Capilano River

Capilano River, North Vancouver

A beautiful fishing paradise located on Vancouver's back door lies the Capilano River. Being so close to Vancouver this river can get very busy, especially during the peak season on the Coho salmon run starting as early as May but usually peaking from June - August. Along with the Coho you will find a small run of Chinook Salmon, Steelhead, and Cutthroat trout. There is a hatchery located just below the Cleaveland Dam and many good fishing pools located all along the river. This river can be very hard to navigate because it is located down a steep cliff so finding a place to fish may be hard and chances are when you do find a place other anlgers will be there as well. The most popular places to fish are the river mouth down near Ambleside Park, and Cable Pool which is located just south of the hatchery. Popular fishing methods include fishing with roe below a pencil lead and float, fly fishing with streamer patterns that immitate small fry, and casting spinners, spoons or buzzbombs. Please note that you can not keep any Steelhead or wild Coho.

How to get there

There are many access points to this river and Capilano road runs along the river. Ambleside Park is one option for the river mouth and directions to get there are in the Ambleside section. Another popular option is going to the hatchery. To get here from highway 1 take exit 14 and head north. Take a left on Capilano Park Road and there are many parking lots along here but the most popular one is at the end of this road by Camp Capilano.

June 24, 2013

Headed to the Capilano river and started fishing before sunrise at 4:30am. Went to Cable pool first and had a couple bites on my roe and pulled in two juvenile steelhead on a spinner but no Coho so I headed down stream a little and started fly-fishing. Had one big hit but then it started raining very very hard and the river went from crystal clear to murky brown, the river blew out. It happened very fast and the rains not going to be letting up for the rest of the week so I called it a day and headed home.  

June 8, 2013

Rachel and I headed up to Capilano today, started fishing around 12:00pm. We started at Cable Pool and on my 3rd cast I landed a beautiful 35cm Cutthroat trout. I caught the Cutty on a number 2 green Buzz-bomb. We stayed there for a couple hours then headed over to Dog Leg Pool. We fished there with no success so we headed back to Cable Pool and spent the rest of our day fishing there but didn't end up landing anything else.

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Roger | Reply 24.05.2020 23.34

Great article james👍👍

Terry | Reply 03.06.2019 06.48

Hi. I plan to fish the Capilano mouth in Ambleside from shore. Actually with waders. Is it a high tide or low tide I'm wanting to fish for best results ? Thanks

Bill 24.07.2019 18.12

Low tide coinciding with sunrise would be your best bet, from 6AM to 8AM, then go for coffee and enjoy rest of day.

Sam Dans | Reply 15.05.2019 10.00

I’m new to the area and looking to get in on the action on the river. I will be using public transport to access the river. Can you advise of any places to try.

Shane Delaney | Reply 23.08.2016 12.31

I'm new to fishing and wanted to fish in Capilano lake but I can not find any information on the lake only about the river, any help would be appreciated.

yee 02.11.2018 17.54

the lake is closed to fishing

jim travers | Reply 11.10.2014 06.59

2 days ago i was at the hatchery, and found it a great experience. i am a fisherman from Ireland i would like the river next year.

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Latest comments

22.09 | 10:54

I was wondering if anyone could tell me what time of year these lakes usually freeze up?

12.08 | 08:30

Thanks for this info. And idea if this Lake has swimmers itch? We’re going with the kids and want to be prepared!

07.06 | 08:31

Is the nickel open?

06.06 | 13:34

give it a shot, caught a 1.5 pounder last summer. i used a frog and attacked thick cover

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