The Fish

Steelhead from 5 to 30 pounds... These wild fish are well known for attacking surface presentations throughout the season.


The River

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.


The Season

Primetime for Steelhead is late August to the middle of November


The Lodge

The Bulkley River Lodge is on a remote section of one of the best Steelhead rivers on the planet located within the traditional Wet'suwet'en Territory. River-front access and no neighbors are great assets for a fishing lodge.

Gear List

Here is a detailed gear list that will help your Bulkley River steelhead adventure go smoothly. If you have been up to the lodge in the past have a look, gear changes occur and gear goes missing from year to year! If you are new to The Bulkley River, this list will get your steelhead kit started or polished up for the trip. We at Bulkley River Lodge also have a shop so we can replace gear while on the trip or we can get you set up right from the start. Just let us know ahead of time what you may need. 


We recommend a layering system under the Waders and Wading Jacket so that all weather hot or cold can be fished through comfortably.


  • Baselayer poly pro/ merino wool
  • Good quality wading jacket wind and rain protector
  • Light/ medium fleece layer hooded is a good option
  • Synthetic or down insulating jacket light weight


  • Baselayer poly pro/ merino long pants
  • Synthetic down pant
  • Light fleece pant
  • 4/5 ply breathable waders stockingfoot. Good quality Bootfits also an option  
  • Boots- felt sole only (studs not needed) rubber sole NO good (even with cleats)

Other Helpful Items

  • Fingerless fleece gloves
  • Large ski gloves
  • Sunshirt
  • Touque/ beenie
  • Baseball/ brimmed hat
  • Polarized fishing glasses brown lens
  • Hand warmers (We recommend Patagonia outdoor clothing because it works, is comfortable and looks good.)

Rods, Reels, Lines and Sinks

Tip: We recommend using two handed  #6 - #8 spey rods with Skagit head lines and typically med/ med heavy sink tips. Reels should be disc drag and be able to accommodate fly line and backing as well as being balanced to length of rod. See List for specifics.


  • 12' -13.5' length #6 - #8 two handed (Spey rod)


  • Good Quality machined aluminum Large arbor Disc Drag reel
  • 9.5' #8 - #9 single hand with balanced line (optional)
  • Reel should balance with rod and have capacity for 150 yards of 30lb dacron backing as well as 70 - 100 ft


  • Backing 30 lb Dacron
  • Running line plus Skagit head and Sink Tip
  • 13' #8
  • Thin diameter running line of your choice 30 - 50 lb & 70 - 100ft

Sink Tips

  • Rio medium MOW Kit
  • Skagit shooting Head proper weight to match Rod. Airflo Compact or
  • Rio heavy MOW Kit
  • Rio Skagit Max. (These work well with Sink Tips) 
  • Airflo Polyleaders FAST Through Super Extra Fast 
  • For skating Dries carry a separate Floating Shooting Head. AirFlo Skagit Rage (not all are needed but 4 - 5 from med - heavy at 10 - 12' recommended)
  • Again match weight to the Rod


  • For Sink Tips 20# attached to 12# Maxima Ultragreen 3-4' works, though each guide does it differently
  • For Floating Lines 15' 12# tapered leaders work, also a 10 ' clear floating polyleader with 4ft of 10# Maxima ultragreen presents a waking fly beautifully!
  • We recommend using LOOP Tackle for the rods and reels because they cast and preform great for what we deal with up on the Bulkley!

Other Useful Tackle

  • Flyboxes
  • Boat bag waterproof
  • Clippers
  • Medium - large drybag
  • Extra sunglasses
  • Foreceps/ Mittenclamps
  • Small waterproof camera
  • Small multi-tool
  • Fly Floatant
  • Tape measure

Flies: A variety of small, medium and large Steelhead wet flies with trailing hooks that do not extend past the rear of the fly. We match size and color to the water and weather conditions. Colors that work well on the Bulkley are as follows:

  • Kingfisher Blue (light blue), pink, purple, black/ blue, orange, white/ pink

Most patterns work well un-weighted, although weighted patterns can help in faster water. For waking flies bring medium sized foam walkers in tan and black colors

A few commercial favorite fly choices are:

  • Egg Suckling Leech
  • Burnt Chicken
  • Skagit Minnow
  • Rabbit Strip Leeches
  • General Practitioner