British Columbia planned trip

frazfisher

Well-known member
Joined
May 17, 2009
Messages
125
Location
East Kilbride, Glasgow
Hi folks

we are planning a bucket list trip and looking like BC is favourite

anyone with any info, contacts, advice etc would be gratefully received.

it will be likely 2022 or 2023 but as there probably around 6 going plans need to be started.

if anyone has any other suggestions of the place to go please share

many thanks

Fraser
 

the optimist

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 19, 2011
Messages
111
Hi Fraser i did a 3 week self drive trip with my wife round the rockies and Vancouver and finished with a week at a fishing lodge on the Skeena based at Terrace. So much depends on what time of year you plan to go and therefore the species you can target. There are different species of salmon/migratory fish running at different times of the year. June July- Chinook; July/ august - pinks; September onwards- Steelhead.
There are many other areas and river networks to consider.
I would think in terms of:
- what month are you going
- what do you want to fish for and is it double handed Spey or single handed rod fishing you want
- do you want to pay to stay in a fishing lodge with guides or go diy

we absolutely loved it😊
 

frazfisher

Well-known member
Joined
May 17, 2009
Messages
125
Location
East Kilbride, Glasgow
Hi thanks for the reply
single handed rods will be the mainstay and we are open to when we go, it’s really what’s best for the fishing
also open to DIY or a lodge or self catering etc with daily local guides. We are happy to rent and drive if needed. Really want to keep our options open as much as possible to have as much fun as possible. we are all experienced trout anglers that dabble with salmon now and again.
 

the optimist

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 19, 2011
Messages
111
Well I was concentrating on double handed Spey fishing rods for steelhead - the Skeena is a big river!
I also want to go back and do more trout / single handed so will be interested in the replies
 

BobP

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Joined
Oct 28, 2007
Messages
9,317
Location
Wiltshire
Frazer

Both the two steelhead I have been lucky enough to catch came on single-handed rods so it can be done. Something around 10' taking an 8 or 9 weight line should do. Either get fast sinking sink tip lines or use fast sinking polytips around 9-12' long which is what I did.

In the Kamloops area there is some magnificent lake fishing for wild rainbows. Google the Little Fort tackle shop which is on Highway 5 north of Kamloops for lots of info about local lake and river fishing. Your normal stillwater kit is fine there. They do a lot of indicator fishing too. Loads on youtube and anything with Brian Chan in it is worth watching. Little Fort tackle shop does drift boat fishing on the Clearwater and Thompson rivers. High up the Clearwater there is some superb fishing in real wild country. Beware of the bears!

If you fish for pink salmon remember that you can use any fly you like as long as it is pink! They are fun to catch and fight hard for their size which is around the 3-5lb mark. A 6 weight rod is fine for those.

Don't forget to get your licences before you go as it will save a lot of time in the tackle shop. You can get them on-line, but when they ask for your phone number they don't like it starting with "0" as their numbers and US ones don't start like that. I got round it by stating the number as 12345678900 instead of 01234567890. That worked out OK. You'll find licences are quite expensive and if you want to fish for steelhead you will almost certainly need an extra stamp on your licence according to which river you fish. The same applies to Sturgeon which is an experience you should not miss.

I assume you will be driving around. It is a VERY big country and you won't find gas stations like back here. If the fuel gauge gets down to half full fill up or risk finding yourself stranded 100 miles from the next filling station. I had a very lucky escape when we almost ran dry in very remote back country.

Feel free to pm me for any further queries.
 

delray

Well-known member
Joined
Nov 9, 2007
Messages
2,963
Location
St Albans, Herts
Hi FF. I'm thinking you'll fly into Vancouver which makes my info pointless as I've visited BC twice to visit my niece, but in Fernie, on the East side of BC, a beautiful ski town with great fishing on the Elk River. I've also had an angling trip to Alberta on my own; again brilliant angling.
Anyway, have you checked around the North American sister forum to this one; I think it covers Canada as well, but not sure. There's probably a BC forum somewhere; I used an Alberta forum to plan my trip and it was invaluable.
Couple of basics; guides can be invaluable if not at a lodge (at a lodge they'll obviously be included) but are around 500 Can$ per day and BC has a Blue Riband Waters (my words) system in place which are only accessible to locals and guides, and these will cost a great deal more. 6 of you will help in this regard.
I have found out I'm not a lodge sort of angler; being in a small town (like Fernie which isn't so small actually) can make the non angling hours much more fun, and with 6 of you, much much more fun.
Anyway, even if I've not been much help, it's brought back lovely memories! Just remembered something which may have relevance. In Alberta i was fishing at about 5000 feet and the air is noticeably thinner, so if any of your group has respiratory difficulties; just bear this in mind.
Good luck and perhaps keep us in touch with the plans.
Regards, Del
 

chauchey

Member
Joined
Oct 28, 2013
Messages
10
Was happy to see someone planning to come to my home province! I'm from BC and have fly fished this province extensively. The sheer quality of numbers of opportunities here are astounding and the diversity is mind boggling! I've struggled to contain my thoughts in just the post below.
I've competed at 3 national championships and numerous other tournaments to give you some background on my experience level. While I've not hired guides, I do know some that are top notch, and if they are booked and unavailable they are humble enough to recommend another quality guide.
I'm an hour outside Vancouver. Like a few have commented , it really depends what time of year you come. Almost every part of the year has some species of fish that are peaking or in their prime. The options listed below are more for Central and Southern BC. I'm not even talking about the North. If you come a second time and are able to do some DIY stuff, the north is full of large dumb fish. But it's long to get to and you'll need your own transport, plus a minimum of 2 weeks, but really 3 weeks for it to not feel like you got rushed. The distances are just that long. Some thoughts are following.

If I had to come for a specific time period, it would either be in May for the chance at stillwater rainbows in the Interior, August for Rocky Mountain Streams, or October for Coho salmon. I don't fish steelhead much. Sturgeon are in fine form in each of these time periods. Each of these options can start in Vancouver. Guides are helpful when chasing salmon on Vancouver Island, and for sturgeon there's no other way but with a guide. To rent a car for 2 weeks should be taken into account.

May - stillwater rainbows at their finest. Worth coming for. If you do, I can put you onto trophy stillwaters, with or without a guide where you have a chance at a 10lbs plus rainbow. It's never a guarantee, but there are lakes that consistently produce them. You'll probably be with guides if you choose this option, or at a lodge with their own boats. Bank fishing is almost 'not a thing' here in BC.

August - Surgeon in the Fraser Valley, salmon on Vancouver Island, Fernie for amazing dry fly fishing in truly spectacular scenery. If rivers and small stream drifting/wading amidst majestic peaks are your thing, then Fernie is not to be missed. August is almost always great weather.

September/October - Salmon/Sturgeon on the island/coast. The second best time to fish interior stillwaters for trout. The bull trout migration in the Rockies and elsewhere. The leaves change color on the tree's. On a clear small river you can see ever salmon swim by and target your fish by sight casting. Such heart thumping good times!


Resources for your perusal

https://www.elkriver.ca/fly-fishing - A good Fernie fly shop
https://www.sfotf.ca/ - Sport Fishing on the Fly is a long running TV show, and their website and past episodes(lots of free episodes on Youtube) are an excellent resource for anyone planning a trout heavy trip of a lifetime to BC, DIY or not.
https://forum.flybc.ca/ - the largest active forums dedicated to fly fishing in BC. Very knowledgeable members.
https://www.justfishn.com/ - A great guide for fresh or saltwater on Vancouver Island.
http://www.robinsonsoutdoors.com/fly-fishing/fly-shop - A very good Van Isle fly shop.

Post or PM if you have any more questions.
 
Last edited:

pikeflyfisher

Well-known member
Joined
Aug 25, 2011
Messages
67
Hi folks

we are planning a bucket list trip and looking like BC is favourite

anyone with any info, contacts, advice etc would be gratefully received.

it will be likely 2022 or 2023 but as there probably around 6 going plans need to be started.

if anyone has any other suggestions of the place to go please share

many thanks

Fraser
Hi Fraser
went a couple of years ago ,amazing place , we just went to vancover then a short drive upto Chilliwake went with these guys , caught salmon and sturgeon , When you hook a big sturgeon , after 30 minutes you wished you hadn’t , lol
can organise boat guides licences , great bunch of guys and reasonably prices
 

frazfisher

Well-known member
Joined
May 17, 2009
Messages
125
Location
East Kilbride, Glasgow
Was happy to see someone planning to come to my home province! I'm from BC and have fly fished this province extensively. The sheer quality of numbers of opportunities here are astounding and the diversity is mind boggling! I've struggled to contain my thoughts in just the post below.
I've competed at 3 national championships and numerous other tournaments to give you some background on my experience level. While I've not hired guides, I do know some that are top notch, and if they are booked and unavailable they are humble enough to recommend another quality guide.
I'm an hour outside Vancouver. Like a few have commented , it really depends what time of year you come. Almost every part of the year has some species of fish that are peaking or in their prime. The options listed below are more for Central and Southern BC. I'm not even talking about the North. If you come a second time and are able to do some DIY stuff, the north is full of large dumb fish. But it's long to get to and you'll need your own transport, plus a minimum of 2 weeks, but really 3 weeks for it to not feel like you got rushed. The distances are just that long. Some thoughts are following.

If I had to come for a specific time period, it would either be in May for the chance at stillwater rainbows in the Interior, August for Rocky Mountain Streams, or October for Coho salmon. I don't fish steelhead much. Sturgeon are in fine form in each of these time periods. Each of these options can start in Vancouver. Guides are helpful when chasing salmon on Vancouver Island, and for sturgeon there's no other way but with a guide. To rent a car for 2 weeks should be taken into account.

May - stillwater rainbows at their finest. Worth coming for. If you do, I can put you onto trophy stillwaters, with or without a guide where you have a chance at a 10lbs plus rainbow. It's never a guarantee, but there are lakes that consistently produce them. You'll probably be with guides if you choose this option, or at a lodge with their own boats. Bank fishing is almost 'not a thing' here in BC.

August - Surgeon in the Fraser Valley, salmon on Vancouver Island, Fernie for amazing dry fly fishing in truly spectacular scenery. If rivers and small stream drifting/wading amidst majestic peaks are your thing, then Fernie is not to be missed. August is almost always great weather.

September/October - Salmon/Sturgeon on the island/coast. The second best time to fish interior stillwaters for trout. The bull trout migration in the Rockies and elsewhere. The leaves change color on the tree's. On a clear small river you can see ever salmon swim by and target your fish by sight casting. Such heart thumping good times!


Resources for your perusal

https://www.elkriver.ca/fly-fishing - A good Fernie fly shop
https://www.sfotf.ca/ - Sport Fishing on the Fly is a long running TV show, and their website and past episodes(streaming fee but worth it) are an excellent resource for anyone planning a trout heavy trip of a lifetime to BC, DIY or not.
https://forum.flybc.ca/ - the largest active forums dedicated to fly fishing in BC. Very knowledgeable members.
https://www.justfishn.com/ - A great guide for fresh or saltwater on Vancouver Island.
http://www.robinsonsoutdoors.com/fly-fishing/fly-shop - A very good Van Isle fly shop.

Post or PM if you have any more questions.
Fantastic info thanks. I will be in touch for sure
 

heero

Active member
Joined
Jun 4, 2010
Messages
37
Location
Montana
Hi,

I am familiar with the fishing in the East Kootenays round Fernie, etc. I am also very familiar with the fishing just over the border in SW Alberta that is equally as wonderful.

Feel free to shoot me a PM if desired.

Mike
 

ChrisAldred68

Well-known member
Joined
Nov 25, 2007
Messages
2,147
Location
Bolton
I have a friend that lives in Chilliwack, I was over 2 years ago for the Steelhead, the opportunities are endless as has been said above, I can put you in touch with a very good guide, he does the lot, Sturgeon, Steelhead, Chinook, lakes etc.

https://www.oliversfishing.com/ I had a superb day rafting down the Vedder with him, and did have a trip planned with a few other anglers till Covid got in the way, I will be going back as soon as I get the chance.

Drop me a PM if you want any more information
 

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stevel

Well-known member
Joined
May 18, 2006
Messages
2,476
Location
London
Were you thinking DIY or lodge?
Lodges are expensive but they have the accommodation/food onsite so to speak, knowledgeable guides who will put you onto the fish and spots and how to fish for them. Then there's the safety aspect of it, you don't know the Canadian wild and could easily come a cropper with wild bears etc. The best beats are gotten to by boats so you'd be restricted to walking in and bank fishing.
Licences are pretty expensive (esp for steelhead) and you have to get special steelhead licences for Skeena rivers which can cost a couple of hundred pounds for the week.
I went for a special 50th present 8y back and although it came to quite a bit, £6k all up including flights, tips, licences I think it was worth it, especially the first time there. I went to Frontier Farwest on the Bulkley and Morice and caught fish, learnt lots, saw loads of wildlife and met lots of nice other fishermen and guides.
The other cheaper alternative is to book motels close to where you want to go and arrange to have a local guide or two (they have to be Canadian to get a steelhead guiding licence) - I still have guide contacts from my trip and could find out if you wish, and my favourite bamboo spey rod maker James Reid lives on Vancouver Island - he doesn't guide but he would know some.
 
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