It has been three weeks since we crossed the border into Canada from Montana. We have spent that time soaking up the scenery, sightseeing and fishing on all sides of the Canadian Rockies, in both Alberta and British Columbia. From the windy prairies of western Alberta to Crowsnest Pass, north through Kootanay Park to Banff and Lake Louise we have enjoyed it all. Jasper is our last stop in the Rockies before we head west towards the British Columbia coast. The weather, although cool, has cleared, the fishing has improved and the scenery continues to impress.
We have moved away from the glacier fed lakes of Lake Louise. Although beautiful in color, they were not great for fishing. The lakes in Jasper are crystal clear and teeming with life. We look over the side of the canoe and see the trout, or pike or char swimming by, teasing us, almost saying “catch us if you can.” Our normal routine is to get up early and have the canoe in the water early in the morning. The wind is down and the water calm at this time of day. I also love the early morning reflections on the water and the quiet. The tour boats aren’t out yet and usually we have the place to ourselves. We finish up by late morning and have the rest of the day free to see some sights like Athabasca Falls and Maligne Canyon. Since we are pretty far north the sun does not set until late; it does not get dark until near 11. This gives us plenty of daylight to do some casting in the evening.
Early morning and twilight are not only good times for fishing, these are also prime times for wildlife viewing. We have had no shortage of animal sightings on this trip. In Jasper it has been elk. They are out grazing along the road, they are munching lakeside, they even chow down in the campground. They are huge, muscular creatures and eat about 20 pounds of vegetation a day. Mostly we see the females and their offspring (they travel in same sex groups) but the males are there, traveling alone, growing their new, velvet covered antlers. They keep a wary eye on you and we were careful not to get too close or annoy them since they can do a lot of damage and they will attack.
Are we sick of the Rockies? Hardly, but we have to move on. We now head into the lake country of northern British Columbia and will work our way to the coast and Prince Rupert. We have two weeks before our ferry reservation to Vancouver Island so we are not in any hurry.