Rivers

Lakes       Rivers       Trails      Waterfalls

All the rivers listed here can be reached easily within 2 hours.


Eve River, Photo Credit, Bud Logan, Sayward BC

The Sayward area has many rivers, streams and creeks, some are big, some are small. Some are long and some are short. They all are beautiful. We have rivers to canoe, rivers to raft, rivers to kayak and some of the best steelhead rivers in the world. Some flow down from the mountains through untouched valleys and some are full of big, hard fighting fish. The shores of these systems are teaming with life that will reveal itself if you just sit quiet for a bit.

We have some of the most beautiful river systems in the world full of fish and dotted with incredible waterfalls, some have trails that allow easy access, so come on, take a hike along one of our river systems and see for yourself. The variety of natural formations found in rivers and streams support a wide range of plants and animals. Rapids and pools are important habitat and rearing areas for a wide range of aquatic species, and the river edges and lowlands support an abundance of wild flowers, grasses, shrubbery and animals.

A healthy river system is created when all aspects of plant and animals are part of the plan. For example, if salmon disappear from a river system, the system breaks down, the plant life does not get the nutrients that are provided when various animals move the dead fish up the river banks, the bears move on to other food sources, deer that rely on a vigorous plant reproduction find less feed. The health of our river systems are vitally important to all animals and plants within the watershed. Please treat these systems gently.

Rivers also provide a wildlife corridor between the natural habitats and feeding areas located within rural farm areas. Animals have always used river paths as a means to get from the wilderness to feeding areas. Bears are one of the animals most commonly found traveling the river shores, heading to areas where they have traditionally fished for thousands of years. It is quite important to insure they will always be able to use these corridors and any future usability studies must include the needs of bears and the other animals that use these river corridors.


Adam River

Upper Adam River, Photo Credit, Bud Logan, Sayward BC

This is the Adam River on Vancouver Island and not the famous Adams River of the interior with its great sockeye salmon run. Although this river does have some great fishing. You can fish for salmon, rainbow trout, bull trout, cutthroat trout and some brown trout that can get to a good size.

One of my favorite spots to fish is where the Adam and Eve river join up, there are some nice pools here to try your luck in. But you know, its also just a great place to come and see nature in its finest, and the Adam River is set in some fine country.

The river is a catch and release only fishery above the Eve River confluence and there may be some gear restrictions, so please check your fishing synopsis. Hiking along the Adam river will put you into some pretty nice country, quite rugged, thick brush but the pools you will find to put a line in and the fish that you will find here will more than make this a memorable hike. You could get lucky and hook into a big brown trout or perhaps a bull trout. Just remember that you must release all fish back into the river.

This is a nice river where you can always see wildlife and there are many birds who nest in the area. Every time I have been here, I have seen black bears, black tail deer, herds of elk, cougars, smaller animals like otters, pine martins and raccoons are also quite numerous and the bird life here would satisfy any birder who visits. So if you are heading to this river, bring your camera and expect to be amazed.

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Amor De Cosmo Creek

Amor De Cosmo Creek, Photo Credit, Bud Logan, Sayward BC

The Amour De Cosmo Creek flows out of Grace Lake, on its journey to the ocean it crosses the North Island Highway about 8 km past Roberts Lake.

After crossing the Highway it flows into Mccreight Lake, after passing through this lake it runs though a number of slow almost pond like areas of river before flowing through a series of rapids and entering the pacific at Palmer Bay. A lot of folks think that the creek that flows into bear bay is the Amour De Cosmo Creek, but that is not the case, that is pye creek that flows out of pye and stella lakes.

The easiest access to the creek is at highway 19 but it can also be reached from a sandy beach on Mccreight lakes south end or on its lower northern sections from the Rock Bay and Bear Bight roads and on the old over grown Blackwater Lake road on its south west sections. This road is no longer in good enough shape to take a vehicle on, but you can hike from Farewell lake, just below Blackwater lake, right down to the hwy just across from the rock bay road. This is some incredible country along this old road.

There are numerous small lakes and ponds loaded with trout that can be accessed from this old road and once you hit the Amor De Cosmos Creek, you will be into some nice pools to fish. The going is rough, the roads are mostly overgrown but it can be a great experience as long as you don’t get lost. I was lost in here once, it was a bit of a panic.

The creek has some nice size rainbow trout and cutthroat trout. This is a great place to view wildlife and birds, you can almost be assured of seeing something awesome when you visit the area, you could see black bears, cougars, wolves, elk, deer, raccoons, beavers and many other small forest creatures, so don’t forget to bring your camera.

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Davie River

Davie River, Photo Credit, Bud Logan

The Davie River is closed during the winter, but you can fish the river in the months of June and July, there are some big rainbows that if you can entice them to bite will give you a great fight.

The river is a well used kayak river with some great rapids and waterfalls. Davie river flows out of Schoen Lake and runs until it joins the Nimkish River just above the woss camp. Some of the rapids can be very active and l would suggest you have someone who has done the run before with you the first time you do the river.

Schoen lake and the Davie River gives you access to wilderness hiking, fishing and camping, the lake and its outflow river is in one of the most beautiful areas on Vancouver Island. Schoen lake park is located northwest of Campbell River in the nimpkish valley, the park is a little more primitive than some parks, but the chance to view nature in all its glory more than makes up for the lack of modern amenities. This is a nice lake with breathtaking beauty all around it.

The nimpkish river offers great steelhead fishing in both a summer run in June/September and again in a winter run in January to April. There is a sea run of dolly varden in the spring and there is a year round fishery for resident rainbow and cutthroat trout.

Vancouver Islands nimpkish river valley is a beautiful, incredible rugged and remote watershed. From its headwaters in the mountains near Gold River it winds its way towards the northeast Island, past Woss Lake, growing as numerous streams and creeks join it until it flows into nimpkish lake.

The Schoen Lake, Davie River and the Nimkish River area can deliver an incredible adventure. So grab your gear, your camera and head on out to see its beauty, its wildlife, and its high mountains and raging rivers. You will not regret it.

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Eve River

Eve River, Photo Credit, Bud Logan, Sayward BC

Fishing is improving in the Eve River and one of the best places to fish is at the junction pool, where the Adam river joins. Its such a beautiful spot located where the two rivers join, the fish can get pretty big here. The spot is so nice that l never really care if i get a bite, its nice to just be here.

Restoration has been initiated on this river and some incredible work in both these rivers as well in the kunnum, montague and tlatlos creeks, all are tributaries of the Eve/Adam rivers. Much of this work was done in the side channels where logs and other woody debris were placed. This was done to provide cover and more stable river areas that usually see less flooding damage. Its imperative that this work continues for the health of the salmon and sea run dolly varden eggs and the Juveniles who spend up to several years in the stream before heading out to sea.

Logging has been a major contributor to the lack of rearing and overwintering areas for these juveniles, many places in the system have been clear-cut to the rivers edge and this has resulted in heavy flooding, increased sediments in the spawning beds and a decrease in good fish habitat.

Logging continues to be the most serious concern for fish habitat protection in the Adam and Eve river watersheds. More needs to be done to improve logging techniques that will create less damage not just in these rivers, but all the rivers of Vancouver Island. We need logging but there is no reason we can not do a better job at protecting rivers, wildlife habitat and sensitive areas.

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Nimpkish River

Nimpkish River, Photo Credit, Bud Logan, Sayward BC

North Vancouver Islands Nimpkish River Valley is a beautiful, incredible rugged and remote watershed. From its headwaters in the mountains near Gold River it winds its way towards the northeast Island, past Woss Lake, growing as numerous streams and creeks join it until it flows into nimpkish lake. From there, a short stretch of wild river leads to the ocean, where the river empties into the sea between Telegraph Cove and Port McNeil.

The nimpkish river offers great steelhead fishing in both a summer run in June/September and again in a winter run in January to April. There is a sea run of dolly varden in the spring and there is a year round fishery for resident rainbow and cutthroat trout.

First Nations groups have utilized the surrounding area for thousands of years. The Namgis people had lived at the mouth and along the valley for as far back as can be remembered.

The nimpkish river valley is broad and flat and over a 100 km in length. It is shallow in incline, dropping only 280m over its coarse, most of that before woss lake. The nimpkish river begins in the hills above Vernon Lake as a series of small streams and becomes a river where it joins with the flow from the lake. It continues down the valley becoming larger before reaching the junction with woss river, which almost doubles the size. By this time, the river is already getting large. As it continues on its way to the sea, it continues to grow as feeder creeks join it until it flows into nimpkish lake.

The lake is the biggest on Vancouver Island north of the Campbell Lakes, and measures about 23 km long. Due to the way the wind is forced down the valley and onto the lake almost like a wind tunnel, makes it a popular lake for wind surfing.

Though not settled, the valley is fairly extensively logged, with active tree removal still occurring and the clear cuts plainly visible in satellite images. Much of the watershed is protected, and two Provincial Parks on the system provide protection for the wilderness as well as excellent recreational opportunities.

Access to nimpkish lake is easy as highway 19 borders it on the way to Port Hardy and a few rest stops offer trails down to the lake shore. The two parks are easily accessible by boat, but no formal trails to them are available for hiking in. There is no road access to either park. Other sections of the valley can be accessed from logging roads, or from highway 19, which runs through the valley at many points. River rafting is possible on the upper reaches of the river, and is a breathtaking ride through some of BC’s finest wilderness scenery.

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Salmon River

Salmon River, Photo Credit, Bud Logan, Sayward BC

The Salmon River flows north from Heber Mountain in Strathcona Park, and enters Johnstone Strait at Kelsey Bay on the east coast of Vancouver Island. Fishing pressure on the Salmon River is light to moderate, but the fishing is still awesome.

Traditionally, the River was known to produce the largest steelhead on Vancouver Island, the big river has over the years produced Steelhead up to 15 kg with a few being even bigger. Bruce Gerhardt, a friend of mine who sadly passed away a number of years ago, was one of the best guides to fish this river with. I do believe he has caught the biggest Steelhead ever to be pulled from this river. The winter Steelhead fishery is now partially closed due to over harvesting, clear-cut logging in the upper reaches and poor returns over the last few years. So you should check for closures and restrictions before heading to the river for steelhead.

Expect Rainbow Trout, Dolly Varden and both summer and winter Steelhead. The River also provides a good fly fishery for Sea Run Cutthroat, particularly in the lower reaches of the River and in the estuary.

Access to the upper reaches is good via Highway 19, the Salmon River logging mainline, and various secondary logging roads including the big tree creek road where you can also see some of the biggest trees on the Island.

The lower river runs through Sayward, to reach the lower Salmon river, drive east along Hwy 19 towards Sayward and Kelsey Bay. Just past the point where the White river joins up, turn right on to the Sayward Road. This road crosses the Salmon River at several points, offering the angler access to the river. Angling information is available at the quaint Cable House Cafe on the east side of the one lane bridge on Sayward Road that crosses the Salmon River, and the food at the cable cafe is just incredible.

Saltwater fishing is also good out of Kelsey Bay, at the end of the road. Vancouver Island is a land of extreme diversity. It has many beautiful watersheds with wild populations of steelhead which rarely see an angler or a visitor. The Salmon river is one of these Rivers.

For the steel header Vancouver Island offers unbelievable and unlimited trophy angling opportunity. When I was a young man, I and a number of my friends would to put our canoes in at big tree creek , usually in January and head down stream, fishing all the way. It was a 3 to 4 day trip with some of the best fishing l have ever done on the island. For sure, it was cold, it usually was snowing and we were for the most part, wet, but when you are young, it was the fishing that matters.

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White River

White River, Photo Credit, Bud Logan, Sayward BC

The River runs through an awesome park of the same name, the White River Provincial Park. It is on northern Vancouver Island and is a small wilderness area of incredible beauty that protects an old growth forest and important Roosevelt elk and black bear habitat.

This awesome 68 hectare park and its old rain forest are stunning enough that Hollywood took notice. Portions of the River were used as a film site for the movie, The Scarlet Letter, which was filmed here and at Myra Falls in 1994. Visitors to the park today will find remnants of the film set, including wide boardwalks designed to accommodate horse-drawn carriages.

A short 5 minute loop trail through the forest leads down to the river. Along the way, visitors will be stand in awe of the massive Douglas fir and western red cedar trees. These giants helped earn White River the nickname the Cathedral Grove of the North Island. I am always so impressed with not just the giant trees, but the beauty of this forest and the incredible River as it runs past here, this is something everyone should see at least once in their lives.

Fishing in the park is excellent, with summer steelhead, Coho, Rainbow Trout and Dolly Varden found in the River. The park is undeveloped and there are no facilities available. There are ample places to pitch camp here though and its also an ideal place for an afternoon of fishing and picnicking.

The White River Provincial Park is located on the White River. The park is accessed by the gravel White River Road off the Island Highway 19 from Sayward Junction. The River flows into the Salmon River near Highway 19, at Sayward on the east coast of Vancouver Island.

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