The Bulkley River has one of the largest, if not the largest, wild Steelhead runs in the world. The river is blessed with over ninety miles of classic fly water, holding Steelhead from 5 to 30 pounds. These wild fish are well known for attacking surface presentations throughout the season.
The river produces these exceptionally aggressive fish because of its source, the very large Morice Lake, which makes the Bulkley a warmer and clearer river than other watersheds on the Skeena system. This lake’s origin gives the Bulkley River very rich aquatic insect life. The juvenile Steelhead act as trout for up to five years, staying in the river, eating bugs and rising to eat many of them. When they return to the river as adult Steelhead they have imprinted a 'trouty' attitude, inspiring them to attack flies on the surface. This is what sets the Bulkley River apart from others.
The Bulkley is an easy to moderate river to wade, from the pea gravel runs of the upper river to the difficult canyon sections of the lower river and everything in between. The river is accessed mainly by jet boat on one of the many beats that are available. The lower canyon, a truly remote and isolated part of the river, is accessed by raft only, with two days required to finish the entire float.
Prime time for Steelhead is early September to the first week in November. The start of the season sees green leaves on the trees, the fish rise eagerly to dries and anglers fish late into the evening. In early October the days get shorter and the leaves start to turn - it's still warm but jackets are a must. By the end of season, when the really big fish come in, you should expect snow and cold temperatures. Hats and gloves are a must at this time of year, but so are cameras, as that fish of a lifetime is just another cast away.