My only other official fishing trip was about a year ago at Sonora Resort and while I didn’t catch a thing, it was a fun morning out on the water. Looking forward to exploring Harrison Lake, its river, and venturing down to the Fraser River, I began yesterday’s fishing excursion with my group at the Harrison Hot Springs Resort.
Sturgeon Fishing on the Fraser River in Harrison
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There we picked up our fishing licenses, followed by a couple coffees to help kick-start our early morning, and we headed down to the water with BC Sportfishing Group.
BC Sportfishing Group offers fishing trips (sturgeon, salmon, fly fishing, walk and wade) as well as eco-tours of the region including explorations of the Harrison River, the Fraser Canyon, Yale, and Hell’s Gate.
We headed west from the lake to the river and tucked behind evergreen-covered hills as the morning fog rolled across the rippling water. We crept past other fishing boats as one crew celebrated a salmon catch then cruised past the flat lands where hundreds of eagles and sea gulls were also celebrating the salmon in their own way.
One eagle began to follow our boat and ended up over-taking us. Everywhere you turned there was an eagle in the air, in a massive nest, perched on still driftwood, or crouched on land enjoying its latest catch. Geese also decided to do a few flybys that day.
We rolled around to Harrison Mills, just around the corner from the Kilby Historic Site that I visited last year. The hooks were baited by our helpful guide Lucas, and within just a few minutes the fish were biting.
The first sturgeon was reeled in by Rodney of FishingWithRod who was on the trip with his partner Nina. They run the fishing website and provide videos, tips, forums, and information about fishing around the Vancouver area.
Our BC Sturgeon are the largest freshwater fish species in North America and are protected. As such, when the fish came aboard Lucas measured it and scanned for an identification tag. All information was recorded, photos were snapped, and the sturgeon was released. We heard stories of a 9-foot sturgeon that was recently caught — that would make the fish about 100 years old.
After a few more hours around the same location we headed out toward the Fraser River, and that’s where I got lucky. Just a few minutes after casting into the churning water, the rod began to tinge every-so-slightly and the veteran fishermen on the boat announced that we had a sturgeon on the line. The rod was handed over to me and after several minutes of working every arm muscle possible, I reeled in a 137cm sturgeon.
I’m certain my technique wasn’t the best, but I reeled with all my might.
We returned up the Harrison River to attempt one more catch before returning to the resort. The fog had lifted and the sun exposed the plethora of fall colours around us. Oranges, yellows and greens lunged from the shore toward the turquoise river water as the bright green fairway of a golf course across the way glistened with dew.
Sitting at the back of the boat I stared at the foamy white wake as we made our way home. My jacket slimy with white sturgeon goo and my hair wind-blown to pieces, it was definitely a successful trip.