Today in Bing's Calgary Real Estate Journal, I am going to talk about The Bow. No, not the Bow Building, the beautiful Bow River. We live in a wonderful city and drive by the river every day and most of us don't give it a second thought, yet it is an integral part of life here "in the city by the Bow".
The Bow begins its journey as a trickle at the Bow Glacier and travels 623 kms through Banff National Park, winding through Calgary, then joining with the Oldman River to form the Saskatchewan River and eventually flowing into Hudson's Bay. In 1875 the Northwest Mounted Police built Fort Calgary on the banks of the Bow and a great city was born.
The river is the source of many things to the region and the obvious one is water. It is an important source of drinking water for well over a million people and irrigation water for the farmland to the east. The Bow River also supplies hydro-electric power. It is also a beautiful waterway used by many for recreation, swimming, floating, bird watching, hiking, biking and fishing. Yes fishing.
There are many guide and outfitting companies that serve thousands of fishermen each year bringing an estimated 30 million dollars into the Calgary economy. People come from all over the world to fly fish The Bow River. It is renowned for big Brown Trout and Rainbow Trout. Blessed with a natural network of spawning streams, the trout fishery of the Bow has thrived for decades. In fact, between Calgary and Carseland, it is estimated there are over 1,500 catchable fish per kilometer! 50 centimeter fish are common. The upper Bow, west of Calgary also offer superb fishing in a breathtaking setting of foothills and the Rocky Mountains. Rocky Mountain Whitefish, Bull Trout and Cutthroat Trout are common and plentiful.
The Brown Trout that are so plentiful are actually not native, but are in the river by accident. Literally. In 1925 a truck carrying fry meant to be released elsewhere, broke down west of Canmore and faced with a truck full of dying fish, the driver decided to release 45,000 fry into the Bow and the Bow River Brown Trout fishery was born.
I hope this brings a new appreciation for our beautiful river. Enjoy it, and treat it well!
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