3 Feb 2009 - Zymoetz (Copper) River Steelhead
 Category:  Canada
 Author Name:  Noel Gyger
 Author E-mail:  noel@noelgyger.ca
Click here to enlarge Report Description: The photo of the week shows three very happy anglers. Left to right are my nephew Justin, in the middle his father (my brother) Mike and on the right my good friend and top angler and guide Robby Vodola with a very beautiful Zymoetz (Copper) River Steelhead. The guides have very limited rod-days on this river so please consider booking early.

Noel Gyger – Guided Fishing Adventures and Weekly Fishing Report
4012 Best Street, Terrace BC V8G 5R8, Canada
Tel/Fax: (250) 635-2568
Cell: (250) 631-2678
E-mail: noel@noelgyger.ca
Home Page: www.noelgyger.ca
Fishing Reports: www.noelgyger.ca/past-fishing-reports.htm
RECORD SALMON & STEELHEAD Spin or fly-fishing

Noel Gyger - WEEKLY FISHING REPORT dated January 25 – February 1, 2009

Dear Fishing Friends:

SUMMARY: Winter still has a grip on us although the temperatures are getting warmer. It is still too cold for me but the young guys are getting out and catching lots of fish I have been told. Both the upper and lower Kalum and lower Zymoetz (Copper) Rivers are open to Steelhead fishing. I have heard the ice fishing in our local lakes is pretty good also.

VIDEO CLIPS – I posted one New clip on January 30, 2009

Chad Black, Rob Vodola and I were fishing for Steelhead on the Kalum River last fall and Rob landed this very bright doe on his centre pin float fishing rod. To watch the clip right away cast to this link: Video Clip 0064 The clip is titled “Steelhead with sea lice”

To watch podcasts cast to: http://www.noelgyger.ca/podcast.htm

I promised I would let you know at the end of January which “Photo of the Week” from 2008 got the most votes. And the winner is:

August 10, 2008. Greg Buck and his son Josh hold up this huge Skeena River 70-pound Chinook (King) Salmon before releasing it. This once-in-a-lifetime giant was landed by Josh...yes...all by himself. Full Report

Thanks to all who took the time to send me their votes.


One New item posted on 'Conservation' January 31/09
One New update posted on 'Quality Waters Strategy' January 30/09
One New video posted on 'Video Clips' January 30/09
One New item posted on 'Conservation' January 26/09

NOW BOOKING FOR 2009 Let me know if I can be of service to book you with the 'best' fishing guide and/or fishing lodges for both river and ocean. There are NO extra charges to book through me, just a lot of free information and advice from a person with years and years of fishing and fish guiding experience. It is like hiring two guides for the price of one. I will promptly answer your questions and concerns. Cast here http://noelgyger.ca/special-guided.htm to read more of what I have to offer.

BOOK EARLY and save money! The Canadian Dollar is low right now. Which way will the Canadian Dollar and the exchange rates go? The answer is no one knows. The Canadian Dollar is low at this time (as of today, Feb 1) A typical Weekly Lodge Package for 7 days/6 nights/5 days of guided fishing will cost $3500 Canadian Dollars in 2009. With the current exchange rate it will now cost $2851.21 in United States Dollars. A savings of $648.79. I would suggest you BOOK NOW before exchange rates go the other way. Cast here for current money conversion rates. Contact me anytime for package details.

Many people book three trips per year to our area; one trip in the spring (March-April-May), one trip in the summer (June-July-August) and one trip in the fall (September-October-November). They love having the same guide but fishing for different fish in different areas.

Be sure to check out my website at www.noelgyger.ca for news bulletins, mid week fishing updates, conservation, my history, quality waters strategy, special guided fishing trips, video clips, scenic river photos, wildlife photos and others, comments from past guests, informational articles, archived fishing reports from 1996 through 2002 and a sportfishing market place. I hope it meets with your entire satisfaction.

CURRENT REPORT and summary for Skeena and Tributaries:

TYPE OF FISH CAUGHT: Steelhead and Trout for river. Salmon, Halibut, Bottom Fish and Dungeness Crab for ocean.

Thank you for using barbless hooks.


WEATHER: Snow becoming mixed with rain this afternoon. Snowfall amount 5 to 10 cm except 15 cm near Stewart. High plus 2. Sunrise 8:23 AM Sunset 5:13 PM. Today’s yearly average temperatures: Maximum 1 degrees. Minimum -2 degrees.

WEATHER REPORTS VIA TELEPHONE: Environment Canada taped messages constantly updated, giving current conditions and three-day forecasts. Terrace 250-635-4192 Kitimat 250-632-7864 Prince Rupert 250-627-1155 Smithers 250-847-1958.

SKEENA RIVER: The water is in good shape, low and clean but still frozen over in spots. Be very careful walking on those ice shelves. The spots that are open can have some drifting ice. Should be a few Steelhead and Trout one can catch.

KALUM RIVER: is in good shape. Good numbers of Steelhead are in the river now. Fishing for them with fly or spin tackle works well. Walking around is getting a little easier as a lot of the snow has melted. The boat ramps are still difficult to access.

This is a Classified River year round and can be guided from March 15 through October 15 only. The Steelhead record is 32-pounds. To see a photo of this fish cast to: http://noelgyger.ca/records/Record003.jpg The angler is Dennis Therrien.

ZYMOETZ (COPPER) RIVER: The water is in poor shape today, with moderate to heavy ice flows and fishing for Steelhead is difficult. The upper section is closed to angling as of December 31 but the lower section below the first canyon will stay open for the winter Steelheaders to enjoy.

Fishing Report from: Ron Wakita of Reliable Guide and Charters

KITIMAT RIVER: I apologize for the lapse in Fishing Reports for the Kitimat area but there has not been a lot to report. I have also been very busy coaching my son, Corey's hockey. Such is life in the Northwest.

We are having a very severe winter season. In fact as I write this report there is a deer walking down the middle of our street. This is a common occurrence in the outskirts of town but I live in the middle of Kitimat's residential area. This is a sign that even the deer are struggling with this winter's conditions.

There have some ice fishing opportunities for the hard core anglers. Ariel Kuppers and Jesse Houston fought some rainbow trout in Onion Lake. Onion Lake is a small lake located right next to the highway midway between Kitimat and Terrace.

DOUGLAS CHANNEL: Tom Blake a local boater drove down to MK Bay Marina last weekend to check his boat. As he looked out at the harbour he watched a boat land two feeder chinook right in front of the marina. He came into our tackle store to buy some bait and went back out to the marina and took his boat out trolling. He also managed to land a Winter spring.

If anglers are willing to brave the elements and get out and do some fishing there are fish to be caught.

Dress warm and Tight Lines, Ron Wakita

Fishing Report from: Chad Black of Nicholas Dean Lodge

No, this fish has not been through photoshop! Randy Marshall hooked and landed this monster Chinook Salmon on the Skeena in mid July this year with the help of Nicholas Dean guide, Greg Buck. The fish was estimated to weigh 70 lbs. Nelson Furtado Photo
Hello Anglers,
For the die hard angler who likes to pursue his or her addiction, this winter has not been a good one. For most of December, a cold snap where temperatures reached lows of -25 C was commonplace, making skating and ice hockey a much better and more successful pursuit than river fishing. January snowstorms blanketed Terrace in several feet of snow on numerous occasions and even getting to the river has been a difficult proposition! This is not to say that ice fishing isn't an option - it is, and I've heard some good reports of Cutthroat being caught - but my personal preference would be for catching up on some much needed fly tying to fill the holes in my fly boxes, and dream of days to come where I can launch a long cast over favourite pools, and anticipate the excitement of the grab.
It's also a time for us to reflect back on the fishing we had in 2008, and look forward to the 2009 season. Actually, when sitting down to weigh through my options for a photo for this week's report, I had a difficult time trying to decide which one to choose, owing to the great photos taken by our clients and guides. However, I finally decided to use a photo of Randy Marshall's (of Randy's River Guiding) giant Chinook that he landed in mid July with one of our guides, Greg Buck, for the simple fact that it's a massive fish. At 70 lbs, it's the biggest Chinook I've ever seen, and the story of how this fish was caught only makes it that much more impressive.
Back in the early Summer last year, water conditions were prime on the Skeena from late June all through the month of July during the typical peak Chinook fishing period, and Greg and his son Josh took advantage of this by being on the water nearly everyday. On this particular day, they had been backtrolling on the Skeena River near Terrace with some success, and Randy Marshall decided to join them around mid day. Instead of making their usual backtrolling runs down the river, they decided to back bounce slowly down the river, targeting the deep pools of the Skeena where Chinook like to hold. Having tried back bouncing last year with Dustin, I can say with all honesty that it takes a bit of getting used to, and that my ability to detect strikes needs a little work. Essentially, you attach a heavy lead weight (or lead substitute) to your line via a three way swivel, along with a big chunk of roe and a fluorescent coloured cheater, and you lift and drop this rig off the bottom as the current pushes you downriver. Takes can be very light, so you have to be very attentive - sometimes the only thing you'll feel is your line going slack on the way down.
After starting to back bounce down a favourite run on the Skeena, Randy hooked into what felt like a large fish. Large Chinook have a tendency to test the limits of even heavy action rods and level wind reels, and this fish was no exception. After several large head shakes, the fish sounded and peeled off line as it used the flow of the Skeena to its advantage. To give them the best chance of landing this fish, Greg expertly maneuvered the boat downriver, following the fish, until he was able to find a good location on shore to get out. Once there, Randy was able to apply enough pressure to tire the fish and work him into the shallows. With what I'm sure was a triumphant moment, Greg netted the fish in one scoop before the fish had a chance to head back to the middle of the river. Afterwards, Greg told me that the fish was so large it was difficult to fit in the net! As they set about taking a few photos of the fish prior to its release, they realized that they were even more fortunate to have landed this fish after inspecting the mouth. Apparently, a large, silver hook was still imbedded in its giant mouth, likely a remnant of a Commercial Salmon fisherman's lines, and caught within the eye of this hook, was Randy's 4/0 Gamakatsu! Now, when you sit down and think of the odds of catching a fish this size, this feat almost defies logic. I mean, what are the chances that after a Chinook made a move for your bait, that you were able to catch the eye of another hook - and have this hook stay in place? I'm sure that Greg, Randy, and Nelson Furtado (the photographer) will not forget this fish anytime soon...
On the heels of a great Chinook season in 2008, we expect the 2009 season to be a fantastic one as well. Whether you prefer to back troll down the mighty Skeena (or back bounce!), or casting spoons on the Kitimat, you can be sure that some of the largest Chinook in the world will be ascending our rivers. Of course, if you're a fly angler looking to hook into these great game fish on the fly, we do have several options for you as well, including fishing on a remote, intimate wilderness river that holds fish up to 70 lbs. To find out more about our Trophy Chinook and Fly Fishing packages, as well as many others, just contact Noel. He will be happy to answer all of your questions. Spots in June and July for the BIG Chinook are filling in quickly so please remember to book early.
Until next week, tight lines and screaming reels...
Chad Black, Operations Manager.
AREA RIVER RECORDS: Chinook Salmon: Skeena River, 92.5-pounds; Kalum River, 85-pounds; Kitimat River, 74-pounds; Steelhead: Skeena River, 45-pounds; Coho Salmon: Skeena River, 27-pounds.

2007-2009 BC tidal waters and freshwater Salmon fishing information:
Effective April 1, 2007 to March 31, 2009

2008-2009 Freshwater Fishing Regulations Synopsis:
Effective April 1, 2008 to March 31, 2009


*** If any of you have special fishing photos, testimonials, scenic river photos, wildlife photos or articles I would love to see them.

Catch & Release formula:

- Chinook: girth squared x length x 1.54 divided by 1000 (inches)
- Steelhead: girth squared x length x 1.33 divided by 1000 (inches)

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Noel F. Gyger

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