3 Days on the water around Fernie, BC

Discussion in 'Trip Reports with Pics' started by WonkyWapiti, Aug 19, 2012.

  1. WonkyWapiti Member

    Posts: 124
    Maple Valley, WA
    Ratings: +17 / 0
    A little background to start. I still consider myelf a major greenhorn when it comes to fly fishing but I came away with a huge education the past few days. My little adventure started last February when my buddy and I attended the Seattle Sportsmen's Convention and won an auction for a two day guided fly fishing trip with Domenic Ferrarelli of Flathead Wilderness Adventures out of Fernie, BC. Well we decided to add a third day of fishing to the trip and worked with Domenic for the dates. We drove out this past Wednesday and it was about an eight hour drive from North Bend to Fernie through some awesome country.

    As we got close we contacted our guide who had us head to the Elk River Guiding Co fly shop where he called ahead to get us set up with our fishing licenses. The staff at the shop were great and got us all set up with our licenses and assorted supplies we still needed to pick up.

    Thursday morning Domenic picked us up around 5:30 and we drove out to the river where we hiked in a ways to get to the water. The scenery was beautiful and boy were we in for a day of fun. My first clue that we were in a special place was when we met up with another guide friend of Domenic's at the trailhead who was about to take some clients down river via helicopter.
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    As I stated, I hadn't done alot of fly fishing and hadn't been out at all since last summer since I've been so busy with work. Domenic was awesome, the guy had a ton of patience and worked me through my lack of skill with the fly rod and had me swinging flies in no time. We actually started the morning out trying to land some bull trout. My buddy and I both brought a couple of 9 foot 5 weights and I was a little skeptical about what would happen if I hooked one of these fabled monsters. Well I didn't but after switching to some dry flies the magic began to happen. I landed some really nice west slope cutthroats and a cut-bow. I've seen a ton of photos of these beautiful fish but nothing prepared me for the real thing, these were awesome. We spent the entire day in the river and we were spent by the evening.
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    The next two days we spent floating different areas of the Elk RIver. This was my first time fishing from a float and it was great. Also with how much we walked the day before, the float trips were a great break. Occasionally we'd get off the raft and spend some extra time at some spots that Domenic knew would be productive. We fished mostly dry flies with the staple of our flies being hoppers (They loved the bubble gum hopper), black ants, green drakes, and an occasional royal coachman.
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    We stayed at the Wolf's Den Mountain Lodge up at the ski resort. The price was low but the rooms were clean and all we really needed. The hot tub was a respite for our sore muscles after the first day of walking the river. The staff were nice and helpful, thankyou Lynn!

    There were a number of places to eat and for dinners we chose The Fernie Cattle Co one night and had some decent steaks but the place was brand new and their beer lines had not yet been installed and they were out of alot of items plus their prices were a bit high. Boston Pizza was pretty good. My favorite dinner was at The Bridge Bistro. The food was great, the Fernie Grizzly Ale was cold, and the prices weren't exorbitant.

    This last photo is our last look of the Elk River as we were heading home. I miss it already.
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    I also can't say enough about our guide, Domenic Ferrarelli. The guy worked his butt off for us and is truly a genuine nice guy. My buddy is gonna book a hunt with him and the two of us are definitely gonna book another fishing trip with him for next year. I would highly recommend him.
    Irafly likes this.
  2. Mark Walker Active Member

    Posts: 2,693
    So. Cal.
    Ratings: +197 / 1
    Looks like an enjoyable trip. Great pics.
    Thanks for the post!
  3. quazman Member

    Posts: 86
    WA
    Ratings: +12 / 0
    Thanks for posting. Glad it was a good trip.
  4. Ed Call Mumbling Moderator

    Posts: 17,264
    Kitsap Peninsula
    Ratings: +1,221 / 9
    Wonderful trip report and photos. Sounds like you are hopelessly hooked!
  5. WonkyWapiti Member

    Posts: 124
    Maple Valley, WA
    Ratings: +17 / 0
    Yes Ed, I am definitely hopelessly hooked now! I'm already working on talking the family into a family vacation to Fernie and Glacier for next year! :)
  6. Skysoldier Trout Hunter

    Posts: 648
    Lost in the woods.....
    Ratings: +166 / 0
    Some beautiful Cutthroat, thanks for sharing.
  7. surfnsully Active Member

    Posts: 277
    Happy Valley, OR
    Ratings: +33 / 0
    Thanks for the nice report. The fernie area is on my bucket list and I appreciate the beer report as well
  8. Derek Young 2011 Orvis Endorsed Fly Fishing Guide Of The Year

    Posts: 2,606
    Snoqualmie, WA
    Ratings: +757 / 0
    Take your mouse patterns next time... :)