The Alberni Inlet on Vancouver Island is a long, narrow flute that leads 25 miles (40 km) inland from the open ocean of Barkely Sound and the Pacific Ocean.
At the head of Alberni Inlet is Port Alberni, fast becoming a tourist hub on Vancouver Island. With the increased popularity of Pacific Rim National Park, Barkley Sound and Clayoquot Sound, many visitors are basing their vacations in Port Alberni and taking trips to a variety of surrounding locations.
In general, the Alberni Inlet and Barkley Sound offer year-round fishing. Salmon school in the inlet before ascending to the spawning grounds. Timing is crucial if you wish to take advantage of their presence. One day they're here; the next, they're gone, so plan ahead.
Salmon is the prize catch in these waters but so too are halibut. Actively feeding spring salmon (also called blackmouths) begin appearing in March as they follow the bountiful herring and anchovy spawning runs. Springs linger into May, when they are replaced by early-run tyee (also called chinook) salmon migrating in the Alberni Inlet. Sockeye salmon succeed the early-run tyee in late June and are joined by late-run tyee, the largest of all salmon, in July and August.
The Port Alberni Inlet will not wake up until mid June when sport Sockeye fishing should be well under way. Sockeye numbers in pre season estimations are believed to be very close to figures in 2012 which was approximatley 860,000 piece. Sockeye fishing is a great family adventure and is fun for young and those not so young. The early Sockeye return to the Somass River often begins in late May. Sport fishing for these number one commercial salmon in the Port Alberni Inlet is usually well underway by the 15th of June with the peak of the season occurring the second or third week of July.