Fly Fishing for BC Interior Rainbow Trout

Fly Fishing for BC Interior Rainbow Trout

We are very fortunate in the Province of British Columbia with the amount of incredible fishing opportunities that surround us 12 months of the year. The BC interior rainbow trout fishery is one of those incredible fisheries. Between the months of April and October, there are lakes that can be fished for trophy sized rainbow trout, with the Spring and early Summer months generally being the best for fishing.

Spring is an exciting time of year for all of those anglers who have been patiently sitting at their vises, tying those new inventions that have been dreamed up over those long, cold Winter nights. They are restocking their fly boxes with all of their favourite flies, while trying to figure out how much new equipment can be stuffed into the boat.

Early Season Ice Off

When they ice finally begins to come off of your favourite lake (assuming that the lake is open to fishing at the time), you can immediately begin to target those trophy interior rainbow trout.

These fish are going to be eager to feed and will generally be fond of whatever is on the menu during the early part of the season. Food items on the menu will mainly consist of chironomids, which are an absolute staple. These are the larvae of bugs and anglers tend to have the best success fishing these patterns under a strike indicator in the shallow areas of a lake in the 3’-20’ foot depth range. Watch our video on how to setup a stillwater strike indicator rig for trout fishing.

Leeches are another item on the menu this time of the year, as well as scuds (shrimp) and juvenile damsel flies. Once turnover occurs, you can start to expect more activity throughout the lake.

*One very important thing to remember come ice-off is that lower elevation lakes will most certainly ice off sooner than the lakes that are at a higher elevation.

It is not uncommon to find trout exceeding the 8lb. mark in various lakes throughout the interior and this is what draws anglers from all over the province to come fish these bodies of water. Another main attractor for anglers is that these fish can be pursued very efficiently with a fly. On most days, a well-presented fly will out-fish all conventional gear methods.

Lake Fishing Fly Rods

A fly rod is a pretty important piece of the equation. A 9ft 5 or 6 weight fly rod will cover most situations. We stock many brands and models in a variety of price points and here are a few examples:

    • Echo Lift Fly Rods - This is a good-quality rod for a very reasonable price so it is a good “go-to” for beginner and intermediate anglers alike.
    • Fenwick Aetos Fly Rods - These rods have been extremely popular models for the past few interior lake seasons with more than a few sales from “I tried my buddy's and I loved it”.
    • Echo Stillwater Fly Rod - Specifically designed to meet the needs of any lake angler on the smallest to the largest of lakes including anglers who are involved in competitions.

    Fly Reels for Trout Fishing

    We also stock a wide selection of fly reels to perfectly match any rod that you choose:

    • The Echo Base Fly Reel has been a popular entry level reel that has a disc drag system and allows for a good amount of backing.
    • The Redington Behemoth, as the name suggests, has been a monster for us in performance as well as sales. This mid-priced reel has a drag that can tame the largest of interior trout and a very cool look. Read our Redington Behemoth Fly Reel Review.
    • The Galvan Rush Fly Reel (aka R Series) is without a doubt a shop favourite. It is made in the USA from barstock aluminum, is fully anodized and has a sealed drag system. These reels are available in a wide selection of colours.

      Fly Lines for Lake Fishing

      There are a lot of options when it comes to fly line selection but if I had to choose two lines for early season I would take a floating line and a clear intermediate sinking line.

      After lake turnover, we would recommend adding a type 4 or 5 sinking line for deeper water presentations. Floating lines are most commonly used for fishing dry flies as well as for fishing with strike indicators (ie. chironomid fishing or balanced leeches). Read our Getting Started with Chironomid Fishing blog post.

      Clear intermediate lines offer a stealthy presentation and slow sink rate which make presenting flies to spooky fish in shallow and clear water scenarios unbeatable.

      A type 3, 4, 5, or 6 sinking line will be useful for fishing subsurface flies such as leeches and dragonfly nymphs. We stock a large range of fly lines from Major brands such as RIO Products and Scientific Anglers Fly Lines.

      These are common lines that are used in Interior lake fishing scenarios:

      • Full Floating: Full floating fly lines are designed for a variety of purposes in a lake scenario. This particular line has become a staple for chironomid fishing with indicators, dry fly fishing and casting wet flies in shallower water.
      • Intermediate Sinking: A clear intermediate fly line can be fished in several different scenarios, however it's not going to be the most effective line at all times. There are many cases where these lines are incredibly effective for fishing wet flies along shoals and shallower areas that trout may be feeding in. They give the angler the opportunity to present the fly very naturally to the fish.
      • Full Sinking: A full sinking line is one of the more common lines used when it comes to lake fishing trout, and is generally fished with leeches, chironomids, dragonflies, and more.

      Fly Fishing Tools and Accessories

      A variety of tools are essential for your next lake outing whether it be a day trip or a week long trip. Things you will want to pack along to give you the upper hand include:


      Fish Finders

      An absolutely critical tool when it comes to being a successful lake angler, a fish finder (or depth sounder) will not impede your fishing but will improve it. It will be helpful in finding your exact depth, reading bottom structure and finding out where the fish are laying in the water column. Having a solid fish finder is most anglers' key to success.

      With changing hatches and ever-changing water temperatures throughout the course of a day, anglers can see what is going on below the water surface, as opposed to trying to guess what is going on.

      Watercrafts & Boats

      Virtually a necessity when it comes to these lakes due to their contour and vegetation along the waters edge, a variety of boats may be used to give you the best advantage and upper hand when it comes to fishing successfully.

      • Outcast Inflatables (Pontoon & Frameless)
      • Watermaster Inflatables (Grizzly or Kodiak)
      • Spratley Aluminum Boats (8, 10, or 12 footers)


        There are many proven flies that you keep stocked in your fly box, but the hot fly can change hour to hour, or even minute to minute. As a general rule of thumb, general patterns include the following:

        • Leeches (Smaller leeches in varieties of colours such as Olive, Green, Black, Black/Red, Maroon, Black/Blue)
        • Chironomids (Come ice-off, most chironomid hatches will general be of the smaller variety. Sizes should consists of sizes from 14-18 on average.)
        • Bloodworms (Sizes 12-14)
        • General Attractors (These flies consist of patterns such as Doc Spratleys, Carey Specials)
        • Dragonflies
        • Damsels
        • Scuds/Shrimp

          See some of the lake flies we have featured on our blog: 

          Custom Fly Tying

          If you have found that perfect pattern that has been catching all of your big fish and cannot get hold of another one, we have just the solution for you! Bring the pattern into the store and we will make sure we duplicate the pattern for you. Delivery time on your order will depend on the quantity tied and when materials are available, but it is a service we offer.

          Featured Lakes

          • Logan Lake
          • Jacko Lake
          • Heffley Lake
          • Stump Lake
          • Salmon Lake
          • White Lake
          • Pass Lake
          • Tunkwa & Leighton Lakes
          • Peterhope Lake
          • Roche Lake
          • Morgan Lake
          • Six Mile Lake

            Road Trip / Directions

            There are various routes to get you to your destination. Main routes include Highway 1, Highway 3, and Highway 5. All of these highways are main arteries to your destination, whether it is through a main town, or a remote Forest Service Road. When it comes to navigating these main highways and forest service roads, see our next write up below about the BC Backroad Mapbooks and Fishing Mapbooks.

            BC Backroad Mapbooks & BC Fishing Mapbooks

            Quite possibly the handiest tools to have for an Interior trip are the BC Backroad Mapbooks and Fishing Mapbooks. These particular mapbooks are available for a variety of Regions throughout the Province, and are incredibly detailed for your next adventure.

            Backroad Mapbooks Thompson Okanagan BC

             Backroad Mapbooks Include:

            • Regional Regulations
            • Resorts & Outfitters
            • Directions
            • Species Present
            • Tips & Techniques
            • Stocking Information (What has been put into the lake, and the quantity avg.)
            • As well as Lake Coordinates (Location, Elevation, Surface Area, Max Depth, and Waypoints)

            Popular Regions

            • 3-12
            • 3-13
            • 3-18
            • 3-20
            • 3-28
            • 3-29

            We hope found this info useful. As always if you have any questions or need any help come by the shop, send us an email at or give us a call at 604-931-5044 or leave a comment below. Have fun out on the lakes!

            Can't make it to the Interior? Check out our Guide to Fishing Local Lakes for Trout.

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            Tel: 604-931-5044
            Address: #110 1140 Austin Ave Coquitlam, BC


            • by FRED PEAKE
            • by Norm Neiderer

              Very good article. I’m in Comox and I like to go and fish Highway 24 at the end of May/beginning of June. I have a Group that I call the E-Flyfishers. There are 75 people in it. I forwarded the article to it, as some of the new people in the
              Group have expressed interest in fishing the Interior.
              Keep up the good work,

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