Sunday, September 12, 2010

Bow River

Day 23
Let me start by saying that today was one of the most incredible days I have had on the trip.  Todd and his wife Karen were nice enough to let me join them on their free day on the river--to you guys, thank you.

First and foremost, the pronunciation of the Bow River is key; it is a VERY long O, with almost no W sound, which adds to the allure.  Then I should mention that this river is by far the fishiest water I have ever laid a fly into.  It runs heavier and more swift than the Madison River and is as wide, but in some cases wider than the Missouri.  Its rock bottom and long bends cause for very long stretches of uneasy water--where big fish feed. What may be a fishy section worth wading in the Big Horn or the Madison, multiply the length of the run by 5.  The magnitude of fishing potential was insane.  I do not to wish bore you all, but I will say that this gnarly river is within one hour from downtown Calgary and some places along downtown actually hold the biggest fish.  Two of the take outs were called Cities and Police, just to give you an idea.

Tod's self made flies. 
Tod as a guide: I was told in the shop that I was lucky to go out with one of the premiere fishing guides on the Bow, and let me tell you, Todd was the creme of the crop.  He was polite, he announced where buckets/pools were in the middle of the river that only he could see, he was a "guiding workaholic" to quote him.  And I knew it was true, because after every time I offered to row, he said, "Its okay, I just love showing people this river."  We floated a portion of the river that was nearly a ten hour day with lunch and stops--what a treat.
Todd was very much a Merlin.
The fishing: given the cloudy, rainy, but sometimes sunny weather, the fishing, according to Todd and his wife's  standards were poor and leaning on atrocious, but for me it was excellent.  I took about ten fish, the biggest being a 19" Rainbow.  There was not that much dry fly action due to the cooler climate, but apparently this river is outrageous when the caddis are out.  

Thank you Todd for the picture.
The river is also famous for the type of rainbow that it holds, these fish are ferocious in comparison to Montana trout, and have a chrome colored tint to them.  Average size is 18", and a 14" fish feels like its 18".  Their breed is just more active, probably Shastas.  But browns get huge here too, biggest all time is 30+.  I missed a few fish that were larger, but its just bound to happen since these fish are simply larger and more hostile.  Basically, I imagine the Bow river to be what Montana may have been like 50 years ago.  As you can see, I cannot say enough about this river or the fishing even though it was not the "best" of fishing days.  Thanks for showing the river Todd, your the man.
Me and Todd being hard. 

1 comment:

  1. What a great trip so far. You are finding out something very important. Most people are warm and giving. Keep having fun Ansel.