Trip Overview 

As the first Elk River fly fishing guide service based in Fernie, British Columbia and one of the largest fly fishing outfitters in Western Canada, Dave Brown has earned his place in the fly fishing community as the outfitter of choice for those seeking the ultimate Canadian trout fishing experience. Offering a variety of different lodging options at all price points, Brown Outfitters is an excellent option for focused anglers, couples, larger groups, and families. Dave Brown Outfitters offers guided fly fishing trips on more than a dozen of the finest trout streams in southern British Columbia and western Alberta. These rivers are world-renowned for a number of reasons, including above average fish size, healthy and wild native trout, a fantastic diversity of species, consistent dry fly fishing and incredible hatches – all combined with breathtaking scenery and a total lack of crowds. We can’t imagine a better setting to pursue your Western trout fishing vacation.

Destination Quick Facts 

Yellow Dog Community and Conservation FoundationLOCATION:  Southeast British Columbia and Western Alberta

SEASON:  Mid-June through mid-October

CAPACITY:  Maximum of 20 anglers at any one time

CLOSEST MAJOR AIR HUB:  Calgary, AB (YYC), Kalispell, MT (FCA), Spokane, WA (GEG)

TARGET SPECIES:  Rainbow trout, brown trout, Westslope cutthroat trout and bull trout

DOCUMENTS REQUIRED:  Valid passport. No visa required for citizens of most countries. A British Columbia or Alberta fishing license is required.

CONTACT US FOR MORE INFO     888-777-5060     INTL 01-1-406-585-8667       info [at] yellowdogflyfishing [dot] com


Lodging Details
Dave Brown Outfitters has a variety of different lodging options available in Fernie or Calgary, depending on your targeted water. Please contact Yellow Dog for details and custom package pricing for each option. Following is a list of some of the options available:

Park Place Lodge (Fernie, BC)
Just a few minutes from historic downtown Fernie, the Park Place Lodge is the perfect base for a Fernie fly fishing vacation. Built with design and detail, an attentive staff, and exceptional customer service, everything about Park Place Lodge is designed to leave guests with a sense of great satisfaction. The Park Place Lodge has complete guest services with a guest concierge, a bar and grill, a fine dining restaurant, and a liquor store.

Island Lake Lodge (Fernie, BC)
Located within a few short miles of Fernie, the seclusion of Island Lake Lodge provides the perfect home base for a fishing trip. Amenities at Island Lake Lodge include large conference rooms, a yoga and exercise room, a mountain lake with complimentary canoes, guided hikes, a full service wellness spa, and wine tasting and fine mountain cuisine. Guests fishing with Dave Brown Outfitters stay in the ten-room Red Cedar Lodge at Island Lake.

Birch Meadows Lodge (Fernie, BC)
Birch Meadows is a beautiful B&B located seven minutes south of Fernie, featuring three guest rooms in the main Lodge and four exceptional log chalet suites. Birch Meadows provides great hospitality, delicious home-cooked breakfasts, clean and comfortable rooms, and a breathtaking view.

Seven Rivers Lodge (Oldman River, AB)
Located on the sprawling Anchor B Cattle Ranch on the banks of the middle stretch of the Oldman River in southwestern Alberta. The comfortable and rustic guest cabins all have showers, toilets and two queen-sized beds. The cabins are in close proximity to the main buildings, including the ‘notorious’ Western Saloon, with its swinging’ doors, player piano, well-stocked bar, satellite TV and wireless Internet. This is an ideal spot for large groups or corporate meetings.

Glenmore Inn (Calgary, AB)
Centrally-located for access to Calgary's downtown, the Gilmore Inn offers guests a wide range of convenient services and amenities. The Glenmore Inn is Dave Brown's number one choice for anglers fishing the Bow and other waters in southwest Alberta.

Food and Beverages
Dining options vary depending on which lodging option you choose. Lunch and non-alcoholic beverages are included during each of your guided days while fishing with Dave Brown Outfitters. Breakfast is included at both the Island Lake Lodge and the Birch Meadows Lodge. Meals are a la carte while staying at the Park Place Lodge or in Calgary.

Typical Length of Stay
Trips of any length of stay can be arranged. Please call Yellow Dog for details.

Non-Angling Activities and Options
Located in the spectacular Canadian Rockies in Southeastern British Columbia, Fernie is quickly gaining a reputation as a year-round adventure destination. Recently voted the “Best Small Town in BC” for the second year in a row, Fernie makes an ideal vacation destination. Horseback riding, mountain biking, white water rafting, golfing, shopping and hiking are convenient and available. There are many things to do and see around Calgary as well, including the Calgary Zoo, golf at McKenzie Meadows, Banff National Park, Calaway Park, and the Calgary Stampede.

Internet / Communications
Wi-Fi is available at most of the Dave Brown Outfitters lodging options, and cell phones work while in Fernie and Alberta.


General Information
The guides at Dave Brown Outfitters have a vast amount of water to choose from all throughout the area. Specific fishing areas will be decided based upon current conditions at the time of your trip.

The Elk River
The Elk is home to a wild and native population of Westslope cutthroat and bull trout and is renowned for its dry fly fishing. The Elk River is the most easterly river in British Columbia, beginning at Elk Lakes and flowing for 110 miles before entering the Kootenay River. What draws anglers to the Elk River is non-stop dry fly fishing for big, wild cutthroat trout along with the chance of catching a very large bull trout.

The Kootenay River
A large freestone river with a good population of bull, cutthroat and rainbow trout. Dave Brown Outfitters has been guiding on the Kootenay since 1999, and was the first fly fishing service on these waters. The Kootenay River below Libby Dam in Montana is a renowned tailwater fishery, but above the dam and Lake Koocanusa (on the Canadian side of the border) the river is virtually untamed and unknown.

The St. Mary River
Like the Elk River, the St. Mary has a lake at the top that buffers flows and minimizes scouring during runoff. It’s also one of the most scenic floats that Dave Brown Outfitters offers. The St. Mary is home to very good populations of Westslope cutthroat trout, rainbow trout, cut-bows, bull trout and the occasional Eastern brook trout. Like the Elk, the St. Mary is a dry-fly fisher’s paradise.

The Columbia River
From the bottom-draw dam at Castlegar to the U.S. border, the upper Columbia River features 30 miles of the most intense caddis dry-fly fishing you’re likely to experience anywhere in the region. These steelhead-strain rainbows will leave anglers breathless as they rise in immense pods along the seams and back eddies. Dave Brown Outfitters is pleased to offer the only full-time fly-fishing guiding service on this magnificent stretch of river, just a three-hour drive from the Spokane airport.

The Slocan River
Imagine drifting along a wilderness stream with water that is New Zealand-clear. Welcome to the Slocan River, where miners once panned for flakes of silver, but fly fishers now pry wild, ruby-streaked rainbows from the undisputed jewel of the West Kootenays.

The Bow River
The river boasts a self-sustaining, combined population of 3,000 rainbow and brown trout per mile. Combine that with an average fish size approaching 19 inches, and it’s easy to see why the Bow River is rated as one of the best big-fish rivers in North America.

The Crowsnest River
Primarily a rainbow trout fishery, located in southern Alberta two hours from Calgary and 45 minutes from Fernie, B.C. The best time to fly fish the "Crow" is from late June through October. If the Bow River enjoys the reputation of being the number one fly fishing destination in Alberta, the Crowsnest is a close second.

The Oldman River
This scenic river starts in the mountains, spills out of the foothills, then flows over the prairies before eventually joining the Bow River. The tailwater stretch of the Oldman is home to brown, rainbow, cutthroat and bull trout, and has superb hatches resulting in outstanding dry fly fishing.

The Waterton River
Located in extreme South Western Alberta, the Waterton is a brown trout stream that is best suited for floating. The Waterton is primarily a dry fly fishery, but streamers can also produce some arm-tearing strikes. Dave Brown Outfitters makes use of private access, which allows them to float two stretches of this river.

Boats and Equipment
Float fishing on area rivers is done via McKenzie-style drift boats. Jet boats are used to fish the Kootenay and the Columbia Rivers.


How To Get There
Depending on the time of year and the target fisheries, you will want to choose between three different airports. If you are planning on fishing Southeast British Columbia, we suggest flying into Glacier International in Kalispell, Montana. If you are planning to fish the Bow River, then we suggest flying into Calgary, Alberta. The outfitter does not offer airport shuttles, so you will want to rent a car.

Documents Required
Recent changes in U.S. law require all people to present a passport when entering or re-entering the U.S. from Canada by car unless they have other appropriate documentation. Canadian law requires all persons entering Canada from the U.S. by car present proof of citizenship and identity. A passport fulfills both of these requirements for U.S. citizens. We recommend that everyone purchase a British Columbia Freshwater fishing license prior to arrival at the following website: In BC there are also Classified Water permits that are required daily depending on the fishery for the day. Please wait until arrival to purchase any classified water endorsements.

Drunk Driving or other Criminal Record
Anyone with a criminal record (including a drunk driving conviction) may be excluded from Canada. A waiver of exclusion may be issued but several weeks are required and a processing fee must be paid. Contact the Canadian Embassy or a Canadian Consulate in the U.S. for more information.

Travel Arrangements
Yellow Dog offers a full in-house travel and reservations system, and can assist with airline tickets, hotels, transfers, and all travel logistics for every destination that we offer. Contact us at 888-777-5060 or travel [at] yellowdogflyfishing [dot] com for more details on airfare ticketing, travel services and trip insurance.


Package Rates
Remember that Yellow Dog's services are completely free! When you book a trip with Yellow Dog, you never pay more than when you book directly with the lodge or outfitter. All prices are per person and quoted in US Dollars (USD). Accomodation and fishing packages with Dave Brown Outfitters are all customized based on the destination, the number of nights lodging, and the number of guided fishing days. Please call Yellow Dog for details and custom package pricing.

What's Included

  • Lodging in your choice of accommodation
  • All guided fishing
  • Packed cooler lunch on the water each day
  • Use of all equipment (rods, reels and all flies)
  • Ground transportation to and from the river
  • All taxes and GSTs
  • Airport shuttles and all meals are included in the Seven Rivers Lodge package.

What's Not Included

  • Transportation to Calgary, AB or Fernie, BC
  • Fishing licenses
  • Alcoholic beverages
  • Gratuities for the lodge staff and your guide
  • Breakfast and dinner (except at certain lodges)

Daily Rates
Day trip fly fishing rates include guide service, transportation, lunches, non-alcoholic beverages, flies, tippet, and spare rods. Fishing licenses and other incidentals are not included. Certain waters have an additional fee, please inquire for details. Prices are subject to applicable sales taxes. All rates are based on 1 or 2 anglers per boat.

Elk River = $575 per day

Wigwam River = $650 per day

Bow River = $575 per day

Columbia and Slocan Rivers = $595 per day

Crowsnest River = $575 per day


Dave Brown Outfitters Saskatchewan Bird Hunting Camp
In addition to an amazing fishing program, Dave Brown Outfitters operates a Saskatchewan Bird Hunting Camp during the fall months. The Bird Camp offers classic walk-up shooting for Hungarian Partridge and Sharptail Grouse over well-trained English Pointers, Setters, and Brittanys. On top of the great upland bird hunting, Dave Brown Outfitters takes full advantage of the abundant waterfowling opportunities as well. This is North American wingshooting at it's finest, and Dave Brown's Saskatchewan Bird Hunting Camp books up early! Please contact Yellow Dog for Details.

Client Testimonials

"I've fished with Dave Brown for as long as he's guided on the Elk River and I just booked another trip for this year. If I remember right, I was his first client on the Elk and I've been back every season but one since then. (I don't know what happened that year. I must have temporarily lost my mind.) Dave has all the skill and enthusiasm you could ask for in a guide and the Elk has the kind of fishing I can't resist: high mountains, beautiful water and wild native trout on the dry fly. What more can I say?"
- John Gierach (Fly Fishing Author)

"We have fished all over the world with Guides as varied as the waters we have fished, for the last 8 years our annual trip to S.W.Alberta and S.E British Columbia is the trip that we look forward to the most. This region is one of the worlds greatest Flyfishing destinations and The Elk River Angler is easily one of the worlds top Guide Services We highly recommend Dave Brown and his guide team to anyone wanting to fish Alberta & British Columbia.
- Cynthia and Mark (San Francisco, CA)

"My guided trip on the Bow River was awesome. Two of us stuck at least 35 fish and boated 20 - 25 fish in the 16" to 22" range. Our guide, Dave Brown, was a pleasure to fish with and is extremely knowledgeable about the river and productive techniques. I learned a lot, caught some great fish, and relaxed. What more can you ask for!"
- Judge David (Boise, ID)

"I'd like to thank both of you for the last week on the Elk River and the surrounding area. The guides that we had, Ned and Kirk, were knowledgeable and were good to spend a day with. Ned, particularly, did a very good job working with my son (at the expense of my drifts, albeit. The sacrifices of a father, I guess). We spent several other days on the elk and the surrounding lakes at the advice of you and your guides and had a very good time. It's definitely a 'do-over'." Thanks again and I look forward to next summer..."
- Mike (Higley, Arizona)