Friday, December 3, 2010

Skeena Camp 2011 - Mint Bright Steelhead at an Exceptional Value

Why the Skeena Camp?  Because you can hook into and sometimes land big, bright fish like this.  Jeff Bright bested this 18 lb buck after a long, dogged fight that took him well into the backing.  Strong rods, heavy gauge hooks and tippets down to 20 or even 25 lbs are common tools required to land these fish.

Simply put, the Skeena River is a super fish superhighway - a travelling lane for the largest Steelhead and Salmon in the world.  In Summer and early Fall, the lower main channel Skeena hosts vast numbers of migrating Steelhead, Chinook, Coho, Sockeye and Pinks headed for numerous upriver tributaries.  To take full advantage of this fishery and offer a high quality, high value adventure, we set out to create an on-river Skeena camp that would appeal to both novice and seasoned Steelhead anglers.  That was back in 2005 and, since then, we've gotten the camp down to a science and is now one of our most popular packages with clients.  And, why not when you're hooking into the big Kispiox, Sustut, Babine, Copper and Kalum fish when they're in peak condition on the Skeena and just days from the salt?  If that's not incentive enough, the ability to fish for up to 15 hours a day just might be, since it's light out till after 9 pm.  After all, you're right at the water's edge and can fish as much or as little as you like, on your own time.

To top it off, we've teamed up with some great trip hosts for the 2011 season.  If you'd like to join one of our hosts or come on your own, I encourage you to read on!

Peak times for the the Skeena Camp in 2011 are:
  • July 31 to August 6
  • August 7 to 13
  • August 14 to 20 - with host Jeff Bright
  • August 21 to 27 - with host Jeff Bright
  • August 29 to Sept. 4 - with host April Vokey
  • September 4 to 10 - with hosts Nick Pujic and Paul Castellano
What follows is a slideshow courtesy of Jeff Bright (, Steelhead fly fisher extraordinaire and Nicholas Dean Lodge booking agent.  Jeff's been with us every step of the way in developing the camp into the high value package it is today and, given his remarkable talents as a photographer, has been able to capture the flavour of the camp, in terms of the fish, accommodations, food and overall experience. 

Normally, my catch phrase is "tight lines and screaming reels," but in this case, it's more like "tight lines and smoking reels..."  Enjoy the photos!

Sheree Kajiwara and camp guide/attendant Connor Sabo with an exceptionally bright Steelhead that taped in just over 16 lbs. 
Just back in the bushes and on one of the best runs on the middle Skeena, our camp is both scenic and productive - two very key considerations when looking for that ideal site.  Clients sleep on cots with foam pads in individual tents, affording both comfort and privacy.  
 Lunch is served!  Vegetables and chicken bugers fresh off the grill are typical lunch fare at the camp.  Unfortunately for Yvan Sabourin, our camp cook, many clients simply can't be pried off the river when a wave of fresh Steelhead are passing through.  Being an avid angler himself, Yvan of course understands...
Yvan making last minute preparations for a hearty dinner: grilled steak made to order, mashed potatoes and a fresh garden salad.
Summer Steelhead are strong and beefy right to the tail - part of the reason why only two thirds of them are typically landed!
Richard Izmarian and head guide Dustin Kovacvich take a few moments to admire a bright Steelhead only days from the Ocean.  Hooking into these bright fish is one thing, but landing them can be an entirely different proposition...
A large, fast flowing river combined with super hot, strong fish equals sizzling runs way, way into the backing.
 Coho salmon - an incredible game fish in their own right - start to show up frequently on the Skeena in early August, and the run continues to build through the end of the month and into September.  Aggressive, high flying and acrobatic, these fish average 8 to 15 lbs and often fight so hard they're mistaken for Steelhead.
 Will Colson from Chico, California has been a guest at the Skeena Camp since its first inception back in 2005.  You won't meet a nicer angler who genuinely enjoys the feeling of being on a wild river with wild, bright fish.  And, he's one heck of an angler too...
 Patience and persistence is key in this migratory fishery, and Cindy Charles displayed both.  Cindy kept her fly in the water and consistently hooked - and landed - several Steelhead like this mid teens buck.
 Long time repeat guest and veteran rod maker Martin Walker got in on the Skeena Camp action this year, and no one was more difficult to get off the river than Martin.  This fresh 15 lb buck is evidence why.
The early bird gets the worm, as they say, though at the camp, it more often refers to Steelhead.  I set the alarm for 4:50 am one morning and joined Will Colson and Jeff Bright for an incredible two hours of fishing before breakfast.  Two Steelhead, several Coho and many Sockeye later, I was a very happy angler...
Fresh, Summer run Steelhead on the Skeena are undoubtedly exquisite fish and remind us just how valuable they are.
 The definition of white chrome - a shimmering, silver body and translucent fins.  Steelhead don't get much fresher.
If there's one thing that may have jumped out at you by looking at these photos, it's likely the brightness of the fish.  That's because they're arguably some of the freshest, strongest Steelhead you'll ever encounter - anywhere!  Steelhead with sea lice are a daily occurrence, so you know these fish aren't far from the salt.  And, they act accordingly...
Don't miss your opportunity to join in on some of the best fishing available on the Skeena in 2011!   If  you have questions about the Skeena Camp or want to join us for the fishing adventure of a lifetime, don't hesitate to get in touch with either myself ( or our trip hosts:

Check out our Skeena Camp Brochure for more information on this exciting trip...

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