The 5 Best Fly Fishing Places Near Vancouver BC
Vancouver BC is rich in amazing fly fishing opportunities for Trout, Steelhead and Salmon! This article will help you plan the Best Fly Fishing that Vancouver has to offer.
Are you keen on Fly Fishing? We certainly are! We’ve been passionately fly fishing some of the Best places within a few hours of Vancouver since the early 1990’s. And providing guided fly fishing in Vancouver since 1996.
Perhaps you’re thinking about booking one of our Vancouver Fly Fishing trips and just don’t know when to book for best results? Or you’re a local who just wants some helpful information to point you in the right direction. Fortunately there are a myriad of great fly fishing options close to the city of Vancouver and we’re going to share those with you.
In this article ‘The 5 Best Fly Fishing Spots within 3 hours of Vancouver BC’ you’ll discover answers to these common questions:
What’s the best fly fishing in Vancouver?
When’s the best time for fly fishing in Vancouver?
What’s the best Trout fly fishing in Vancouver?
British Columbia has an endless supply of top fly fishing destinations with stunning scenic back drops so it’s no surprise there’s a ton of them near Vancouver.
Looking for a qualified Fly fishing guide for one of these trips?
We have been providing fully guided fly fishing here since 1996.
Yes we serve Vancouver Hotels!
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Here’s a short little video highlighting some of our diverse fly fishing …
Vancouver’s #1 top fly fishing spot
Location: Upper Pitt River
Timing: May 15 to July 7
Species: Sea run Dolly Varden & Bull Trout
The beautiful upper pitt river
The Pitt River is a Unbeatable Fly Fishing Experience!
Without a doubt this is the Best Trout Fly Fishing available in Vancouver, British Columbia. According to many flyfishing experts it’s in the top 10 for North America! Why you ask? For us it’s the combination of a super scenic jet boat ride up Pitt Lake, into the upper Pitt River and productive fly fishing that is comparable to some of the best places on Earth! Glacier capped mountains dominate the scene here along with some old growth rain forest settings. Sure the scenery is great but the fishing is equally as good if not better.
When timed right you can get a tug or hookup on almost every properly swung fly
There’s only 2 ways to get here. Jet boat or helicopter. That’s unique as it’s only 70 minutes from downtown Vancouver. The lay of the land is the reason. Rugged coastal terrain that prevents road access.
The Fly Fishing
Now about the Trout fly fishing here. The upper Pitt River is host to a enormous Sea-run population of Dolly Varden and Bull Trout. They start their journey into the river around mid May every year. This usually goes into mid July. Weather patterns play a key role here and late Spring to mid Summer snow melt or rain offer ideal conditions for this. We limit our trips here to ideal conditions during this time so be prepared to go at last minute sometimes.
Upper Pitt River Dolly Varden & Bull Trout tend to average 2-5 lbs but fish over 10 lbs are not uncommon. These Trout are typically bright silver, indicative of the sea-run status.
Need a Guided Trip on the Upper Pitt?
Our Pitt River fly fishing trips include all high end fly tackle, our wicked custom tied flies, waders and a good offering of hearty organic food to fuel your day.
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Vancouver’s #2 top fly fishing spot
Location: Squamish River
Timing/Species: July 15 to September 7 odd years only for Pink Salmon. Oct/Nov every year for Chum & Coho Salmon
The Squamish River Pink Salmon Fly Fishing
Getting here requires a 60 minute drive northward from Vancouver on the scenic Sea to Sky highway. Like most fly fishing locations in the Vancouver region, the Squamish River is a typical West Coast setting. Surrounded by glacial capped mountains over 7,000 feet, rain forests and wildlife such as Elk, Deer and Black Bear. It’s no wonder that just being here brings new life to the soul.
Pink Salmon jumping on the line?
This could be described as rather easy fishing. The kind where fish seem to jump on your line! Imagine a river stuffed with Salmon and your fly swings right in front of them over and over for hours. This is why Squamish River Pink Salmon fly fishing is one of the Best fly fishing venues in Vancouver.
The Fish and Method:
Pink Salmon will average 4 – 8 lbs but they can get up to 14 lbs. They are only hours from the Pacific Ocean and thus offer tremendous scraps on 7-8 weight fly gear. Swinging flies or stripping both work using floating line and a short sink tip to keep your fly above the fish so as not to foul hook them. Any Pink coloured fly in sizes 2 to 8 can work extremely well.
Coho & Chum Salmon
When the Pinks aren’t running(odd years only) there IS Coho and Chum Salmon EVERY year from Oct 1 to November 30. This is wonderful fly fishing venue with all the same great scenery. The Squamish River has a rather good run of wild Coho. Chum runs can be awesome one year and a bit slow the next. None the less fly fishing for salmon here is totally worth it!
Need a fully guided trip?
All our guided fly fishing trips on the Squamish River(60 min from Vancouver) include the finest tackle available, our own killer ‘guide tied’ flies, great organic food and we can also provide hotel pickup from downtown Vancouver hotels.
For all Vancouver BC Fly Fishing inquiries you can call Brian Mack:
Vancouver’s #3 top fly fishing spot
Location: Squamish River
Timing: March to Early May and November/December
Species: Bull Trout
Squamish River Bull Trout Fly Fishing
The Squamish River: A place of beauty & tranquility!
Although 3rd on the list of Best places to go Flyfishing this is our 2nd Best Trout Fly Fishing available in Vancouver, British Columbia. The Squamish River holds true to it’s reputation as a quality fly fishing destination. The lay of the land here is breath taking. This glacial fed mid size river is 80 km long and holds at least 30 km of very fishable fly water in the lower half. Like many river basins on the West Coast the geography here is dominated by glacier capped mountains that suddenly jut out from the narrow valley floor. This is rainforest country. Very large Douglas Fir trees, Cedars and Alder can be seen everywhere. But then there’s the wildlife! Residing in the Squamish River Valley there is: Elk, Deer, Moose, Mountain Goat, Cougar, Wolf, Lynx, Black Bear, Grizzly, Bald Eagles and several water fowl species.
50 – 60 minutes North of Vancouver. Getting here is easy along the scenic Sea to Sky highway which eventually goes to Whistler ski resort and beyond.
The Fly Fishing:
The Squamish River holds a good population of resident and sea-run fish. This includes Bull Trout, Steelhead, resident Rainbows and Cutthroat.
Squamish River Bull Trout tend to average 2-5 lbs but fish over 10 lbs are encountered each season. The sea-run Bull Trout are typically bright silver, the rezzies tend to be a bit less chrome and show shades of natural colors to blend in to the river bottom easier. Steelhead are the largest trout and are specifically sea-run. Sizes range from 5 to 15 lbs.
Read: Bull Trout Fly Fishing article
We fish here by driving to a specific location or 2 and then it’s walk n wade. We can cover several large runs, riffles and pools as you swing our custom home made flies in front of feeding fish. There’s also raft trips available that allow you to cover more water. Fish here typically slam your fly. This is wet fly fishing only. We use 7-8 wt rods, floating main line with Rio sink tips.
As guides we ALWAYS love fly fishing here !!
About our guided fly fishing trips:
Our Squamish River fly fishing trips for Trout include all high end fly fishing tackle, our killer ‘guide tied’ flies, waders and a good offering of hearty organic food to keep you going.
Vancouver’s #4 top fly fishing spot
Location: Fraser River Valley
Timing: October 7 to November 7
Species: Coho and Chum Salmon
Fraser River Valley Salmon Fly Fishing
Includes the Harrison, Stave, Vedder Rivers and more
The beauty is the choices here…
The Fraser River Valley is on our list of Best Fly Fishing places near Vancouver because of one primary factor. Variety, number of locations and species within this region. There are 5 river systems in the area and 5 Pacific Salmon to choose from. Chum, Coho, Pink are the main salmon that are easy to get fly fishing in the Fraser Valley. There’s also Chinook and Sockeye but they’re much tougher to get on the fly.
The Bonus: Incredible Sturgeon fishing from March to late November!
The Fraser River Valley encompasses a large area 1 hour east of Vancouver. It includes the communities of Mission, Maple Ridge, Abbotsford, Chilliwack and Agassiz. We are based in Mission BC which is central to all the great fly fishing opportunities here.
The Fly Fishing:
Salmon will be available to catch when they return from the Pacific ocean to spawn in the many rivers within the Fraser River Valley. Prime time is October and into early November every year. In odd years there will be Pink salmon in September.
With a jet boat we can access dozens of hot spots on the Fraser River and it’s tributaries. We will fish on the Fraser, Harrison, Vedder, Nicomen, and Stave rivers.
The art of fly fishing is complex at times, especially when you’ve got such variety here. What to use?, how to use it? Where? When? These are all questions that can be answered by a professional fly fishing guide or tackle shop staff.
Book a fly fishing charter today!
All our guided fly fishing trips include the finest tackle available including our own ‘guide tied’ custom flies that will have you hooking lips! We can also provide hotel pickup from Vancouver.
For more info call Brian Mack at 1-604-864-5445
Vancouver’s #5 top fly fishing spot
Location: Southern Thompson – Nicola
Timing: May and June, September
Species: Rainbow Trout
Thompson – Nicola region fly fishing for Rainbow trout
World Class Stillwater Fly Fishing for Wild Rainbows
Loads of Rainbow Trout and a tranquil wilderness!
Our 5th on the list of Best places to go Fly fishing near Vancouver is a little different from the usual river scene but needs to be here because it’s truly a quality fly fishing venue.
This region we’re talking about here is in the Merritt area. This is about 2.5 hours East of Vancouver. There are plenty of lakes to choose from in the area 20 km south and East of Merritt. We have had over 2 decades of experience fly fishing dozens of lakes in this area with great success. It’s tough to say which lake is better. They’re all good. Each person tends to adopt their favourite lake for various reasons. Size of fish, number of fish, ease or difficulty of access and the setting are all good reasons. None the less you will find a wonderful experience here. And perhaps a tasty Rainbow Trout for dinner over the camp fire!
Besides excellent fly fishing there’s the scenery. Unlike the rugged west coast terrain of sharply rising snow capped mountains the Merritt area is more rolling plateau country where Lodgepole & Ponderosa Pine trees and Aspen & Birch dominate. Free range cattle roam almost everywhere too. Everything is drier here. The dirt forest service roads are the main access points to almost every fishable lake in the area.
We highly recommend a good off road map book like BC Backroads Mapbook. They will also provide some fly fishing info to assist you.
Read: Stillwater Rainbow Trout offers abundant solitude
The Fly Fishing:
This is still water fly fishing at it’s finest. In layman’s terms that means a lake. There’s 2 ways to fly fish here. Casting and stripping your fly(trolling is a weaker substitute) or suspending your fly under a strike indicator in the feeding zones. This latter method doesn not involve movement. Anchor up your Jon boat or Pontoon boat, cast out and let your midge aka chironomid sink. When it’s in the right zone and depth your indicator will vanish provided your fly is the right size and colour. A lot of things have to be just right but when they are: LOOK OUT. You will start hooking Rainbow’s like crazy!!
We use 4-5 wt rods, floating main line with 4-6 lb flourocarbon leaders.
For years I have really enjoyed stillwater fly fishing out of a float tube(belly boat). They are stealthy, quiet, and you always have both hands free to fish properly. You are really in touch with the lake environment. But I have recently been using small Jon boats with a dual anchor system. These are great when it’s windy on the water.
Get out there and enjoy the #5 Best fly fishing spot within 3 hours of Vancouver. If you can, try to take in all the great fly fishing that the Vancouver and southwest BC has to offer!