SKEENA – THE BIGGEST AND MEANEST STEELHEADS IN THE WORLD
Skeena. It is a powerful and evocative word. To the indigenous peoples of British Columbia’s north coast region it is the “River of Mists.” To fly fishers around the globe it is a dream destination offering nearly boundless opportunity to pursue what are among the largest sea-run fish on the planet.
While the river’s 100-pound chinook salmon may be its biggest, the most desired and iconic Skeena fish is the steelhead. The Skeena is justifiably world-renowned for its summer and fall steelhead fishing. But perhaps the hidden gem in the region’s treasures is the spring fishery in the lower valley tributaries around the town of Terrace. Here, as the alders bud and ruffed grouse drum in the forest, fresh steelhead push into pools to join the nearly year-long run and the fly fisher has an opportunity to connect with what are often the largest steelhead of the year.
At Salmon Junkies we think outside of the box. We have developed salmon programs that are among the best in the world today. In that tradition we are tailoring one of the most awesome steelhead programs on the market. We are very excited to announce that we have secured full exclusivity for the European market.
That means you will now be able to fish Skeena mainstem and select tributaries in a full 6-day package in company of some of the best and most hardcore Canadian steelhead guides available. Our guides will share their darkest “secrets” in pursuit of Skeena’s quick and powerful spring and fall steelhead.
RIVER, FISH & SEASON
Beginning in summer and continuing through the ensuing seasons — leading to spawning in May — steelhead enter the Skeena system. In spring, the mainstem and lower valley tributaries host a bounty from this 10-month run. Pools can hold over-wintering fish with prominent red stripes and massive jaws alongside fish bright and fresh from the sea. On these trips, an angler can experience the full range of character of one of the world’s greatest game fish.
Spring Skeena Steelhead
In Skeena country, early spring typically offers the year’s most dependable conditions for tempting steelhead with a fly. During late March early April, as winter gives way to spring, precipitation falls as snow on the ridges and the rivers remain at winter height, flowing low and green in the valley bottoms and warming slowly with each lengthening day. The conditions are perfect for swinging big, swimming flies on sinking tip lines — and triggering the natural aggression of the Skeena’s legendary, super-sized steelhead. Read more >>
Fall Skeena Steelhead
This is the season that has made the Skeena watershed famous. In fall, we fish a number of wild rivers, including the renowned Copper (Zymoetz), for huge, aggressive Steelhead. These are surface-oriented fish and can readily be taken with waking dry flies. Notable is that the Kalum River’s run of large, late-fall steelhead is now available to guided fishing through the end of October. Our fall season books very fast; to ensure your spot, please contact us as soon as possible. Read more >>
Skeena Summer Camp
Big, bright fish, Steelhead and Coho. Absolutely fresh from the sea, often with sea-lice on them. Incredibly strong and fresh. Strong rods, heavy gauge hooks and tippets down to 25 or even 20 lbs are common tools required to land these fish.
Skeena Summer Camp is very much the epitome of “Bang for The Buck”. Read more >>
The remote coastal wilderness Steelhead streams of British Columbia hold exceptional spring Steelhead opportunities located in the stunning fjords of the Great Bear Rainforest. There are numerous streams – accessed by walk in, ocean boat, fixed wing air craft and helicopter – that vary from medium sized rivers best suited for swinging flies with a Spey rod to small, intimate streams where you can sight fish for 5 to 20 pound Steelhead and fish for them with a light switch or single handed rod. Read more >>
Many people believe that Skeena watershed is easy accessible and easy-going to fish. However that is not the case if you want to get most out of a week. Many of the best rivers and spots are more or less impossible to access without a local guide, and the only way to get there is by power full jetboat and local knowledge. Lastly some of the most attractive rivers are licensed with limited access for only a small numbers of people. Salmon Junkies have access to all classified water plus a well selected numbers of coastal river. But perhaps and more important we have probably the best team of Steelheads guides, that will share there darkest secrets and lead you to the fish.
Outfitter & Accommodations
For guiding and outfitting services in our Steelhead and Chinook program we have partnered with award-winning Nicholas Dean Outdoors. Based in Terrace and named Fly Fusion Magazine’s Canadian Lodge of the Year for 2012, NDO features a roster of guides whose knowledge of local rivers and fish are unrivaled in the area. We are confident you will find their work to be exemplary.
Accommodations are at Pioneer Fishing Lodge. Located just minutes west of Terrace, PFL is a comfortable log cabin lodge offering an authentic, uniquely Canadian experience including all the luxurious touches expected from a premier, world-class lodge.The Lodge consists of several traditional log buildings. Guest cabins accommodate two persons comfortably with each guest enjoying a private bedroom and deluxe double bed. Each cabin has a shared bath with shower. Mobile phone service is available in Terrace and surrounding areas. Wireless Internet service is available in Lodge.
At a towering 6’6” and 300 lbs, Dustin Kovacvich – Nicholas Dean’s head guide extraordinaire – shares perhaps more similarities to that of Sasquatch lineage at first sight than he does the makings of a world class fishing guide. But, underneath his Bunyan-esque figure, Dustin is one of the most knowledgeable anglers you’re likely ever to encounter. His unrelenting desire in pursuing Steelhead, Salmon and trout in often remote, difficult to reach places has made him a pioneer in exploring some of the furthest reaches of the Skeena system and northwestern BC. He also possesses a rare ability to find fish in difficult conditions and is an outstanding caster. A devout outdoorsman, well read and spoken, Dustin is also an excellent teacher and his ability to elevate novice anglers to a higher level within a short period of time is exemplary. These skills and abilities make him the natural leader as head guide of the Nicholas Dean team.
Rock’n’Roll is the flavour that comes to mind when you talk and fish with Scott Young. From his long hair pulled back in a pony tail, to his brand new Thunder Jet guide boat – that he loves to drive at mach 10 – Scott is a bundle of energy which translates well into his drive to put clients on fish. Scott’s love of Steelhead and Salmon fishing is as conspicuous as a bull in a china shop. He moved to Terrace eight years ago to live in year-round Steelhead country and has a cabin on the banks of the Kalum River, on one of the river’s juiciest runs. Consequently, to say that Scott knows the Kalum, Skeena and its many tributaries well is an understatement. A superb caster and teacher, Scott is a veritable fish magnet and clients always come back to the lodge having enjoyed their day with him on the river.
The ‘man with the plan,’ Chad is the glue that keeps the Nicholas Dean guide team and operations running smoothly and efficiently in front of, and behind the scenes. His personable, likeable demeanor and focus on dedicated customer service is second to none in the industry. He’s also a very seasoned angler, guide and fly tier who can put clients on fish as well.
If you’ve ever hiked through the rugged northern BC wilderness with guide Sky Richard, you’ll come to realize that he’s part mountain goat, part river elf, part spey fishing jedi. He is a complete natural when it comes to navigating waters and leading clients to the best fishing around, whether by foot, raft or boat. Though quiet by nature, he is one of the most skilled anglers and guides you’ll meet, period. When he talks about fishing, you listen with both ears wide open. Sky literally grew up on the banks of the Skeena just upstream of Terrace and has spent so much time on the river he’s practically a fish. And, if you do happen to find yourself on the river bank with him, ask about his more harrowing river experiences – you’ll be entertained for hours
One of the newest additions to the Nicholas Dean guide team, Pierrot Bernies comes with a rather impressive resume. Born and raised in the Skeena region, Pierrot has been fishing since he was 10 years old, when he landed his first Chinook salmon, has been fly fishing since he was 13, and has guided for the last 8 seasons. A dedicated and passionate guide, Pierrot is an excellent casting instructor who excels at reading water, knowing where the fish are, and working with guests on the water. His strong customer-first work ethic makes him a natural complement to our Nicholas Dean team.