Where do Outdoor Canada’s writers and photographers go fishing? At these 27 awesome hot spots, from coast to coast to coast


All photos courtesy contributors unless otherwise noted

Here we go again—our annual roundup of the country’s hottest fishing destinations! Over the years, we’ve focussed on a wide variety of blue-ribbon angling opportunities. The best bets for catching trophy fish? Done. The top drive-to fisheries? Done. Fly-in only? Done. And on it goes. This year, we’ve drilled down once more to give you something a little different, asking our amazing roster of contributors to share their favourite places to hit the water. Here’s where Outdoor Canada’s angling brain trust loves to fish, from the West Coast to the East Coast to the Far North.

FISH SMART: Before heading to any of these hot spots, please be sure to check the latest local regulations and seasons. You can find a full list of all provincial and territorial fishing regs on our website at www.outdoorcanada.ca/fishingregs.



THE FISH: Chinook and coho salmon

Nootka Sound on the west coast of Vancouver Island is the ultimate destination for reel-screaming chinook and coho fishing, complete with spectacular vistas and protected, calm inside waters. Various local lodges offer fully guided trips and rental boats, or you can bring your own watercraft. The area’s plentiful wild salmon stocks are enriched annually by the release of 3.5 million chinook smolts from the nearby Conuma River Hatchery. —Mark Hoffman

LEARN MORE: www.discovervancouverisland.com



THE FISH: Cutthroat trout, Dolly Varden, salmon (chinook, chum, coho and pink) and steelhead


A 20-minute drive south of Campbell River, the Oyster and its estuary comprise one of Vancouver Island’s best short rivers for cutthroat. Thanks to the Oyster River Enhancement Society’s efforts since 1980, there’s now a stellar run of 100,000 pink salmon during even-numbered years. Fly anglers lining the beach on rising tides do well casting pink, purple and blue flies. There’s also a large run of wild steelhead, so expect a good, hard whack on your offering. —D.C. Reid

LEARN MORE: www.nilecreekfly-shop.com


THE FISH: Cutthroat trout

In 1950, a local angler introduced two pairs of coastal cutthroat trout to Turner Lake, the namesake of a chain of lakes high on a plateau in the Coast Mountains. Only accessible by a 20-minute float plane ride or stiff hike, the seven-lake watershed is now stuffed with feisty, pan-sized fish. Bring light tackle and your sense of adventure—the lakes are rich in wildlife and bookended by glaciers and the 260-metre Hunlen Falls. —Ryan Stuart

LEARN MORE: www.stewartslodge.com


THE FISH: Walleye

Lac La Biche’s pristine waters provide ideal habitat and a balanced ecosystem for supporting an abundance of quality walleye—made all the better yet by conservation efforts designed to ensure sustainable populations. Along with the thrill of catching trophy-sized walleye, visiting anglers are also drawn to the renowned fishery’s stunning natural surroundings. No wonder Lac La Biche has a reputation as a premier year-round fishing destination. —Gord Nuttall

LEARN MORE: www.laclabicheregion.com