Places to Fish for Steelhead outside of Vancouver BC??

Discussion in 'Steelhead' started by rivlak, Feb 16, 2013.

  1. rivlak

    rivlak Always an Adventure

    Going to Downtown Vancouver BC, eh, on Easter Weekend (March 29-31). Have some time afterwards and want to fish for Steelhead. Any places someone could recommend or a local guide service?
  2. Salmo_g

    Salmo_g Active Member

    Squamish/Cheakamus. I've never been there, but hear it's a decent steelhead river.

  3. Jordan Simpson

    Jordan Simpson Active Member

    The Squam is a beautiful river about 45mins to an hour and a half depending on traffic from the downtown core. Just take the Sea-to-Sky highway and you'll end up in the sleepy town of Squampton.
    Get in touch with Whistler Fly Fishing ( for more detailed directions, or if you're downtown, check out Pacific Angler on West Broadway (

    That being said, you will be there in the midst of prime steelhead season, but let's not get confused with a prime steelhead system. Granted the runs are long and beautiful, with amazing scenery and fresh clean glacial water- but there are only a handful of returning steelhead to that system. Don't go there expecting to catch one. Go and enjoy the new river, the scenery and wildlife, and defs swing a few flies. Hooking up will be a huge bonus and nice ender to a great day on that water.

  4. rivlak

    rivlak Always an Adventure

    Thanks for the detailed information. If I survive my Crossfit Level one training, then I will give it a shot. I was also thinking of the Vedder? Any ideas?
  5. Jordan Simpson

    Jordan Simpson Active Member

    The Vedder river, well, it's there- and there are usually lots of steel. Try to go mid-week if you can, and try to go when there is an afternoon or 4pm Canucks game. That will get people off the water earlier, or keep them in lesser numbers. Go on a weekend and your shit out of luck. Be aware the Vedder has lots of weekend warriors and gear/bait/fly is allowed. Expect to get low-holed by joe-schmo.
    I've only fished the river three times over three years- lots of people and drama. If you want to have a good time, hike away and find some nice water. There is lots of public access water and those runs are always busy. Get in to the river there and then just hike away. Lots of those afternoon fisherman will just pull up and walk in and fish. If you're willing to hike in, you can find some nice water to youself.
    I know I sound like I'm ragging on this river, but I'm not. I'm ragging on how some of the people that fish it behave. The river is beautiful, chock full of rainbows, bulls and dollies, and steel- and when in season, chums, springs, and coho. Just pick and choose your days and runs.

    I would rather spend a day on the Squam swining flies with the possiblitiy of catching a nice quality fish than fish the Vedder and get two or three hatchery fish amidst a dink-float armada.

    Also, you will need to get these licenses/tags:
    Non-resident alien freshwater license and a steelhead tag/stamp.

    If you fish the Vedder (as per the last time I checked the regs), you are allowed one (1) hatchery steelhead for retention but once culled, you must stop fishing that river. So in short, if the river is hot and your hooking up lots, release them all until you're ready to head home and then cull the next hatchery one you get.

  6. rivlak

    rivlak Always an Adventure

    Thanks for the info. If I do fish it it would be on a Monday/Tuesday. Who knows, I have a week off so I might just drive back and hit the OP.
  7. Jeremy Floyd

    Jeremy Floyd fly fishing my way through life

    I just fished the Vedder this last weekend. It was super busy. There wasn't a single stretch of river without multiple people stacked up on anything resembling productive water.

    I didnt touch a fish, and nobody I talked to all day heard or saw of a fish caught. It was a while since some water hit the system though and the river was pretty clear. I was casting across to the walking path side and dropping it within a foot or so of the far bank and the gear guys were impressed. The one guy across from me for a half hour or so said a couple times "Holy Jesus, God! How can you cast that far? I can't even cast that far with my pinner."

    Other than that there wasn't anything happening besides cast, swing, strip, step step...
  8. Jeremy Floyd

    Jeremy Floyd fly fishing my way through life

    It wasn't even that far btw either.. about 100-105 feet. I still had several wraps of ridge running line on the reel.
  9. Bluemoon

    Bluemoon New Member

    I fished the Vedder in January during a cold snap down there on a Monday and I counted over 100 guys fishing while there. I was the only one flyfishing.
  10. 24_7Fisherman

    24_7Fisherman New Member

    I fish the Vedder all the time. It may get a decent run of steelhead but dont expect to catch one because they are pretty hammered and can get put off. Its possible to pick gear guys pockets all the time in that system though. Out of my and 5 others in a run, them all fishing bait and only me on the fly and i ended up being the only one with a fish. The river is also not chalk full of rainbows and Bulls, it has some but you hardly intecept these either. The squamish has a larger number of Bulls in my opinion and are caught regularly. If i was staying in Van i would probably head for Squamish myself, gorgeous river and scenery and not as crowded as the Vedder (the better fly water gets packed with gear guys alot)

    also remember that our licenses expire March 31 so if you plan to fish in April you will need a completely new license AND a new steelhead stamp.

    Be gentle with our wild fish please :)

    PS - If you are planning on hitting the Vedder send me a PM and perhaps i can take you out and show you around the river.

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