Spring bull trout in Vancouver

Published on April 20th, 2011 by Rodney

If you live in Vancouver BC, you really don’t have to venture too far to catch trophy-sized fish. That is one great thing about living in this city, I simply have to walk or drive to a nearby spot and I usually will not be disappointed.

The Fraser River drains into the ocean through Vancouver, where it is known for the large return of Pacific salmon every summer and fall. Most people, even anglers, are not very aware of another exciting event that goes on in this waterway every spring. Starting in late March, millions of juvenile salmon begin their out migration from the streams where they are hatched. These fish are followed by coastal cutthroat trout and bull trout, which are opportunistic predators that take advantage of this seasonal buffet.

The presence of these anadromous trout and char creates fantastic fishing opportunities. It is the time of the year that I always look forward to. If the water is clear, then fly fishing with small fry patterns usually results in aggressive chasers in shallow waters. That being said, this out migration unfortunately coincides with the start of freshet, so water is usually muddy when this fishery takes place.

When water clarity is poor, the alternative is to simply fish with bait such as salmon roe. It is a method that I do not enjoy as much because the wait can be dull and there are often lots of bait-stealing sculpin around. Nevertheless, I would still take it over no fishing at all.

We decided to give it a go this week. We caught the last hour of the incoming tide after work, so it was simply a short outing to wet our appetite. Visibility in the Fraser River is now no more than six inches, so we were limited to fishing with bait. Among hundreds of sculpin bites, one pull took me by surprise. Check out our latest video blog to see what ended up on the end of my line.

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