Only 50 miles
(80km) east of Vancouver is the Fraser
Valley and the mighty Fraser River,
a fly-fishing paradise for salmon, trout, and steelhead, and home
to the enormous and ancient sturgeon.
Some of the best
fishing in the Fraser Valley is found on the Upper Pitt River,
as attested to by the frequency with which steelhead strike at the
barbless lures of fly-fishing anglers. Fishing is strictly catch-and-release
on the Upper Pitt River.
Along Fern Crescent,
between Maple Ridge Municipal Park and Golden Ears Provincial Park,
you'll often see anglers patiently casting for trout from smooth
boulders beside the fast-flowing Alouette River.
River access is from Fern Crescent at one of two municipal locations.
If you visit Golden Ears park with a car-top boat, you can launch
from a small wharf next to the parking area at Mike Lake
and enjoy a quiet paddle. The wharf is also a good place to toss
in a fishing line.
Lake Provincial Park, anglers have as much competition from
blue herons as from each other. You can toss in a line from many
points along a trail that runs around the perimeter of the lake,
beginning from a modest beach and boat launch in the day-use parking
lot. Powerboats are not allowed on Rolley Lake. Docks jut out into
the lake at several locations, from which anglers can toss in a
line. Although the lake is well stocked early in the season with
rainbow and cutthroat trout, it is often fished out by late summer.
is one of the healthiest sportfishing channels in the North Fraser
Valley. Steelhead, sea-run cutthroat trout, and chum and coho salmon
are all found below the 240th Street Bridge, where a fish-counting
fence is located. Angling is not permitted upstream from this point.
A provincial freshwater fishing licence is required on this section
of the creek and a federal tidal-fishing licence is needed to fish
the Fraser River from the mouth of Kanaka Creek.
Coho and chum
salmon spawn in the Stave River in late October and November,
a good time for visiting and viewing. Wide spawning channels have
been dug on each side of the river. The best place to begin is the
Ruskin Recreation Area. To reach it, take Lougheed
Hwy (Hwy 7) east of Maple Ridge to the small Fraser River town of
Ruskin. Turn north as if heading to Rolley Lake Provincial Park.
Drive a short distance to the Ruskin Dam. Follow Ruskin Road east
across the top of the dam and descend 0.6 mile (1 km) down to the
site gates. A gated boat launch is on your left as you enter; car-top
boats can be launched here. A short trail leads to the Stave River,
where a wooden footbridge leads across the gravelled spawning channel
onto the banks of the river itself. Looking downstream from the
recreation site, you can see Ruskin's sawmills beside the brown
expanse of the Fraser River.
Lake and Hicks Lake in Sasquatch
Provincial Park near Harrison Hot Springs are ideal for angling
from a small boat. Powerboats are restricted to electric motors
on Deer Lake and 10hp is the maximum permitted on Hicks. Trout fishing
is popular at both stocked lakes, and also at aptly named Trout
Lake closer to the park entrance. There are boat launches at
both Deer and Hicks, whereas only a rough trail leads downhill from
the park road to Trout Lake. If you don't have a boat, try casting
from the shoreline beside the camping area at Hicks Lake.
South Fraser Valley
lies on the opposite side of the Fraser River from the Stave River,
and shelters Glen Valley Regional Park's fishing bars from
sight. A fishing bar is an expanse of riverbed that lies exposed at
low tide. Glen Valley lies 4.3 miles (7 km) east of Fort
Langley and, together with Derby Reach Regional Park, offers some
of the best saltwater fishing on this section of the Fraser River.
Head east from Fort Langley along 88th Avenue: Two-Bit Bar
is located at the intersection of 88th Avenue and 272nd Street.
Follow River Road east of Two-Bit Bar to reach Poplar Bar and
Duncan Bar, a total distance one way of about 2.5 miles (4
km) between the three sites. Of the park's three fishing bars, Poplar
Bar is the largest and offers the most interesting options. You can
fish, launch a car-top boat, and explore several riverside trails.
Regional Park sits across the Fraser River from the entrance
of Kanaka Creek. The park's Edgewater Bar is a big attraction
to anglers of all ages who come to set their lines for salmon and
watch the Fraser River flow by. Fishing bars that were once prevalent
along the Fraser have more recently been usurped by log booms, which
makes Edgewater even more valuable. What gives this park top billing
are the squares of melmac inlaid at the corner of each picnic table.
This is the officially sanctioned place to clean your salmon. Just
the sight of it raises one's hopes.
near the south end of the Mission Bridge in Matsqui
Trail Regional Park. This is the great divide in the Fraser
River. Upstream from the nearby Canadian Pacific Railway bridge
anglers must carry a provincial freshwater licence, while downstream
from it the feds want you to carry a tidal-fishing licence. Take
your pick or carry both. Sturgeon, coho and chinook salmon, steelhead,
and cutthroat trout await your cast. The GVRD requests that anglers
do not prepare bait or clean fish on picnic tables that don't have
melmac inserts meant for that purpose.
With the autumn
rains comes the rising of water levels in Lower Mainland rivers
and creeks. Then the welcome mat is out for schools of salmon that
have been waiting for just such a seasonal occurrence to begin the
journey upstream to their spawning grounds. As you drive the Chilliwack
River Road, you pass beside the Chilliwack
River. At these times you'll encounter riverbanks lined with
expectant fishermen waiting to intercept them. There are frequent
forest recreation sites along the road where anglers can park and
easily reach the river. The Royal Canadian Mounted Police station
themselves by the bridge at Vedder Crossing, carefully scrutinizing
the contents of cars for violations of the per-day catch limit.
A fish hatchery is located beside the river, 13 miles (21 km) east
of the Vedder bridge. Fishing is not allowed in the river between
the hatchery and Chilliwack Lake.
Owing to Chilliwack
Lake's year-round chilly water, it attracts serious anglers
in pursuit of various species of surface-feeding trout, including
rainbow, cutthroat, kokanee, and dolly varden char.
Be cautious when out in a small boat, as Chilliwack Lake's sparkling
waters are prone to being whipped up by winds that funnel out to
the coast. Lakeside casting is possible from the sandbars at Paleface
Creek and Depot Creek on the east side of Chilliwack Lake.
River is one of the premier rainbow trout rivers in Western
North America. Angling is particularly popular along the Silver-Skagit
Road between the 26-Mile Bridge day-use area and Chittenden
Bar day-use area. In addition to these two sites, there's off-road
parking and quick access to the Skagit along the Silver-Skagit Road
at Shawtum, Rhododendron Bar, Strawberry Bar,
and Nepopekum day-use areas for both riverbank and float
angling. A BC freshwater-angling licence must be purchased before
arriving in the park. These are available locally in Hope and Silver
Creek. Fishing is strictly catch-and-release with barbless hooks
on the Skagit River.
Salmon Fishing is the main draw for fishermen in the Lower Mainland
area, both freshwater and saltwater. The Fraser River sockeye salmon
run some years tops 20 million fish. Pushovers for pink hootchies,
pink salmon also arrive in their millions in odd numbered years.
If you wish to get in touch with your primal side, fish the prehistoric
sturgeon of the mighty Fraser River. Your guide will lead you to
one of these ancient fish that may top 500 pounds, and take all
morning to land.
McDonald Beach on Sea Island in Richmond
features a boat launch, a bait shop, and several picnic tables arranged
on a high bank beside the North Arm of the Fraser River. There's
also fishing in Richmond near Steveston,
where a municipal pier juts out into the Fraser at Gilbert's Beach
beside the South Arm Dyke Trail at the foot of No. 2 Road, just
east of the Steveston harbour.
catch salmon, trout, and numerous other species from the shores
of Deas Island Regional Park. The Riverside picnic area is
one of the most popular areas from which to fish. In the summer
months, try your luck for salmon off the BC Ferries Ferry Terminal
A Tidal Waters Sports Fishing License is required by all
anglers, and is available at most fishing shops.