Cowichan River Fishing Report

While the Cowichan River fishing is what brings you here it’s definitely not the only attraction.  

When you think of sunshine, clear water and the longest growing season in Canada, the Cowichan valley comes to mind. Named by the Coast -Salish first nations people Cowichan means the land warmed by the sun and this is certainly true in the summer months as the valley has more than it’s fair share of above average temperature days every year.

The region’s unofficial capital is Duncan and it’s downtown core is full of hidden gems to explore. There’s a  thriving local art and music scene and dozens of outdoor activities, hiking, biking, canoe and kayaking just to name a few.  There are also three dozen totem poles, the world’s largest collection.

After a long day Cowichan river fishing or just enjoying the sights, Duncan’s culinary tourism has been on the upswing for years. If you’re as much of a foodie as I am, you’ll be pleased with the array of quality cuisine.

The Cowichan valley is also the starting point of your amazing Cowichan River Fishing adventure.

From the town of Duncan you’re within a stones throw from the lower and very productive reaches of the cowichan river where 90% of the salmon and steelhead will pass through on their migration home to spawn.

How to get to the best Cowichan River fishing spots:

Travelling the 47km long river from cowichan Bay to the headwaters Lake Cowichan there’s several routes you can take. If you’re pressed for time the highway would be the best bet, but those of you looking for the scenic route River Bottom Road takes the long way around, but it’s very worth the drive.  You’ll navigate the windy road following the historical Cowichan River, passing by several great fishing spots, picnic areas and overnight camping spots, before entering the small community of Lake Cowichan. Once you’re in the Lake Cowichan they have everything you need for a comfortable stay or a quick visit. Gord’s fly box is located on the main drag, for all your last minute fishing gear you might need. Lake Cowichan is also the last fuel stop before driving on to Port Renfrew or Sooke, which would make a beautiful drive as you look for bears and elk along the way.

If Lake Cowichan is as far as you’d like to travel on your fishing adventure I highly recommend a stay at the Cowichan Riverside Cottage. Brenda will make you feel right at home as you get a good night’s rest for your next day of exploration. 

The Cowichan river fishing is open to fly fishing in the upper portion from the weir on the Lake Cowichan to the Mile 66 Trestle. 

Hiring a guide is your best bet if you plan on fishing the Cowichan River for the first time. The regulations can be a bit confusing if you’re not from the area. 

They say it’s also the finest trout stream on Vancouver Island and one of the best in the whole province of British Columbia, and I agree! This is due to the unique ecosystem and abundant insects and crustaceans.
Additional Information
Cowichan Lake
Cowichan Bay
29 miles
307 sq miles
Fishing Trips
  • Multi-day of fully guided Salmon, Trout or Steelhead fishing
  • Stay at the beautiful Cowichan Riverside Cottage
  • Bagged lunch and non alcoholic beverages are provided
  • Fly fishing instruction
For the adventurous angler who enjoys the peace and tranquility of uncrowded river! Great winter run steelhead opportunities here with some great holding spots. Good rain gear and ... morequality waders are essential for our climate and water conditions.
Drift down the Cowichan river stopping at all the great fishing holes to cast your line. Suitable for gear or fly fishing anglers. The Cowichan river is slightly wider than many of ... morethe canyon rivers of Vancouver Island making it a perfect river to throw some flies. We use a NSR raft to get right into the best spots that are inaccesible to larger boats and hikers. We only take 2 anglers at a time, so pressure is minimal and you get to fish every nook and cranny of the best holding spots. In the fall Cowichan River drifts we can catch Salmon. In the winter we have one of the best steelhead winter runs from the pacific ocean. Later in the season the brown trout begin to come alive and give an exciting fight.
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Fishing Quality
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