Spring Fly Fishing in BC Report


Well it’s late April and we’re starting to wind down our south coast BC fly fishing program. We’ve spend the entire Spring so far on the Squamish River, fly fishing of winter-run steelhead and resident bull trout. This is a huge part of our program here at Chromer Sport Fishing, we have a five man guide staff, covering Vancouver, Squamish and Whistler and the Squamish River is definitely our home turf!

We had some great weeks of fishing since early March and certainly some tougher ones. Overall the Spring months in British Columbia this year were really quite cool, definitely cooler than average and that kept river levels low. With the Squamish River being so low, trout were a bit more spooky than usual and steelhead took a little longer to enter the system, so most of the fish we caught were later into the season, mostly in April.  

We fish beautiful wild rivers within an hour of Vancouver. This is our 10 foot framed raft that lets us get into remote sections, offering the best Spring fly fishing opportunities for our guests.

This Spring fly fishing season was our busiest ever for us, we had a ton of repeat customers come fly fish with us and we also had lots of new folks from all over the world (New Zealand, Australia, Holland, South Africa, etc.) fish with us as well.  Such a fun job being a fly fishing guide when you can introduce people to this beautiful area of British Columbia.  Below are some photos and some typical questions and answers about our Spring fly fishing program near Vancouver.

Spring fly fishing in BC, is that any good?

You bet it is. Spring is when we have some of our best fly fishing in British Columbia, especially on the south coast and close to Vancouver. This is when river levels are at their optimal levels as the low laying snow begins to melt and rivers gently rise. Resident bull trout and rainbow trout become more active and winter-run steelhead begin to enter the local rivers. Our Spring fly fishing program generally is solid until mid May, all depending on river levels of course. As we move into May, rising temperatures begin to melt higher elevation snow and river levels being to rise. Prime time for a Spring fly fishing trip with us is from mid March to early May.

Guide Yos Gladstone and client with a wild steelhead caught on the coastal rivers near Vancouver. Photo from mid April 2018.

Where is the best Spring fly fishing in British Columbia?

We like to think it’s right in our backyard. There are obviously other options for Spring fly fishing trips in BC, including Vancouver Island steelhead trips and Skeena River steelhead trips, but if you’re looking for and equal quality trip, with easier travel plans and a more affordable easy day trip from Vancouver, then our Vancouver fly fishing trips are 100% the way to go!

When you come fly fishing with us out of Vancouver, Squamish or Whister (yes, we have guides in all locations) then you’ll be fishing within an hour of when we pick you up and you’ll be genuinely blown away with the fly fishing opportunities we have here on BC’s south coast. The Squamish River and its tributaries offer beautiful surroundings and as wild of a backdrop to your experience as you’ll find anywhere in British Columbia.

This is our two man raft on the remote section of river on BC’s south coast. Spring is a great time for a fly fishing trip with us in Vancouver, Squamish or Whistler, we offer fully guided trips from all locations.

What style of fishing do you do?

We are focused on fly fishing these rivers. Although other methods, like spin casting can sometimes prove more effective, our program is focused on fly fishing and the rewards that come with our style of fishing. We swing flies for steelhead and bull trout, many are attractor pattern flies that simply piss the fish off, others are more imitating what they feed on, like eggs in the early season and salmon fry patterns later into April & May.

Spey casting, also known as double handed casting, is also a big part of our Chromer Sport Fishing program and a major draw for many people who come fish with us. This method is unique to fishing the rivers of the Pacific Northwest and gives anglers the ability to cast further, fish bigger flies and be even more effective in covering water and catching fish!  If you’ve ever wanted to learn how to spey cast then you’ll be in great hands with our team of Vancouver fly fishing guides.  If you’ve never heard of spey casting, then you’ll find it a crazy fun way to fish and our guide staff will make sure all our clients of all abilities will be tossing out big casts within the first 30 minutes of your guided day.

Fly fishing on the Squamish River near Vancouver BC. This is our home waters and an area we love fly fishing on. You’ll learn how to fly fish or improve your skills on your guided day with us, plus, check out this scenery, as wild as it gets!

Are steelhead easy to catch?

Heeellllllll no. Catching a winter run BC steelhead is on many a serious fly angler’s bucket lists but encountering one of these stunning creatures isn’t a task to take lightly.  If you are expecting to catch multiple steelhead with us in a day trip, then this isn’t the trip for you. What we tell all our prospective clients is that “we’ll put you in all the right places, they just have to be home”, and that rings true during each of our Spring fly fishing seasons. The Squamish River system only gets a few hundred returning steelhead each season, so to catch on is special treat. Our experienced guide staff will give you every opportunity possible at one, but it definitely is a quality, not quantity fishery. If you want numbers then we don’t want to fish with you. If you want to come and enjoy the area, the river, learn a pile of new skills and have a chance or two at a BC steelhead then we’d love to have you company.

A beautiful BC steelhead rests in the net before release. Steelhead are special creatures and getting the chance to catch one should be regarded as a real privilege, that’s how we look at it anyways.

What do your Spring fly fishing trips include?

Our Spring fly fishing trips include pickup in Vancouver, Squamish or Whistler, all depending where you’re staying. All quality fly fishing (single and spey) equipment and wading gear also included. Guided day trips are eight hours but usually run longer. We also offer packages with accommodations in Squamish, BC, this is the best option if you want to come fish with us for a few days. For more info have a look at our Vancouver fly fishing page and our Squamish River steelhead fishing trip page.

Thanks for having a read, lets us know if you have any interest in coming fly fishing with us, you can email chromersportfishing@gmail.com, we’ll look forward to hearing from you!


About the Author

Yos Gladstone is the owner operator of Chromer Sport Fishing, a guiding company and booking agency based in British Columbia, Canada. A full-time salmon & steelhead guide, Yos spends 200+ days a year on the water fishing, guiding and hosting trips.

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