Wigwam River

The Wiggy!

Located deep in the back country, the Wigwam River is one of the most beautiful rivers in existance. This amazing river gives anglers a lesson in balance between nature and beauty. Crystal clear water flows over vibrantly colored rocks creating the perfect mountain setting. Untamed and natural, the Wigwam is a magical place full of big boulders, log jams and deep pools. The hatches have been known to “go off”, bringing willing cutthroat and cut-bows to the surface regardless of the weather conditions. As this is a walk and wade only stream, a guided day will find you hiking in wilderness on the hunt for your next catch. Migratory Bull Trout find their way into this well proteced river, which is a long feat for them considering the distance that they travel from their wintering home in Lake Kookanoosa. This river is strictly a catch and release river and requires a good level of fitness to access. Spending a day on the Wigwam will be a day you will never forget!

Important Notice:

Changes to Kootenay Classified Waters

Make sure you are aware of the regulatory changes to the Kootenay Angling Management Plan announced September 3rd, 2015 by the BC Government.  We found that the changes to the regulations for the Wigwam River, Michel Creek, and Skookumchuck Creek were a bit of an adjustment for some anglers who had to plan further in advance, but overall, anglers were impressed by each of the fisheries and the overall experience as a result of these changes.  The reduced  pressure on these fisheries resulted in a noticeable difference to the quality of fishing.  We strongly recommend that if planning to fish on any of these three rivers that you purchase your classified waters permit prior to your arrival in Fernie at, http://www.fishing.gov.bc.ca/.  As far as we know the earliest you can purchase these licenses online is March 1st, 2017.  Most anglers who are not fishing with a guide on these rivers are purchasing their dates as soon as possible to ensure a license as the numbers are limited. 

The Changes to the EKAMP is as follows:

The main change is implementation of a booking system for non-resident anglers on three “classified waters” in the Kootenays: the Wigwam River, Skookumchuck Creek and Michel Creek. All three of these fisheries have seen non-resident, non-guided angler use exceed targets, creating overcrowding on the river as well as pressure on fish populations.

Under the new system, a set amount of non-resident, non-guided angler days will be made available through the existing online angling licensing system. Selections will be made on a first-come, first-serve system, ensuring all non-resident anglers have an equal opportunity.

Once these days are sold, non-resident anglers will have to book through a licensed angling guide to fish on these waters.Keep in mind Guide days are also limited and sell out fast.  Angler days have been increased on the Wigwam and Skookumchuck in anticipation of additional interest from non-residents seeking access to these waters. These additional days will become available later in the season.

The new system will ensure resident anglers maintain priority access on streams that have been over-subscribed in recent years, while still allowing non-residents ample opportunity to access these high-demand systems.

B.C.’s classified waters are productive wild trout streams in wilderness and semi-wilderness settings, which provide unique and high quality fishing opportunities that are in high demand but limited supply. The classified waters system was created to help protect the quality of fishing opportunities these waters provide. The system includes limits to guided and non-guided angling, reflects resident priority, and requires special classified water licences. Together these measures support stock assessment, habitat protection and enhancement, as well as compliance and enforcement.

For more information feel free to look at the following link, https://news.gov.bc.ca/releases/2015FLNR0268-001443