If you enjoy the challenge of fishing hard to access lakes in the high alpine.. fishing Lake O’Hara will keep you entertained for days! The lakes that surround this beautiful hike in lodge and campground have some exceptional fishing for native west slope cutthroat and brook trout.
Get an annual $35.00 CAD Parks Canada Fishing License (Jasper, Banff, Yoho, Kootney) or a 3-day license for fishing Lake O’Hara. It can’t be purchased online so you will have to pick it up at a Visitor Information Center inside the park; the Lake Louise Visitor Center is the most convenient. Make sure to grab a set of fishing regulations as the rules of the park and keep limits vary from year to year.
Fishing Lake O’Hara
Lake O`Hara is well known for its West Slope Cutthroat fishing. Fish have been caught here at 50 cm and larger! The North Bay is closed at the beginning of the season; but the best areas to try your luck are around the creek inlets. A float tube or renting a canoe would be a good option to consider if you are fly fishing as the shores are fairly treed. If the fish are rising I would recommend an elk hair fly. If not; try a nymph pattern!
Brook Trout up to 30 cm are caught here regularly and the fish will chase almost anything. Most of the shore is easy to fish and there`s tons of room to cast a fly out, too. If your spin casting, use small lures and let it sink for a while after you cast out. This is a perfect lake to spend the afternoon fishing, enjoying the jaw-dropping views, and maybe even take a dip in the glacier fresh water!
Similar to Lake McArthur; Lake Oesa has Brook Trout up to 30 cm and will chase most lures and flys. The shoreline drops off fast and there is plenty of room to toss a fly. This lake is along one of the most popular hiking routes in the area so the trail can get quite busy.
I fished Lake Lake for a few hours with no success other than seeing a small brook trout cruising the shoreline. Although this lake is beautiful, it doesn’t hold any trout.
Cathedral, Vera, Schiffer, Opabin, Mary and Morning Glory Lakes
There are no fish in these lakes so it’s safe to leave the rod at the campsite!
Tips & Gear
- Ice off on Lake OHara is around the beginning of June, but doesn’t happen until the beginning of July on the higher alpine lakes.
- For spin fisherman; a small spinner with a single barbless hook (Panther Martin, Five of Diamonds, etc.) can be very productive.
- When you hook a fish, catch and release them as quickly as possible. This will reduce fatality due to exhaustion.
- Remember to always wet your hands before handling trout as the oils on your hand will be harmful to the fish.