The Salmon River
flows north from Heber Mountain in Strathcona Park, and enters Johnstone Strait
at Kelsey Bay on the east coast of Vancouver Island.
pressure on the Salmon River is light to moderate, but the fishing is still
Traditionally, the Salmon River was known to produce the largest steelhead on
Vancouver Island, the big river has over the years produced Steelhead up to 15
kg with a few being even bigger.
Bruce Gerhardt, a friend
of mine who sadly passed away a number of years ago, was one of the best guides
to fish this river with. I do believe he has caught the biggest Steelhead ever
to be pulled from this
The winter Steelhead
fishery is now partially closed due to over harvesting, clear-cut logging in the
upper reaches and poor returns over the last few years. So you should check for
closures and restrictions before heading to the river for steelhead.
Expect Rainbow Trout, Dolly Varden and both summer and winter Steelhead. The
Salmon River also provides a good fly fishery for Sea Run Cutthroat,
particularly in the lower reaches of the River and in the estuary.
Access to the upper reaches is good via Highway 19, the Salmon River logging
mainline, and various secondary logging roads including the big tree creek road
where you can also see some of the biggest trees on the Island.
The lower river runs
through Sayward, to reach
the lower Salmon river, drive east along Hwy 19 towards Sayward and Kelsey Bay.
Just past the point where the White river joins up, turn right on to the Sayward
This road crosses the
Salmon River at several points, offering the angler access to the river.
Angling information is
available at the quaint Cable House Cafe on the east side of the one lane bridge
on Sayward Road that crosses the Salmon River, and the food at the cable cafe is
is also good out of Kelsey Bay, at the end of the road.
Vancouver Island is a land of extreme diversity. It has many beautiful
watersheds with wild populations of steelhead which rarely
see an angler or a visitor.
The Salmon river is one
of these Rivers. Conversely many streams are highly urbanized yet still produce
incredible wild and hatchery steelhead.
For the steelheader
Vancouver Island offers unbelievable and unlimited trophy angling
When I was a young man, I and a number of my friends would to put our canoes in
at bigtree creek , usually in January and head down stream, fishing all the way.
It was a 3 to 4 day trip
with some of the best fishing l have ever done on the island. For sure, it was
cold and we were most of the time wet, but when you are young, it was the
fishing that mattered.