Flyfishing in Canada [Archive] - Fly Fishing Forum

: Flyfishing in Canada

06-04-2001, 07:43 PM
I'm sure to sound "flaky" in this note, but please keep in mind that I'm only beginning the planning stage for a mini-vacation around July 6-20.

First, how traditionally good is the flyfishing and how bad are the mosquitos in Yellowknife during the above period. Are good spots easily attainable by ordinary passenger vehicle and wading? Good opportunities wading streams - or is best action on lakes?

Next, as a back-up to the above in case responses are discouraging, how good are conditions in the south - around Jasper? I've fished loads in Montana, but have consistantly noted a mysterious or sinister lack of visible fishermen the moment I cross the border northbound, though the rivers instantly attain a gorgeous glacial blue. I've mostly hiked and biked the Banff area (not to mention hiking outside Pangnirtung - on Baffin - where the Arctic char were fun for an hour or so before leaving. Delicate takes on a streamer - I had to be careful, as I needed the food, which dried almost instantly in the wind and lasted about a week, slung over knapsack - and tasted good with wild lichen and sorrel.)

Excuse the blathering - just need info on Yellowknife and Jasper. Wading streams, size of fish, hostility of regulations, etc.


06-04-2001, 09:21 PM
Yellowknife is better for lakes and some bigger rivers. Fly-in lodges abound around ther and YK is the main departure point. Great lakers and pike on the fly are avilable around YK. Jasper does not have as many mosquitoes and lots of streams with Rainbows and Browns. Maligne lake is a must but you likely need a boat or tube of some sort.
Regulations are not hostile, but some people can become so when provoked, mostly it's grizzly's you need to worry about.
Suggest you contact the North West Territory web site for info on Yellowknife and the Alberta web site for details about Jasper.

PS: the mysterious and sinister lack of visible fishermen above the 49th is greatly enjoyed by all of us locals and mostly due to our uncanny ability to camouflage ourselves, ambush undesirables and avoid bears. All at the same time!

06-07-2001, 01:07 AM
I admit bears scare me - one big reason I appreciate Chile. No one's been mauled by a guanaco or a tucu-tucu (lemming) down there yet. Maybe a lake's not a bad idea.

07-18-2001, 02:57 AM
Okay, I'm back - just had a week or so in Alberta and B.C. I may add to this later, but by far the best fishing I encountered was on the Stellako River, near the town of Fraser Lake, B.C. I stayed at the Stellako Lodge - quite reasonably priced, perfectly situated, clean and comfortable, run by a Swiss-Canadian family (250-699-6695). As readers probably already know, the Stellako is a "classified" stream. It's easy to wade, with clear water over a freestone bed - though the streamside trail's a bit rough - and there are plenty of fish in the 20-inch and up size range. There isn't much in the local town - though Panadopoulos' Greek (did I need say that?) little restaurant (with a charming Portuguese waitress) is a pleasure, and there's a sport shop - though the Lodge sells flies, tippet, etc., and even serves meals and desserts of the kind legends are made of, though for three nights we barbequed pike we'd caught in Alberta (the Stellako's catch and release only).

The Stellako flows out of Francois Lake, a little less than a two hour drive westward from Prince George, and excellent flyfishing commences right from the river's beginnings, under a bridge, and extends several kilometers downstream. I personally went no further than about 1.5 kilometers - with the quantity of fish, mayflies, caddis and stoneflies - all very active, there seemed no point to bushwacking any further.

I may add to this later. It's late and I have to break off. I am certainly no expert on the Stellako, but can say the dozen or so others fishing (and staying at the Lodge) certainly seemed expert - and many, for their age (I use that word in all humility), amazed me with their agility and surefootedness, not to mention success. My son and I caught fish on duns (blue and pmd), parachute adams, caddis and wet coachmen and stoneflies - but, as the foregoing will make clear, we never found quite the right technique and also lost a few fish, with fly - if a big fish hit at the very instant I straightened line. They took out a lot of line... really fun.

07-18-2001, 08:56 PM
Sounds like you had a stellar trip! Those big wild trout are nothing like the put-and-take varieties most of us have become accustomed to in this day and age. The Stellako Lodge sounds idyllic.

I am really looking forward to hearing the rest. If you have pics let me know and I'll get them posted.