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Fishing > North Thompson Valley

Fish the North Thompson

The Lower North Thompson and Barriere has the largest fishing area in the North Thompson Valley, home of the world famous fishing highway. Fish through the valley in whatever season you prefer. Grab your pole, your gear and your lucky hat and choose between a peaceful day on calm lakes or casting into a wild river. Sleep under the stars, in a cozy fishing lodge or on a ranch. In the fall you can marvel at the salmon runs. Then in winter, ask the locals where the best spot is to cut a hole in the ice and catch the big one.

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Lower North Thompson and Barriere

The Lower North Thompson and Barriere has the largest fishing area in the North Thompson Valley. It’s home to Hwy 24, the famous Fishing Highway.

Lakes

With over 100 lakes in the area you can go trolling, spin casting, fly fishing and ice fishing for Kokanee and Coho salmon, the fighting Kamloops trout, whitefish, white sturgeon and steelhead.

Rivers

Treat yourself to a relaxing day on the North Thompson and South Thompson Rivers. For those who want a remote fishing experience, fly or take a boat to the Caverhill Fly Fishing Lodge.

Gorman Lake and North Barriere Lake are great lakes for rainbow trout. Spruce Wilderness Lodge on Bonaparte Lake is also a great place to create your fish tales.

Don’t have a boat? Not to worry you can rent boats at Knouff Lake Resort.

Salmon Run

Come see North America’s largest salmon run at Tsútswecw Provincial Park (Roderick Haig-Brown) from late September to late October. Every fourth year is a “dominant” salmon run, with millions of fish to be seen. The next dominant run will be in 2022; however, all years are spectacular to witness.

Sun Peaks

Over at Sun Peaks you’ll find professionally guided fly fishing trips. Spend the day with a guide on an adventure made specifically for you. All equipment is provided as is transportation to and from the lake.

It is recommended guests pack sunglasses, hats, sturdy footwear, layers of clothing, rain gear and sunscreen (you just never know!)

Clearwater/Wells Gray, Blue River, and Valemount

With over 50 lakes within a one hour drive of Clearwater, you’ll find the ultimate in angling experiences at Clearwater and Wells Gray Park. The freshwater lakes and rivers are waiting for you to get here.

Find Your Fishing Hole

Try your hand at fly-fishing from the Dragon’s Tongue at Clearwater Lake’s Osprey Falls or near the waterfall on Azure Lake. Drag a fly on Alice or Shadow Lake. There are some great catch and release spots on the Clearwater River around Bailey’s Chute and the Horseshoe.

Try trolling on the north end of Clearwater Lake, west end of Azure, and around Rainbow Falls. Fish from your canoe or from shore.

The Clearwater Trout Hatchery will let you learn about the life-cycle of fish. Borrow a rod from the Hatchery and try your luck at Dutch Lake. Then try drift boat fly fishing on the Clearwater and North Thompson Rivers.

Ask the local fly shops, boat tour folks and marine patrols what’s biting and where to go for great experiences.

Blue River is the gateway to the remote bays of Murtle Lake, North America’s largest paddle only lake. It’s here where you can cast your line and catch trophy worthy rainbow trout weighing up to 3 kg (7 lb). No gear, no worries. You can rent canoes, carts and fishing gear at the Blue River Campground.

Fish for Your Favourite

Ask the locals where the best spots are to catch a Dolly Varden trout, rainbow trout or BC salmon. It could be a quiet creek, under a bridge, a hidden river or an unmarked fishing hole. Angle away in the Blue, Mud, and North Thompson Rivers. Favourite lakes include Angus Horn, Mystery Lake, Blue and Twin Lakes.

Throw in your line in the Valemount area and you could catch bull trout, rocky mountain white fish, rainbow trout, burbot or kokanee.

Rivers and Lakes

The Fraser, Thompson and Canoe Rivers offer a variety of fishing in the Valemount area. To the east, Moose, Whitney and Lucerne Lakes are great options. Shere Lake has good access for canoes, small aluminum and belly boats. There’s also great ice fishing here. Make sure you call ahead and ask about ice conditions and road access.

Kinbasket Lake is a wonderful place for boat fishing and creek fishing with all the amenities including camping at recreational sites and a small marina.

Lodges, Resorts and Tackle Shacks

We’ve got you covered when it comes to where to stay and where to get tackle and licenses. There are even places where you can rent boats for your fishing adventure.

Fishing Lodges and Resorts

Choose from a family friendly resort or a remote camp. Below is a partial list of lodges and resorts in the area.

Local Tackle Shacks

For great local knowledge, head over to the Little Fort Fly Shop at the junction of Hwy 5 and 24 in Little Fort. This is the only shop in the area dedicated to just fishing.

Fishing tackle (and usually licenses) can also be purchased in Clearwater and Valemount Home Hardware, Greffards and Greenscapes and at Super Save Gas.

In Blue River, the supermarket has some fishing related items.

Know Before You Go

Everyone who fishes or operates a motor boat in BC requires a fishing license and Pleasure Craft Operating Card (PCOC). Not to worry though, you can purchase licenses locally and online, and you can get your PCOC online too!

Fishing Licenses

Fishing licenses can be purchased online, at Service BC, at the Valemount Visitor Centre and at various retail outlets throughout the region. Visit Fishing BC for more information. You can get free Internet service at the Shell gas station on Highway 5 in Clearwater, and at the Clearwater and Blue River public libraries.

Boating Safety

Boaters need to be alert to the boating restrictions in some lakes and a Pleasure Craft Operator Card boating license (PCOC) is required if you are operating a motorized boat in Canada. A PCOC proves that you have acquired the knowledge to safely operate a motorized boat on Canada’s waterways. Boaters can get their Pleasure Craft Operator Card (PCOC) by successfully passing a Transport Canada Accredited, multiple-choice exam.