This past summer we began fishing in early August for the famous Skeena River summer steelhead. Our guests had some success but had to work very hard for bites (no surprise this is steelhead fishing). River conditions were very good for about 2 weeks of the summer on the Skeena and then the rains hit. Rains that brought the levels back to near spring flood conditions.
With a very fortunate weather pattern, the Bulkley River was completely missed by these massive rains. Day in and day out the mountains surrounding Smithers protected the Bulkley like secret service patrolling the white house. While every other system on the entire Skeena drainage blew out, the Bulkley stayed a low flowing, crystal clear river. This natural event helped flush some steelhead into the rivers a little faster than they may normally have travelled. However the bulk of the fish hunkered down waiting for just a touch of visibility to navigate the massive flows.
Since this time fish have slowly moved through the systems. The fish have been very spread out with little consistency in any drainage. The far reaches of the upper skeena, down to the massive confluences of the Bulkley and Kispiox have all represented similar stories. The summer and fall have been wet, so unlike 2018 this has not been a low water year. The water temps have been in line for great dry fly conditions. It is fall in the Bulkley Valley, the greatest small town in BC at the greatest time of year. Things don’t get much better than that.