Pat, Ashley, Karen and I booked this trip last March! Getting the backcountry camping spots in Banff National Park can be a real challenge but once that is done, you just have to gather all the gear and make sure your legs are ready for the hiking!
We shouldered our packs at 7 am. It was just above zero celsius and we knew that our hike would be about 6 hours with some challenging uphill. The day was going to get hot too so we had to stay hydrated! The last kilometre of the hike seemed endless and we were definitely tired and dehydrated after over 16 km of hiking with heavy packs. My shoulders were so glad when I put that heavy pack down for the final time once at our lake.
Checking the GPS! We were getting close!
Banff National Park backcountry camping spots are usually well set up with bear bins, tent pads, an eating area and an outhouse. I am always amazed at all of the international hikers you meet from all parts of the globe. We love to take the time to talk to them.
Well once we got to our destination, we found a sleeping pad and then started to rehydrate. We carry a water filter and we all needed to drink lots of water. We quickly put up our tents and then strung up our 5-6 weight fly rods. We tied on chernobyls. Yep dry flies. That is all we needed. The cutthroat were willing and for the most part quite cooperative. We fished drop offs and sight fished for the cutthroat. Walking along the shoreline, you can see the cutthroat cruising and getting a chernobyl in front of the them usually ended with success. I tried nymphing but the cutts were more interested in my strike indicator so I ditched that idea.
The fly fishing was outstanding and after a while you just take it all in. The massive rock walls, the lake, and watching the osprey catch fish make you slow down and just enjoy being there! We did have a large black bear wander by on the other side of the lake. He did not bother us at all.
I always carry an InReach. The InReach allows me to have a very accurate map and I can also text my family as well as get weather updates. It costs about $40 a month and we use it for the summer and then put it to sleep so we do not pay for the time we are not using it! The InReach also has an emergency button. Hopefully I never have to use that!
We caught three outstanding days in the backcountry. The views were spectacular and the fly fishing was amazing. We hiked out on the third day after a slow unhurried morning. We then, drove into Banff and hit the Spaghetti Factory for a celebratory dinner.
We are so lucky to have both Banff and Jasper National Parks as well as Kananaskis Provincial Park just a few hours away. There are so many wonderful lakes, creeks and rivers to fly fish. We truly are very lucky!
Taking it all in!
We carry a Jet Boil to cook our meals!
A Fly Fisher's Paradise
Pat with a cutthroat on!