Nothing compares to the taste of a freshly caught wild salmon, taken from the cold rivers feeding the Pacific Ocean. Every fisherman should experience the waters of British Columbia at least once, especially during salmon season. But it takes more than enthusiasm to come away with a trophy catch; before you set out on your fishing trip, you'll need all of the right information, licensing and gear to ensure that you don't end up empty-handed.
Choose Your Salmon Species
You may have a specific species of salmon in mind, or you may simply go after whatever is running during your stay in British Columbia. The Canadian coast is home to an abundance of salmon, including chinook, sockeye, pink, coho, steelhead and more, all of which operate on their own timeline to return home and spawn. Most of these varieties, however, are in the rivers between the months of October and December. If you are planning on taking a guided fishing tour or staying at a lodge, call the customer service line for a more personalized estimate of when there will be fish in the area.
Check the Regulations
Salmon are a prized commodity under constant risk of over-fishing, and so they are heavily protected by local authorities. Examine British Columbia's regulations regarding when you can fish for salmon, how many you can catch and what gear you can use long before you hit the water. You will also need to purchase licenses for the appropriate habitat: tidal or freshwater. Responsible fishing helps preserve sustainable populations so that your children and grandchildren can enjoy these fascinating creatures as well. Respect the law and do your homework ahead of time to avoid complications.
Bring the Right Tackle
Just like you wouldn't bring bass worms while trout fishing, make sure you pack all of the right fishing tackle for salmon. Similar to their relative the trout, salmon are best caught using the drift method, where bait is allowed to naturally drift down a river or stream until it catches the attention of a fish. Your local outfitter should be able to equip you with all of the right rods, lures and bait to make your trip a success.
Enjoy Your Trip
Most importantly, have fun with your friends and family and take time to appreciate the majesty of British Columbia while you are out in nature. Besides being one of the finest fishing destinations in the world, it is also one of the most beautiful, and a thriving cultural center. If you are prepared with knowledge and the proper fishing tackle, you should have no trouble landing a few keepers, and reeling in a huge, fighting salmon is a great way to create memories that will stand the test of time.