Late-Season Trout Fishing

Autumn is my favorite time of the year to go fishing on our local trout streams. After Labor Day, there are fewer anglers on these waters. By the end of September or early October, you can often have the river to yourself.

Last Wednesday, I spent the better part of the day fishing the Crow. I covered a long stretch of water and never saw another person. It was a perfect day to be on the river. There was very little wind and temperatures reached a pleasant 14°C (57°F). The morning started with overcast skies, and I was hoping for an afternoon hatch of blue-winged olives. The skies cleared by noon and it became sunny and bright for the remainder of the day. There were only a few olives to be seen, here and there.

Shallow back-eddy

Late in the afternoon, I found a couple of large trout rising sporadically in a shallow back-eddy. The fish were skittish and I stayed behind some bushes along the streambank, so they wouldn’t see me. Trout can be easily spooked when they are holding in these places. Sometimes, a bird flying overhead will be enough to cause fish to suddenly bolt back to the safety of deep water. A sloppy cast can have the same effect. I tried a few fly patterns, including some ant and beetle imitations, but the fish wanted little to do with them. After a half-hour trying to fool these fish, I raised the white flag and headed downstream, where the water looked more promising.

No other anglers about
Colorful rainbow trout

The river is in typical late-season condition – it’s low and crystal-clear. The autumn colors are in their prime. It’s a great time to be on the Crowsnest River right now.

Colorful streamside setting
Healthy trout

The fishing can be hit-or-miss this time of year. Weather can be a big factor. By this time last year, we had three feet of snow on the ground in Crowsnest Pass. Not this year, though. At least, not yet!

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  1. Kurt Lindberg March 1, 2021 at 7:16 am #

    A wonderful post and a good one to take my mind back to days spent on the rivers at that time of year. Thanks for the post; made my day!

    • Vic Bergman March 2, 2021 at 10:19 am #

      Hi Kurt,

      Autumn is one of my favourite times of the year to fish rivers like the Crow. The colours, the fish, and the solitude. It’s hard to beat this.

  2. Bob Clarke December 5, 2020 at 11:40 am #

    Thank you for your fine pictures and notes on the river. I was fortunate enough to spend two days in Crowsnest Pass early November this year. Really enjoyed exploring the towns, each with their own character.

    Fished by the Dance Hall and the upper reaches, then explored as river wound past the towns. Found many of the sites in your 3-part tour of the river, thank you. Fished above and below Frank. I plan to return.

    One question: I was unable to locate the 1923 Trestle. How would I access it in future?


    • Vic Bergman December 6, 2020 at 10:43 am #

      Hi Bob,

      Thanks for commenting. I’m glad you like the photos. The 1923 Trestle is not far upstream of the West Hillcrest Bridge. It’s about a 10 minute walk along the river. There is good parking at the bridge. Another option is to park at the Rodeo Grounds, just below Frank Lake, and work your way downstream. Hope this helps!

  3. Samuel Yannerilla October 29, 2020 at 7:38 am #

    Dear Vic,

    Seasons change and so does life. I was happy to view some of the places along the
    river I was unable to frequent this year. Looking for a better 2021 and beyond so we
    can join you again on your excursions. Thanks Vic for keeping the light on in our dreams.


    • Vic Bergman October 29, 2020 at 2:20 pm #

      Hi Sam,

      We missed seeing a lot of our friends this season, including you. I’m sure things will be better next year. In the meantime, I’ll keep the light on for everyone. Glad you liked the photos. You probably recognize some of the spots. Talk to you soon!

  4. robert garnier October 9, 2020 at 12:38 pm #

    Vic: Mighty fine looking trout! I think the Crow has the best looking rainbows (color and shape/proportion) of any river, anywhere.

    • Vic Bergman October 9, 2020 at 3:56 pm #

      Hi Bob,

      Nice seeing you earlier today. I agree, the rainbows in the Crow can be the prettiest-looking fish around. I especially like the ones that are covered with dark spots and have a distinct pink stripe across their sides. Hope you do well the next time you head out. Thanks for commenting!

  5. Al Letcher October 8, 2020 at 5:29 pm #

    Lovely, Great pictures and beautiful fish! Wish I was there.
    Really missed coming this August, as it was the first time I missed in 18 years!

    All the best, Al

    • Vic Bergman October 8, 2020 at 10:04 pm #

      Hi Al,

      It’s great to hear from you. We missed you and the other guys this summer. 18 years is a long time. There were quite a few people who were disappointed because they were unable to make it here this season. Hopefully, we’ll see you next August. Glad you liked the photos. Thanks for commenting on the post!

  6. Jim Williams October 7, 2020 at 7:09 pm #

    Fine imagery of our extended autumn. It can make the fishing tough, but it sure is comfortable and beautiful. Those rainbows look nice too.

    • Vic Bergman October 7, 2020 at 10:21 pm #

      Hi Jim,

      Glad you liked the photos. The fall weather has been hanging in there. I hope it lasts for a little while longer. The fish all appear to be in great shape, going into winter. Lots of color on some of them, too. Thanks for visiting and commenting!

  7. Walter Hildenbrandt October 7, 2020 at 6:01 pm #

    Awesome post Vic. We were in your shop Sunday and as always friendly advice, as I had 2 friends that had never fished the Crow until Sunday and they thoroughly enjoyed the fishing.

    • Vic Bergman October 7, 2020 at 10:15 pm #

      Hi Walter,

      It was nice seeing you and your friends on the weekend. I’m glad you had a good day on the Crow. It was a nice day, that’s for sure. Thanks for commenting!

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