Vancouver Island Steelhead & Trout Fishing
Tofino has long been known for it's fantastic saltwater fishing, but world-class freshwater opportunities await the adventerous. Clayoquot Ventures Tofino Fishing proudly offers a variety of unique guided freshwater excursions in the pristine mountain lakes and rivers of Clayoquot Sound. In order to accommodate the various time lines and interests of our clients, we offer full day guided rates as well as overnight packages.
Fly in Lake Fishing - From May through late October, the small mountain lakes that we fish primarily have a healthy population of Rainbow Trout in the 1-6 lb. range, and Cutthroat Trout normally 12-20 inches. We are keen to host anglers who prefer either Fly fishing or light tackle, and therefore are prepared to outfit you with either type of gear. As these fisheries are 100 % catch and release, we do not fish any bait, and carefully release all fish, allowing for a quick photo to retain the memory forever. Most often on these small sized lakes, we’ll fish a 5 wt. Sage or G.Loomis medium action rod and disc drag reel loaded with type 3 and 6 sink tips and full sink lines. It is not overly common to get dry fly action during the day, unless we are on an overnight excursion where we will get surface activity late in the evening and early in the morning. Damsel Flies, Leeches and Chironomids are all stand-by sub surface flies in the #10-4 sizes. Floating lines and indicators are productive for mid day hatches as well.
For gear anglers, we often use a light or ultra light spinning combo by Shimano loaded with 6 lb main line and 3 or 4 lb. test leader material. Small spoons work well, but small green or black spinners seem to produce the best for terminal tackle.
Steelhead and Fall Salmon Fishing - Our remote river trips for Fall, Winter and Spring Steelhead, as well as returning Fall Salmon are often approached with the same fly rods that we use for our Saltwater Fly fishing for Coho Salmon and Bottom fish species. G.Loomis and Sage 8 wt. Rods are common for the Fly fishing enthusiasts with some water allowing for larger two handed fly rods in the 7/8 and 8/9 class. The same, or similar fly lines as our Saltwater fishery apply to the Steelhead and river Salmon fishing as well, but we also often go with a multi tip fly line system to cover various types of water by changing a sink tip, and not the whole spool. We normally use a 4-6 foot leader tipped with 8 lb test, with Flies that range from big and buggy to big and flashy. This fishery doesn’t have a very subtle approach with small flies, in fact, we want to attract as much attention as possible. Rabbit Strip leeches, Prawns and similar marabou attractors fill most of our fly boxes, with more patterns utilizing tinsel for the Fall Salmon fishing. An exception to the big fly approach is when we approach water that is common to hold good numbers of trout, then we will have you cast a small streamer on a 5 weight sink tip line. Certain streamers like the Kiwi Muddler has been known to tempt a number of Steelhead to test the 5 wt. rod and 4 lb. test tippet. We do fish terminal tackle if you choose, but like our lake fishing excursions, these trips are 100 % catch and release, so we do not fish any bait and release all fish as carefully as possible. For Steelhead and Fall Salmon tackle, we use 10-10.5 ft medium/light rods by G.Loomis and Shimano, loaded with 10 lb test spinning reels or level wind reels if you choose. The Gibbs #35 Koho Spoon is one of our standby pieces, as well as a custom tied Rabbit Strip or Marabou jigs under a float. With all of these flies and lures, it is mandatory that we fish a single, barbless hook outlined in the freshwater regulations.
Only the pristine beauty of these quiet little lakes parallel the fantastic Rainbow Trout and Cutthroat Trout fishing that awaits you! We start our journey in Tofino where your guide will load the gear into a De Havilland Beaver Float Plane. The 20-30 minute flight carries you across the vast waterways of inner Clayoquot Sound, with breathtaking views of the open Pacific and coastal mountains. You often have the bonus of viewing Grey Whales and Black Bears from this aerial vantage point. Your pre-selected choice of pursuing Rainbow or Cutthroat Trout will determine which specific pristine mountain lake hidden among the majestic coastal mountains will be our destination. Your guide will assemble your personal pontoon boat and your choice of fly or spinning gear upon disembarking the plane. Canoes and Rowboats may also be available for those that prefer this method of accessing the prime spots within these small to medium sized lakes. Most of the lakes we access provide exceptional fishing for Cutthroat Trout in the 12-20 inch range. We also provide our guests the option of fishing one of a few unique hideaway lakes that produce trophy class Rainbow Trout in the 2-8 lb. range. A seasonal shore lunch may be an option on some lakes, otherwise these great excursions are 100% catch and release.