ERGC 2022 Season Update

 Recovering from the COVID-19 Pandemic

To say the last two years have been challenging for the guiding business would be vast understatement. The travel restrictions and border closures that accompanied the many pandemic-related lock downs created significant challenges for a business that relies so heavily on interprovincial and international travel to survive. We were forced to cancel many of our trips in 2020 and 2021 as the majority of our clients could not travel to (or even within) Canada. We greatly appreciate those who were able to move their bookings to the 2022 season and trust that we would still be able to provide them with future guided services. This was a key part in our survival during tough economic times.

Moving forwards, we are grateful that we are still here, and appreciate that many of our past and new Canadian clients have had the opportunity to discover some of the phenomenal fly fishing in their own backyards.

 Goodbyes and New Faces

            As we see travel restrictions lift and business return to normal capacity our calendars have become full once again. This presents a new challenge as we have lost a number of our fantastic guides who have been with the company for many years. A shortage of guiding work during the past two seasons due to the COVID-19 shut downs forced some of our guides to find other opportunities, many of which have lead to permanent positions that prevent them from returning to a position with ERGC. Our guiding and shop staff are like family here at ERGC, and we are so appreciative for the many seasons that they represented our company. Our guides and staff are the reason why so many of our clients have returned to fish with us year after year. We would like to wish Dylan Forster, Tom Klingspohn, Randy Dolighan, Steve Harris, and Donna Cloutier all the best going forward and thank them for their valuable contributions to our business’s success.


With that, we would like to welcome some of our new guiding recruits to the team. Andy Weir started guiding for ERGC in 2020, and Dave Rebantad and Malia Samycia joined the team in 2021. Cam McLellan and Jaymes Veitch will start this season. All are extremely experienced and have their own set of skills and assets to contribute to a strong guiding team this season.  We are also happy to say, Darcy, Kevin, Aubrey, Tyler, Sebastien, Steve R, and William are all returning for another season of pulling the sticks and leading clients on walk and wade creek trips.

 Looking Forward to the Season Ahead

The fishing forecast for this season looks really good. The snow pack at the local mountain plot was estimated at about 110%, putting us above average for this past winter season. Although we are experiencing a very cool spring and significantly delayed runoff, we know that this will be good in the long run. However, the current weather makes it difficult to predict what condition the river will be in on opening day (June 15th). For this reason, we are not booking any early season trips in late June, but we will be able to accommodate you on short notice should the river become fishable quicker than anticipated. We are also happy to put you on the calendar tentatively during this time, with no obligation should the rivers still be too high and dirty. It is also important to note that the calendar for the rest of the season is filling up fast as we take care of clients that had to move bookings due to travel restrictions as well as accommodate our returning clients. In order to avoid disappointment, if anybody is still interested in booking a trip and is not on our calendar, please contact the shop as soon as possible to see if you can secure some dates.

We are definitely not the only business to have challenges going forward into the new season. The local hospitality and restaurant industries are currently facing extreme staffing shortages, but in true Fernie spirit everyone is doing the best they can to welcome back tourism to the valley this summer. As such, accommodations can be challenging to find and we suggest to book as far in advance as possible if you are planning a trip.

One of the positives to come from the past two seasons was the success of the fly shop retail business, with many locals spending time exploring their local fisheries and visiting the shop for gear. While the supply chain for products is facing its own troubles, we are doing our best to have a well-stocked inventory for the upcoming season. That being said, if there is gear that you anticipate you will need please visit our online store or give us a call at the shop. We are happy to help make sure that you are outfitted with all your gear and apparel needs! The familiar shop faces will be there to greet you as Leah, Jess, Malia and Bryce will be in the shop for regular shifts, and Megan, Liam, Sadie and Sawyer will fill some schedule gaps.  Regardless of who is there we will ensure we provide the best service possible!

If you are able to make a trip to visit Fernie, be sure to stop by the shop for a visit. We are looking forward to reconnecting with everyone whether it be for a guided trip, getting stocked up on gear and flies, or just to chat.  We can wait to see you all this summer!


ERGC Crew.