The Great White North – no, it ain’t Whistler.

Let’s go fishing!! Yea, I said it. Haven’t you always wanted to experience the great outdoors, by a river with a rod in your hand? If you’re like me, your “River Runs Through It” experience is basically around the corner. Some of the best regional fishing holes are within a day’s drive of Vancouver. The Spring Salmon are in full force and if you know where to go, you can catch your own share of legal limit beauties and have them for the summer grill or flash frozen to be enjoyed all winter long. Salmon fishing lodges in British Columbia start opening up in early June and operate throughout the summer months and into mid-September. Salmon are moving their way through British Columbia’s rivers. River fishing for salmon starts in late August, I advise booking ahead of time if you plan on camping or renting a cabin as the prime locations go fast. Trout fishing in BC Rivers starts mid-July. Before then rivers are usually too high for fishing. Sturgeon fishing in the Fraser River is hot all summer long with lots of big fish around. Great opportunity for tall tales to emerge around the camp fire of the HUGE one that got away. If you’re not into finding the hot spots yourself, do take advantage of the great charters available. So many run by young and old entrepreneurs that want nothing more than to make sure you come home with those camp fire tales as well as the pics to prove it.

Lake Fishing – The Lake Fishing Region has lakes that cater to anglers of all skill levels. In Metro Vancouver and Fraser Valley, urban lakes are regularly stocked with rainbow trout for families and entry-level anglers to enjoy. Beyond the Lower Mainland, experienced anglers can enjoy targeting trophy sized cutthroat and rainbow trout at remote lakes.
River Fishing – Starts between August and November, Pacific salmon return to the rivers across the Lower Mainland and Fraser Valley. Anglers can enjoy catching fresh salmon without having to travel very far from home at all.
Tidal Fraser River Fishing - Stretching from Mission to Steveston in the Southwestern corner of British Columbia, the Tidal Fraser River provides many fishing opportunities for angling enthusiasts from the largest city of this province. While most are only familiar with the popular salmon fisheries during a small part of the year, fishing can in fact be done at any time of the year.
Saltwater Fishing - Saltwater fishing in Vancouver can either be done from shore or a boat. Trolling for salmon from a boat is available between mid-winter and late summer. Shore fishing is most popular from early summer to late fall. Prawning and crabbing can also be done while waiting for the next big fish to bite. Pier fishing is also a popular family activity and there are many different species
Stay - Harrison Hot Springs
Charter - Pacific Rim Charters
Play - BC Adventure

The Wild Wild West - Tofino – Canada’s unbeatable wonder of the world.

If you have yet to get your tired soul, mind and body out to Tofino on Vancouver Island you have yet to discover the magic of its rejuvenation qualities. Long known as a getaway for all in the know, including the rich and famous, Tofino is home to a gentler, more laid back kind of spectacular. Not to say she doesn’t shine. Tofino boasts truly one of a kind beauty, and is arguably home to some of the world’s best restaurants, resorts, spas and retreats. Just what I am looking for in a weekend getaway.   Home to vast beaches such as famed Long Beach and Chesterman’s, National parks and forests, as well as low lying fog, an array of multicoloured gum boots and surfers  - it is basically Canada’s and Sarah McLaughlin’s version of paradise. I swear gnomes and ferries live here. Well, it SURE looks like they would live here! Top spots to visit being the amazing and whimsical Botanical Gardens built back in the 90’s and forever run to showcase the natural foliage and beauty of the west, as well as world renowned accommodation such as the Relaix and Chateau Wickaninnish Inn – serving as one of the top resorts in the Pacific North West for over a decade. There are several ways of getting to the obscure little town, which is set, oh so spectacularly, on Canada’s most western tip. You can arrive by ferry and car following an old loggers road along the coast, or handily arrive by ferry and foot to Nanaimo and be greeted by the Tofino Bus Company  that will pick you up and deposit you at your choice location (or at least very close!) for a minimal and reasonable fee. The last but sweetest option is to arrive by plane. 40 minutes from YVR and an unbeatable view of the Gulf Islands – the $$ value seems more than reasonable when you cut out  the travel time and have a full extra day to spend in paradise.

I have so many great memories of packing up the car with my own family, discovering every nook and cranny that this great province has to offer. Throughout the years I have found so many watering holes, greasy spoons, and fishing holes - more than I ever could have imagined! Get outside, and discover your own backyard, I'll bet you will  be amazed at how far away from home you can feel - and yet only be a few short hours away.
Happy trails people, happy trails!