Well it has been a wild ride on the Skeena system for the first half of September.
A massive warm storm ravaged the Bell Irving, Nass and Damdochax Rivers early in the month. It was an epic storm not unlike the one that beat the Dean River up last September 2010. It also took its toll on the Skeena system, essentially blowing anglers out of their weeks on the Babine, Sustut and other related systems. For all of you who took the short end of that stick, we are sorry. The returns seems about the same as earlier predictions. The run seems to be in keeping with the 10 year average and roughly 60% of last year’s record return. But with the impaired water conditions, the fish have been getting off easy and the anglers have been doing most of the suffering. With that said, in recent days the conditions have really improved and we expect the fishing to do the same.
from our good friend, Derek Botchford, at Frontier Farwest Lodge:
“Steelhead season on the Bulkley has been about as consistent as Tiger Woods golf stroke. I have seen an angler hook 15 one day and none the next. The fish are happy as can be with the endless high water. They frolic among seams buried underneath the raging water, occasionally taking the time roll to the surface, winking at anglers as they pass by. High water creates vindictive fish. They move up the river like teenagers hiding from the cops. However, our guides are trained assassins. We have had to hunt them down, corner them, and unleash an arsenal of flies in their general direction. We are lucky to guide on some crystal clear waters where we can actually look for fish. They have stayed out of the classic runs and have been hiding in the fast, over looked sections in between the runs. With high water and temperatures the fish may not always do what you expect them to. Creativity on the river can make or break a day. Here are some early season fish on the Bulkley/Morice at Frontier Farwest Lodge.”
Last night I spoke with folks on the Kispiox and the river is in great shape and fishing well.
The Babine is finally dropping into shape and the fishing should start to see a noticeable improvement.