Whistler Fishing Waters
Located right in Whistler, glacier fed Green Lake is a large, cold lake that fishes well all throughout the hot summer months. A catch and release lake, Green is home to a very healthy population of Rainbow Trout and Dolly Varden Char. As well there are Kokanee and a few Cutthroat Trout that have made the journey down the River of Golden Dreams from Alta Lake. Green Lake is often fished from a boat though there are many easily accessible creek mouths for the wading angler within five minutes drive of our fly shop. Known for it’s emerald colour, Green Lake is one of the most stunningly beautiful lakes in the area and is regulated catch and release with a bait ban and single, barbless hook restriction.
The Cheakamus River above Daisy Lake is the perfect place to learn to flyfish. A mere twenty minutes south of Whistler this rumbling freestone stream has carved its way through rock wall canyons to create some great fly water between whitewater sections. The river is home to a plentiful resident population of small wild Rainbow Trout which, due to the gradient of the river and their Steelhead ancestry are, for their size, the strongest Trout we have ever encountered. Fishable only in the summer and early fall months, the Cheak drains Cheakamus Lake and flows into Daisy Lake alongside the highway. Close proximity makes for an ideal half day trip with the potential for some great dry fly fishing for small but incredibly beautiful and strong wild Rainbow Trout. As long casts are rarely necessary on this river, we fish the Upper Cheakamus with really light gear preferring 0-3 weight rods. A true Whistler adventure, this is the best introduction to flyfishing that we have found with plenty of bear watching potential to add to the overall fishing experience.
The Cheakamus River empties out of Daisy lake running parallel to Highway 99 before dropping through an impressive whitewater canyon that is a barrier to anadromous fish. Below the canyon this river flattens out and meanders creating some 10 miles of gorgeous fly water before draining into the Squamish River near the town of Brackendale. The lower Cheakamus has some of the largest and strongest wild winter Steelhead in the world. Every year fish over twenty pounds are caught and safely released by anglers traveling from all over to fish this famous river. The river also supports plentiful runs of Coho, Pink, Chum and Chinook Salmon as well as Dolly Varden, Rainbow and Coastal Cutthroat Trout. Prime months to fish the lower Cheak are February, March and April for Steelhead, Dollies, Cutthroat and Rainbows. August through November is good for Salmon as well as wild Trout and Char. The Cheakamus is regulated catch and release and has a bait ban and single barbless hook restriction. A thirty minute drive from Whistler village, the lower Cheakamus River is suitable for both half day trips and full day fishing excursions.
The most famous river in sea to sky country by far, the Squamish river has long been known for it’s stunning beauty as well as it’s hard fighting ocean bright wild Steelhead. The Squamish is home to a large population of Dolly Varden and Bull Trout(Char) as well there are sea run Cutthroat, wild Rainbows and four species of Pacific Salmon. Steelhead angling is focused on the middle to upper reaches of this river while Salmon fishing is best experienced down near tide water. This is one of the premier wild Steelhead rivers in British Columbia and for good reason-as if designed with the flyfisher in mind the Squamish has miles and miles of the sweetest flywater imaginable. The river is protected with catch and release, bait ban and single barbless hook regulations. The Squamish river provides a real wilderness fishing experience only fifty minutes drive from Whistler. The scenery and abundant wildlife of the Squamish Valley make it easy to forget how close one actually is to civilization. In the winter months the river is home to over 2000 eagles as well there are variety of critters including Deer, Mountain Goats, black bears and even the occasional Grizzly Bear.
The Birkenhead is one of the best trout streams in southern British Columbia. Flowing from Birkenhead lake down through Mount Currie before dumping into Lilloett lake, the Birk offers many runs and pools to the angler who doesn’t mind a short hike. This is bear country so exercise some caution when bush whacking. The Birkenhead is a cool little stream that requires a lot of exploring. There is a lot of cover which the fish utilize including a many stumps, logs, boulders and overhanging trees. This can make for some very interesting angling. Wild Rainbow Trout and Dolly Varden Char call this pretty river home. There is fishing year round and the winter months provide the best opportunity for site fishing. A very technical stream the Birk often requires short but very precise cast to tuck your caddis imitation way back under those branches. September marks the coming of easier fishing as large returns of Sockeye Salmon draw more, and often larger, fish out of Lilloett Lake. The trout follow the Salmon out of the lake to feed on their eggs so it is no surprise that egg patterns are top flies in the river at this time of year. Still a large stonefly nymph, streamer or bushy dry will often attract some attention at any time of the year. Catch and release, bait ban and single barbless hook restrictions are in place to protect this treasure of a trout stream.
The Showh Lakes
Showh and Cougar lakes are found part way up Cougar mountain just a few minutes north of Whistler. Home to abundant wildlife these lakes are a short 20 minute 4×4 trip up the mountain. These lakes are catch and release, artificial fly only to protect their populations of Rainbow Trout. Fishing usually starts in June and continues throughout the summer. These are alpine lakes and due to their higher elevation stay fairly cool throughout the summer months. There are good hatches of caddis and mayflies most evenings providing good surface action.
The lower Lilloett river is one of the best rivers in British Columbia. It is a glacier fed river that drains Lilloett lake into the north end of Harrison Lake. A high gradient river of impressive proportions the Lilloett is a fast flowing freestone stream of bowling ball sized boulders. Fishable from the late fall till freshet in June the Lilloet is know for it’s green glacial coloring. The river is best fishedbetween mid March and May. Angling the Lilloett river at this time presents the unique opportunity to catch wild Steelhead, Dolly Varden, Rainbow Trout, Cutthroat Trout and some of the chromest, most aggressive Chinook Salmon on the planet. The lower Lilloett river is one and a half hours drive from Whistler and is provincially managed as a catch and release fishery with a single barbless hook restriction.
Located right in the town of Whistler, Alta provides a quality fishery less than five minutes from the fly shop. In fact Whistler started as a fishing resort on Alta lake long before it was a ski resort. The lake is home to some beautiful wild Rainbow as well as some very large Cutthroat Trout. Alta is regulated catch and release with a bait ban and a single barbless hook restriction.
Upper Lilloett River
Close to Whistler, the upper Lilloett river starts in the Pemberton icecap and flows down through the farming town of Pemberton. Considering it’s glacial source it is no surprise that the upper Lilloett only runs clear from the late fall until the early spring. The fishery is primarily for Dolly Varden but there are also some very good sea run Cutthroat fishing to be had in the spring months. Stunning views Mount Currie help make this river is a winter flyfisher’s dream. Regulated catch and release with a bait ban and single barbless hook restriction, the upper Lilloett river provides a quality flyfishing experience 30 minutes from Whistler