Fishing with Ladin: Fly Fishing TV Show, Videos, VOD and Articles inspires young and old to enjoy the outdoors. Travel the Northwest with them as they reveal the beauty of nature and the practice of catch and release fly fishing through an entertaining format that is fast-paced and humorous. Fly fishing places is designed to give the fly fisherman the basics of where, when and how to fly fish some of the places we have been around the Northwest.
The Castle River is located close to the small town of Pincher Creek, Alberta (Population 3642, Elevation 3710 ft). The area we fly fished was west of the town and west of Beaver Mines on road 774. The road crosses the South Castle just upstream from where the South Castle and the North Castle join. This is the area we fished. We also fished the Carbondale River which is not far from the Castle. I am not sure of the road names getting the Carbondale but the Carbondale River road runs along the river where we fished. This is beautiful forested territory with the Canadian Rockies as a backdrop when you can see them. There are also lots of campers and we saw quite a few fishers but still managed to find good water to fish and caught many Cutthroats in a couple of days of fishing. We combined this with a couple of days fishing the Oldman River just north of Pincher Creek. (See Oldman River) There are several other places to fish in this area which will be featured in future “Fly Fishing Places” such as the Livingstone River and the Waterton River. This is a great place to spend a week or more fly fishing.
Travel: Pincher Creek is a six-and-a-half-hour drive from Spokane, Washington. We stayed at the Parkway Motel and European Lodges which was inexpensive and clean. Besides hearing great reports about the fishing, one of the reasons we chose this area was the cooler weather. Montana was in the 90’s and up in Canada it was in the upper 70’s. Much nicer trout fishing weather. These
Tactics: Fishing in August and primarily for Cutthroats, we were hoping for some dry fly action and it did not disappoint. The first day we fished the Carbondale River hiking upstream from a bridge crossing the road. We found a great hole, catching a beautiful Cutthroat on a size 8 Fat Albert which is a very popular Alberta hopper pattern. We caught a couple cutthroats on that fly and a few on nymphs. Late in the evening we caught a few on a size 16 yellow bodied Mayfly emerger. Basically, a parachute PMD. The next day we fished the South Castle River and there was a good PMD hatch. We landed several fish with a PMD pattern. I believe it was a Cahill type pattern size 14. After the morning hatch we were able to catch a few on a size 16 bead head copper john during the middle of the day. In the late afternoon and into evening we landed a few nicer Cutthroats on the Fat Albert. In a couple of days of fishing we landed many small Cutthroats and several larger fish with the biggest landed probably fifteen inches. Ladin did lose a fish that looked to be over eighteen as it jumped.
Equipment: We fly fished all day with nine-foot five weight rods. We fly fished with floating lines on all rods and 9 to 12 ft poly leaders. The fluorocarbon tippets were 4X and 5X depending on the size of the dry fly and the water movement. Always wear eye protection.
How: The Castle River and Carbondale River at this time of year, and probably most of the summer, are great DIY walk and wade fishing because they are such small rivers that you can cross just about anywhere you want. There is a good amount of public access and lots of places to camp close to the rivers if you prefer. I do not know if there are even guides that service this area. We have purchased flies, materials and benefitted from great advice at The Crowsnest Angler Fly Shop and guide Service in Bellevue, Alberta a few miles from Pincher Creek. We do not get money or free materials from any of the mentioned business in this article.