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Frontier Steelhead Experience

7 Days
Aug to Nov 
Frontier Steelhead Experience

An Unforgettable Steelheading Experience.

 Frontier Steelhead Experience (formerly Frontier Farwest)  has become one of the premiere destinations to fish in the world. Luxury meets rustic in this one-of-kind experience.
Frontier Steelhead Lodge

An experience that should not be missed.

There are a handful of destinations around the world that everyone who travels to fish has either been to or is planning to go to. This is one of those places. Luxury meets rustic as you fish your way through 150 miles of named runs while staying at two different lodges during a week’s stay. The main lodge boasts a spectacular, modern, post and beam facility and offers single occupancy cabins to 12 guests a week (private bathrooms with heated floors).
What makes Frontier Steelhead Experience so unique is that Guests stay two nights at our Morice River Lodge, which is a remote jet boat access-only facility with all the comforts of home. 3 guides and 6 guests fish out of each lodge, making sure everyone gets to fish the very best beats. In these crystal clear waters, you will find yourself sight casting to steelhead more often than not with dry flies. It is famous for its long glassy glides and Hemingway-esque dry fly water.
 
Morice River
Each guest fishes 3 days (2 nights) out of the Morice River Lodge. We are the only guided fishing operation on the entire Morice River. The Morice River represents the definition of what a wild steelhead system should look like and is laid out like it was designed for a spey rod and a dry fly.
Bulkley River
The other 4 days are spent fishing the Bulkley canyons which arguably has the hottest steelhead on the entire Skeena system.

Our specialized logistics and attention to detail make it effortless to fish through all this incredible water with ease in one week. Our main lodge matches the highest level of luxury of any fishing operation in the world, while the other gives you that rustic, riverside, campfire vibe you have been craving. Together, over one week they fulfill every steelheader’s wildest concept of a dream vacation. 

Heli Fishing
At Frontier you also have the option (at no extra charge) to take a day of heli-fishing the upper Copper River. We love many fishing operations around the world, but this one is indeed a very special experience that should not be missed. 
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Why Choose the Frontier Steelhead Experience?

Frontier Steelhead Experience
We have made a point of telling you about the fishing opportunities at FSE which are second to none. Due to the fact our waters rarely blow out, and that our steelhead returns are by far the largest in the world our catch rates are exceptional. However, we never rely on catch rates to bring our customers back. Our focus is on service. From the moment you book a week with us until long after your fishing ends, our staff and team will help you with every detail along the way. Our staff is not only larger than any steelhead lodge in BC (1-1 staff to guest ratio) they are the most professional and service-oriented in the business. The only comparison of service would be your favourite hotel or resort and we hear this time and time again. Check out our guest comments to see how often people rave about the food and service we provide. 
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The Accommodations

2011 was an epic year for the Frontier Steelhead Experience. We underwent a massive project in constructing a brand new guest facility on our 80-acre ranch on the Bulkley River. With a stunning timber frame building and enough cabins to host each angler in their own private room with a private bath, the game was forever changed in steelhead fishing.
Our main lodge is located near Smithers, BC and offers great river access. Every guest cabin is built with you the guest in mind, with queen-size beds, chairs, desks, closet space and your own private bathroom. Each room is completely soundproofed so you can avoid the classic lodge snorer and actually be assured to sleep in peace. Each room is also built with a magnificent view of Hudson Bay Mountain.
We believe this is the finest steelhead facility in the province and compares with any great lodge in the world. The main lodge is our steelhead base camp in that is was strategically built close to town and halfway in between our furthermost fishing destinations (which are Lower Bulkley canyon and Morice Headwaters).
Of course, Steelhead fishing is hard work and is not your typical adventure. As any steelheader knows this is not easy fishing. After a hard day of working for a limited number of fish, we want you to be extremely comfortable at the lodge. We have a masseuse and a hot tub where you can rest your weary bones.

If you think this is just too luxurious and comfortable for a steelhead trip, let us explain why it is not. Our guests don’t get off that easy as they do get to ‘rough it’. Over a 7-day trip, our guests stay two nights up at our rustic Morice River Lodge. See below for details. Morice Lodge is exactly what you picture when you think of getting off the grid chasing steelhead in wild BC. Riverfront cabins, campfires, and a quaint lodge staffed with a wonderful chef. Step off your porch into the jet boat each morning for a day filled with adventure. However when the pipes freeze, temps dip, and issues arise, you have the security of your own oasis back at our main lodge and a full team to make sure you are well taken care of.

Morice River Lodge

In 2011 Frontier Farwest purchased Morice River Lodge from the original pioneers of this river, the Britton family. This lodge is a jewel nestled away among some of the most beautiful steelhead runs you have ever seen. All our guests stay at Morice River Lodge for 2 nights and 3 days during their week with us. It is located deep in the Headwaters of the Bulkley and Skeena systems, offering a unique chance to fish small crystal clear waters where site casting is very common.

The facility itself is made up of a main lodge and individual cabins. Each cabin houses 2 guests with a shared bathroom, and the rooms are separated by a divider giving some comfortable privacy. With 3 jetboats parked out front, you will rotate through 3 different beats. Morice River Lodge is a treasured part of the Bulkley Valley and those who are lucky enough to fish it quickly understand why it is so revered. It is very wild and remote, far removed from roads, houses, cell phone service, or power lines. This is where we commonly see wolves, grizzly bears, wolverines, moose and much more.

This is the true wilderness where you’re more likely to see bears roaming the beaches in search of salmon than other fishermen. The lodge is only accessed by a jet boat and is powered by a diesel generator running in the morning and evenings. However, as remote as this lodge is we are still able to provide you with a few creature comforts from home like flush toilets, and hot showers in your cabin. There is excellent wireless internet and a phone to use as well. Groups of 6 at a time come to the lodge, and always enjoy a great trip packed with steelhead stories, and evenings under the stars sitting at the campfire.
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Food & Drink

Making your stay unforgettable is our goal and promise. Frontier Steelhead Experience says all food is not created equal. At FSE, we serve only the finest food, prepared with great care by our blue-ribbon chef. The gourmet meals at Frontier Steelhead Experience are world-famous.

Chef Robbie Oram and chef Joe strive to leave you having more thoughts about the cuisine than the world-class fishing. Your day is started with breakfast of your choice in the dining room, cooked to order, before departing on your Fly Fishing adventure of the day.

Most Days afield your guide will prepare a hot shore lunch (typically soup). If you care to take the time, your guide will grill your sandwich along with homemade soup and freshly baked goods. Complimentary wine, beer, and soft drinks are furnished.

Upon returning from your days fishing, a variety of evening hors d’oeuvres will be waiting for you at the lodge. Choice dinner specialties include Filet Mignon, Prime Rib, wild fish, Local Halibut, Chicken, Baby Back Ribs and many more tasty delicacies to satisfy the hearty fisherman’s appetite. Daily, homemade breads, delicious pastries and gourmet delights are served with each lodge meal. 100% of our clients leave raving about the food.  We can’t control the weather, or the attitude of the fish but what we can control is first-class food, service and accommodations and we do this well. 
Frontier Steelhead Lodge

Amenities

Laundry available
Fish fry house
Hot Showers
Internet
Ice
Coolers
Long hours of generator power

Guides

Jimmie Pederden

Jimmie Pederden

Guide

One of the new era, anadromous spey fishing guides. He has spent countless hours guiding and fishing Atlantic Salmon and Steelhead all over the world. Jimmie’s work ethic on the water is second to none, and throughout his career, he has focused on the overall experience of a day spent on the river fishing hallowed waters. Catching fish, and navigating rivers came easy to Jimmie, so he spent his time mastering spey instruction, and honing his incredible natural ability with photography. After putting in years of practical study, Jimmie is now an a-claimed spey instructor and photographer, which he brings to the table each and every day with guests. His passion for time spent on the water is contagious, and an excellent reminder to not take the beauty of the landscape, and the zen of casting for granted. He shines a much-needed light on the fact that it is the overall experience of each day swinging for these magnificent fish that fills our souls. The fish are the bonus. He truly captures his philosophies through the lens each day sending guests home with images that represent what swinging flies is all about. A day spent with Jimmie is filled with laughter, joy, and appreciation for the wonders of nature. He wants you to take something special away from each and every day while you hook the greatest fish in the world.

Nick Verleen

Nick Verleen

Guide

Young Nick has very quickly made huge strides in the world of steelhead after working his way up the ranks at a popular fly shop in Calgary where he still works in the off-season. Nick has been in the industry full-time for 8 years and now guides steelhead on both the Dean River and the Bulkley/Morice. Nick guides like he fishes, efficient, quickly and effective. He may look young but most feel there is a 40-year-old man living inside that young facade. His Knack for being in the right place at the right time is uncanny. Nick’s hobbies are never being late, being extremely organized, tying beautiful flies, and netting fish. Run don’t walk if you get a chance to fish with this young gun

Mike Van Deventer

Mike Van Deventer

Guide

If you have ever fished the rivers of Vancouver Island you have surely run into this man at one time or another. Mike lived the steelhead bum life for many years, fishing endless hours upon endless days. You don’t get to know where steelhead hold as well as Mike without putting the time in on the water. When he hit the key number of 10,000 hours spent fishing steelhead, he decided it was time to settle down and have a family where he spends much of his time now. Mike made the transition that many never accomplish, he transformed from a steelhead bum to a hard-working family man with a deep passion for steelhead. He still finds plenty of time to wander the rivers of Sasquatch country in the winter, and guide his favorite stretch of water on the Bulkley for Frontier Steelhead Experience. Kind, calm, and gentle by nature – quickly turns to giddy, excited, and fully jacked up every time he sees a steelhead blow up on one of his dry flies. Expect to get some big high fives all day as Mike plays net man more often than most each day he guides. He fishes as well as his doppelgänger hits for the Blue Jays, which is of course Bo Bichette.

Joel Gourley

Joel Gourley

Guide

It can be the coldest, windiest, wettest winter day, and Joel will come rowing down the river with a grin on his face (probably because his guests just hooked a couple). Oh yeah, he’s a true steelhead junkie. He is a technician when it comes to finding steelhead on the Bulkley and Morice rivers. He is a scientist with his lines, constantly changing his methods to match the conditions. His knowledge comes from experience. Furthermore, he’s been a key ingredient to the success of the Frontier Steelhead Experience from the beginning and will anchor the staff for years to come. He has quickly become one of the most respected guides in the region and is part of the family, Derek and Andrea.

Joel’s skill set far outreaches 90% of angling guides in the world. Educated in tourism and wilderness survival, most guests would choose Joel over Bear Grylls if they became stranded in the wilds of BC. After 16 seasons guiding on the Bulkley River, it is fair to say he is as good if not better than any other angler on the system. Beyond that, no one works harder or tries harder on every given day. If things are slow, and Joel feels he is in between pushes of fish, he will pull his boat and follow his gut. The countless times he has found fish following his gut when no one else can is truly unprecedented. What impresses most people in the industry who do this for a living is how much steelhead water Joel is now intimate with. Covering hundreds of miles on the Bulkley, he has helifished all over the upper Skeena; he has floated and guided on the Babine; and he knows the entire Morice as if it’s his second home. Joel is now focused on learning the upper Copper River and another Skeena Trib he has sampled. If you ever get a day to fish with the great Joel Gourley—run to the boat, don’t walk.

Oliver Massey

Oliver Massey

Guide

Ollie is an import from Vancouver Island who has found a new home in the north. His career path in the industry has been on a steep rise over the past six years, and he came highly regarded to our team from the crew at Queen Charlotte Lodge in Haida Gwaii. Since then, he has guided on the Babine River, Bulkley, and Skeena and has now settled into his groove on the Morice River Lodge for the fall. He does suffer from one ailment: His addiction to steelhead. It keeps him waist-deep in the rivers from fall, through winter, and into spring. Ollie received the highest amount of compliments from our guests in 2018 and has remained an excellent addition to our team. He has guided folks on polar bear viewing tours up north and several years of commercial fishing for BC spot prawns, and sustainably caught Ling Cod. You should feel extra safe fishing with a Polar bear guide. Before the end of a day fishing with Ollie, you will think of him as a friend. His endearing personality, hard work ethic and heightened fishy senses make him an instant lodge favourite.

Stuart Davis

Stuart Davis

Guide

Stuart holds the keys to adventure fishing travel, and is always game to take you along for the ride. Stu is a well-traveled, new-era angler with a multi-faceted skill set that elevates your time on the water to the next level. Being a professional videographer and outdoor photographer who owns and operates a web-based fly shop in the Yukon, makes Stu a man of many talents. Each day his fresh eyes on the water will find you new, and unexplored runs overlooked by your typical angler or guide. He has a knack for exploration. His intuition on what type of water Steelhead will be looking for with every condition is uncanny. Stu comes to Frontier each fall for a month, not only to guide, but to create thoughtful conservation-based content to represent the real steelheading experience. Stu highlights the abundance of intact habit the Skeena system has, showcasing the landscape and the rivers that let wild fish do what they do. He intertwines the life of steelhead with those who care deeply about them. A day spent on the water with Stu will remind you to never take these fish, or rivers for granted.

Nuka

Steve Morrow

Lodge Manager

No lodge is complete without the love of a dog. Nuka is an old soul at 2 years old. He is already a standout on the river, surfing the bows of the jet boats and scaring away bears while fishing. Now at the age of 2 Nuka mostly spreads his love around the lodge and searches out as many client rubs as possible. A lovable fluffy dog, to keep an eye on you while you swing for steelhead, what could be better?

The Fishing

Our main lodge in Smithers is the starting point for a huge week of adventure. Although we take 12 guests a week, the group splits into two and you are never fishing with more than 6 people all week long. A group of 6 will head to the Morice Lodge and the other 6 will stay at the main lodge fishing the Bulkley Canyons. Mid-week guests will flip-flop.  This means you will only be sharing the lodge and the entire river (either Bulkley or Morice) with six people during the week.

Our steelhead program is based on the idea that the new-era angler wants a variety of fishing options in their lodge experience. Our main objective is to show our guests a true BC steelhead adventure, one they can return to year after year and still fish new water each and every time they come. The rotating beat system is not one we will ever have to implement for our guests or guides. We have access to over 150 miles of water from our lodges. Guests that have come for 11 years straight are still seeing new water every season.

In essence, we combined the historic and legendary Skeena fishing programs pioneered in the ’70s and ’80s by Collin Schadrech, James Britton Sr., and Ray Makowichuk. Each of these men started their own lodges and carved out new fisheries for several decades. We aim to give our guests a taste of all three of these magnificent experiences over 1 week in the Bulkley Valley.

A week with us will leave forever, imprinted images of what a wilderness experience is supposed to be. With attention to detail, remote comfort, and a river that continuously challenges and rewards its occupants we believe we have found the ultimate fishing experience. One that is just as rewarding for the beginner as it is for the ardent veteran.
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Getting There

Smithers is a long way from just about anywhere but it is actually very easy to get in and out of. It’s an option to drive but the sleepy town rests 1200 km north of Vancouver.

The recommended approach is by flight from YVR. Below are the daily flights.

Note: Trips run Friday to Friday with limited flights. The flight is about 1.5 hours from Vancouver and the lodge is a mere 15 minutes from the airport.
Air Canada 8459 departing Vancouver at 8am and arriving in Smithers at 9:36AM.
Air Canada 8461 departing Vancouver at 1pm and arriving in Smithers at 2:36PM.

Information

Details

  1. Please purchase your license. You must have:
    • An angling license for your duration
  2. All alcohol is provided included in the price with an on-staff bartender each night.

Before travel

Traveling with Special Items: Fishing Equipment

  1. Travelling with outdoor gear and most fishing-related items is permitted. Outdoor enthusiasts should carefully prepare and pack to avoid the 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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)
  4. Please keep in mind that these are T.S.A. policies for flights originating within the United States. Canada may apply different standards and different policies with regard 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 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 the 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 traveller 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.
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Frontier Steelhead Experience

Packages & Rates

$8,100
USD + Tax + $100 conservation surcharge
7
Days
6
Nights
Aug-Nov
Dates
Included
Accommodations and meals, all alcohol, guiding, use of all gear – flies, rods, reels, waders.
Not Included
Gratuities for guides and house staff (guest average 1000-1200usd), Airfares, Fishing License ($220cdn per person) 

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