Banff National Park is one of the most beautiful places in all of Canada, with a number of ideal locations for fishing. The park’s lakes and rivers hold copious amounts of local fish, and the park contains a number of campgrounds, so you can make an entire vacation out of a fishing trip. Parks Canada regulates all fishing in the par and has set a number of guidelines for those who wish to fish there.
Fishing is a wonderful way to experience Banff National Park.
Items you will need
- Fishing permit
- Rod and reel
- Hip waders
Step 1Determine where and when you want to fish. Most of the lakes and streams allow seasonal fishing from early May until the end of September. The town of Banff’s official home page recommends the Bow River and Lake Minnewanka for summer fishermen. The river contains a great amount of brown trout, brook trout and Rocky Mountain whitefish–excellent for fly fishermen–while the lake holds plenty of whitefish and lake trout and makes an excellent stop for boat-based fishermen. Fishing in Bow River is permitted year-round, but no one may ice fish there in the winter. Certain waters in the park are closed to fishing: the two Fish Lakes, Lake Agnes, Luellen Lake, Marvel Lake, the Cave and Basin Marshes, Castleguard River, Forty Mile Creek and the lakes and tributaries in the Clearwater River and Siffleur River systems.
Step 2Secure your permit. All fishermen in Banff National Park require either a single-day permit or an annual permit. You can pick them up at any of the park’s information centers, campground kiosks or sauna pools, as well as local tackle shops and similar places of business.
Step 3Plan your fishing hours. The park permits fishing from one hour before sunrise until two hours after sunset; those caught fishing at other times will be subject to fines. You’re not allowed to leave a fishing line unattended, so bring your lines in when you stop for lunch or to take a bathroom break.
Step 4Know the restrictions on hooks and bait. Lead tackle is largely forbidden in the park (waterfowl eat it and die), as is natural bait. Chemical baits aren’t allowed and you can’t use lines that can catch more than one fish at a time or contain more than two gang hooks. Banff National Park suggests using barbless hooks, but they are not required.
- Banff National Park stresses the need for responsibility when fishing; fisherman are accountable for their own health and safety. Carry safety equipment with you when using a boat and make sure you have sufficient clothing to stay warm. In addition, bears are a big concern in Banff National Park. Keep your eye out for them and do not engage them if you spot them, even if they claim your catch.
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