| Fishing in
the West Chilcotin
"He battled that Salmon for eight
hours on his fly line, running up and down the shore line.”
The West Chilcotin is probably best known for its premier
sport fishing. It's what everyone comes here for. The serenity,
the timeless beauty, and the fantastic, heartstopping, rod
bending, tail dance fishing.
Many of the lakes in the West Chilcotin are cold, clean,
pristine and have lots of freshwater shrimp for feed. As a
result, fish like the wild Rainbow Trout can grow to a good
size, are whopping fighters, and excellent eating, with the
flesh firm and often the color of salmon.
Along the Turner Lake Chain you can fish for Dolly Varden
as well as rainbow trout and all of the local area lakes abound
with coastal cutthroat trout, thanks to Ralph Edwards who
pioneered Lonesome Lake long before the Park was formed. Somehow,
he stocked the lakes by carrying trout fingerlings up from
the Atnarko River system. On the other hand, Tatla Lake is
a popular Kokanee fishery with sizes averaging 14-16 inches
while nearby Bluff and Horn Lakes have Bull Trout to 10 pounds!
The Dean River is world famous for its fly fishing and was
the host river for the Commonwealth Fly-Fishing Championships
in 1993 which included John Denver as the celebrity angler.
Known for its fighting rainbows, operators can also land you
on the lower Dean for some of the best adventure Steelhead
fly fishing in the world. And if you like River fishing, the
Atnarko and Bella Coola Rivers are the place to be for Pink,
Chinook, and Coho salmon using flies, artificial wool, spoons
or bait where regulations permit.
All of the southern lakes are loaded with fish and of course
there's Chilko Lake with Rainbow Trout up to six pounds and
Bull Trout up to 10 pounds. Chinook and Sockeye Salmon return
to the lake each year to spawn near the outlet so salmon fry
provides lots of food for the trout, as well as the abundant
insect hatches. The Chilko river is considered one of British
Columbia's finest catch and release fly fishing rivers where
you can test your line against Rainbow Trout, Bull Trout and
Dolly Varden to 10 pounds.
Throughout the Chilcotin there are remote lodges and resorts
that are fly in only, offering some of the best fishing anywhere.
Often you will have an entire lake or river to yourself, and
as one air charter service puts it, there are so many lakes
and streams to fish in the Chilcotin that you will never have
to cast a line over the same water twice in your lifetime.
Before going fishing, remember that you need all appropriate
licenses, depending on what species you are fishing for. For
information on fishing in British Columbia, check the fishing