Fishing reel

Cowichan River


Species: Steelhead, Trout

Coordinates: 48° 46€² 0€³ N, 123° 38€² 0€³ W


Location: British Columbia

Why we chose it

In 2009, Brown trout; Famous fishery on Vancouver Island 

When to fish: Spring and fall.


Where to fish: Focus on the fly-fishing-only section of the river.

Tip: Use minnow-imitating flies and Woolly Buggers, or dry flies to match hatches.


—Barry Stokes, manager at Islander Reels

In 2008, Steelhead; Great fishing and beautiful scenery

When to fish: February to April.

Where to fish: Back eddies and fast water.

Tip: Fly fish with Egg-Sucking Leeches, Mickey Finns or single-egg patterns. Spin anglers use Lil’ Corkys, Gooey-Bobs, pink worms, Spin-N-Glos, spinners and spoons.

—Shelley Bancroft & Courtney Hatfield, hosts of Shelley and Courtney

Brown trout; Legendary river and one of only two waters on Vancouver Island with browns

When to fish: Spring and fall at first and last light.

Where to fish: Wood piles, from the falls to the headwater near Cowichan Lake.

Tip: Use wet flies with flash.

—Gary Cooper, host of Gary Cooper’s Fishing Diary