The Seasons


The first Bulkley steelhead are historically found in fishable numbers by the 20th of August. The majority of those early fish are destined for the upper babine and therefore move up quickly through the main stem. The water temperature is warm that time of year, and the fish are extremely surface oriented as a result. Unfortunately due to the warm weather, some years the river is completely colored. If you are seeking a steelhead trip that is dictated by floating lines and skated dry flies, late August and early September is the time for you. This time frame has picked up steam the past 5 years. Other than 2017 over the past 5 years these weeks have been the most productive of the season. There was a very real trend of the biggest pushes of fish for the entire season showing up early. In 2017 this trend was bucked but it happened again in 2018.


Traditionally this is the most popular time of year to visit the upper skeen drainages like the Bulkley. The fish are bright, having just entered the river, and one can always anticipate great top water action. When not skating flies on the surface, anglers find themselves using a variety of different techniques. We use a combination of weighted/unweighted flies, on floating lines, and sink tips, depending on water conditions and angler preference. These weeks are typically the most sought after dates and offer very consistent fishing. The only down side is this is when the biggest potential of a big rain and a blow can occur.


The September arrivals have distributed themselves throughout system and fresh fish are continuing to pour into the river. This is the time of year when the Bulkley produces the largest steelhead of the season. Some of which exceed the 40” mark. Oddly enough the coldest week of the season is never that first week of Nov, there is always a fluke cold snap sometime in October. The river has very few anglers at this time of year and fishing can be incredible if you can take some cooler temps.