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BOOKING NOW - Steelhead and Salmon Trips

Fishing reports for the entire United States coastline and freshwater systems.

BOOKING NOW - Steelhead and Salmon Trips

Postby NoelGyger » Tue May 05, 2009 11:49 am

The photo of the week shows Marc Girard, an associate guide for Reliable Guide and Charters, with a beautiful Kitimat River wild Steelhead. Photo by Ron Wakita

Noel Gyger – Guided Fishing Adventures and Weekly Fishing Report
4012 Best Street, Terrace BC V8G 5R8, Canada
Tel/Fax: (250) 635-2568
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Noel Gyger - WEEKLY FISHING REPORT dated April 26 – May 3, 2009 :welcome:

Dear Fishing Friends:

SUMMARY: The weather has been good all week with average daytime temperatures and lots of sun until it rained overnight. The rivers are on the rise as more snow melt comes down. The run-off has come down slowly so there is no danger of flooding yet. Both upper and lower sections of Kalum River are in good shape. The first Chinook are in the river now. This time of year I like to remind folks of the great possibilities of angling for both Steelhead and Chinook (King) Salmon on the same day. The main stem Skeena River is dirty and not fishable. Best places to fish now are at the clean seams where the tributary rivers flow into the Skeena. For the Kitimat River and Douglas Channel please check out the Ron Wakita report below.

When May comes around I cannot help but think of Chinook (King) Salmon on the Kalum River. Actually, this is the time, everything being normal, when you can catch both Steelhead and Chinook on the same day. Cast here ... y-Noel.doc to read an article I wrote about on such a day. The guides still have a few days open so if you are interested in booking a trip contact me anytime.

An important message from Alexandra Morton: Here in British Columbia we are in the last two weeks of electing a Provincial government and this will have critical affect on wild salmon due to privatization of rivers and ocean spaces, even schools of fish. Many of you received responses from the BC government currently in power, the “Liberals,” headed by Premier Gordon Campbell. They said the BC government is not allowed to intervene in the Appeal of the Constitutional Challenge I won regarding fish farms. This is not correct they do have this power. I have written a response on the website It is becoming very clear that while the current BC government has allowed the salmon feedlots to expand despite the science, public outcry and impact on rural economies they realize they are a political liability and thus are making every effort to distance themselves from the industry.

There are simple answers to this mess which now threatens the entire eastern Pacific and the BC economy. Aquaculture is not the problem, the problem is lack of political will. Alaskan salmon have political will on their side and they are thriving.

For those of you in B.C. please view this film and vote. The existence of wild salmon depends very much on this election.


- One New item posted on "Conservation" May 2/09
- Two New items posted on "Special Guided Fishing Trips" May 1/09
- One New item posted on "Conservation" April 30/09
- Two New items posted on "Conservation" April 28/09

NOW BOOKING: Let me know if I can be of service to book you with the "best" fishing guide and/or fishing lodges for both river and ocean. There are NO extra charges to book through me, just a lot of free information and advice from a person with years and years of fishing and fish guiding experience. It is like hiring two guides for the price of one. I will promptly answer your questions and concerns. Cast here to read more of what I have to offer.

Many people book three trips per year to our area; one trip in the spring (March-April-May), one trip in the summer (June-July-August) and one trip in the fall (September-October-November). They love having the same guide but fishing for different fish in different areas.

Be sure to check out my website at for news bulletins, mid week fishing updates, conservation, my history, quality waters strategy, special guided fishing trips, video clips, podcasts, scenic river photos, wildlife photos and others, comments from past guests, informational articles, archived fishing reports from 1996 through 2002 and a sportfishing market place. I hope it meets with your entire satisfaction. I am at your service.


Ron Wakita
Gill McKean
Todd Haynes
Tracey Hittel
Chad Black

CURRENT REPORT and summary for Skeena and Tributaries:

TYPE OF FISH CAUGHT: Steelhead and Trout for river. Salmon, Halibut, Bottom Fish and Dungeness Crab for ocean.

Thank you for using barbless hooks.


LARGEST FISH OF THE WEEK: Specie: 20-pound Steelhead Where: Kitimat River Angler: Ariel Kuppers

WEATHER: A few showers ending early this afternoon then cloudy with 40 percent chance of showers. Wind south 40 to 60 km/h diminishing to 20 this morning then becoming light this afternoon. High 15. Sunrise 5:52 AM Sunset 8:11 PM. Today’s yearly average temperatures: Maximum 16 degrees. Minimum 4 degrees.

WEATHER REPORTS VIA TELEPHONE: Terrace 250-635-4192 Kitimat 250-632-7864 Prince Rupert 250-627-1155 Smithers 250-847-1958.

SKEENA RIVER: Is too dirty to fish. Fishing the clean seams of the tributary rivers is a good idea now.

KALUM RIVER: Is in good shape and rising slowly. Good numbers of Steelhead are in the river now. Spring runs of Steelhead should be coming in. Fishing for them with fly or spin tackle works well. Fresh early run Chinook (King) Salmon are expected anytime. We have caught them around mid April. Chinook have been seen rolling in the lower river.

April Vokey, Andrea Charlton and Rob Vodola invited me to go fishing with them on the Kalum River yesterday. First day out for the girls was a little slow as fly tackle had to be arranged and set-up. They have another 5 days of fishing to do so I am certain things will turn around. Rob had a huge male Steelhead close to landing with his spey rod but the hook pulled out last second. April Vokey is a fishing guide based out of Chilliwack, BC. In addition to fish guiding, she specializes in fly-casting instructionals, workshops, wilderness camps and ladies clothing. Her company is Flygal Ventures

ZYMOETZ (COPPER) RIVER: Is too dirty to fish.

Fishing Report from: Ron Wakita of Reliable Guide and Charters.

Cast on link below to view TACKLE STORE flyer: ... _FLYER.pdf

KITIMAT RIVER: Kitimat River Steelhead are in full swing with lots of Steelhead being caught. This has been a "Great Steelhead season so far with some steelhead caught weighing over twenty lbs, one pushing thirty pounds. Wow ! And the weather has been outstanding! Just when we thought that the Steelhead season was going good, the hot weather started to bring the river level up and the Kitimat River started to murk up a bit. The Kitimat River very seldom becomes unfishable due to snow melt but the higher, murky water will present some challenges. Anglers simply need to adjust to the conditions. Float fishers need to lengthen the float and use some roe, Hot shotters may have to fish a larger size and Fly Fishers may have to change the sink tips and possibly change to different flies. All anglers should be making some kind of adjustments. If the right adjustments are made sometimes Steelheading can still be very good...The weather is forecast for cooler temperatures so conditions will improve.

Early in the week the conditions were really good and accordingly the catch rates were also very good. I drifted Sunday evening with two fishing partners Al and Martin. Al hooked and lost two Steelhead and Martin landed a Hatchery Steelhead which he retained. (More important details about hatchery Steelhead later in this report)

James Botrokoff is a Kitimat Resident who moved to Edmonton to work and is back home fishing with his father Anthony. It is a wonderful scenario to watch a father and son share the passion for fishing. There is always a bit of competition involved, sometimes a little trash talking and even some of those "Grass Hopper" lessons that a son must often have to listen to. Some of the fondest memories I have of my father are our family fishing trips. James has been home fishing from April 25th to April 28th and he has landed eleven steelhead and his father, Anthony has landed four. The official scoring has the son James ahead in the count since he has had more time to fish but James' catch results are actually a complement to the "teacher."

Another father/son fishing team fishing the Kitimat River are my good friends, Wayne Van Velzen and son Eric. In the past week Wayne has landed ten steelhead and Eric has landed four including one over twenty pounds on a fly. Eric is fly fishing most of the time and with all due respect to Wayne's very good results I would score Eric’s catch higher since they have been on the fly. This will make for interesting whiskey conversation around their camp fire. Wayne brought his good friend Bob who landed his first Steelhead on Wednesday and Eric brought his good friend Peter (Greg) who I drifted with on Thursday morning. We hooked two Steelhead and Peter caught and released a Hatchery Steelhead. Wayne and his friend Bob also landed a Steelhead Thursday morning.

Rob Vodola and Mike Herzberg drifted the Kitimat April 28th from the Sawmill down to the Pumphouse. Had a great drift, going 6 for 6. Rob landed two float fishing. All fish were released, all were wild. The five does ranged from 11 to 14 lbs., the buck was pushing twenty. Photos by Mike Herzberg (associate fishing guide for Reliable Guide and Charters) Well done Mike and Rob!

Ariel Kuppers and Eric Neidert who are also associate guides for Reliable Guide and Charters drifted the lower Kitimat on an evening drift and they landed a big Buck pushing twenty pounds. Reliable Guide and Charters still has some booking dates available for Steelhead. Please contact Noel if you wish to book a trip. I had the pleasure of doing a morning drift with Todd Haynes of Nautical West Fishing Adventures Friday morning. We both lost a Steelhead but we had a great time! Todd is a talented angler and a pleasure to fish with. Todd also has dates available for Steelhead bookings.

Other guides and anglers have been in our tackle store-City Centre Hardware Sporting Goods and have reported good catches as well. Mr. "G" continues his success as he reported landing a Steelhead on Wednesday morning.

We received four Hatchery Steelhead entries from Martin Golhke, Derek Pacholokf, James Botrokoff and Peter Grogan into our Instore Hatchery Steelhead Photo contest this week. This contest was designed to raise public awareness to the Kitimat Hatchery Head Recovery Program. We have donated a Shimano Rod and Reel for this promotion. If a Hatchery Steelhead is retained by an angler it is Very Important that the head is turned into our store or to the Kitimat Hatchery. The Kitimat Hatchery uses the information contained on code wire in the head of the Steelhead and more importantly receives credit for producing the Steelhead. The Kitimat Hatchery budget is constantly being cut and Head recovery numbers are an important factor considered by DFO managers. Once we take a picture of the Hatchery Steelhead and the head is turned in to us or the Hatchery, the angler's photo is entered into a draw for this Shimano rod and reel. I am aware that a large number of anglers who have the highest regard for Steelhead prefer to catch and release all Steelhead. The Kitimat Hatchery is responsible for the exceptional return of Steelhead that all anglers enjoy fishing for on the Kitimat. I cannot stress enough the importance of Anglers who retain a hatchery Steelhead to please turn in the head. Anglers are also reminded that when they retain a hatchery Steelhead they must immediately record it on their fishing license and can no longer fish the Kitimat River for the remainder of that day. Steelhead on the Kitimat will continue for another couple of weeks.

Anyone interested in a Guided Trip on the Kitimat River for Steelhead with Reliable Guide and Charters please contact Noel and he would be more than happy to accommodate.

UPDATE – Sunday morning: The Kitimat River water level has risen to marginally fishable conditions in the lower Kitimat, Sunday morning (May 2nd). The high temperatures we received on Saturday afternoon combined with some rain we received Saturday night has bought the Kitimat River water level up. There is a 6" wet line on the Pump House scale at 8:30 AM which indicates that the water level has started to drop. There is also a high tide peaking at 9:00 this morning and will drop for the next six hours. This out flow tide will creat a flushing effect which will help the river level to drop faster. The Kitimat River drops and cleans faster than other systems in the North West. The upper Kitimat will clean first and will the tributaries. Smart money says to fish the upper Kitimat or at the mouth of one of her clean running tributaries.

DOUGLAS CHANNEL: Todd Haynes of Nautical West Sport Fishing is heading out this weekend to do some Pre Charter fishing. (Homework trips is how I refer to these trips) The better Guide and Charter Companies in the industry do these trips to stay up to date on changing issues with the fisheries and to get "dialed in" prior to the Chartering season. Todd will be joined by his lucky fishing partner and wife Nesia. A tradition has evolved where Nesia lands the first big Chinook of every season. Good Luck to Todd and Nesia, we look forward to seeing the pictures.
Other boaters are still focused on Crabbing and some boaters are starting to do some bottom fishing.

Thank You to everyone who contributed info and photos to this report.

Our tackle Store: City Centre Hardware and Sporting Goods has many preseason specials. Please click here: ... _FLYER.pdf to view our New! Updated instore flyer. It has some “HOT” deals!

Tight Lines!
May you be blessed with bright fish and big smiles!
Ron Wakita

Fishing Report from: Tracey Hittel of Steelhead Heaven

This past weeks Steelhead. Alexi landed this big male on the spey with his black and blue magic fly. When we entered this small pool he hooked 3 fish in 20 casts with an orange fly, all to elude him. After many casts with no fish, Alexi changed flies to a different color, the second cast he landed this big male. When Alexi hooked his first fish in this pool it took on the dangle and when he set the hook the rod stopped like it was on a large rock. In fact we both looked at each other wondering if it was a fish, he quickly gave me the nod and the beast moved into the top of the pool in the deep fast holding area. It then decided to make a move downstream with a screaming roar, all to have this huge Steelhead spit the hook. Alexi saw a small glimpse of this fish and said it was very thick. The good stories are always about the one that got away.

Also attached is the Steelhead queen, Brenda Kochan, with a chrome female she landed, as you can see this fish is very healthy and fresh from the sea.

Most of April was very cold and snowed a lot so the catching was slower than usual. Now that water temps have risen to 4-5C the fishing has finally started to turn, and this year the fish are very large. Local anglers are chin waggin that 30 plus pound fish are not uncommon and the largest some of the locals have even landed. These guys have put 250-300 Steelhead on the bank over the years so I am happy to say we have a fantastic fishery. May is peak season and with the fish late this year the next 2 weeks are going to be super, not to mention the fresh Chinook coming in very soon. Tracey John Hittel

Fishing Report from: Gill McKean of Westcoast Fishing Adventures

Hi Noel, fishing has been simply outstanding. I think the photos tell most of the story. Photo on the right is Pierce Clegg, owner of Babine Norlakes, out of Smithers BC. Pierce was my guest for a few days this spring.

We still have a few last minute openings for 1 or 2 persons. Call Noel 250-635-2568 and he will hook you up!

Gill McKean, Fishing is our addiction - Guiding is our passion - Adventure is in our blood

Fishing Report from: Todd Haynes of Nautical West Sport Fishing

First test run of the season today. Out for some crabbing and a Chinook troll. Stay tuned for the update. If you’d like to book a trip (ocean or river) please contact Noel Gyger and he can give you all the details. Thank you. Todd Haynes

Fishing Report from: Chad Black of Nicholas Dean Lodge

Chad Black, operational manager, for Nicholas Dean Lodge sent these photos for this report. The fellow holding the Steelhead for the young lady is head guide Dustin Kovacvich. Fishing this week has been very good on many of the smaller streams and rivers. Note the little bit of snow still on the banks.

In Chad’s own words, “The fishing on the Skeena River and its tributaries this Spring has been downright challenging at times – March and early April saw some of the lowest river levels in years – but in most cases, the fishing has been good for those willing to put their time in while on the water, and perhaps go the extra distance. The past week has been a classic example of this. While some of our favourite waters close to home have produced some great fish – including a few in the 17-18 lb class, we’ve been having great success on smaller, lesser known rivers. Rivers with difficult access, and often difficult hiking. But, the rewards have been worth their weight in silver – multiple fish days on the fly, with fish averaging 12-16 lbs, on some of the most remote and beautiful rivers around – tend to make for happy clients, and vibrant conversation at the dinner table.

Speaking of dinner tables, we now have a different one! We’ve moved venues and have partnered up with Alf and Simone Leslie of Yellow Cedar Lodge, located on the Skeena River just outside Terrace. Having experienced two weeks of exceptional food, accommodations and camaraderie here at Yellow Cedar Lodge, and with much positive feedback from clients, I can say with confidence that we’ve found a winning combination. But, why take my word for it – come see for yourself! We have several spaces still available during the best seasons for Trophy Chinook on the Skeena and Kitimat, chrome bright Summer Steelhead on the main channel Skeena, and even Fall Steelhead – complete with dry flies – during September and October. Join us on one of these trips, and not only will you likely experience some of the best fishing available around – but now you can take advantage of all the amenities available at Yellow Cedar Lodge. Whether it’s the inspiring mountain views, the comfort of the hot tub after a cold day on the river, or the 5 star cuisine prepared by Alf and Simone, it will be an experience that you won’t soon forget. Give Noel a call today 250-635-2568 to book your 5 star fishing trip with us and Yellow Cedar Lodge, and experience fishing at its finest…”

Until next week, tight lines and screaming reels…

Chad Black
Operations Manager, Nicholas Dean Lodge

AREA RIVER RECORDS: Chinook Salmon: Skeena River, 92.5-pounds; Kalum River, 85-pounds; Kitimat River, 74-pounds; Steelhead: Skeena River, 45-pounds; Coho Salmon: Skeena River, 27-pounds.

2007-2009 BC tidal waters and freshwater Salmon fishing information:
Effective April 1, 2009 to March 31, 2010

2008-2009 Freshwater Fishing Regulations Synopsis:
Effective April 1, 2009 to March 31, 2011 (Note regs good for two years)


*** If any of you have special fishing photos, testimonials, scenic river photos, wildlife photos or articles I would love to see them.

Catch & Release formula:

- Chinook: girth squared x length x 1.54 divided by 1000 (inches)
- Steelhead: girth squared x length x 1.33 divided by 1000 (inches)

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kitimat river steelhead - photo by ron wakita
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