"Totally awesome.' - Kathy Ruddick, Ruddick's Fly Shop.
Steelhead are similar to other Pacific salmon in many ways but for one glaring exception: they can be repeat spawners (as are Cutthroat trout). Their classification is hotly debated: they used to be placed in the genus Salmo (like Atlantic salmon); now most scientists place them in the Oncorhynchus genus, while others disagree because of their repeat spawning. Whatever their genus, Steelhead are most likely to be found in eastern Pacific waters. They live for a long time, up to eight years! Steelhead can spawn three times, but most don't survive that long (especially males).
The largest Steelhead can weigh over 30 lbs and measure 45 inches, but most weigh between eight and 20 lbs. A Non-Anadromous Variation: Rainbow Trout. As Sockeye have a freshwater-only variation, the Kokannee, Steelhead have the Rainbow trout, who never see the ocean. There are six sub-species of Rainbow trout in the Pacific Rim.
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FISH RUNS ON THE PITT RIVER
Here at The Fly Fishing Lodge the seasons on our unique river feeds into one of the only two freshwater tidal lakes in the world and being only 40 miles from the ocean our salmon come in bright and powerful for incredible acrobatic performances. The Pitt River fishing experience is a unique year round fishing experience that includes all five species of Pacific Salmon as well as Steelhead, Bull, Cutthroat and Rainbow trout. This river is one of the few remaining rivers in the South Western BC that is still considered a true wilderness experience with large wild salmon and trout runs. When you stay with us here in the Pitt River Valley you are on the river. No early morning car rides across the city, no extra boat rides across any lake… you are where it is all happening.
Our staff of professional guides are waiting to take you and your friends on an unforgettable fishing trip where you share the valley and river with bear, deer, Roosevelt elk and eagles. Custom Heli Fly Fishing trips are available.
January to April
British Columbia Steelhead are one of the worlds most sought after game fishbecause of their quality of fight and their size averaging 6-12 lbs withsome up to 25 lbs. They are elusive, mainly due to limited numbers of fish,and are well known for their explosive fighting ability often displaying numerous aerobatic leaps from the fast flowing rivers they return to. When steelhead are landed, and many are not, the sheer beauty of these wonderfully marked fish with all the black spots is enough to take your breath away. The Pitt River steelhead are a winter steelhead that start entering the river in January, peak late February through to the end of March and are †the last all wild run close to Vancouver. When the steelhead are in the river bulltrout and cutthroat are also throughout the system which makes this river the most saught after for winter catching, not just fishing! Being the only lodge and being boat and air access makes winter fishing on the Pitt a stress free, quiet fishing experience.
BULL TROUT&DOLLY VARDEN
MAY TO AUGUST
Sea run bull trout and dolly varden start returning to the Pitt in late May, running strong through June to the first week in August. This is the largest run of bulltrout and dolly varden in Southwestern BC. These sea run fish are large, up to 4-12 lbs, extremely strong fighters and our guides favorite to catch as they will bend a 7-8 weight rod to its max. If you have never caught a sea run bull, the odds are that once you have one on the line you will be forever hooked on these fish.
August to September and April to May
Sea Run Cutthroat – Next to steelhead, these fish are one of the most beautiful to be found. They can get up to 8 lbs., however the Pitt rarely sees fish over 4 lbs. and most sea run cut throat range from 10″ – 20″. They are very aggressive at times, however they do make you appreciate how selective they can be. Very nice to catch with a minnow imitation, on a dry line- large numbers in the river at the right time of year.
(Year Round) – Dry Fly to September, October and November
Nymphing- August, Sept and October Rainbows in the upper Pitt River are plentiful and can be found throughout the system. They can range anywhere from 12-22 inches and at certain times of the year are aggressive on the dry fly. Some of the Pitt rainbows are unique in that they are heavily spotted and are called Leopard Trout. These are a very exciting fish to catch nymphing or on the dry fly. Nice addition to an already great fishery.
COHO / SILVER
LATE SEPTEMBER THRU TO NOVEMBER
Coho Salmon fishing is almost a way of life on the local rivers during the fall and is quite incredible, with huge runs coming in on the rain filled rivers such as the Pitt River. The Pitt River Coho are the largest all wild run in southwestern BC and start the third week in September and peak around the 10th of October to November 20th continuing on through the winter months well into January. At the same time the coho are returning there are numerous bulltrout, dolly varden, cutthroat and rainbows. The Pitt coho range from 4-20 lbs with the average being around 6-12 lbs. The river is usually low this time of year which makes fishing and wading very easy. The Pitt Coho season is the most anticipated and exciting fishery in southwestern BC..you have to try it at least once!
Late July to September
Pitt River Sockeye are the largest by size in the world with some weighing in at 18lbs. The Pitt River is only 40 miles from the ocean which can bring them into the Pitt in 24 hrs, and at the peak of their energy which makes these chrome bright fish one of the best fighting fish the Pitt has to offer. With jumps as high as five feet, cartwheels and incredible head shakes making these fish a real challenge to land. Sockeye are also the most plentiful fish in the Pitt with 40,000-70,000 returning each year. They stay bright for the first two weeks of August and then slowly start switching to colourful reds and greens, they are still extremely feisty to the end of August with large numbers caught. This is a spectacular fishery with large numbers of cutthroat rainbows and bulltrout following these magnificent fish, waiting for them to spawn. They will all keep your rod bent!
Pitt River King (Chinook) salmon are the most aggressive species in British Columbia. Pitt River Kings are a non target species but while fishing for sea run bull trout and Sockeye they frequently hammer the fly. They run from July 1st to Sept 1st and peak July 20th to Aug 20th and range from 10-40 lbs.
PINK / CHUM SALMON
PInks and Chum run at the same time from Aug 20th to Sept 20th and while they are not a significant run a few fish are always caught.
Sturgeon fishing in the upper putt river is very unique July August and Sept. All the sturgeon are very large and most never caught before.. the mouth of the Pitt river is cristal clear water so you can see the sturgeon you fighting 12 feet below. It’s no problem to catch 5 to ten sturgeon a day all over 6 feet. If you come to the Pitt river we guarantee you will be amazed at the size and fight of the sturgeon a the mouth of the Pitt River .