Where to Reel in the Best Catches in Beautiful British Columbia

by Bert Maxwell /
Bert Maxwell's picture
Aug 10, 2012 / 0 comments

British Columbia is a breathtaking destination that provides impressive fishing diversity. Anglers can fish the Pacific coast; fish serene lakes, including those accessible only by floatplane; or fly-cast in a tranquil mountain stream. Accurately representing BC angling with just a brief list is an impossible task, but with the following list, we present five particularly stunning and diverse regions that yield great catches and scratch that travel itch.

As with all Canadian provinces, British Columbia requires a pleasure craft operator card for motorized boats. This applies whether you rent a boat or bring your own. BC does accept equivalent licenses. Boating licenses from most U.S. states, for instance, are acceptable in lieu of a Canadian license.


1. Fraser River

Fishing Fraser River

Image Source: Bentrods.ca

The Chinook salmon is the crown jewel of sports fishing in BC. The best catches come out of the Fraser River, which is just 50 miles east of Vancouver. In this area, the best salmon fishing occurs between July and November, but anglers fish it year-round. From a travel standpoint, the area benefits from its proximity to Vancouver, and there is no shortage of diverse activities to participate in.


2. Whistler

Fishing Whistler

Image Source: Urbanfoot.ca

Whistler is a British Columbia resort town in the mountains. This is a beautiful and serene area, and for anglers, it promises numerous glacier-filled rivers and lakes. Seclusion is easy to acquire here. In the fall, anglers fish the Coho migration, and in the spring, trout, steelhead and salmon are plentiful. Popular lakes in this area include Alta, Callaghan, Cheakamus and Green Lake.


3. Northern British Columbia

fishing Northern British Columbia

Image Source: Tourbritishcolumbia.com

The northern coast is arguably the most prolific fishing ground in the province. In addition to steelhead and salmon, popular targets include crab, halibut, lingcod, rockfish and prawn. The most popular sites are Kitimat, the Lakes District, Prince Rupert, the Queen Charlotte Islands, and the Skeen River System. Inland trout fishing is a particularly popular pastime in this area, and the town of Houston claims the “World’s Largest Fly Rod.”


4. Kootenay Rockies

fishing Kootenay Rockies

Image Source: FishingwithRod.com

The Kootenay Rockies is home to isolated wilderness and countless mountain streams and lakes. This is an awesome region for travelers who just want to get away from it all. Anglers come here from all over the world to fish for bigmouth bass, bull trout, rainbow trout and whitefish. Popular locations include the Arrow Lakes, Columbia River and the Kootenay Lake and River.


5. Thompson Okanagan

fishing Thompson Okanagan

This region boasts some of the most spectacular scenery in all of BC. It also boasts more than 1,000 lakes. These lakes brim with kokanee, salmon, steelhead, trout and whitefish, and there is year-round fishing and adventure to find here. The best fishing in this region is found at Kamloops, Okanagan, Shuswap Lakes and Wells Gray.


Happy fishing!