Because we are lucky enough to have ocean faring salmon and steelhead right in our backyards, Vancouver Island spring trout fishing is often overlooked. But when the fresh air on our beautiful Island begins to warm, the anglers turn to their tackle boxes to load up on the spring fly hatch. As we wait for the air to warm up the water, we’ll be spinning flies trying to “match the hatch” and stocking up on your favourite lures.
You’ll know a Vancouver Island dry fly angler, when everyone else is annoyed by the flies in the air, but the angler is sporting a big grin and studying the bugs. The first sign of insects in the spring means it’s time to hit the rivers with our latest creations of flies. March brings the Stoneflies, April we look for the first sign of the Mayflies and starting in late May, Caddisflies. Throwing dry flies is what it’s about for Vancouver Island spring trout fishing.
Rainbow Trout- a beautifully colored fish native to North American River and lakes. Torpedo shaped, living on average 4-6 years. Hard hitting game fish.
Cutthroat- Bigger than your average rainbow or dolly, cutthroat are an understudied fish that are from the salmon family, but with a unique red stripe on the jaw.
Brown Trout- Introduced to the Cowichan river in 1930 and to North America in 1883. Very unique coloring and bigger on average than the other Vancouver Island trout. Their favourite meal is salmon and steelhead fry. These are fun fish to catch!
The Vancouver Island spring trout fishing is easy and carefree as the fish are hungry for the new life beginning to emerge in the rivers. The salmon fry escaping from the river bed gravel are also some of the trout’s favourite meals but roe has no place in our area, so if you’re interested your guide can find a good look alike.
Timing your Vancouver Island spring trout fishing trip is best done speaking with a guide, but generally starting mid march and running straight through May can be a fruitful fishing experience. A skilled angler can enjoy Vancouver Island spring trout fishing right into June, but local knowledge and a great cast is a must. Your guide can provide tips on your cast, if you need some advice. If you’re a purist and only throw flies personally made by you, check out this article Island Fisherman’s Magazine or again talk to your guide.
We run Vancouver Island spring trout fishing charters mainly for fly fishermen as the regulations for the Cowichan river have made it so. However, there is a shorter option down river where gear fishing is allowed so don’t fret if you prefer a spinning rod. These rivers don’t host any hatcheries so catch and release is the name of the game. We have a high respect for these wild fish and hope to keep these rivers fishable for generations to come, so pack a lunch and keep wild fish wet!