CanadaCanada is no small place; bigger in fact than the continental US. It's fishery equally diverse. Here's our quick overview of the fishing besides our BC's steelhead resource.
While Canada once had an Atlantic Salmon resource similar to Russia, the Department of Fisheries and Oceans, has done a superb job of wiping these great fish out. Of course, the Eastern US has them beat on that front but that was 75 years ago so at least we have an excuse. There are still some great river and operations--most exceptionally remote and protected entirely by their isolation. It is also possible that DFO hasn't figured out how to wreck them yet. Perhaps some open pen aquaculture sites in the migration routes? More than anywhere else, call us for advice on these progams. Timing is critical and please know ahead of time that this is private water so you'll be fishing beats...some less than a hundred yards for a big part of your day over and over again. But there are quality fisheries out there, particularly some of the Northern fisheries.
Pike and Musky
We love this fish. There's something about seeing a wake from thirty feet behind your fly coming to crush your topwater pattern that makes our heart go pitter-patter-boom-boom-BOOM. Ever looked at Canada on Google Earth? When it comes to lakes and slow flowing river, they have the world beat and that's where these great predators live. For musky on the fly, we've got just the guy. And pike, well there are roughly a half dozen venues with spectacular pike fishing. Note most cater to gear guys, but hell they're pretty entertaining and many of our clients fit in with them perfectly from a political point of view. If they could just clear that last hurdle, fly elitism, they could enjoy their evenings celebrating Lord Cheeto, fried fish and vicious pike takes. Bullshit aside, this is a great fishery that anyone with a love for aquatic predators will enjoy. The only downside is that the fishing can be so good, fly fishermen won't find it a challenge for a week long trip. Unfortunately DFO can't solve this one as they are only in charge of managing marine fisheries.
Spring steelhead and salmon
Say what you will, but our perspective is that there are far better places for spring steelhead and salmon. Alaska has it's ass kicked on rainbow trout, all species of Pacific Salmon and spring steelhead. That statement will piss some folks off for sure, but it's true. Salmon returns on the Fraser and Skeena, take a look at the graphs. Looks like a great sled hill. Spring steelhead? Vancouver Island runs...definitely spectacular, but not in healthy enough shape to merit a fishery.
Lower Skeena system for spring steelhead? Please. BC has the best summer steelhead fishery in the world, but when you catch them the following spring they aren't spring fish. They are pre spawn fish(yes those hens are bright because they don't turn like bucks), that shouldn't be targeted when the actual spring fishery ain't happening. Truth is if you aren't fishing cranking water, you're more than likely targeting fish that have been in the river six months or spring fish that are already bedding. They come in and spawn in three weeks...two of those weeks they are on beds. So yup, not our favorite target. And sadly there just aren't enough of those fish around. We'd love to recommend this fishery someday as we love BC, but try as we might we can't think of a reason to target BC for spring steelhead when Alaska runs are in far better health. Not sure why that is, but guessing we can blame DFO because well if it swims in the ocean they have done a superb job of either overfishing it or subjecting it to the impact of open pen aquaculture...think parasites, viruses and pollution. Their response: "Fake news. Fake news. Pseudo Science." Oh whoops. DFO scientist Kristi Miller finally was allowed to speak. Guess not.