Southern Alberta is home to several other rivers that are very unique fisheries. There are tailwater fisheries which are home to some of the most exceptional rainbows any angler could imagine. The Southern tailwaters are very different rivers than many of the freestone mountain streams in the same area, and yet very different than most tailwater fisheries. As a tailwater fisheries go it is very small, intimate and wadeable, very similar in size to freestone rivers in the area. Compared to the mountain freestone rivers down here has a very different look and feel, it is a foothills stream in the shadow of the rockies.
When it comes to fly fishing these rivers, make no mistake these rainbows are in a class of their own. Don’t let the size of this river fool you into thinking it only holds average sized rainbows. These tailwaters are home to some of the strongest and thickest rainbows you could imagine coming out of any tailwater fishery, let alone one as small and intimate at this. Rainbows over two feet are less of a surprise coming from large tail waters like the bow but when you hook into one of these brutes in a small river such as this prepare to do some running. Keep in mind that rainbows that rival any bow river rainbow, and some that can dwarf them are no pushover. This fishery is definitely more about the quality of fish than quantities. The tailwater option can be a very challenging and technical fishery and is not for those looking to rack up numbers in a day.
Fish this large hold a significant piece of territory and on a river this size it simply does not support the 2500 fish per mile we see on the bow river. The tailwater holds true trophy class rainbows, and as with any trophy fishery the larger the fish the more technical the fishery. Anglers need to know to expect when going to the St Mary’s. If you go there expecting to catch as many fish as you would on the bow, or fishing the Oldman you’re likely to be disappointed. If you know the technical nature of this fishery and are up for the challenge then a guided fly fishing trip on this tailwater is sure to be a memorable one.
One of the largest appeals of the tailwater is the manner in which you target them. This can be a dry fly fisherman’s dream with PMD spinner falls, giant golden stones, great hopper fishing to name a few. Theses rainbows are also big aggressive fish eaters that are very conducive to streamer fishing. There are few things in fly fishing that compare to the violent strikes and takes while streamer fishing.
We have guides who have an intimate knowledge of the layout and technical aspect of this fishery and those that live in the area and get to fish it frequently. Anyone up for the challenge and excitement of a technical trophy fishery is sure to fall in love with a guided trip on this Southern Alberta tailwater fishery.
*All walk & wade rates are for the cost of the guide and for the day.*
Included in the rate is: all equipment, lunch, non-alcoholic drinks, and snacks for 1 or 2 people. As an option on walk and wade trips an additional angler can be added for $100. The only costs not included are the tax (5% GST), your fishing license, and guide gratuities, which are customary, but still optional.