If you are a fly fisherman and you live in BC, it is a simple matter of grabbing you gear and going just down the road and begin fishing. If you live anywhere in the province outside greater Vancouver, the fly fishing opportunities are many and close by. If you don’t own a boat there are many small streams and lakes in all areas of the Province that are full of fish. If you own a boat then the opportunities of areas to fish and species to catch are almost endless.
If you are a fly fisherman and you would like to visit this fly fishing paradise then you will have to make some choices, or come to visit for a very long time. If you are visiting the province on a fishing trip you will first have to decide on the type of trip, the species to target and the time of year you are going fishing.
The Province of British Columbia is divided into 8 distinct regions and the fishing regulations are referenced to the sections. Make sure to read the section of the regulations that are appropriate to the Region that you are in. The Fishing regions of the Province are at; http://www.env.gov.bc.ca/fw/fish/regulations/
Region 1, Vancouver Island covers all of Vancouver Island and a portion of the Mainland Coast adjacent to the Island. It also covers the Haida Gwaii Islands off the Northern Coast of BC.
Region 2, The Lower Mainland covers the area along the Fraser River and runs along the US, Canada border for several miles and extends North Up the Coast.
Region 3, The Thompson Region covers the areas of the Province that are drained by the Thompson River as well a section of the Province that is drained by the Fraser River.
Region 4, The Kootenay Region covers the portion of the province that is drained by the Columbia River.
Region 5, The Cariboo Region covers an area in the Central interior of the Province that is drained by the Fraser River and several coastal rivers.
Region 6, The Skeena Region covers the area of the Province that is drained by the Skeena River.
Region 7A, The Omenica Region covers a portion of the Province that is drained by several rivers that run into Williston Lake as well as several rivers that flow into the Fraser River.
Region 7B, The Peace Region covers the portion of the Province that is drained by several large rivers, all of which flow into the Arctic Ocean.
Region 8, The Okanagan region of the Province sits along the US, Canada border surrounding Okanagan Lake. The waters in this region all flow into the Columbia River.
If you are going to fly fish for Steelhead or Salmon, you will want to time your trip to match the migratory runs of these fish. You can fish in BC all year round, but in the Winter you will want to plan your trip to the coastal regions and to Vancouver Island.
Vancouver Island offers fly fishing opportunities year round. While the North Coast offers salmon and Steelhead fishing mostly through late Summer and into the late fall until it gets too cold.
If you are planning a trout fishing trip, there are many opportunities in every region of the province. Most of the trout fishing is available from March to October but there are several streams and rivers that are open throughout the year in the South Western region of the province. Also take a look at the provincial fishing regulations as there is quite a difference between regions on season opening days, catch limits, and special closures.
With the variety of fly fishing opportunities in the province, it may seem impossible to find a good fishing spot and not get lost in the process. There are several excellent map books that will show you the roads and highways you need to travel to get to the best fishing spots. Remember the smaller the road the map shows, the better the fishing.
When traveling in BC you will want to be aware of several things that make this great fishing area unique. The first thing to do is to buy a fishing license. You can purchase a fishing license online from anywhere in the world by going to the; . You can also download and print the section of the regulations you need from this site.
The next thing you should do is get a map of the region you are going to fish. There are several excellent map books available or you can buy topo maps at many sporting goods stores in the province as well as online from several vendors. My favorite map book for the province is the BC Recreational Atlas.
When you are out and about in BC and are traveling some of the gravel roads in the province, be aware that there are many logging trucks and other heavy traffic that use the roads. The roads were built to accommodate the industrial traffic and they have the right of way no matter what. Take your time on the logging roads and don’t drive too fast. Stay on your side of the road and drive with your headlights on at all times.
The other thing to be aware of when fly fishing in BC is that there are bears in all regions of the province. Since most of the province is covered in forests, mountains and salmon filled rivers there are grizzly bears in most of the province and black bears in every region. Be aware of your surroundings at all times and pay attention to bear dropping and tracks on the trails and river banks. Traveling in bear country is probably not the best time to be listening to your favorite tunes. In the back country you will likely hear a bear long before you see it, but only if you can hear what is going on around you.
When camping make sure you keep your camp site clean and never cook inside a tent or store food inside your tent at night. Many of the camp sites are user maintained so please take all of your garbage with you for proper disposal. Nobody likes to see Tim’s cups and big Mac wrappers along side of the road 100 miles from the nearest town.