Posted by: williekp | September 30, 2019

Well the Skeena trip is over

Overall it has been very disappointing. We were fishing for migratory fish returning to the river to spawn and the simple fact was that the run of returning fish just didn’t materialise and therefore the river was pretty barren. You go to places like British Colombia because this sad situation has already materialised in the UK. Not enough fish are completing the cycle of going to sea and returning to spawn in their rivers of birth to provide the next generation. This situation is definitely not down to recreational anglers like me. We release unharmed all the fish we catch. Commercial fishing and possible changes to habitat out at sea have to be at the root of it but there is insufficient data to really get to the bottom of it.I really feel for businesses like the Skeena Spey Lodge who do their best to provide a great experience. No matter how hard they try, if there are no fish in the river, anglers will be planning to go elsewhere and their businesses and livelihoods will suffer.

On to the fishing. By the end of our first week Mike and I had fished hard and been rewarded with just two missed chances where something grabbed the fly but got off within seconds. This was unbelievably disappointing. It really wasn’t in the plan to go to British Colombia and catch nothing. It was Mikes’s last day and we got scheduled to make a 56 km trip up river by jet boat to try to catch up with some of the fish who had already swam past us at the lodge. We went with a great guide Rob who appears in many You Tube videos chasing Steelhead. Search Captain Quin Steelhead to see some. Rob also runs a jet boat and if you are out there as a tourist look him up http://northernbcjetboattours.ca .

Well he did the business. I had a steelhead first and Mike hooked up shortly after, much to everyone’s relief.

I managed. A Coho which is the Pacific silver salmon later in the day.

On the way up the river we noticed a sad sight on the river’s edge. It turns out that someone had shot a young grizzly bear who’s body was in the river.

Rob reported the find to the Conservation Officer who came out to investigate. He found the gunshot wounds when he skinned the bear. A week later I went up river again with Rob and we relocated the bear’s body which had moved significantly due to a flood in the river. The area is heavily populated with eagles, which is how we found the carcass again. They had done a good job of fattening themselves up on the poor bear.

Again with Rob he managed to find me a small Coho. What follows are pictures of the same fish illustrating what you can do to either record things straight up or a bit more ‘fisherman style’. All the following pictures are of the same fish!

Amazing what holding it out. A bit for the camera can do! Here is one I couldn’t hold out because it was too heavy and another one that needed two to hold. They are tarpon caught in Cuba.

I mention Tarpon and Cuba because Thomas Cook used to take us there and following their collapse it is unsure we can get there next year. That was the next trip to look forward to apart from two weeks time when Mike and I will make our annual pilgrimage to the Tweed to look at the river and catch nothing. Watch this space!

I’m about to hop on a plane heading home. Two weeks is long enough and I am looking forward to seeing everyone again and getting back to a bit of golf and racquetball.

Regards to all till next time

Willie


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