Elk River Fly-Fishing

Floating The Elk River

Floating The Elk River

Elk River Fly-Fishing Introduction

British Columbia’s Elk River  is renown  for it’s fantastic Dry-Fly Fishing for big Westslope Cutthroat Trout and Streamer eating Bull Trout. The medium sized Freestone  River originates from the glacier fed Elk Lakes then flows south and west for 110 Miles before emptying into The Kootenay River ,which empties into The Columbia River before making it’s way to The Pacific Ocean.The epicenter for Elk River Fly-Fishing is Fernie British Columbia a sleepy Ski Town of 4500 .

The Three Sisters near Fernie B.C.

The Three Sisters near Fernie B.C.

From Fernie, Anglers can easily access The Elk River  and it’s numerous tributaries ,such as The Wigwam River , Michele Creek , Alexander Creek and The  Fording River which are all best suited for Walk and Wade Anglers. The Elk River can be accessed on foot ,however most Fly-fishers  prefer to float  which there are several for Elk River Anglers to do .

Cutthroat caught Elk River Fly-Fishing

Elk River Cutthroat

Elk River Fly-Fishing Tactics  Fly-Fishers  new to The Elk River will find a few subtle differences from their Home Waters .Elk River Trout respond well to a variety of tactics which include Dry Fly Fishing ,Nymphing, and Streamer fishing.Anglers visiting the area prefer to fish Dry Flies because the Cutthroats respond so well .Although “heavy”  Nymphing can be productive ,our favorite way is to use a “short “rig with a yarn indicator and a heavily weighted beadhead  nymph.

Elk River Cutthroat Trout

Elk River Cutthroat Trout

Most of the time the “Cutties ” are up in the shallow riffles or runs keeping their distance  form the predatory Bull Trout that inhabit the deeper sections  of runs and pools.Hence ,the short rig is the way to go and it’s easy to cast. Most of the Streamer fishing can be done with floating lines , however the 5ft sink tip  Streamer Stripper Line is very practical .Streamer selection should consist of a lot of bright,flashy lead eyed or cone head  patterns in sizes 4 & 6.The most important consideration while fishing Streamers is the retrieve.Vary it to see how the Trout react,then stick with it. Dry Fly-fishing on The Elk River is very straight forward.You need a selection of imitative and attractor patterns to match the predominant insect.

The Western Green Drake is an important hatch on The Elk River.

The Western Green Drake is an important hatch on The Elk River.

One of the many cool things about Dry Fly fishing on The Elk RIver is due to an abundance of Stone Flies , Hoppers and October Caddis , which covers the entire season ,fishing big Flies re. Chernobyl Ants and variations of can be a lot of fun. Success can be found via skittering or twitching flies between dead drifts . Fly-Rods for The Elk RIver  Dry Fly Rod – 8-9t 4-5 weight Light Nymph Rod – 9ft 4-6 weight Streamer Rod -9ft 5-7 weight Elk River Leaders and Tippet For most Dry Fly and Nymph fishing situations you can use a 9ft 4 X leader.During hatch periods you may want to go down to 5X. When fishing Streamers on floating lines we generally use a 9ft 2 X leader .

Elk River Fly-Fishing

Fly-Fishing The Elk River

Follow the link more comprehensive Equipment List .