BC Interior Rainbow Trout Fishery on the Fly (2021 Update)
We are very fortunate here in the Province of British Columbia with the immense 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 fishing.
Spring is an exciting time of year for all of those anglers that have been patiently sitting at their vises, tying those new inventions that had been dreamed up over those long cold Winter nights, restocking their fly boxes with all of their favourite flies, and trying to figure out how much more 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 earlier part of the season. Food items on the menu will mainly consist of Chironomids, which are an absolute staple (these are the larval stage of a fly, and anglers tend to have the best success fishing these patterns under a strike indicator in the shallow areas of a lake roughly around the 3-8 foot depth range). Leeches are another item on the menu this time of the year, as well are scuds 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 10lb. 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 that draws anglers in 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 of the situations. We stock a large number of brands and models in a variety of price points:
- Dragonfly Kamloops 9ft 5 weight 2 piece – The Dragonfly Kamloops is a good quality rod for a very reasonable price, and is a good “go-to” for beginner and intermediate anglers alike.
- St. Croix Imperial 9ft 5 or 6 weight 2 piece or 4 piece – St. Croix Imperial fly rods are also a great value when it comes to price and quality. The Imperial comes with a 5 year warranty, and is built in one of North America’s most advanced rod building facility in Park Falls, Wisconsin.
- Sage Pulse (Variety of lengths and weights) – This is a great rod choice if you want a good jump in quality and performance of a lightweight, faster action rod. The Pulse is made with the latest in composite technology and is produced just south of the Border in Washington.
We also stock a wide selection of fly reels in the store to perfectly match any rod that you choose:
- The Dragonfly Kamloops 5/6 Cartridge Fly Reel – is a great option as it comes with a spare cassette that you can load up with a second fly line without breaking the bank.
- The Sage 2250 is a 5/6 compatible size.They are very popular with customers and have been proven to be a reliable workhorse produced by a proven brand.
- The Galvan Rush (aka R Series) is without a doubt a shop favourite, made in the USA from barstock aluminum fully anodized and has a fully 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, I 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). 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, Scientific Angler, and Airflo.
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 in several different scenarios, however it's not going to be the most effective line at all times. ALTHOUGH, 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.
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:
- Scissors or Nippers
- Measuring Tape
- Stomach/Throat Sampling Kit (Stomach Pump & Glass Vile or Jar)
- Gear Bags
An absolutely critical tool when it comes to being a successful lake angler, fish finders (or depth sounders) will not impede any of fishing, but will only improve it. In order to find out your exact depth, read bottom structure, and even finding out where the fish are laying in the water column, having a good 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)
See some of the lake flies we have featured on our blog:
Fly Fishing & Fly Casting Lessons
It can be a bit frustrating for a newer angler to try and pick up a fly rod and put the line and fly where they want it. Here at the store, we offer a large variety of courses to help get you dialed in, and especially dialed into this particular fishery. Two courses that may help you with this fishery if you are a beginner is our Beginners Fly Fishing School. In our Beginners Fly Fishing School, students will learn about Rods, Reels, Lines, Knots, Entomology, Flies, and Instructional Fly Casting. If this is something you have been at for a while, but would like to brush up on your casting skills, we recommend booking a Private Casting Lesson with our “C.C.I.” (Certified Casting Instructor) Brian Braidwood.
Custom Fly Tying
If you have found that perfect pattern that has been catching all of your big fish and cannot get a 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.
- 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 one of 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 Include:
- Regional Regulations
- Resorts & Outfitters
- 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)
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 firstname.lastname@example.org or give us a call at 604-931-5044 or leave a comment below. Have fun out on the lakes!
Address: #110 1140 Austin Ave Coquitlam, BC