Canada/BC, September 2014

I experienced great moments on the Upper Copper in September 2013, I would really like to repeat that.

The Upper Copper is a small river of optimal size. I like wide rivers, because you can find the top places with some sense, and usually the bite comes, where you expect it. Most of the runs are that wide that with a good cast you can reach the side. The water is often not much deeper than one metre. One finds with a floating or intermediate shooting head and a longer leader is usually sufficient. A shooting head with a light sink tip is enough in any case.

I booked again Stan Doll,
Ich habe wieder bei Stan Doll, Skeena Wilderness Fishing Charters, because I was very happy last year and because Stan is a really nice guy. I also booked a room in his house again.

This year I'm a week earlier. I hope for better weather and I hope the Kalum and Skeena rivers are clear. Last year the two rivers were partly unfishable due to flood waters respectively murky waters. My plan includes eight days of fishing, five of which with the helicopter.


On the first fishing day, 12.09., off we go to the Kalum. The water is admittedly not clear but fishable. It rains the whole day so I hardly unpack my camera. So there are no photos from this day. I'm catch two silver salmon and an old, ugly King, but unfortunately no steelheads. The good pools and runs are full from old Kings, which I don’t like.


On the 13.09. I go with Stan’s son to the good, fishable, pretty clear Skeena.

I do not particularly like fishing in large rivers. Cory takes me to some good locations where it looks like there is a good chance of a bite. Also I catch then my first Skeena steelhead.

The difference between a Skeena steelhead and a steelhead from a side river is obvious: the fish in the Skeena are fresh, usually the first day in the river, often full of sea lice and fighting power.

The drill is impressive, even if it's just a 4.5 kilos fish.

It’s a shame that I get no more steelheads on the Skeena in the next few days to savour it.


On 14.09 we go with guides Cory and Mike with the helicopter to the Upper Copper. There are still two more helicopters, and we see two anglers with the inflatable boat. The weather is perfectly beautiful. Because of the other anglers not many places before me on the Upper Copper remain unfishable, but still I catch four steelheads, and lose two. I'm of course very happy.


On 15.09, we continue at the Upper Copper. This time alone with Matt, the helicopter pilot, who is also a passionate and very good steelheader.

Again a super day! I catch five steelheads and lose another three!


On 16.09 I am with Stan and Mike and two Italians on the lower Skeena. Unfortunately, I catch only a few cutthroads and dollies, no steelhead bite. Mauro catches a nice steelhead and loses one.


Since the Lower Copper became murky from the previous day rain, we assumed that the Upper Copper was also murky. Therefore we flew to the Upper Nass, where one can only get there with a helicopter. Mauro and Marco are there, Matt is our pilot and guide.

The Nass is a super river with ideal size, picture book runs can be found there. The first run, we fish for over an hour, and brings no fish. We fly then upstream and see that the river is increasingly murky. I catch a very small steelhead and that was it then for this day. The river is almost unfishable, the weather has played a trick on us.

The flight from Skeena to the Upper Nass is very expensive due to the long flight time (90 minutes each way). Next time, I would take a tent and stay overnight.


On 18.09 we continue with Matt and Kelly (youngest son from Stan) to the Upper Copper. Although the rain doesn't let up and the Lower is murky, it’s still reasonable to fish at the Upper Copper.

The water is lightly murky but very fishable. Another helicopter from Smithers is already on site. Better we fish few well-known places than fishing behind the other two heligroups. Said and done. We fish small runs and pockets. – Look at that! I catch six steelheads and lose another three in the drill.


On the last day, I would like once again to go to the Upper Copper. In the morning at the helicopter place we have to wait because of the fog. As it clears up, we try it, but then turn around while flying over the mouth of the Copper and Skeena: the Copper comes totally brown.

Back at the landing place Cory picks me up and takes me to the Skeena, where I spent the last day with Stan and two Americans. To conclude, I have although no steelhead but two silver salmon.