St. Mary Angler

St. Mary Angler Professional guiding service in Southeastern British Columbia, specializing in dry-fly fishing for wild Westslope Cutthroat. Since 1992 the St.

Mary Angler has been introducing fly-fishing enthusiasts of all ages and abilities to the pristine waters of Southeastern British Columbia. We provide guided trips on the St. Mary, Elk, Bull, Skookumchuck, Kootenay, and upper Columbia Rivers, and feel truly privileged to refer to these tremendous fisheries as our "home" waters.

Temporarily closed

Merry Christmas to all our clients and friends and all the best in the New Year!!👍💕Tomorrow the 26th we are having our B...
12/25/2021

Merry Christmas to all our clients and friends and all the best in the New Year!!👍💕
Tomorrow the 26th we are having our Big Boxing Day sale!! Come on in and check it out!!
10:00 am to 5 :00 pm!!

Merry Christmas to all our clients and friends and all the best in the New Year!!👍💕
Tomorrow the 26th we are having our Big Boxing Day sale!! Come on in and check it out!!
10:00 am to 5 :00 pm!!

Black Friday Nov 26th!!!!! Come on in and check out our Black Friday Sales!! Doors open 9:00 am to 6:00 pm --- Pick up s...
11/25/2021

Black Friday Nov 26th!!!!! Come on in and check out our Black Friday Sales!! Doors open 9:00 am to 6:00 pm --- Pick up some great gifts for the fly fisher in your family or for yourself ha ha!!
See you tomorrow 😀👍

The Fly Shop will be closed Nov 1-15thWe will be back for Black Friday and the start of the Christmas season sales!Get o...
11/02/2021

The Fly Shop will be closed Nov 1-15th
We will be back for Black Friday and the start of the Christmas season sales!
Get out and fish before the snow comes!!

11/01/2021

Report #17 (October 24, 2021)

The Columbia River has been great this fall!

We sure lucked out this fall, as the weather for fishing turned out to be pretty good. Usually by now we have had a few snow falls and cold weather down in the valley where the Columbia River flows. While we have had a cool mornings, the clothing nowadays makes it easy to dress for it. Lately the mornings have been starting off at around 4-6°C (40-43°F) heating up to around 15°C (60°F) by the afternoon. When you add these moderate temps to sunny skies, it makes for some lovely days on the River.

Given the cold mornings, there is no rush to be out on the water first thing. We usually meet the clients at their hotel and head out around 9 a.m. We are on the water by 10 and off by 5:30 p.m. The days are now noticeably short, but we make the most of the sunlight and warmth. But, then again, October is almost done.

Today we fished the Genelle Run, using the jetboat to power over most of the section. It is nice to have the options available that our jetboat provides us in terms of its ample size, comfort, rowing setup and the ability to go wherever the fish are.

The fishing started off slowly today, picking up as the day warmed up. The anglers landed fish using all three techniques; nymphing, throwing streamers and on the dry fly.

The afternoon brought out a nice hatch of Blue Winged Olives and October Caddis. So, they caught a few on the surface. It’s so exciting to see these rainbows come up and slam a dry fly!

Over the course of the day the anglers landed 15 fish each with the average size in the 16 - 19 inch slot. They also landed a few over 20 inches that were very chunky and feisty, making the fight pretty exhilarating!

The Columbia River is currently running around 1,190 CMS (42,024 CFS). These levels are fairly low which gives us a lot of defined water that acts to concentrate the fish. These lower flows are helpful in finding where the rainbows are concentrated.

The flies we used varied based on the time of day. We cycled through our “Columbia” fly box in order to keep up with what the trout were attracted to. BWO's, October Caddis, Prince Nymphs, Hare's Ears Nymph, Copper Johns and different colored streamers all worked at different times during the day.

As always, we saw loads of bird life out on the Columbia today.
Well, this is pretty much the last week of guiding for us and our last Fishing Report for 2021. Soon we will be wrapping up another great season on the water.

Now we will have a little time for ourselves to get out and fish before the weather completely changes over to winter!
So, here's to another crazy year in the age of the Pandemic! We made it through!

Thanks to everyone who came out to fish in our backyard with us in 2021. We greatly appreciate your patronage which we never take for granted!

The fly shop in Cranbrook will remain open throughout the winter months with modified hours. If you wish to drop, by please check the website for opening hours.

Once Halloween is over, feel free to pop into the shop to see if anything interests you as the Holiday Season awaits.

All the best and thank you. See you all in 2022 if not before.

Tight Lines,

Kelly and Karen

PS If we manage to attend any tradeshows this offseason, we will let you know via social media.

October fishing on the Columbia River -- what a great time for fishing!!Get out there and enjoy the backcountry  while i...
10/22/2021

October fishing on the Columbia River -- what a great time for fishing!!
Get out there and enjoy the backcountry while it is still nice out!!

10/15/2021

Report #16 (October 10, 2021)

Columbia River Report: the colours are stunning and the fishing is great!

We are half way thru October over here on the Columbia River. So far, we have been on the water almost every day as the weather has been spectacular.

The Columbia River has been fishing quite well throughout our October stay. Today the anglers decided to head up to fish the Castlegar Run at the top of the system, putting in at the old ferry landing at Robson. The morning was been quite cool starting off at around 3°C (40°F), reaching a high of 14-15°C (57-60°F) by the afternoon.

Fall is in the air and winter is around the corner. All the leaves on the trees are bright orange and yellow now. It is absolutely beautiful out on the Columbia River. Southeastern B.C. is full of ‘eye candy’ as everything around is amazing to look at! And the rainbow fishing is not bad either!

To start, the anglers rigged up both nymph and streamer rods then they powered downstream. The flow in the Columbia is now low at 1,220 CMS (43,000 CFS), providing a lot of classic looking water that experience tells us where the fish are. But you still have to get them to eat the fly!

Today the guys systematically worked the water they fished. The rainbows this time of year are chunky and crazy fighters! They will jump and pull the line into the backing many times! Today the two anglers caught 15 rainbows each. Though the fishing was quite slow in the morning, as the air temperature warmed, things really turned on! Some days it takes a while for the fish to get active. Most of the rainbows caught and released today were in the 17 to 20-inch slot. That said, they did release a few in the 21 to 22-inch range. They were amazing, colorful rainbows with that bright red stripe down the side.

The nymphs worked well at times, as did the streamers. It can be challenging some days to figure out what the fish are eating, but when you dial into what they want, you can have a great day out here! That is why your fly box must have many different fly patterns so you can cycle through them systematically and figure it out!

The Columbia River patterns we use range in size from 8 to 14 nymphs and include; Purple Prince, Regular Prince, Hare's Ear, Copper Johns and Caddis nymphs. The popular streamers are the Sculpins, Black Leaches and Pat's Rubber Legs.

During todays outing they spotted a big black bear rambling down to the River to drink just below the bridge at Castlegar. They also saw a lot of bird life ranging from turkeys wondering along the riverbanks to eagles and ospreys high up in their nests. The merganser ducks were also spotted cruising along the banks looking to eat some fish. It was a really enjoyable day on the Columbia today!

We still have a couple more weeks of guiding left on the Columbia; up to the end of October. What a crazy year it has been! And now it looks like Canadians will be able to head south by vehicle crossing on November 8th Just in time for winter to hit.

Tradeshows:

We may be able to do some shows across the border this winter, so we will keep you posted on when and where.

As for fishing in the Kootenay region of B.C., you still can get outside while the weather remains good. The fish will be active later in the morning to early afternoon. So, yes, a shorter window of time, but it is nice to just get out!

Have a good one!

Tight Lines

Kelly and Karen

PS Stop in the shop and we can tell you what is working at this time on whatever river you plan to fish in our area.

10/01/2021

Report #15 (September 26, 2021)

Columbia River Report: the fall fishing is great!

It’s been a very busy September as we have wrapped up guiding in the East Kootenays on the St.Mary and Elk rivers. We are now over on the Columbia River for most of October.

As we have had a lot of demand for our guided trips, but a limited number of guides, we are pretty much booked up this fall.

The days are now noticeably shorter and the cooler weather has crept in. You can now look towards the Rockies and see the snow covered peaks. Fall is definitely here and you can feel it as well as see it. But the coming of fall does not mean fishing is over by any means. On the contrary, the fishing remains awesome.

The rivers are still fishing very good, in particular the Elk. You do not have to get out there too early. Just wait till the day warms up at around 10 a.m. and then you can fish till 3 or 4 in afternoon.

You can still dry fly fish, but if it is a cool day with rain you may want to nymph. We always start off with dry flies first and only switch if we have to. You never know if the fish will come up for a Green Drake, Mahogany Dun or Blue Winged Olive, until you try.

The fishing on the Columbia River has been very productive so far. Today the guys were picked up at their hotel after breakfast and headed down to the bottom section of the Columbia putting in at Beaver Creek Provincial Park.

The weather was quite cool, starting off at around 7°C (45°F). By late in the afternoon the temperature had increased to 20°C (68°F). The sky saw some clouds and a little wind at times, all in all a decent fall day.

One plus to our jet boat is that we run under power until we spot a fine looking eddy, nice run or spot a pod of fish rising. Then we just shut down the motor and drift into place under the power of the oars. It’s a really effective boat for fishing on the Columbia.

Today the boat was equipped with 3 different types of rod set ups, so we were ready to fish whatever opportunity presented itself!

On this outing the anglers started off with 9' 6”, 6 or 7 weight rods, set up for nymphing and casting streamers.

Once the boat was in place, the guys casted their lines along the bank edges and out into the eddy.

Some days in the fall you can get lucky and spot rising trout. This is when we break out the dry fly rods. If you hook a rainbow trout on a dry fly in the Columbia at this time of year, all I can say is ‘’hang on!”

Today the anglers saw a lot of fish come to their flies as they managed to land between 10 and 15 rainbows each. The fish are really chunky in the fall. They eat all summer long, gorging on the caddis to fatten up for winter! The fight is always exhilarating with these trout as they jump and run, even the smaller guys fight hard!

The average sized rainbow landed is 18-21 inches with the odd larger one showing up. Occasionally you hook up into a nice big guy out on the Columbia like they did today, as a nice 22 inch rainbow took the angler almost into his backing. The current in this river is huge, powerful and boiling at times, so it is such a rush when you couple that with a fish fighting hard on the end of your line!

The flies of choice included; Pat's Rubber Legs, a wide variety of colored streamers, sculpin patterns and an assortment of nymphs (Purple Prince, Regular Prince, Copper Johns), Blue Winged Olives, October Caddis and small midge patterns.

The wildlife out on the Columbia today included turkeys along the water’s edge and eagles and ospreys up in their nests looking for their next meal. The osprey were actively diving down into the River for fish - so cool!

The flows in the Columbia River drop at this time of year. Today they were running at 1,520 cubic meters per second (53,700 cubic feet per second). These lower flows create more structure in the River which can be good for finding fish.

On the Lakes:

As for fishing activity on the lakes in Kootenay region, we are seeing more people heading out to them now. The cooler weather brings on the feeding fish on many of the lakes. Whitetail, Whiteswan, Echo and Premier lakes are just a few that are attracting a lot of fishers this fall.

On the lakes we recommend using balanced leeches, pumpkin leeches, the micro black leech, doc spratley, half backs, full backs, damsels, blobs and bo***es. They all work. It is best to have a good selection of flies so you can cycle through them to find which ones work best on any given day.

The 2021 season is slowly coming to an end, but October can still be a great month to fish with the added bonus that there are not many people on the water.

So, get out when you can and enjoy the beautiful and amazing back country wherever you live!

Tight Lines

Karen

St.Mary Angler

Ps Stop by our Cranbrook fly shop for the latest news on what is working and where to fish.

09/22/2021

Report #14 (September 15, 2021)

Fall is here and the fishing is outstanding!

September is a beautiful month in the Kootenays, with its spectacular fall colours and cool, crisp mornings. They say, summer goes by fast in this business; well for us, when July 1st comes, in no time at all it seems the next day is fall! And the fall fishing has been outstanding.

The fall weather has really helped the fish remain feisty and strong as they gorge themselves before winter. The temperature over the last couple of weeks has been starting out at a nice and cool 8°C (47°F), reaching into the low 20’s (70’s°F) by the afternoons. The Rockies now have a dusting of snow on them making it a lovely time to be out on the rivers flyfishing.

On this particular day, the guys decided to float the Elk River from Fernie down to Morrissey. Blue Duns, Green Drakes and Mahogany Duns are all emerging now. It is fun to fish these classic patterns on the Elk River as they can be very productive for cutthroat. We hit the water by 9 a.m. and the day was sunny and beautiful.

The first fly in the mix was the Green Drake. After a slow start the fish were hitting the fly and the anglers landed between 15 and 20 brightly coloured cutthroat each over the day. The average fish was between 14 and 16 inches long. It’s so exciting to see a nice sized cutthroat jump out of the water to drown the fly! They do prefer to take the fly sloooowly, so remember to let the fish take it, before you lift to set the hook.

The scenery on the Elk River is amazing with the Rockies right there in your face! Sometimes, the view will distract you from watching and mending your fly. But, when that happens you will soon here the guide chime … “mend… mend!”, as you are shaken out of your gaze!

Remember, you can’t have any drag on your fly, or the fish will not look at it. The fly must float naturally long enough to fool the fish into eating it!

The flies cycled through today in addition to the Duns and Drakes were the; Caddis, Blue Winged Olives, Purple Haze, Fat Albert, Chubby Chernobyl ant and beetle patterns. Basically, all these artificials work well at this time of year.

There is lots of wildlife to see on the Elk. In addition to the wide assortment of birds, today they saw a black bear scurrying off into the bushes and a couple mule deer sipping water along the stream edge.

September is an awesome month to fish, so get out and explore the East Kootenays. From lakes, to rivers and streams this area has it all!

Kelly will be heading over to the Columbia River today as it is in great shape and the trout are feeding heavily. He will be there guiding till the middle of October. Fishing for the big rainbows on the Columbia River is always exciting!

As for the lakes in the East Kootenays, we have heard of a few people heading out to Whiteswan and Whitetail for some fall fishing. This time of year, the lakes start to ‘turn on’ again, so if you want to get out and camp before it gets too cold, these are a couple of places to do it.

Feel free to stop into the shop in Cranbrook for more advice on places you can go. There are many options for you to choose from and we can help you decide where to go or how to fish them.

Tight lines,

Karen
St.Mary Angler

Ps Call us today at 1-800-667-2311 to book a fall trip on the Columbia River!

Kelly and I did get to fish a few times this summer on our Sunday's off!!Lot's if good memories!!Flyfishing in the East ...
09/13/2021

Kelly and I did get to fish a few times this summer on our Sunday's off!!
Lot's if good memories!!
Flyfishing in the East Kootenay's - what a beautiful place to be!!!

09/06/2021

Report #13 (August 31, 2021)

The water has cooled down, but the fishing has picked up!

The water temperature in the St. Mary River has now cooled right down as the weather has cooled off. The mornings are now quite brisk starting off at around 8°C (47°F), building to a high of 24°C (75°F) in the late afternoons. So, the recent lifting of the time closures on the rivers on August 26th was appropriate and welcomed.

In addition to the recent cooling trend in the Kootenays, we have had rain on and off. These factors have really helped suppress the wild fires and cool our streams. So, we are happy the weather is back to what it is normally like for this time of year.

Our floats are also back to their regular start times as we pick up clients and get out on the water by 9:30 a.m.

Today our destination was the Canyon section on the St. Mary River – from Wycliffe down to Sophie's takeout near the Mission.

The flow in the St.Mary has risen about a foot after the recent rain and the fish are more active and maybe even happier as well!

The approach today had the anglers fishing along the bank edges, behind rocks and beside log jams in an effort to pull up some hungry trout. It was like these fish had not seen a fly in a long time!

During the float the anglers landed 20 cutthroat each, ranging from 12 to 16 inches in length. They also landed a number of cut-bows at around 17 inches. One hybrid was 19 inches, healthy and strong. It jumped many times before it was landed and released.

The flies that worked best today included the Chubby Chernobyl, Fat Albert, Stimy Chew Toy, caddis patterns and Parachute Adams. Like we always say, you need a variety of flies to cycle through when you are out on the water. One day a fly is “lights out” and the next day it’s another, so you have to be prepared to cycle through your fly box.

On the float today, the guys came across a lot of wildlife. This included deer along the bank edges and a good-sized group of turkeys down closer to the take-out near the St. Eugene Mission. The turkeys were grazing heavily on the abundant grasshoppers along the banks, happy as clams! This was in addition to a wide variety of birds, from raptors to songbirds.

This is the time of year we start to see bears moving along the rivers. The kokanee are now starting to move up into the streams to commence spawning. The bears will be gorging themselves on the kokanee in preparation for their time in hibernation this winter.

The clients really enjoyed the scenery, as well as the fishing today. The River at this time of year is spectacular as the leaves turn colour and the whole mood of the River changes.

We have had many clients from the U.S. making their way up here to fish in the last few weeks. It is nice to see some normalcy again. Let’s hope the 4th wave of Covid does not knock us back to square one!

If you are in the Cranbrook area, please stop by the fly shop. You can find out how each river is fishing, what fly patterns are working and peruse all the flies and accessories to make your fishing experience a success.

Get out and enjoy the fall fishing as the weather is awesome and the fish are biting!

Tight Lines,

Kelly and Karen

St.Mary Angler

Ps Call us at 1-800-667-2311 to book a fall trip on the Columbia River!

Address

401 Cranbrook Street N
Cranbrook, BC
V1C 3R5

Opening Hours

Monday 9:30am - 5pm
Tuesday 9:30am - 5pm
Wednesday 9:30am - 5pm
Thursday 9:30am - 5pm
Friday 9:30am - 5pm
Saturday 9:30am - 5pm

Telephone

18006672311

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Star of Tourism - St. Mary Angler and Fly Shop - Southeastern , BC - "Our guided trips are designed to satisfy both the beginner and experienced angler. We offer float trips on four different stretches of the St. Mary River, two runs of the Elk River and four portions of the Upper Columbia River." *** We sent travelers to your websites because they market you the best . *** https://www.ehcanadatravel.com/british-columbia/attractions/bc-fishing.html *** #staroftourism #ehroadtrip #experiencecanada #canadamatters #tourismmatters #canada
Explore BC with Locals: Meet Powder Matt from the Canadian Rockies! Writer, outdoor adventure seeker and a professional ski bum, Matt has a passion for powder. Not only has Matt been working in the ski resort industry for over 20 years, skiing has been a part of his life for 40 years. His motto: "Eat. Sleep. Ski." When Matt's not out chasing adventures, he's writing stories for key publications, sharing his love for the great outdoors in BC. "Soak in your surroundings. I love it when Mother Nature pulls out her paint brush and shares her artwork. Everyday outside, something always inspires. One of my fav ways is to start early with a hike (Lakit Lookout near Kimberley!), chasing sunrise and feel that restorative glow. Try going guided with Association of Canadian Mountain Guides. Another way to soak in BC’s nature: a little 'fish-tancing'—I like trying to match the hatch and feeling the current as I wade the streams. Fly fishing the waters of the Kootenay region is the stuff of dreams and don't miss casting along with one of the professional guides like St. Mary Angler and Elk River Guiding Company for an uber cool experience. Or, take it slow (or fast), spinning your wheels in Fernie is super cool! There’s over 200 km (124 mi) of trails so you'll have plenty to explore, and for the thrill, try the downhill mountain bike park at Fernie Alpine Resort. And sometimes, you just need to kick up some dirt. My go-to is the spectacular Terminator Ridge to T-2 and beyond at Kicking Horse Mountain Resort—perfect for a hike or trail run. After trail goodness, spend some time taking in peak views on the deck of the highest restaurant in Canada, Eagle’s Eye. And here’s me: Powder Matt, I’m all smiles. So grateful to walk the wild lands with Canadian Adventure Company surrounding Mallard Mountain Lodge, BC's most remote backcountry lodge located half way between Golden and Valemount, in the high & mighty Canadian Rockies." Stay tuned every week as we feature favourite places and activities of local residents to help you rediscover BC this summer and fall.
Bugs! Same bug, doing its thing from emerging to flying away. What should I use???? Whiteswan Saturday.
Kelly and Karen Laatsch own the St. Mary Angler Fly Shop and are the go to for supplies and guided fly fishing experiences around Cranbrook and beyond. We were very excited to work with them and Fishing BC last summer to capture some beautiful images and video of the world class fishing right here. We loved the photos so much they landed on the cover of this year’s Cranbrook Experience Guide. If you haven’t seen it yet there is an online version. Check it out. https://cranbrooktourism.com/about/cranbrook-bc-guide 📷: Jeremy Koreski
St.Mary Angler Guide Service: a review of the 2019 fishing season. Overview of the Conditions. Last winter brought us a snowpack that was lower than usual. On May 1st the snowpack was 79% of ‘normal’ across B.C., a major reversal from what we saw in 2017 and 18. As of May 1st the snowpack in the East Kootenay region, which includes the St.Mary, Elk, Bull and Skookumchuck rivers, was at 70%, way less than 2018. Over in the West Kootenays, where we fish the upper Columbia River, it was 89%, again, a far cry from the 180% received in 2018! Read the rest of the 2019 review at ....
Every summer, anglers from around the globe find their way to the southeast corner of British Columbia in pursuit of one of the province’s most prolific dry-fly fisheries. Just outside Cranbrook, BC flows the St. Mary River, where Kelly Laatsch and his wife Karen own St. Mary Angler Fly Shop. By his own admittance, Kelly spent too many years wearing a suit and tie before he decided it was time for a change. As the old adage “with change comes happiness” rang true for Kelly, it was not long before he was guiding anglers full-time. “We can run our business on the premise that we are dry-fly specialists”, Kelly evokes a level of certainty when he describes the fact that Westslope Cutthroat will often dodge other sub-surface insects to attack a dry fly. “People travel the world, they come to this river to see the beautiful nature, the Rockies, we are so lucky to have it in our backyard; It’s one of a kind.” St. Mary Angler | Cranbrook Tourism | Kootenay Rockies-BC's Mountain Playground | Destination British Columbia
Every summer, anglers from around the globe find their way to the southeast corner of British Columbia in pursuit of one of the province’s most prolific dry-fly fisheries. Just outside the quaint city of Cranbrook, BC flows the St. Mary River, where Kelly Laatsch and his wife Karen own St. Mary Angler Fly Shop. By his own admittance, Kelly spent too many years wearing a suit and tie before he decided it was time for a change. As the old adage “with change comes happiness” rang true for Kelly, it was not long before he was guiding anglers full-time. “We can run our business on the premise that we are dry-fly specialists”, Kelly evokes a level of certainty when he describes the fact that Westslope Cutthroat will often dodge other sub-surface insects to attack a dry fly. “People travel the world, they come to this river to see the beautiful nature, the Rockies, we are so lucky to have it in our backyard; It’s one of a kind.” St. Mary Angler | Cranbrook Tourism | Kootenay Rockies-BC's Mountain Playground | Destination British Columbia
“The St. Mary is an amazingly intimate river, and it is almost the perfect freestone river. Every corner has a perfect corner bucket” To say Kelly from St. Mary Angler is stoked on the dry fly fishing around Cranbrook Tourism is an understatement. Watch out for the full version dropping this weekend. Cranbrook Tourism | Kootenay Rockies-BC's Mountain Playground | Destination British Columbia
It doesn't get much better than dry fly fishing in Cranbrook, BC. Photo: Jeremy Koreski Gallery St. Mary Angler | Cranbrook Tourism | Kootenay Rockies-BC's Mountain Playground
We are excited to release the teaser for our first Fishing BC Presents video feature of 2020. Explore the amazing dry fly fishing near Cranbrook, BC with Kelly and Karen from St. Mary Angler A guided trip drifting down the St. Mary River, targeting native Westslope Cutthroat Trout, should definitly be on your bucket list. Cranbrook Tourism | Kootenay Rockies-BC's Mountain Playground | Destination British Columbia
Report #19 (October 14th, 2019) The Columbia River Continues to Fish Very Well into the Fall We are deep into fall now on the Columbia River. The days are getting shorter and the weather is now much cooler. We are experiencing some sunny days, but rain in the valley and snow up in the mountains are pretty well the norm for this time of year. Today we decided to fish the lowest section of our portion of the Columbia River as we put the boat in at Beaver Creek just upstream from the International border. The Beaver Creek boat launch closes after Canadian Thanksgiving so we are lucky to get one more float down on the lower end this season. On this day the weather was absolutely gorgeous with the temperature starting around 9°C (48°F) warming up to a comfortable 14°C (57°F) in the afternoon. There was no wind or rain and at times we had to take our jackets off because it got too warm…. I just love these kind of October days. The fish were active early on today as we caught trout right from the start. We had lots of success using both our nymph rods, as well as using streamers. There are many trout now camped out in the shallows along the shoreline. So if you can get a good cast into this area as the boat drifts downstream from say 30 to 40 feet, you have a chance to hook into one of these big rainbows. At this time of year the fish have fed all summer long on caddis et al, and they are very healthy, strong and chunky. The Columbia is a massive system that makes for big powerful rainbows. The flow in the Columbia has dropped in this last few weeks, typical for this time of year. This has caused a change in the River hydrology, forcing the fish to move along the bank edges to feed. Today the two anglers caught 20 nice rainbows between them. The average size was between 18 and 21 inches. The fish were very aggressive when they hooked up and jumped out of the water many times. One 21-inch rainbow almost jumped into the boat at one point, it was crazy, but a lot of fun. When you hook into these fish, you definitely have to let the fish run and take line because if you don't, they can bust you off and be gone in a flash of silver. We broke up the day with a nice shore lunch on the River, then fished from shore for a while before we headed back out to fish in different spots through the afternoon. On the River today we saw some Caddis hatching, as well as a few Blue Winged Olives and some big October Caddis. The nymph patterns used included the Purple Prince, regular Prince, Copper Johns and Hare’s Ear, and for streamers we used Kelly's Super Streamer, Pat's Rubber Leg and sculpin patterns. We saw a few other fishers out on the Columbia on this glorious fall day, which was nice to see. We have a few more days guiding left on the Columbia River this month then our season we will wrap up. So we want to take this opportunity to thank everyone who fished with us this year for your patronage and making 2019 a successful season. All the best, Kelly and Karen St. Mary Angler PS keep in touch with us through stmaryangler.com and facebook to find out which tradeshows we will be attending this winter and available spaces on our annual Christmas Island trip.