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Fish Tales Blog

Steelhead Season on Haida Gwaii

Posted on: Sep 13th, 2017
River Steelhead fishing in Haida Gwaii, BC

Steelhead season at Kumdis River Lodge is just around the corner. From winter to early spring, the rivers of Haida Gwaii will be teeming with these hard-fighting fish.

Discover more about this prized fish and why you should be joining us this winter in Haida Gwaii...

Whatever your level of experience, the Steelhead is one of the world's premier sport fish and should be on every angler's to-do list.

In British Columbia we are blessed with a number of truly great game fish, both in salt and fresh water.

For the coastal angler, Chinook, Coho, Pink and Chum salmon all offer varying degrees of challenges. In freshwater, Rainbow and Brown trout are abundant in lakes and rivers throughout the province.

BC's reputation as a world class angling destination is justified by the presence of all these great fish.

And then there is the Steelhead…

The Most Prized Fish

For serious anglers, Steelhead is a species that evokes a sense of reverence that is only matched by Bonefish, Tarpon, Atlantic salmon and Chinook. For some, it is the most prized of BC's great game fish, and rivers like the Dean, Kispiox, Bella Coola, and Gold, are all justifiably famous because of it.

The Rivers of Haida Gwaii

What is not as universally known is that Haida Gwaii (formerly the Queen Charlotte Islands) also provides excellent opportunities for the Steelheader.

Rivers and streams throughout Haida Gwaii, which may not have the reputation attached to the province's better known systems, quietly produce strong runs of this magnificent fish.

The Yakoun, Mamin and Tlell Rivers are all known to residents and discerning international sportsmen as systems that provide excellent angling. These rivers and streams yield exceptional results year after year and are among the best kept secrets in the Province.

An Unrivalled Fighter

Whether taken on the fly, spinning or drift fishing, the legendary fighting capability of the Steelhead is, pound-for-pound, unrivalled by any other fish. Long sustained runs and acrobatic leaps are common. Often, to avoid spooling-out, the steelhead fisherman has to quite literally run after a hooked fish.

This is understandable when their size is considered. Steelhead range from the common 6-10 pounds, up to the world record size of 42 pounds. Steelhead of 36 pounds (Kispiox River) and 28 pounds (Campbell River) have been recorded in BC.

Unique Lifecycle of the Steelhead

After emergence from gravel, juvenile Steelhead may remain in freshwater for two to three years before migrating to the ocean to feed and mature. They return to spawn two to four years later. What makes the Steelhead unique to the Pacific salmon is that some will again return to the ocean and later spawn for a second or third time.

Haida Gwaii Steelhead swim to their native streams to spawn in the November to May period and are known as winter fish.

Migration during their "sea life" stage can be very extensive -- Steelhead tagged in the Gulf of Alaska have been recovered in the interior of BC and in Washington State -- testimony to the hardy nature of the species.

Steelhead Fishing at Kumdis River Lodge

Langara offers Steelhead fishing packages at Kumdis River Lodge. Trips are all-inclusive from Vancouver, and include guided river fishing on every full day of your trip. (Steelhead fishing at Kumdis River Lodge is catch-and-release only)

Learn more about our river Steelhead fishing trips.


What do you think?

Comments (1)

Your pictures are beautiful. There must be something so tranquil about wading out into a beautiful river to fish in the peace and quiet! The Steelhead looks like a challenge to catch, and completely unique to the area. Nature never ceases to amaze!

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