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Local Lake Fishing Guide: Fishing in Metro Vancouver

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Local Lake Fishing Guide: Fishing in Metro Vancouver

Lower Mainland / Fraser Valley

Well it’s just about that time of year that the local lakes will be producing some nice catchable sized rainbow trout! This is quite the fishery for the beginner, intermediate, and expert angler alike. Whether it be getting your 3 year old into their first fish, or if you want to just brush up on some skills and a get a bend in the rod, there is no better fishery available close to home.

Every Spring, the Freshwater Fisheries Society (GoFishBC) stocks a large array of Lower Mainland and Fraser Valley lakes with large numbers of catchable sized Rainbow Trout. An average stocking for most of these lakes is about 500-1,000 fish.  Some of the larger and more popular lakes will be stocked every 2-3 weeks, while some smaller and less accessible lakes are stocked on a monthly basis. These fish range from 10 to 15 inches on average, but some can reach much larger sizes in excess of 20 inches.

There is really no particular method of angling that will work better than another in this fishery necessarily, but more so some methods will work better on different days or different times of the year. The 4 most common methods include float/bobber fishing, bottom fishing, casting lures and spinners, and fly fishing.

One thing to remember is that this is a “put and take” fishery. These 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 limit. At the same time, like any fishery, please be respectful of the fishery itself and its environment. This means disposing of your coffee cups, line trimmings, hooks, bait, etc. correctly, instead of leaving it on the shoreline. This is a fishery that is especially critical for getting younger generations into the sport, and setting a good example for them only sets a better example for the future.

 

Popular Lakes

Como Lake

Location: Coquitlam

Fish Species: Rainbow Trout

Best Methods: Float Fishing with Krill, Bottom Fishing with PowerBait, or Fly Fishing

Boat Accessibility: Yes (Inflatable, Aluminum Pram)

Other: Wheelchair Accessible, 2 fishing docks

Lafarge Lake

Location: Coquitlam

Fish Species: Rainbow Trout

Best Methods: Float fishing with Krill, Fly Fishing or Bottom fishing with PowerBait, Casting lures

Boat Accessibility: Yes (Inflatable, Aluminum Pram)

Other: 2 fishing docks

Buntzen Lake

Location: Port Moody/Anmore

Fish Species: Rainbow Trout, Cutthroat Trout, Dolly Varden

Best Methods: Bottom Fishing with PowerBait or Trolling leeches

Boat Accessiblity: Yes (Inflatable, Aluminum Pram – Electric Motor Suggested)

Other: Walking trail around the entire lake. 3 fishing docks.

Sasamat Lake

Location: Port Moody/Anmore

Fish Species: Rainbow Trout, Cutthroat Trout

Best Methods: Float Fishing with Krill

Boat Accessibility: Yes (Inflatable)

Other: Walking trail around the entire lake, long floating fishing dock.

Rice Lake

Location: North Vancouver

Fish Species: Rainbow Trout

Best Methods: Float Fishing with Krill or Bottom Fishing with PowerBait

Boat Accessibility: (Suggested shore access instead)

Other: Trails, Fishing dock

Green Timbers Lake

Location: Surrey

Fish Species: Rainbow Trout

Best Methods: Casting lures, Float Fishing with Krill, Fly fishing, Bottom Fishing with Krill

Boat Accessibility: (Suggested shore access instead)

Other: Easy access

Mike Lake

Location: Maple Ridge/Golden Ears

Fish Species: Rainbow Trout

Best Methods: Bottom Fishing with PowerBait, Fly Fishing

Boat Accessibility: Yes (Inflatable)

Other: Fishing Dock

Mill Lake

Location: Abbotsford

Fish Species: Rainbow Trout

Best Methods: Bottom Fishing with PowerBait

Boat Accessibility: Yes (Inflatable)

Other: Bottom fishing with PowerBait, Fly Fishing, Float Fishing with Krill

Rolley Lake

Location: Ruskin/Mission

Fish Species: Rainbow Trout

Best Methods: Bottom fishing with PowerBait, Trolling a fly, Casting Lures

Boat Accessibility: Yes (Inflatable)

Other: Hiking trail that loops the entire lake.

Fishing Rigs/Set-Ups

As stated previously, this fishery is honestly for any skill level and can be fished with a large variety of methods.  Casting lures (spoons & spinners), float fishing, bottom fishing, and fly fishing are all effective methods to catch these trout. Certain methods may work better depending on the lake and the time of the year.

Carolina Rig (Bottom Rig)

Otherwise known as the typical bottom sliding rig set-up, this rig is very simple to make and is highly effective for many species. What makes this rig so effective is the sliding weight system that fish cannot detect.  The sliding weight system allows fish to grab your bait and swim away with it, without the fish feeling the resistance of your weight.

Float/Bobber Rig

A float or bobber rig consists of your set-up being suspended  above the bottom somewhere in the water column. This is a good way to present your bait when a majority of the fish seem to be mid depth or higher in the water column. This setup can work during any time of the year in our local lakes, but is usually best suited for earlier or later in the season, or on low-light days.

Lures (Spinners & Spoons)

One of the easiest methods for this fishery, throwing spoons and spinners is not only an easy-to-use method, but it also highly effective. You will want to make sure you use a spoon small enough, yet heavy enough to cast a decent distance (adding weight to a spoon will cause improper action). Spinners for this fishery should be on the smaller size. Remember, you can always add weight above your spinner as this will not hinder the action of your spinner.

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 room 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 casted and stripped fly, trolled flies, or chironomids.

Natural Baits

Natural baits consist of natural materials or living organisms. The following baits are all good producers.

  • Dew Worms
  • Garden Worms
  • Krill
  • Salmon Eggs
  • Deli/Cocktail Shrimp

Artificial Baits

Believe it or not, some artificial baits can out-produce natural baits in this fishery most days. Artificial baits such as the Berkley line-up have an added scent to the products which make trout go absolutely crazy for your bait.

  • Berkley Powerbait (Power Eggs, Power Worms, Power Paste)
  • Berkley GULP Powerbait (Gulp Eggs, Gulp Leeches, Maggots, Waxies)

Spoons

This is a very effective method along with many of the other methods that is a bit of a change in pace to the average or conventional style of local lake fishing. This is a great method in not only being a super simple set-up to rig up, but it is also incredibly effective at times.

  • Gibbs Croc (3/16oz) – Nickel/Fire Stripe, Brass/Fire Stripe, Nickel/Blue Stripe, Nickel/Green Stripe, Perch, Copper/Fire Wing and many many more

Spinners

Again, just like Spoons, this is a very effective method along with many of the other methods that is a bit of a change in pace to the average or conventional style of local lake fishing. This is a great method in not only being a super simple set-up to rig up, but it is also incredibly effective at times.

  • Panther Martin
  • Blue Fox Vibrax #0-#2
  • Mepps
  • Roostertail

Flies

This is an absolutely fantastic fishery for the fly rod, whether you are a beginner or expert. There is nothing too special that is needed to catch fish in this fishery, as fish can come 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)

Rods, Reels, & Mainline

Spinning Rods

A spinning rod for this fishery should consist of a light to ultra light action, in the 6’ to 8’6” range. There are many manufacturers that produce a good quality rod with a nice action for a cost that is easy on the wallet. Many brands such as Fenwick, Shakespeare, Shimano, St. Croix, and G-Loomis all have many rods available to choose from.

Spinning Reels

There isn’t anything special needed as far as reels go for this fishery, but the size of the reel should be on the smaller side of things. Reels should be capable of holding 60yds or more of 6-10lb test line. We usually fit about 90-100 yds of line onto a reel for the simple fact of an accident happening and having enough line to continue your day without having to go home.

Fly Rods

This is a great fishery for a beginning or expert angler to fish the fly and catch plenty of fish using the method. Once again, there are many rods available in affordable price rangers that will get the job done and then some. 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.

Fly Reels

There is nothing very pressing for a proper reel for this type of fishery except the size. A reel should be capable of holding a 3-6 weight fly line with a small amount of backing to build up the spool.

Mainline

Mainline can be a fairly critical part of your trout set-up, a lot more critical than most think.

When it comes down to fishing a float or bobber set-up, this applies even more. We will start off with mainline for a float or bobber set-up. The reason we say it plays a critical role in this type of set-up is generally when fishing a bobber or float you have a long belly of line on the waters surface. When using a monofilament or fluorocarbon line your line will begin to slowly sink under the waters surface creating drag when you go to set the hook on a biting fish. The best way we can eliminate this problem is by using a completely different line – nanofil or braided line. These types of lines have been a popular staple for many types of fishing due to the fact it is very thin, casts smoothly and far, and also has minimal to zero stretch. Another attribute to braided line is that it floats, thus creating an instant hook-set as the line is lifted easily off of the water and directly to your float or bobber, giving you a better hook set.

Mainline Brands and Sizes (Highlighted rigs indicate the best match)

  • Berkley Nanofil (8-14lb Test) [Bottom Rig or Float/Bobber Rig*]
  • Berkley Trilene XL Smooth Casting [Bottom Rig]
  • PowerPro Braided (10-20lb.) [Bottom Rig or Float/Bobber Rig*] – Braided line has an extremely thin diameter. For example, a 10lb braided line is the equivalent to a 2lb test monofilament line.

Accessories

Depending on your chosen method of fishing, there are some handy tools and accessories that will make your day on the water much easier. The following are listed as very good things to have with you at all times.

  • Valid British Columbia Non-Tidal Angling License (THIS IS AN ABSOLUTE MUST)
  • A copy of the latest British Columbia Non-Tidal Angling Regulations
  • 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
  • A small pocket knife for cleaning your catch
  • A small cooler with ice for packing your catch home
  • A tackle box, tackle bag, or vest to keep your gear neat and organized
  • A folding chair if you are angling from shore
  • Water and lunch
  • Camera to capture your moments!

Helpful Links

Sea-Run Fly & Tackle  http://www.sea-run.com

For updated fishing reports, newsletters, photos, and much more

GoFishBC  http://www.gofishbc.com

For the most up-to-date stocking reports and information

Fishing With Rod  http://www.fishingwithrod.com

For video tutorials and more.

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