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The Pesuta Shipwreck Trail will lead you along East Beach to the remains of the Pesuta, a log barge that ran aground in 1928 - Photo: Owen Perry www.circa1983.ca

Roadside whale-watching in May is a popular activity in Skidegate - Photo: Owen Perry www.circa1983.ca

The Rennell Sound area offers exceptional wilderness camping and short trails for accessing remote west coast beaches - Photo: Owen Perry www.circa1983.ca

Rose Spit - where the Hecate Strait meets Dixon Entrance - Photo: Owen Perry www.circa1983.ca

The rainforest experience - moss carpeted paths, a lingering scent of fresh cedar and the sounds of silence - Photo: Owen Perry www.circa1983.ca

The Looking Around and Blinking House at Windy Bay was built to provide shelter for people during the 1985 blockade against logging on Lyell Island - Photo: Owen Perry www.circa1983.ca

Step into another world as you tour ancient Haida village sites in Gwaii Haanas - Photo: Owen Perry www.circa1983.ca

Visit the award-winning Haida Heritage Centre and Museum at Second Beach in Skidegate - Photo: Flavien Mabit

 

Haida Gwaii Steelhead Fishing

By Kenny Tsang of West Wave Fishing

 

Steelheading Haida Gwaii (formerly the Queen Charlotte Islands) is for any steelheader that has ever dreamt of a steelhead heaven. This is a definite one for the 'bucket list'!

Photo Credit: West Wave Fishing

 

The rivers are grouped in Region 6 of the Synopsis also famously known as 'Rivers of Northern BC'. The rivers here are classified and for good reason - to protect exceptional steelheading opportunities for years to come.

Photo Credit: Ian Gould

Steelhead are a highly-prized catch that have been referred to as 'a fish of a thousand casts'. Whether their appearance is silver ghost-like or tomato-striped, they are truly a beautiful fish. Their beauty is only matched by their line-ripping acrobatic fighting ability. A combination of all the above is perhaps the allure that has driven many anglers to stand in icy-cold waters for hours to have a shot at just one of these fish.

Photo Credit: West Wave Fishing

Here on the islands, there is a different story for these winter steelies. They begin to enter rivers in November and run through April. The 'crowds' tend to be just a handful and many days non-existent. There average size of this fish is a modest 10-12 lbs. Some are in the 'teens' and occasionally they hit the 20's. There isn't any type of hatchery program for them on the islands. So yes, they are all genuinely wild stock!

Photo Credit: West Wave Fishing

These steelies enter the rivers during winter months thus they are referred to as winter runs, but they are nothing like a typical non-aggressive cold water winter run steelhead In fact, they behave more like their summer run cousins. They are so aggressive, that they have been known to swipe at floats or occasionally swim off with a large fly indicator! This is the scenario that gets fly and spey anglers excited. Like previously mentioned, island steelheading here is not the 'norm'. The setting, the scenario and the experience are world class.

Photo Credit: West Wave Fishing

This fishery is largely enjoyed through bank angling. Hikes through remote old growth forests is just part of this fantastic fishing experience.

Photo Credit: West Wave Fishing

Drift gear fishing with many of the old steelhead standbys like Gooey Bobs, pink worms, Jensen eggs, wool and blades are just a few to mention. Swinging flies have also become very popular in the past 10 years.

Photo Credit: West Wave Fishing

These steelies will hold in all the typical steelhead waters (2-4 ft walking speed), but due to perhaps the minimal fishing pressure and/or seals, they will also hold in some very unlikely waters.

Photo Credit: West Wave Fishing

Some days they are found in just a foot of water on the slow shallow flats instead of the deeper adjacent runs. Other days they can be found in fast heavy pieces. Whatever the water they may be holding in, the challenge may be deciding on which of the many rivers to spend the day angling on.

  Photo Credit: West Wave Fishing

A few popular steelheading rivers are: the Tlell River, Mamin River, Yakoun River, Copper River, Pallant Creek and Deena River.

  Photo Credit: West Wave Fishing

 

Contact Us

Queen Charlotte Visitor Centre

website: www.queencharlottevisitorcentre.com
email: info@qcinfo.ca | telephone: 250-559-8316

Sandspit Visitor Centre

website: www.lovehaidagwaii.com/businesses/the-sandspit-visitor-centre
email: visitsandspit@gmail.com | telephone: 250.637.5362

Port Clements Visitor Centre

website: www.portclements.ca
email: pcmuseum@qcislands.ca | telephone: 250-557-4576

Masset Visitor Centre

website: www.massetbc.com
email: info@massetbc.com | telephone: 250-626-3982

Haida Gwaii Tourism

Destination Marketing Organization
website: www.gohaidagwaii.ca
email: tourism@gohaidagwaii.ca

Super Natural British Columbia