Alberta, Saskatchewan & Manitoba
DUANE S. RADFORD
While Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba all are part of Canada’s Prairie Provinces they each feature special calling cards when it comes to sport fishing.
The Travel Alberta slogan is “Remember to breath” and rightly so in this diverse, majestic province. Alberta lays claim to one of Canada’s best trout streams, the legendary Bow River, where trophy size ‘bows and brown trout have set the bar internationally. There are also many other great trout streams in southwestern Alberta that are renowned for fly fishing, for example the Castle, Crowsnest and Oldman rivers. While the mix of trout in these streams varies, if you’ve got the time you’ll delight in catching brown, bull, cutthroat and rainbow trout, with mountain whitefish as a bonus. Farther north, the Athabasca and North Saskatchewan rivers are really coming on as walleye hotspots. Also, lakes such as Maligne and Swan are popular destinations for ‘bows. Alberta’s boreal forest is home to some great fishing for perch, pike and walleye, as well as lake trout.
Saskatchewan is billed as “The Land of Living Skies” because it features the largest and longest uninterrupted view of the jet-stream in Canada. The province lays claim to some 100,000 lakes, and hundreds of rivers and streams, so the sky really is the limit regarding abundant fishing opportunities. Saskatchewan has bragging rights for some of the best pike fishing in the world. The province also boasts some of the biggest walleye in Canada at Tobin Lake on the Saskatchewan River near Nipawin. Diefenbaker Lake lays claim to the world record ‘bow, a 48-pound monster caught in 2009. Not to be overlooked is great fishing for huge pike, walleye and tackle busting lake trout in the boreal forest. The world record lake trout which weighed more than 100 pounds was taken in Lake Athabasca on the Saskatchewan side.
Travel Manitoba’s new tourism brand is called “Manitoba: Canada’s heart… beats.” Fly fishing is being heralded as part of this slogan. Manitoba is known as the land of 100,000 lakes and the province features some unique fishing opportunities. There are trophy brook trout in northeastern Manitoba around God’s Lake. Humungous channel catfish are present in the Lockport area on the Red River downstream of Winnipeg. Potholes in the Roblin area, north of Riding Mountain National Park, are renowned for outstanding fishing for brown, rainbow and tiger trout. Roblin bills itself as “The Fly-Fishing Capital of Manitoba” and was the site of the 2010 Canadian National Fly Fishing Championships. As the province has so many lakes, streams and rivers the fishing opportunities for pike, walleye and lake trout are unparalleled. Manitoba’s unique Master Angler program – the oldest master angler program going in North America – honours anglers who catch trophy fish in Manitoba with certificates of achievement.
You never know what adventure you’ll find in the prairies! So get out there and explore.
Duane Radford is an award winning writer and photographer from Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. He is currently the Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Outdoor Writers of Canada. Duane has been a member of this organization since 1999 and is a Past President. He has published over 700 articles and fish and wild game recipes in various magazines and newspapers in Canada and the United States. He is also the author of three award winning books: Fish & Wild Game Recipes – Volume 1 (2006) and Conservation Pride and Passion (2008) – The Alberta Fish and Game Association 1908-2008 which he co-authored with Don Meredith; The Cowboy Way (2014). He also co-edited a new book with Ross H. Shickler, Fishing Northern Canada for Lake Trout, Grayling and Arctic char (2015)
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