Fishing Retail Stores
Army & Navy
Vancouver, New West, Langley
Berry's Bait & Tackle
First Light Fishing & Tackle
Fred's Custom Tackle
Chilliwack & Abbotsford
Hatch Match'r
Maple Ridge
Lodestar Outfitters
Mike's Reel Repair
Pacific Angler
Sea-Run Fly & Tackle

Vancouver BC Fishing Report

By Rodney Hsu, Fishing with Rod | Last updated: February 23rd, 2015

Winter steelhead fishing in the Lower Mainland

We are still enjoying gorgeous sunshine in Southwestern British Columbia while the rest of Canada is still experiencing sub-zero temperature. Winter steelhead fishing has slowed down a bit in recent days as river level steadily drops, but you can still find some good fishing by investing some time on exploring different runs. Coastal cutthroat trout fishing is heating up now that salmon fry are present in most Lower Fraser River tributaries. Lake stockings are expected to resume in a couple of weeks from now, but good fishing is already available as anglers are still catching fish which were stocked last year. Fraser River sturgeon fishing has also been quite productive. Reports of boats bringing in up to a dozen fish in the 3 to 5 feet range have not been uncommon.

Check out our latest video below, a timelapse video which shows how long for dungeness crab to enter our trap. This is part of a longer feature which we recently collaborated with Rick Clark at Born to Fish BC, stay tuned for that one shortly.

Please make sure you go to our Facebook page and click on "like". I am constantly adding updates such as latest fishing reports, new videos, articles and contests on it.

Upcoming Events and Promotional News

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

Fishing Gear For Sale!

I have several rods and reels for sale. If interested, please email

  • Fenwick HMXS 85XL-2, 8'6" long, rated 4 - 10lb, lure weight 3/16 - 1/2oz. Used but in good condition. Selling for $50.
  • Trophy XL TCS5105MLC 10'6" rated 8-17lb. A good startup centerpin/mooching rod. Brand new. Selling for $80.
  • Islander slate LX 3.2 fly fishing reel. Used, in good working condition. Selling for $300.
  • Islander silver LX 3.4 fly fishing reel. Brand new. Selling for $500.
  • Two Islander MR3 mooching reels (colour slate and blue). Slightly used, spooled with 25lb test Maxima Ultragreen, ready for the season. Selling for $500 each or $900 for both.
  • Islander gold LX 3.6 fly fishing reel, spooled with 8wt Rio Versitip line. Pretty much brand new with no wear and tear, it has been taken out for one casting session. Together with the line retail price is $700+. Selling for $650.

Capilano River

While you have some opportunities of encountering the odd steelhead between now and April, fishing is generally pretty slow in the winter months for the Capilano River. The good news is that angling pressure will be minimal in the next few months, so if you enjoy fishing alone with the possibility of catching a nice fish, then this is perfect for you. Capilano River sees an early return of coho salmon compared to other systems. The first wave of coho salmon usually emerges in April.

Please note that ALL steelhead (both hatchery marked and wild) have to be released with care in the Capilano River. Be sure to identify your fish correctly in the water. This is a vulnerable stock and your action will decide its future.

Seymour River

Due to the large rock slide which occurred last year, anglers are advised to stay away from this system due to safety reasons. Seymour Salmonid Society, Metro Vancouver, Ministry of Environment and Fisheries and Oceans Canada have all been working together to determine if current returning steelhead can make their way past the new barrier. The hatchery usually collects 10 fish for its spawning program and radio tag up to 50 fish, so far they have only collected 3 fish so it is likely further management measures such as fishing closure will be implemented to protect the run. I will have information available as soon as it is published.

Chilliwack River

A large wild Chilliwack River steelhead

Chilliwack River's condition has been very good, water has been steadily dropping while water visibility has remained up to 4 feet. As the river becomes lower, steelhead fishing will slow down because fish are not travelling as fast. This has been an excellent season to date and we still have at least two more months of good fishing to come. Roe bags, shrimp, pink worm, jigs have all been producing. The key is to cover as much water as possible to increase your chance of encountering these fish.

Fred's Custom Tackle is your go-to store for the Chilliwack River fishery. Currently there are two locations, the original one by the Vedder Crossing in Chilliwack while a second new store in Abbotsford. Wally Hall Junior Memorial Steelhead Fishing Derby begins on December 1st! Get your derby ticket now at Fred's Custom Tackle. The first two steelhead were weighed in at the store on December 15th.

If you need accommodation or guide suggestions around Chilliwack, please take a look at the listing on Tourism Chilliwack's website.

Squamish River

This is the time of the year when fishing for trout and char becomes productive in the Squamish River. Now that chum salmon fry are starting to emerge from redds, small lures and flies which imitate minnows will work well. River condition has been excellent lately due to the lack of rain.

Please note that bait ban is in effect year round and retention of fish is limited to just one hatchery marked coho salmon in certain area, so please read the regulations. Dress properly as it can be very cold in this river valley.

Stave River

Mountain whitefish

The attention is now shifting to cutthroat trout and mountain whitefish in the Stave River, which will be feeding on salmon eggs and fry in the next couple of months. If you enjoy float fishing, try using a small float and fish with bait such as single eggs, dew worm or krill close to the bottom for whitefish. Some salmon fry will start emerging from redds and cutthroat trout will start actively feeding on them. Fly fishing with minnow patterns or casting small spoons like a 1/16oz Gibbs Croc will be effective.

Please note that BC Hydro is currently upgrading the dam so the day use area is closed and parking is limited in the area.

Tidal Fraser River

You can target winter bull trout throughout the Tidal Fraser River in the next several months. Casting and retrieving spoons and spinners is quite effective and can be very exciting on an ultralight setup. Please remember that all wild trout and char have to be released with care. Fishing in February is generally slow but with mild weather like this, it is not unusual to find bull trout in the shallow water. Check out this blog post from a few years ago in late February.

Sturgeon fishing has been good lately. Anglers are reporting up to a dozen fish being landed per outing when fishing from their boats.

If you are fishing around Steveston, you may also want to try fishing for Pacific herring at Imperial Landing and Garry Point Park.

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

For more information on this fishery and the latest updates on saltwater fishing around Steveston and the Tidal Fraser River, stop by the Berry's Bait & Tackle in Richmond.

Non-tidal Fraser River

Sturgeon fishing has been reasonably good lately. Some guides are still reporting catches up to 8 feet long. Eulachon and lamprey are working well as expected. We recommend the following guiding companies for your sturgeon fishing trips.

For more detailed reports on sturgeon fishing in the Fraser Valley, check out either Vic Carrao's report or Dean Werk's report.

Lower Mainland Lakes

Lower Mainland's catchable rainbow trout fishery resumes

The Region 2's trout stocking database is usually updated once rainbow trout are stocked by the Fraser Valley Trout Hatchery. 2015 stockings will begin in around one month from now. Despite of the lack of stockings, you can still catch trout, especially right now with this warm and sunny weather.

Kawkawa Lake opens on March 1st for kokanee fishing. The lake is ice free so fishing should be reasonably good.

Jones Lake is low but can be good for cutthroat trout fishing during this time of the year. The road condition is not ideal, so 4WD is needed.

Cultus Lake can be quite good for cutthroat trout and bull trout during this time of the year, especially around creek mouths.

Squamish area lakes are also good options as stocked rainbow trout should still be abundant in them. Browning, Alice, Edith, Brohm are just some of the lakes you should try out.

Please note that the daily quota of trout has been changed since 2013 for most Fishing in the City lakes, please check the regulations to see if it has changed for the lake where you plan to visit.

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 single hook is allowed on your rod. Please note that 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).

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.

Before heading out, please read the freshwater regulations in Region 2 first. For more regular updates, make sure you follow our Facebook page.

Good luck and please conserve your catches!

Rodney Hsu
Webmaster, Fishing with Rod Production