In the latest Fishing BC film, we head to the East Kootenay Region of British Columbia to join the crew from Kootenay Fly Shop for some summer walk and wade action. The Kootenay Fly Shop is located in Fernie, BC, and is home to some of the best dry fly rivers in North America. When you combine healthy populations of Westslope Cutthroat Trout with prolific hatches of Mayflies, Stones, and Caddis, it creates a fly angler’s dream destination. We caught up with Gord Silverthorne, owner of the Kootenay Fly Shop to learn more about the fishery and fly fishing the Green Drake Hatch.
Flylords: Where in Canada are you based?
Gord: We are located in the City of Fernie in South Eastern British Columbia, Canada, situated in the Elk Valley and the Elk River on the west slopes of the Canadian Rockies.
Flylords: What is the best time to fish dry flies in Fernie?
Gord: Dry fly fishing starts about mid to end of June and continues through to the fall. Mid-June to the end of June brings fantastic dry fly with the Golden Stonefly hatch. July is also very good with Caddis and Drakes. August brings good dry fly with much of the terrestrials like Ants, Hoppers, Beetles. Some of the best dry fly fishing happens in late fall after the river flow rates are lower and easily readable. You have all the terrestrials, along with BWOS, October Caddis.
Flylords: What kind of trout do you catch and are they native?
Gord: We are catching the native West Slope Cutthroat and Bull trout in the Elk River watershed.
Flylords: Average size fish?
Gord: Many of the West Slope Cutthroats average 16” in length, while Bull trout may average 24”-30” with many being larger.
Flylords: Why does the Green Drake hatch provide such great fishing?
Gord: The Green Drake hatch is like fishing with little sailboats because the bugs are so big and the Mayfly wing sticks up so high. It is very easy for anglers to see and the fish aggressively eat the fly!
Flylords: Any tips for fly fishing with Green Drakes?
Gord: Having quality flies that reflect the natural bug.
Flylords: What are some other notable hatches you have other than the Green Drakes?
Gord: We have good BWO (Blue Wing Olive) hatches starting in September as well as Flavolinas, a smaller Green Drake. In the early season, we have the Golden Stone hatch followed by PMD’s. These hatches are very special too.
Flylords: If someone wanted to book a trip with you or one of your guides how would they do so?
Film and screengrab photos from the crew over at @topofilms.
Follow the Kootenay Fly Shop on Instagram @kootenayflyshop.