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Ice Fishing Cow Lake Alberta for Rainbow Trout


A few of us from Zinger Fishing headed out to Cow Lake last week to try and land some rainbow trout. It was a little chilly as it’s the middle of December in Canada, but we had a blast! There was around 5-7 inches of ice on the lake, so we were safe to fish! Between the three of us that went, we caught 12 rainbow trout.

This blog will touch on the location of Cow Lake, fish species, and what lures and bait to use to catch fish. Let’s dive in!


Where is Cow Lake?

The parking lot to the north end of Cow Lake is approximately 1 hour and 5 min west of Red Deer (93km).

Cow Lake is situated southwest of the town of Rocky Mountain House.

The road off the highway to the parking lot is gravel but short.

This Google link will take you to the parking lot on the north end of the lake.


Is there phone service?

Yes. There is decent phone service at Cow Lake, but it is best to let someone know when you will be checking in with them. Ice fishing can be dangerous due to the ice breaking and the cold weather.


What species of fish are in Cow Lake?

Rainbow trout. The lake was killed off a few years back, and it was stocked with rainbows. There might be some pike and perch, but we didn’t see any when we were there.

The lake is decently clear and shallow, so you can often see the fish swimming around. We didn’t catch anything too big, but there might be some monsters in there. Most of the fish we caught were 2-4 pounds.


What lures and bait to use?

We found that small orange or pink jigs worked the best. Add a small piece of raw white shrimp and you are set!

Worms work as well, and we did catch rainbows on a few other jigs, but they seemed to like the bright orange best.


How to fish?

We found the best way to attract the rainbows and provoke a strike was to jig the hook up and down slowly, then when we seen a fish, we would hold the hook still.


Where to fish on the lake?

Cow Lake is a decent sized lake, but we had good luck on the north end, about 20-30 meters from shore. We were fishing in 4-5 feet of water with a sand bottom.


Overall experience ice fishing Cow Lake

Anytime you can head out and catch 2-5 pound rainbows all day, it is a good experience. We will definitely be heading back to Cow Lake this winter to catch some more! Hopefully we will see you there!


If you like reading about fly fishing, our Zinger Fishing blog has a wide variety of different articles. We cover places to fish, what patterns to use, techniques, gear, and everything else to help fellow anglers land more fish in their nets.