Gone Fishing, British Columbia

There’s no denying it. British Columbia yields some of the Pacific Northwest’s best areas to reel in that elusive catch. Whether saltwater or freshwater fishing, the region always comes up ahead. And while you wait for the fish to bite, you have the opportunity to take in the beautiful BC scenery.

fishing pole hanging over a river with mountains in background

Serene fishing in BC. Photo: Shutterstock / Ivan_Sabo

 Fishing In The Cariboo Chilcotin Coast Of British Columbia

Located almost 4 hours northeast of Vancouver, the Cariboo Chilcotin Coast region offers 8,000 beautiful lakes that are excellent for fishing year-round. Here are a few options to consider:

Bridge Lake

One of the lakes in this region of BC is Bridge Lake, located along the Fishing Highway, which a 100 km (62 mi) stretch of Highway 24 that passes some of the best fishing lakes in BC.

Bridge Lake stretches for around 6.5 km (4 mi), and you can land lake trout, kokanee, and rainbow trout weighing-in from four pounds to as much as 20 pounds.

Bridge Lake also offers some excellent trails in the area for hiking and horseback riding, so feel free to pair activities. You can choose to paddle Bridge Lake as well.

To find Bridge Lake, travel south on Highway 97 from 100 Mile House, to the junction of Highway 24. Bridge Lake lies almost 30 miles (48 km) east along this picturesque route.

Canim Lake

If you choose to head north on Highway 97 from 100 Mile House, just eastwards on the Forest Grove road, you’ll discover Canim Lake and some of the best fly-fishing in the area.

This lake is a vast stretch of water, 24 miles (over 38 km) long, with Canim Lake Resort on its southwestern shore. In the resort’s many lakes, trout are in abundance, some weighing up to 30 pounds. Look out for bald eagles and moose as you while away the hours.

Canim Lake with snow in the winter

Canim Lake is also great for ice fishing in the winter. Photo: Wikimedia Commons / Koltonsmith

Bouchie Lake

In late May to October, try your hand at catching pan-sized rainbow trout in Bouchie Lake, located west of Quesnel and across the Fraser River. The paved Nazko road will take you there, with boat launch access through Norwood Road.

Quesnel Lake

Located about 3 hours southeast of Quesnel along the western border of Cariboo Mountains Provincial Park is Quesnel Lake. Fish for rainbow trout and other lake trout in this glacial lake, which is also the deepest lake in BC.

Fraser River

For some of the best angling in the region, head for the Fraser River. Salmon is the prized catch, and the reason is simple. Five out of the six Pacific salmon species spawn in the Fraser River and its tributaries. But salmon isn’t the only reason for venturing into its swift current.

Steelhead, cut-throat, and rainbow trout are found in the silty waters along with sturgeon and Rocky Mountain whitefish. In some areas, the river flows fast, and it’s recommended to have a commercial fishing guide for anyone unfamiliar with the river. Any local tackle store will help you find a guide.

Fraser River near Quesnel BC

Fish for salmon on the Fraser River near Quesnel, British Columbia. Photo: Shutterstock / Wayne Stadler

For some fantastic fishing experiences in the Fraser Valley near Vancouver, give Great River Fishing Adventures near Chilliwack a try. The scenic splendours of the region will lift your fishing experience to new heights, and the knowledgeable guides will help you seek out the best spots to land that dream catch.

Read More: Rafting British Columbia: A Summer Bucket List Requirement

Stay For Fishing Adventures In British Columbia

If you’re thinking of a more extended visit, the Cariboo Chilcotin region offers plenty of options to stay and fish.  Remote mountain lakes, rivers, and streams in a vast area of seclusion will fulfill every fisherman’s dream. Also, the scenery will leave you lost for words.

Chilcotin Holidays

Try fly fishing and spin casting with a licensed angling guide from Chilcotin Holidays, who will show you the best areas to fish for brook trout, wild rainbow trout, kokanee, and Dolly Varden.

Minette Bay Lodge

For the more adventurous, the Minette Bay Lodge is ideal. The resort offers the ultimate outdoor adventure – helicopter fly fishing. You’ll be flown to one of BC’s renowned salmon rivers, to spend the day in gainful pursuit amidst the glorious scenery and peaceful seclusion.

Shearwater Resort

The Shearwater Resort and Marina on BC’s west coast is virtually a self-contained community. It includes laundry facilities, a grocery store, a hardware and liquor store, and a repair shipyard. The resort also provides fishing licenses and tackle.

The Shearwater Resort also offers saltwater sport fishing. King salmon and chinook, sometimes topping 72 pounds, will give you plenty of prized photo opportunities. Ample “bottom fish” are also available, including red snapper, rockfish, and lingcod. Whatever your preference, Shearwater has an ideal spot for you.

If conditions are calm enough, boat trips to the open ocean for halibut, sometimes weighing up to 200 pounds,  are also offered. The resort gives you a choice to “do it yourself” or have one of the best-guided sport fishing experiences in British Columbia.

Go Fishing In British Columbia

The scenery, the peace, tranquility, and the chance to sit and think are unbeatable. British Columbia has plenty of those wide-open spaces when it comes to landing that prized catch.

Have you been fishing in British Columbia or along the Cariboo Chilcotin Coast? What’s your favorite spot? Let us know in the comments below!

Read Next:
Fishing Guide For Beginners: Catching Your First Fish
The Best Places For Fly Fishing In The U.S.
Top 5: World’s Best Rivers For Whitewater Rafting

Article updated with additional information on May 22, 2020

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