2018 Best Fishing Opportunities

How to plan your perfect 2018 Fishing with us

Fishing can be complicated. Especially when you don’t know the area, the run timing, species, quality of fishing or the weather. That’s where we come in. Below you will find everything you need to know about when to fish with us and for what. We have broken it down into several categories from species to methods such as Fly Fishing for example.

Skip to: Sturgeon Fishing section   Salmon Fly Fishing   Trout Fly Fishing   Fraser Valley Salmon

Fly Fishing in Vancouver and Fraser River Valley 2018

The 3 main fly fishing options listed below are Steelhead, Bull Trout and Salmon

1. Steelhead Fly Fishing

Available February to April 25. Average size 10 – 12 lbs

Fly Fishing Style & gear:

The swing. Cast, mend, swing, repeat. We cover water to locate fish. Walking and wading is required. We use 8 and 9 weight rods. We use Galvan fly reels, one of the finest on the market. Reels are loaded with quality floating line such as Rio Intouch Outbound Short fly line. Sink tips are essential. We use Rio T-11 or T-14. Flies are mostly intruder style and we tie all our own. They work!

Skill Level:

Successful Steelhead fly fishing requires a minimum skill level of intermediate. It is not for beginners. If you really want to catch a Steely but have no fly experience then our guides can set you up with our regular gear.

Chilliwack River Steelhead

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Fighting a Chilliwack River Steelhead!

Our Winter run Steelhead start arriving in the Chilliwack River(60 minutes East of Vancouver in the Fraser Valley) in mid December. The peak of the Chilliwack run is typically from February to mid April. Although you can catch these winter runs any time from January to April we recommend planning your fly fishing trip from Feb 15 to April 15. The Chilliwack River aka Vedder River receives both wild and hatchery fish. Anglers are allowed to keep 1 hatchery marked fish per day but must stop fishing once your fish is kept. Due to it’s close proximity to a large population base it can get a lot of pressure so we recommend avoiding weekends if possible.

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Squamish River Steelhead

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The beautiful Squamish River

These Steelhead are best targetted from March 15 to late April. These are all wild fish and 100% catch and release. There isn’t big numbers of these Steelhead but fortunately Wild Bull Trout also are highly present in the Squamish River and make for a lot of fun while pursuing the chrome. The Squamish River is 50-60 minutes North of downtown Vancouver. A lot of walking along the river and forest trails happens here. Sightings of Black Bears, Elk, Deer and Bald Eagles is common. The river is surrounded by steep glacier capped mountains and loads of scenery and serenity.

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2. Bull Trout Fly Fishing

Available March, April, June, early July, November/December. Sizes range from 1 – 15 lbs

Fly Fishing Style & gear:

Very similar to Steelhead fly fishing except we can use slightly lighter rods. 6, 7 and 8 weight is ideal. Be prepared to cover water.

Skill Level:

Beginners can catch Bull Trout if they are fast learners. But experience in casting is helpful.

Squamish River Bull Trout

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Squamish River Bull Trout Fly Fishing

The Squamish River is a gold mine of scenery and perfect fly fishing water. It’s just under a hour drive Northward from downtown Vancouver BC. We get a lot of requests for guided trips here due to it’s close proximity to the city center. Yet once you are on the river it feels like you are hundreds of miles away. On a good day here you could hook into 20 fish but a typical day is 4 – 6 fish.

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Upper Pitt River Bull Trout

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Fly fishing the upper Pitt river, Vancouver BC

A magical fly fishing experience awaits you on the Upper Pitt River. Trips depart from Grant Narrows Park which is 35 minutes from downtown Vancouver BC. Climb into one of our 21 foot jet boats and head 30 minutes north up Pitt Lake where the Upper Pitt River pours into the lake. It’s remote and wild up here. Access is by boat or helicopter only. The river valley is loaded with wildlife such as Black Bear, Elk, Deer, Cougars, Wolves and more. There’s also a tremendous population of sea run Bull Trout. Our guests have had some of their best fly fishing experiences up here, hooking into 20 plus fish in just 6 hours. These Bull’s can get rather large. Many fish in the 8 – 10 lb range inhabit this river.

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3. Salmon Fly Fishing

Available from October 10 to November 30

Gear: 7 – 9 weight rods

Difficulty level: moderate experience is very helpful but not essential

Chum Salmon

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Beautiful Chum Salmon taken on the fly!

Chum Salmon are ideal for fly fishing throughout the Vancouver and Fraser River Valley area. They return to our local rivers is prolific numbers and  are also very aggressive biters. Hooking into several per day is normal. Hooking into 10 – 20 per day also happens during peak times from October 15 to November 15. Chums are powerful and are commonly rated as the best fighting of the Pacific Salmon. Most Chum’s are in the 12 – 15 lb range but brutes over 20 are encountered many times per season.

Top 2 locations for Chum’s:

Fraser River Valley and Squamish River. The Fraser Valley is 60 minutes East of Vancouver and is home to 2 major Chum bearing rivers, the famous Harrison and the Stave. Both have excellent fishing and tons of Bald Eagles. The Squamish River is 50 minutes North of Vancouver and is a perfect fly fishing river surrounded by some of the best scenery you have ever seen. Wildlife is also abundant here  such as a huge gathering of Bald Eagles plus Black Bear, Elk and Deer.

Multi day packages complete with lodging, guide and transport are always available!

Enjoy several days of the worlds BEST Sturgeon Fishing!

Get your free multi day package brochure and plan your perfect Sturgeon package

Our Fraser River Sturgeon packages include lodging in Mission BC, all high end tackle, 20-22 ft jetboats and professional licensed guides

Coho Salmon

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Coho Salmon on the fly

Coho Salmon are perfect for fly fishing. They absolutely love to hit a properly presented fly in slow, easy to fish waterways throughout the Fraser River Valley or Squamish River. Hatchery and wild Coho are present in the Fraser Valley. Coho range in size from 3 – 20 lbs but ‘Jacks’ will weigh under a pound.

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Sturgeon Fishing on the Fraser River

Available: Best from mid March to late November. Multi day packages with lodging or single day charters. 100% catch and release.

March-April is SPECTACULAR and we have a Sturgeon Fishing Deal


Gear: The best big game tackle available.

Skill level: Rookies to expert.

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Fighting a huge White Sturgeon!

Sturgeon fishing on the Fraser River has become very very popular. Giant fish that fight like nothing you could imagine! Crazy jumps, screaming runs that go 300 meters and more, and then the burn of the ‘down n dirty’ battle. This is why some of our guests have fought fish over 2 hours and say things like “this is not possible for a fish to fight this hard”. If you want the thrill of this world class fishery then go with our team of licensed expert guides and you will never wish you were on another boat.

Book your multi day package for the March to November peak season before they sell out!

Success Rates are 100%!


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Best time for Sturgeon Fishing?

Read Best time for Sturgeon Fishing in BC

Peak times you can’t miss out on:

March 25 to May 7 for intense action on 5 to 7 footers as they gorge during the Spring feed!

July – August has very big fish as in 500 lbs plus!

September the fishing continues to be very good.

October to mid November has once again intense action as Sturgeon are gorging before the winter.

Mid May to later June has very big fish but also big water so landing fish on shore is very tough.

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Fraser River Valley Salmon Fishing

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Available: October – mid November with possible Aug/Sept opening

Gear: spinning, float fishing, bar fishing(plunking)

Skill level: suitable for everyone and family friendly

Fraser Valley Salmon fishing is the same timing and species as the Salmon fly fishing section. The only difference is the equipment.

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About FishMack

Dedicated sport fisher in British Columbia, proud dad and husband, and owner/head guide at Silversides Fishing Adventures since 1996. We guide for White Sturgeon and Salmon on the Fraser River plus Fly Fishing many rivers in the region for Salmon, Steelhead and Trout.