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Travel Advisories

Discover What Fishing is All About in Ucluelet, BC

A fisherman’s dream lies within British Columbia’s west coast, where the rugged shores of Vancouver Island offer some of the most sought-after fishing experiences in the world. Along this pristine coastline, Ucluelet stands out as a premier destination for anglers seeking adventure in the Pacific Ocean. From thrilling salmon runs to bountiful halibut grounds, Ucluelet’s waters teem with marine life, promising unforgettable fishing expeditions. Whether you’re drawn to the challenge of reeling in a trophy Chinook or bounce your bait off the bottom for cod and halibut in the deep, Ucluelet’s diverse fishing opportunities cater to every angler’s passion. With its breathtaking scenery and abundant fisheries, Ucluelet embodies the essence of West Coast fishing at its finest.

Saltwater Fishing: Ucluelet is renowned for its saltwater fishing, particularly for salmon and halibut. Chinook (King), Coho (Silver), Sockeye, and Pink salmon can be found in these waters, with peak salmon fishing typically occurring from May to September. Halibut fishing is also excellent, with the season extending from March to October. Various charter companies operate in the area, offering guided fishing trips equipped with experienced captains and all necessary gear.

Freshwater Fishing: Ucluelet also offers opportunities for freshwater fishing. Nearby lakes and rivers provide habitats for trout and steelhead. The surrounding forests and pristine waters offer a serene backdrop for anglers seeking a quieter fishing experience.

Popular Fishing Spots: There are plenty of must-visit fishing spots in Ucluelet. Barkley Sound is best known for salmon and halibut, the Broken Group Islands for scenic angling, Florence Cove for accessible salmon fishing, Outside Lighthouse Bank for halibut, Big Bank for offshore salmon, and Little Beach for shore fishing. 

Regulations and Licensing: Anglers should familiarize themselves with British Columbia’s fishing regulations, including licensing requirements, catch limits, and seasonal restrictions. These regulations are in place to ensure sustainable fishing practices and the conservation of fish stocks.

Equipment and Gear: Appropriate gear is essential for fishing in saltwater or freshwater. Heavy-duty rods and reels capable of handling large salmon or halibut are necessary for saltwater fishing. In freshwater, lighter tackle suitable for trout or steelhead is appropriate. Local tackle shops can guide the best equipment for the area and target species.

Weather Considerations: Ucluelet’s coastal location means that weather conditions can change rapidly. It’s essential to check weather forecasts before heading out on the water and to dress appropriately for the conditions. Additionally, rough seas may impact fishing outings, so it’s wise to communicate with charter operators about any concerns.

Local Knowledge: Utilizing the expertise of local guides or experienced anglers can significantly enhance the fishing experience. Local knowledge of fishing hotspots, migration patterns, and techniques can increase the likelihood of a successful outing.

 

From fishing lodges to day trips, book your next fishing trip with one of Ucluelet’s local fishing charters: 

Kayaking in Ucluelet offers an incredible opportunity to explore the stunning coastal beauty of Vancouver Island in British Columbia. Ucluelet is renowned for its rugged coastline, pristine waters, and abundant marine life, making it a popular destination for kayakers of all skill levels.

 

Here’s what you can expect when kayaking in Ucluelet.

Scenic Beauty: Ucluelet offers stunning scenery with rocky shorelines, secluded coves, and ancient forests. Paddling through its tranquil waters provides panoramic views of the Pacific Ocean and surrounding landscapes. Start your kayaking journey in the calm waters of Ucluelet Harbour for leisurely paddling and wildlife observation. For a deeper exploration, head to the captivating Broken Group Islands, featuring over a hundred islets amidst breathtaking coastal vistas. Barkley Sound beckons experienced kayakers with its rugged coastline and sheltered waters, promising challenges and rewards.

Wildlife Viewing: The waters around Ucluelet are teeming with marine life. Watch for whales, sea lions, seals, otters, bald eagles, and various seabirds. Some lucky kayakers may even spot pods of orcas or majestic gray whales during their paddling adventures.

Island Exploration: Ucluelet is surrounded by numerous small islands and islets, each offering unique charm and exploration opportunities. Kayakers can paddle to these islands to discover hidden beaches, sea caves, and tidal pools.

Kayak Tours and Rentals: Several outfitters in Ucluelet offer guided kayak tours and equipment rentals for visitors. These tours are led by experienced guides who provide safety instructions and insights into the local ecology and history. Whether you’re a novice or an experienced kayaker, options are available to suit your preferences. Ucluelet kayak rental services are widely available for those who prefer to explore independently.

Weather Considerations: It’s essential to check the weather and tidal conditions before embarking on a kayaking excursion in Ucluelet. Coastal weather can be unpredictable, so be prepared for changing conditions and dress accordingly.

Safety Precautions: While kayaking is a relatively safe activity, it’s essential to prioritize safety on the water. Wear a properly fitting life jacket, stay within your skill level, and be aware of other watercraft in the area. Visit AdventureSmart to help you best prepare for your outdoor adventure.  

 

Overall, kayaking in Ucluelet offers an unforgettable outdoor experience, allowing visitors to connect with nature and explore the pristine beauty of Vancouver Island’s west coast. Whether seeking adventure, wildlife encounters, or a peaceful day on the water, Ucluelet has something to offer every kayaker.

Discover Kayak Tours in Ucluelet:

This spring, we invite you to experience the breathtaking beauty of our home. Ucluelet is more than just a picturesque backdrop for your adventures; it’s a vibrant community pulsating with the heartbeat of passionate locals who call this place home. From artists and artisans to fishermen and foragers, each resident contributes to the rich tapestry of life that defines Ucluelet.

Spring Activities

Lace up your hiking boots and wander along winding trails that lead to hidden waterfalls and panoramic viewpoints, or paddle silently through pristine waters as you explore the tranquil beauty of Barkley Sound. Whether you’re travelling with friends, family, or just the two of you, there’s something for everyone. The Ucluelet Aquarium, Canada’s first collect and release aquarium, reopens for the season on March 1st. Looking for something to up your heartbeat? Rent a bike from Ukee Bikes and ride the town in style, or get on the water with Relic Surf Shop or Paddle West Kayaking.

Grab a Bite & a Brew

As you meander through the quaint streets of town, you’ll find yourself drawn to charming boutiques and cozy cafes, where the scent of freshly brewed coffee mingles with the salty tang of the sea. Strike up a conversation with a friendly local, and you’ll uncover hidden gems and insider tips that only those who call Ucluelet home can share.

Discover west coast dining experiences in Ucluelet.

Upcoming Events

Each year, as the storms power dwindles and the sun stays high for longer, Ucluelet comes alive with the vibrant energy of the Pacific Rim Whale Festival, a celebration of the return of Pacific Gray Whales to the west coast of Vancouver Island. Against the backdrop of Ucluelet’s rugged coastline, locals and visitors alike gather to honor the annual migration of gray whales and marvel at their breathtaking displays. From captivating educational workshops and exhilarating whale-watching excursions to lively community events and art exhibitions, the festival offers a kaleidoscope of experiences that deepen our connection to the ocean and its inhabitants. It’s a time of joyous revelry and profound appreciation for the natural wonders that define Ucluelet’s identity, reminding us of the enduring bond between humankind and the sea.

Discover Springtime events in Ucluelet.

Stay With Us

To fully capture the spirit of Ucluelet, you’ll want to stay a few nights, a week, or longer. From classic cabins, luxury resorts, eco-yurts steps from the ocean, and family-friendly campgrounds, check out available accommodations in Ucluelet.

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As the sun dips below the horizon, casting hues of pink and gold across the sky, take a moment to pause and reflect on the wonders you’ve witnessed during your time in Ucluelet. Whether you’ve come to reconnect with nature, indulge in culinary delights, or simply escape the hustle and bustle of everyday life, Ucluelet welcomes you with open arms and invites you to embark on a journey of discovery unlike any other.

Ucluelet aquarium showcases undersea wonders

Ucluelet Aquarium

Kayaking off Vancouver Island

Kayaking off Vancouver Island

Local craft brewery at Ucluelet Brewing

Ucluelet Brewing

Stunning views at the Wild Pacific Trail

Wild Pacific Trail

Celebrate whales at the Pacific Rim Whale Festival

Credit: George Fifield

Pluvio Restaurant in Ucluelet

Pluvio Restaurant and Rooms. Credit: Jordyn Giesbrecht

Storm season in Ucluelet is upon us, and we could not be more excited. Ask any Ucluelet local and they can attest to the majesty of a winter storm on BC’s west coast. The energy and sounds of massive waves crashing on the rocky shoreline, winds that make the trees dance, while rains quench the soil and restore shades of green that must be seen to be believed. The energy is palpable while walking on the Wild Pacific Trail and undeniably humbling. These waves bring about a feeling of connection and awe with mother nature. If you have heard the buzz about storm watching in Tofino, wait until you see the massive waves hit the rocky coastline of Ucluelet.

Ucluelet’s soundtrack during the winter months offers the calming rumble of waves connecting with the coastline while being offset by the buoy bell and foghorn. These rhythmic sounds from your cozy accommodation will lull you to sleep by natures sound machine. Things move slowly this time of year and so can you. Winter in Ucluelet means leaning into rest, restoration, quietness, and togetherness. It is the time to pick up a neglected book, cook a meal with those you love or cuddle in and storm watch. Do as much or as little as you feel called to.

If you choose to venture out of your cozy nook, the towering trees on the Wild Pacific Trail offer some refuge on the rainier days and a safe vantage point to watch the winter storms, they huddle over you like natures canopy umbrella. Embracing the elements is always an option for those who wish to feel the mist on their faces and the energy move through ground into your feet as you watch these waves pound the rocky coastline. Or for the seasoned winter surfer, grab your board and catch a swell. On the calmer days, see if you can book a harbour tour in a kayak or boat.

If complete relaxation is what you seek, selfcare with a customized treatment in Drift Spa at the Black Rock Resort or Nurture Day Spa at Water’s Edge Shoreside Suites, will round out your restorative journey.

With a variety of accommodations available, the opportunities for rest and relaxation are endless. Maybe it’s a cottage with a hot tub, or a hotel room with a king size bed and space for your furry companions, start dreaming and choose to be here this Winter. Its your time to treat yourself and Ucluelet has all the tools to do so.

 

 

 

 

Solo person exploring the beach with a beautiful backdrop of forest and ocean in Ucluelet, BC.

Mike Seehagel

Person exploring the incredible tidepools on the rocky coastline in Ucluelet, BC

Landon Sveinson

Group of friends headed out to catch some winter swell at the famous Long Beach in the Pacific Rim National Park nearby to Ucluelet, BC.

Mike Seehagel

The nourishing rainy season brings the forest to life in brilliant shades of green as the winter storms subside. Spring is emerging in Ucluelet, with our annual visitors, the grey whales, coming through as they head to Alaska for the summer. These gentle giants are a wonder to behold; if you’re lucky enough, you might even see them from the Wild Pacific Trail!

Springtime is the best of both worlds; everything is open with that off-season quieter vibe, fewer people, but plenty of options. Pick a pace that suits you taking advantage of this time of year (even mid-week) to have a quick getaway discovering a new menu, a decorated hotel room or a new business opening its doors – stay tuned! Even our most seasoned visitors will find something new and exciting in store. Relax while enjoying a meal, feel the salt air on your face during a wildlife boat trip, and take a calm kayak paddle through the harbour or Broken Group Islands. Explore the rainforest by taking a long, slow stroll through the woods or fly down a zipline at the speed of fun. It may not take much time, but the memory of it will last forever.

And if west coast camping is more your love, now is the time to try a midweek escape before the summer. You’ll have a lot more choices, and you can focus on the activities you’d like to enjoy while you’re here. So think about your timing and how you want to jump into spring, literally from a zipline, lounging by the campfire, or just being in nature listening to the sounds of spring. Either way, we know you’ll enjoy every minute you spend here, and you’re always welcome to come back — time and time again.

Lillie Louise Major

Brian Congdon

Landon Sveinson

If you want to get closer to your partner, you need to turn up the cuddle. A sun-soaked beach in February may seem like a great idea, but do you really want to snuggle with someone slathered in SPF 50, sitting on crowded, hot sand? The smarter thing is to find a quiet, secluded, romantic place like Ucluelet. Even when it’s sunny things can get a little chilly, but you can warm things up together by exploring the shops, restaurants and trails or walking along the beach.

The storm and drama of windswept, crashing waves on a rocky shore may be a perfect natural equivalent to the rush of passion that rises within you each time you lock eyes with your beloved. Or it may just be reason enough for you to reach deep inside your heart and say, “You look cold, let’s head back.”

Whether you choose to limit your time in the outdoors to however long it takes to get inside from the car, or you fully embrace the many different ways breathtaking natural beauty can build a stronger bond, you’ll find the shared experience of our wild coast will do wonders for your soul – and your relationship. If it’s raining, don’t be afraid to join those who head out into the storm in their rain gear. Once you shed those wet clothes and slip into something comfortable, the roaring fire, hot drinks and snuggling up afterwards will make it more than worthwhile.

Ucluelet has a perfect balance of storm-tossed natural splendour and creature comforts for all couples looking to get close. In addition to our restaurants and cafes, storm season is a great time to take advantage of the many accommodations with kitchens. There’s nothing like the sight of you unpacking groceries and creating a romantic meal to reassure your partner that they made a good call, romantic-getaway-wise. And remember: toast or popcorn can qualify as romantic – just add candles.

It’s true, some couples stay together without ever going on a romantic stormwatching trip. But many other couples have discovered the lasting value of these shared experiences and the deeper connection it creates in mind, body, and soul. They know you come home looking forward to spending more time together and eagerly anticipating the next trip to Ucluelet. In the summer, say. (Pass the sunblock.)

Although the last few years have been anything but “normal,” we’re happy to let you know that things around Ucluelet continue to be welcoming and familiar. It’s a great time to see us, because our “normal” is never “average,” especially during storm season.

Now that we’ve settled into shorter days and crisp, cool temperatures, a sense of coziness sneaks in, and storm watching season takes centre stage, presenting an opportunity for some winter-time self-care – booking a last-minute escape is always good for the soul.

And the wild weather doesn’t wait for anyone or care if it has much of an audience: it’s coming here no matter what. Standing on the trails tucked away amongst the rainforest or sitting next to a fire staring out the window watching these storms roll in off the Pacific is a pretty new experience and was invented around here. It’s not hard to see why mother nature’s storms are second to none.

Once you’ve spent some time being mesmerized by the rhythmic sound of the pounding waves, feeling a gentle mist on your face and blowing your hair everywhere, it’s time to cozy up in your accommodation, treat yourself at the spa, enjoy delicious options for replenishing for the next adventure and prepare to head out exploring interesting shops to round out your trip.

The average Canadian spends up to 11 hours a day in front of a screen, and we’re grateful you’re spending some of that time reading this. But storm watching is not something you can understand by watching a video or experiencing through someone else’s pictures or posts. You need to go to a place where you can stand on a path in the wind and near the waves, feeling the vibrations travel under your feet as every wave hits the rocky coastline. Every so often, you need to feel the power of something that has gone on forever. You need to let nature blow right through your soul and into your wildest dreams.

What’s your idea of wild? Is it the nearby park where you know every trail by heart but are still grateful for having nature so close at hand? Or is it unimaginably remote: the fjord of an uninhabited arctic island or a thick and unmapped jungle?

Some wild places are every day; others are once in a lifetime. To be honest, we’re kind of in the middle. Hardly at the ends of the earth, yet even the drive here is an adventure on its own—across Island mountain ranges, beside lakes and rivers, and through old-growth forests. When you get to Ucluelet, you will know you have reached the wild.

To your back, the hushed and ancient rainforests rise to cloud-topped hills. On the shore, past thundering waves, you soon realize there’s not much but whitecaps and marine wildlife between you and Japan. 

Ucluelet is here to feed your soul and body with delicious meals, comfy pillows and cozy beds. And as much as we all enjoy facing nature head-on, that doesn’t mean we have to leave the local galleries or shops empty-handed.

There is a time for crowds when the energy of lots of people wakes you up like a double espresso—when it’s fun to be going where everyone else is going. We call this time “summer.” But when crowds have fled, and the roads have cleared, the odds are much greater that you will find yourself in solitude on a beach or a trail. We call this time “now.”

If you’re a strictly-summertime visitor, now is the time to experience another thing that makes Ucluelet authentically wild: the weather. As we like to say, ‘We can get four seasons in one day!’ Blue sky for days are nice, but our fall and winter weather is a cliffhanger: no one knows what will happen next, and you can’t wait to find out. 

So whether wild means familiar or forbidding, you’ll find your very own wild whenever you make time to visit us. And in this season where the crowds go quieter, the weather gets louder; there’s never been a better time. Your craving for nature will be fed in countless ways—every time you return.

If we want to protect  the things we love about the places we visit, we need to change the way we travel. Happily, this isn’t hard. Luckily, a lot of our loyal visitors have already been doing this for decades. Best of all, it’s easy to remember how: 

Leave no trace

If you enjoy the unspoiled beauty of Ucluelet, that’s because a lot of people have tried hard not to spoil it. Be an unspoiler. Bringing disposable, single-use, wrapping, or packaging? Please don’t. The only thing you should throw away is the idea that there is a place called “away.” Pretend we have no garbage cans. If you see someone else has left a mess, tell yourself you’re cleaning it up for your next visit.

Respect the locals

All of them. For the animals and plants, treat them as kind hosts whose home you’re graciously being allowed to visit. Admire and enjoy them safely, from a distance. Leave the shells and flowers alone: don’t shoplift from mother nature. And for the people who call Ucluelet home, treat them like the friends you hope will always invite you back to their place. If you do, they will.

Book ahead

We all  love the freedom of last-minute plans or no plans at all, but we hate it when we don’t get to do what we want. A small town like Ucluelet fills up quickly, and even when there really isn’t room for more people, it doesn’t ever feel downtown crowded. So if you really want to see Ucluelet in the summer, you’ll need to be less spontaneous: please book ahead.

And if you can’t find just the right place for you and your group on the dates you were hoping for here this summer, remember: there are three other seasons every year. They may have a little less sunshine, but there’s just as much to see and do. Beat the rush: book now!

All we ask is that you treat Ucluelet like what it is: a small, friendly place between ocean and forest. We know why you love it here, and with your help, we can keep it that way. You’ll always be welcome to visit as often as you’d like. That will never change.

For more suggestions on how to love it like a local, meet our very own Salty, the Sea Otter. He’s got a lot to say. See you soon!

Photo by Landon Sveinson

As the winter storms subside, and our ancient sea-dwelling cousins return to these waters for a while, it’s your turn for a small migration. Going out on the water to watch the whales – or sea lions or sea otters – is a way to see a world mostly spared from human touch. From a safe and respectful distance, we can be completely fascinated by these animals – even as they are perfectly indifferent to us.

There may be no easier way to see wild animals where they belong than from a whale watching boat. If you insist on hiking for hours or paddling long stretches to earn a glimpse of wildlife, you can. But if your stay is short, or you’re unsure of your knees or arms, then a walk to the dock will be the first steps to changing the way you look at your planet. The sight of these creatures, unafraid and unthreatening and in their home, will stay with you long after you’ve returned to yours.

Between March and May, nearly 20,000 grey whales move from their breeding grounds near the Baja Peninsula to their feeding grounds in the Arctic. To celebrate this season, the Pacific Rim Whale Festival takes place in early Spring and offers marine life education, First Nations cultural workshops, and more.

Back onshore, Spring is impatient and eager to show you something new in every direction: new plants sprouting from the forest floor, new buds and flowers, new signs of life in the birds’ nests and bear dens. This a sensitive and fragile time for all young, living things. Please be quietly respectful as you visit and admire them.

And please remember that any day in Ucluelet can bring any or all of the four seasons, so be prepared by packing layers! In any weather there are fun things to do here. A rainy day visit to the Ucluelet Aquarium is a perfect way to learn more about the local waters, even if you’re not out on them.

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