For anglers interested in fishing for wild steelhead in a truly remote wilderness setting, this program should be on your short list. Located north of the Skeena watershed, Nass River Steelhead Co. is an intimate four person camp tucked into an old growth forest on the banks of the mighty Nass not far from the confluence of the Damdochax. The nearest road is 150 km away and moose and wolves abound. In addition to five great runs within a short distance of camp, the camp fishes more than eight miles of water accessing key runs by raft and jet boat. Nass steelhead average 10-15 pounds but fish in the 20 pound class are not uncommon. These fish tend to be aggressive and when conditions align, catch rates can be impressive.
Contact Ken at 800.552.2729 for more information on Nass River Steelhead Company.
Expert Q & A with Ken Morrish
Top reasons to go:
1. Fish a remote wilderness river for large wild steelhead.
2. Enjoy a rustic four-person tent camp with great food.
3. Fish with fun, kind, experienced guides.
4. Take advantage of some of BC’s easiest wading.
5. Enjoy a great helicopter ride in from Terrace BC.
6. Fish lite tips and dry lines, as the river is broad and shallow.
Where is the lodge?
The lodge is located in the upper Nass River valley, approximately 1 hour and 15 minutes north of Terrace, BC by helicopter.
How do I get there?
To get to Nass Steelhead Co. guests will need to overnight in Vancouver and then take a morning flight to Terrace, BC. Upon arrival in Terrace, guests will be met and transferred to the heliport for their flight into camp and a half-day of guided fishing.
Do I need a Visa?
Guests do not need a visa but will need a valid passport.
When should I go?
Nass Steelhead Co. fished September through October.
Where do they fish?
They fish roughly ten prime runs, many of which are long, near the confluence of the Damdochax River. This is the most productive reach of the Nass and is located roughly 135 miles up from the river’s mouth.
Where do we stay?
Guests stay in simple double-occupancy 12′ x 14’canvas wall tents with wood floors, comfortable beds, provided sleeping bags and pillows and a wood stove. There is an outhouse and a rustic hot shower set up as well. Meals are served in an elevated main cabin.
Who is best suited to this destination?
This trip is best suited to anglers that are looking for adventure and fish hard for strong anadromous fish. Guests will be swinging flies, most often with spey rods, while wading. This is a real winner for guests who like long pieces of water, open backcasts, relative solitude and some of the easiest wading in BC.
What is a typical day like?
Coffee is on at 6 AM and breakfast is served at 6:30 AM.
Lunch is typically taken on the river at midday whenever the guests are feeling the need for a break and something to eat. At times they may elect to come back to camp for lunch to warm up, dry off or take a break/nap. Guests should plan on fishing all afternoon unless they’ve expressed a desire to get back a little earlier. Everyone is generally back to the lodge in time for cocktails and appetizers. Dinner is served around 7:30 PM.
What are the meals like?
While not fancy, the meals are very thoughtfully prepared and remarkably delicious. Owner and head guide/cook Steve McPhail has a history in commercial kitchens and does a fantastic job each and every meal. Breakfast and dinners are served in the single room main cabin (16’x 22′) which is the kitchen and dining space.
How would you describe the general vibe and atmosphere?
The camp is casual yet well organized and run. The focus is on fishing and making everyone feel welcome.
Is there an on-site manager, owner or point person at the lodge?
Steve McPhail, the owner of Nass Steelhead Co., is always on-site and ready to help in any way possible.
Is there internet and cell service?
No. This place is remote and outgoing satellite calls are the only connection with the outside world.
How do they fish?
All fishing is swinging flies while wading. Both floating lines and lite sink tips are used and dry fly fishing can also be very good with the right water conditions. Guests will be moved about in simple Jon-boat style jet boats.
How many fish will I catch?
The nature of swinging flies for any anadromous fish is that there is a lot of variation in catch rates. That said, we feel that guests should go on the trip with the expectation that hooking 1 – 2 fish per day is a great trip. On average guests land around ten fish per week.
What are the guides like?
The guides are full-time professional fish hunters. They are skilled, kind and patient. They are the type of guides that are happy to reach into their box and set you up with a fly that they have recently tied for the run in question.
Will we see other anglers?
Yes, this is a special and fishy part of the next big river system north of the Skeena and a section that has the right structure and water conditions for steelhead. There is another small operation across the river from camp that runs a similar program and both operations share the water with one another respectfully. On rare occasions, a third outfitter will chopper into the area but he usually fishes downstream of the camp’s primary waters.
Is there wade fishing?
All fishing is done while wading.
How far is it to the fishing grounds?
All fishing is done with 20 minutes of camp and typically anglers start fishing very near the camp.
Does the lodge provide equipment?
The lodge does not provide equipment but all of the guides will have back-up rods and reels.
Does the lodge provide flies?
Yes, the guide provide lovely flies, most of which they tie themselves. Guests are welcome to bring their own flies.
What is your favorite rod(s) for the trip?
7 and 8-weight Spey rods from 12-14 feet long are staples. Water conditions dependent, I like to string up two rods so that I’m able to easily switch back and forth between a floating line or a sink-tip system throughout the day.
What are the top flies?
Steve and his crew prefer tube flies for the majority of their fishing. Most are unweighted or lightly weighted. Black and blue, purple and pink are popular.
Are there other activities?
No, this lodge is focused solely on fishing.
What is the cost?
Please visit the following link for the most current rate. https://www.flywatertravel.com/destination/Nass_River_Steelhead_Co
Are there hidden expenses?
On top of the package price guests are expected to pay for overnight accommodations in Vancouver, alcohol, fishing licenses, and gratuities.
What is the cancellation policy?
In the event a cancellation is necessary, all deposits will be non-refundable unless a suitable replacement is found.
Do I need trip insurance?
Trip cancellation insurance is recommended.
Does this trip combine well with other trips?
This trip could combine with additional operations in the Skeena drainage.
Are there special skills required?
The ability to cast a spey rod with sink-tips is helpful. As in all steelhead fishing, guests are served well by a willingness to fish confidently for long periods in between fish.
What are the physical demands?
While not strenuous, guests need to be able to wade all day and climb safely in and out of jet boats and or rafts. The wading on most runs is relatively easy by BC steelhead fishing standards.
Dangers and annoyances?
Rafting, jet boating and wading all come with some risk but they are negligible. There is a good deal of wildlife in the area including moose, bears, and wolves, but they are not a serious concern.