Rule number one with heli fishing: “Make sure those rod cases are all zipped up tight before you load them into the basket,” says Brad Knowles. “I don’t want to know what happens if a bunch of fishing line gets sucked up into the rotors.”
As the owner of local guiding company Pemberton Fish Finder, Brad spends around 300 days a year fishing the Sea to Sky area, but even he gets excited for a day of heli-accessed fly fishing in the Coast Mountains.
“In a lot of these little alpine lakes the fish rarely ever see hooks,” Brad says. “So pretty well anything you throw out there they jump ‘em. And the beauty of the lakes… when you visit them it truly feels like you are the first person there. And let’s not forget about the helicopter ride in…”
Indeed, there are no un-scenic rides out of the Whistler Heliport but today’s trip was especially scenic as the bird lifted us almost straight up from the Whistler Valley before heading east over the incredible Armchair Glacier/Wedge Mountain area.
Weaving amidst a seemingly endless sea of peaks and glaciers, dozens of small lakes begin to appear, each looking more appealing than the last. Until suddenly, the pilot makes a big bank turn and starts to descend. And then it’s time to fish.
Tight lines, big smiles, alpine scenery and plump rainbow trout—as Brad says, “Another tough day up here in the mountains…”
With a plethora of lakes, streams and rivers in the Whistler area and a number of species ranging from Rainbow or Bull trout to wild pacific salmon, anglers can enjoy almost any fishing experience imaginable. You don’t need a helicopter, but it sure makes for an epic story. Learn more at Whistler.com