This is the largest of the five Pacific Salmon species and is also known as the King. They swim in heavy currents and targeted as a game for their sheer size and ferocity. Fish can reach up to one hundred pounds plus. Run times from late May-August.
Easily distinguished apart from other salmon species by their fork tail and oval spots, the pink salmon are the least sought after salmon species on the Pacific. As a food fish, Pinks are not the greatest, but provide some fun sport, as they will attack anything including a dry fly. They often sit in large schools very close to shore making them easily accessible for newcomers and children to target.
Also known as the ‘Dog Salmon’ for their k-9 like teeth. They are unspotted and are the second largest of the Pacific salmon species. Most people recognize the Chum salmon by their purple bars, but on the Skeena they are often mistaken for Chinook, as they are bullet chrome. They put up a great fight and are very susceptible to bite your swung fly. Run times late July - September
Beginning their migration up river to their home waters the sockeye enter the Skeena at the end of June and run right into the end of September. These fish are a blast to fight on the fly rod and are the most sought after salmon for their delicious orange-red flesh. The fish average about seven to eight pounds but in the later months of the run they can reach sizes up to fifteen pounds. They are very shallow swimming fish and put up some delightful displays of aerial acrobatics once hooked.
Also known as the best freshwater game fish on the planet, steelhead will leave you speechless, either in disbelief or sheer heartbreak. Many have tales of the one that got away while the lucky ones got their photo taken and a story or cartwheels and line tears that will last a lifetime. Often clients describe the bite as if being struck by lightning as the takes happen so fast and so hard. You have to experience it for yourself to understand what all the rage is about. Run times are March-April and July – November.
Silver/Coho salmon are another great game fish that have been overlooked by many anglers. Catching these Skeena bullets is a feat that only those who know about it enjoy. These fish are predators in the ocean feeding on herring and anchovy. When they reach the lower reaches of the Skeena they are still in predator mode. Often times you cast out and you see a giant wake coming behind your fly line as the Coho chase the fly all the way into the shallows only to attack it when you think its too late. These are definitely one of the most exciting fish to take on the fly and run from August- into November. Fish up to thirty pounds can be taken on the Skeena and nowhere else in the world will you find genetics like this.
The Skeena river; Over 600km in length, with a return of multi millions of anadromis fish per year, is the stronghold of Northern British Columbia’s wild fish stocks. Anglers from all over the world flock to the banks of the mighty Skeena in hopes to hook the next world record Chinook, or to try and crack the code on the 20lb steelhead of their dreams. According to the Salmon and Steelhead Journal, the Skeena is rated number 1 in the world for most productive salmon rivers. Whether you’re a beginner fly-fisherman, or an expert spey caster, the Skeena is the ultimate playground to put your skills to the test. This is where we focus most of our fishing throughout the season. The Skeena produces large numbers of fish daily and is consistently changing which gives our repeat clients a new look year after year. We have classified days in a 50km stretch that only allows a small number of guides to operate in these waters. This section boasts the best fishing for dime bright salmon and steelhead of all shapes and sizes. The river is wide with smaller rocks made for easy wading. Some of the best battles are experienced here and it’s all you and the fish. There are many large bars giving you lots of room to fish away from others.
The Kitimat river is a coastal river situated south east of the Skeena estuary. This is the meat and potatoes for every lodge and guide up in this country as it is hatchery enhanced and produces a lot of fish. It’s easily accessed from the road making it popular amongst locals but offers breathe taking scenery. Fishing for Chinook, Chum, Pink, Coho, and Steelhead on this river can be excellent during each species specific run time. Chinook are smaller on this system than on the Skeena, but good numbers of fish can be caught daily on the tides if the water is right. Coho fishing is also excellent on this river. The Kitimat produces some of the largest Chum salmon in B.C who can be taken on fly or gear. We use a raft to navigate this river and break it down into sections. Each section of river offers different size runs and technicality with structure making the Kitimat a good option for any skill level angler.
The Skeena and Nass tributaries do not need to be named that we fish as we use these sparingly and cannot take the pressure that the other rivers see. We keep the names of these rivers confidential as they are great fisheries and we do not want to see too much outside pressure as being low key keeps the fishing great. To know these unclassified rivers you must be guided by Skeena Salmon Lodge. If the timing is right, your guide will take you to one of these serene tributaries.
There is a long list and varieties of different ways to fish. Here at Skeena Salmon lodge we focus primarily on fly-fishing with single hand and two-handed rods, but are affluent in all methods whether it’s float fishing, plunking, spoon fishing, jigging, or even bottom bouncing. Below is a list broken down of what gear to expect to use. The shops here in terrace sell out of equipment quickly during the main season so it’s best to prepare before your trip.
Bring a waterproof jacket, waders and boots if you have your own.. We do have some waders available to use at the lodge, but it’s best if you bring your own for the you comfort and fit. Also a hat and polarized sunglasses are very important to wear when being out on the water for long periods of time. Brown, black, or a yellow lens is recommended.
Flies that breathe are always best when fishing sink tips. Feathers over fur is typically how we like to fish, but really that is just preference as presentation and profile is more important than what fly it is you are fishing. 3-6inch flies, classic spey flies, intruders, popsicles, egg sucking leaches, and articulated flies all work. Colour is not so important but we tend to use pinks, oranges, blacks, purples, and blues. We have custom hand tied flies available for purchase at the lodge. These are all guide tied proven patterns that work on the Skeena as well as the other rivers that we fish.
*By LAW all hooks must be single barbless with no exceptions.