Fernie, British Columbia
August 6-20, 2011
"Fernie, BC is a place of beauty. Mountains everywhere surrounding the valley formed by the Elk River change appearance as the sun moves through the sky. Coal is the output of choice from this area as it is rated as the purest in the world. Environmentalist keep a sharp eye on the daily activities to ensure the Elk River and it's tributaries are not harmed. On the surface there seems to be a successful relationship between the two. Any type of mishap would be a disaster as these rivers are home to some of the most abundant and biggest fish I've ever encountered. Imagine a river the size of the upper Catt. where every pool holds innumerable trout over 14" that eagerly rise to emerging bugs like nothing you've ever seen. These fish are fat, broad and fight like a room full of Irishmen. Driving along the access road to pick a section to fish is a great way to start the day, don't park next to someone else and they don't park next to you. That means you fish all day and don't see anyone else except the people you're fishing with. The last day of fishing I walked along the stream to a beautiful run I hadn't fished in a couple years. I fished through the green drake hatch, and never moved my feet. In 1 1/2 hrs. I landed 7 fish over 16" and never got to others that were rising consistently. One nice fish was rising about two feet in front of me and I finally paid enough attention to realize he was posting about 10" from my right foot and feeding from there. The activity of me netting fish didn't seem to bother him at all as he just kept feeding when things calmed down. It's actually too easy when this hatch is working, but when there's no hatch it's as tough as any stream trying to get one to the top. It can be done and is always rewarding but if you want to go down and dirty, it's nymph city. All day long big fish take the nymph, but I don't go that far away to nymph. Freedom of choice..."--Jules McCann - asst. trip host