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Top Fly Fishing Charters in Vancouver Island

Fly Fishing in Vancouver Island

Whatever the time of year, a Vancouver Island fly fishing trip should be in the cards. There’s a range of species to target on this western island in British Columbia. Surrounded by the Pacific Ocean, you can even test your saltwater fly fishing skills. Not quite there yet? No problem. There are plenty more fish in the sea… well, lakes and rivers!

What to Expect

There are so many rivers and lakes to choose from that it’s advisable to fish with a guide – they’ll use all their experience and local knowledge to get you on top of the fish in no time. 

The main fish you’ll want to target are Salmon, Steelhead, and Trout. Chinook Salmon can be caught every month except December. Pink and Coho Salmon jump into the spotlight during the summer and continue into the fall, with Pink Salmon having a shorter run. Sockeye and Chum are both fall species. 

Cutthroat, Rainbow and Brown Trout and Dolly Varden all can be fished throughout the year, with peaks in late spring, early summer, and fall. Steelhead is one of the hardest fish to catch on the west coast and you’ll earn bragging rights when you reel one in during their winterrun, from December to April. They also have a summer run from March–May and are even known to bite a dry fly.

In the summer, the Cowichan River, known as the “fly fishing capital of Canada,” is great for Coho, Chinook, Chum, and Steelhead. Some rivers, such as the Campbell River, have specific fly fishing restrictions, so make sure you know about these before you travel. You also have the Englishman River, Elk River, Salmon River, Oyster River, and many more. 

As well as heading to a popular river, you can also fly in to remote locations to fish off the beaten path, and without any crowds. This is perfect for experienced anglers looking for a tranquil fishing vacation, with barely another angler in sight. Most of this fishing is catch and release only. 

How to Prepare

Everyone in your group over 16 will need to buy a fishing license for the day. Check the local regulations for the species you’re targeting, as well as their size and catch limit, and whether you need any additional stamps to hook them. Your guide will have the latest information.

For every season, river, and species, a different rod and reel set up in recommended. Talk to your guide and local anglers for the most up-to-date tips. Generally, a 5 wt is good for Trout, and an 8 wt suits Steelhead. Most Salmon can be caught on an 8 wt rod, but for smaller ones, you can go down to a 6 wt rod. 

Have a mix of flies ready – you’ll want to match the hatch where possible. When Salmon are moving upstream, they’ll bite only when provoked, so an eye-catching fly is necessary. 

Fly fishing in Vancouver Island is all about getting out of the city and into nature. You’re not just here to fill up the freezer, but to enjoy the fight against some beautiful fish, and create lasting memories!

Vancouver Island

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View all fishing charters in Vancouver Island

Top Targeted Fly Fishing Species in Vancouver Island

Salmon (Chinook)

Salmon (Coho)

Salmon (Pink)

Salmon (Chum)

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