Elk River Fly Fishing Guides

Fly Fishing in Fernie BC

Town of Fernie

Fernie BC is nestled in the Rockies in the southeast corner of British Columbia near the Alberta border. It’s as known for its epic skiing and snowboarding as for its incredible cutthroat trout fishing.

Established in 1897 following the discovery of coal, Fernie retains the historic charm of its frontier era plus all the comforts and amenities expected by today’s world traveler.

Fishing on the Elk River

The Elk River runs right through the town of Fernie, from its source in the Elk lakes near the Continental Divide high in the Rocky Mountains. It’s considered the best freestone and dry fly trout fishery in the world, providing unparalleled opportunities for west slope cutthroat and bull trout. The Elk hosts incredible hatches of blue winged olives, caddis, PMD’s, grasshoppers, golden stones and yellow sallies.

This is the trip you’ve been reading about in fishing magazines for years. You can expect to catch between 10 and 30 fish per day!

The area hosts a number of other tributary rivers which also provide incredible fishing opportunities, including the St. Mary’s, Bull River and Skookumchuck among others.

When is the best time to come?

See our calendar (Rates and Dates of page) for the rivers and species seasons.

Fernie Sunset Noise Red Web2 Person Drift Trip on the Elk River Includes

  • Pick up & drop off from your hotel
  • 5 -7 hr drift
  • Gourmet Lunch to suit dietary restrictions
  • Flies and leaders

What to Bring With You

Fernie Cut Web

  • 4-6 weight rod
  • Matched floating line
  • Waders (not necessary but recommended)
  • Wading shoes. Keenes.
  • Layered clothing. It can be cool in the morning and evenings.
  • Rain gear. Just in case.
  • Polarized sunglasses.
  • Waterproof day bag


Island-Lake-Lodge-Fly-Fishing-BCThere are many accommodation options in Fernie. For the camper there is a great Provincial Park campground just outside the city limits. However, you need to book ahead through the Provincial Parks web site.


If you are looking for a hotel or even a house rental we can provide suggestions to meet your budget. When not camping our favourite accommodation is Island Lake Lodge. It is a beautiful Lodge Resort used in the winter for Cat Skiing. The resort is located half way up the mountain in a secluded location and features many activities for the non fly fisher including a spa, hiking trails a small lake, exceptional fine dining and an extensive wine list. We have a great relationship with the lodge and will be happy to make reservations on your behalf.