Simply put it was ‘one of those days!’ for Bull trout
Fly fishing for Bull Trout on the Squamish River near Vancouver BC
We met our 2 angling guests at Sunwolf Cabins right on the banks of the Cheakamus river, a tributary of the Squamish river. This is only 60 minutes North from downtown Vancouver, BC. Getting here requires driving the scenic ‘Sea to Sky’ highway that winds along the Howe Sound inlet or fjord.
It was just past sunrise and we were eager to get going. The weather conditions were perfect! Overcast with light rain. The Squamish river was up slightly with a touch of colour. I sensed it was going to be a good day. It’s almost mid March and from years of experience we know that Bull trout are very actively feeding right now. Many of these Bull Trout are sea-run and they know that little salmon fry are migrating down river towards the ocean during the Spring months. It’s a feeding frenzy to say the least. Bull Trout will stage themselves in key ‘feeding alleys’ to scoop up those tiny protein morsels that pass by. Find these alleys, have the right fly and you’re in business!
We started off fly fishing 2 big runs but only had 2 quick tugs. Our somewhat rookie clients were still in learning mode and this may have been a factor in the lack of proper hookups. The water was being spooked up a bit by our pure novice fly fisher girl. She was however slowly picking up the right technique with some intense coaching. She’ll probably hookup at some point I thought and hoped.
We moved down river a mile or so and took a well marked animal trail into a gorgeous stretch of river. It had fish written all over it! They casted and swung those beautiful home made streamers for 20 minutes with not even a touch. What was up I asked myself? So we moved into the tail out section of this 500 meter long run. Something had to budge I thought.
Suddenly a line goes tight and it’s fish on!
This section of river was very good to us and surrendered 7 beauty Bull trout ranging from 1.5 to 5 lbs. Covering water always pays off I reminded our fly fishing duo, and myself.
And the sweet part was that our newbie fly fisher woman got to hook and land her own fish! She was stoked.
The Hunt continues…
We moved down river a few more miles and hit another sweet piece of river. A beautiful easy hike leads us to some easy water to fish. Tons of back casting room is available so there’s no need to worry about hooking bushes. This spot produced another fat Bull trout around 2.5 lbs.
It was now getting later in the day and the rain was starting to intensify so we called it a day. And a good one it was. Everyone was happy.
March & April are always prime time for Bull trout fly fishing on the Squamish River just North of Vancouver, BC. But don’t overlook November – December. This is another peak feeding time for Bull’s as they gorge on salmon eggs and flesh.
Upper Pitt River
You want to be here from May 20 to June 30 for this amazing fly fishing experience. One of the BEST Trout fly fishing rivers in North America is just a 35 minute jet boat ride from Vancouver. Few anglers and plenty of big Bull Trout and sea run Dolly Varden make this a winner for any fly fisher. The magical rugged West Coast setting will take you into a truly exhilarating state of mind.
We always have the finest fly tackle, our own custom tied flies, and waders if you want a fully guided fly fishing trip.
Dedicated sport fishing addict in British Columbia. 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.