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Discussion Starter #1
Hey all,
Ill keep this short and simple,
Im heading to Alberta in January to visit family and considering going to BC for some fishing . I swing flies for Atlantic salmon here on the East coast and would love to try for some steelhead etc.
Im in my early 30s and don't mind hiking/bush waking, like to fish hard, eat on the go etc.

Trying to keep it as cheap as possible so not really interested in outfitters.
Any recommendations/advice /tips is greatly appreciated.

Cheers,
Mike
 

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Vedder/Cheak might be your best bet for the mainland. Otherwise, I'd spend the time and hop over to the island. Stamp, Cowichan, and others have decent returns at times.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Vedder/Cheak might be your best bet for the mainland. Otherwise, I'd spend the time and hop over to the island. Stamp, Cowichan, and others have decent returns at times.
Thanks tipsdeep,
I realize I'm most likely going to have to hire a guide or someone to show me around.
 

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Some good suggestions above.

January can be tough. It can be very cold, especially on the Mainland.

Some of us wimpy locals sit out the near zero and freezing temperatures and wait for warmer days which might be tougher for you to do given a relatively tight schedule.

The hardcore among us hook winter steelhead from December through to mid-May but do not expect a high catch rate. We can go days on end without hooking anything and that observation includes some of the best anglers and casters in the province.

Incidentally, if you happen to be in Alberta during a Chinook -- the warm, dry wind that occasionally blows over the Rocky mountains from BC -- you can experience decent trout fishing. Perhaps a low probability event but perhaps one that you might want to be prepared for just in case.
 

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How far are you willing to travel? Winter steelhead fishing around terrace would be the place to go but it’s so far away..
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks Ense,
Once Im standing in a British Columbia river with the anticapation of tightening up on a fish, ill be happy, the tug is a bonus.
We can't fish during the winter months here in NS/NB provinces for salmon, the latest is October 31st ( which can have below 0 temps ) so fishing during the winter months is on the bucket list .
 

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It depends where you'll be in AB as to where the closest steelhead streams are. There are fish around at that time, but you'll have to made a decision about going north and putting up with likely cold, or going south for less fish and more crowded conditions.
 

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This won’t be useful re your January trip but I wanted to make this comment while burying it as deeply bas possible. The Bulkley is fishing great right now, possible better than in August. Recent rains raised the water level a little, but since it had been so dry for so long, most precipitation went into the ground and the water remains clear. The boost in water levels has gotten steelhead on the move and, oddly enough, we’re seeing some coho moving through as well. It’s been cool, but not so cold that there is ice in the river as is more typical for this time of year. The corner at the Smithers bridge remains a hot spot, but unlike earlier in the season, there isn’t a line waiting for a shot at it. So if you’ve got your firewood in and you’re in driving distance, you might want to give it a look. And feel free to fly in from wherever to get that fish you didn’t get earlier. McBike and Oscars and the other retailers could use the business.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Thanks for the replies, all helpful info.
So, who wants to go fishing in January?
Gas, food and booze is on me.
 

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Thanks for the replies, all helpful info.
So, who wants to go fishing in January?
Gas, food and booze is on me.


BC is too big to specify. East kootney , Terrace is best. Lower mainland is waste of time. If columbia river is close to where you stay in Alberta, it is a good place to go. You don't need a guide to catch fish there.
 

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Depending on where you are in Alberta you would be between 10 to 14 hour drive to the lower mainland or between 10 and 16 hours to Terrace. If the distance to the lower mainland does not put you off drop me a PM the Chilliwack/Vedder is close by and will have water and possibly some fish.


Ian
 

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I second what Raven says ;)

Feel free to reach out
 

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Despite what others have said about Terrace it is not the place to be in January. Vancouver Island or the lower mainland would be a good bet, no need for a guide just get a backroad mapbook and start exploring.

If you do decide that the Terrace area would be your destination of choice look me up.

Once you have narrowed down your area of interest let us know and we can provide better advice.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Beauty, thanks guys, appreciate that.
Guess I just need to decide where , I have been told a few times the skeena might be my best bet and some big steelhead, also told the lower mainland because of temp though.
Mike
 

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Despite what others have said about Terrace it is not the place to be in January. Vancouver Island or the lower mainland would be a good bet, no need for a guide just get a backroad mapbook and start exploring. .....
Agreed. At a strict minimum, talk to the folks at Michael & Young fly shop (Vancouver, Surrey) or one of the shops on the island and they will point you in the right direction.

The Skeena watershed is Valhalla but January is not the right time of year. Local River X can fish OK in January, weather permitting, but actually it fishes better in November.

Winter steelhead in the lower Skeena watershed does not really start until part way through March, and even then it can be very hit 'n miss. For a first trip to this region, target the late summer, autumn.
 
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