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Vancouver BC Fishing Report

By Rodney Hsu, Fishing with Rod | Last updated: May 17th, 2016

Not every filming project works out as smoothly as they always seem. While filming with Bon Chovy Fishing Charters recently, the stars didn't align, but it just means we will be going back out again! Salmon fishing is Howe Sound and Gulf Islands is actually really good right now, so if you are thinking about doing one of these charter trips, give Jason a Shout at Bon Chovy!

The weather is cooling down a bit, and that's very welcoming! The warm weather we had back in late April, early May sped up the lake fishing a bit, so as water temperature rises, it's going to slow the fishing down soon. Urban lake trout stockings will end a bit earlier as fish cannot be released into lakes once the water temperature reaches a certain point. Fishing should be excellent right now at all the lakes. The Tidal Fraser River offers fishing opportunities for northern pikeminnow, peamouth chub and other smaller species for kids. For the big kids, sturgeon fishing is widely available in the Lower Fraser River up to Hope. River fishing opportunities are limited right now due to seasonal closures at most streams, so please check the regulations before heading out.

While our website is regularly updated, we are now very active in social media and you can expect instant updates when regulation changes or other important news take place. The three platforms where you should follow us are Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

Upcoming Events and Promotional News

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

Capilano River

Capilano River is quiet during this time of the year. The odd coho salmon are expected to enter the system in the next few weeks. This early coho salmon run usually peaks around late June. Early morning at first light is usually the best time to catch them. Float fishing with roe, spincasting lures or fly fishing with small streamers all work well for these fish. These early coho salmon are generally not very big, between 1 and 2lb, sometimes up to 4, so keep your tackle light.

Stave River

Water often backs up in the Stave River due to freshet in the Fraser River. This time of the year, this system produces cutthroat trout and whitefish. Coastal cutthroat trout are feeding on chum salmon fry and can be seen on the surface when they are actively feeding. Mountain whitefish are mainly feeding on nymphs. Now that weather has been so warm, you'll also find plenty of northern pikeminnow in the system. This is a great species for kids to target by using bait such as dew worm or single eggs under a float.

Chilliwack River

Chilliwack River steelhead smolt release

Fishing is now closed upstream from the Vedder Crossing for the Chilliwack River. Downstream from the Vedder Crossing, it is only open for fly fishing until May 31st. The entire river is closed in the month of June. Water clarity is still reasonably good for fly fishing, river level is also not bad for most sections. The canal section is too high for fishing as water is backing up from the Fraser River.

Harrison River

Harrison River has been producing cutthroat trout, bull trout and northern pikeminnow. These fish are still feeding on salmon fry. A boat is needed for most of the river as water is backing up from the Fraser River now due to freshet.

Tidal Fraser River

Tidal Fraser River bull trout

Tidal Fraser River is dirty and will remain so until July. Bull trout fishing is good during this time of the year. This is a catch and release fishery so please release all fish with care. Use a catch and release net so fish are kept in the water when unhooked prior to being released. Because water clarity is poor, bait fishing for them is the only way to have some success in this fishery. Roe is the best bait. Outgoing tide after peak is the most productive time to be fishing for these fish.

Northern pikeminnow, peamouth chub and other related minnow species are becoming active now in the Tidal Fraser River. These can be caught by using dough balls or dew worms close to shore.

To fish the Tidal Fraser River (downstream from the railway bridge in Mission), you are required to have a valid saltwater fishing licence.

Fisheries and Oceans Canada has issued a night time fishing closure for all finfish species in the Tidal Fraser River.

Non-tidal Fraser River

The non-tidal portion of the Fraser River very coloured as expected. Sturgeon fishing is available and guides are getting into fish regularly. Bait used during this time of the year include lamprey and eulachon. When anchoring your boat during this time of the year, pay close attention to large debris like trees floating down the river.

Lower Mainland Lakes

Jones Lake cutthroat trout

Lake fishing in the Metro Vancouver and Fraser Valley areas has been excellent. All urban lakes are stocked with catchable rainbow trout and producing well. Water temperature is steadily increasing, so fishing at these lakes will only be good for a few more weeks. Stockings of catchable rainbow trout will finish a bit earlier this spring due to the warm weather we have been experiencing.

There are other options if you travel further out from Metro Vancouver.

Hicks Lake is still very productive. Beside the catchable rainbow trout which were stocked a few weeks ago in the lake, anglers can also expect to get into bigger rainbow trout, cutthroat trout and some kokanee. Fishing from shore is possible but a boat can get you to lots of productive spots.

Kawkawa Lake in Hope should be good for kokanee now and it usually fishes well until July.

Weaver Lake is producing well. Most of the rainbows are not big but they are plentiful so this is an easy lake to fish for kids. The road up to the lake can be rough so a 4WD drive is best.

Cultus Lake in Chilliwack is often overlooked but the fishing can be pretty good. Right now you can catch cutthroat trout even from shore by casting and retrieving a lure. Northern pikeminnow are also getting very active in the shallow waters. At the South end of the lake, bull trout are caught from time to time, but a boat is usually needed.

Jones Lake's water level has been rising. Most of the rainbow trout and cutthroat trout caught in the lake have been skinny, most likely due to the lack of food in the lake. Casting small spoons, float fishing with bait such as krill, shrimp, single eggs have been working very well. The road up to the lake is in reasonably good shape.

Alta Lake in Whistler has a healthy abundance of rainbow trout and also produces large cutthroat trout. There is a bait ban in effect for this lake, so casting lures or fly fishing are the best methods for targeting these fish.

These articles may assist you:

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