The Steelhead in the lower Skeena River are something to write home about. Down in the water around Terrace you get first crack at all of the fish headed to the most famous steelhead rivers in the world, like the Kispiox, Sustut, Babine and the Bulkey… but they are still chrome bright down here. There is no better recipe in the steelhead world for you to go get spooled by a silver bolt of lightning.
The sea-going rainbows of the lower Skeena start to enter this massive drainage in late July, and continue to enter right through the Fall. And again, these will be the same fish targeted in the legendary tributaries upstream a month or more later, rivers regarded as the best in the sport. Fresh fish continue to accumulate in the river right through the end of October and into November. The Average annual return to the Skeena River system is over 100,000 fish annually and in the lower river anglers get a shot at all of them.
Sink tips are the best tool for the job in the lower river, but every once in awhile the conditions may allow for some very good fishing with the floating line as well. Weightless flies are often preferred as the fish will hold, or be running very far to the inside of the runs, and you will want the fly to swing all the way in without hanging up. Weighted flies can be productive as well, especially in deeper or faster water, and through the later part of the season when the water temperatures become increasingly cooler and fish are more reluctant to move long distances to a hit a fly.
The Skeena flows west from its many headwater tributaries, over 300 miles inland, until it reaches the ocean at Prince Rupert. Skeena Spey Lodge is only about 90 miles upstream in the town of Terrace. The lodges location makes it exceptionally easy to get to, only about a 10 minute drive from the airport. The lodge has a diverse option of different beats they can cover, with 5 different beats on the mainstem, as well as access to some of the smaller Skeena tributaries such as the Kalum. This ideal location makes for minimal travel time to the various boat launches.
Accommodations at Skeena Spey are very comfortable. Beautiful A-frame cabins, which were all just recently remodeled, can accommodate single occupancy anglers as well as Double or even triple occupancy. All cabins also have in-room toilet and shower facilities, and comfortable queen sized beds with wonderful comforters and linens. The lodge itself is very warm and inviting with rustic wooden walls and furniture, a fully stocked bar and a full sized pool table. Guests can expect delicious hearty meals both in the lodge and on the river. More importantly however, the fishing is 1st class!
As with all steelhead angling, if you’re looking to catch obscene numbers of fish, this trip probably isn’t for you! Skeena Spey clients can generally average 1-3 hook ups per angler per day, but keep in mind this is not always the case! There are many days that accomplished anglers and good students will grossly exceed these numbers, and other days when even the best effort won’t come close to putting a fish up. Steelhead fishing is not a numbers game, it is about catching the most prized freshwater game fish that swims. Anglers willing to fish hard, listen to their guides, and put in a long day, will have the best potential of landing a trophy.
Steelhead on the Skeena average 8-15 lbs, with chromers up to and exceeding 20 lbs caught on a regular basis. The first fish arrive in July, and by the middle of August top quality fly fishing is in full swing in the lower Skeena. Fish continue to accumulate in prime holding water right through the end of November. So when is the best time to visit? The answer is whenever you have time to come!
Reservations & Rates
Skeena Spey is very flexible and depending on availability you may be able to choose you entry and exit days, for any length of stay from 2 days of angling to 10 or more. Single Double or even triple occupancy will also determine the cost of your package. All prices are in Canadian dollars. Give us a call today to get a quote on your custom steelhead fishing package.
Included in your angling package at the Skeena Spey is meet and greet at the airport, round trip transportation to and from the lodge, daily guided fishing in Jet boats, drift boats, or rafts, accommodations, and meals.
Not included in your angling package at Skeena Spey are flights to and from Terrace, fishing licenses and steelhead stamps (approximately $250 USD per angler), alcohol and gratuities.
The Fly Shop® is not in the insurance business, but we recommend Travel Guard coverage as a service with a desire to see your best interests protected. It is impossible to know when an unfortunate situation (loss of luggage, fly rods, illness in the family, or an accident) may occur. However, such things can and do happen, and this insurance can provide a means of recourse against non-refundable financial losses.
• Travel Guard Insurance
Seasons at Skeena Spey
The main steelhead season on the Skeena is the summer run starting in mid to late July and running through October and the first part of November. There can also be some very good steelhead fishing in the Spring with April and May dates available.
If skating a surface fly to raise a steelhead to a fly is your dream or favorite method of pursuing them, you'll want to reserve dates at the
beginning of the season through the middle of September. The warmer waters keep the steelhead active and looking up! The dry line action is continued through September into the first part of October with sink tips working when the fish won't move to the surface. Mid September through mid October is a very popular time because the river is generally loaded with fish and while the waters are cooling, the fish are still very active. From Mid October into November the waters definitely get cooler, as autumn gives way to early winter conditions. The trees on the mountainsides are in beautiful coloration or may even get a dusting of snow. This is an exciting time to be there and it is the time for truly big steelhead.
Getting to Skeena Spey
Travel from home to the lodge is extremely easy from anywhere in the lower 48 to get to in 1 day. You just need to get to Vancouver British Columbia, clear customs into Canada there, and then catch one of a few daily flight options directly from Vancouver to Terrace BC. These flights are only available via Air Canada. You'll be met at the airport by Skeena Spey representatives and transported the short drive to the lodge. Many anglers may even arrive in time to get in a few casts on the home pool this first night on their travel day. For return itineraries, you will want to
arrange flights departing just after breakfast in order to get home in 1 easy day of travel without any other necessary layovers.
Lodging at Skeena Spey
Skeena Spey is located just outside of Terrace BC, right on the banks of the Lower Skeena River. The lodge is very close to the mouth of the famous Copper River.
The main lodge has a very comfortable, warm, and inviting atmosphere. Heavy, rustic wooden dining room table and chairs fit perfectly in the wooden walled lodge dining room. The fully stocked bar will have
anything you can imagine after a long day on the water, and if you have the energy a full sized billiard table is available for you and your buddies to pass the time over a few cocktails.
The capacity is 12 guests, but it never feels overcrowded.
Your days start with coffee and juice at the bar then a breakfast made to order. Some mornings the guides may have you start before the sun comes up and the chefs will have breakfast sandwiches or wraps prepared to eat on the way to the water in the truck. Lunch is served on the river accompanied by hot homemade soups, and your selection of drinks.
After a full day of fishing, enjoy a hot shower, and then head to the lodge to tell fishing tales at the open bar while you are served delicious hors d'oeuvres. The gourmet food will leave nothing to be desired.
The daily schedule is flexible. If you want to wake up at first light and fish until dark, Skeena Spey’s eager guides will gladly accommodate. However you can also sleep in and have a leisurely outing if that is what you desire. The staff will work hard to accommodate all your needs.
The lodge is equipped with wireless internet and telephone access for your use.
Fishing at Skeena Spey
Skeena Spey operated most of its guided days out of large river jet boats, which offer anglers peaceful access to the very best runs, riffles, and tail outs the river has to offer. Fishing on the entire Skeena system is strictly catch-and-release. There are literally hundreds of runs on the Skeena with plenty of room to get away from the general public.
Each day anglers are rotated on different sections of the river so that
every day is a fresh exciting new adventure. Days are long at Skeena Spey, early starts and late finishes, to maximize your steelhead catching potential. Skeena Spey prides itself on having assembled an elite guide staff that possesses the instructional skills and knowledge of the River to ensure a memorable experience!