Beneath the mossy canopy of the West Coast rainforest lies a fishing destination that promises a fantastic chance of hooking up with big brown and rainbow trout, as well as giant steelhead and Pacific salmon. And as a bonus, you can expect to spot elk, deer, eagles, otters and black bears in the wild. Welcome to B.C.’s vaunted Cowichan River, widely considered one of the finest trout fishing streams in Canada’s westernmost province.
The Cowichan originates at Cowichan Lake and flows eastward, ending at Cowichan Bay in the Strait of Georgia. Just how renowned is this river? In 2003, it was designated as a Canadian Heritage River.
Since the Cowichan is laden with section after section of elevation-dropping rapids, the only way to fish it properly is with a drift boat. For that, we highly recommend the services of skilled guide Kenzie Cuthbert of Kenzie’s Fishing Adventures. Picture yourself set up in the bow of a classic West Coast-style drift boat, slowly meandering down almost 20 kilometres of this scenic river, firing precision-perfect casts to riffles and pools along the way. And as a nice touch to put the trip over the top, there’s the added luxury of a delicious shorelunch in the majestic rainforest’s remote, Jurassic-like setting.
Spinning, baitcasting and fly fishing are all productive on this particular stretch of the Cowichan. For a past Fish’n Canada Show shoot on the river, we cast small spoons, spinners and minnowbaits, all of which worked well. If you don’t want to bring your own tackle all the way to B.C., no worries—Kenzie will set you up. All you need to do is get there. And enjoy.