Fly fish the Skeena river for Steelhead

Rivers in Western Canada - Skeena River

How to Get to the Skeena


Fishing the Skeena is centered in and around Terrace. There are several ways to get there: You can easily fly in from Vancouver, which would save you a lot of kms on the road. You may also take the ferry from Port Hardy to Prince Rupert on the so-called Inside Passage. From Prince Rupert you have a drive of about 150 kms to Terrace. Or else you can do what I have always done so far and drive you car or RV directly to Terrace from Vancouver (1350 kms), or even Seattle (1500 kms).

Once you get there, the next question is where to fish! From the Skeena's mouth into the Pacific upriver to New Hazelton, where the Bulkley joins the Skeena you have 250 kms of best fishing grounds.A little help would certainly be appreciated. Especially because the regulations may differ every odd kms along the river. Your best bet would be to get your info at one of the local fly shops. A couple of years ago (and I think this may very well still be true) you could fish on Ferry Island without an additional license for classified waters.

Ferry Island is an island in the Skeena right in the middle of Terrace, about 2300 meters long and about 600 meters wide, and the fishing there can sure be a lot of fun.

big skeena steelhead
intersection of highway 16 and 37

103 cm and well above 10 kilos are the figures for this steelhead beauty my friend Helmut caught on Ferry Island on a nymph. Knowing the fact that every fish that will be caught upriver in the Babine, the Bulkley, the Copper and what have you has to pass by Ferry Island first is very motivating indeed.

This place is about 80 kms upriver from Terrace.The photo shows low water conditions which means best chances to catch one on the fly. Once you have crossed the bridge near Kitwanga going north, you can drive your car right to the shore. If it has 4 wheel drive, you can go a long ways along the banks on the gravel. Check possible need for classified license.

anywhere at the skeena river
rupert with a skeena coho

Another spot somewhere on the way from New Hazelton to Terrace. I must admit the the Skeena north of the junction of the Kispiox into the Skeena is uncharted territory for me, speaking of fly fishing. Just to imagine that the junction of the Babine is another 50 kms upriver! And the Babine has a reputation for BIG steelhead! From the Babine, the Skeena continues a good deal further north still. I guess you'd have to spend your life there to really get to know the Skeena.

Another friend, Rupert, holds a coho caught on Ferry Island. I admit our first activities on the Skeena were limited to Terrace. Unfortunately, it isn't always easy to extract some info from the locals. Ask for something new or different, and you're bound to surprise them. Why ask for new spots as long as the old ones yield fish? To find out for yourself may be cumbersome and it can sure take long.


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  • Wolfgang Fabisch
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  • 90542 Eckental / Germany
  • Phone 011 49 9126 288640
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