Report: Skeena region steelhead season 2012

Text & Photo: Jaap Kalkman

This season was marked by high spring water levels due to large snow pack in the coastal mountains and interior ranges in northern B.C. Despite a late start the season developed into a very good one. The returns were above average this year and with steadily dropping water levels conditions were favorable throughout the season.

By late autumn the water levels were back to normal. Leif framed by the reds of a Dogwood tree.

Amongst a number of issues of concern for the watershed; Shell continues with plans to drill in the headwaters of the Skeena, Embridge continues with plans to develop a pipeline from the Alberta Tar Sands to the coast, and there is another pipeline proposal for natural compressed gas that cuts through and along the Kispiox River. Continued vigilance to protect the system is needed if we want to enjoy this wonderful resource in the future.

Please support us in protecting this world-class fishery!

This season brought some very good new Guideline products that stood out for me:

The new Skagit lines from Guideline. I had been waiting for this line for a long time but the wait was worth it. This is an exceptional line. It transfers energy extremely well making the use of very heavy tips a pleasure. It is like an Airflo Compact on steroids!

Testing out the new LXi rods and Skagit heads: they work!

Of course I continue to fish the DDC multi tip heads. My favorite all-round system. Heavy tips, Skandi style, Skagit style, air-borne, water-born casts; the DDC heads will do it all, making it a very versatile line.

The new Exceed double-handers are the best value for your money that I have tried.  I would have sworn I was casting a rod twice the price!

Leif “testing” one of the new Exceed models.

I tried some of the new LXi proto types. We are in for a treat! I was particularly impressed with the combination of some of the 12’9” models and the new Skagit heads. Be warned! It’s easy to get stuck in the bushes on the other side of the river! There was also a 13’9” proto-type that promises to be something very special, just wait and see…

Testing the LXi 129-8/9 with a Skagit head.

This season also saw the implementation of the new Quality Waters Strategy. On weekends I noticed an increase in local anglers, and a decrease in out of province anglers. Overall my impression is that the government missed an opportunity to properly manage angling pressure in the Skeena region.

Catch and release!

That sums up the season. Now it is time for some fly tying, a glass of scotch, and dreams of next season!




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