Fishing Staycation

Five Days of Fishing

With travel restrictions during the pandemic, staycations are the way to go. Camping staycations continue to be very popular. The addition of a theme can enhance your time in the great outdoors. In this post we offer information on our “5 Days of Fishing Staycation.”

If you and the family are new to this popular past time we encourage you to plan a visit to Flys Etc. in High River. We support other local businesses in the area and encourage you to do so as well. You can check out their website by clicking the image below or here.

Flys etc High River logo

We offer some basic information and resource here and if you are more experienced feel free to jump ahead to see recommended destinations. We give you the distance to reach of the destination with a brief description and what you might catch at each.

Spin Fishing or Fly Fishing

Sportfishing has two basic types which are spin fishing and fly fishing. The equipment is significantly different which presents a choice. Many families that are just starting out begin with spin rods and reels. Success with spin casting relies on the weight of the tackle. Fly fishing requires some skill to be successful and requires practice. You can learn more about the differences with this article.

Alberta Fishing Regulations

In addition to the equipment, you will also need an Alberta Sportfishing license unless you are under 16 years of age or an Alberta resident 65+. Lakes and larger rivers are open year round. Smaller rivers like the Sheep and Highwood are open mid-June to the end of October. You can get details in the Alberta Guide to Sportfishing Regulations found here.

Start Planning Your Staycation

As with our other staycation themes we recommend booking a week at Riverbend Campground and spend up to five days enjoying your theme activity. Udo Stey of Flys Etc in High River has provided five destinations for your fishing staycation plus a bonus destination in Kananskis Country.

Destination #1

We recommend the first day of your fishing staycation be close to home base on either the Sheep River or Highwood River. Due to a lot of flooding in recent years, these rivers have received a lot of damage to the fish population. It is rebounding but it will take a few more years to return to normal. Be aware that past river flooding has caused the changes to these rivers. Pools along the river are a great place to find fish. Many of our old favorite spots have been filled. When spring run-off has passed the rivers become shallow and you have to walk and find any remaining pools. This rivers are close to the campground and are is a great place to start

Destination #2

Chain Lakes is 86 km from the campground.  The Alberta Government has a fishing stocking program that includes Chain Lakes. This is a great destination for rainbow trout and you can easily fish from shore. If you are using a boat the Provincial Park has a boat launch.

Destination #3

McGregor Lake is 87 km away.  This reservoir It is a good fishery for Pike, Walleye and Lake Whitefish. 

Destination #4

Pine Coulee is 82km from the campground.  It is a very good walleye fishery (but Walleye are now being eliminated) that also has some pike and rainbow trout.  The boat dock provides great fishing as well as the South corner from shore.

Destination #5

Bow River is 21 km away to the nearest access point on Highway 2 at the South end of Calgary.  It is a river world renowned for Rainbow and Brown trout.  It is all walk and wade fishing for a chance at some trophy sized trout. For a different and we think an excellent fishing experience you need to be float the river with a Drift Boat.

Bonus Destination

Kananaskis Lakes via the Trans-Canada Highway is 184km away. Taking the south route over Highwood Pass is less distance (155 km) but the road is only open mid June to the end of November. Either way you travel through some gorgeous country and will take you to a lake that has Rainbow and Bull trout that grow to outstanding sizes.  There are 2 lakes that can be accessed for fishing opportunities. Best to fish with a boat, belly boat, shore fishing can be challenging. Also be aware that as of June 1st you will need a Kananaskis Conservation Pass which you can buy online here.

Book Your Fishing Staycation Now

Be sure to start by booking a week at Riverbend Campground. You can do this online here.