Northern Heli Fishing Adventures is a rustic home-style lodge in the center of a wild, seldom seen region of British Columbia. Unique among Fly Water destinations, this operation is many ways more like a wilderness home stay than a typical fishing lodge. Owner Jordan Hillman wants it that way. He was raised with lots of time spent at hunting and fishing camps in the bush and he and his wife Katie have raised their three boys the same way, with long stints of their summer spent at their lodge in the headwaters of the Taku.
Their home river is a unique steep freestone system that invariably flows clear. It hosts runs of spring steelhead, countless summer Chinook and fall steelhead. It also has very respectable trout and dolly fishing. The system is best known for its spring steelheading and it great sight fishing for kings, some of which top 40 pounds. Accommodations are extremely rustic, meals are excellent and the fishing program can require a good deal of hiking when the water is low.
Location: Northern BC Heli Fishing is located in the upper Taku River drainage, inland from Juneau Alaska. It is a BC river that is accessed through Whitehorse in the Yukon Territory.
Fishing Program: Anglers will enjoy full days of fishing for wild salmon or steelhead with one guide for every two anglers. They use 16ft open jet boats, hiking and at times helicopters to access water, depending on the season and specific program. All fishing is done while wading and all fish are released unharmed. Jordan Hillman, his longtime sidekick Bubs and Jordan’s thirteen year old son, often make up the core of the guide team. While they are not the most technical guides or instructors, they know where the fish are and are a pleasure to be on the water with. During normal to high water conditions, there are multiple miles of great water upstream of the lodge that can be reached by jet boat. In times of low water, anglers will hike downstream to a number of very productive pools. The hikes to the furthest pools can take as long as 45 minutes and entail some steep hill climbs. During king salmon season, for which the river is most famous, certain pools including the gorge pool offer incredible sight fishing for kings where spectators from above can watch the kings react to, follow and take flies.
Seasons: In late March the spring run of steelhead begin migrating up river. There is a mix of new spring-run and hold over fall fish at this time. These areas are fished until the middle of May. This is a weather dependent fishery and can be finicky or a trip of a lifetime!
After the spring run steelhead, the king salmon start to migrate up river. These are big fish that have traveled roughly 90 miles from the ocean. While most of them have some color, they are great sport and fight very well with many actually jumping. Generally the best time for Chinook is the middle of June until July 20th when the system closes.
Come the end of September, the steelhead and silver (coho) migration moves into high gear. This can be fished well into mid-October. Throughout the year the rivers hosts plenty of Dolly Varden and Rainbow Trout, which can be a lot of fun on 5 and 6 wt rods.
Accommodations and Meals: This is a rustic style camp where guests share small simple double occupancy cabins. These cabins have simple wood burning stoves, a battery lantern or flashlight, as well as air mattresses with sleeping bags on a raised bed platform. The lodge has a funky but effective shower system that they typically fire up every other day or upon request as well as an outhouse. Meals are served family style in the main dining room and tend be excellent by any standards. Note that many fall steelhead anglers will also spend time at the larger and better appointed Inklin Camp as part of their stay.
Day 1: Fly to Whitehorse Yukon via Calgary. Here you will be met by an expediter and driven 2 plus hours to the lakefront town of Atlin. Overnight.
Day 2: In the morning transfer to the heli-port and fly 40 minutes south, out of the Yukon drainage and into the Taku and the lodge. Unpack, gear up, have lunch and fish a half day.
Day 3-7: Five full days guided fishing.
Day 8: Fly out of the lodge in the AM then transfer back to Whitehorse. We recommend booking your departing flight for after 4 PM.
2018 Rates: $5,500-$7,500 per person depending upon package and helicopter usage
Included: Accommodations and meals at the lodge, first night's accommodations and dinner in Atlin, guided fishing, transfers between Whitehorse airport, Atlin and the lodge.
Not Included: Airfare to/from Whitehorse, optional outbound overnight and meals in Atlin, staff and guide gratuities, alcohol, fishing licenses.
Species: King Salmon, Steelhead, Silver, Ranbows, Dolly Vardon
Season: March - October
Map: Atlin, B.C.
Time: British Columbia time is the same as U.S. Pacific Time Zone.