With origins high in the southern Rocky Mountains of British Columbia, the Bull River is a classic mountain stream with a healthy, thriving population of wild westlope cutthroat trout, as well as the odd bull trout in the river’s low reaches.
There is a dam several kilometres above the confluence with the Kootenay River, which divides the Bull River into two different sections. Downstream of the dam, the river can be floated and is guided by Fernie Wilderness Adventures. The long upper reaches do have a couple sections that can be rafted, but this section of the river is more easily explored on foot. Walking and wading is a popular efficient way to fish here.
All in all, there are at least 100 kilometres of wild river to explore.
Port Hardy’s Angling Adventures Also a Gateway to Region’s History
For A Whale Of A Time Fish Northern Vancouver Island
Port Hardy, at the northern end of Vancouver Island, perches on the edge of Queen Charlotte Strait. The strait squeezes waters from the open Pacific Ocean into a relatively narrow funnel between northern Vancouver Island and the B.C. mainland. All five species of salmon – especially much sought-after, mature trophy chinook and coho returning to eastern Vancouver Island and mainland rivers – lurk in channels between innumerable islands and islets to ambush immense schools of bait pushed by powerful tidal currents. With so many fish passing through, it’s also a prime location to view resident populations of orcas, whose main diet is salmon. Learn about the history and culture of Port Hardy’s Kwakwaka’wakw First Nation, the town’s early beginnings, European settlement, and resource industries at the Port Hardy Museum and Archives.
Bamfield, at the mouth of spectacular Barkley Sound on the west coast of Vancouver Island, is ideally located to take advantage of the region’s excellent salmon and bottom fishing. Early in the season, and again when mature chinook salmon are returning to the Robertson Creek Hatchery in mid-summer, anglers can find salmon right around the entrance to Bamfield Harbour or among the many islands within the Broken Group. The big fish-holding offshore banks are a bit farther to go, but offer consistently good fishing for mature salmon returning to Robertson Creek and many other rivers. Trolling lures just off the bottom can result in hot action for bottomfish as well as salmon. With its many protected waterways, and pretty islets with sandy beaches, Barkley Sound is a wonderful place explore in a kayak. Established in 1972, the Bamfield Marine Sciences Centre (housed in the original Pacific Cable Board Station) is well worth a visit.