Last year I was asking for help about different lodges in the Skeena and Dean river area and I received a ton of great advice and pm's. Well, we couldn't get into the lodges at the time of year we wanted, which we knew was a big possibility, so we have decided to do a DIY trip in the Smithers area this September.
We are staying at Fort Telkwa and will be bringing up our jet boat. We are planning on fishing the Bulkley for sure and I'd like to hit the main stem Skeena, and explore the Kispiox as well.
I've been searching both on here and the net for two days now but I still have a couple of questions.
1. Any advice on areas of the main stem Skeena to concentrate on? I've been reading about fishing the bars between the areas of Kitwanga up to the Kispiox. Is the main stem fly friendly as far as being able to recognize steelhead water or is it just big, featureless water? Also, I came across a post that said a section of the Skeena is open to NRA's on weekends but can't find any specifics on that.
2. Bulkley river- Any big hazards for jet boaters? I can't find much info about running this river. Should we be concentrating more towards the mouth of the Bulkley/Skeena or more towards the Morice?
3. Kispiox- Looks like the lower end provides access on foot so I'd like to explore at least one day here....I've always have wanted to set foot in this river. I'll be buying the backroads guide to study as well.
Any other areas we should be exploring? Copper? We're both very experienced steelheaders and stewards of the resource. I've been dreaming of this trip for years and now that my dad just retired we're going to make this a special trip!
Sorry for the long post but I just want to have all my I's dotted and T's crossed before we go.
Thanks everyone, I appreciate the help
1. Skeena is a huge river. Literally, huge
. However, featureless, it is not. I suspect if you have limited time, you'll be disappointed in spending much time on the Skeena, as it isn't exactly a one-day and figure out kind of place. You're also a pretty decent distance from Telkwa to getting to the Skeena. In addition, finding a boat launch is going to be an issue, considering some of the issues that the local Bands have been giving. It's fishable with a spey rod, but its not an easy river, by any means.
Also, info for NRA and map of open area:
I'd suggest that the Copper and anything that far west is out of your range for a day trip from Telkwa, to make it worthwhile.
2. The jetting from Smithers all the way up the Morice is pretty simple, with a couple good sets of rapids to watch out for, but nothing that can't be done. If you're staying at fort telkwa, you're already upstream of pretty well all the bigger water. I wouldn't recommend going below smithers unless you know what you're doing. Particularly on your first trip here. Checkout google maps and you'll get a sense of why downstream of smithers (particularly the area downstream/upstream from moricetown, and above the confluence) is pretty gnarly.
3. Kispiox down low does have foot access, however you will be paying the Kispiox Band for access (I think its like 100 or 200 to go play for a day?, on top of your provincial fees). Do some searching here for more info.
Be prepared for rain to nuke EVERYTHING. If you're doing a ten day trip, I'd suggest that you're going to lose at least 1-3 days to weather. If not, you're a luckier guy then most.