Fishing BC Presents: Fly Fishing the Columbia River with St. Mary Angler

One of the largest rivers in British Columbia, the Columbia River is home to a prolific wild rainbow trout population. Though its size can be of intimidation, the Columbia provides ample feeding habitat for these powerful resident fish.

An angler blessed with a discerning eye will find fish in the river’s many back eddies, current seams and inside edges. Rainbows are often found just under the surface, using both nymphs and dry flies.
“I had another career, but after 13 years of wearing the suit and tie it was time for a change”, says avid angler and guide Kelly Laatsch. Kelly owns St. Mary Angler in Cranbrook, BC and operates on a multitude of rivers including the Columbia.

Years ago, dams were set in place on the Columbia which terminated the migration of a once bountiful run of steelhead. These fish became landlocked, and their genetics attribute to the power of the Columbia’s resident rainbows today.

For Kelly it is not just about the fish, but the people he gets to share the sport with. “It’s amazing how you seem to catch more fish when you’re having a really good time.”

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