Fly Fishing for Salmon, Steelhead, Trout in British Columbia.
Fly fishing is the most active and consists of using a light flexible rod with a weighted line to cast a small lure and is especially good for trout, bull trout and pink salmon. This requires more skill but when the pink salmon are running in August and September (during odd numbered years and 2013 promises to be another awesome year for pinks) you are sure to have a fun experience as it is common to have multiple (20 +) catches in a day. Coho (Silvers), Spring (King) and Chum run every year in various rivers and can provide some spectacular battles on the fly, especially mid September to early November with October being the peak month.
Some of the best flyfishing for feisty rainbows and ravenous bull trout is on the upper Squamish River. The bulls can get to 10 pounds plus and are aggressive feeders taking large streamer flies such as black bead head crystal flash leaches and egg sucking leaches.
This massive river system has feeder rivers like the Mamquam and the Cheakamous and goes through spectacular scenery with incredibly high waterfalls cascading down sheer drops as the glaciers begin to melt in the spring and summer sun. Natural spawning is enhanced with a hatchery so rainbows, bull trout, spring, coho, pink and chum salmon make their way into the system.
Squamish Rainbows will hit dry flies and are equally carnivorous on leach and minnow patterns and single egg patterns when the salmon are spawning.
Late spring (March and April) before freshet hits the river runs low with miles and miles of runs and pools and steelhead may be found in the system. Click here for a Steelhead battle. The Squamish River has numerous glaciers feeding the system, the fishing in clear feeder streams can be good even during the heat at the end of June and into July when the temperature can hit 30 Celcius and the sun is bright. The key is to find some of the feeder creeks that are running clear and slow drift a leach pattern along the bottom of the deep pools or beside the rocks and log structure.
Later summer, fall and spring fishing, the river is much lower and runs cleaner and many more pools and safer runs open up. The odd year (2013, 2015 etc) pink salmon runs flood the Squamish system with tens of thousands of pinks that will hit any large fly that is bright pink or fluorescent green.
In October the coho and chum salmon enter from the salt water of Howe Sound. The lower Squamish was hit with a caustic soda spill when a train derailed and a tanker full of chemical leaked into the system. Since then the lower river has been in recovery and in 2012 the salmon were back. When the mighty chum salmon enter the river, you can hook into massive 25 pound chum salmon with guarenteed knuckle busting runs that will strain your gear and your arms and back!
This coho was caught on Dec. 28, 2013 on the Squamish River. Just prior to this, a monster Steelhead had grabbed the fly and pulled me off the bank and another coho had given me a knuckelbusting run before spitting the hook. Hitting 15 to 18 salmon that day was just what a fly fisher needs!
The Squamish River is world famous for the hundreds and often thousands of eagles which winter in the trees along the river to feast on the salmon. Annual counts done in early January range from 800 to 1,617 (in 2014) with a record count of almost 3,800 in 1994. A trip to do eagle viewing and fishing for bull trout is a great way to spend a winter day.
February, March and April usher late winter and spring on the Squamish River which will have the river in its finest forms and there is the opportunity for cutthroat trout, bull trout and the rarer but powerful steelhead. There is the chance to see wildlife such as deer and black bear. If you have good fortune, there are elk, moose and wolves which are there in the early winter.
Saltwater beach fly fishing for coho starts in early April and salmon fishing in the rivers depends on the year, odd years are exceptional for pink salmon.
Come with us on a scenic boat ride up scenic Indian Arm with stops at silver falls and granite falls which cascade down the coastal rock faces into the Indian Arm fjord. With mountain bikes unloaded from the boat take a ride up to some of the finest fly fishing spots you will ever experience. This happens every other year on odd numbered years (2013, 2015 etc. and makes fishing in August kick off with a bang! You will see seals with the possibility of eagles and bears. And yes, sometimes the river is so full of salmon that you cannot see the bottom!
These photos were just taken when the Pink runs are in and the possibility of a fish per cast is very real and having just come in from saltwater they put up a spectacular fly fishing battle. (You may need to sit down to give your arms a rest) If you've never fly fished before, this is the time to learn! British Columbia fishing at its finest!
This is one of the most pristine watersheds near Vancouver, with crystal clear and cold water and the practice of catch and release ensures one of the finest fishing experiences only 60 minutes of spectacular boating scenery away from downtown Vancouver!
Join us for an experience you will cherish in photos and memories for years to come!