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Tips and Tackle for the High Country


One of the best pieces of advice for high elevation anglers is to “lighten up.”
Fly rods in the 4 or 5-weight range are more than adequate for angling the high country.
A small selection of fly imitations is also a better choice over lugging a vest stuffed with hundreds of patterns up a drainage for many hours with the prospect of having to retrace your steps back to the truck when the day is done.
Because mountain trout tend to be opportunistic feeders, dry flies like Stimulators, Variants, Humpies and Elk Hair Caddis will serve you well.
At times, especially in mountain streams with extensive stream-bank meadows, hopper patterns are very effective.

Although I prefer to fish on the surface, when the trout aren’t responding to a floating fly nymphs like the traditional Hare’s Ear, Pheasant Tail, Copper John and Prince patterns may also elicit strikes.
A way of having the best of both worlds is to employ a “hopper/dropper” set up where a nymph is suspended from the bend of the dryfly hook on a two-foot length of tippet.
As well as imitating trout food in its own right the dry fly also acts as a strike indicator.
So whenever you see it bob, hesitate or suddenly disappear below the surface set the hook by lifting the rod tip because chances are your Hare’s Ear just got eaten by a fat trout.

While Alberta’s high altitude rivers are usually running icy cold and vodka clear, even in the middle of summer, wading wet can be a pleasant way to spend a hot summer afternoon.
But be aware, the mountains harbour a host of biting insects, including fierce horse flies which tend to be all revved up in the warm weather.
So wading in a pair of jeans or hiking pants is probably a better bet than shorts.
You’re probably better off in the long run donating any excess blood to the Canadian Blood Services then the bug the old fur traders used to call the “bulldog”.

High country angling on the Embarras River

Previous Fishing Tips & Facts

(1) Taking out the little ones

(2) Down Stream Dry Fly Fishing

(3) Fishing Streamers

(4) Fishing Streamers

(5) Fishing Streamers

(6) Barbless Hook Blues

(7) Salt Water Fly Lines

(8) April: The Last Ice Hurrah for Ice

(9) What are your boating needs

(10) Keeping It All Together

(11) To Jig or not to Jig, that is the question

(12) The Strip Strike

(13) Sticks and Stones

(14) Fly tackle for new waters

(15) Fish imitating flies are prime for trout

(16) Float Fishing Hoppers

(17) Setting the Hook

(18) Backcountry Fishing

(19) Rigging Foams and Boxes

(20) Securing Shiners

(21) Precision Mending

(22) The JawJacker - A fish catching machine

(23) Optimal performance boundaries

(24) 90 Per Cent of the Fish

(25) Heavy Line for the Big Fish

(26) Go Small and go Natural

(27) Fishing the Foam Line

(28) Trip Planning Tips

(29) The Seven-Year Twitch

(30) What is that Shiny Silver Fish

(31) The Art of Mending

(32) A well-stocked Fly Box

(33) Weight Forward vs. Double Taper Fly Lines

(34) The Evening Walleye Shift

(35) On the Fly

(36) Memories Aren't Made of This

(37) Selecting the right fly

(38) Road Trips

(39) The Roll cast

(40) Fly-fishing for Pike

(41) Walleye Tip

(42) Mountain Lakers

(43) Hints For Dry Fly Success

(44) Survival Strategies For The Silly Season

(45) Local Advise

(46) It's A Pink Year

(47) Ice Fishin Safety

(48) Third World Travel

(49) Casting Angles

(50) The Rocky Mountain Whitefish Rig

(51) Using Sinking Leaders

(52) The Pike Fisherman's Vest

(53) Walleye Tips

(54) Trophies Are In The Eye Of The Beholder

(55) The Right Tool For The Job

(56) Respect The Weather - Expect The Weather

(57) Approach

(58) Gearing Up For Ice Perch

(59) Do It Yourself Excersions

(60) Shots

(61) Atlantic Salmon Fishing Techniques

(62) Fishing Etiquette In Crowded Conditions

(63) Swinging Caddis Flies

(64) Selecting a Fishing Rod

(65) Pike Angling Retrieves

(66) Detecting The Strike

(67) Unmatch The Hatch

(68) Off The Grid Air Travel

(69) Practise

(70) How Deep Are They Biting?

(71) Netting and Landing Your Fish

(72) Texas Travel Tips

(73) Quick Tips for Triggering Strikes

(74) Be the Last Man Standing

(75) Water Temperature & Trout

(76) Visiting Reindeer Lake

(77) Stillwater Stratagems

(78) Those Crazy Cohos!

(79) Leaders & Tippets

(80) Big Water Strategies

(81) Small Stream Stealth



(84) Travelling Angler Tips

(85) Choosing The Right Fly

(86) They come out at Night - Our Friends that is

(87) Fishing at Night

(88) Having Troubles Catching fish?

(89) Having Troubles Finding Fish?

(90) Stay Skinny To Catch Fish

(91) Tips For Fishing With Kids

(92) The Wonderful Woolly Bugger

(93) Wading Safely

(94) Double Your Fun

(95) More About The Red River

(96) Rookie Rod Buying Tips

(97) Hook Sharpening

(98) Going Light

(99) Hopper - Dropper Rigs

(100) Tips For Buying A Pontoon Boat

(101) Fishing Tips and Facts for Sturgeon

(102) Three Flies to Live by

(103) Reading Rise Forms

(104) Tips and Facts for Early Season Success

(105) A Fly for All Seasons

(106) Ice Shelters – Seeing is Believing

(107) Effective approaches to working small streams

(108) Unburdening the Travelling Angler

(109) 5 Flies for Anyones Fly Box

(110) Road Trips

(111) Dry Flies for High & Dirty Water

(112) Tips For Dealing With Biting Bass

(113) Summertime and the Fishin’ Ain’t Easy

(114) Depth and Light

(115) Rigging Large Dry Flies

(116) Best Rod for Spring Angling

(117) Stream Etiquette for Floaters

(118) Tackling Whites Through the Ice

(119) Angling Tips for Finding Books

(120) Winter Smart Open Water Angling

(121) Fall Primer for Pike

(122) Packing Tips

(123) Tips and Tackle for the High Country

(124) Hunt them Shallow

(125) Polarized Sunglasses
The smart anglers’ advantage.

(126) Fishing Tips for Early Season Flyrodding

(127) Know Your Knots

(128) Alternative Thoughts about Ice Fishing

(129) Tips for Mexican Bonefishing

(130) Techniques for Tantalizing Grayling

(131) Understanding Fly Leaders & Tippets

(132) Catfish on the Fly

(133) Get Your Backswimmer On

(134) Reading the Sonar

(135) Insect Identification Made Easy

(136) The Sinker and Floating Plug


(138) Fishing Drop Offs

(139) Stay On Fish

(140) Landing The Big One

(141) Fighting Fish on a Fly Rod

(142) North Saskatchewan River - Be River Aware

(143) Backswimmer Pothole Trout Frenzy

(144) Hunt for Suspended Fish

(145) Reading Your Waters Before You Cast

(146) Setting Up Your Bait Casting Reel

(147) Fishing Journals

(148) First Casts of the Season are at a River Near You

(149) The Crazy Whitefish Days of Last Ice

(150) The Bait of Choice

(151) Shallow Water Jumbo Perch

(152) Getting Started on the Ice

(153) Plan an Ice Fishing Getaway

(154) Brookie Season

(155) River Fishing is Heating Up

(156) Become a Better Angler

(157) The Forgotten Pike

(158) Get Out Your Plugs and Spoons

(159) Slip Bobber is King in Spring

(160) See You at the Show

(161) Red Hot Whitefish

(162) Staging Walleye

(163) The Lure of Lake Whitefish

(164) Great Rainbow Fishing At First Ice

(165) A Simple Approach to Ice Fishing

(166) Big Pike Combo Approaches

(167) Gearing up for Fall Whitefish

(168) River of Gold

(169) Bottom Bounce Your Way to Success

(170) Small Stream Fun

(171) Consider the Spawn and Water Temperature for Early Season Fish

(172) I Believe - The Glow in Glow Jigs

(173) Tricks to Improve Your Ice Fishing

(174) Trout Fishing is Red Hot

(175) Dealing With Fishing Pressure

(176) All I Want for Christmas: Fishing Gift Ideas

(177) Staying Warm on the Ice

(178) Hunting Big Browns in Lakes

(179) Where Did All Those Walleye Go?

(180) Keep an Eye on the Weather, Fury of a Storm

(181) Great and Affordable Fishing on the West Coast

(182) Lake Whites in the Summer? You Bet

(183) Prime Time for Lakers

(184) A Slip Bobber is so Much More

(185) Ice Fishing for Pike and Walleye

(186) Catching a Big Pike

(187) Purchasing a Rod

(188) Catching Rainbows through the Ice

(189) Gearing up for the Snow and Ice

(190) Gearing Up For Pike

(191) Getting the Most out of Your Fly Fishing Set Up

(192) The Bottom’s Up in Fishing

(193) Fish Where They’re Biting

(194) Three Standard Walleye Presentations

(195) Two Early Season Presentations for Pothole Trout

(196) Tackle Tips for Catch and Release Fishing

(197) Keeping Your Head Above Water


(199) Beginner Baitcasting Tips