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6 fly fishing hot spots in B.C.’s Lower Mainland and beyond

B.C.’s Lower Mainland and beyond: 6 fly fishing hot spots

The staff at Port Coquitlam’s Riverside Fly and Tackle share their favourite waters

Owner Garry Elgear calls himself a “shop rat” who started working for Port Coquitlam’s Riverside Fly and Tackle at age 15, before eventually buying the place. Riverside offers a full range of fly tackle, as well as guided trips on both fresh and salt water. En route to the following hot spots, pick up a few Happy Endings—Elgear’s saucy twist on the Intruder fly.

More info: Riverside Fly and Tackle, (604) 944-2479, www.rsfat.com

FRASER RIVER, B.C.

GPS: 49.221, -122.800

FISH: Bull and cutthroat trout, salmon (chinook, chum, coho, pink, sockeye), steelhead, sturgeon

HIGHLIGHT: At some point in the year, all of the above species are present, often in big numbers

WHEN: Year-round

HARRISON RIVER, B.C.

GPS: 49.262, -121.930

FISH: Bull and cutthroat trout, salmon (chinook, chum, coho, pink, sockeye)

HIGHLIGHT: Boat or walk-in access to picturesque water, complete with thousands of eagles

WHEN: Late summer to early fall for salmon; year-round for trout

HOWE SOUND, B.C.

GPS: 49.564, -123.269

FISH: Chinook and coho salmon

HIGHLIGHT: New creosote-free pilings brought back the herring run; numerous spring salmon are following

WHEN: Winter to spring

KOOTENAY LAKE, B.C.

GPS: 49.730, -116.880

FISH: Rainbow trout

HIGHLIGHT: Good population of big-shouldered Gerrard-strain rainbows

WHEN: Year-round; winter for trophies

STUMP LAKE, B.C.

GPS: 50.364, -120.370

FISH: Rainbow trout

HIGHLIGHT: Great fly action with the high-jumping Kamloops strain

WHEN: Spring

VEDDER RIVER, B.C.

GPS: 49.098, -122.001

FISH: Chinook salmon

HIGHLIGHT: Lots of stocking; the red spring chinooks are the tastiest of salmon

WHEN: Summer

Check out our complete list of hot Canadian angling destinations

Scott Gardner

Scott Gardner

Outdoor Canada associate editor and fly-fishing columnist Scott Gardner is happiest when he's on the water fishing (especially from his kayak) or just surrounded by trees, preferably out of cell phone range. Since joining Outdoor Canada in 2010, Scott has won nine National Communication Awards from the Outdoor Writers of Canada for his adventure travel and fly fishing articles, and been nominated for five National Magazine Awards.