Reflecting back on our winter steelhead season on Haida Gwaii its hard not to smile. We had great river conditions, and solid returns of steelhead. This trip is one that tends to linger with you for a few months after the fact as you come to terms with how unique this environment and fishery is. Fishing aside, traveling to Haida Gwaii is an adventure you will never soon forget. Although the fish are truly just a bonus on a trip like this, here are some of the highlight fish.
Having Bob Clay up to the lodge was a real treat. He has a fishing curiosity tenfold of the typical angler. He is constantly exploring, and figuring out new rivers like a Forensics crime and intelligence analyst. This fish was caught in tidal water and was into the backing on the same run he hit the fly.
Steve Pensinger was a true world angler who came to Copper Bay Lodge in his 70’s to tackle this difficult environment on his own. He hiked hard, worked hard and fished hard, and was payed back with some tremendous fish. This 17 pound buck was about all his small switch rod could handle. Steve had fished the Bulkley Canyons with us and it was a real pleasure to spend the week with him.
Carter Beim found himself in a slump. Knowing his love for the grateful dead would help we decided he needed to listen to a live dead show on the river to switch up his mojo enough to hook this prime fish. With the truck cranking tunes, and a few head bobs and he was in the zone sending out the perfect cast and mend to dip into a bucket to entice this chrome doe. Im sure Jerry smiled along side Carter with that catch.
Peter Tronquet has fished all over the world but fell in love with Haida Gwaii upon arrival. He missed out on a trip here 30 years ago with a good friend and had it on his bucket list ever since. This fish came after a long hour hike through the rainforest to a cherry of a run. A short leader cast in the head of the run shocked us all when this dime missile launched. This fish was perfection, and I think we can all agree the highlight of the season.
Scotty Baker Mc-G guides more steelhead than anyone else on the planet. He migrates from the Dean, to the Bulkley, to to Haida Gwaii with even some lower mainland steelhead thrown in. When its time to take off the guide hat and fish for himself there is no safe place to hide. He came up a week early to scout the river before guiding and had a 5 fish day. He is the Penn and Teller steelhead fisherman.
Craig Stemmer takes many trips a year hunting trophy fish but always looks forward to his Haida Gwaii adventure the most. It makes sense since every year he manages to land a few fish like this. This one came about 1 hour after his plane landed.
Rob came to Haida Gwaii because like most hard core steelheaders winter steelhead is a way of life for him. A slow week turned around pretty quick on this day when he hooked 4 fish all in the 14-18 pound range. He maybe could of caught more but set his rod down after this one and declared that enough. Great Karma.
Peter Tronquet had a great week but on the last day he hit his last goal. He got this trophy buck in a tiny coastal stream. This fish put his trip over the edge and im sure he will be coming back for years to come.
This fish wasn’t the biggest but it was the last fish of the season. I landed it in April the day before catching the ferry back to Rupert. Great season, and a special thanks to the guides, chef, and everyone who came.