Small Streams of BC

Wigwam River, Fording River, Michel Creek and Alexander Creek

The Wigwam and Fording Rivers are tributaries of the Elk River that flows through the U.S. state of Montana and the Canadian province of British Columbia.

British Columbia’s small streams are prolific fish and scenery producers; it’s not uncommon to catch 20-inch plus cutthroat, rainbow and bull trout in the small streams we fish. The Wigwam River, Fording River, Michel Creek and Alexander Creek are Elk River tributaries that are very accessible from Fernie, B.C. and The Kootenay Fly-Shop.

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Wigwam River Bull Trout

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Fording River Cutthroat

The Kootenay region of B.C. is blessed with countless small streams, and for the small stream aficionado the fishing is like the “good old days” if not better. Wild and native species of trout including cutthroat, rainbow and bull trout are stringently regulated to ensure healthy populations and trophy sizes; a number of our clients compare the aquamarine water and fishing experience to New Zealand – just not as far! Our small streams are a perfect fit for cane rods or 2- to 4-weight graphite, and dry flies proliferate through the hatch-filled season.

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Small Stream Cutty

Our small streams are easily wadeable but typically demand a lot of walking in a day; the fitter you are the better. Fly-fishing the small streams can be added on to a trip to Fernie B.C. and The Elk River.

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John Gierach with a Wigwam River Bull Trout

Hatches vary by month and elevation, often overlapping and often quite different from those taking place on valley-bottom rivers. For example, in late August it’s not uncommon to find Green Drakes (which hatch in July at lower elevations) hatching alongside October Caddis. Dry flies are the norm, but fishing streamers to giant bull trout that your guide has spotted is also on the plate.

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