Jun 25th, 2019
By Jim Britton
For anglers looking for short stays, great accommodations and most importantly, the ability to fly into the Upper Copper with an expert guide, this is the program.
For more information please contact Ken at 800.552.2729
Top reasons to go.
1. Heli fish the remote and ultra-productive reaches of the upper Copper River.
2. Enjoy short stay packages of 2-4 days.
3. Great private accommodations for parties of 2-4 with stunning mountain views.
4. Access to the main Skeena and Morice Rivers.
5. Great guiding and home style hospitality.
Where is the lodge?
Silver Seeker Lodge is located downstream of Smithers B.C. in the Bulkley River Valley.
How do I get there?
Guests will first fly to Vancouver BC. From there they will take a direct Air Canada flight to Smithers in a Dash 8 Q-400. After the 1.5-hour flight you will be met at the airport and transferred five minutes by car to the lodge.
Do I need a visa?
No. US Citizens do not need a visa to enter Canada.
When should I go?
September – October
Where do they fish?
The main attraction here is to the possibility of helicoptering into the Upper Copper. Additionally, guests can fish the Morice and main Skeena, accessing them by vehicle and then using jet boats to move about.
What are the accommodations and meals like?
Silver Seekers Lodge was built as a private residence in an incredible location with sweeping views of Hudson Bay Mountain. They are located at the end of a road bordering a wilderness area and have a small pond with wild trout. The lodge has five bedrooms enabling guests to get their own bedrooms. Your host Jim Britton will prepare delicious, healthy, locally sourced homestyle meals for you on site. Breakfasts and lunches will be made to order.
Who is best suited to this destination?
This operation is best suited to serious steelhead anglers who understand the challenges and uncertainties of fishing undammed rivers for wild steelhead. It is great place for groups of 2-4 who want a true private party experience and the rare opportunity to fly into the Upper Copper (Copper 1). It is also the best bet for anglers who would like to add 2-4 days of guided fishing onto an existing trip. Guests need to be physically fit to take advantage of the Upper Copper as it is rugged country with large boulders and guests will need to walk around some substantial rapids.
What is a typical day like?
6 AM: Breakfast
7 – 7:30 AM: Departure in helicopter
8 – 9 AM: Start fishing
5 – 6 PM: Return back to lodge
7 – 7:30 PM: Dinner
How would you describe the general vibe and atmosphere?
Since this operation is available for exclusive use with a party of 2-4, it is very laid back and flexible. If folks want to charge hard or hang back, it is no problem. Silver Seekers does not have the standard lodge vibe but feels more like a really nice vacation rental with a super knowledgeable host to assist you.
Is there an on-site manager, owner or point person at the lodge?
Yes, Jim Britton will always be on site.
Is there internet and cell service?
Yes, the lodge has Wi-Fi and good cell coverage.
How do they fish?
On helicopter fly-out days, guests will be dropped with their guide and a small raft. The raft will be used to float down the river, with several portages. The chopper will then pick up guests at the end of the day and take them back to Smithers. On non fly-out days, guests will trailer jet boats to the Skeena or the Morice and use them to move about to prime runs. In all cases, guests with swing flies down and across while wading. No fishing will be done from the boats and all steelhead will be released unharmed.
How many fish will I catch?
Steelhead fishing is rife with uncertainties and unpredictable conditions. One fish a day is always a good start but for those lucky enough to hit the Upper Copper during good conditions, there have been days so good that we don’t like to talk about them. When it is on, it is one of the most prolific wild steelhead fisheries in the world.
What are the guides like?
Jim Britton is a second generation steelhead guide with 30 years of experience in the Smithers region. When Jim needs a second guide, he calls on Tony Harris who has 40 years of experience in the region. Both are skilled laid-back guys that guests enjoy spending time on the water with.
Will we see other anglers?
When fishing the Upper Copper is it unusual to see other anglers. When fishing the Morice and Skeena it is likely that you will see other anglers but there is plenty of water for all.
Is there wade fishing?
Yes, these trips are 100% wade fishing.
How far is it to the fishing grounds?
Helicopter rides to the Upper Copper are 15-20 minutes. Drive time to boat put-ins range from 15 minutes to an hour.
Does the lodge provide equipment?
The lodge does have a few Winston rods and matching reels for guests to use.
Does the lodge provide flies?
Guests should bring their own flies but the guides will have some extras around if needed.
What is your favorite rod(s) for the trip?
11 to 12.5-foot seven weight, two-handed rods.
What are the top flies?
Be sure to have some good waking flies and some black and blue tube flies that are 2.5 to 3.5 inches long.
Are there other activities?
Yes, self-directed guests that prefer not to fish can hike and mountain bike or tour the region by rental car.
What is the cost?
$3375 plus tax per person for a 3 night/3 day package
**Note that flying in and out of the Copper tends to cost about $2200 CAD plus taxes per day and this can be split by as many as two anglers.
Are there hidden expenses?
Guests will need to pay for their fishing licenses. These will be purchased on-site. Guest will also need to pay for helicopter on-site.
What is the cancelation policy?
If the lodge or Fly Water Travel can refill your spot a refund or rollover is possible. Otherwise all moneys are non-refundable.
Do I need trip insurance?
It is not required but it is recommended.
Does this trip combine well with other trips?
Yes. This is a perfect add-on to week-long steelhead trips in the region.
Are there special skills required?
The Upper Copper is best suited to experienced anglers. Solid casting and wading skills are needed.
What are the physical demands?
The wading is not easy in the region and the upper Copper is rugged territory. Guests should be in decent shape and good on their feet.
Dangers and annoyances?
Wading rivers, hiking rocky banks, riding in jet boats and rafts and flying in helicopters all come with inherent risks. Bears are present but not a big concern. Biting insects are rare.