Tofino-Clayoquot Sound Fishing
By Jason Mohl
Vancouver Island's Pacific Rim region has a long history of fishing,
along with a bright future that holds much optimism through diversity
in the growing recreational industry.
For the small coastal community of Tofino, fishing has always been
a major attraction, with fish and seafood stocks creating the backbone
for their growth many years ago. These rich aquatic resources continue
to attract Sport Fishermen from all over the world, with this season
showing as much popularity as ever.
Angling on the west coast of Vancouver Island this year holds a lot
of promise for great opportunities. With new diverse fisheries being
developed, such as the rapid growth of Saltwater fly-fishing in the
area, some very unique freshwater fishing options and the increase
of bottom-fishing along our near shore banks, these only compliment
the existing terminal fisheries that have attracted many over the
years. With all angling options combined, along with the continued
advancement of accommodations, culinary services and other recreational
opportunities, Clayoquot Sound continues to shine as one of British
Columbia's premier destinations.
Early season saltwater fishing is generally limited to the protected
inshore waters of the sound, while the conditions for the more productive
offshore waters are quite unstable. As the winds and rain of winter
give way to more spring-like conditions, saltwater and freshwater
fishing opportunities begin to unfold.
The small to medium sized river systems in the area hold stable runs
of native steelhead averaging 6-12 lbs. This season has seen a good
return as usual with very little fishing pressure on these remote
river systems. Peaking in late March through May, these spring-run
Steelhead will readily take flies, spoons and terminal gear.
The same river estuaries that sees passing Steelhead in the spring
and returning salmon in the fall, host year-round populations of Sea-Run
Cutthroat. Cruising the beaches in search of small shrimp and various
baitfishes, these small but feisty game fish provide great action
for fly fishermen and light tackle anglers. The downstream migration
of fry in the spring and the return of spawning salmon in the fall,
are times when these anadromous trout are especially susceptible.
Expect excellent action for Chinook Salmon and Halibut among the baitfish
rich banks offshore from Tofino. Fishing at Tofino's Portland or Raphael
pts. in 140-160 ft. of water, will continue to produce Chinook Salmon
over 30 lbs., and Halibut averaging 20-60 lbs. Anticipated to be significantly
better than last season, this combination fishery continues to provide
great action through late September.
The early season is also the start of some unique and diverse fisheries
that the area has to offer. Numerous remote fly-in lakes along the
coastline host healthy populations of Cutthroat Trout as well as a
few lakes producing trophy sized Rainbow Trout. These pristine lakes
provide good fishing conditions through late October.
The fairly new and rapidly expanding sport of fly-fishing the saltwater
has labeled the Tofino/Clayoquot sound area, British Columbia's premier
destination. This exciting, low impact fishery is expected to experience
continued growth in conjunction with the fantastic increase of Coho
Salmon along the coast. Early June is the start of this near shore
fishery, with the action intensifying July through mid. October.
The inshore Salmon fishery for the season's largest maturing Chinook
begins in early July and peaks later in August. For retention of Coho
salmon, the regulations should be similar to last season, with the
fishing action expected to be as good or better. It is hard to imagine
more intense Coho fishing than we experienced last year!
As the season progresses into early fall, the usually stable weather
patterns don't often limit boating activities, in turn, promoting
great conditions for bottom-fishing the offshore waters for Halibut,
Lingcod, Red Snapper and other species of rockfish. Among the inshore
waters of Clayoquot Sound, this is the prime time to fish for returning
local stocks of salmon en route to their natal streams. This coming
fall should see great fishing for Chinook, along with unparalleled
Coho action. This is a prime time of the year for light tackle fishermen,
as well as those with smaller boats to enjoy great fishing action,
not far from the harbor.
Come out and see for yourself why the Tofino/Clayoquot Sound area
continues to prosper with Sport Fishing and Tourism. For further
information on our area and what we have to offer, as well as fishing
or charter inquiries, call us toll free at 1-888-534-7422.
Visit us online at
Jay Mohl-Clayoquot Ventures
Contact me with your questions or comments at