Fishing in BC: Top 5 Places To Fish In British Columbia

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Top 5 Places to Fish in British Columbia

It’s time for another “Top 5” list from Angelo and Pete. This one takes us to Canada’s West Coast in search of the best fishing in BC.

Angelo and Pete have been to this beautiful province on more than a few occasions, and they always come back raving about the incredible fishing. For this list, they’ve tried to vary both the species and the locations to showcase the province’s remarkable diversity. Keep in mind, they will be limiting themselves to places where The Fish’n Canada Show has shot episodes, so they can speak confidently with personal experience. 

In no particular order, here are their top five picks for fishing in BC.


THE FRASER RIVER

Simply put, the Fraser is a phenomenal river. Its fishing claim to fame is its massive runs of Salmon and the gigantic Sturgeon that reside there.

Although our guys have had a small taste of the Salmon in the Fraser, it’s the White Sturgeon that have created great fishing stories for them. “The two areas we’ve fished most are just outside of the town of Mission and in the ripping currents of the Fraser Canyon,” says Angelo. 

The guys have been successful at both locations, with fish over nine feet long coming to the side of the boat.

FNC on the Fraser

“It’s two totally different fisheries,” says Pete. “At Mission, you have a slow but steady meandering flow that almost lulls you into thinking that pulling in a big gal would be easy. Wrong!”

“And then up the canyon, you’re got this roaring current that normal humans wouldn’t even consider fishing,” Pete continues. “But nobody ever said we were normal!”

Jet boats are the usual craft on the Fraser, and professional guide and great friend of Fish’n Canada, Vic Carrao, has had his share of jet boats. He runs fishing charters and boat tours up this crazy stretch of water.

For the fishing portion, Vic either finds the fish with his sonar or simply picks one of his hotspots, anchors the big rig and starts fishing. That’s when it gets interesting. Using heavy-duty rods with reels filled with super-strong braid, Vic fires out big chunks of bait on a giant hook, all weighed down with the heaviest sinkers you’ve ever used.

Once that Sturgeon picks up the bait, it’s game on! You better be ready for the fight of your life.

(Note: The Fraser Salmon fishery is currently facing some turmoil. See Vic Carrow’s blog for more details.)


OSOYOOS LAKE

This large Western Canada lake sits in the Okanagan Valley, home to a Canadian desert. Wait, what? Canada has a desert?

You bet it does—and it’s in British Columbia. It’s called The Okanagan Desert and its located in the South Okanagan Valley region of BC, primarily around the town of Osoyoos.

Can fish live in the waters of a desert?

Yes again. Just because the climate is warm doesn’t mean that everything is dried up there. Osoyoos Lake has a significant population of Sockeye and Kokanee Salmon, Rainbow Trout and, believe it or not, Largemouth and Smallmouth Bass. As a matter of fact, some of the nation’s biggest bass come from Osoyoos (among other BC lakes) because of the extended growing season due to warmer climates.

“I fished Osoyoos many years ago for both Largemouth and Smallmouth,” states Ang. “And let me tell you, I caught giants of each species. Back then, this fishery was in its infancy. Fast forward to today, and there have to be some true giants lurking around there—possibly Canadian records in both species!”

The guys didn’t get to test out the Salmon and Trout fishing there but understand that it’s outstanding as well.

For guided fishing trips in the desert, go here. For more go here.


NORTHERN ROCKIES LODGE

Northern Rockies Lodge has quickly become one of Fish’n Canada’s favourite fishing destinations. The lodge itself was selected for this Top 5 article instead of a particular body of water because Northern Rockies Lodge has pretty exclusive access to many incredible fishing waters.

“Angelo made the first Fish’n Canada trip to the lodge with his grandson Nik,” explains Pete. “And when he returned to the office, he couldn’t stop raving about it. They fished Lake Trout, Grayling and Walleye. Yes, Walleye in British Columbia!”

Northern Rockies Lodge flies float planes into numerous lakes and rivers that dot the North Country of BC. Being in a Turbo Otter that lands into a tiny pothole of a lake in the mountains is a remarkable experience. Catching fish after fish for a full day is just icing on the cake for the Fish’n Canada co-hosts.

So Good, You Have To Go Back… Twice!

Fish’n Canada has taken two more trips back to Northern Rockies Lodge: one with Ang and Pete and another with Pete and Steve Niedzwiecki. Each trip was more outstanding than the last!

The first return trip was back to the Walleye and Lake Trout lakes that Ang and Nik were on (Long Mountain Lake and Maxhamish Lake). Absolutely amazing fishing.

The next trip was a multi-species whirlwind with Walleye, Lake Trout, Northern Pike, Arctic Grayling, Rainbow Trout, and Dolly Varden—all on the same trip! How often do you get to visit a natural hot spring and catch Dolly Varden in a remote glacier lake on the same day? 

If you’re an angler who also loves to hunt big game, this lodge presents double-duty for you. They also fly hunters into the northern mountains for extended hunts.

Northern Rockies Lodge is the epitome of outdoor adventures.

THE QUEEN CHARLOTTE ISLANDS: HAIDA GWAII

The Fish’n Canada Show hasn’t shot a West Coast Salmon show in some time now, but that doesn’t mean they’ve forgotten about it. The entire coast has a considerable salmon population. However, it’s the Queen Charlotte area that is world-class. For many years now, Queen Charlotte has been synonymous with the best Salmon fishing in the world. Nowhere else can you encounter so many fish—and so many big fish.

Contrary to the current belief, Salmon fishing in BC is still alive and well. It’s simply a matter of adaptation—locations, tactics, etc.

This area houses many high-end lodges, places that would boggle your mind. These destinations may be for those with well-lined pockets, but if you’re looking for that once in a lifetime West Coast fishing experience, this is the place.

Queen Charlotte Lodge, better known as QCL, is probably the most popular lodge in the area. It’s a luxury lodge that offers world-class fishing.

Langara Lodge has two locations. We visited their Langara Fishing Lodge location and experienced first-class accommodations, meals, and—of course—fishing. It was back in the Reno Viola days of Fish’n Canada, when he and Pete had the privilege of visiting this unique location. On this trip, Pete caught his largest Chinook Salmon ever.


VANCOUVER ISLAND

The boys’ final recommendation for fishing in BC is Vancouver Island. They have captured some outstanding television footage here and feel it’s very much worthy of a place on their list. The island may be the most diverse BC area of all to fish. It’s surrounded by salt water and is dotted by inland lakes and gorgeous running creeks and rivers.

Saltwater Fishing

Like the Queen Charlotte area, the exterior of Vancouver Island features many lodges with guided trips to the mighty Pacific. Vancouver Island is in close proximity to excellent Salmon and some of the world’s best ground-fishing areas.

Our West Coast affiliate and good fishing buddy, Vic Carrao, highly recommends Lucky Sportfishing at Eagle Nook Resort. He says if you don’t want to travel all the way to the northernmost islands of BC, then this is a great alternative. And you’ll save some money, too. They offer world-class fishing for Salmon and ground-fish in and around Barkley Sound. Additionally, Lucky Sportfishing can put you onto one of the best eating fish on the entire planet, the Pacific Halibut. Delicious. 

Bass Fishing

Attention, bass nuts! Vancouver Island is a Smallmouth haven. There are some Largemouth here, but it the smallie that rules in the bass world here. There are reportedly over twenty lakes with Smallmouth Bass on Vancouver Island.

The one that Ang and Pete have concentrated on most is Shawnigan Lake. It sits on the south end of the island, not too far from the Saanich Inlet

Ang and Pete were informed about the lake by Kenzie Cuthbert from Kenzie’s Fishing Adventures. He loves fishing bass on the southern end of the island and some of the outer islands. Shawnigan, one of Kenzie’s favourite lakes, has some brute smallies in it—something the Fish’n Canada hosts experienced firsthand. When they fished there, it was an all-year catch and release season, so they took advantage one spring and had a heck of a time topwater fishing. 

Here’s a Hotspot from the lake.

The boys are anxious to get back there for further investigation.

Trout Fishing

Our last river recommendation on Vancouver island is the Cowichan River. Again, Kenzie put Ang and Pete onto this fishery. And wow, were they glad he did! Pete made a drift-boat trip down the Cowichan and proceeded to have an outstanding day of Brown and Rainbow Trout Fishing. It made for an excellent TV episode.

“Kenzie knows that river like you wouldn’t believe,” says Pete. “We would come up to a good looking spot, and he would point out the spot-within-a-spot. Places usually about the size of a frisbee. Almost every one of those little areas had a fish on it.”

Pete came home from this trip raving about the Cowichan River and the fantastic Trout fishing in BC.


CONCLUSION

There you have five more places recommended by Ang and Pete, in this wonderful country of Canada that you can read about, dream about and hopefully even to experience some of the best fishing in BC.

Fish'n Canada

The Fish’n Canada Show first aired in 1986 with phenomenal success. In 1988 the program went coast to coast on CBC, the first North American weekly fishing show to broadcast on a national network. In 1992 the show went into syndication adding Global Television Network, prominent CTV and affiliates, and several cable networks. The move resulted in unprecedented fishing audiences. With the addition of WFN U.S. and The Sportsman Chanel Canada today the Fish’n Canada show dominates the airwaves with a national weekly reach of 3.5 million and ama of over 450,000 easily making it one of the most-watched “outdoors” programs in North America.

One Response

  1. For trout fishing in the BC interior….my go to is Dugan Lake near Williams Lake. Not because the fish are huge but because I can be there ice fishing or on a boat fishing inside 30 minutes from my front door. Fish are around 2 pounds and they fight like they were twice that size. Outhouses for the people I bring…just a great family lake with tons of action. Rainbow and brookies.

    But for big big rainbow…I have to say Sheridan Lake is my top pick. They are hard to catch. Many people get skunked. My tips for there are to fish just as it is getting light for a couple hours. That’s the top action time. Fish at edge of steep underwater drop-offs and around 20 feet deep or more is good. When the morning bite is over, you can head to Bridge Lake or numerous other lakes a short drive away to target Kokanee or Lakers. And some great cabins to rent at Sheridan Lake Resort where the owners will give you tips to improve your odds of landing a big rainbow.

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