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  1. #1

    Default Semi DIY Skeena?

    I'm looking into a week of guided fishing on the Skeena in September 2019. Coming from the Northeast the flight will be long and not necessarily inexpensive. As such I'm considering two weeks in the area especially as I may not get back there again. Cost considerations would necessitate the 2nd week as DIY.

    Does the Skeena have a fair amount of easily accessible public water? Would rent a car and for lodging I'd look for a budget hotel like a Super 8. I'd assume Terrace is well placed as a central location.

    Being unguided I'd approach the 2nd week at a slower pace with reduced expectations.

    Any thoughts on how feasible DIY spey fishing is on the Skeena?

    Thanks in advance.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Location
    Northwest Territories
    Posts
    805

    Default Re: Semi DIY Skeena?

    You haven't gotten any replies to this post, so I'll pass on what I can.

    Confession: I've never fished the Skeena, but I do head to that area every fall (late October) to fish for steelhead on the Bulkley. I've also fished the Kispiox and Copper/Zyometz a bit.

    As for accessible public water, I'll give the standard lawyer's answer: it depends. Yes, there is publicly accessible water on the Skeena and other rivers in the watershed, but you either have to look for it or know where to find it. Some of the best spots on the Bulkley and other rivers are on private land, so unless you're in some sort of watercraft you'll have to ask permission to get across the land to fish. I'm friends with some folks who have a ranch with 3-4 km of Bulkley river front with some excellent steelhead runs, so I'm lucky. Bear in mind that any runs that are easily accessible will inevitably have other anglers there, which is not necessarily a problem unless you like fishing alone. Remember to always start at the "end" of the line of anglers, and never low hole anyone.

    Terrace would be a good place to use as a base. If you're concentrating on the Skeena I think anywhere between Prince Rupert and Smithers would be a good bet. There are a lot of hotels and other types of lodging available in all those places, along with tackle shops and everything else you need for a fishing trip.

    Are you considering a lodge for the first week? That's the easy--tho' expensive--option, obviously, but as an alternative you might consider hiring a guide for a day or two just to get out and see the river, then spend the rest of your trip DIY'ing it. As you may have already discovered, there's a wilderness of water there--you could spend the rest of your life and not fish it all. The Skeena is the main river, but there are many more in the watershed, most of which have salmon and steelhead in them (along with other fish).

    As for tackle, well, that's a whole other thread. Do a search here for some tips. A 13'-ish 7 or 8 weight spey rod, along with a Skagit head and selection of tips, will do you fine for a first trip.

    Scott

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  4. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Wasilla / Skwentna, Alaska
    Posts
    17,524
    Blog Entries
    136

    Default Re: Semi DIY Skeena?

    Scott has provided very good food for thought, I have never been there but am familiar with areas with limited road access. If you have already made arrangements with lodging and guiding for the first week then I would advise that you look to that guide for information regarding week two. Once you are already a client I can't see that a guide would hold back in sharing directions for your second week.

    You could very well find the river greatly different than anything you are used to locally. Current speeds and other characteristics that rivers of the PNW seem to share can make them difficult for visitors without boats. I'd be looking at other rivers within close proximity to your first destination. I wouldn't have a problem fishing somewhere different after a week on one river. That is unless you find the Skeena to be perfect in which case I'd stay right there.

    Try to find some video of the rivers in the general area and look for those which look friendly to a man on foot. And.... pack along a PFD because like I said these rivers can be different than those at home, different and dangerous also. I was down in Oregon a few years back, I went to fish the Rogue which was big but pretty tame compared to home waters. Then I headed up to the North Umpqua for a couple days and regretted not having my PFD suspenders along because that one while smaller was much more a threat than the Rogue.

    Anywhere can be the land of great expectations, broken dreams, or paradise found, it's all up to you.

    Life On The Line - Alaska Fishing with Ard
    Ard's Forum blog, Alaska Outdoors

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  6. #4

    Default Re: Semi DIY Skeena?

    I'm thinking about this too, not just the Skeena, but other rivers with day-fish-length (is that a thing?) road crossings. We wonder if Rental cars and my backpackable 2 man (pro grade) inflatable 'yak would allow more access? We seriously would consider renting 2 cars so we could shuttle; also, I've found as a long time ski/fish bum that if it's a river community, a guy could hitch hike back up to the vehicle, leaving a guy at the 'yak with the tackle. Does this seem feasible enough to lug the (checkable, 40 lb) 'yak?? thanks in advance -

  7. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2014
    Location
    Bayou La Batre, AL
    Posts
    1,224

    Default Re: Semi DIY Skeena?

    I’ve got a one man pontoon. ( convenient if I must say so myself ) I’ve gotten the wife to drop me off at the launch point then have her be at the pick up point at the end of the day. Works out pretty good. Not sure how that’s going to work out when I finally break down and get a drift boat.

    Quote Originally Posted by Car7x View Post
    I'm thinking about this too, not just the Skeena, but other rivers with day-fish-length (is that a thing?) road crossings. We wonder if Rental cars and my backpackable 2 man (pro grade) inflatable 'yak would allow more access? We seriously would consider renting 2 cars so we could shuttle; also, I've found as a long time ski/fish bum that if it's a river community, a guy could hitch hike back up to the vehicle, leaving a guy at the 'yak with the tackle. Does this seem feasible enough to lug the (checkable, 40 lb) 'yak?? thanks in advance -
    Kevin
    "Fight like you're the 3rd monkey trying to get on Noah's Ark"
    "Not every day is filled with sunshine. Some days you're the pigeon, some days you're the statue"
    "If God had intended for man to only fish on weekends, He never would have created the other 5 days of the week."

  8. #6

    Default Re: Semi DIY Skeena?

    Hey Kevin - yeah, I see that a lot on the Madison. Momma drives the pickup, drops off the old fart, goes and gets her hair done, picks him up at the next ramp down. I self shuttle a lot with my husky dirt bike on a receiver hitch and the raft on the roof or drift boat behind. Regardless of how the fishing goes, I get a nice ride in the the AM.

    When you get your drift boat, just take 2 vehicles, leave the chase rig downstream, and after you drop your boat have Momma take your empty trailer rig back to the take out and swap it out for her Ferrari.

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