FAQ – Bow River Fishing with Clearwater Adventures

Click here for Bow River Fishing Regulations

Fly RodsWhat weight rods should I use?

If you are going to be fishing the Bow River you may want to have access to two rods. A four or five weight rod with floating line will work nicely when casting dry flies and nymphs. A six or seven weight rod rigged with a sink tip line is recommended for fishing streamers.

On mountain streams, three to five weight rods are ideal. Keep in mind that wind is often a factor when fishing western rivers and streams and as a result, fishers often favor fly rods that are stiffer and faster.

Nine foot, 2x to 6x leaders and tippet in the 2x to 6x range is recommended.

Hail StormWhat's your weather like and what kind of clothing should I bring?

While some summer days are quite hot, the maximum daily temperatures in June, July, and August average in the low 20 degree Celsius range. Our proximity to the mountains results in weather that is often unpredictable. What starts out as a calm, clear, hot day can end up windy, wet, and cool. Strong winds, thunder showers, rain, and hail can hit unexpectedly as it did on this July afternoon. Temperatures often drop quickly once the sun has set. Layered clothing along with a windbreaker and rain gear will prepare you for most summer conditions. A hat, sunscreen and polarized glasses should be included with the gear you bring. To help you prepare for your stay, check out Calgary's five day forecast at the Environment Canada website.

What is the cost of a fishing license?

License fees in Alberta are based on where an angler resides. Anglers are classified as either Residents or Non-residents. A Resident is a person whose primary residence is in Canada, and is a Canadian citizen, a Landed Immigrant, or has lived in Canada for the immediately preceding 12 months. A Non-resident is a person who does not reside in Canada.

The following table lists the fees for sportfishing licenses in Alberta. Fees are in Canadian dollars and do not include the seven percent (5%) federal Goods and Services Tax (GST). Before purchasing any license, a person must hold a valid Wildlife Identification Number (WIN). You can apply for your WIN card when you purchase your license. The WIN costs $8.00 and is valid for five years.

License Holder Sportfishing License Cost
Alberta Resident, 16-64 years of age $25.66
Alberta Resident, 65 years or older No License Required
Alberta Resident, Youths (less than 16 years) No License Required
Canadian Resident, 16 and Older $25.66
Canadian Resident, Youths (less than 16 years) No License Required
Non-resident from outside Canada - Annual $70.90
Non-resident from outside Canada - 5 Day $47.63
Non-resident from outside Canada - 1 Day $26.63
Non-resident from outside Canada - Youth (less than 16 years) No License Required


For fishing regulations and other information, check out the Government of Alberta Sustainable Resources Development website. Go here to purchase your WIN card and Sportfishing License online.

What kind of drift boat will we be fishing from?

When drifting the Bow River, you will be fishing from a Mackenzie style drift boat like the one shown here. These boats are very stable and provide you with a sturdy platform from which to fish. Many boats now have rod storage systems that will keep your fly rods safe from breakage. Sealed, watertight storage compartments are also common and they will keep your extra clothing and personal effects dry. Comfortable swivel chairs and casting decks with leg braces to support each fisher, contribute to a comfortable and enjoyable fly fishing experience.

Where can I stay?

Whether you are looking for an upscale hotel in downtown Calgary, or accommodations that are a little more removed from the hustle and bustle of a large city, we can help point you in the right direction. We can also help you out if you are looking for something out of the city and closer to some of our mountain rivers. Give us a call if you would like some suggestions.

Phone Toll Free: 1-877-607-4427;
In Calgary Area: 403-607-4427;
Email: info@clearwateradventures.com