The Biggest Steelhead you will ever fish for.

In the mountainous north of British Columbia, a fortress of glacial streams, dense pine forests, grizzlies and sockeye salmon exists in the Babine River drainage. One of the most important steelhead systems in the world, this crown jewel of the Skeena region has long been cloaked in lore. The opportunity for a thirty pound steelhead is a reality.

The river drains 90 mile long Babine Lake, British Columbia’s largest, providing clean, rich nutrient rich water. Long sweeping steelhead runs practically crafted for swinging flies are accessed by jet boats from our riverside lodge. The only thing better than traveling to an incredible beat is walking out from your cabin to nicest piece of home water in the steelhead world.

 

Why Fish at Babine Steelhead Lodge?

Steelhead lodges dot the Pacific coast of North America and the famed rivers of the Skeena region are in a class of their own. With good returns of big, wild, summer run fish it’s understandable why. The Babine River is simply the most famous steelhead river on the planet and Babine Steelhead Lodge your obvious choice to access it. Why fish the Babine and why fish with us?

The Babine River is located in a remote wilderness valley 100 km north of Smithers, BC. This region is a twisted maze of strong peaks and deep valleys cutting in every imaginable direction. With little access along its route it’s stronghold for wildlife including bears, eagles, wolves, moose and deer. It’s inaccessibility also makes it prime grounds for targeting steelhead.

Rounding every corner on the Babine can be a daunting experience. Another huge boulder strewn flat followed by a heavy rapid leading into the next boulder strewn flat. With so much incredible water it can feel impossible to know where to even begin. Luckily, if it looks good, it likely holds fish. The area around Babine Steelhead Lodge was originally chosen by the longtime Babine legend Bob Wickwire for its proximity to the best steelhead water on the system. That means that every spot seems like a lie because this is where all the fish are heading.

The Babine gets a 1/6 of all the Skeena Rivers famed fall run. It also gets the lions share of the big ones! While other tributaries get large steelhead no where do more 20 lbs fish migrate year after year. This means your chance at the fish of a lifetime are greater here than anywhere on the planet. The fish here eat everything from flashy intruders to the classics and love both dry and wets.

Fishing the Babine simply put is magic. On a warm fall afternoon with the amber and crimson valley lit up bright, gentle roar of the river and a picturesque piece of water sprawled out in front of you only the word “paradise” can do it justice.

The Lodge

Accommodations and Meals: Babine Steelhead Lodge is perched only feet away from the fmous “home pool” with sweeping views of the river from dining room.With a brand new state of the art kitchen and staffed with a chef and well trained house, gourmet meals await you in the dining room after a days fishing.

The renovated cabins, all interconnected by elevated wooden walkways feature comfortable beds, tables and chair for relaxing, good lighting and elegant ensuite bathrooms. Enjoy a scotch in your room or out on the private deck.

 

Your Guides

  • Derek Botchford Operator
  • Michael Brackenhoeffer Head Guide/Lodge Manager
  • Tegan Baxter Fishing Guide
  • Dave Page Fishing Guide
  • Logan Wilkins Fishing Guide
  • Sonja Coates Hostess
  • Tom Derry Conservation Liason
  • Derek Botchford Operator

    As operator of the the lodge it is my job to ensure your trip is a successful one. From the moment you book with us I will be at the ready to assist you in anything that may arise with regards to your trip.From the first contact with Epic and throughout your stay with us I will facilitate with my manager and team to make it a once in a lifetime experience.

  • Michael Brackenhoeffer Head Guide/ Lodge Manager

    I’ve been guiding in fishing lodges for two decades and understand from macro to micro of daily life in a camp. My team is experienced and skilled at Babine Steelhead Lodge and we work together to ensure a complete program from the best fishing, to comfortable accommodations to top notch food. The only way to know how good a fishing lodge can be is to come fish Babine Steelhead Lodge yourself!

The Daily Routine

The morning starts with a wake up call and hot coffee at your cabin door. When you stagger your way over to the lodge you are greeted daily by hearty breakfast meant for king or at least a hard days fishing. A little time to get dressed, get your gear together and get out on the water. You and an angling partner will meet at the boats parked feet away from your porch and depart to one of the many famous sections on the Babine. Fishing all day with the odd snack break and freshly prepared lunch you willeventually make your way to the lodge in the evening. Hang your wet gear, have a hot shower and head for the nearest bottle of scotch. Gourmet appies are in your near future followed by beautiful meal prepared by a professional chef. All that’s left now is to tell a few fish tales, hit the hay and do it all again tomorrow.

Exclusive Amenities and Facilities

Exclusive Amenities

  • Food prepared with local Bulkley Valley ingredients where possible
  • Sweeping river views from the lodge
  • Gourmet food paired with wines
  • Wilderness park setting; wildlife abounds
  • The best piece of camp water you’ve ever seen

Facilities

  • Laundry availible
  • Drying Room
  • Hot Showers

Accommodation

 

Riverside cabins overlooking the home pool

  • spacious framed beds
  • comfortable mattresses and new pillows
  • reading and writing table
  • ensuite bathroom- toilet and shower
  • lights and power (during generator hours)
  • double occupancy

How to Get There?

How do I get there? Away?

Babine Steelhead Lodge is accessed through the town of Smithers, British Columbia. Arriving to Smithers is easily accomplished by flight from Vancouver YVR.

Air Canada currently offers departures from Vancouver YVR to Smithers YYD at 1:15pm and 5:30pm during the fall. Please note this schedule changes regularly.

Transportation from Smithers to Babine Steelhead Lodge will be arranged by your hosts. Please note we do not have in town shuttles available but public shuttles to and from hotels can be arranged. 

Return flights from Smithers YYD to Vancouver YVR are available from Air Canada at 6:20am and 3:20pm. Please note this schedule changes regularly. We will try and help you coordinate this with your lodge departure.

 

What equipment and documents should I bring?

 Details

1. You will arrive in Smithers the night prior to your trip. From there take your per-arranged shuttle to the hotel of your choice. In the morning take hotel shuttle back to airport for your trip into the Babine.

2. Please purchase your license. You must have:

  • 8 day angling license for your duration
  • classified Babine River days from Sunday to Friday. Guide “Botchford”
  • classified Babine River days on arrival and departure days. UNguided.
  • steelhead stamp

3. We have a big supply of beer and wine at the lodge but no hard alcohol. Duty free is a great place to purchase alcohol prior to entering Canada. Our health care is expensive and you will feel it when you buy booze here. Please note there is no liquor store at the lodge and people regularly regret not bringing scotch to toast that 20 lbs steelhead they caught!

4. The flight into Smithers from Vancouver is less than 2 hours. Missing bags are uncommon but can occasionally happen. We know it’s tough to leave all 7 boxes of flies in your checked bag but a small carry on with toiletries and medicine should be your priority.

Before Travel

– Flight times and travel details confirmed directly with airlines
– Passport and/or travel documents reviewed and double-checked- All equipment packed and ready to go

Travel info

Traveling with Special Items: Fishing Equipment

Traveling with outdoor gear and most fishing-related items is permitted. Outdoor enthusiasts should carefully prepare and pack to avoid removal of prohibited items from checked baggage or surrendering prohibited items at the security checkpoint. Here is a specific list of all permitted and prohibited items.

Fishing Rods – Rods are permitted as carry-on and checked baggage. However, please check with your air carrier to confirm that it fits within their size limitations for carry-on items. Ultimately, it is the carrier’s decision as to whether or not it can be transported as carry-on baggage.

Tackle and Other Equipment – Most fishing equipment should be placed in your checked baggage, especially tools and other tackle equipment that can be considered sharp and dangerous. Expensive reels or fragile tackle such as flies should be packed in your carry- on baggage. (*T.S.A. Recommendation from T.S.A. website, March 1, 2009)

* Please keep in mind that these are T.S.A. policies for flight originating within the United States. Canada may apply different standards and different policies with regards to rods, reels, flies, etc.

ID Requirements for Airport Checkpoints

Adult passengers are required to show a U.S. federal or state- issued photo ID that contains the following: Name, date of birth, gender, expiration date and a tamper-resistant feature in order to be allowed to go through the checkpoint and onto their flight. Passengers who do not or cannot present an acceptable ID will have to provide information to the Transportation Security Officer performing Travel Document Checking duties in order to verify their identity. Passengers who are cleared through this process may be subject to additional screening. Passengers whose identity cannot be verified by TSA may not be allowed to go through the checkpoint or onto an airplane.

Acceptable IDs include: U.S. passport

U.S. passport card
DHS “Trusted Traveler” cards (NEXUS, SENTRI, FAST)
U.S. Military ID (active duty or retired military and their dependents)Permanent Resident Card
Border Crossing Card
DHS-designated enhanced driver’s license
Drivers Licenses or other state photo I.D. cards issued by Department of Motor Vehicles An airline or airport-issued ID (if issued under a TSA-approved security plan)
A foreign government-issued passport

Information for Traveling with Liquids: T.S.A.’s “3-1-1 Plan for Carry-Ons”

3-1-1 for carry-ons = 3.4 ounce bottle or less (by volume) for each item; 1 quart-sized, clear, plastic, zip-top bag; 1 bag per passenger placed in screening bin. One-quart bag per person limits the total liquid volume each traveler can bring. 3.4 oz. container size is a security measure. Consolidate bottles into one bag and X-ray separately to speed screening. Declare larger liquids. Medications, baby formula and food, and breast milk are allowed in reasonable quantities exceeding three ounces and are not required to be in the zip-top bag. Declare these items for inspection at the checkpoint.

Packages and Rates

6 full guided days and 2 partial unguided days on the water.

All trips run during the fall Steelhead Season (from late August to October).


What’s Included?

  • Transportation to and from Smithers Airport.
  • Double occupancy cabin.
  • Delicious professional chef prepared meals served with wine.
  • Fully guided fishing & all fishing gear (except waders and boots).

What’s not Included?

  • Transportation to and from your residence to Smithers Airport.
  • Hard liquor.
  • Gratuities.

Weight Allowance

Due to safety measures, and weight restrictions on the airplanes, there is a maximum weight allowance of two bags at 50 pounds per person.

Making Reservations

A 50% deposit is due within 14 days of reserving rod space to confirm your reservation. Final payment is due 120 days prior to arrival.

Ready for an Epic Adventure? Contact Us to Book

call us tel:+18778469153

send derek an email

Derek Botchford 
Owner Operator