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The rivers and streams of the East and West Kootenays offer the angler a diversity of fishing experiences with changing geography, trout species, and size of the streams. These rivers range originate in the Canadian Rockies of the province of British Columbia, Canada. With rivers ranging in size from major drainage systems like the Columbia or the Kootenay Rivers, to mid size rivers like the Elk River or small rivers like the Wigwam River. Each of which has countless tributaries associated that are slightly different in nature.
They range from small tributaries that can you could jump across which hold some of the largest trout found in the area to large systems that require a raft or drift boat. The Kootenay River and the Elk River can be floated easily by drift boats. While other rivers like the Bull River require a raft to access for floating. Many of the tributaries are easily accessible by old logging roads or mining roads such as Michel Creek or Alexander Creek. Whether you want to spend a little energy to hike into the back country to fly fish or simple pull off the highway to fly fish the Elk River it is all to be found in the East Kootenays.
The waters of the Kootenays are also very diverse in the number of different wild trout species that are indigenous to the area. From large Rainbow trout and Bull trout to West Slope Cutthroat trout all of which are wild in nature. The fisheries management policies do not include stacking of trout in flowing waters.