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Skeena Dreaming with Andrew Bennett and Lucas St. Clair
Posted on September 24, 2015

The Skeena River and its tributaries are a legendary destination for wild chinook and steelhead fly-fishing in northern British Columbia. The second-longest river system in BC, the undammed 350-mile Skeena is a life-list angling location due to its long, wild runs and productive fly fishing for all four native trophy species: chinook, steelhead, coho, and Dolly Varden. Eddie Bauer Sport Shop guides Andrew Bennett and Lucas St. Clair landed in Terrace, BC and the riverside Skeena Spey Lodge last spring to fish the legendary braided bigwater of this system via jet-boat-accessed wading.

“The Skeena is essentially a steelhead factory,” summarizes Bennett. “There are very few places on earth like this river system that produce this combination of abundance and size of wild fish.”

Catch.

“These fish get very, very big. To make it to their spawning grounds, they have to swim through strong flows on massive powerful rivers, so their offspring are genetically programmed to be bigger and stronger,” he continues. ” And there are a whole host of tributaries off the Skeena that are world-renowned, with some of the best steelhead fishing in the world.”

Utilizing two-handed rods with locally designed flies and sink tips, they maintained mental focus during twelve-hour days in rough coastal weather fishing the Kalum—a lake-fed tributary of the Skeena. Eventually their patience and persistence paid off, with St. Clair landing a 12-pound wild steelhead on a black-and-blue intruder pattern tied the night before and named the Richard Sherman. “Fishing the Skeena can be challenging mentally when you step into a run and you know you’re going to be casting for two or three hours straight,” says St. Clair. “There could be a fish out there anywhere, but you definitely have to stay dialed in on a piece of water that’s just gigantic and goes on forever.”

“Steelhead are elusive, beautiful creatures,” Bennett summarizes.  They’re rainbow trout that at one point realized there was more food in the ocean and decided to turn and go out there.  They’re opportunistic, so it’s really special to catch them in the freshwater.”

Rods holstered while jetboating to the next section of river on the Kalum River outside Terrace, BC, a location world-famous for record Steelhead.

Check out the Eddie Bauer Sport Shop series of fishing gear Bennett and Lucas utilized at Skeena Spey online at eddiebauer.com.

 

 

Author: - Thursday, September 24th, 2015
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