The most memorable fish you will see in your lifetime.

Surrounded by pristine wilderness, this rustic lodge overlooks the Hecate Strait. The rivers of Haida Gwaii present a challenging, and very interesting scenario for fly fisherman. With its ancient, old growth forests looming overhead you have to put thought into every single cast you make. No matter how experienced of an angler you are, you will leave these islands much improved.
These are small coastal rivers that take on Massive BC steelhead in good catchable numbers. We put in a lot of work, hiking, exploring and swinging beautiful runs, and in the end we are rewarded with some of the most memorable fish you will see in your lifetime. This is a trip for fisherman who still believe its important to target wild steelhead on rivers that are rarely if ever fished.

Why Fish at Copper Bay Lodge?

No question there is a lot of competition for your hard earned dollars when it comes to fishing during the winter months. Most anglers have settled into a routine of heading south to warm climate salt water fishing. However before you pull the trigger on yet another bone fishing trip understand that there is something very special happening in Haida Gwaii.

It as a destination you should want to visit even if it didn’t have such great fishing opportunities. One thing all our guests agree on is that returning from Haida Gwaii feels like returning with a new secret. It is an eye opening experience that will stick with you in many ways beyond more fish pictures on your phone.

Copper Bay Lodge will tour you through the islands in a way that connects you to the fish, the landscape and the culture in a meaningful way that will stay with you long after you return home. This trip is about the overall experience and one that should not be missed.

Haida Gwaii floats off the coast of British Columbia like a long wedge of pie. It is a 100-kilometers in the north tapering down to a narrow point. Of the archipelago’s approximately 350 islands, over 200 lie within the boundaries of Gwaii Haanas park, which comprises the southern third of the chain.

Haida Gwaii has been dubbed the “Galapagos of the north” for the many endemic species and subspecies that evolved there while it was an ice-free refuge. Widespread species that are completely distinctive genetically such as the hairy woodpecker, saw-whet owl, Steller’s jay, Peale’s peregrine falcon, black bear, and pine marten—are all found here and nowhere else in the world. These remote islands are home to one of the oldest traceable populations on Earth.

The Haida have probably lived there since the end of the last ice age, 11,000 to 13,000 years ago. Its wild coastlines and old-growth forests are home to a wealth of animal life – 750,000 seabirds, 20 species of whale and dolphin as well as a rich Haida history. The Haida phrase for this is yah’guudang – respect for all living things.

The Lodge

Accommodations and Meals: Copper Bay Lodge is a 2,000 square foot facility that overlooks a large pristine and seemingly private section of beach south of the town of Sandspit. The lodge has 4 single occupancy guest bedrooms . There are two shared bathrooms. Delicious and thoughtfully prepared meals are served in the main dining which is adjacent a comfortable main living room where appetizers are served each evening.

Your Guides

  • Derek Botchford 
Owner Operator
  • Stevie Morrow Lodge manager
  • Evan Quaas
 Head guide
  • Scott Baker-McGarva
 Local Expert
  • Derek Botchford 
Owner Operator

    As owner 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. On the water I will give you every tip I have learned about fishing these rivers.

    One of the most important factors of fishing Haida Gwaii is water levels. I take great effort in studying water levels and how they effect the runs we fish. My belief is on any given day one river, or even one piece is water is extremely productive and its my job to find it and put you there.

  • Scott Baker-McGarva
 The Macgyver

    Scott worked for many years helping us develop this unique fishery.  Now Scott returns to ‘celebrity guide’ a few mainstay guests.  Scott is now a rep for Simms so keep and eye out for some Haida Gwaii photography ending up in the Simms catalog.

  • Stevie Morrow manager

    Stevie has developed a unique type of spey fishing has allows his guests to swing small micro buckets and pocket water.  If you are serious about learning more about Spey fishing you will want to mark a day in your calendar where you spend time with Steve Morrow on the water.

The Daily Routine

While there is no such thing as an ordinary day at Copper Bay Lodge, each one begins with either a sit down breakfast at 7:30 a.m or an earlier ‘to go Breaky’. After hot coffee, eggs, cereal, fresh fruit or whatever else you need to get going you will depart for an exciting new adventure each day.   With the exception of a trip to the Yakoun, none of our waters are more than 35 minutes from the lodge, which allows you to spend more time fishing and less time riding around. When departing for the Yakoun on Graham Island, you will have breakfast to go at 6:30 a.m.

We fish until midday, then stop for a streamside lunch. Lunch can be either hot or cold, and might include such fare as steaks, quiches, sandwiches, salads, cheese, and fresh bread. Due to shorter winter days lunch is often a very quick affair as typically we all want to get right back on the water!

After fishing through the afternoon, you would normally get off the water by 6 or 7 p.m., then return to the lodge for happy hour. We serve drinks and hor d’oeuvres before dinner in front of the fireplace. Dinner is usually served between 7 and 8 o’clock, although we’ve been known to eat much later if the fish are pouring in on a tide and you just can’t tear yourself away.

We are very flexible when it comes to arranging your day. If you have a special request, just let us know and we will do our best to accommodate you and give you the best experience possible.

Nestled in the midst of a rainforest and a stone’s throw from your own private beach, Copper Bay Lodge in Sandspit, B.C., offers a host of activities: exceptional steelhead fishing, comfortable lodging, and extraordinary cuisine. Our caring staff will make your Haida Gwaii experience a very special one indeed.

Exclusive Amenities and Facilities

Exclusive Amenities

  • Island’s traditional cuisine
  • Sensational views of the Hecate Strait
  • Gourmet North American dishes matched with wines
  • Five acres of secluded beach


  • Essentials
  • Breakfast
  • Indoor fireplace
  • Essentials
  • Breakfast
  • Indoor fireplace
  • Essentials
  • Breakfast
  • Indoor fireplace

Accommodation Types

  Everyone stays in one of our 4 Single Rooms

  • 1 Queen size Bed
shared Bath (two rooms share one bathroom)
  • Double Rooms
  • 2 Queen size Bed
Private Bath
  • Cabin
  • For 4–6 Anglers
Queen size Beds
  • Private Bath

How to Get There?

How do I get there? Away?

Haida Gwaii is certainly a very remote part of the world and when you arrive you will feel like you have left North America.  However it is very easy to travel to.  During our winter season there is one flight a day arriving from Vancouver.  The flight leaves Vancouver early afternoon which makes it possible to travel through in one day.

Air Canada offers departures from Vancouver (YVR) at 1:10 pm arriving at 3:05 in Sandspit; (YZP) flights depart at 3:25 pm returning to Vancouver.

In the Winter flights are quite easy to get and there is often availability.

Upon arrival our guides will be at the airport to quickly get you back to the lodge only 10 minutes away.  After a brief tour of the lodge you will be out on the river fishing in mere minutes.  Guests constantly find themselves in culture shock after leaving a large city in the morning and find themselves deep in the rainforest that evening hooked up to a Haida Gwaii Steelhead.

What equipments and documents should I bring?


1. You will be arriving on the Air Canada flight into Sandspit on Saturday at 3pm. We will be there to pick you up and take you to the lodge. If the plane is on time we should be able to squeeze in an hour or two of fishing if you feel up to it.

2. If you want to get your license in advance you should get an 8 day license starting on the Sat your trip starts. If you are fishing any more days in BC during the calendar year you are better off getting an annual. Also get your steelhead stamp. For classified days you can get QCI others for the entire week.

3. After arriving we can stop off at the local store to pick up a bottle of hard alcohol if you like. We have a big supply of beer and wine at the lodge but no hard alcohol. The store is very limited so if you want anything special you are better off getting it at duty free. There is a great liquor store you can hit during the week but do to its location you wont make it there for a few days into the trip. Note: Many guests don’t think they want a bottle of scotch, whiskey or burbon when they arrive, but they quickly regret not getting something. Keep that in mind.

4. The flight into Sandspit from Vancouver is less than 2 hours. They are usually pretty good about making sure your bags make it. If you want to call us at the lodge with regards to anything the number there is 250-637-2449. You can also try Derek on his cel phone 604-838-0245 but there is limited cel service at the lodge.

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  days and 2 partial day on the water.

All trips run during the Steelhead Season (from Nov.14 – Apr. 14).

What’s Included?

  • Transportation to and from Sandspit Airport.
  • Shared room and private room accommodation available.
  • Delicious family style, home-cooked meals served with wine.
  • Fully guided fishing & all fishing gear (except waders and boots).

What’s not Included?

  • Transportation to and from Sandspit Airport.
  • Shared room and private room accommodation available.
  • Delicious family style, home-cooked meals served with wine.
  • Fully guided fishing & all fishing gear (except waders and boots).

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 90 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