With its headwaters in Strathcona Provincial Park, the Ash River is a beautiful little stream that winds its way through some very pretty lakes, valleys, and deep gorges before entering the Stamp River system, northwest of Port Alberni. This is one of the nicest watersheds on the island, always love visiting it.
There is some superb summer steelhead fishing from July to September and a fair winter steelhead fishery in February. There are as well a great number of hatchery summer steelhead. Rainbow trout are present in good numbers combined with fall runs of chinook and coho salmon makes this river a great place to fish.
Access to the River system is from Port Alberni on the Ash River Road that runs alongside Great Central Lake or on Long Lake logging road. There are great hiking trails along the Ash River. The Ash River Trail will take you up along the ash river, providing access to the Red Pillar and Homasum Lake. This is a 5 km round trip that takes about 2 hours, it is a fairly flat trail. The Red Pillar is a perfect mountain to head up, it is the 11th highest peak on Vancouver Island, but I must say that on the top, it is massive a truly large summit. The views from up here are something to see. Camping is available at the stamp river campground, you will find waterfalls and canyons, forests filled with wildlife that has trails wandering through them and the campsite is such a peaceful place to spend some time. There are also rec sites at Oshinow Lake, Elsie Lake, Dickson Lake, and Great Central Lake and there are plenty of spots to make a wilderness camp as well.