Vancouver Island Trout Fishing Trips

 Many people go fishing all of their lives without knowing that it is not the fish they are after; the peace you can find during fishing is rare. Vancouver Island has many magnificent spots for fishing where  you can experience unique trips.

Trout Fishing on Vancouver Island

The 4th Most popular type of fishing in North America belongs to trout fishing. Vancouver Island, a land of opportunities for the sport fishers, offers a variety of endless fishing spots and some very unique fish like trout, halibut and white sturgeon, which can be caught.
The rivers weaving through the intricate landscape of Vancouver Island are home to many fish species, including trout, which can attain impressive sizes. River anglers will find all kinds of trout such as coastal cutthroat, rainbow, steelhead, and even brown trout in some streams.

Vancouver Island Trout Habitat

Typically, most rivers fish great for trout in the spring, when water temperatures start to heat, and the resident trout are feeding on abundant insect life in the river. Salmon fry also begins emerging from the gravel at this time, providing more food for hungry trout.
During salmon spawning season, trout gorge on loose salmon eggs is drifting downriver. Almost all rivers on Vancouver Island have a bait ban, which means the use of some baits like roe is limited. Trout beads or Yarn eggs are a good substitute for salmon roe when trout fishing during the fall season.
Remember that the retention of wild trout in every river on Vancouver Island is unlawful; only fin-clipped, hatchery-reared trout can be retained.
A low number of rivers are stocked with hatchery trout, making almost all the rivers on Vancouver Island catch-and-release fisheries. These laws have impressively increased trout numbers and allow anglers to try and catch them.

Vancouver Island Trout Fishing Guides

The Best Trout Fishing Spots on Vancouver Island

There are so many opportunities for trout fishing and especially fly-fishing on Vancouver Island. Anglers who seek out the best trout fishing locations on Vancouver Island must visit the below locations.
In Nanaimo and the Cowichan Valley, there are many great spots, Quamichan Lake , has good trout fishing; also, Quennell Lake has excellent fishing occasions, as is Holden Lake near Yellow Point.
Cutthroat and rainbow trout at Brannen Lake are best-known, which is located only 5 km (3 miles) away from Nanaimo. Most of the locations have access both from the shore and by the boat.

The Best time for Trout Fishing on Vancouver Island

Months from April until June are the best time to fish for Trout on Vancouver Island.
According to the weather of spring and populations of trout species in this season, if you are looking for a more and larger trout fish late spring is the best time.

The Best Bait for Trout Fishing on Vancouver Island

Fresh herring, salmon bellies, or geoduck clams, worms, single salmon eggs, krill, cooked shrimp, and Berkley PowerBait are the best baits that you can prepare and use for trout fishing.
Remember that the fresh herring is tougher, which will stay longer on the hook. Another tip about herring, frozen bait is not recommended, but if you had to use it is better to soak it in a salt-water brine overnight to help stiffen it up.

Vancouver Island Trout Fishing Season

Vanisle Fishers

Dolly Varden Trout Fishing Season

Vanisle Fishers

Coastal Cutthrout Trout Fishing Season

Vanisle Fishers

Rainbow Trout Fishing Season

Vanisle Fishers

Steel Head Trout Fishing Season

Vanisle Fishers

Brown Trout Fishing Season


Fishing for Trout Species on Vancouver Island

Coastal Cutthrout Trout Fishing

Coastal Cutthroat Trout or “coastal cutties” with blue or greenish backs, spotted bodies, and a faint red-orange slash of colour under the jaw has a different appearance.
Their length is about 10-16 inches, and they can grow to 18 lbs. They have been known to mingle in saltwater every now and then, but they are highly mobile and have irregular lifecycles, making them an elusive, challenging catch.
On Vancouver Island, there is a good number of native cutthroat The upper half of the Island does well for ‘Cutts; you can reach these magnificent fish in the estuaries, rivers and lakes.

Rainbow Trout Fishing

Rainbow Trout are exciting to fish to catch and are among the most popular target species for recreational freshwater anglers. Rainbow trout are known worldwide for their bold red stripe that runs down their bodies, which is usually darker in river fish than in lake dwellers. They live in lakes and rivers and estuaries, and you can enjoy fishing these aggressive, strong feeders year-round with fly and gear angling. They are smaller than steelhead, with an average length of 14 to 20 inches. The lower half of Vancouver Island has an abundance of rainbows in its rivers and lakes. A great fish to angle for those family outings and for the serious anglers.

Steel Head Trout Fishing

This wonderful hard-fighting fish is placed as one of the best sports fish in North America. It’s very similar to the rainbow trout that inhabits freshwater, the only significant difference being that the larger steelhead is a seagoing fish. They can weigh from 8-10 lbs. when returning from the ocean but have been known to reach even over 30 lbs. In some streams, there are both winter-run steelhead and summer-run (returning in summer and early fall and spawning in midwinter or early spring). Steelheads are identified by their elongated, metallic silver bodies during their ocean phase. With hundreds of steelhead living on and off Vancouver Island, you have an excellent opportunity to look into these legendary fish species while flying or gear fishing.
✅ Average length: 19-22

Brown Trout Fishing

Brown Trout are live in cold water; they native to western Asia and Europe. Cameron and Cowichan Lakes are the best places where you can find Brown Trout on Vancouver Island. A trout is known as being wary, elusive and challenging fish to catch. Brown Trout's average length is about 16 to 18 inches, with plenty in the 20-plus inch range, but in the world-famous Cowichan River, they are grown up even to 10 lbs. These light brown coloured trout have black spots on their backs plus rusty-red spots on their sides. A dozen lakes and rivers on the island hold these cunning trout; invite you to a fly fishing challenge worth the effort.
✅ Average length: 16-18 inches

Dolly Varden Trout Fishing

Dolly Varden trout is a char found in the northern Pacific Ocean's coastal streams. Dolly Varden lives in creeks and rivers' deep runs and pools. They can also be found in rivers and lakes, as well as the sea. They are anadromous in most cases, but many populations are landlocked. They are opportunistic feeders who consume insects, small fish, fish eggs, shrimp, and leeches. During the spring and summer in May, June, and July, good Dolly Varden trout fishing can be tried in saltwater. Their average weight typically ranges from 0.25 to 9 kg (0.5-20 lbs); they can usually be found near spawning salmon, in deep holes, and at the creek mouth on an incoming tide.

Trout Fishing Techniques on Vancouver Island

Generally, the difference between the type of fishing is not really obvious, and they differ in small details. Depending on where you choose to fish and what fishing gadgets you use, there are some fishing divisions like the inshore, offshore and rock fishing; also, you can fish on a kayak, canoe, or boat.

Bottom Fishing for trout

Bait fishing from the bottom. When trout are in deeper water, the bait must be lowered to the depths where the fish are. There is no bobber used in this approach to keep the bait suspended. Instead, the lead weight is linked to the baited hook and launched out about 1.5 feet above it. The lead weight will sink, but the bait will float up to 1.5 feet above the water's surface and hover there.

Spin Casting for Trout

Getting a spinner, spoon, or fly out of the water. Spinners are designed to look like little minnows, leeches, and other trout food. Cast a spinner or spoon over water that looks like a trout habitat. Allow a minute for it to settle in before beginning to reel it in (retrieving). Change the amount of time you allow the spinner to drop and the pace at which you retrieve it until you discover the right combination.

Fly Fishing for Trout

Fly fishing is the skill of deceiving a trout using an artificial fly that has been hand-tied and fashioned with materials such as hair, feathers, and other materials to resemble natural insects or baitfish. A fly rod, reel, and particularly weighted line are used to cast the fly. Because the fly is essentially weightless, it necessitates casting techniques distinct from those used for other types of casting. Fly fishing for trout is often reserved for anglers who want to test themselves with a more challenging trout fishing while catching as many fish as possible. The good news is that fly casting is frequently easier than it appears.

Jigging Fishing for Trout

Jigging is a tried-and-true strategy because of its irregular motion, which mimics injured fish. Knowing which lake trout jigging lures to use is one of the most important lake trout fishing tips. It's vital to remember that lake trout love light lures, so keep small spinners and spoons on hand while learning how to catch them. Try nightcrawlers, salmon eggs, or minnows that look like their natural food if you wish to use live bait.

Trolling Fishing for Trout

When most fishermen troll for trout, they use surface trolling, also known as flatline trolling. Trolling lures or baits in the water's surface layers is what surface trolling is all about. As the fish are on the surface, it is quite successful, but when the fish descend deeper, it is less so.
The planer board is a more recent innovation that allows you to troll wide of the boat, similar to an outrigger. A trolling board may carry lures up to 30 meters to the side of a boat, keeping the fish from being spooked by the boat.

Protected Fish Species on Vancouver Island

According to the Government of Canada, if you catch any of the Aquatic species listed under the Species at Risk Act and protected by the Fisheries Act, you should immediately remove the hook from it and releasing where you catch it. If the fish is deeply hooked, hooked around the gills, or bleeding, you should improve its chances for survival by cutting the leader as close to the hook’s eye as possible and releasing it with the hook left in.

Limited Fishing Areas on Vancouver Island

• Pacific Rim National Park Reserve
• Gwaii Haanas National Park Reserve
• Gulf Islands National Park Reserve

Vancouver Island Fish Species

Know Vancouver Island fish species to choose the best place for angling, and all you need to know before fishing on this spectacular island!

Trout Fishing Regulations on Vancouver Island

Effective fishing regulations can be a key factor component of healthful fisheries. It contains information about open seasons, recreational fishing licences, fishing methods and, catch limits, as well as up-to-date fishing regulations for diverse fishing areas.
• Using a fishing line to which more than one artificial fly is attached (i.e., to use “dropper flies”) is forbbiden. • Using light in any way to attract fish except the light is submerged and attached to the fishing line within 1 m of the hook is unlawful. • It is forbidden to fish with nets, including minnow nets, dip nets, cast nets, or gill nets. • Using barbed hooks or any hook with more than one point in all rivers, streams, creeks, or sloughs in B.C is prohibited. (Although the use of barbed hooks in lakes is allowed except the one noted in the Regional Water-Specific Tables).

Fishing Tips on Vancouver Island

• Keep boat launch areas clear to give all boaters equal access. Prepare your boat for launching away from the ramp to avoid creating unnecessary delays. • Don’t try boating and alcohol. You will need your complete reflexes to keep you, your boat, and other stream users safe. It’s unlawful to operate a boat while impaired. • Limit your speed (particularly when getting into corners) to keep away from collisions with other boaters, anglers, swimmers, and hidden obstacles. Respect the Universal Shoreline Speed Restriction of 10 within 30 metres of the shore. • Be careful when boating at dawn and dusk and in other conditions of limited light or visibility. • Refrain from running your boat through water being fished by way of others. Go slowly or drift by anglers along the shoreline. Be considerate of others. • Avoid sensitive habitats such as spawning areas, shallow water, and wildlife nesting or foraging areas. • Give animals crossing the river the space and time to do so. It’s unlawful to harass wildlife with a boat. • Pack out your garbage. Old fishing lines, litter, fuel, and oil damage fish habitat, endanger aquatic life and reduce water quality.

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Vancouver Island Trout Fishing Common Question

Months from April until June are the best time to fish for Trout on Vancouver Island.

Share your angling experience or trout fishing journey on Vancouver Island with us!