Fly Fish the Columbia & Slocan Rivers

1-2 Guests • No Lodging • Public • Guided


Slocan River, BC

Base Price is per day based on double occupancy

Imagine drifting along a wilderness stream with cedar and fir interspersed along the banks with grassy meadows and stands of white birch. The river alternates fast and slow – rapids and plunge pools linking tailouts and meandering bends.

The water is New Zealand-clear. High above, cupping the green and pungent valley bottom, are the impressive peaks of Perry Ridge. Beyond that, the towering Valhalla range, domain of heli-skiers and mountain goats. Welcome to the Slocan River, where miners once panned for flakes of silver, but Slocan River fly-fishers now pry wild,Redband rainbows from the undisputed jewel of the West Kootenays.

The Slocan River Fly-Fishing season starts in early July and ends with October caddis. In between you’ll be fishing hatches of golden stones, PMDs, numerous caddis, BWOs, Green Drakes, red quills and midges. Terrestrials like hoppers, beetles and flying ants also have their time and place. Truth is, you can match the hatch if you want, but the native rainbow trout are usually just as willing to eat a high-floating attractor pattern. Think Chernobyls, Fat Alberts, and other foam-bodied goodies.

The Slocan River is a great addition to a Columbia River Fly-Fishing Trip. After spending a day or two fishing to steelhead-strain rainbows on the Columbia tailwater, the Slocan River Fly-Fishing will make you feel like you’re holding a wand instead of a fly rod. Because the Slocan Valley is well-sheltered and often calm, light rod-line combinations are ideal. Three- and 4-weights are recommended – maybe a 5 if the wind is up or you prefer it for tossing bulkier dries. Short- to medium-length casts are the norm so distance isn’t a big concern.

The entire length of the Slocan River is catch-and-release only, but the river also closes from July 15 to August 31 to protect the trout during the warmest summer period. As a result, come September 1 the rainbows are feisty and forgetful, and eagerly take dries well into October. Many anglers consider September the Slocan River’s finest month, with heavy hatches of caddis and red quills, which most locals refer to as blue duns. As the fall progresses the large October caddis increase in numbers, and the trout rise eagerly to orange-bodied Chernobyls.

There are good numbers of rainbows from 12” to 15”, with the occasional fish up to 20”. Seeing a trout like that rise to your dry fly from the bottom of a Slocan River pool is heart-stopping. We mainly fish dries, but when the trout aren’t feeding on top any medium-sized nymph pattern will work. We like to tie beadhead #14 Pheasant Tails or Copper Johns a couple of feet beneath a yarn indicator and shallow-water nymph.

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Your Host

Dave's Trip

Dave B

A full-time Fly-fishing and Wing shooting Outfitter with operations in Calgary AB,Fernie BC, Cabri SK and Patagonia AZ.the first fly-fishing guide service on BC's Elk River ,the first Multi River Guide service in Western Canada and the only Outfitter on the Canadian Prairies to use Pointing Dogs ...our motto "we lead others follow". We are an Orvis Endorsed Fly-fishing Guide Service and an Orvis Endorsed Wingshooting Guide .We look forward to helping you plan your next adventure into the great outdoors!

from $655/Experience

Base Price

$654.50 Per Person Per Experience


Pay later options are only available for trips that start more than 30 days from today.

Total Payment


Please note that there is a 50% non-refundable deposit included with your booking fee. In case of cancellation, and in accordance with the Host's cancellation policy, the remaining 50% may be returned to you or applied towards rescheduling a future trip.


  • Expert Local Guide
  • Flies
  • Leaders
  • Tippet
  • Spare Fly-rods
  • Deli-Style Lunch
  • Hotel Pick Up & Drop Off



Gear List

  • Streamer Rods - 9ft: 7wt or 6wt
  • Nymph rods – 9ft: 6wt or 5wt
  • Dry fly rods – 9ft 5wt
  • Reels – minimum 100 yards of backing on all

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Rules & Guidelines


The City of Castlegar puts you at Ground Zero for the Columbia. Both the Sandman Inn and economy-priced Quality Inn are central to restaurants, bars, coffee shops and convenience stores. We’ll arrange to pick you up – from there it’s a short hop to the river and the put-in of choice.

For those seeking urban accommodations with a ‘hip’ flavor, we recommend the vibrant mountain community of Nelson – just 25 minutes from the upper Columbia. Long considered the “funkiest” town in the B.C. Interior, Nelson is beautifully perched on the hillside above Kootenay Lake and famous for its heritage buildings and eclectic flair. The centrally located Hume Hotel is a Nelson mainstay; other options are the upscale Prestige Lakeside Resort, Best Western on Baker or any of the numerous B&Bs in the area.

If you’d prefer to stay off-the-beaten-path in the rustic Slocan Valley, we recommend Lemon Creek Lodge. But be forewarned – there’s no cell coverage in this idyllic backroads – just a world of peace and quiet!

Please note, there is a 50% non refundable deposit included with your payment when booking.

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