Get reel: Fly fishing expert shares his favourite spots in the Edmonton area

If you’re looking for a place to fish in the Edmonton region this summer, there are plenty of options.

'There's lots to keep you entertained and lots of fish to catch,' Philip Rowley says

Pigeon Lake is a great location to catch walleye. Walleye can also be found in Lac St Anne, Wabamum and the North Saskatchewan River. (Submitted by Philip Rowley)

If you're looking for a place to fish in the Edmonton region this summer, there are plenty of options.

Fly fishing expert Philip Rowley shared a few of his favourite locations during an interview with CBC Edmonton's Radio Active this week.

"There's lot of spots, if we took a two-hour circle around Edmonton — there's lots to keep you entertained and lots of fish to catch," Rowley said during an interview. 

Trout fishing

Dolberg Lake, northwest of Barrhead.

Rowley said Dolberg Lake is a great place to find rainbow trout, tiger trout and brown trout.

"You can certainly have a nice camping vacation there and there's some shoreline access as well. You can fish from the dock and a few shoreline access points around the campsite," said Rowley. 

"It's being managed as a trophy fishery so it's got reduced harvest, which means you can only kill a limited amount of fish. Actually, it's one fish over 20 inches so it gives you that kind of quality experience — a chance to get a trophy."

Muir Lake, northwest of Spruce Grove.

Muir Lake is good for fishing rainbow and brown trout, Rowley said. 

"There's a dock you can fish from and there's a number of access points around the lake that you can get down to the lake shore and toss out a fly or lure and see if you can catch a big one," said Rowley.

Tiger trout, a cross between a brook trout and a brown trout, can be found in Dolberg and Chain Lakes. (Submitted by Philip Rowley)

Star Lake, near Carval.

Star Lake has rainbow trout (you can keep up to five) but also plenty of perch (keep up to 15).

"[There's] a nice day use area there with toilet facilities and lots of shoreline access to fish — very popular with shoreline fishers there, see them there all the time."

There are also plenty of good trout ponds in the region but check stocking reports before you go, he said. Some stock ponds include: Morinville Trout Pond, Cardiff Trout Pond, Beaumont Pond, Black Nugget, East Pit Lake, Hermitage Park Pond, Leduc Reservoir and Vegreville Trout Pond.

Pike, walleye, lake whitefish

Lac St. Anne

"It's got walleye, perch, some pike in it and lake whitefish," said Rowley. "The narrows is probably the best shoreline access — a little narrowing of the lake that runs from West Cove and the main lake itself, so it's a popular spot for shoreline angling and it's a pretty good fishing spot at times as well."

Wabamun Lake

"It was a really good trophy pike lake and then they've reintroduced walleye a number of years ago. So, the walleye have really taken well to their new home. There's some lake whitefish around there as well. There's provincial camping. You can fish from right in the town of Wabamun there's a big pier you can fish from, you can fish from shore around the campground as well," he said.

Boat fishing

Pigeon Lake

Where you should haul the boat? All of the above, Rowley said: Lac St. Anne, Wabamun and Pigeon.

"Pigeon's a great lake for that. Great access at Mulhurst and the provincial campground that is there."

Sylvan Lake

"There is walleye there, there's some large pike if you can find  them, and some lake whitefish, which are a pretty underrated fish during the open water period during the summer," said Rowley. "Lots of people like to chase them in the winter when the ice is on, too. There's a few shoreline access spots as well."

Philip Rowley's son Brandon releases a rainbow trout. Rainbow trout are stocked in a number of nearby lakes. (Submitted by Philip Rowley)

River fishing

North Saskatchewan River

"Very underutilized, lots of shoreline access spots along the bridges that cross it," he said.

Boat fishing is possible but Rowley says it is important to be aware of river risks like fluctuating depths, shallow spots and dead fall.

"But the North Saskatchewan — I call it box of chocolates fishing because there's walleye, pike, sauger, which is like a smaller walleye a little more with some different markings on it.

"You've got goldeye, mooneye, you've even got lake Sturgeon. Which is kind of ironic because they live in a river as well. So there's just lots of fishing opportunities on the North Saskatchewan."

Red Deer River

"Years ago it used to be a pretty incredible brown trout fishery, but with the flooding that occurred they got kind of taken out a little bit," said Rowley. "There's still some some around, but there's definitely a good population of walleye, you've got goldeye there's mountain whitefish in there, even some pike that creep in and around and sauger."


To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to CBC/Radio-Canada's online communities (except in children and youth-oriented communities). Pseudonyms will no longer be permitted.

By submitting a comment, you accept that CBC has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner CBC chooses. Please note that CBC does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our Submission Guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.

Become a CBC Member

Join the conversation  Create account

Already have an account?