Chilliwack Lake, Chilliwack
By Rodney Hsu
Chilliwack River is located just North of the US-Canada border in the Fraser Valley. Draining into the Chilliwack/Vedder River, it is a large lake which can be productive in the summer and fall. It is the ideal lake for anglers who have a large boat that is equipped for trolling or anchoring in deep water. Shore fishing opportunities are limited but can be fantastic during certain time of the year. Due to its size, this lake's condition can be quite windy and hazardous more often than not, so users must be fully prepared before accessing this lake.
How to Get There?
Chilliwack Lake takes approximately 1.5 hours from Vancouver by a vehicle. To get there, simply travel on Highway 1 to Chilliwack, exit at Vedder Road. Continue south on Vedder Road and turn left onto Chilliwack Lake Road. Drive along Chilliwack Lake Road, which runs along Chilliwack River. The road eventually leads you to Chilliwack Lake Provincial Park at the north end of the lake, where day use, camping and a boat launch are available. A separate Forest service road runs along the east side of the lake, where some shore access is available. This road takes you to the south end of the lake, where you can reach the mouth of the Upper Chilliwack River.
Fishing is available between April and October. There are several species which anglers can target. These include bull trout, dolly varden, cutthroat trout, rainbow trout, kokanee, northern pikeminnow. Most of the boat fishing occurs in spring and summer, while fishing at creek mouths becomes better in the fall months when trout and char congregate and feed on salmon or kokanee eggs.
Because Chilliwack Lake is big and generally quite deep, anglers will find most success by fishing on a boat. The common fishing techniques used are trolling large lures or bait fishing on a bottom rig. Casting spoons and spinners toward structured waters along the shoreline can also produce some fish at times.
During late summer and early fall, salmon and kokanee are spawning in creeks that feed into this lake. When some eggs are washed into the lake, trout and char have a tendency to congregate at these creek mouths and wait for an easy meal. Anglers can take advantage of this by using egg imitations to target these hungry fish.
Fly fishing is also possible if fish are found in the shallow water or near the surface. If you are operating a small watercraft, you should be aware that this lake can become quite windy and rough without much notice.
Before your first fishing trip to Chilliwack Lake, please make sure you know the following information:
- You must have a valid British Columbia freshwater fishing license.
- Chilliwack Lake is located in Region 2 in the British Columbia freshwater fishing regulations.
- The area accessed from the forest service road is for day use only so no camping, pit fire are allowed.
- Please respect other users and wildlife by not littering. Watch the speed of your boat around others to avoid any potential accidents.