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3 Spring Fishing Spots in BC

Man Fishing beside his trailer parked at beach

Fishing at Muncho Lake. Photo: Destination BC/Albert Normandin

Spring is here and no more alarm clocks! Instead I am awakened each day to the discordant symphony of birds outside my window.  It is an invigorating sign that warm weather is coming and an opportunity to go away on the Easter long weekend. The start of spring camping! Yahoo…I love being in the outdoors! When I return back to work after spending a weekend in nature, I am completely re-energized and ready to go. However, B.C.’s unpredictable weather causes my husband not to feel the same way.  A sure way to convince him to go in the shoulder season is to incorporate an activity that he is passionate about, one being fishing. Here are some spring fishing spots I found with nearby campgrounds. Wish me luck!

Hope – Kawkawa Lake

This lake in Hope is open for fishing from March 1 to November 30 each year. Kokanee are the most sought after species, but you can also catch wild cutthroat trout and residualized coho salmon. The lake fishes well right from opening day and into the summer months. Kokanee are schooling fish, so you will want a fish finder on your boat to maximize your success.

Nearby Campgrounds

Coquihalla Campground – Located in Hope along the Coquihalla River. The campground hosts 117 sites, some of which are full service hook-ups with cable. For more campgrounds in Hope go to Camping & RVing BC, click on the Camping Map and search under Hope.

Forest campsite at Coquihalla Campground

Campsite at Coquihalla Campground

Harrison Mills – Harrison & Chehalis Rivers

Harrison River is home to cutthroat and Chehalis River to winter steelhead; In March and April coastal cutthroat begin actively feeding upon emerging salmon fry in the Harrison River and surrounding backwaters. Fly fishing with fry patterns or spincasting with small spinners or spoons is the most productive method. Looks for signs of rising fish as the cutthroat chase down fry. Anglers can either fish from a boat or walk and wade one of the many accessible beeches. Drift fishing for winter steelhead on the Chehalis River (a major tributary of the Harrison River) remains good in March right through April. The Chehalis is closed to fishing May 1 – 31.

Nearby Campgrounds

Chehalis River, (West Harrison) – Offers year-round camping in a Recreation and Trails campground with no hook-ups and services. They welcome first-come-first-serve but also take reservations that can be made up to a month in advance. Details are on the website.

For other campgrounds in Harrison Mills, Bridal Falls or other close-by communities go to Camping & RVing BC and search under the community name in the Camping Map link.

Nanaimo – Westwood Lake

Westwood Lake is one of the first lakes to be stocked on Vancouver Island each spring. There is a wheelchair accessible fishing float on the south side of the park or you can fish with an electric motor or non powered boat for rainbow trout or cutthroat trout.

Nearby Campgrounds

Jinglepot RV Park Campgounds – Big rig friendly campground with full facilities that is open all year round. It has separate group or tenting area. It is a pet friendly park and is found in Nanaimo with easy access to ferries and highway. Go to Camping & RVing in BC to locate other campgrounds in Nanaimo.

Before you head out on any fishing trip, be sure to check the current fishing regulations which can be accessed through Freshwater Fisheries Society of BC (GoFishBC).

Published: April 11, 2014
Last Updated: June 5, 2019

Adventure Mom by Adventure Mom

Alenna, raised in British Columbia, has been camping and playing in the outdoors all her life. Her earliest camping memory is at age 2. She was sleeping in her parent’s camperized van and was woken up by her parents frantically trying to to scare a bear away by flashing their headlights on and off. Today she continues to camp with her own family without further bear incidences! You can find her racing in triathlons, practicing yoga, snowboarding, skiing, hiking or lazing in her lawn chair at a hidden campground gem.