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Fly Fishing Alberta's Bow River

How a catastrophic flood made a great river even better .

Fly Fishing Alberta's Bow River

The Bow River downstream of Calgary, Alberta, has five major access points. The area near Wyndham-Carseland Provincial Park (shown here) is known for its many side channels and large rainbow trout. (Dave Jensen photo)

This article originally appeared in the Oct-Nov-Dec 2017 issue of Fly Fisherman magazine.

In June 2013, days of heavy rain on top of melting snowpack created a crippling flood in the Bow River watershed that killed five people, caused $5 billion in damages, and virtually erased the old riverbed. Islands were removed, riverbanks eroded, new gravel bars were created in farmers’ fields, and trout were left swimming in the streets of downtown Calgary as the water receded.

For decades, fly fishers around the world knew the Bow as one of the greatest trout fisheries in the West, but after the flood, many were left questioning if the Bow would lose its blue...

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