| North Fraser Valley|
of the best fishing in the Fraser Valley
is found on the Upper Pitt River as attested to by the frequency with which
steelhead strike at the barbless lures of fly-fishing anglers. (Fishing is strictly
catch-and-release on the Upper Pitt.)
Fern Crescent between Maple Ridge Municipal Park and Golden
Ears Provincial Park, you'll often see anglers patiently casting for trout
from smooth boulders beside the fast-flowing Alouette River.
River access is from Fern Crescent at one of two municipal locations. If you visit
Golden Ears park with a car-top boat, you can launch from a small wharf next to
the parking area at Mike Lake and enjoy a quiet paddle. The wharf is also
a good place to toss in a fishing line
At Rolley Lake Provincial Park, anglers have as much
competition from blue herons as from each other. You can toss in a line from many
points along a trail that runs around the perimeter of the lake, beginning from
a modest beach and boat launch in the day-use parking lot. (Powerboats are not
allowed on Rolley Lake.) Docks jut out into the lake at several locations, from
which anglers can toss in a line. Although the lake is well stocked early in the
season with rainbow and cutthroat trout, it is often fished out by late summer.
The catch limit is two per day.
Kanaka Creek is one of the healthiest sportfishing channels in the North
Fraser Valley. Steelhead, sea-run cutthroat trout, and chum and coho salmon are
all found below the 240th Street Bridge where a fish-counting fence is located.
Angling is not permitted upstream from this point. A provincial freshwater fishing
licence is required on this section of the creek and a federal tidal-fishing licence
is needed to fish the Fraser from the mouth of the creek.
Coho and chum salmon spawn in the Stave River in late October and November,
a good time for visiting and viewing. Wide spawning channels have been dug on
each side of the river. The best place to begin is the Ruskin Recreation Area.
To reach it, take Lougheed Hwy (Hwy 7) east of Maple
Ridge to the small Fraser River town of Ruskin. Turn north as if heading to
Rolley Lake Provincial Park. Drive a short distance to the Ruskin Dam. Follow
Ruskin Road east across the top of the dam and descend 0.6 mile (1 km) down to
the site gates. A gated boat launch is on your left as you enter; car-top boats
can be launched here. A short trail leads to the Stave River, where a wooden footbridge
leads across the gravelled spawning channel onto the banks of the river itself.
Looking downstream from the recreation site, you can see Ruskin's sawmills beside
the brown expanse of the Fraser River.
Deer and Hicks Lakes in Sasquatch Provincial
Park near Harrison Hot Springs are
ideal for angling from a small boat. (Powerboats are restricted to electric motors
on Deer Lake and 10hp is the maximum permitted on Hicks.) Trout fishing is popular
at both stocked lakes, and also at aptly named Trout Lake closer to the
park entrance. There are boat launches at both Deer and Hicks, whereas only a
rough trail leads downhill from the park road to Trout Lake. If you don't have
a boat, try casting from the shoreline beside the camping area at Hicks Lake.Crescent
Island lies on the opposite side of the Fraser River from the Stave River,
and shelters Glen Valley Regional Park's fishing bars from sight. (A fishing
bar is an expanse of riverbed that lies exposed at low tide.) Glen Valley lies
4.3 miles (7 km) east of Fort Langley
and, together with Derby Reach Regional Park, offers some of the best saltwater
fishing on this section of the Fraser River. Head east from Fort Langley along
88th Avenue: Two-Bit Bar is located at the intersection of 88th Avenue
and 272nd Street.
South Fraser Valley
Follow River Road east of Two-Bit Bar to reach Poplar
and Duncan Bars, a total distance one way of about 2.5 miles (4 km) between
the three sites. Of the park's three fishing bars, Poplar Bar is the largest and
offers the most interesting options. You can fish, launch a car-top boat, and
explore several riverside trails.
Derby Reach Regional Park sits across the Fraser River from the entrance
of Kanaka Creek. The park's Edgewater Bar is a big attraction to anglers
of all ages who come to set their lines for salmon and watch the Fraser River
flow by. Fishing bars that were once prevalent along the Fraser have more recently
been usurped by log booms, which makes Edgewater even more valuable. What gives
this park top billing are the squares of melmac inlaid at the corner of each picnic
table. This is the officially sanctioned place to clean your salmon. Just the
sight of it raises one's hopes.
Anglers congregate near the south end of the Mission Bridge in Matsqui
Trail Regional Park. This is the great divide in the Fraser River. Upstream
from the nearby Canadian Pacific Railway bridge anglers must carry a provincial
freshwater licence, while downstream from it the feds want you to carry a tidal-fishing
licence. Take your pick or carry both. Sturgeon, coho and chinook salmon, steelhead,
and cutthroat trout await your cast. The GVRD requests that anglers not use the
picnic tables to prepare bait or clean fish (no melmac inserts here yet).
With the autumn rains comes the rising of water levels in Lower Mainland rivers
and creeks. Then the welcome mat is out for schools of salmon that have been waiting
for just such a seasonal occurrence to begin the journey upstream to their spawning
grounds. As you drive the Chilliwack River Road, you pass beside the Chilliwack
River. At these times you'll encounter riverbanks lined with expectant fishermen
waiting to intercept them. There are frequent Forest Service recreation sites
along the road where anglers can park and easily reach the river. The Royal Canadian
Mounted Police station themselves by the bridge at Vedder Crossing, carefully
scrutinizing the contents of cars for violations of the four-coho-per-day catch
limit. A fish hatchery is located beside the river, 13 miles (21 km) east of the
Vedder bridge. Fishing is not allowed in the river between the hatchery and Chilliwack
to Chilliwack Lake's year-round chilly water, it attracts serious anglers
in pursuit of various species of surface-feeding trout, including rainbow, cutthroat,
kokanee, and dolly varden char.
Be cautious when out in a small boat
as Chilliwack Lake's sparkling waters are prone to being whipped up by winds that
funnel out to the coast. Lakeside casting is possible from the sandbars at Paleface
and Depot Creeks on the lake's east side.
Skagit River is one of the premier rainbow trout rivers in Western North
America. Angling is particularly popular along the Silver-Skagit Road between
26-Mile Bridge day-use area and Chittenden Bar day-use area. In
addition to these two sites, there's off-road parking and quick access to the
Skagit along the Silver-Skagit Road at Shawtum, Rhododendron Bar,
Strawberry Bar, and Nepopekum day-use areas for both riverbank and
float angling. A BC freshwater-angling licence must be purchased before arriving
in the park. These are available locally in Hope and Silver Creek. Fishing is
strictly catch-and-release with barbless hooks on the Skagit River.
Salmon Fishing is the main draw for fishermen in the Lower Mainland
area, both freshwater and saltwater. The Fraser River sockeye salmon run some
years tops 20 million fish. Pushovers for pink hootchies, pink salmon also arrive
in their millions in odd numbered years. If you wish to get in touch with your
primal side, fish the prehistoric sturgeon of the mighty Fraser River. Your guide
will lead you to one of these ancient fish that may top 500 pounds, and take all
morning to land.
McDonald Beach on Sea Island in Richmond
features a boat launch, a bait shop, and several picnic tables arranged on a high
bank beside the North Arm of the Fraser River. There's
also fishing in Richmond near Steveston,
where a municipal pier juts out into the Fraser at Gilbert's Beach beside the
South Arm Dyke Trail at the foot of No. 2 Road, just east of the Steveston harbour.
catch salmon, trout, and numerous other species from the shores of Deas Island
Regional Park. The Riverside picnic area is one of the most popular areas
from which to fish. In the summer months, try your luck for salmon off the BC
Ferries Ferry Terminal in Tsawwassen.
A Tidal Waters Sports Fishing
License is required by all anglers, and is available at most fishing shops.