Sturgeon Fishing on the Fraser River in Harrison

Comments 5 by Rebecca Bollwitt

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.

Harrison Hot Springs Resort, From the Water

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.

Harrison River - Nina

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.

Harrison River

They caught some salmon Harrison River - Eagles

Harrison River

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.

Harrison River Harrison River

Harrison River

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.

Harrison River Harrison River

Harrison River

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.

Fish info Rod and Nina

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.

Harrison River Harrison River

Fraser meets Harrison

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.

Photo credit: GoodLifeVan on Flickr

I’m certain my technique wasn’t the best, but I reeled with all my might.

My catch Our guide holding my catch

Fraser River

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.

Harrison River - Eagles

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.

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5 Comments  —  Comments Are Closed

  1. Charles A.Friday, October 22nd, 2010 — 3:28pm PDT

    OMG… those are pretty big fish. Wat a fun and exciting expedition!

  2. ChrisFriday, October 22nd, 2010 — 3:43pm PDT

    Glad you enjoyed the trip! Harrison has a ton of great activities. For more options pls contact Tourism Harrison or view the Outdoor Experiences Guide on my site.

  3. Rodney HsuSaturday, October 23rd, 2010 — 11:59am PDT

    We’re glad that you were able to bring one in. I’ll have a video of our trip ready in a week or two from now so will send you a note when it’s available on YouTube. 🙂

  4. muckymooSunday, October 24th, 2010 — 12:40pm PDT

    Happy to hear it was a catch and release fishing trip. These fish are amazing and deserve to live the long life they are capable of.

  5. Chilling out in Harrison | Good Life Vancouver Entertainment | Dine Taste Shop Drink | Travel Adventures & EventsSaturday, November 20th, 2010 — 1:34pm PST

    […] could talk the lingo with the pros in the group. Although, mine got away, the others, including Miss 604 and seasoned fishermen Fishing with Rod  (video footage here) brought in a sturgeon for scanning […]

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