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East and West Coast Vancouver Island

    Vancouver Island is a hotspot for salmon fishing in Canada and you can do it all over the Island. From central Island fly fishing, to the east and west coasts, you’ll have options for different types of salmon and other fish, styles of fishing and different times of the year to go. So, which is best, east, or west? Check out the comparison below so that you can decide for yourself which coast you’ll choose for your next salmon fishing vacation on Vancouver Island!

    East Coast

    The east side of Vancouver Island includes Campbell River, which is known for its salmon fishing. There are a number of popular lodges and tons to do in the area.

    Types of Salmon:





    The east coast of Vancouver Island sees 4/5 types of salmon that are available on Vancouver Island. However, the main catch is Coho, rather than the prized Chinook, which makes it a bit less desirable compared to other spots on the Island.

    Time of Year to Fish:

    Depending on the kind of fish you’re going for, you can head to the east coast of Vancouver Island anywhere between June for an early Chinook or Coho catch, straight through to October for Chum. The time of year with the most species available is July, August and early September.

    Weather and Location:

    Come October, Vancouver Island in general sees plenty of storms. It isn’t uncommon for the east coast to see powerful winds sweep across the waters, making it impossible to go out to fish. Overall, the weather is warmer than the west coast with less rain, and the conditions are fair during the summer for salmon fishing.

    The east coast of Vancouver Island is very accessible, with Comox and Victoria being the common areas to fly into. From Comox, Campbell River is only a 45-minute drive. Campbell River itself is a larger town with everything you need for a great stay.

    West Coast

    The west coast of Vancouver Island is giving Alaska its run for the money as the king of fishing destinations. It is a place of rugged beauty, quality outdoors and fantastic fishing.

    Types of Salmon:



    The west coast is known for consistent salmon fishing, as well as great halibut and lingcod fishing. Chinook are the prized catch and plenty of Tyees roll through in the summer time, along with a steady Coho run in the summer months.

    Time of Year to Fish

    The season on the coast can run from as early as March, all the way through until October. While the peak is considered July and August, there are plenty of reasons to come either earlier, or later in the season depending on what you want and where you are comfortable with fishing.

    Weather and Location:

    The west coast is the rainiest spot on Vancouver Island, but the summers see consistently sunny days. Until late September-early October, the weather remains fair and the charters can run. Later in the season, the fish move closer to shore, so those wary of getting seasick while way offshore can try their luck in more sheltered waters.

    Ucluelet and Tofino, the two main fishing towns on the coast, are fairly accessible via either a stunning flight into Tofino, or a scenic drive along the winding road from Port Alberni. Port Alberni and Bamfield also see some great fishing – especially for Sockeye in the rivers.

    While both the east and west coast of Vancouver offer great fishing, it’s worthwhile to do your research and find out which appeals to you more! From ease of access, to time of the year to fish and what you want to catch, there are plenty of things that set the two areas apart.

    To find out more about fishing on Vancouver Island, check out

    For more about salmon fishing in Canada, pay a visit to