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Crowsnest River

Species: Trout, Whitefish

Location: Alberta

Why We Chose It: In 2012, ranked #19 in all-time hot spots

Nestled amid stunning Rocky Mountain scenery in Alberta’s southwest corner is a fly-fishing gem—small enough to wade, but big enough to grow 18-inch trout. The Crowsnest is ideal for walk-and-wade fishing, and numerous bridges provide good public access. Nymphs or small spoons will fool trout and whitefish along edges and in pocket water from June to mid-October. And to cure your cabin fever, some stretches stay open all winter.

Why We Chose It: In 2009, Cutthroat trout; Beautiful scenery, relatively easy to wade

When to Fish: Any time water levels are good.

Where to Fish: Any fishable water above Lumbreck Falls; deepwater corners with sweepers (overhanging trees) and the foam around eroding banks are great.

Tip: Cast a No. 8 Len Thompson Green Frog; use a No. 7 for skinnier water.

Why We Chose It: Rainbow trout; Gorgeous location, easy to fish

When to Fish: Any time water levels are good.

Where to Fish: Any fishable water below Lumbreck falls; deepwater corners with sweepers (overhanging trees) and the foam around eroding banks are great.

Tip: Cast a No. 8 Len Thompson Green Frog; use a No. 7 for skinnier water.

—Gary Pallister, vice-president at Thompson-Pallister Bait Company

Why We Chose It: In 2008, Rainbow trout; Great scenery

When to Fish: September.

Where to Fish: Along the river edge, and pocket water.

Tip: Fish small Blue-Winged Olive mayflies on top.

—Don Freschi, host of Sport Fishing: On the Fly

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