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Abbotsford & Chilliwack
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Vancouver BC Fishing Report

By Rodney Hsu, Fishing with Rod | Last updated: June 15th, 2017

This week's new video features a recent trip to the Cariboo region! Highway 24 in BC's Cariboo region is known as the Fishing Highway for a very good reason. There are over a hundred lake along this stretch where anglers can experience world class fishing for rainbow trout, brook trout, lake trout and kokanee. In this episode, we explore these amazing fisheries for the first time. Big fish, loud screams, and a little incident near the end make this one of our most exciting episode so far!

Another heat wave is about to arrive! Anglers are enjoying some good sturgeon fishing in the Fraser River. The odd coho salmon are being caught in the Capilano River. Chilliwack/Vedder River is scheduled to open on July 1st for its summer red chinook salmon fishery. Lake fishing is still very productive. Bass and carp fishing are heating up now that the weather is warmer. It is also prime time for bull trout in the Upper Pitt River right now.

Upcoming Events and Promotional News

Here are some of the latest news and upcoming events in the Lower Mainland and Fraser Valley!

Ruddocks Ranch/Onion Lake

Onion Lake rainbow trout

Recently we visited Ruddocks Ranch and fished Onion Lake. This little lake produces rainbow trout up to 10lb! While we did not encounter any huge specimen, we did catch a good number of fish that measured between 18 and 22 inches long. All fish were caught in less than 10 feet of water by stripping a leech pattern. These wild trout are incredible fighters so if you are interested in checking it out, please go to ruddocks.ca and contact Gord Di Castri.

Capilano River

Capilano River is seeing the odd coho salmon coming into the system. The river level has been reasonably high due to recent rainfalls so some fresh fish are definitely moving into it. From early June to about late July, anglers have opportunities to target coho salmon in this system if water level rises. The peak of the run usually happens around mid July. Early morning is best as these fish can be very picky. Float fishing with roe, casting and retrieving a small lure or fly fishing with a small streamer can all catch fish. Please remember that ALL steelhead (both hatchery and wild fish) have to be released with care.

Stave River

Stave River produces mostly northern pikeminnow and peamouth chub during this time of the year. This can be a great place to bring the family to as the kids can catch these fish by float fishing with worms. Some cutthroat trout and mountain whitefish can also be caught at times. River condition is good. It can be a bit high as Fraser River's backing up into it due to freshet.

Squamish River

Squamish River is experiencing freshet right now. In about one and a half months from now, anglers can expect to target pink salmon once they start coming back.

Chilliwack River

Chilliwack River is closed for fishing throughout the month of June. It reopens on July 1st for the summer chinook salmon fishery.

For hands-on information, be sure to visit Fred's Custom Tackle where you can also pick up a map of the Chilliwack/Vedder River. Fred has reopened a NEW Chilliwack location at 45150 Luckakuck Way. Fred is having a fall sales event from November 15th to December 1st.

Upper Pitt River

Upper Pitt River bull trout fishing

Last weekend we visited the Pitt River Lodge and experienced the Upper Pitt River bull trout fishery for the first time. Throughout June and July, anglers have opportunities to catch some searun bull trout in this system and they can be up to 10lb! This river system can only be accessed by boat. Catch and release applies to all species.

Tidal Fraser River

Tidal Fraser River is very dirty due to freshet. This means fishing with lures or flies is almost impossible as there's no visibility for it. You should still be able to encounter some bull trout right now. Also, there are species such as northern pikeminnow and peamouth chub which are very kid-friendly as they are easy to catch. Outgoing tide just after peak is usually the best time for fishing.

Please note that in spring 2016, Fisheries and Oceans Canada has issued a night time fishing closure for all finfish species in the Tidal Fraser River. To fish the Tidal Fraser River (downstream from the railway bridge in Mission), you are required to have a valid saltwater fishing licence.

If you would like more information on fishing in the Tidal Fraser River, please stop by Berry's Bait and Tackle in Richmond. Mike, Len and Michele have a team of knowledgable staffs who regularly fish this area and they can help you out.

Non-tidal Fraser River

Non-tidal Fraser River's water clarity is very poor and it is very high due to freshet. Sturgeon fishing has been good and will only improve in the next several weeks. The presence of eulachon, as well as rising water temperature, will make these sturgeon more active. Fish up to 8 or 9 feet are being caught, but the norm is between 3 and 5 feet long. Eulachon, lamprey are popular bait that are being used right now. When anchoring on the Fraser, please look for large debris drifting downstream, it can be very dangerous.

Lower Mainland Lakes

Zoey with a nice cutthroat trout

Fishing is good in all Lower Mainland and Fraser Valley lakes. All urban lakes were stocked just before the Father's Day weekend so trout fishing should be good right now. With the warm weather ahead of us, try early in the morning or late in the afternoon when temperature is a bit lower.

These articles may assist you:

Kawkawa Lake kokanee

Hicks Lake and Deer Lake at Sasquatch Provincial Park are producing well. Both have been stocked. Hicks is producing a variety of species including rainbow trout, cutthroat trout and kokanee. Deer has plenty of cutthroat trout but they are all small, as well as newly stocked rainbow trout. Both lakes are excellent for kids.

Kawkawa Lake kokanee fishing has been good and will only get more productive until mid July. All fish are found in 40' of water, close to the bottom. Bait fishing with krill or deli shrimp, or jigging a mini spoon are the best methods. A boat is required for this lake.

Squamish's Alice Lake, Browning Lake, Brohm Lake are all excellent options if you are travelling up the Sea-to-Sky Corridor. These lakes have been stocked.

Alta Lake in Whistler is excellent for cutthroat trout and rainbow trout fishing. Catch and release only.

Cultus Lake can be excellent for cutthroat trout fishing. You will also encounter the odd bull trout and kokanee. Some northern pikeminnow and other minnow species are starting to emerge in shallower parts of the lake as the water gets warmer.

Chilliwack Lake is very productive for bull trout fishing right now but you will need a motored boat to target these fish. Most fish are in 100ft+ of water where they can either be caught by trolling spoons or bottom fishing with bait.

Deer Lake in Burnaby is producing some nice bass.

Mill Lake has been stocked with rainbow trout so trout fishing has been consistent, while the odd bass can be caught. Please remember that only electric motors can be used if you are taking your boat there.

Whonnock Lake is now warm enough for crappie fishing, there are also some rainbow trout in the lake.

Jones Lake between Chilliwack and Hope can be good for both rainbow trout and cutthroat trout fishing. The lake level is very low. Road access to the lake can be rough so a good 4X4 is required. Some shore access is available but it is best to be in a boat.

Please remember that for lake fishing, if you are fishing from shore, you are only allowed to use ONE rod. If you are fishing alone in a boat, then you are permited to use two rods. Only one hook is allowed on your rod. Please note that single barbless hooks are required to be used at some lakes. You should note the daily quota of trout for the lake where you are fishing. Catch and release is required in some lakes, please check regulations.

Before heading out, please read the freshwater regulations in Region 2 first. For more regular updates, make sure you follow our Facebook page. If you witness violations, please contact the nearest conservation office or phone 1-877-952-RAPP (7277). Conservation officers can not attend all calls, but they do their best to catch those who do not choose to play by the rules.

Good luck and please conserve your catches!

Rodney Hsu
Webmaster, Fishing with Rod Production