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Nicholas Dean Chinook Salmon Canada Kitimat, Kalum & Skeena rivers

Customer Rating 89%
Tour Code CAN026

Fishing For King Salmon

The Chinook Salmon, or King Salmon, are the biggest and most aggressive of all the Pacific Salmon species and the Skeena watershed in British Columbia, Canada, is one of the best places to catch them. So if you’re a fly fishing angler looking for one of the ultimate freshwater experiences, then our Nicholas Dean Chinook Salmon package is perfect, providing the challenges of hooking and landing a big sea-run fish. It’s the closest you can get to Big game fly fishing in freshwater.

The rivers in the Skeena region, like the Kaluma and Kitimat, are full of these chrome giants. They’re super aggressive, extremely powerful, and in peak condition, fresh from the ocean. There are two main seasons to target them, spring and summer. At the start of the season, the Kalum River boasts are incredible ‘springer’ Chinook fishery and has an abundance of fish averaging between 15lb and 30lb, with a few giants of over 40lb or more. At this time of year, it’s also possible to target any late-running Steelhead, which is a welcome attraction, adding some nice variation to a typical fishing day.

In summer, most of the fishing gets done on the Skeena and the Kitimat and in these two waterways, the fish are even more significant, averaging between 20lb and 30lb. However, each and every season, they throw up some real giants and fish to over 80lb have fallen to anglers flies. At this time of year, bonus species also populate the rivers. The Kitimat has prolific Chum and Pink Salmon runs, while the lower Skeena is the main route for Chinook and Sockeye Salmon.

The Best Salmon Fishing Rivers In Canada

The best time to fish for King Salmon or Chinook Salmon is between the spring and summer months. The fishing on our Nicholas Dean Chinook Salmon programme takes place on three main rivers, the Kalum River, the Skeena River, the Kitimat River and the Kitimat Estuary. Each river offers freshwater fly fishing anglers a different experience but the same high-quality fishing.

The Kalum River

Simply put, the Kalum River is home to some of the largest Salmon on the planet. A Class II Classified Water, the Kalum River is world-renowned for its monster Chinooks, which can tip the scales at 80lbs or more; fish to 100lbs have been caught in the distant past.

Due to a massively large, deep lake in its headwaters, the Kalum has consistent base flows, making it much more stable than other rivers after a period of rainfall. Usually flowing with a beautiful aquamarine, glacial colour – that Steelhead green colour that anglers love to fish – the Kalum is a mid-sized river that offers pool after pool of varied structure, ideal for holding fish. As well as monster King Salmon the Kalum also has healthy runs of Coho Salmon and resident populations of Coastal Cutthroat, Rainbows, Dolly Varden, and Bull Trout.

The Skeena River

Both the Lower and Upper Skeena, like the Kalum, are also class II classified waterways. The Lower Skeena is a large, broad, flowing river fed by many famous tributaries, including the Copper, Kalum, Babine, Bulkley, Kispiox, Morice, Sustut and many others on its route to the Northern British Columbia coastline. The world-renowned Salmon run that occurs in this part of the world see’s vast numbers of migratory fish heading for these tributaries, but before they do so, they must pass through the lower part of the Skeena, where our operation is based.

The Upper Skeena, located above the town of Terrace, it’s slightly smaller in width and features more channels than the Lower but still holds an abundance of fish. With miles and miles of classic swinging water, the Upper Skeena has become an angler’s favourite over the years. Its classic runs and tail-outs, studded with large boulders, create the perfect holding water for fish to rest upstream on their migratory route.

The Kitimat

The Kitimat River is a medium-sized coastal river that is exceptionally productive. Dynamic in its make-up, the river frequently changes from year to year, owing to a bottom substrate that’s predominantly gravel and smaller cobble, and features well over 20 kilometres of prime Salmon holding water. Its Chinook Salmon – which average 15lb to 25lbs but are routinely over 30lbs and can reach 50lb – are very aggressive and, given the short proximity to the ocean, are potent fighters, all of which makes the Kitimat River an ideal place to target them on the fly.

On the Kitimat, it’s possible to drift fish using rafts and boats and fishing on many of its long, broad runs in the lower reaches and small pools in the middle to upper reaches is very productive. The Kitimat Estuary is also a popular spot, especially on an incoming tide and offers anglers the chance to catch some of the hottest and brightest Chinooks.

To find out more about Yellow Cedar Lodge and our Nicholas Dean Chinook Salmon programme in Canada, visit our YouTube channel.

Chinook Salmon Fishing

Throughout the year, nearly all the traditional Salmon species get found within the Skeena watershed, and so do a wide range of smaller ‘back-up’ species, including Char, Coastal Cutthroat, Dolly Varden, Rainbow, and Bull Trout. However, our Nicholas Dean Chinook Salmon programme does precisely what it says on the tin and concentrates on the most significant, hardest fighting King Salmon.

Chinook

The Chinook Salmon is the largest and most potent Pacific Salmon species and is an admirable pursuit on the fly. The Skeena Chinooks are fresh from the ocean, white chrome and super hot. They average between 20lb and 40lb; however, fish over 50lb are relatively common. Every time you cast your fly into these waters, there’s even the chance of catching that elusive 80lb plus beast. If you like being beaten up by a mean, powerful beast of a fish, then this is a species and fishery for you.

Steelhead

The Steelhead Salmon on the Skeena average between 8lb and 20lb; however, there’s always the chance of a bigger specimen and each season fish to over 20lb and even 30lb grace anglers nets. An interesting fact from the Skeena is that marine biologists have caught Steelhead to over 44lb in their test fishery, and our guides on the river believe there is no better place in the world to catch a world record.

Chum

The Chum Salmon is probably one of the most underrated sport fish on the Pacific coast. They fight super hard and are probably responsible for more broken rods and burnt out reels than any other Salmon. They average around 8lb to 20lb in size but can reach weights of over 30lb. With their garish camouflage coloured flanks and their oversized teeth, these fish run like Steelhead, jump like Coho and bulldog-like Chinook. Tired arms and big grins are usually the order of the day after a hard day battling with Chums.

Even though this package concentrates on Chinook Salmon, it’s still possible to catch many different Salmon species during your stay.

World-Class Fishing Guides

Our Chinook or King Salmon fishing programme runs over two seasons, spring and summer. The spring season starts in mid-April and runs until the middle of June, and the summer season begins in July and runs until the end of August. The fishing is based on two anglers per guide, and all-inclusive packages are available with either five or six fishing days.

All the guides on the river are experts in their field and know the waters, Salmon species and fishing like the back of their hands. Many of the guides have been working on the Skeena for many years and have the ability to find fish in the harshest of conditions and most challenging water. All have the unrelenting desire to pursue trophy Steelhead, Salmon and Trout, helping you land that personal best and enjoy a fishing trip of a lifetime.

Most of the beats on our Chinook Salmon programme are ideal for fly fishers who wish to wade to catch their quarry; however, if you prefer to fish from a boat, there are places and stretches to suit all requirements. Boat fishing on the Kitimat and the Kitimat Estuary are especially popular. A typical guided fishing day runs between 8.00 am and 5.00 pm. However, one thing that is incredibly popular amongst guests who visit the Lodge is that you can venture out without a guide and fish extra hours if you wish, putting into practice everything your guides have taught you throughout the day.

Accommodation

To complement the world-class guides, fishing and overall first-class Skeena Chinook programme, Nicholas Dean purchased the incredible Yellow Cedar Lodge in April 2020, with the aim of offering travelling freshwater fly anglers the finest fishing accommodation found anywhere in British Columbia and North America. Situated right on the banks of the Skeena, Yellow Cedar Lodge – a Tourism BC Approved Accommodation – features large, vaulted ceilings to highlight the impressive mountain views, numerous amenities and a large wraparound deck for guests to take in the majestic riverscape.

The accommodation features both single and double rooms, with comfortable double or king beds. Each room is equipped with a private en suite and shower, with water taken from the Lodges own private well. Each room also has ample storage for your clothes and luggage and is just steps away from all the amenities the Lodge offers. Some rooms even have their own private terrace or sitting area, which overlooks the beautiful garden and river.

Yellow Cedar Lodges spacious dining room has two large tables and several smaller custom cedar tables. So there is plenty of room to relax, unwind and savour the fine dining from the Lodges experienced culinary team.

The bar – adjoining the dining room – is fully licensed and well-stocked with wine, beer and spirits for guests enjoyment. The staff are on hand with all the drink/menu lists and will be more than happy to show you.

If you fancy enjoying the latest hockey or football game or want to play a game of pool or foosball after you’ve finished dinner? The downstairs games room and bar has it all and is equipped with a 75″ HD satellite TV. Other amenities include a sauna, fully equipped gym, pool table, hot tub and Wifi, all designed to make your experience as leisurely as possible.

The Lodge has a modern, custom wader room, updated in May 2020, and it’s the area where you can keep all your fishing tackle and clothing. Each guest gets provided with a large roomy stall, and it’s here where you can leave your rods, reels and personal gear. You can also hang your waders, jacket and other layers to dry overnight in front of the gas fireplace. The Lodge is very proud of this well-crafted wader room – the finest in the north!

We are sure that you will have a comfortable stay at the Lodge as you search for that trophy, Steelhead or Salmon of a lifetime!

FOOD & DRINK

You will enjoy the cooking of the Lodges top-notch culinary team, headed by experienced red seal chefs Amanda & Mark Ross, who go to great lengths in providing first-class meals featuring locally sourced ingredients whenever possible.

To ensure that you are fueled up for a full day of fishing ahead, you will find a hearty breakfast each morning, which might include eggs, cereal, fresh fruit, toast, sausage or bacon, juice and coffee. Your packed lunch will be prepared for you each morning and sent with your guide for the day.

When you return to the Lodge in the early evening, your hosts and fellow guests will join you for some fireside appetizers. Following the appetizer, guests will join a Nicholas Dean host – Chad, Dustin, Sky or Rob – for a hearty three-course meal, featuring entrees such as prosciutto-wrapped halibut with crispy yam straws or NDO’s signature braised beef short rib.

Most guests tend to work up quite a large appetite after an adventurous day outdoors, but there’s no need to worry about quantity, as food seems to always be available on our Nicholas Dean Chinook Salmon programme. The only thing you need to worry about is your waistline!

If you have any dietary requirements then please let us know before you travel, the Lodge is more than happy to cater for the requirements you may have.

THE OUTDOOR EXPERIENCE

The Yellow Cedar Lodge is the perfect destination for the outdoor explorer. With untouched, virgin terrain and endless wildlife, you are sure to experience adventure and the native flora and fauna, unlike anything you have ever seen before. The Lodge has guides to help ensure you experience everything the woods has to offer. As well as world-class Salmon fishing, it has connections with hiking, sightseeing, halibut fishing and even heli-skiing companies.

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Itinerary

TAILOR-MADE HOLIDAYS

Although the fishing days are fixed, the below itinerary is still flexible should you require additional free days to explore at the beginning or end of your holiday; we can tailor this itinerary to suit you personally. Feel free to talk to our travel consultants who can explain all options available.

DAY 1: (Sunday)

Depart UK (alternative routes available)

Arrive Vancouver Depart Vancouver

Arrive Terrace

On arrival, a representative from Yellow Cedar Lodge will be waiting to drive you the 20-minute transfer to the Lodge.

Overnight Accommodation: Yellow Cedar Lodge (Twin Room) F/B

DayS 2 to 6: FISHING DAYS (Monday to Friday)

Over the next 5 days, after breakfast, you will depart with your guides to different sections of the Skeena. You will be fishing for the mighty Chinook Salmon. These fish average between 20lb and 40lb; however, fish over 50lb are relatively common. Every time you cast your fly into these waters, there’s even the chance of catching that elusive 80lb plus beast.

The fishing on our Nicholas Dean Chinook Salmon programme is based on two anglers per one guide.

Overnight Accommodation: Yellow Cedar Lodge (Twin Room) F/B

Day 7: (Saturday)

After breakfast, your guides from Yellow Cedar Lodge will transfer you all back to Terrace airport for your return flight home.

Depart Terrace

Arrive Vancouver Depart Vancouver

DAY 8: (Sunday)

Arrive UK

Customer Reviews

Average Customer Satisfaction Score 89%

View all reviews

FISHING Seasons

The season runs from Mid-April to August.

Chinook

Season: April to August
Peak: June to August
Weight: 10lb to 50lb
Average Weight: 25lb

Steelhead

Season: All Year
Peak: August to September
Weight: 8lb to 30lb
Average Weight: 15lb

Coho

Season: August to September
Peak: September
Weight: 8lb to 20lb
Average Weight: 12lb

Sockeye

Season: July to August
Peak: July
Weight: 4lb to 10lb
Average Weight: 6lb

Chum

Season: July to August
Peak: July
Weight: 8lb to 30lb
Average Weight: 12lb

Pink

Season: July to August
Peak: July
Weight: 2lb to 8lb
Average Weight: 4lb

Package Details

Prices from
£5,892
per person

Included

  • All international flights
  • Transfers to the lodge
  • All accommodation as per itinerary
  • All meals at the lodge
  • All soft drinks at the lodge
  • 5 full fishing days
  • Full guiding (2 anglers per guide)
  • Fishing tackle hire

Excluded

  • Personal holiday insurance
  • Tips for the guides and camp staff
  • Alcoholic drinks
  • Waders and boots
  • Any fishing tackle breakages

Optional extras

  • Flight upgrades
  • Extra fishing days

Price Supplements

N/A

View Latest Availability

Dates, Prices & Availability

Remember that Sportquest Holidays' services are completely FREE! When you book a trip with Sportquest Holidays, you never pay more than when you book directly with the lodge and flights independently.

Departing Returning Days Price Availability
01/08/2022 15/08/2022 8 £5,892 Enquire Now
01/05/2023 31/05/2023 8 £6,144 Enquire Now
01/06/2023 30/06/2023 8 £6,144 Enquire Now
01/07/2023 31/07/2023 8 £6,144 Enquire Now
01/08/2023 15/08/2023 8 £6,144 Enquire Now

Price Notes

Prices are based on two anglers sharing transfers, fishing and accommodation (unless otherwise stated) and are correct at the time of going to press. Subject to time of year or date and currency fluctuations, these prices may fluctuate slightly due to flight price increases or fuel surcharges.

Make an Enquiry

To speak to an expert or receive more information about when is the best time to travel? What can you expect from your holiday? Who are the tour guides? Will someone be there to meet me? Plus, many more questions. Either call our offices, e-mail us or fill in the form, and we will get back to you asap.
+44 (0)1603 407596
sales@sportquestholidays.com
16 Alston Road
Hellesdon Park
Norwich
Norfolk
NR6 5DS

Reviews

Chris

I had a brilliant week fishing the waters of the Kalum, Skeena and even the Kitimat! Luckily the river conditions were incredibly favourable and I landed some nice fish from each system. The Cedar Lodge was first class and I'd definitely recommend it to anyone who is looking for an adventure fly fishing trip across the pond.

Fishing
Guides
Accommodation
Meals
Staff & Service
Flights
Would use Sportquest again
Would recommend Sportquest

Carlton

This was certainly one of the best weeks of my entire life! From the moment I left my front door to the moment I returned home everything ran so smoothly. The lodge was superb and the surrounding area was mind-blowingly beautiful. The staff and guides were exceptionally knowledgeable about the fish, fishing and local area and every day I enjoyed some excellent fishing. Thank you to all involved in planning my trip.

Fishing
Guides
Accommodation
Meals
Staff & Service
Flights
Would use Sportquest again
Would recommend Sportquest

Logan

What a place! The Cedar Lodge was stunning and the Kalum and Skeena Rivers were incredible - the fishing was certainly a little different from fishing my local club stretches back home. Each day I was lucky enough to enjoy some fantastic fishing with numerous numbers off all the different Salmon. I'm already looking for dates next year.

Fishing
Guides
Accommodation
Meals
Staff & Service
Flights
Would use Sportquest again
Would recommend Sportquest

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