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Fly fish the Stamp River for Steelhead

The Stamp River on Vancouver Island

Fabisch Fly Fish Blog


How to get to the Stamp River

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The Stamp River being on Vancouver Island, the first thing to do is catch the ferry from the mainland to Nanaimo on Vancouver Island. From Nanaimo you take Highway 19 in northern direction about 40 kms until you reach the turn-off to Highway 4. Now follow Highway 4 to Port Alberni. Shortly after reaching the town limits, the highway forks into Alberni Highway and Port Alberni Highway. Follow Alberni Highway in northern direction as far as you can. The last km is a sharp descent to sea level.

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About 50 m before the road comes to an end, you find on the right hand side a store by the name "Gone Fishing". They have lots of useful stuff for fly fishing and fly tying, and there you should try to get a description of how to get to "Money's Pool". On your way there you will come by Stamp River Provincial Park at Stamp Falls. This would be the place to stay overnight if you are traveling with a motorhome.

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One of the beautiful sights on your way to Port Alberni is MacMillan Provincial Park. Take your time and look at some of the giant Redwoods that have not yet been victimized by the logging industry.

Money's Pool
Money's Pool again

This is what Money's Pool looks like looking upstream. If you come by car you reach the pool at the upper end of the bend. A small tributary joins the Stamp there and that's where you decide which way you'll proceed. Upstream is the better choice. After a couple of 100 meters you reach the mouth of the Ash River, and there's lots of good steelhead water along the way.

Looking downstream, Money's Pool looks like this. The current is faster, and there's lots of salmon in the deeper pools. It may be worth a try to get hooked unto one of them, but keep in mind that the time you spend on salmon is lost for steelheading.

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If steelhead is what you are looking for, your options are better in faster water, both on nymphs and dries.

good Stamp river Coho
stamp river falls

Occasionally I have taken coho on the fly in these pools, a few kings, too. Keep in mind to move on if you have spent one or two hours on one pool without success. In case you want to harvest a salmon or two during your vacation, don't forget to get a Salmon Stamp when you buy your license. Above all, check if the place you are fishing is not "catch and release only"! In all of the provincial parks you find places where you can grill your catch. Nothing beats a freshly grilled fillet of salmon with some french bread and a cold beer right next to the river.

At the waterfalls you can watch the salmon rise to their spawning grounds. The energy these fish invest to get there is unbelievable.

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The Stamp really is a beautiful river, but not easy to fish. The steelhead winter run is much stronger than the summer run. Still, the Stamp is always worth a try in summer. One of winter's advantage, however, is the absence of bears, of which you are bound to encounter many in summer.

There are opportunities to explore the Stamp in a drift boat with a professional guide, but be prepared to spend some money. You will learn that the deepest holes in the Stamp go down to about 13 meters, how long the river is, that its source is the islands largest lake, and lots more.

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BC River

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Fabisch fly fishing english

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Fabisch Fly Fishing home
  • Wolfgang Fabisch
  • Nürnberger Str. 45
  • 90542 Eckental / Germany
  • Phone 011 49 9126 288640
  • Fax 011 49 9126 288643
  • Copyright: Wolfgang Fabisch

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