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Skeena River Regional Fishing Report

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

Skeena River Regional Fishing Report

Postby NoelGyger » Mon Aug 24, 2009 10:05 am

The photo of the week shows Sherry and Bob Carmicheal with two beautiful Douglas Channel Harbour Fishery Coho. They landed 16 Coho and one Pink. Sherry and Bob were guests of Marc Girard and Ron Wakita of Reliable Guide and Charters.

Noel Gyger – Guided Fishing Adventures and Weekly Fishing Report
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Noel Gyger - WEEKLY FISHING REPORT dated August 16 – August 23, 2009 :welcome:

Dear Fishing Friends:

SUMMARY: The weather has been a mixed bag with sun, clouds and rain. Even with the rain most waters have stayed in shape. Fishing for Sockeye, Coho, Pink and summer-run Steelhead on the Skeena River is fair. Spey, single hand fly rod and conventional gear are working well. The trick is to be on the right gravel bar and fish proper techniques. This is when an experienced fishing guide comes in handy. For all the fine details on the Kitimat River, coastal rivers and Douglas Channel please check out the Ron Wakita report below.

August 18, 2009 One "New" podcast number 0018 posted on Podcast

Category: Mid Week fishing updates. I was fly fishing on the Skeena River on August 15, 2009 with Chad Black, operations manager and pro angling guide for Nicholas Dean Lodge. Chad is going to show us what equipment we need when fly fishing on the Skeena River for Steelhead, Sockeye, Coho and Pink Salmon. The show starts with some quick photos of "quality" fly fishing products from Redl Sports. Then the fishing video clip starts. Chad hooks about a half dozen fish in a very short time, then sits on a log and gives us a few "key" pointers on how to be successful in this exciting fishery. Podcast (9:38 minutes) includes photos, audio and a fishing video clip. Stay tuned for more of these "how to" podcasts!

NOTICE: The Kitimat Chamber of Commerce Derby is coming up on September 5th and 6th. It is an outstanding event and prizes have been increased to be enjoyed by all the participants. For interested anglers from out of town, Derby tickets can be purchased by calling the Kitimat Chamber of Commerce with a Credit Card. Cast here to see the poster ... Poster.pdf Please contact the Kitimat Chamber of Commerce at 250 632 6294 Toll Free 1-800-664-6554 or email address


- One New item posted on "Conservation" Aug 22/09
- One New item posted on "Conservation" Aug 20/09
- One New item posted on "Conservation" Aug 19/09
- One New video clip posted on "Podcast" Aug 18/09

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, Wes Owens, Dave Payjack, Marc Girard, April Vokey, Dustin Kovacvich and Tracey Hittel

CURRENT REPORT and summary for Skeena and Tributaries:

TYPE OF FISH CAUGHT: Coho, Sockeye, Chum, Pink, 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: Ocean: Specie: 80-pound Halibut. Where: Prince Rupert, Dundas Island. Who: The Hughes Family. PLUS: Jacque Losier fishing with his son Colby and father Roger and friend Bob Birch boated an 86-pound Halibut and a 40- pound Halibut down the Douglas Channel. River: 20-pound Skeena River Steelhead from a guest at the Nicholas Dean Lodge.

WEATHER: Cloudy with 60 percent chance of showers. High 14. UV index 3 or moderate. Sunrise 6:25 AM Sunset 8:49 PM. Today’s yearly average temperatures: Maximum 21 degrees. Minimum 10 degrees.

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

SKEENA RIVER: has been up and down all week but is still in fishable shape to fish for Sockeye, Pink, Coho and summer-run “wild” Steelhead with both spin and fly rods. More and more excited fishermen are coming here to enjoy our fabulous, world renowned Salmon and Steelhead sport fishery! Everyone is WELCOME…

Skeena River height:

KALUM RIVER: is now closed for Chinook (King) Salmon. Coho (Silver) Salmon and Steelhead are entering the river now.

KASIKS RIVER: Coho (Silver) Salmon will soon be here. Fishing for them at the river mouth where the river meets the Skeena is a good bet now. A few Coho, by now, will be holding a little ways up-river in deep pools and under trees. If Coho are there you can usually see them rolling.

EXCHAMSIKS RIVER: Coho (Silver) Salmon should be coming in the low end now. Fishing for them at the river mouth where the river meets the Skeena is still a good bet.

EXSTEW RIVER: Coho (Silver) Salmon should be coming in the low end now. Fishing for them at the river mouth where the river meets the Skeena is still a good bet.

ZYMOETZ (COPPER) RIVER: The water is in perfect shape and a good number of Steelhead are being caught using Spey, Single hand fly rods and conventional gear.

Fishing Report from: Ron Wakita of Reliable Guide and Charters

Cast on link below to view New flyer:

Click on link for more fall specials:

KITIMAT RIVER: The Kitimat River has really good numbers of Coho especially for this time of year. There are still lots and lots and lots of Pinks although some of them are starting to spawn and die. There is still some bright Pinks coming in with the Coho,

Aug 17 Marc Girard fishing with our clients Liseann Head and Adrian Milford from Ontario. Liseann and Adrian landed 3 Coho and a bunch of Pinks on their drift. Marc said that he had a wonderful time fishing with Liseann and Adrian but he noted that Adrian sure took a lot of pictures. Adrian is our current record holder for taking the most photos on any of our drift boat trips. Adrian took exactly 100 photos on their drift with us. Wow! Congratulations on your catch Liseann and Adrian! You will certainly be able to revisit the details of your trip by looking at the pictures. Well done!

Aug 18 Mike Herzberg fishing with his friend Anther hooked 5 Coho and landed 3 on a Drift in the lower Kitimat. Mike and Anther were Hot Shotting with Luhr Jensen Hot shots #35's and hooked Coho in quite a few specific holes in the lower Kitimat drift. Mike and Anther are very good friends, awesome anglers and certainly catch a lot of fish fishing together. Well done Guys!

Aug 20 Jessie Houston drifted the Upper Kitimat River and landed 14 Coho during his drift on Thursday (Aug 20th). Unfortunately his digital camera got wet so there are no pictures. When I asked Jesse where he caught these Coho, Jesse replied "in his secret Honey holes". I respect that anglers who wish to keep certain ``secret Honey Holes`` private are entitled to do so. I do appreciate that the other information that is provided is accurate. I pride myself on the accuracy of this fishing report but it is only as accurate as the information I receive. I would rather Jesse or any anglers tell me he did not wish to reveal their spots than give me false information. Thank You for the "straight goods" Jesse and congratulations on your catch. Well done.

Aug 21 Jesse drifted with Thomas Keohane after work on Friday (Aug 21st) after working at our tackle store until 5:00 P.M. Jesse and Thomas landed 4 Coho in their secret "Honey hole" but again no camera so there are no pictures but their fish numbers are impressive. Nicely done Guys.

Aug 22 Justin Lowes fishing with some buddies landed 3 Coho in the rising Kitimat River before the water clarity turned dirty. Sorry no photos.

Summary for the Kitimat River: is producing higher than normal numbers of Coho for this time of year. The Coho are exhibiting typical behavior of migrating into the Kitimat during the early portion of the run. Coho were starting to stack up in specific holes on the lower Kitimat River with our low water conditions. It is typical behavior for Coho to stack up in these specific holes and with each tide more Coho will continue to increase the size of the group in these holes. This was evident with the anglers fishing the lower dike and the Kitimat River Intake pool and Goose Creek. When we get a little rain to increase the river height, the Coho will move up river in large groups or schools.

We observed this behavior with Wednesday's river level jump and Jesse's impressive catch results up river on Thursday. With the bump up of river height more Coho will also move into the holes of the lower Kitimat that were just vacated by the previous group. This behavior will continue throughout the Coho run on the Kitimat River during September and well into October. The challenge for Coho anglers is to first find the holes that the Coho are stacking up and then fish the most effective lures to catch them. Coho more so than other Salmon specie can be effectively caught on the wider range of tackle than other Salmon specie. Coho can be caught on hot shots, casting spoons, jigs, dick nites, spinners, bait (after August 31st on the Kitimat River), spin n glows, cheaters. curly tails, corkies, wool and flies. The list is endless. The general rule will always apply. Once the Coho holes are identified it is then a matter of choosing the most effective lure or lures to catch them in the type of water they are holding in. The beauty of Coho fishing is that there is no secret to finding them since they usually jump and splash revealing their location. Early in the run. hot shots and lures dominate as the more effective lures. Specifically the Luhr Jensen Hot shot 25 and 35's and Normark Wiggle warts. Gibbs Koho 45 and 55s in Blue scale and copper are usually the early favorites and have also dominated this week. When the water clarity is good flies are also very good. At the time of writing this report the Kitimat River is high and dirty but there will be a lot of Coho migrating in with the high water. I predict that when the Kitimat River cleans in a couple of days there will be a lot of Coho caught throughout the Kitimat. Stay tuned to this report and I will update as the Kitimat Coho run progresses.

DOUGLAS CHANNEL: There are lots of Coho in the Kitimat Harbour caught this week. When the Kitimat River is low Coho will "stack up" in the Kitimat Harbour and the Coho fishing is outstanding. Many boats were limiting out with 8, 12, or 16 Coho throughout most of the week. But by Friday and Saturday the catch rate dropped off a bit. There were still plenty of Coho caught but not in the same high numbers. Don Pearson, owner of Moon Bay Marina also had the same observation. When the Kitimat River is high and on the exceptional high tides right now, more Coho will head straight into the river. As more Coho migrate up the Douglas Channel into the Kitimat Harbour and the Kitimat drops the Coho stocks will group up again.

Aug 16 Ron fishing with Associate Guide Marc Girard and his wife Bonnie in the Kitimat Harbour Fishery of the Douglas Channel. Marc is an Associate in our Guide/Charter business but Marc, Bonnie and I have evolved into becoming very good friends who enjoy fishing together. We landed a pile of Coho and had a lot of fun during our fishing trip in the Kitimat harbour. We boated 12 Coho and watched all the boats around us landing a bunch of Coho as well. Thank You for the wonderful time Bonnie and Marc. Good friends, Good times, and Great memories!

Aug 16 Jacque Losier fishing with his son Colby and father Roger and friend Bob Birch boated a 86lb Halibut and a 40lb Halibut down the Douglas Channel. They also caught a bunch of Coho and Crab. Three generations of the male side of the Losier family fishing together is wonderful to witness and to catch some very nice fish as well. Nicely done Mr. Losiers and Bob Birch! Congratulations!

Aug 16 Eric Turcotte says, “here is a picture from a trip in the channel with Patrick Dufresne on Sunday afternoon. We both caught our limit. On one picture, I'm standing with Patrick Dufresne, Jean-François Vezina and Evans Girard. J-F and Evans were very happy for us and enjoyed the dinner. On the other one, I'm standing with 9, 10, 11 and 13 lb Coho.” Well done Eric and Patrick. I bet you have some friends that want to go fishing with you!

Aug 16 Dave Payjack said "I had to take a break to go out and get some fish for my own freezer. I brought along my father Larry Payjack and our friend Art Bourassa both from Terrace for a two day trip. Once the wind calmed down enough to fish my dad had to put on a school to remind who I learned how to fish from by catching a 108.8 lb Halibut. We caught 7 Halibut and landed 6 of them: 108.8 lb, 97.5 lb, 48.5 lb, 43 lb, 40 lb, and 35 lb. We also caught 7 ling cod, 8 Red snapper and 14 other cod fish". Well done Guys. Dave, I guess you can still learn a thing or two from your Dad. Well done, Mr. Payjack. Congratulations on a very impressive catch!

Aug 19 I had the pleasure of fishing with Marc Girard and his neighbor Adene Clay and Kitimat's own Lynn Stevenson. Lynn asked me if I would catch some Coho for her. I responded that she would have to catch her own and I invited her to join Marc and me on a morning outing in the Kitimat Harbour. Marc and I contacted Adene Clay to complete our August 19th morning fishing team. As many readers who have fished the Salt already know, it is very much a team effort in the boat to catch fish. From the skipper at the wheel, lure selection, baiting hooks, fighting the fish, netting fish to cleaning the fish. Everyone has to pitch in to catch a bunch of fish. We boated 14 Coho, a Pink and a Chum. Lynn landed her first Coho and then proceeded to land a whole bunch more. Adene was equally up to the task of landing a bunch of Coho on her first outing in the Kitimat harbour. Thank You Ladies for your great company, your wonderful sense of humors. Marc and I had a awesome time fishing with Adene and Lynn.

Aug 19 Wes Owens fishing with our clients Derek Blouin and his daughter Ashley and Alex and Marco Jaworsky boated 16 Coho and a whole bunch of Crab. Congratulations on your catch. Well Done.

Aug 20 Ron and Marc Girard fishing our clients Sherry and Bob Carmicheal in the Kitimat Harbour Fishery. We landed 16 Coho and one Pink and released one Coho to end the trip since we had our 16 Salmon quota for the day. Congratulations Sherry and Bob. Marc and I had a lot of fun fishing with you. Thank You for enlisting our Charter services.

Aug 21 Ron doing a little staff training with Corbin Rego who works in our Tackle Store. Also on board was my favorite ex-father-in-law Art Hackler and daughter Debbie.

Aug 22 I went fishing with Art Hackler and Martin Golhke in the morning and we landed 4 Coho. I brought the boat back in and went back out later that evening with my son Brandon and his girlfriend Justine. We boated 4 Coho and a bunch of Pinks, most of which we released. We also lost a lot more which is normal when Coho fishing, but it provided excellent material to harass my son, Brandon with. Congratulations everyone on a nice day of fishing.

Aug 22 Wes Owens fishing with our clients Mike McIntyre and his son, Keegan. Mike and Keegan landed 8 Coho and released another 4 Coho. They also caught and released a large Chum that gave Keegan quite a battle. Wes commented that Mike had great time fishing with his son, Keegan. Wes also noticed that Keegan had great skills on the rod to land the fish. Congratulation Guys!

Summary for the Douglas Channel: There are plenty of Coho on the outer waters of the Douglas Channel and also plenty of bottom fish. Anchovies and hoochies are the hot lures for Coho and herring with a spreader bar is the most mentioned tackle for Halibut. Some anglers are having good success with the fatty strip of the bellies from the Pinks and Coho that are trimmed off at the cleaning table. They are baiting either a spreader bar or a jig with these belly strips and are doing really well with them.

Ferd Bouzane went fishing with some friends on the outer waters of Douglas Channel. They took two boats and went out for a few days and they came back with a pile of fish. They brought home 56 Salmon, (53 Coho and 3 Chinook), 42 Snapper and 7 Halibut. Many boaters have similar success fishing the Douglas Channel right now.

We can expect great Coho fishing throughout Douglas Channel for the next coming weeks. Bottom fishing will also continue especially at this end of the Douglas Channel due to the excellent Pink return. As the Pinks finish spawning and their carcasses wash out in front of the river mouths the Halibut and other bottom fish will continue to migrate up this end of the Douglas Channel to feed on the Pinks. This is an excellent time to fish the Douglas Channel.

We have plenty of open dates for interested anglers who wish to book a trip. This is a great opportunity to fish with us right now. The fishing is great and because of the downturn in the economy, we have plenty of dates available. Please contact Noel Gyger

The Kitimat Chamber of Commerce Derby is coming up on September 5th and 6th. It is an outstanding event and prizes have been increased to be enjoyed by all the participants. For interested anglers from out of town, Derby tickets can be purchased by calling the Kitimat Chamber of Commerce with a Credit Card. Cast here to see the poster ... Poster.pdf Please contact the Kitimat Chamber of Commerce at 250 632 6294 Toll Free 1-800-664-6554 or email address

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

Tight Lines.
Bright Fish and Big Smiles
Ron Wakita

Fishing Report from: April Vokey of Fly Gal Ventures

Aug 18 Hi Noel! I am in Iceland on the Midfjardará.

The fishing was a little slower than usual, but still amazing! There were a ton of grilse in the river with spottings of larger Atlantics making their way up....

Weather is a mix of rain and sun, but the temperature was fairly low (jacket weather).

They were readily taking flies off the top.

Iceland is one of my favorite places in the world, and I highly recommend taking this once in a lifetime trip! If anybody needs more information please contact Noel Gyger

April Vokey

Fishing Report from: Steelhead Heaven

Hi Noel, the summer steelhead ya that would be nice, this high water will bring the run in,
I have been in the kitimat area for coho, both salt and freshwater fishing is automatic and the run is very good, also Nass Chinook are biting, attached are some of my best pics this week, tight lines, Tracey Hittel

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.

2009-2011 BC tidal waters and non-tidal (Federal) Salmon fishing information:
Effective April 1, 2009 to March 31, 2011

2009-2011 Freshwater (Provincial) 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.

Aug 17 Hey Noel, My family and I moved to Terrace in January this year and we love it!!! I subscribed to your newsletter before we got here and we were dreaming of big fish!!!! Last Wednesday, August 12, 2009 my two boys and I headed up to the North end of Dundas Island. We moored up at Dundas 101 lodge for the night, but not before hooking into a big halibut! This is the one we have been dreaming of! The rusty old scale at the lodge registered over 80 lbs and as you can see I was having trouble holding it up!!! We had a great trip, whales all around, humpbacks and orcas and fish in the boat. The coho were thick out there!!! Keep up the good work on the newsletter!!!! Look forward to meeting you out on the water!!
Cheers, The HUGHES family

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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