an honor achieved in 1988. An affinity for outdoor sports and living may possibly be attributed to the fact that the city rests in a transition zone between the Canadian Rockies foothills and the Canadian Prairies. The city itself actually lies within the foothills of the Alberta Parkland Natural Region and the Grasslands Natural Region, habitat areas protected by the government.

Eco-friendly, the city prides itself in a large number of urban parks such as Fish Creek Provincial Park, Nose Hill Park, Bowness Park, Edworthy Park, Prince Island Park and the Inglewood Bird Sanctuary. Nose Hill Park is the largest municipal park in Canada. The parks are inter-connected by a citywide network of walking, biking, and skate paths. 

Like any sophisticated city, Calgary is host to many live theaters, active music venues, art museums and other cultural endeavors. It has also become a darling of the American film industry with many recognizable film credits including Brokeback Mountain, Doctor Zhivago, Unforgiven and The Revenant. A city this size has a full complement of lodging choices as well as a large selection of restaurants. Should anyone lose interest in fishing, there are many other things to see and do in Calgary.

The most efficient way to get to Calgary is to fly into Calgary International Airport.
Fishing Waters
Strategically positioned between two mountain ranges, the Livingstone River is considered one of Alberta’s top cutthroat streams. It’s only 25 miles long but fishing is accessible ... moreand high quality for most of its run. Guides tend to favor the scenic canyon section that is known for its amazing deep green pools. Regulated as a catch-and-release-only river, fish are very abundant, most notably cutthroat trout.

Cutthroats here average 13-16 inches although lucky anglers have been known to draw out the occasional 18-20 inch fish. Guides report witnessing aggressive bull trout attempt to steal your cutthroat as you draw it in, signaling that it’s time to sink your streamer into deeper water.

One of the advantages of fishing the Livingstone River is that it is sheltered from the infamous Alberta winds, so pervasive in the area.
Game Fish Opportunities:
Famous for its rainbow trout, the Crowsnest River begins at Crowsnest Lake in the Canadian Rockies near the border with British Columbia. It weaves past Crowsnest Mountain and through ... moreseveral towns before cascading over Lundbreck Falls and flowing into the Oldman Reservoir. The upper river above Blairmore meanders through beautiful alpine meadows with solid, grassy banks and predictable flows.

Below Blairmore there is a short stint of Stillwater created by what was to be a “temporary” blockage built in 1903. Anglers here will spot highly educated, big fish that tease you with a glance and disappear between Turtle Mountain boulders the size of trucks.

The most prized water on this blue ribbon, spring fed, freestone river, is between the towns of Bellvue and Lundbreck Falls. Here the river lies in a valley walled off by tall stands of evergreen, aspen and willow trees. From Lundbreck Falls to the Oldman Reservoir the landscape opens, the river widens and strong winds from the Crowsnest Pass register their mark on misshapen trees. In addition to rainbows, large numbers of cutthroat and bull trout appear on this stretch.

Observers and guides account for the river’s productivity by its proliferous hatches. Especially worth noting is the Salmon fly hatch in the last week of May. Named for their orange colored throats, these salmon flies migrate to the river before entering dry land, creating a wonderful opportunity for anglers.
Makhabn is a Peigan tribal name meaning “river where the bow reeds grow.” When settlers began to arrive in the area the river became known as the Bow, although Big Fish River may have ... morebeen a more appropriate name since this is the reason why the Bow is so famous. Anglers in pursuit of 20+ inch trout need to put this on their bucket list, for the wild rainbows and browns in this river have one of the fastest growing rates to be found on any river system in today’s world.

The Bow rises in the Canadian Rockies inside Banff National Park near the foot of Mount Gordon and flows from glacial Bow Lake southeastward through lush mountain terrain. After passing past the towns of Lake Louise and Banff, the river exits the park and heads eastward and flows through Calgary. Its journey continues for a total of 365 miles before joining the Oldman River and forming the South Saskatchewan River. 

While the river is open year-round for fishing, the optimal time to fish is after the spring runoff from mountain snowmelt. Runoff usually occurs in late May or early June, and in a typical year the river is ready to fish by late June. Most guides agree that the months of July, August, September and October are prime for catching trophy trout.

Downstream from Calgary are 40, highly coveted river miles of great trout fishing. This blue ribbon water is where the really big trout are concentrated and where snagging a trophy is most probable. Most parts of the river are not easily waded, so most guides suggest floating or drifting. If you hanker for a wilderness experience and decide to wade or fish from the banks, tread softly. Wildlife is abundant and active; bear spray is highly recommended.
Game Fish Opportunities:
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