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Fall Fly Fishing in Fernie

Imagine, just for a moment, that you are standing in the middle of a crystal clear freestone creek, surrounded on all sides by the Rocky Mountains. The air is a temperature that can only be described as autumn perfection. The sky is the kind of blue that no one back home will believe when they see your pictures. And there is this perfect harmony of sound that blends moving water and wind rustled autumn leaves with the faint whisper of your fly line arcing through the air, before unfolding and softly landing on the stream’s surface.

Written by: Bill McQuarrie

Details on guiding, fishing regulations & more.

Fly fishing in Fernie, that rare place where postcard images really do match reality.

The Wigwam River, famous for its Bull Trout in the summer yet only a special few know the fall will bring Westslope Cutthroat to the surface to chase your hopper and mayfly imitations.

Over on the Bull River, spend a day or bring your tent or camper and spend several days walking and wading this amazing stream.

A drift boat, a couple of good friends and a knowledgeable guide. Can there be a better formula for a day on the Elk River?

I can almost hear Beckie reminding John to mend the moment his fly line hits the water.

During the fall, many sections of the Elk open up enough for Walk & Wade access as local Fernie resident, Dave Henderson showed me on a recent trip.

Above Elkford, the Fording River treats fly fishers to long lazy pools, shallow waters and Cutthroat that will come out of nowhere to catch the unprepared angler by surprise. All of this in water that is only inches deep

Tough your fly drift a short fast run or look up, because after all, those are the Rocky Mountains!

You can probably guess where that Westslope Cutthroat was hiding. And the bend in the rod says he’s not a little guy.

And there be fish to catch and memories to create.

Fernie is a relaxed, easy going and friendly place and the fly shops are even more so. And whether you want gear or simply some insider advice, check out these guys at Elk River Guiding, or just next door at the Kootenay Fly Shop, or just across the street with FWA Fly Fishing.

Photo Credit: Tyler Carson

There’s no pretentious or artificial atmosphere here in Fernie and despite its world-class status, the people you meet are genuine, helpful and as in love with the outdoors and fishing as you are.

When I talk about Fernie and fly fishing, I don’t think of it as just a place. I’ve fished in many of those ‘places’ and it is nothing like that at all. Fernie is instead, an experience, a collection of world famous rivers and streams, tucked away in the Elk Valley and sheltered from the world by the Canadian Rockies.

Below are some links and I suggest you click on a few, find out more about what makes fishing here work so well, sketch out a plan, put some dates aside and then...just do it!

Tourism Fernie | Elk River Guiding | FWA Fly FishingKootenay Fly Shop | BC Fishing Regs