Two weeks ago the government of AB released new Guidelines for Fishing Lodges and Outfitters and were listed as "outdoor facilities that have been allowed to reopen" Fishing Lodges and Fishing outfitters were reopened at the same time as golf courses. Due to some inconsistencies in the guidelines we waited until there was clarification on the guidelines before jumping the gun. Most of our rivers are in runoff right now anyway so it made sense to air on the side of caution.
It may sound like a a fair bit at first glance, but in the end its a small inconvenience to ensure the health and safety of all our guests, guides and staff. We understand that many of our guests are at an age that puts them in a high risk category, as well as the fact that many of our staff, guides and guests may be care givers for someone with a compromised immune system, so we want to reassure you we are taking your health and safety very seriously. We've had potential customers storm out of the shop muttering or outright cursing us out because they were asked to wear a buff or face mask (that we provide), only to have a customer in the shop turn to us and thank us because they at high risk because of their age, lung condition, or their own compromised immune syltsems, or that of a loved one they're looking after.
Here are some of the new Guidelines outlined by Alberta Health Services:
Operators should actively screen staff for COVID-19 symptoms.
Wherever possible, clients should be encouraged to bring and use their own sporting equipment.
The sharing of equipment between clients who are not in the same household or cohort family should not be allowed.
Assign rental equipment to individuals or groups from the same household for the duration of their stay, such as boats, ATVs, tree stands, etc. o Rented equipment must be thoroughly cleaned and disinfected between users.
Use masks or other protective equipment for staff and clients when they will be in close proximity to one another (e.g. on the boat, when netting fish for clients, sharing blinds or tree stands, etc.).
Individual or group instruction must only be conducted with appropriate distancing and gathering restrictions in place
Out Fly Fishing Outfitters Fly Shop will be making the following changes for our trips:
-Previous to a trip all of our guests & guides will be required to fill out a self-declaration form specific to COVID-19
-Our Guests & Guides will be required to where a buff, mask or some type of face shield during the trip, anytime that 2m distance is not able to be maintained. This includes during the ride to and from the river in the guides vehicle
-Our guides will be supplying hand sanitizer in the boats and their vehicles and increased washing and sanitizing of all equipment will take place throughout the day and trip
-Our guides will be taking additional steps to ensure lunches and snacks are handled in the safest and most sanitary manner possible to ensure the health and safety of our guests
-As per the guidelines outlined by Alberta Health Services, we will encourage guests to bring or use their own equipment, but if they need to utilize shop gear, that gear will be sanitized before and after use, and guests are not able to share equipment during the day with anyone that is not from their family cohort.
-We will be setting staggered start times for all guided trips so that we can keep appropriate social distancing for all of our guests, guides and staff. At the launch sites and during lunch our guides will also be ensuring social distancing for the safety of our guests.
We are very pleased and excited to be able to start having clients out on the water again and look forward to seeing many of you again this season gracing the braces of our boats. June is expected to be our runoff month, but as it subsides our guides are eagerly awaiting the opportunity to get you out on the water for your #dayOFF with us!
If you'd like to book a guided trip on the Bow River or one of our fabulous Mountain Walk & Wade streams feel free to give us a shout at the shop or drop us an email.