This article will help you discover the Best fishing that is available and when for our little corner of British Columbia for the 2020 season.
We really are blessed with a diversity of fishing options. From chasing Trout on the fly to Big Game Sturgeon fishing there’s something here for everyone!
Our guided fishing tours cover an area that includes Vancouver, the Fraser River Valley(Chilliwack, Mission, Maple Ridge) and finally Squamish.
Other key articles in our Blog:
2020 Fraser River Sturgeon Forecast
Location: Fraser River from Chilliwack downstream to Mission-Maple Ridge
Timing: Year round
Species: White Sturgeon
2020 Fraser River Sturgeon Fishing
Expect the 2020 Sturgeon Fishing season to be Solid as ever if not better!
The success of the White Sturgeon fishery is purely based on a very successful catch & release program in place since 1994. As fish are NOT removed from the Fraser River they just keep growing. This bodes very well for our clients who experience a success rate of 99% on single day charters and 100% on multi day packages.
IF YOU ARE TRAVELLING FROM EUROPE:
Or other places outside of BC to go Sturgeon fishing with us don’t think that it would be nice to catch 1 fish during your 3 to 7 day angling vacation with us. YOU ARE GOING TO CATCH PLENTY OF BIG STURGEON. Many will be in the 6 – 8 foot range, and a few will be much bigger in most cases!
Depending on your timing you can expect action packed fishing for 5 to 7 footers all day or be more patient and go for the 10 foot plus river monsters!
If you are travelling by plane from outside Canada then you will need to arrive at Vancouver International Airport(YVR). That’s only 1 hour to Mission, BC. For those flying inside of Canada there’s the option to land in Abbotsford(YXX) which is under 30 minutes from Mission.
THE BEST TIMES:
There’s a lot of myths surrounding the best times for Sturgeon fishing on the Fraser River. One of the oldest ones we hear all the time is that the only good fishing is in September or October. Yeah there’s good fishing then, mostly due to the fact that you can catch plenty of Salmon during this window. That certainly is a Bonus in our mind. BUT – there are so many other times in the season to experience EPIC Sturgeon fishing.
Hint: March/April, July, November to name a few.
For the complete run down on the Fraser River Valley Sturgeon fishing season this article is a MUST READ:
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2020 Trout Fishing forecast for Vancouver BC
1. Squamish River
1. Upper Pitt River River
3. Interior Lakes
Species: Sea Run Dolly Varden, Bull Trout, Rainbow Trout, Cutthroat Trout
Trout Fly Fishing for 2020 around Vancouver BC
OUR TROUT FISHING IS SOLID & OFFERS A WIDE VARIETY OF CHOICES
SEA RUN DOLLY VARDEN ON THE UPPER PITT RIVER:
Upper Pitt River fly fishing for those insanely aggressive sea-run Dolly Varden is best from May 15 to July 7.
Specifically you will find the bigger ones(5-12 lbs) anytime from mid May to mid June when the river has good flow. This happens when we get milder wetter weather that triggers some snow and glacier melt. This gives the river that sought after glacial blue colour that turns the trout switch on!
Good numbers of Dollies will be encountered any time during the above mentioned time frame provided the river is coloured. Most of the trout here are in the 2-4 lb range.
We use our custom jet boats to access the remote Upper Pitt River. Yet it’s only about 50 km from the big city as the crow flies. It’s tougher access is due to the surrounding steep mountain terrain which prevents road access. So it’s jet boat or helicopter to access this paradise.
Bull trout on the squamish river system
Available November to early May with peak timing late March to April 30.
The Squamish River system is located 50 minutes north of Vancouver via the scenic ‘Sea to Sky’ highway which winds along the coast and is the only way to Whistler’s ski resorts.
Good numbers of Bull Trout will be encountered any time during the above mentioned time frame provided the river is coloured. This makes the fish come out of their hiding places and feel secure as they feed. Most of the trout here are in the 2-4 lb range.
Fly fishing is the preferred method here. The river is well suited for it with long flat runs ideal for easily swinging our proven trout patterns. Our fave flies here are mostly intruder sculpin patterns or salmon fry for the Spring time. In the Fall/Winter it’s single egg stuff or flesh flies.
More on Trout forecast to come…
2020 Fraser River Valley & Vancouver Freshwater Salmon Forecast
1. Mainstem Fraser River & Tributaries from Chilliwack downstream to Mission-Maple Ridge
2. Squamish River
Species: Chinook(King), Coho, Chum, Sockeye
Fraser River Valley and Vancouver salmon fishing 2020
Peak Time: September 15 to November 15
FRASER RIVER VALLEY COHO:
Fraser Valley Coho salmon start showing up in good numbers by mid September and start dwindling in numbers around late November. However they can be taken as late as January. Peak times for Fraser Valley Coho are September 15 to November 7th.
Coho numbers have been rather solid for the last 10 years and this trend should continue. 2019 returns were very good! Coho are suckers for spinners and spoons. However they are rather easy to catch when fly fishing. We suggest that first timers or rookie fly fishers stick to the lures if you want any success.
Retention: There’s good numbers of hatchery fin clipped Coho in the Fraser Valley so retention is allowed(2 or 4 per day depending on location).
We use our custom jet boats to access the best Coho spots in the Fraser Valley. However fishing is not restricted to the boat. Shore fishing is an option at times.
Locations: Harrison River, Vedder River, Nicomen Slough, Stave River, Fraser River.
SQUAMISH RIVER COHO:
A absolutely gorgeous river to fish on.
Peak time for Squamish River Coho is September 30 to November 30. Run sizes have been fairly good over the past decade so we don’t expect much change here.
Method: Fly fishing is the preferred method on the Squamish but you are welcome to cast lures or twitch jigs if the fly rod isn’t your thing. Fishing is done by ‘walk n wade’ or float the river by raft.
Retention: Squamish River Coho are mostly wild and thus opportunities for harvesting hatchery or fin clipped fish is limited.
Peak Time: October 7 to November 15
FRASER RIVER VALLEY CHUM:
It’s always difficult to predict Chum salmon returns. However there’s always plenty to provide good action, even if it’s catch & release.
Note: the 2016 Chum return was epic so there’s a good chance that 2020 will be a strong return.
Fraser River Valley Chum Salmon are popular for many of our guests because they are easy to catch and put up a great fight!
Chum Salmon are usually open for harvesting but once in a while a non retention regulation comes into play if numbers are low. If this happens it usually takes place around October 20th, give or take a few days. Catch & release is still allowed. If you are keen on Sturgeon fishing and know that salmon makes good bait don’t worry. We always have a supply.
Numbers of Chum in the tributaries of the Fraser(Stave River for example) can be quite high. Fish will be jumping all around you. It’s possible at times to hook one on almost every cast! The 2020 return will likely be somewhat average which is just fine.
We get Chums rather easily drifting a jig under a float. Chums cannot resist our own hand tied jigs.
SQUAMISH RIVER CHUM:
Run sizes vary widely here from year to year but there’s always enough to make it worthwhile hitting this absolutely gorgeous river.
Squamish River Chum Salmon are later returning than Fraser Valley Chums. Usually they start arriving around mid October and will be available right up to the last days of November.
The preferred method here is fly fishing but drifting a jig under a float will cause some serious damage. Catch & release is typical here but if there’s a strong return there may be a 1 fish retention.
Peak Time: September 1 to October 7
FRASER RIVER VALLEY CHINOOKS:
Chinook Salmon are also known as Kings. These are the ‘Fall run’ of Chinooks and tend to show up in big numbers in a short period of time. Numbers of Fall Chinooks are usually quite good every year. 2019 was extremely good!
They are best caught using big spinners and spoons at some key tributary mouths like the Vedder-Chilliwack River or Harrison River.
Chinook are the biggest of all the Pacific salmon. We catch ’em up to 40 – 50 lbs but 10 – 20 is normal.
SQUAMISH RIVER CHINOOKS:
Available July – August
This is not a big run of Chinooks but for those looking for a real beautiful setting and hardly anyone around then this is a good option.
Fly fishing is the preferred method here. Better have a 9 or 10 wt fly rod. We certainly do if you want one of our expert Squamish River fly fishing guides.
Sockeye Salmon – Fraser River
Run Timing: June to October
FRASER RIVER SOCKEYE NOT AVAILABLE FOR 2020:
We remember when Fraser River Sockeye Salmon returned every year in massive numbers(10 – 20 million) back in the 90’s. Fishing was epic and too easy! Catching 100 in a half day was not out of the question.
What happened to the Fraser River Sockeye runs?
For this answer we need to turn to science and biology. Not government shills and cons that work in Canada’s Department of Fisheries and Oceans(DFO). Well it is somewhat helpful to recognize that government betrayal of wild salmon has played the main role. But science tells us the biological reason behind these iconic salmon’s demise.
And the number 1 reason for the drastic decline in most Fraser River Sockeye Salmon is…. drum roll please…
Open net salmon farms along the British Columbia coast.
Yes the ones that are located in the ocean and hold millions of disease ridden Atlantic Salmon, a foreign and harmful species for Pacific Salmon. These unnatural factory farms are super breeding grounds for lethal viruses(IHN, PRV etc) and parasites(Sea Lice) that infect wild salmon of all ages as they pass by(closely or not so closely).
Read this Story from CTV News.
What Can You do to help protect BC’s Sockeye Salmon and other wild salmon from this horrible industry?
DO NOT BUY ATLANTIC SALMON. ALSO KNOWN AS: SCOTTISH SALMON, NORWEGIAN SALMON, SKUNA BAY SALMON, ORGANIC SALMON(yes this is farmed salmon fed shit food, toxic chemicals and drugs).
Where is Atlantic Salmon SOLD?
Costco, Walmart etc