Trip Ideas

Golfing & Fishing on Vancouver Island

Fancy a tug-of-war with a wild chinook salmon off Vancouver Island, or perhaps an exhilarating round of ocean view golf? Whether fins or skins is your game, Vancouver Island is a top destination for both world-class golfing and trophy fishing. In two hot spots, Victoria in the south and Campbell River in the north, you can reel in a prize salmon in the morning and be out on the links the same afternoon.


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MAP LEGEND
  1. Victoria
  2. Campbell River

Victoria

Victoria Inner Harbour

Victoria, a city of Edwardian architecture and seaside charm, is a great hub for a golfing and fishing getaway. Several championship courses in the area offer everything from seaside fairways to nail-biting mountain slopes, while the Strait of Juan de Fuca offshore teems with salmon and halibut. Bonus: Victoria’s myriad of sights, spas, shops and museums can keep non-golfers and anglers happy too.

Fishing in and around Victoria

The waters off Victoria offer incredible sport fishing. Board a comfortable chartered vessel in the city’s Inner Harbour, and you’ll have a hook in the water in minutes. Reel in a chinook (or king) salmon – the biggest of the salmon species – or try for halibut, lingcod or rockfish. Enjoy a full- or half-day fishing charter with one of a number of Victoria charter companies. Try Adam’s Fishing Charters — they’ve logged more than 20,000 hours on the water since 1989.

Prefer fly-fishing? Head for the Cowichan River, about an hour north of Victoria. Said to be one of the best trout fishing rivers on Vancouver Island, the Cowichan is home to rainbow, cutthroat and brown trout, along with steelhead and three species of salmon: coho, chinook and chum. Hiring a fishing guide is a good idea as much of the river winds through private land.

Golfing in Victoria

Bear Mountain Golf & Country Club. Photo Credit: Bear Mountain Golf Resort/Rob Perry

Victoria, BC’s provincial capital, anchors the southern tip of the Vancouver Island Golf Trail, a string of a dozen championship courses along the island’s east coast.

Enjoy the wide fairways and sweeping views at Highland Pacific Golf, open year round on the outskirts of Victoria, or golf Bear Mountain, designed by the Golden Bear himself. Bear Mountain Resort’s Nicklaus-designed 36-hole duo includes the scenic, playable Valley Course and the challenging Mountain Course (think island greens, steep elevation shifts, and rock outcroppings).  An extra 19th challenge hole is, literally, a cliff hanger. Post-round, enjoy  savoury Italian-inspired cuisine at Bella Montagna, or a spa treatment at the resort’s Sante Spa.

More top stops along the Golf Trail include Victoria’s Olympic View Golf Club, a peaceful parkland course boasting waterfalls and elevation changes. A scenic  30-minute drive north leads to Arbutus Ridge Golf Club in the heart of  Cowichan Valley wine country. Play a round, then sample the wares at one of the nearby  Blue Grouse Estate Winery  or  Cherry Point Estate Wines.

Campbell River

Painter's Lodge. Photo Credit: April Point Resort

Fishing and golf combine beautifully in this central Vancouver Island town, home to legendary salmon fishing and stunning wilderness golf.

Fishing in Campbell River

Three hours north of Victoria, Campbell River is known as the Salmon Capital of the World. The town lives up to its name and has attracted celebrities and fishing enthusiasts for decades. Guides at Painter’s Lodge, and its sister resort, April Point Resort & Spa on nearby Quadra Island, are area experts. After reeling in the big one, celebrate at Painters’ Tyee Pub, overlooking Discovery Passage. 

The Campbell River area also boasts world-class freshwater fishing. Try for steelhead in the Gold River (steelhead are regarded as one of the fiercest fighters in Canadian waters), or fly-fish for trout or salmon on the pristine, fast-flowing Campbell River.

Golfing in Campbell River

After a seafood lunch or a spa visit, play 18 holes at the nearby Storey Creek Golf Course, a wildlife-rich course carved out of the forest just south of Campbell River.

About 45 minutes south of Campbell River is the Crown Isle Resort & Golf Community. It boasts a Graham-Cooke-designed course, luxurious course-side lodging, and an opulent clubhouse complete with a vintage car museum. The challenging, well-bunkered course features a nice variety of holes and awesome views. After golf, find a spot on the patio of the Timber Room Pub for a pitcher of beer and a heap of nachos.

Vancouver Island Transportation

Victoria International Airport is just 20 minutes from downtown. Car rentals are readily available and the city is easy to navigate. If planning to fish and golf in Campbell River and the North Island, consider flying directly into Comox Valley Airport.