Fishing in Jasper
Feeding three separate oceans and all of the lakes in Jasper National Park, the Columbia Icefield is North America’s greatest source of water.
This is what makes fishing in Jasper, so close to the source, such a pleasurable experience. The glacial lake water is always cold no matter what time of year, making the fish firm and untainted by the pollutants affecting other distant lakes and rivers.
Jasper National Park has a variety of fish, including pike, rocky mountain whitefish, rainbow trout, lake trout, brook trout and bull trout. Depending on the time of year, the best fishing may be found in Jasper’s numerous lakes or its rivers and streams. One guide boasts that the average size of these fish is between two and four pounds, but that the Alberta record-holding catch was caught here, a rainbow trout weighing in at 20.5 pounds, and a 12-pound, 13-ounce brook trout was also caught in Jasper!
Your first stop on your fishing adventure will be the Visitor Tourist Information Centre, on Connaught Drive, in the Jasper townsite, to purchase a National Park fishing permit. Parks Canada staff will inform you of catch limits, any trail or lake closures, bear sightings and other pertinent information that may help you decide on where to fish.
You can strike out on your own, or you can take the friendly advice of one of the many fishing shops or tour operators in the park, who are ready to offer their services. If you need to rent a pole, it’s easily done. If you want a guide to take you out on a full-day fish-ing tour, that’s no problem either. In fact, many tour operators such as Currie's Guiding at the Astoria Hotel offer pick-up and delivery service to any hotel within the Jasper townsite.
Generally, the season begins in April with river fishing for pike, whitefish and bull trout. From May through October, many gradually shift from the rivers to the lakes, fishing for rainbow trout, brook trout, lake trout and pike.
If you like trout, Maligne Lake is the place to go. Maligne Lake is stocked with nothing but rainbow trout and brook trout. On the other hand, Medicine Lake offers great fishing for rainbow trout in the spring and fall, when the streams running away from the lakebed are at their lowest. Some of the best fishing for whitefish is found in the Maligne River, amid the astounding beauty of Jasper’s most beloved vistas.