Spring Fishing on the Crow

Spring has arrived in the Crowsnest Pass. As the days become warmer and longer, more and more people are getting out fly-fishing on the Crow. I was able to get out on the river last Wednesday for the first time this year. I made it out again today.

The fresh snow that fell last Tuesday has all but disappeared along the river. The water was slightly off-colour last week, but it was very clear today. Although water levels have slowly been rising over the past several weeks, it was easy to wade and I was able to cross the river in many places.

Last week, I hooked a nice brown trout in the river, only to lose it when I tried to steer the fish away from the branches of a sunken log. I returned to the same spot today to see whether I could catch the big brown. If I could hook it again, at least I would know which direction it would likely head.

I managed to hook and lose a couple of small trout and landed a decent rainbow about 16 inches in the pool, but there was no sign of the big brown. I headed upstream to fish a few other places. If I had time, I’d try fishing the pool again on my way back.

When I reached the last run I planned to fish before heading back downstream, another fly fisher walked up along the shore toward me. I believe his name was Dean. He mentioned he was from Banff. We chatted for a few minutes and then he continued on his way upstream. Shortly after, I headed back to the spot where I first started the day.

The late afternoon sun had moved behind trees lining the riverbank, casting a shadow over the riffle flowing into the deep pool. I decided to try fishing for a few more minutes before hiking out. Several casts later, my yarn indicator dipped under the water’s surface. As soon as I lifted my rod tip, I could tell I had hooked a good fish. The fish bolted into deep water and headed downstream toward the sunken log. I managed to turn the fish and steer it away, in time.

I was sure it was a brown trout, maybe even the one I hooked last week. As the fish tired, I was able to guide it closer to me. That’s when the fish turned broadside in the slow current, revealing the bright pink stripe above its flank. It wasn’t a brown trout, after all. It was a rainbow trout, and a darn nice one, at that! It was as long as my net – 24 inches. It’s been a great start to the season.

I will return sometime soon, to see whether the big brown is still lurking around!

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  1. Walter Hildenbrandt April 24, 2024 at 6:19 pm #

    Good evening, Vic. What a Beautiful Trout and story to bring in the new fishing season. Well done, as always.

    • Vic Bergman April 24, 2024 at 7:26 pm #

      Hi Walter,

      Thanks, it was a great fish. I’m glad you enjoyed the story!

  2. Vince Schembri April 24, 2024 at 9:41 am #

    A beautiful fish Vic and an awesome story… a great way to start the year. As Terry mentioned, you should have brought a bigger net. Speaking of nets, that one does look familiar.

    • Vic Bergman April 24, 2024 at 11:04 am #

      Hi Vince,

      I prefer using the classic wood landing nets, like the one in the photo. It was made by Chris Mouriopoulos (Cedar Landing Nets) of Brantford, Ontario. Terry made me a beautiful wood net a few years ago. It’s larger and would have made it easier to land this fish but the net I had that day worked. Thanks for commenting.

  3. Terry April 23, 2024 at 7:35 am #

    A nice story and a very nice fish to start the season. You might want to think about a bigger net. Terry

    • Vic Bergman April 23, 2024 at 9:11 am #

      Hi Terry,

      I have a larger net. You made one for me a number of years ago. Most of the fish I usually catch would fall through the mesh! Your net would have come in handy yesterday.

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