We've just returned from a highly successful trip to Fernie, British Columbia, where our party of six spent five days catching Westslope cutthroats up to 19 inches in length - ALL on dry flies!
With our partners at Home Waters Guide Service, we floated the Elk River four days and explored new territory floating the St. Mary's River through the Kootenai Indian Reservation, catching cutts, rainbows and cutt-bows.
We stayed at the Stanford Resorts in Fernie, which provided us with a fine continental breakfast every morning and clean accomodations each night. The condos were walking distance from the Elk and had great Rocky Mountain views in each direction.
On Day 3, Sam Cathey and I traveled with Home Waters' partners Spencer Schey and Jeff Mironuck to fish for bull trout in several Kootenay River tributaries. We hiked into a remote area of the Skookumchuck River valley, but the bull trout were not present in big numbers.
So we hiked out and fished a large hole under a railroad trestle close to the main river, where Sam got several strikes from four bullies in the 10-pound range. Finally, as darkness fell on the valley, Sam landed a 16-inch bull trout on a heavy streamer, joining the exclusive club of fly fishers who have landed these magnificent char.
In all, our crew floated all but one major section of the Elk River, which was blocked by a log jam. Eagles, osprey, belted kingfishers, Steller's jays, waxwings and dippers were regular companions along the way, along with the occasional mule deer, bighorn sheep, moose crashing through the underbrush, and several black bear (no griz, thank goodness.)
We're discussing the possibility of
returning to B.C. for another week-long adventure in August,
2013. If you would be interested in joining us, contact Mac
at Headwaters: (828) 877-3106