Capilano River - Fishing Locations

The Capilano River is a beautiful North Vancouver river that has great kayaking, fishing and hiking opportunities. The river winds its way through steep canyons on the north shore which makes for limited river access (and fishing) points. Even when the fishing is tough, being on this river is always rejuvenating and a great choice for me.

Capilano River Salmon Runs

The Capilano River is primarily known for its summer run of Coho and Fall Chinook. There are a few Spring/Summer Steelhead as well but these are catch/release only as the numbers are very low. Here’s a table for species and run times on the river. 

Species Dates
chinook adults October to November
coho adults June to November
steelhead adults March to April
coho juveniles all year
chinook juveniles March to May

Live Capilano River Level and Flow Monitoring

To keep track of the water levels and flow before heading out fishing, I’d recommend you check out the Metrovancouver page that tracks this information in real-time. The levels are outlined in a helpful line graph. To review the Capilano River Levels see this page.

Winter and Summer Steelhead Runs

Between January and April you have a chance of running into a Winter Steelhead on the Capilano river. The majority of the Winter fish will be in the system by mid/end of March. Between July and September you have a chance at a Summer run Steelhead.

Bot of the Capilano River Steelhead returns are very small. This river use to produce a large number of fish but because of the development of the Cleveland Dam the fish have lost three quarters of their spawning and rearing habitat. That said, sadly the winter/summer runs are in recovery mode so you cannot retain any Steelhead whether wild or hatchery fish at any time of the year.

Steelhead Fishing & Broodstock Video

This was a quick 1 hour fishing to the Cap. It’s end of March and the Winter Steelhead year is ramping down. I lost a fish and watched a hatchery employee catch one. There’s a video included as well of this quick trip. You can see this trip journal here.

Capilano River Hatchery

Capilano Cable Pool & Bridge Views

AdditionalFishing Tips?

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