The Upper Pitt River offers Lower Mainland anglers a premier C&R fishery for Steelhead, Cuthroat Trout, Dolly Varden and Bull Trout, as well as three species of Pacific Salmon. Fishing this wilderness paradise requires a 40 minute boat trip up the Lower Mainland’s largest lake, Pitt Lake, located in the town of Pitt Meadows, BC. Pitt Lake also has the distinction of being the largest tidal influenced Lake in the world, for what it’s worth. The Lower Pitt River drains the lake and flows into the Fraser River near Port Coquitlam.
There is no vehicle access to this river what so ever. There is one marina located on the Pitt River, just above the Pitt River Bridge, at the confluence of the Allouette River,and another one at the beginning of the lake itself. These are your two best options to launch your boat. Once up there you also face the challenge of navigating the area. I know of a few people who transport small dirt bikes with them to make the task of getting around easier. It is also possible to hike the river, however, you will be able to only cover a small portion of this long river.
Once at the Upper Pitt, many species of fish can be found along the 40 Kilometer stretch of this catch and release paradise. The river offers the angler both shallow, fast runs as well as many deep pools; the Upper Pitt fishes great on the fly as well as with spinning/drift tackle. Fishing opportunities on the Upper Pitt include:
Steelhead – best fished in late winter and early spring. (February to April) The river has only wild fish, with 8lb. being about the average weight.
Bull Trout- this river has a healthy population of bull trout of 3-6 lb. The best fishing for this resident species is in the spring months when the salmon fry are migrating back to the ocean.
Rainbow Trout- the upper Pitt has a resident population of rainbow trout that can be targeted all year.
Cutthroat Trout – there is both resident and sea run cutthroat trout in the river. They are also best targeted from March to May, like Bull Trout, during the salmon fry migration.
Coho Salmon- There is a large run of Coho Salmon that migrates to the Upper Pitt each fall. Best time to fish for these silver bullets is between September and December.This is the largest remaining all wild run of Coho Salmon in the Lower Fraser.
Dolly Varden- There is both a resident and sea-run population of these beautiful char present in the river. They can be caught weighing up to 12lb, with 6lb fish being fairly frequent. The best time to target these fish is again in the spring months during salmon fry migration.
Sockeye Salmon- The Upper Pitt offers a fishing opportunity for the largest Sockeye in British Columbia (they spend up to 5 years at sea), with fish up to 15lb. Best time to target these fish is in the middle two weeks of August.
If you attempt to pursue the Upper Pitt on your own, please take care crossing Pitt Lake. Due to its tidal nature, sandbars can appear seemingly out of nowhere. Logs and other debris are also problematic. This lake has taken more lives than any other in the area, and can be quite a challenge due to both rapidly changing weather conditions and numerous dead heads beneath the surface. Be careful and enjoy this untouched wilderness River.