April 27, 2021

Small Lakes of the Harrison Area

The current Provincial Health Orders and travel advisories ask residents to stay close to home. As with many things during this pandemic, anglers must adjust by taking advantage of local fisheries. Luckily for anglers living in the Fraser Valley, there are many small lakes in the Harrison Lake area that will provide good fishing.

Harrison is a large lake at the northeastern end of the Fraser Valley. It is surrounded by a huge recreational corridor on both its eastern and western shores. Harrison East (accessed through the town of Harrison Hot Springs) is home to the famous Sasquatch Provincial Park, and contains small lakes like Trout, Hicks, Deer, and Moss. Harrison West, reached through Harrison Mills via the Morris Valley Road and the Harrison West Forest Service Road (which travels all the way along the western shore of Harrison Lake), features Elbow, Weaver, Grace, Wolf, Francis, Eel, Wood, Sunrise, and Lookout lakes.


Nick Basok with a cutthroat at Deer Lake. 

These small, pristine waters have a number of appealing factors in common. The Freshwater Fisheries Society of BC generously stocks most of these lakes with rainbow trout, and some also contain cutthroat and kokanee. While all of these lakes can be fished from small boats, they also have good spots to fish from shore. Deer, Wood, and Weaver lakes have fishing docks, while anglers can explore other lakes using trails that traverse the shoreline.


Kokanee caught at Hicks Lake. 

For weekend anglers wanting to get away, some of these lakes also have campsites that make them perfect for staying overnight. This area has many BC Recreation Sites, a number of which are user-maintained and available for free; others have serviced sites with a small fee for use.

Fishing Gear and Set-up

These small lakes make for exciting family fishing and are perfect for beginners, young and old alike. Most anglers will find that basic spinning rod set-ups are all that is needed. The best baits to use include worms, salmon eggs, krill, and various types of Berkley PowerBait, which can be fished either near the bottom or beneath a fishing float.



More experienced anglers can try their hand at fly-fishing, which works well as the weather warms and hatches start. Effective wet flies to use at these lakes include small chironomid, black leech, Woolly Bugger, pumpkin head leech, and caddis nymph patterns fished on a slow-sinking fly line. Dry-fly patterns like Tom Thumbs, mosquitoes, or dry caddis fished with a floating fly line in the evenings will also catch fish.







There are no bait bans or single barbless hook restrictions on any of the above-mentioned lakes, but some have restrictions on power boats. In all these lakes, the daily limit on trout is four per day, and kokanee is five per day. Anglers can find more detailed information in the Freshwater Fishing Regulations synopsis that is available online or at most local tackle stores.  

The small lakes of the Harrison area provide surprisingly good angling, and I encourage people to give them a try. Stay safe and healthy, and enjoy fishing in B.C.


Author: Nick Basok
Images: Nick Basok