The steelhead of the Bulkley River are renowned for their aggressive nature, they also show a very curious side as well. These tendencies give anglers the chance to present a great number of flies to the fish from big intruder style patterns in large runs to more pleasurable and exciting surface skating action in defined riffles. No one forgets their first steelhead, breaking the surface and attacking their fly.
All of this great fly angling fun takes place on the beautiful Bulkley River which is a special place. The river shows itself in many different ways as it leaves the mountains and cuts through the boreal forest and Bulkley Valley headed to the Skeena River, and eventually the sea. Anglers at Bulkley River Lodge can expect steelhead and to wade some of the best swinging water anywhere in the world!
The majority of anglers who fish with us on the Bulkley are now using double handed (spey) rods exclusively. Limited back casting room, increased distance and efficiency are the main advantages here. These rods need little, if any, back casting space and are designed to cast 80' with little effort. If you have not used one we highly recommend LEARNING BEFORE YOU COME, so you are not learning on the river instead of fishing. This being said our guides are some of the best instructors around. We teach rank amateurs on a regular basis and tune up the best casters, minimizing effort and maximizing distance.
In the early season, when water temperatures are warm, there is little need for heavy sinking tips. On the contrary, a dry line and dry fly regularly out fish sunken flies at this time of year. There is nothing like swinging skating flies on the surface for large fresh fish. Boiling a fish half a dozen times before you see it jump on your dry fly is a common occurrence when water temps are still high from summer sun.
As the season progresses water temperatures cool, and fish become less interested with the surface. At this time of year sink tips, type 3, 6 and 8, become more effective. Sunken flies, mostly large streamer patterns, are the most effective tool to get the job done. Leaves are turning, the scenery is stunning, and fresh fish are arriving daily.
Nearing the end of October, the leaves have mostly fallen. Snow is on the horizon, or we have already seen a dusting, but the biggest fish are just showing up. The average size of fish gets larger the later you go into the season, with some of the biggest fish showing up at the end of the season. Here heavy sink tips are a must, with a variety of patterns working. Large string leaches to small classic patterns work, it's just a matter of finding out what the fish want to eat.