Northern Gulf Islands: Scenic Selections

Lots to choose from. With more than 200 islands off the coast of mainland BC, there are thousands of great spots to explore and drop a line. The southern end of Denman and Hornby Islands, two of the larger ones, are particularly good for Salmon and Ling Cod depending on season and spots near Flora Island and Lambert Channel are excellent spots to drop a prawn trap.

Nanaimo has it all. The second biggest city on Vancouver Island, and just minutes away from the virtually untouched wilderness, Nanaimo provides an easy starting point for a fun day of fishing. Fish right from the city shore while watching the ferries go by, or take a short boat ride to the waters around Five Finger or Gabriola Island and drop your line.

Home of the big ones. Cowichan River earned a reputation years ago for producing the biggest Coho Salmon in the world, and there’s no better place to look for them today. Both the river itself and the approach areas and very productive and Chum, Coho and Chinook are all plentiful especially during their return to spawning.

Since 1942, the World Famous Tyee Pool in Campbell River has attracted anglers from around the world. Try to join the “Tyee Club the only way you can, by hopping in a rowboat with an expert, local guide to try to hook and land a Tyee – a Chinook Salmon over 30 lbs.


Perfect beaches, perfect fishing. This large stretch of island coast along the eastern side of Vancouver Island features beaches that go out up to a quarter mile at low tide, making it an excellent place to play with kids and go clamming and oyster picking. The weather is relatively mild here, and the area also features many runs of Pink and Coho Salmon that you can catch right from shore.

Explore a British Columbia that few people have seen. Surround yourself with majestic scenery, abundant wildlife and plenty of fishing opportunities. To the east of Campbell River and just north of Desolation Sound you’ll find a large network of tidal channels and inlets home to both resident and migrating Salmon. Go mooching in deep inlets or find a spot in a tidal rip to catch a passing Chinook, and don’t forget to drop a Prawn trap on the way.

Get your hands dirty. Enjoy sightseeing, beachcombing and easy clamming on pretty, sheltered beaches less than an hour from Nanaimo. Easy access to the area and plentiful clams make this a trip suitable for the whole family, including younger children. Plastic shovels and pails optional!

Roll up your sleeves. And your pant legs. Between Campbell River to the north and Nanaimo to the south are numerous small streams and beaches where observant anglers can cast a line from shore or rowboat and have an excellent chance of landing a Coho or Pink. And with all of the local farms and markets in the area to help plan side dishes, a fantastic meal awaits!

Visit the “Salmon Capital of the World. Every year, millions of salmon migrate past Campbell River on their way to their spawning grounds. The largest species, Chinook, return to the area in large numbers and are pursued by those keen to land one over 30lbs – which are known as Tyee – to become a member of the legendary, world-famous “Tyee Club”.

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