A Steehead Quest - Fly Fishing in British Columbia

Every trip to the beautiful crystal green rivers of British Columbia brings me new adventures and challenges. My search for the often elusive steelhead that migrate back to these rivers is something that I cherish and yearn for throughout the season. Despite the brightness of the days, the coolness in the breeze that sweeps across the rivers from the snow covered mountains is a reminder that the year is closing towards winter. This is the time of year that the steelhead will be arriving in these rivers in greater numbers and they will be well distributed by now. Hopefully I will have an opportunity to get close enough to tempt one or two of them to my fly.

The steelhead are a magnificent species. The beauty in the colors and features are so individual, combined with their strength and stamina, makes them so sought after. These are not easy fish to catch on the fly. They can be sullen, stubborn, evasive. They give little away to encourage an angler of their presence. It requires stealth, patience and often just a bit of luck to engage with one. A fish of a thousand casts they say …… maybe not quite ……but some days it definitely feels like it.

The steelhead guides in British Columbia live and breathe steelheading. It’s almost like it’s in their blood. They have that remarkable sense when it comes to locating steelhead and they know these river, runs and pools intimately. The steelhead will often lie in remarkably shallow water and it’s important to listen to your guide, when he says let it swing right in, he really means right in! I take their advice and pretty soon we are getting into fish.

To fish for these fantastic fish on the fly is a task that requires me little encouragement. The journey spent on the river is as appealing as the cast of a fly. Each cast that sends my line and fly out across the water brings me closer to my quarry. My fly sweeps through the water, almost like its scanning and probing for a target. The environment that we find ourselves in here in British Columbia is quite breathtaking and a fitting place to pursue these wonderful fish. These are some of the few remaining untouched regions of the world. The tranquility is near perfect and has to be experienced to really get an understanding of how special these places are. It’s a joy to fish these rivers, I use light tackle; a floating line with maybe just an intermediate tip. Whether your swinging intruders or skating dries, it’s a fascinating setting to be out on the water.

A BIG Thank You to “The Fish-Eye View” Channel for the fantastic underwater Steelhead shots featured in this video. Please take a look at some of the great videos on the Channel: The Fish-Eye View - YouTube