Updated: December 27th, 2017
Wherever your fishing adventures should take you, enjoy yourself, and remember, “Time spent fishing cannot be deducted from ones lifespan. Catch & Release applies”.
- Remember all Bull Trout are catch and release in Alberta
- 2017-2018 Alberta sports Fishing Licenses can now be purchased. ****NEW REGULATIONS**** will soon be in effect for the Bow River. Please check new regulations available online or in-store.
Upper Bow River
***As of April 1st 2017 Bow River will be open all year from Banff National Parks East Boundary downstream to Bassano Dam including Bassano Reservoir. All of this section of the Bow River is also now completely CATCH & RELEASE and there is a BAIT BAN in effect. This Catch & Release/Bait Ban also includes Rocky Mountain White Fish. There will no longer be any maggots (White Fish Bait) allowed on the Bow River between August and October. ****
Water levels on the Bow River are low but this is normal for this time of year. The river is crystal clear and makes fishing it a little tricky right now. Brown Trout and Bull Trout can be caught this time of year but remember all fish are catch & and release only. Provincial Sports Fishing Licenses are in effect. Fishing can also be tough now due to low water temperatures. Watch for unstable, over hanging ice sheets at the edge of the river. Wet flies, streamers or spin fishing are the way to go right now. Provincial fishing licenses in effect from April 1st.
Bait ban on all sections of the Bow River.
Fly Fisherman, try your luck with,
- Egg Patterns
- Wet flies such as Royal Coachman
Spin Fisherman, try using,
- Blue Fox Spinners
- Use small nymphs to bottom bounce
- Panther Martins
The road is snow covered and icy in sections. Watch out for the last big corner coming down, very slick. The Lake is fully frozen with depth at 10-12″ but fishing reports from the past few days are really good. The lakers are biting again.
Try your luck with:
- Smelts (Absolutely NO MINNOWS allowed, they will get you a ticket…)
- Tube Jigs (working awesome now)
- Buzz Bombs
- Spoons (len Thompson and crocodile lures)
Upper Kananaskis Lake
Highway 40 South is open to Kananaskis Upper and Lower Lakes. Closed to the Highway Pass and further South bound.
Upper lake is fishing a little slower right now. When fishing try colourful lures for the cutties and bulls. Watch for thin ice near outflow from upper to lower lake.
Try your luck with:
- Buzz bombs/spoons/kamloopers
- Caddis flies, black gnats, midges, Griffith gnats
- Trolling full sink line with small nymphs or streamers (Summer)
- REMEMBER THE BAIT BAN THIS INCLUDES POWER BAIT.
Lower Kananaskis Lake
Reports of big Bull Trout being caught from Eastern side of the lake. Watch for weaker ice near the outflow from Upper Lake, there are always quite a few sketchy spots there.
- Buzz bombs work great
- REMEMBER THE BAIT BAN
Bait Ban in effect on Gap Lake. It is catch and release for all trout except Brook Trout. Fishing was above average this year. Lake is frozen but no reports on the depth so proceed with caution.
Quarry Lake & Wedge Pond
This lake was super sketchy ice in places so we do not advise walking on it. It has a Spring in it which can cause weaker ice layers. Bait Ban on Quarry and Wedge Ponds. Catch and release only.
Grotto has been frozen for a few weeks now and looks like there is a number of people skating on it. It was stocked a number of times this year and this stocking program has finished for this season. Bait but no bait fish allowed (this means no minnows).
Lake Minnewanka & Two Jack Lake
Summer Season is now closed for the season. Expected reopen is May long weekend 2018.
Bow River in Banff remains open all year but no ice fishing allowed on it when frozen.
**** NEW REGULATIONS FOR NATIONAL PARKS ****
FELT-SOLED WADING BOOTS PROHIBITED IN ALL MOUNTAIN NATIONAL PARKS EFFECTIVE IMMEDIATELY.
MANDATORY CATCH AND RELEASE OF ALL FISH IN BANFF, YOHO AND KOOTENAY NATIONAL PARKS, EXCEPT LAKE MINNEWANKA LAKE TROUT. LAKE TROUT POSESSION 2 PER ANGLER.
Boats are allowed on Two Jack Lake but no motors.
Please check National Park regulations for other opening times for other lakes/water bodies.
Remember, no lead under 50grams and no bait allowed. Try some of the following during the open season:
- Bismuth jig heads with tube skirts
- Non-lead spinners/spoons
- For fly fishing, an assortment of wooley buggers, clausers, black chironomids and montana nymphs.