Fernie and the Elk Valley are subject to a unique climate. We are located in an interior rain forest which means the Elk Valley typically gets more precipitation than the other areas in the Canadian Rockies. Summers here are well balanced with plenty warm sunny days, and cooler rainy days.
June is the start to our summer season with rivers opening up to fishing on the 15th. The summer rush of anglers has not hit the rivers yet, making this a great time to be alone on the river. The average temperature rests around 20 C (68 F). June typically wetter than the later summer months, with an average of 100 mm of rainfall. The rivers have just started to come down from spring runoff and are still quite high and a little off colour. This can make for the best stone fly hatch of the season.
July is typically when the guiding season starts. This is the start to the major summer hatches. Drakes and other mayflies, various caddis, occasional stone flies, and midges to name a few. July has an average daily temp of 25 C (77 F) and approximately 73 mm of rain within the month. July is also the usual start to the bull trout run. Summer is in full effect here in July and is a wonderful time to be out on the river.
August is the peak of the season, both weather and fishing wise. With daily average temperatures around 24 C (75 F) and can usually expect the temps to raise to the low 30’s (88 F), especially in the later half of the month. Bull trout are typically at the peak of their run in mid to late August. This is one of the drier months of the summer with an average of 59 mm of rain, this typically means the cool, rainy days are few and far between. This is also the high point of the terrestrial hatches, plenty of beetles and hoppers flying off the banks into the water. With long warm days, and great dry fly activity August is one of the best times to come fishing.
September is typically a less busy month on the river. The summer crowds have returned home, and the locals have geared up for hunting season. September fishing is still some of the best fishing of the year. September has been known to be cool and wet ,with a daily average of 18 C (64 F) and monthly average precipitation of 80 mm, but can yield some of the nicest stretches of weather of the year. The cool rainy days are commonly known to yield large hatches of Blue Wing Olives. Cool, crisp mornings, beautiful fall colours, and typically fantastic dry fly activity make September a month every angler should experience.
October is starting into our late season fishing, the temperatures have started dropping, with a daily average of 5 C (41 F) and average monthly precipitation around 92 mm. Snow usually starts to dust the peaks of the Rocky Mountains and the Western Larch are at the peak of their fall colours. Even with the colder temps, October fishing can be great. The warm sunny days often yield spectacular October caddis hatches. Fishing for bull trout typically produces well this time of year. Quite often overlooked, October can be a great month for late season fishing.