Winter Fresh Water Fishing in the Lower Mainland

We are truly blessed down here in the Lower Mainland. While the rest of Canada is blanketed with snow and restricted to ice fishing, we can still stomp our local rivers or float our many local lakes. Granted we will have a few cold snaps where the lakes might freeze over, but for the most part they stay open. 

Although trout fishing really slows in our local rivers, some of the bigger systems hold Bull trout and the highly coveted Steelhead (Searun rainbow trout of epic proportions). And how can we forget the early season Salomon runs. The Coho and Chum run into Dec. It does rain a lot here and the rivers will blow out often. But in between the monsoons you can still get out and find some fishy fast water. 

@goodmanonthefly looking for Winter Steelhead.

@goodmanonthefly searching for Steel.

If the rivers are too high and coloured or lakes are more your game, as long as there is no ice, there are many trout to be found. Pretty much every Lower Mainland lake holds either Rainbow or Cutthroat trout, some both. Some hold other species such as Kokanee, Bass, Crappie, Pumpkinseeds, Whitefish, Carp, and Pike Minnow. Most of those species are really hard to target in the cold season but trout are still very active. 

the author out on a recent float mission.

Out here there is bug life happening around the lakes all year long and you will often find trout feeding off or just under the surface. The tell tale rings from them breaking the surface letting you know where to target your fly. Chironomids, small nymphs, balanced leeches, and stripping leeches are all very effective this time year once you find the fish. Try red, olives, or black flies and slow down your retrieves a bit for the best luck this time of year. 

Here are a few fish species the author landed in the past two months all in local Lower Mainland lakes. 

Black Crappie

Mountain Whitefish

Coastal Cutthroat Trout

Now get out there and explore!

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