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Winter Steelhead Fishing Vancouver Island

Winter Steelhead fishing Vancouver Island is one of the most rewarding fishing experiences you can have as a serious angler. Due to the cold water temperatures the Steelhead are lethargic and don’t often go out of their way to attack your presentation, but when they do, all your patience is rewarded and it becomes the heart pumping adrenaline rush you’ve heard about.

 The winter steelhead are not likely to bite based on hunger and feeding. They’re too busy conserving energy, resting down in the pools. When they do bite, it’s because they’re annoyed and it’s a predatory strike.


Depending on the timing of your Winter Steelhead Vancouver Island fishing trip there will likely be a mix of fresh and stale fish in the river. The fresh fish are a bright chrome silver color as they are just returning from their adventure in the ocean. Typically the chromers are found on gravel beds spawning. With a non obtrusive and patient eye, you can likely catch a glimpse of a steelhead chasing a trout away from it’s spawning bed, protecting it’s eggs. It’s believed, this is where the Steelhead get their name from, as they sometimes will even ram a trout with their head to ward them off. When you do finally entice a steelhead to hit your line, it’s likely motivated by the same behaviour. Be ready cause they want a fight. 

Typically winter steelhead fishing on Vancouver Island produces bigger in average size fish than the summer run in these parts of the world, so it’s a good idea to ensure you have the appropriate gear. If you have any questions or need gear, your guide can help you out.


If you’re an angler who enjoys quality over quantity, are of a hearty nature and persistent, this is the adventure for you. The biggest fishing smiles are ones from Winter Steelhead Vancouver Island fishing. 

  • It’s cold. Not the -40 degrees from Northern Canadian winters, but the wet cold is something else entirely. It’s true what they say about the damp cold getting into your bones. Dress in many layers, that aren’t too snug. Wool is always a great option as it’s warm when it’s wet, and you will get wet so be prepared, physically and mentally.

  • This is a challenging fish to catch especially in the winter. Practice your technique and be prepared to throw a thousand casts before you land a Vancouver Island winter Steelhead

  • Hopefully you have nice warm accommodations booked for relaxing after your fishing adventure but if you don’t please speak to us or see our accommodations information

Things to know for Winter Steelhead Fishing Vancouver Island

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