For most of us here in Vancouver, summer weekends are best spent by the water. And if you combine taking in nature’s beauty with something fun and relaxing to do with friends, you might just find that going fishing is the perfect way to spend a sunny Saturday.
Even if you haven’t cast a line since you went fishing as a kid, it’s never too late to dust off the tackle box and get back to it. The Freshwater Fisheries Society of B.C. even hosts free Learn to Fish events in the summer to help beginners learn how it’s done.
We’re fortunate enough to have some pretty amazing freshwater lakes that are teeming with fish right in our own backyard. And even if the fish don’t bite, the Instagram-able scenery of these lakes may just be considered a catch in and of itself.
This lake’s close proximity to Whistler makes it a magnet for hikers and mountain biking enthusiasts, and it boasts picturesque views that you can take in while you fish. Rainbow and Coastal Cutthroat Trout roam its waters and can be caught from the many shallow, sheltered bays along the lake’s shoreline.
If you decide to make a weekend of it, nearby hotels and campsites allow you to extend your fishing trip into the next day. It’s the perfect place to snap some pictures too, as Alta Lake is a sought-after destination by photographers from around the world.
With many trails that lead to numerous spots along its shoreline as well as a large dock, Rice Lake isn’t just a gorgeous place to spend the afternoon; it’s also one of Vancouver’s most accessible spots for fishing. If you’re a first-time angler, fear not — Rice Lake is home to plenty of small Rainbow Trout, so an ultralight spinning rod will do the trick. Worms are a favourite snack of theirs and make the perfect bait.
For Rice and all other lakes, get a fishing licence before reaching for your rods and reels. Not only will it make sure you’re covered, you’ll also be helping make fishing better for other anglers in the province.
Crystal clear waters, emerald green meadows exploding with wildflowers and an alpine view in the distance — fishing spots don’t get much more stunning than this. Although a little trickier to access (we recommend taking your truck, or inviting your friend who has one), those who do make the journey to Callaghan Lake will be rewarded with an idyllic place to tempt Rainbow Trout to their line.
Nestled in the spectacular Fraser Valley, Buntzen Lake is home to Rainbow and Cutthroat Trout. A stark and rocky shoreline is met with a postcard-worthy view of beautiful mountains in the distance. Buntzen Lake is deep, meaning plenty of critters call it home and there are many great fishing spots to be found for those willing to explore.
Just over half an hour away from downtown Vancouver lies Sasamat Lake, a trout fishing hotspot. The fish here may be smaller than in other lakes, but what they lack in size they make up for in quantity. It’s easy to get to as well, with plenty of main roads and trails looping around the lake’s perimeter for when you or your fellow fishing companions feel like taking a scenic stroll. The lake’s south side hosts an incredible floating bridge (you heard that right), making it a great choice for those casting a line for the first time.
The diverse group of scenic, well stocked lakes around Vancouver make fishing an accessible summer hobby. To plan your next trip, visit Freshwater Fisheries BC or check their events page for a list of activities designed for beginner and seasoned anglers alike. Who knows? You may just fall in love with a new outdoor hobby this summer!