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Im a spey nut thats young and cant afford to spend 5 grand a week but i have to fish the skeena system next season. I was hoping that some of you had some advise on how to go about doing this. I am trying to figure out if I can get on any of the really famous waters (kispiox, Babine or sustut) w/ out a jet boat. I have a hyde drift boat and am competent behind the sticks so if you know of a good float let me know too. Basically if you've been a smithers steelhead bum i want to pick your brain.

Tight lines
Mark Bove
 

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JD
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smithers

If you are RVing it, stay at the golf course in Smithers. Under new management. Right on the river, close to town. Clean, hot showers. The girls at the golf course are planning on doing a shuttle service next year. Even if you are not, there are motels. You will need, in addition to your sportfishing license, a classified waters permit for each day and section of water that you fish. There are two flyshops in town and a convenience store in Telkwa.

Hazelton is closer to the Skeena, but I don't know too much about what is there in the way of services.
 

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Get some maps, drive there, buy licenses ($85 + $140/wk for non-Canadians), set up a camp, go to the river find water to your liking and fish. If desired, move camp & fish somewhere else. It is pretty simple.

Pack your tent, cooler, lantern and stove and ax. Bring a big tarp to stay dry under when it rains. Leave the boat home and explore the country by foot. You might bring a watermaster or small pontoon craft to access water unreachable by foot or do some floats. If feel you must have the drift boat, you'll have plenty of company in Smithers and wont have trouble finding the put-ins and the take-outs and someone to shuttle you.

Don't expect steelheaders to just open up and allow their brains to be picked about their favorite rivers and reaches. And take those that offer information freely with a bit of salt. There's plenty of people all of the waters that you mentioned -especially the Kispiox, the others have less due to their lack of roads. If you go there, you'll see where the people fish.

Explore and ye shall find many things and many rewarding things.
 

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I'm giving it a go on Thursday for 2.5 weeks. I'll fill you in on what I learn when I get back via PM. I can tell you I am driving from Reno and staying at a nice cabin and my budget is only $1,700 including everything. Bringing the DB and raft. I'm splitting the grocery and cabin bill 3 ways adn travel 2 ways. If you are going to camp go earlier in the year this time of year it's cold unless you're used to camping in wet or snowy conditions with near freezing temperatures. For the extra few bucks a night I'll take the fireplace and hot shower.

I guess the best piece of advice I can give is to just go for it. I've been making excuses for 20 years and I'm finally doing it. Once you go a few times you will figure it out. I can say for sure that you won't figure it out if you don't go.
 

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Speykid
Sustut is out unless you have a float plane and plenty of experience, Babine is a week long wilderness whitewater trip with grizzles and plenty of class four water(forget the driftboat - it is normaly run with 16' whitewater/selfbailing rafts) Kispiox is road accessable but you will have to bring your own rock as things are pretty crowded up here.
Unfortunately cheap will get you amongst the masses - for the real unpressured experience you will need to pay the big bucks.
speydoc
 
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