Fishing in British Columbia

With 12,000 miles of coastline, and countless rivers and lakes, British Columbia is one of the prime destinations for angling enthusiasts, especially when it comes to salmon, trout, and sturgeon fishing.
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About British Columbia

A hundred years ago British Columbia was advertised to prospective immigrants as “Sportsman’s Paradise”, and nothing has changed since, except that it is your responsibility to get a fishing license, as well as special stamps or licenses if you are after certain species of salmon and sturgeon. Angling enthusiasts will find outstanding inshore and offshore fishing right off the coast of Vancouver Island, just a short boat ride away from the province’s capital city and largest metropolitan area. Freshwater fishing lovers will find numerous ways to satisfy their passion in the province’s mighty rivers and clear mountain streams, and the adventurous types may explore the pristine wilderness of British Columbia’s remotest covers, or travel the Cariboo Highway 24 to fish the countless lakes that lie along it. If your high-tech job takes to on a trip to the high-tech hub of Vancouver, be sure to set a few hours or days aside to get down to basics and enjoy fishing in British Columbia with one of the excellent captains, lodges or guides on

Fishing Types

It’s common knowledge that the Pacific Ocean is peaceful only in the name. Winter storms make sailing in relatively small 24-30 feet craft used for offshore and nearshore fishing chapters and captains, and so most of their outings take place in the summer months. Likewise, flyfishing season lasts from April to November, with May and September often considered somewhat lull months. In fact, mid-spring to mid-fall is the best time to fish almost anywhere in British Columbia, from the Haida Gwaii archipelago just south of Alaska to White Sturgeon on the Fraser River, but if you come in winter, don’t despair – ice fishing in the numerous lakes of the province is second to none!

Targeted Fish Species

Salmon is the king of saltwater fishing in British Columbia. Many people think about Salmon as the fish that returns to the river where they hatched to spawn and die, and don’t attach much importance to the fact that they spend most of their adult life at sea. Well, anglers in British Columbia target Chinook, Chum, Coho, Sockeye and Pink Salmon right in the sea, near the province’s coast. Halibut, Lingcod, Vermilion Snapper and Black Seabass are other worthy prey for a saltwater angler. Terrace is one of the best destinations for freshwater fishing for Steelhead and Pacific Salmon. In the rivers and streams of British Columbia you can throw your line for a number of trout species, and other freshwater fish crowned with White Sturgeon, the biggest freshwater fish in North America, whose European relatives were once considered the proper table fare for kings and czars.

Fishing Techniques

Flyfishing enthusiasts flock from all over the world to fish the Skeena, Upper Pitt, Thompson, Squamish, Campbell, and other British Columbia rivers for various species of Salmon, as well as Rainbow, Bull, Cutthroat and Brook Trout. Spinning is also highly successful when fishing in the rivers and lakes, especially in the course of the backcountry fishing trips. Captains who offer saltwater fishing trips on the coast focus on trolling and jigging; however, other deep sea fishing techniques may be used with great effect. Sturgeon are usually caught by baiting, with heavy duty rods and reels, and large pieces of bait brought to the bottom by heavy sinkers. Most natives of the province focus on ice fishing when they want to catch a Northern Pike, Yellow Perch, Walleye, and Kokanee. And don’t forget about trapping for crabs and prawns – one of the favorite occupations of the Vancouver Island resident Jim Shockey, who loves fishing and to ‘eat like a King’!