Fly Fishing Haven – Upper Pitt River Adventure
If you are looking for an experience that is second to none, a fly fishing instructional experience on the Upper Pitt River has to be added to your list of rivers to fish and see. June, July and August lend itself as
notably the best months to fly fish this scenic paradise. What most say after a day on this river is the boat ride alone was well worth the price of admission but the fishing and educational day on the water was the best they have ever had. This is a river system that you may never see another angler all day or if you do, it will be very few as there is no road access. To most world travelers this is what fishing in British Columbia or Canada is in their minds.
We are very happy to have both Curtis and Ben who are two incredible passionate and professional guides who understand how to carefully navigate this river and know where the fish are. They are both committed to ensuring your day is the best it can be and that you return with a new appreciation for what we refer to as “ some of the best fly fishing in all of southwestern British Columbia”. There are only 2 rivers that we know that are this prestigious and we believe that these should only ever be fished with fly rods.
I was lucky enough to go up for what we call is the “opening day” on the river; which is nothing more than us taking the first run up and to see how it has changed and if we can reach the second canyon. Armed with a chainsaw and many other tools that could be needed to cut logs in the middle of runs, Curtis, Chad and I set off at 8:00 am for another adventure.
The day was a little overcast and there was blue-sky breaks and it was warm, a good day for mid May. We drove about 25 minutes across Pitt Lake before the river. The river was not gin clear but slightly colored and that was perfect for both navigational purposes and fishing. We rolled back the roof and all stood up at the front anxious to see what changes winter and early Spring brought to the river. This river basin is strewn with giant tree carcasses and has braids that sometimes give you 4 or 5 different options for running the boat. You have to be sure to take the right path or you can find yourself in big trouble which is the main reason you would go with guides that travel and fish this river multiple times per season. Only seasoned and skilled jet boat operators should be on this type of river, it does not forgive.
We pass the 1st bridge and the river gets really fast and the water level seems low to me but Curtis says its good and that is why we wait until now to make our first run of the year. We have to stop the boat about 5 miles up the river so Curtis can walk up a choice of runs to see the best route to choose, this is how you responsibly run rivers. We stepped out of the boat and came across bear imprints on the sand and a giant set of fresh Bull Elk hoof marks, this area is alive with wildlife. Our clients over the years have been able to see giant herds of Elk crossing the rivers and many Black Bears fishing near to them when the Salmon are migrating. Curtis came back after about 10 minutes and he had his route mapped for advancing up the river, we hopped in and we were off again.
We made it all the way up through first canyon and then to the hot tubs at second canyon which is not far from the entrance to the Provincial Park, what an exhilarating jet boat ride. We got out at the man made hot tubs that are fed by a stream of hot water that comes from the towering cliff walls of rock and through a giant crack. Not all times of the season can you navigate this high up, but for today we did and it was sure nice to see so much of the river again. We were all itching to get in some spey casting with the double handed fly rods and to see if there was some fish around. So off we went to the first run that looked fishy and one that Curtis knew we would have a good chance on hooking up. I was the lucky one to get the first crack and on the 2nd cast hooked up a very nice Sea Run Dolly Varden that put up a great fight on our light spey gear and took my tube fly offering on the swing. What an honor, the first fish of the season which I got to experience with my team mates in this fly fishers
paradise. I kissed the fish and sent it quickly on its way and we fished through the run and never had another take. I felt very lucky and privileged to be here today.
We fished down the entire river system and hooked up on a number of Sea Run Dolly Varden and Bull Trout, even a Cutthroat Trout. There is always a chance early on like this to find a returning kelt Steelhead but we did not find one on this day, but we did find a few Cutthroat which were small but still nice to see and took the fly well.
The next few weeks and months are going to be the best fishing of the entire year. The Sea Run Bull Trout and Dolly Varden will be coming in strong and to have many aggressive takes on days are normal. In July we will see Sockeye coming into the river, the largest strain of Sockeye in the world and this river can see upwards of 60,000 annual migration. These fish actually chase the fly and are very fun to catch for all levels of anglers. We will also see a migration of Chinook (King) Salmon and sometimes they take our fly’s when swinging through runs targeting other fish. They are very healthy, silver bright and we release them as quick as possible. The multi-species fishery lasts until about mid August when the river levels get very low and the river slows for good fishing.
There is a chance later in the season in about mid October if the water levels are good and usually after a rain that you can fish for Coho (Silvers) on the fly. If you hit this at the right timing the river is teaming with big aggressive fish that could end up being some of the best fly fishing you will ever have in your life.
I don’t seem to have the words to express how this river and scenic surroundings are like being taken back 100 years and will give any level of fly angler a “fly-fishing adventure experience of a lifetime”. All this right here in our own backyard, so close to downtown Vancouver.
My hat goes off to my team of professional guides that continue to impress all their guests with their deep dedication to creating memories that will truly last a lifetime, just as it was for me today!
Come see what a Pitt River Adventure is all about. We have limited days available in the season but if you book early or contact us for more information we will be able to get you there.
Cheers and great fishing, forever, Dean <”)))><