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Guide to Fishing Local Lakes for Trout

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Guide to Fishing Local Lakes for Trout

Our local lakes provide the perfect fishery for the beginner, intermediate and expert angler alike. Whether it be getting your 3-year-old into their first fish, or just brushing up on some skills and getting a bend in the rod, there is no better opportunity available than the lakes close to home.

Local Lake Fish Stocking Information

Local lakes are stocked with catchable Rainbow Trout a couple of times during the spring and again in the fall. Stocking times can be found at https://www.gofishbc.com.  If the lake is a small, shallow lake, summer fishing can be challenging. During this time, larger deeper lakes would be the better option.

Aside from the stocked Rainbow Trout, you can find coarse fish such as Carp and Brown Bullhead Catfish in some of our local lakes.

Fishing Rods

Spinning Rod Combos

Spinning-style fishing rods are the most popular for local lakes because they are one of the easiest to learn to operate. The most popular rods are those that are two pieces in 6’6”-7’6” length in medium, medium or light actions. Some of our most popular brands are FenwickBerkley FishingShimano13 FishingShakespeareDaiwa and Mitchell.

Fishing Reels

Spinning Reels

Spinning reels are the obvious pairing to our rod selection. These reels are simple to cast, even for someone who has never operated one before. The bail arm is simply lifted and the line is pinched between your finger and the handle of the rod and then cast. The line will come directly off the spool and your gear is on its way to the fish. Once the tackle has landed the reel handle is turned and the bail is re-engaged, so the line can be retrieved.

Reels for local lakes are typically a 1000-2500 size dependent on the manufactures number system. Popular brands of reels are PennShimanoDaiwa fishing reels13 FishingAbu GarciaOkuma Fishing and Pflueger. One important note on spinning reels is that a lot of manufacturers have an anti-reverse switch on them, typically located on the front on the reel underneath the line spool.

This switch prevents the reel from spinning in both directions (the handle spins either way). Make sure it is always engaged so the reel only goes one way. If the switch is dis-engaged and the reel can spin both ways, it can lead to issues with tangling.

Fishing Line 

Having the proper fishing line on spinning reels is extremely important. This doesn’t necessarily mean it has to be the most expensive line by any means, but it must be the right type. A line that is too stiff on a spinning reel can lead to tangles and frustration. Monofilament and braided line are two types of line that we recommend.

Fishing Line

With monofilament, the problem of too stiff a line is more prevalent than with braid. The two brands of mono we prefer are Berkley Trilene XL and Sufix Siege in 6-12lb ratings. Both lines are soft and supple, minimizing frustrating tangles on the lake. Braided line is another option for the reel. Braid is a bit more expensive but does come with some advantages.

Braided Line

There’s no stretch to a braided line so it does give more sensitivity to bites, ticking gear off the bottom or the feel of a lure working. Also, with no stretch it does allow for a better hook set, especially on a longer cast.

Braid is also a thinner diameter than mono so it does also allow for heavier pound line to be used without sacrificing casting distance and the amount of line on the reel. Popular brands for braided line are Power Pro, Sufix 832, Tuf-Line and Berkley Fire Line.

All this being said, there are a lot of anglers who prefer monofilament fishing line to braided line, so some of this does boil down to personal preference.

Terminal Tackle Setup for Float Fishing Local Lakes

Fishing with a float is a popular way to present baits and artificial baits. They allow you to try different depths easily to find where the fish are.

Bobber Stoppers

The best way to set up your float is with a bobber stopper. A bobber stopper is a small rubber oval that threads onto your line and can be positioned where you want your float to stop. Some popular bobber stoppers we carry are Danielson Bobber StoppersCleardrift Bobber Stoppers and DNE Float Stoppers.

Bobber Stoppers

The float is free sliding on the line so when you reel in, the float will slide down and sit on top of your weight or swivel. Even if fishing at a depth of 15’, the float will slide down and be easy to cast. Subsequently, when casting out, the float hits the water and the weight goes down and doesn’t stop until the bobber stopper hits the float.

Floats

Floats

Popular floats are Top Shelf Tear Drop Floats or Cigar SlidersDNE Floats and Cleardrift Sleeker Floats that are 4-12 grams in size. We usually like to put a small bead in between the float and bobber stopper to prevent the stopper from getting jammed into the float.

Weights/Sinkers 

Bell Sinker

Next down the line is the weight. There are a variety of types of weights to use and all will work. Our preferred style of weight for this type of set up are Egg Sinkers or Split Shot. Egg sinkers are the easiest as the line just slides through the hole in the middle. Egg Sinkers are nice in the sense that they are a measured standard weight for each individual one so once your float and weights are matched up properly it’s a nice clean easy set up every time.

Sinkers

The float and sinker should be matched so that the bright part of the bobber is visible and not under water. It should also not be too high out of the water. Too much weight and the float sits too low in the water making for difficult bite detection. A float without enough weight isn’t loaded properly and subtle bites can be missed.

Swivels

Swivels

Below the weight, whether it is an egg sinker or split shot, we will have a swivel. The swivel allows us to connect the mainline to the leader and prevents the line from twisting when reeling in.

If using an egg sinker, place a bead between the sinker and the swivel to prevent from the sinker from sliding over the swivel and to protect the knot. Also, your leader line should be lighter than the main line. Then, if the hook or the weight gets snagged, only that gear is lost as the lighter leader should break before the mainline.

Leader Material

Leader Material

Our leader length should be about 2-3’ and about 3-8lb. Popular choices for leader material would be Maxima Ultragreen Monofilament or Seagaur Blue Label or STS Fluorocarbon. The fluorocarbon line is more expensive but does disappear in the water better than a regular monofilament.

Hooks

Hooks

Hooks such as Gamakatsu Octopus Hooks or Gamakatsu Single Egg hooks in a #10-#6 size would be the best choice.

Hooks

Gamakatsu makes a perfect pre-tied leader if you don’t wish to tie your own rigs.

Terminal Tackle for Bottom Fishing

Another popular and effective way is to fish off the bottom. Our recommended set up for this is to use a Bass Casting or Bell Sinker (the same sinker with a couple of names). Take your main line and run it through the brass loop on the weight. Then run a bead or Buzzbomb bumper (larger than the diameter of the loop on the sinker) onto the line behind the sinker. Next, tie on your swivel, 3ft of leader line and your hook.

Artificial Baits

Berkley Powerbait is one of the most popular baits to use. The three most popular styles of Powerbait are the Power EggsPower Trout Worm and the Powerbait Paste. All are available in a variety of colours.

PowerBait Power Eggs

If using Powerbait Floating Power Eggs, the Fl. Yellow, Sunrise and Lemon Lime are the top three sellers. Don’t hesitate to try other colours as they are productive as well and having a variety of options is never a bad idea.

PowerBait Original

With PowerBait Paste, Spring Green, Rainbow and Hatchery Pellet are the top three but again, there are other options that can be tried. One comment about these two baits is that the eggs have a tendency to stay on the hook longer than the paste.

 PowerBait Worms

The Power Trout Worm offers a larger profile than the other baits. The top three colours in the worms are Fl. Orange, Green Chartreuse and Chartreuse but again other colours should not be ignored. A great feature of the PowerBait is the ability to re-use it and not have it go bad like an organic bait can. Also, it’s totally biodegradable.

Natural Baits 

Dew worms are the most popular natural bait for local lakes and are available in 12 or 18 packs. Krill is another natural bait to consider and can be bought in natural, dyed pink, dyed orange and dyed red. Dew worms if unused should be stored in the fridge and can last up to two weeks. Krill are cured (preserved) so, if kept in the fridge, can last a few months. 

Casting Lures for Local Lakes

Casting lures can be another productive way to catch rainbow trout while fishing at Local Lakes. Some days casting lures can be more productive than using baits so having a few with you is always recommended.

Gibbs Croc Spoons

Gibbs Croc Spoons are extremely popular lures to use for trout. They are very simple to use and very productive. These 3/16 oz spoons have a swivel on the front of them that can be tied to the mainline from your reel. Simply cast the lure out and then retrieve it at a slow and steady pace. Adding weight to these lures is not recommended as it can change the action of the lure and renders it less effective.

The Gibbs Croc is available in a wide variety of colours. We stock 24 of them and they can all be productive so pick a few different colours and fish them with confidence.

BlueFox

Spinners are another productive lure with Vibrax Blue Fox SpinnerPanther Martins and Mepps Black Fury being our go-to choices. With a spinner we always recommend using a swivel and a short leader.

Mepps

A spoon doesn’t require the leader as it comes with a swivel on it and has more of a wobbling action. With the spinners, the blade is spinning around and around which could cause the line to twist without the swivel.

Panther Martin

Spinners are typically quite lightweight so adding a bit of weight to them is a good idea to aid in casting. This extra weight does not hinder the performance of this lure.

Fly Fishing

For a beginner looking to get into some fish on the fly rod, you could not ask for a better fishery. Whether from shore or from a boat, many lakes offer room for back casting if you are fishing from shore and most lakes are suitable for inflatable belly boats, pontoons or aluminum boats.

One thing to note about this fishery is that if you are fly casting from shore, be courteous and cautious with your back casting room.

These fish respond well to a cast and stripped fly, trolled flies or chironomids.

Fly Rods

This is a great fishery for a beginning or expert angler to fish the fly and catch plenty of fish. Once again, there are many rods available in affordable price ranges that will get the job done. Rods should be at least 9’ in length, with the average being 9’-10’ long.

Fly rods are classified with their strength by “weight”. Rods for this fishery can be as low as a 3 weight, and as high as a 7 weight, but we recommend a 5 or 6 weight to get the job done.  Some good options for rods are the Redington Crosswater Fly Rod, Echo Lift, Dragonfly Venture 3 and the Dragonfly Quest.

Fly Reels

The reel for trout fishing is generally the least important part of the set up. You can get a good-quality reel  for a reasonable price. Some good options to consider are the Echo Base, Dragonfly Venture 3, Redington Crosswater and Redington ID.

Fly Lines, Leaders and Tippet

We like to use two different fly lines for this fishery. A full floating line and a full sinking line. A full floating line is a great all-around versatile line. You can cast indicator rigs, dry flies and even cast and strip flies close to the surface.

A full sinking line does come with some advantages, especially for those wanting to troll a fly. A full sinking line is imperative in order to keep your fly down in the strike zone. Either a type 3 (3-4 inches per second) or type 6 (6-7 inches per second) sink rate will be sufficient.

Floating Lines:

Sinking Lines:

Leaders:

Tippet:

Flies

There is nothing too fancy that is needed to catch fish in this fishery as fish can be caught on wet flies, dry flies and chironomids.

  • Olive Micro Leech
  • Black Woolly Bugger
  • Olive Woolly Bugger
  • Ruby-Eyed Leech
  • Burgundy Leech
  • Carey Special
  • Doc Spratley
  • Tom Thumb
  • Mosquito
  • Sedge
  • Chromie (Chironomid)
  • Black/Red Snowcone (Chironomid)

Local Lake Fishing Checklist

Depending on your chosen method of fishing, here is a checklist that will make your day on the water more enjoyable.

  • Valid British Columbia Non-Tidal Angling License (THIS IS AN ABSOLUTE MUST)
  • A copy of the latest British Columbia Non-Tidal Angling Regulations
  • Rod and reel
  • A pair of needle nose pliers or forceps (these come in handy for pinching barbs, removing hooks from deeply hooked fish or pinching weights onto your line etc.)
  • A good quality pair of scissors or nippers for trimming line
  • Small pocket knife for cleaning your catch
  • Hook sharpener
  • Terminal tackle such as hooks, leader material, swivels and weights
  • Lures such as spoons and spinners
  • Natural and artificial baits
  • Flies - if fly fishing
  • Tackle box, tackle bag or vest to keep your gear neatly organized
  • Small landing net
  • Small cooler with ice for packing your catch home
  • Folding chair if you are angling from shore
  • Beverage of your choice, snacks and a lunch
  • Camera to capture your moments!

Popular Lakes

Here's a few productive local lakes worth giving a try. There are many other lakes to explore. Check out the Backroad Mapbooks Vancouver Coast & Mountains BC book for some more ideas.

Como Lake

Location: Coquitlam
Fish Species: Rainbow Trout, Carp and Brown Bullhead Catfish
Boat Accessibility: Yes (Inflatable or Pram)
Max Depth: 4m (13ft)
Other: Wheelchair Accessible, 2 fishing docks

The closest lake in the vicinity of Sea-Run Fly & Tackle, and just a short 5-minute drive away, Como Lake has been a very popular Rainbow Trout fishery in the Lower Mainland for many years.

One of the more shallow and smaller lakes around makes fishing easy for beginners who aren’t looking to be overwhelmed with a big deep lake. With a surrounding trail and two large fishing docks with wheelchair accessibility, Como Lake is a great option for families, seniors, beginners and novices alike.

Being a very shallow lake Como Lake can be very slow in the summer for trout fishing. Como Lake is also home to carp which can be a great alternative when trout fishing isn’t an option in the summer. 

Lafarge Lake

Location: Coquitlam
Fish Species: Rainbow Trout, Carp
Boat Accessibility: Yes (Inflatable, Aluminum Pram)
Max Depth: 8m (26ft)
Other: Wheelchair Accessible, 1 fishing dock

Located just a short 15-minute drive from Sea-Run Fly & Tackle, in Town Centre Park in Coquitlam, Lafarge Lake is a popular urban fishing destination. Lafarge is a very productive lake due to trout stocking from the Freshwater Fisheries Society of BC.

Lafarge Lake boasts easy shore access, a surrounding trail, a large fishing dock with built in rod holders, wheelchair accessibility, large parking lots on both the east and west side of the lake and a close distance to Douglas Sky Train Station.

Whether you’re bottom fishing, float fishing, casting lures, trolling from a float tube, pontoon or even a small cartopper or canoe, Lafarge lake is a great option close to home.

Although trout is the main species of fish to target at Lafarge, it is home to carp which can be a great alternative in the summer months when trout fishing is poor.

Buntzen Lake

Location: Port Moody/Anmore
Fish Species: Rainbow Trout, Cutthroat Trout, Dolly Varden, Kokanee
Boat Accessibility: Yes (Inflatable, Aluminum Pram – Electric Motor Suggested)
Max Depth: 65m (213ft)
Other: Walking trail around the entire lake. 3 fishing docks.

Located 30 minutes away from Sea-Run Fly & Tackle, Buntzen is a great lake for anglers wanting to get the feel of a remote lake while close to the city. Buntzen Lake is a 5-kilometer-long lake located in Belcarra Regional Park.

Being a very large lake, there is a lot of water to cover which makes trolling very effective for those who have access to a boat. We’d suggest a Minn Kota electric motor for this lake not only to get around quicker but to get a more consistent speed while trolling.

Buntzen, as opposed to other lakes around the Lower Mainland, has not only a population of stocked rainbow trout from the Freshwater Society of B.C. but also a wild population of Rainbow Trout, Cutthroat Trout, Kokanee, Northern Pikeminnow, and Peamouth Chub. This lake can bring some catch variety to your fishing adventures.

Sasamat Lake

Sasamat Lake Trout Fishing

Location: Port Moody/Anmore
Fish Species: Rainbow Trout, Cutthroat Trout
Boat Accessibility: Yes (Inflatable)
Max Depth: 33m (108ft)
Other: Walking trail around the entire lake, long floating fishing dock.

Located 25 minutes from Sea-Run Fly & Tackle, and within close proximity to Buntzen Lake, Sasamat Lake is a man-made lake which is stocked with rainbow trout from the Freshwater Fisheries Society.

Although quite deep, Sasamat can be very productive for the shore angler as it features a trail around the entire lake, and a long floating dock that crosses from one side of the lake to the other. This is great for those who do not have access to a boat.

For those that do have a boat, launching can be tricky because the incline from the parking lot to the main beach is quite steep. We’d recommend an Outcast Fish Cat 4 or pontoon boat for an easier launch.

Rice Lake

Rice Lake

Location: North Vancouver
Fish Species: Rainbow Trout
Boat Accessibility: Watercraft not permitted
Max Depth: 3m (10ft)
Other: Trails, Fishing dock

Located 30 minutes away from Sea-Run Fly & Tackle, Rice Lake is great for beginners. Being an extremely small and shallow lake, locating fish can be quite easy as opposed to other lakes.

Rice Lake features a trail around the lake and a very large fishing dock. Shore anglers can target almost every area of the water from shore as the lake isn’t very big.

Green Timbers Lake

Location: Surrey
Fish Species: Rainbow Trout
Boat Accessibility: Watercraft not permitted
Other: Easy access

Located 20 minutes from Sea-Run Fly & Tackle, Green Timbers is a great urban fishing destination. With tons of shore access and ample casting space for beginners, especially those who want to try casting a fly from shore, the east side of the lake has a lot of back-casting room.

Watercraft aren’t permitted on Green Timbers Lake, so fishing from shore is going to be your only option. Being an extremely small and shallow lake, locating fish can be quite easy once stocking occurs. Green Timbers features a trail around the lake (lake only accessible from east side).

Mike Lake

Mike Lake

Location: Maple Ridge/Golden Ears
Fish Species: Rainbow Trout
Boat Accessibility: Yes (Inflatable)
Max Depth: 6m (20ft)
Other: Fishing Dock

Located 45 Minutes from Sea-Run Fly & Tackle in Golden Ears Provincial Park, Mike Lake is a fantastic lake. It is at a higher elevation than other lakes in the Lower Mainland, which can make for some better fishing in the summer months.

Shore access is somewhat limited at Mike Lake as a lot of the shoreline is covered in vegetation. With the recent installment of a fishing dock, shore fishing is now a possibility. This is a great lake to fish from a float tube or pontoon boat. All the usual techniques will work. Mike Lake can be very productive on the fly.

Unlike other lakes in the lower mainland, Mike Lake is relatively rich with aquatic invertebrates. Which can make for some great fly fishing.

Mill Lake

Location: Abbotsford
Fish Species: Rainbow Trout, Largemouth Bass, Crappie
Boat Accessibility: Yes
Max Depth: 11m (36ft)
Other: Bottom fishing with Power Bait, fly fishing, float fishing with krill

Located 40 minutes from Sea-Run Fly & Tackle, in the middle of Abbotsford, is a gem of a lake. Mill Lake features a surrounding trail that offers a good amount of access. It boasts a floating boardwalk, a fishing dock and a cement boat launch that makes launching a small cartopper a breeze.

Mill Lake is stocked with rainbow trout in the spring and fall which can make for some great trout fishing. In the summer months fishing can still be very productive as Mill Lake is home to a number of other species, such as Crappie, Sunfish, and Largemouth Bass to name a few. See our Largemouth Bass Fishing blog post for more info.

Rolley Lake

trout fishing

Location: Ruskin/Mission
Fish Species: Rainbow Trout, Dolly Varden, Cutthroat
Boat Accessibility: Yes (no power boats)
Max Depth: 8.8m (29ft)
Other: Hiking trail that loops the entire lake

Located just under an hour from Sea-Run Fly & Tackle, Rolley Lake is a fantastic option for those wanting to camp and fish close to home. Being in a provincial park, Rolley Lake has lots of amenities like wheelchair accessible bathrooms, a day use and picnic area, campgrounds and a playground to keep the little ones busy while you’re out fishing.

Rolley Lake can be great from shore as it also features a trail around the lake with lots of access points. Fishing from a boat can be done, although no powered motors are permitted (this includes electric or gas) so a canoe, kayak or Outcast Inflatable will be the best option.

Wrap Up

These local lakes are a “put and take” fishery. The fish are placed into our lakes to be captured and retained, and everyone has the right to do so within their legal limit of 2 or 4 fish per day.

At the same time, like any fishery, please be respectful of the fishery itself and the environment. This means disposing of your coffee cups, line trimmings, hooks, bait, etc. correctly, instead of leaving it on the shoreline. These are fisheries that are especially critical for getting younger generations into the sport. Setting a good example for them only sets a better example for the future.

We hope this article will help elevate your level of success on local lakes. Always check the fishing regulations before you venture out on the water.

If you have any questions please do not hesitate to give us a call at 604-931-5044, an email at searun2013@gmail.com or stop by

Sea-Run Fly & Tackle  at #110-1140 Austin Ave Coquitlam.

Good luck on the water.

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4 comments

  • by Dave logan

    Great info

  • by Howie

    Good info Probably your most useful and informative post since you began searun
    Thanks

  • by Blair Thomas

    Well done guys

    The oldest of my grandchildren is just reaching the age to be able to handle a rod on her own

    This is great information for her. Simple straight forward information.

    Again very well done

    Going to print and save

    Thank you

    Blair

  • by Len

    I really appreciate the work you went to to put together this excellent introduction to fishing local lakes. Thanks a million!

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