Salmon Fishing Adventure in the Pacific Northwest

The last local trip we made while living in the Pacific Northwest, was to go salmon fishing on Vancouver Island in British Columbia, Canada. We had promised our son, a keen fisherman, that we would catch a salmon before leaving Seattle and this trip was going to make good on this promise.

We had visited the Ballard Locks Fish Ladder in Seattle numerous times and had seen salmon swimming up the ladder as part of their migration from the open ocean back to their spawning grounds further inland, which is what brought the salmon to the Ballard Locks.

In August 2019, we booked a 6-hour fishing trip with Salmon Eye Charters, based in Ucluelet on Vancouver Island. They have great reviews for their fishing trips and guarantee you will catch a minimum of 50lbs of fish per day! Salmon Eye Charters is even mentioned in Peter Greenberg’s “The Best Places for Everything: The Ultimate Insider's Guide to the Greatest Experiences Around the World”.

We drove from Seattle up to Anacortes, the gateway to the San Juan Islands and Vancouver Island, and took the ferry over to Sidney, near Victoria, British Columbia. It is a stunning ferry ride, sailing through the numerous little islands that make up the San Juan Island group, with the possibility of seeing orcas and whales along the way.

From Sidney, we drove up to Ucluelet and pitched our tent at the WAY Point campground, which is located in the Pacific coast rainforest, right next to the beach. While setting up camp, we were visited by a black bear mother and her cub, which was really nice, but scary at the same time. We made sure to take extra care packing our food and food preparation items and stored them in the car, away from our tent!

Ucluelet, and nearby Tofino, are gateways to stunning nature scenery and exciting outdoor adventures, along a beautiful stretch of Pacific coastline. These towns are hugely popular with surfers, fishermen and all kinds of nature and outdoor enthusiasts.

August 21st was going to be the big day, the day of our Pacific fishing adventure. However, we found out the night before that the weather was expected to be too rough for us to go out and enjoy the trip. We rescheduled for the 22nd and waited anxiously for the weather to clear. It did and our trip was on!

It was a beautiful, windy day. The scenery stunning. The fishing exhilarating. It was the perfect day!


We ended up catching 4 beautiful salmon! We shared the catch with our captain and guide, taking home two salmon. 

The way it works is that you drop off your catch at a local processing facility and you pick up your catch the next day, nicely cleaned and packed up, frozen solid, so it stays fresh for the drive home.

We feasted on the salmon for many weeks!

The whole experience of visiting Vancouver Island, camping near the coast, and going out onto the Pacific Ocean to catch salmon, it was the experience of a lifetime, one we will never forget!

Should you be looking to plan your own adventure to Vancouver Island, once the world opens up again for travel, the resources in this post and below might come in handy. Safe travels!

Discover Vancouver Island

Tofino Info

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