Fishing Rod or Skis?

March is the last month the thirsty angler is able to fish the Elk River, before the annual closure is in effect from
March. 31 - June. 15. If you live in Fernie, you might here the saying "Bad day on the Hill, Good Day on the River" nothing has been more true for the past week with the warm weather the Elk Valley has been faced with. The lack of snow and warming trend has allowed some of the ice layers on the Elk River to slide away and show some flowing water. Enough water infact to entertain the notion of a March afternoon fish. So hang up the skies for an afternoon and test your luck with the fly rod in hand.

We are hopeful within the next few weeks there will be enough of an open path for an afternoon float down the Elk River.

Water Conditions: 

Water Levels are normal for this time of year. The warm temperatures have opened pieces of the frozen river.


Yesterday was 6ºC and was enough warmth to tempt little black winter stones out of hiding. They were scattered along the snowy white banks and even tempted the willing cutthroat to the surface.

Flies to Use: 

Nymphs: sz 12 Black Stone, sz 10 squirrel nymph Dry Flies: sz 16 Black Trico to imitate the Black Stones, sz 8 Orange Chernobyl: Give em something to feast on this late in the winter.


Be careful, the ice layers are thin and if you aren't paying attention to ice thickness you may be going for a swim!