Nicholas Dean Lodge

Conventional Fishing for Steelhead

Nicholas Dean Lodge’s Steelhead Fishery on the Skeena and Nass Watersheds is the premier Wild Steelhead fishery in North America. The Steelhead average 8 to 15 pounds, 20 pound fish not uncommon, and even the occasional 30 pounder. You could even set the new world record at over 43 pounds since larger Steelhead have been caught by native and commercial fisherman in the Skeena River. Our Steelhead season starts March 15 and ends Nov 20 although we will guide day bookings through out the winter. We primarily fish with spoons, floats, and plugs on all the streams except the main channel Skeena were we plunk and bottom bounce.


Spring Steelhead March15 Too May 24 Fish our home river the Upper Kalum, on an exclusive 5 mile drift with over 27 different pools and runs to fish. This is a spring Steelhead angler’s dream with run after run full of large powerful steelhead with fish 20+ pounds not uncommon and the occasional 30+ pounder. We also guide the Skeena, Lower Skeena Tributaries, Nass Tributaries, Remote Coastal Streams, and the Kitimat during this time period. Summer Steelhead Aug 1 to Sept 1 The lower Skeena River begins receiving the first runs of the more famous upper Skeena Tributaries including theBulkley, Babine, Kispiox, Morice, Sustut, and others. We get first crack at these fish since they have to pass by us to reach the upper tributaries and they are some of the largest, meanest Steelhead in the world fresh out of the ocean mint bright with sea lice still attached. There are also the Copper River and Remote Coastal Rivers in August. These rivers are receiving the first of their hard fighting, chrome silver steelhead that can smack a spoon so hard it rips the rod right out of your hands (we are one of only 6 legal guides on the Copper). Fall Steelhead Sept 1 to Oct 31 The Kalum River once again offers some of the best conventional steelhead fishing from early September to mid October. The Copper River, Skeena River, Nass Tribuaties and Outer Coastal Rivers also offer excellent Fall Steelheading. This is the fishing that has made the Skeena Region justifiably world famous. Expect huge steelhead in good numbers with a spectacular fall background of rust and golden trees and towering snowcapped peaks. You can use many different methods such as Spoons, float fishing, back trolling with plug and jet divers, and plunking. Early Winter Steelhead Nov 1 to 20 The rivers are now stacked with summer steelhead holding over and fresh early winter steelhead are entering the river as well. Water conditions are usually low and stable now that the snow pack has settled in. This is the season for the serious Steelheader with the less dedicated fisherman having packed it in for the year it is not unusual to have the rivers all to yourself. We concentrate mostly on the Copper, Bell-Irving, and Meziadin Rivers. We use a variety of techniques but mostly spoons and float fishing.


The lodge is located just off the Kalum River and centrally located to the main Skeena and its abundant tributaries. For Steelhead fishing we mainly angle on the following rivers: Copper River: Classified River, Winter, Spring, Summer and Fall Kalum River: Classified River, Spring and Summer Skeena River: Classified Sections of the River, Winter, Spring, Summer and Fall Kitimat River: Non-Classified, Spring Lower Skeena Tributaries: Non-Classified, Spring Nass Tributaries (Meziadin, & Bell-Irving): Non-Classified, Fall Coastal Rivers by Helicopter: Secret Rivers lightly fished with many to choose from

Steelhead Fishing Techniques

We use a very wide variety of techniques to fish for our Steelhead but the most common techniques are:
  • Spoon Fishing
  • Float Fishing
  • Plunking
  • Bottom Bouncing (Drift Fishing)
  • Back Trolling Plugs
  • Back Trolling Planers and Bait
  • Side Drifting
For a more in depth explanation of fishing techniques please see the Conventional Fishing Techniques Section For Gear and Equipment Please Refer to the Conventional Fishing Gear and Equipment List