Ahhhh, spring time. What a beautiful time of the year, the snow is melting (in some places) the temperatures are warming and the days are getting longer.
Of course this also means spring steelhead! If I were back home we would be fishing for a mix of drop backs and fresh fish coming into the Salmon River in Pulaski, NY. But, I was in British Columbia. British Columbia!! Swinging flies for Steelhead!!!!
I met up with James Reid , a very talented bamboo rod maker, and we did a bit of fishing and attended the Squamish Spey Clave. I met a lot of great people, and I’m sure some of the guys began to think other wise of me once the adult beverages started flowing at night. That’s another story for another time that will probably never be told.
Anyways, I ate some great food at a little place called Fergie’s (right on the Cheakamus, eat there! It’s worth it!), casted some of James’ sweet bamboo Spey sticks and even got some fishing in.
James and I fished a couple days after the clave on the Squamish and Vedder Rivers. We managed some bull trout, but no steel. What can you do?! After visiting James’ shop, we had a beer or two, casted some single handers out in the lot and the next day I packed up and headed for Terrace, BC.
I met up with a local fellow water frother in Terrace, and he showed me around a bit. The first day in town I floated the Kitimat for a short stretch and met up with him after work for some fishing on the lower stretch. I would go a few days with only a few tugs from trout. Then finally it happened. I hooked and landed my first wild British Columbia steelhead.
That would be the only steelhead I would tangle with my whole trip. I fished the Kalum and main stem Skeena during my trip. I saw some great water and scenery and met some great people. One gentleman I fished with had a killer technique free drift bottom bouncing. He managed fish every time we went out. One day he hit seven over the course of the day and even managed fish on back to back casts. No one ever said swinging would be easy.
After Terrace I headed over to Bob Clay’s place (Riverwatch Bamboo Rods), another great bamboo rod maker who lives on the Kispiox River in Hazleton, BC. I own one of Bob and James’ Spey rods and They are works of art and very excellent casting instruments.
Bob and his wife Kathy treated me to some home made soup and great conversation. Bob also showed me around his shop as well as showed me what he was currently working on. He has some very unique ideas with his new composite ferrule connections he is working on. I’m sure he will get them dialed in and have them working like a charm in no time. His shop was like seeing how a mad scientist works, except Bob creates exquisite bamboo single hand and Spey rods. They are a joy to fish that’s for sure.
After I left Bob’s shop I headed out to my new home.
Alas, I arrived. Only 320 more miles to Anchorage. I can’t wait to get a line wet and see what Alaska has to offer.