Located on the upper reaches of the pristine and seldom seen Sustut River, Suskeena Lodge offers anglers a rare combination of wilderness trophy steelhead fly fishing and the fine accommodations of a high-end, British Columbia steelhead lodge. Of the three Skeena River tributaries most likely to produce steelhead over 25 pounds, the Sustut River is the one least traveled and arguably the one with the most stable water conditions.
Anglers at Suskeena Lodge enjoy well-appointed, double occupancy cabins with private bathroom and shower, a wood stove, and porches. Thoughtfully prepared meals are served in the comfort of the main lodge. Anglers fly fish for steelhead three per jet boat with experienced guides who truly enjoy the entire spectrum of the steelhead fly fishing experience, especially the chance at guiding their clients into a trophy steelhead on a skated dry fly.
This pristine river system boasts dramatic views, long classic runs, a race of extremely husky steelhead that average 14 pounds, and few, if any, freelance anglers. Due to limited openings, early reservations are required for this outstanding British Columbia fly fishing lodge.
Location: Suskeena Lodge is located on the Sustut River in Northern British Columbia roughly 50 minutes northeast of Smithers by aircraft.
Fishing Program: Anglers at British Columbia’s Suskeena Lodge fish three per boat/guide. There are three beats on the Sustut River as well as one beat on the mainstem Skeena River. Each guide fishes the same beat every day and anglers cycle through all beats twice during their stay. The lower beat of the Sustut River and the mainstem Skeena River are each fished once and considered part of the same beat and the same guide is responsible for both sections. Due to the beat rotation it is recommended that angling parties of three guests remain with the same group each day.
Anglers depart the Suskeena Lodge at 8:30AM, have a streamside lunch at 1:00PM and return to the lodge at 5:30PM. The Sustut River fishes well with dry flies especially before October 1st. After late September this Skeena River tributary cools quickly and warm clothing and bootfoot waders are recommended. Spey anglers fish a wide range of tips from type 3 through type 8 as well as T14. 12-20 pound Maxima is used, as Sustut River steelhead are large. Many seasons the steelhead average near 14 pounds with steelhead over 30 pounds landed each season. The Sustut river mandates single barbless hooks and all steelhead must be released unharmed.
Fishery: The Sustut river is a British Columbia wilderness jewel that is largely unknown except among a core group of steelhead fly fishers that return to the Sustut river on an annual basis hoping to crack the magic 30 pound mark. The Sustut has several advantages, no crowds, clear water (it is generally the last river to blow out) and large steelhead built for a long cold winter.
The steelhead are all wild, large on average, and at times numerous. They run on average twenty miles a day during their migration to their spawning grounds. Steelhead reach the Sustut less than a week after they arrive on the Bulkley, Babine, Kispiox, etc. These wild steelhead will be in the river for 6-8 months and have a very stocky build to enable over-wintering.
The Sustut valley offers stunning views, contrasting distant peaks against low lying native trees in fall colors along the river. The Sustut, in combination with the mainstem Skeena, offers a remarkable diversity of productive water types.
Accommodations and Meals: Suskeena Lodge is the upper of the two lodges overlooking British Columbia’s Sustut River. It is a complex of cabins, each of which sleeps two anglers. All cabins have two twin beds, wood burning stove, toilet and on-demand hot water shower. Rooms have ample storage and a drying rack for clothes near the stove. All cabins also have small front porches with a bench for getting in and out of your wading gear. With nine anglers, the atmosphere is just right.
Meals are served in the comfort of the main Suskeena Lodge which also features a sitting area and large river rock fireplace. Meals are hearty and excellent and dinners are served with both red and white wine.
Day 1: Arrive Smithers and overnight.
Day 2: Fly from Smithers to the lodge via charter flight. No fishing on arrival day.
Days 3-8: Full days fishing (three anglers per boat).
Day 9: Fish until about Noon and then fly to Smithers and overnight.
Day 10: Depart Smithers for home.
2020 Rates: $7,200-$7,400 plus tax per person for a 7 night/6 day package
Included: Accommodations and meals at the lodge, limited wine with dinner, non-alcoholic beverages, guided fishing, round-trip charter flight between Smithers and the lodge, BC taxes
Not Included: Airfare to/from Smithers, accommodations and meals in Smithers, beer and alcohol, staff and guide gratuities, fishing licenses, flies
Season: September – October
Capacity: 9 anglers
Map: Smithers, BC
Time: British Columbia time is the same as U.S. Pacific Time Zone.