“I caught a fish!” Those four words, when uttered by a child, are usually done so at a decibel level reserved for such announcements as “I’m riding my bike!” and “I used the potty!” For parents, it’s four-word statements like these that make it all worthwhile.

Fishing is an incredibly popular activity in Castlegar for anglers of all ages because of the plethora of rivers, lakes and streams that offer freshwater species from walleye and whitefish to Kokanee and trout. In fact, the Kootenay and Columbia rivers merge together right in the city, making angling an easy choice for those who don’t want to travel far for their recreation. There’s also lots of lake fishing to be had such as on Arrow Lakes, which are located just north of the city and where a world-record Kokanee salmon that weighed over 12 pounds was caught. Whether you prefer taking your family trolling, reel fishing or fly-fishing, you’ll find amazing waters all around the Castlegar area. But how does one get to the stage when a child is reeling in a fish on the end of a line? In this article we explain the five steps to getting your family involved in fishing.

5 Steps To Get The Family Fishing In Castlegar

#1. Get A License

It’s important to note that all anglers over the age of 16 must have an annual provincial freshwater fishing license in order to fish in Castlegar. They can be purchased online as well as at multiple locations in town including Canadian Tire and the Castlegar Sport & Fly Shop.

#2. Book A Charter

It would be a shame to get all the angling gear for your children only to learn they don’t like fishing. Therefore, it’s best to book a local guide and have them teach you when, where, and how to find the lunkers. In Castlegar, there are four charters to choose from, including:

#3. Familiarize Yourself With Water Safety

Transport Canada mandates that, by law, all paddlers, including children, must wear a certified life jacket or personal floatation device while in a boat. It’s also a good idea to have a child wear one if they’re fishing from the shore. Because Castlegar is located at the confluence of two major rivers, both of which are dammed, it’s good to know where the water levels are at and note that they can change quickly. More water safety tips can be found on our Paddling Safety page.

#4. Get The Gear

Two of the best spots to get fishing gear in Castlegar are Canadian Tire and the Castlegar Sport & Fly Shop. You’ll want the following items:

    • Rod and reel
    • Tackle (spoons are the most popular in the area)
    • A Net
    • Needle Nose Pliers
    • Chain Stringer
    • Fishing Line
    • Filet Knife (optional)
    • Gloves (optional)
    • Tackle Box (optional)

#5. Know Where To Go

Is your preference to take your family shore fishing or boat fishing? Both can be done most anywhere in and around Castlegar but there are spots that are better than others. In a previous article we spoke to Graham Cloutier, the owner of Chillbilly Charters and he had a number of suggestions including Waldie Island, Millennium Park and Keenleyside Dam. To learn more about all the best fishing holes in Castlegar that he recommended, view our “6 Best Fishing Spots on the Columbia River” article.