Fishing is a popular pastime around the world. However, you know the fishing is fantastic in an area when it becomes a tourist attraction. Alberta, Canada hosts a variety of great fishing holes, some as large as lakes or as small as local streams. Tourists can choose between urban rivers or remote lakes allowing each fisherman a suiting environment depending on their preferences.
Those looking to fish in Alberta often come for the trout. There are several different types of trout around the area including brown, cutthroat, lake, brook, bull, golden and rainbow varieties. However, Alberta is abundant in several types of fish, not just trout. Those who aren’t a big fan of the trout can go seeking the arctic grayling, lake or mountain whitefish, northern pike, yellow perch, walleye, sauger, or the lake sturgeon. There is no shortage of options when one goes fishing in Alberta.
One of the biggest challenges for those looking to fish in Alberta is the large number of bodies of water. Alberta actually has thousands of lakes, of varying sizes and fish. Many of these beautiful lakes were creating thousands of years ago from glaciers. The Canadian Rockies are still home to many of these glacial lakes but Alberta is diverse. There are also shallow prairie lakes, lakes of brown water in the northern forests, and bigger lakes with lovely beaches.
Some of the best fishing waters in Alberta stand out from the rest, however. Pigeon Lake is a great destination for those seeking to nab a few trout, pike or walleye. In fact, fishing here could mean more walleye than a person can reasonably carry. For those seeking an area a bit more out of the way, the northern pothole trout lakes are great no matter what time of year. The lakes aren’t the only place to go when seeking a place to go fishing as Alberta’s rivers are hot spots too. The Bow River is known throughout Canada as one of the best places to go for urban fly fishing. Another river, this one the South Ram, is known for the best westslope cutthroat trout. The Kakwa River is perfect for those who love wild fishing in largely untouched nature. Visitors wanting to hook something big should seek out the North Saskatchewan River for large sturgeon or other varieties of fish.
If big fish is the intention, the largest on record for Alberta so far is a lake trout coming in over 52 lbs, scooped from Cold Lake in 1929. While that giant may not be attainable for those choosing a fishing vacation spot, many fish over or above 20 lbs have been caught in Alberta. In 1983, a northern pike weighing over 38 lbs was caught in Keho Lake. A 20 lb rainbow trout was nabbed from Maligne Lake in 1980. More recently, a 21 lb brown trout retrieved from Waterton Reservoir in 2012 also makes the list.
The recreational fishing industry in Alberta brings in more than $400 million a year for their local economy. There are over 800 lakes that naturally contain fish and the local government regularly stocks about 300 more.
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