Steelhead & salmon!
Salmon is for most anglers as the king of fish. Affordable fishing for Atlantic salmon unfortunately is for most anglers rather impossible. Prices for a good river in Norway or Scotland can as high as hundreds of euros a day, and catches remain all too often limited while the best rivers are often only accessible to a select few. Those who can afford a short trip will take a big risk. Too many factors that one has no control off play a role, and afterwards the angler is often an illusion richer and it costs a lot of money.
There are cheap rivers of course, but that's still a gamble.
The rivers in British Columbia have all five species of Pacific salmon and steelhead.
For the fly fisherman British Columbia is a true paradise with a chance where you can encounter a black bear. Where the eagles fly over the river and with a little luck you'll see an eagle catch a salmon. Beavers, deer and elk are plenty, but how long this will continue, you will never know. People need more space and nature deprives often too much of his nearly inexhaustible resources. The Skeena is one of the best steelhead rivers and steelhead that come up the tributaries of this river are known as a strong, big and heavy!
The steelhead that enter the Bulkley and Morice are generally a little smaller and less robust. But also steelhead beyond the 90 cm are there for sure!
Coho or silver salmon are quite common in almost all coastal rivers of western America and Canada, and also found in Siberia and Japan. In 1967 coho smolts were put in some rivers on the east coast and the Great Lakes and coho now is there a very popular game fish!
When coho migrates from the sea to their spawning grounds they have that beautiful chrome color like all the salmon and are eager to take a well presented fly. So they are a wanted target for the fly fisherman.
the closer coho comes to their spawning grounds, the harder it will be to catch it on a fly and the coho, like all Pacific salmon, are changing their colors from bright chrome silver to pink, red and even reddish black and the male develop a kype.
Bright coho are true acrobatic leapers and during their fight they surface several times and even some anglers say they are equal to Atlantics!
in most rivers of British Columbia, the annual journey of coho salmon starts in August and last until November. Their journey is not as long as those of Chinook salmon and because they spawn closer to the shore, the survival factor or coho salmon is rather good.
The average weight is about 12 lbs., but the largest coho caught on a rod was 33 lbs.!
Coho salmon often stay in small groups in deep pools and can follow the fly or lure for several meters and strike at the last moment.
Although steelhead is always the main target of my fishing there, coho are a very welcome catch!
Other species of Pacific salmon are the pink salmon or humpback, the chum salmon or dog salmon, the sockeye or red salmon and the Chinook or king salmon.