The province’s freshwater anglers fish primarily for trout—mostly rainbow trout, but also Dolly Varden, lake, brook, brown, and cutthroat trout. One particular type of rainbow trout, the large anadromous steelhead, is renowned as a fighting fish and considered by locals to be the ultimate fishing challenge. Salmon are also abundant in the province; several seagoing species come up British Columbia ’s rivers to spawn. Kokanee rarely grow over one kilogram (2.2 pounds), but this freshwater salmon is an excellent sport fish inhabiting lakes of the southern interior. Feeding near the surface and caught on wet or dry artificial flies, they taste great, especially when smoked.
Fishing guides, tours, lodges (from rustic to luxurious), and packages are available throughout the province; one is sure to suit you. Expect to pay $200–400 a day for a guide, and up to several thousand dollars for several days at a luxury lodge with all meals and guided fishing included.
Fishing licenses are required, and prices vary according to your age and place of residence. British Columbia residents pay $36 for a freshwater adult license, good for one year. All other Canadians pay $20 for a one-day license, $36 for an eight-day license, or $55 for a one-year. International visitors pay $20, $50, and $80, respectively. For more information, contact Ministry of Environment (www.env.gov.bc.ca ) and download the British Columbia Freshwater Fishing Regulations Synopsis.
The tidal waters of the Pacific Northwest offer some of the world’s best fishing, with remote lodges scattered along the coast catering to all budgets. And although most keen anglers will want to head farther afield for the best fishing opportunities, many top fishing spots can be accessed on a day trip from Vancouver . The five species of Pacific salmon are most highly prized by anglers. The chinook (king) salmon in particular is the trophy fish of choice. They commonly weigh over 10 kilograms (22 pounds) and are occasionally caught at over 20 kilograms (44 pounds); those weighing over 12 kilograms (26.5 pounds) are often known as “tyee.” Other salmon present are coho (silver), pink (humpback), sockeye (red), and chum (dog). Other species sought by local recreational anglers include halibut, lingcod, rockfish, cod, perch, and snapper.
A tidal-water sportfishing license for residents of British Columbia , good for one year from March 31, costs $22.26 ($11.66 for those 65 and over); for nonresidents, the same annual license costs $107.06, or $7.42 for a single-day license, $20.14 for three days, and $32.86 for five days. A salmon conservation stamp is an additional $6.36. Licenses are available from sporting goods stores, gas stations, marinas, and charter operators. When fish-tagging programs are on, you may be required to make a note of the date, location, and method of capture, or to record on the back of your license statistical information on the fish you catch. Read the current rules and regulations. For further information, contact Fisheries and Oceans Canada (604/664-9250, www.pac  .dfo-mpo.gc.ca).
The Sport Fishing Institute of British Columbia (604/270-3439, www.sportfishing  .bc.ca) produces an annual free magazine, Sport Fishing, that lists charter operators and fishing lodges and details license requirements.