Skeena Help please - Spey Pages
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post #1 of 14 (permalink) Old 01-30-2016, 08:19 PM Thread Starter
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Skeena Help please

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
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post #2 of 14 (permalink) Old 01-30-2016, 09:25 PM
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post #3 of 14 (permalink) Old 01-30-2016, 09:44 PM
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Just go! All your dotted I's and crossed T's will be thrown out the window when the weather throws a tantrum

I think you're on the right track!
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post #4 of 14 (permalink) Old 01-30-2016, 10:01 PM Thread Starter
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I know that I'll have all these plans and places to go but the weather can throw a wrench in the plans....have had this happen all to often. Fishing the wet side of Oregon during the winter...I'm used to it.

I feel ok about our ability to find fish on the Bulkley but I'm still trying to find info about the main stem Skeena. Am I thinking correctly that the Skeena around the mouth of the Bulkley to the mouth of Kispiox would be good? All those fish going to the Kispiox and Babine have to travel by there, correct? Is the Skeena even fishable with a fly rod?

Everytime I try to search for Skeena info all I ever get is the "Skeena Area and Tribs", not much info on the Skeena itself, but maybe that's for a reason.

What about the Kalum?
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post #5 of 14 (permalink) Old 01-31-2016, 12:01 AM
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as I said, you've got a good plan!

The skeena's big and there's lots of good steelhead water in it. All the fishing going to all the tribs have to go by all the runs in the skeena to get to their trib so if it looks like a good run, don't over think it,fish it!

The Kalum's an ok river, not my favourite(just my tastes) but still a quality river non the less.
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post #6 of 14 (permalink) Old 02-01-2016, 11:38 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by flyjunky View Post
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:
http://www.env.gov.bc.ca/skeena/qws/...-2012Oct16.pdf

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.
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post #7 of 14 (permalink) Old 02-01-2016, 12:16 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks so much guys. I spent about 5 hours yesterday doing some more searching and found some good info.

Bigbadbrent-

It looks as though we could go a fair ways below smithers before getting into any nasty water. Also, I was reading that locals aren't too keen on running a jet in the Morice. We are respectful boaters as we fish with the jet, our drift boat, and we do a lot of walk and wade around here....so we know the "rules" from all sides. Should we avoid the Morice in the boat and just walk and wade?

As far as the Skeena goes. We don't mind a drive, we drive over 3 hours one way for day trips at home so a little drive for the day is no big deal.

We plan on arriving in Smithers on Saturday so we can scout things out like boat ramps, stretches of river, etc.

Thanks for the info everyone, keep it coming.
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post #8 of 14 (permalink) Old 02-01-2016, 02:41 PM
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How long are you going for?

The Morice is small, I haven't spent enough time on it to comment on the jet boat issue, and have heard the bitching on both sides. The time I have spent there, it's plenty accessible with a raft or by foot.

I appreciate that you're willing to drive over 3 hours one way, but when you're in Smithers, you're not going to want to spend ~4+ hours on the road, of potential fishing time. Even worse is putting the time in, and getting somewhere and it blows out on you. I know I've played the chasing water and fish game up there, and spent way too much time in the vehicle rather then fishing marginal water conditions. I can promise you that you're gonna find more fish if you've got a rod in the water, rather then in the back of your truck, regardless of conditions.
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post #9 of 14 (permalink) Old 02-02-2016, 12:01 AM
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All great info....imo, if the bulkley/morice is in great shape I would not leave there....there is ALOT of water for you to explore and enjoy. Have a great trip.
Ryan
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post #10 of 14 (permalink) Old 02-02-2016, 12:59 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks BBB, I fully agree with what you're saying. I think we will spend most, if not all, of our time on the Bulkley.

One thing I'm curious about is the quality of swinging water below Smithers? Also, I've read about a nasty drop down there. Does anyone have any idea on how far down that rapids is? I guess we could always motor down that way, check it out and if it looks too bad we could just motor back up.
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post #11 of 14 (permalink) Old 02-02-2016, 02:58 AM
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I believe you can safely go to where you can see the airport. Then turn around.
as stated above, mile and miles of water above to fish.
simply far too much o cover in our first trip.
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post #12 of 14 (permalink) Old 02-02-2016, 10:18 AM
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Don't get me wrong, if you're arriving on Saturday, it's probably worth spending your Sunday on the open section on the Skeena, just to experience it. It is astonishingly large.

Make sure you get to town early enough to get licenses, or buy them online ahead of time. One other suggestion is to figure out where you're going to fish for a few days, and buy a few days of licenses in one go. At the worst, the river blows and you're out $20..but worth it for convenience. Hell, you're American, that's like $13 these days!
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post #13 of 14 (permalink) Old 02-02-2016, 03:01 PM
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Fort Telkwa has very good internet access.
I actually brought a printer and it worked out great for licenses.
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post #14 of 14 (permalink) Old 02-02-2016, 03:04 PM
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There's no public boat launches below Smithers I don't believe... There's some amazing water down there but it's called a canyon for a reason...

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I'd rather be chasing mykiss or salar...
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