Fly-fishing the lakes of Whistler
Some of my favorite fishing has been in beautiful British Columbia (BC). I am a huge fan of BC and particularly Vancouver, which has big sky, green mountains and awesome seascapes. It also has terrific fishing for trout and salmon, which I have been fortunate to partake in every few years for the last twenty.
I tend to use Whistler as my base as it is close to both Squamish and Pemberton, which have some marvelous rivers to fly-fish for various salmon and trout species. But when the river fishing is challenging – say during the snow melt (or, freshet) in the Spring – the lakes surrounding Whistler offer some great still water fly-fishing for stocked and wild trout species.
Fly-fishing at Green Lake
My go-to water in Whistler is Green Lake, particularly the portion that abuts the Nicholas North golf community. The fishing from this lake is scenic, with Blackcomb and Whistler Mountains as a backdrop, as well as regular seaplane landings to the resort. There is also abundant wildlife that includes osprey and eagles, various other waterfowl, beavers, otters and occasional bears.
Wading the areas where the River of Golden Dreams and Fitzsimmons Rivers enter Green Lake are very productive fly-fishing spots. I have had some excellent days catching Kokanee salmon in the current of the River of Golden Dreams, as well as some highlight reel catches of bull trout off the beach (see above video) that abuts the outflow of the Fitzsimmons. I generally fish with a sinking line with a slow retrieval of a pink or purple leech pattern.
Fly-fishing at Lost Lake
A hidden gem is Lost Lake to the northeast of the Whistler Village. This is a very picturesque spot surrounded by countless hiking and mountain bike trails, and the lake is stocked with rainbow trout in the spring. Wading here is generally limited to the area of the sand beach, so using a float tube will get you to more spots where the fish are hanging out.
Fly-fishing at Logger's Lake
A recent discovery is Logger’s Lake, which lies on the outskirts of Whistler to the southwest. There is a steep hike to the lake, which is stocked in the spring with rainbow trout. The fly-fishing here is more challenging because wading is not recommended (this is a former volcano crater) and there are only a few choice spots from where one can launch a back cast from shore. Like Green Lake, the preferred approach is a sinking line with a slow retrieval of a leech pattern or wooly bugger.
Other lakes in the vicinity of Whistler that are stocked with rainbows and cutthroats include Nitka and Alta. Because the shore/wading access to these lakes is difficult, I do not tend to fish them. My hope is to soon invest in a float tube that will open many more waters for fly fishing, not just in Whistler, but also in the Pemberton area. I have been told that the Ivey and Mosquito Lakes are fun places to fish from a self-propelled U or V-shaped float tube.
Be sure to check in with fly shops in Pemberton or Vancouver regarding river conditions and effective fly patterns. Tim at Michael & Young in Vancouver was very helpful in providing guidance as were the guys at Spud Valley in Pemberton.
I am not being compensated by my mention of the fishing establisments in this post. I am simply a happy client.