East Slope, West Slope

I’m a fortunate angler to live along the Continental Divide. If I don’t like the river and weather conditions on one side of the Rockies, I can drive fast and cross over in one hour or less and check out the situation on the other side. The east slope and the west slope are like night and day. They are completely different environments and sometimes have contrasting weather patterns. The Alberta east slope is dry, more wide open and breezy, and the British Columbia (BC) west slope is wetter, therefore has more vegetation (trees) and is usually less windy.


east slope river



west slope, elk river


west slope, elk river side channel

big elk

elk river

I crossed into BC this weekend as there were 100km an hour wind warnings in my region of Alberta. I fished the Elk river. With the predicted relative calm and overcast sky I was hoping for a Blue Winged Olive hatch. There was a very brief one late afternoon and I eventually found some rising cutthroat trout. An early trout was caught on a cricket pattern and afternoon rising fish on a size 20 Olive pattern: natural color deer hair wing tied forward, a turn or two of medium dun hackle clipped on the bottom, grey thorax dubbed and grey body, amber trailing shuck on a Klinkhammer style hook that allows the body to dangle. Sounds kind of complicated but I’m sure any fly tied the right size would have worked. Here are a few weekend pictures of the east slope, the west slope and some BC cutthroat.

The skin of a cutthroat feels just like a brook trout…silky smooth.


big cutt2

west slope cutthroat


west slope cutthroat


west slope cutthroat

4 thoughts on “East Slope, West Slope

  1. We’re both lucky living where we do aren’t we? It’s nice having access to such great water within reasonable driving distance. Nice scenics the previous post Bob. Off to check out some water in Yellowstone today………

    • Les: Look forward to a report on your Yellowstone outing….good luck. Yes, we are lucky living where we do. So many trout streams and options, all within a drive….and the views to go with it.

      • Hi Bob, I fished the Firehole on Tuesday. Nice day. Fish rising in the morning. They ate a 22 sparkle dun pretty good. Things shut down once the breeze picked up.

  2. Hey Les:
    Sounds like a good day on the Firehole…pictures of that place are always fascinating…steam rising around a trout stream. I’ll have to visit it someday. Hope you took some pics.

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