Best Time to Fish Vancouver Island
The best time to fish Vancouver Island depends on you
The best time to fish Vancouver Island depends solely on what species of fish you would like to target. It also depends on what type of fishing you’d like to do- would you like freshwater on the wild rivers on the west coast or are you looking for ocean fishing in the saltwater. It also depends on where on the island you want to go. South island and North island have different run times. Because we’re based down by Victoria and operate out of Cowichan and Port Renfrew, the access is fast and easy. You can be onsite within a couple hours of leaving Victoria.
Every month and season has it’s different run of fish and every species peaks at different times. Year after year the cycle repeats itself, although we have noticed an early trend. For example, the best time to fish Vancouver Island winter run steelhead is usually peaking in late January and February, however we’re noticing the steelhead are entering the rivers just slightly earlier and peaking in mid January and staying until February and slowing right down in march.
Vancouver Island is one of the best places to catch winter run steelhead. This run trickles in late fall, heats up in December and peaks during January and February, then slows down again in March. In our opinion this is the best time to fish Vancouver Island.
The last few of the winter run steelhead are in the Vancouver Island rivers until about March. Brown trout are starting to come alive in the Cowichan River so it’s a great time to switch over targeting these unique fish and experience this mighty urban river. Spring trout is a great fishing experience for any angler.
The last few summers we’ve experienced a drought on Vancouver Island over the summer so the river and lake fishing is shutdown to protect the fish from the high stress of low water levels and high temperatures. This obviously put a damper on catching summer run steelhead.
Saltwater salmon, tuna, halibut
Early fall brings the Coho and Chinook Salmon into the rivers to spawn. Come October they are abundant and easy to catch. Once the salmon spawning has begun you can expect to see the Steelhead enter the river, as they hunt for salmon eggs on their way home.
Salmon- Coho & Chinook
Steelhead- early winter run
Saltwater- Salmon, Tuna, Halibut
In our humble opinion the best time to fish Vancouver Island is...
Winter! We love the challenge of targeting Steelhead and this is the best time to do that. It’s also a time when the weather is poor meaning most people stay inside, but what it means to us is less angling pressure! The whole island population is 750,000 compared to the lower mainland 2.5 million so there isn’t nearly the competition on the island as there is on the mainland, but competition gets even less in the winter, with most sane people staying indoors. So we get out there as much as we possibly can, in our many layers, wool and high quality rain gear to catch these challenging fish. Or maybe it's the fall salmon run..... It's tough to say! We love it all.