Steelhead Valhalla Lodge & Suskeena Lodge
Imagine a river that on its day is so clear that each pink and white tinted boulder can be seen as if with a magnifying glass. Imagine its banks lined with a cathedral of trees, sometimes four layers deep, before giving way to a backdrop of distant white-capped mountains.
The Skeena River system in northern British Columbia has long been known as the ultimate for anglers seeking to test their skill against the mightiest of steelhead. The Skeena River is the largest producer of trophy-sized steelhead in the world with the annual run ranging from 25,000 to 40,000 fish. In addition, over five million Pacific salmon pass through these waters on their journey to spawning grounds each season.
Located more than 100 miles from civilization and accessible only by plane, the Sustut is the least fished of all the famous Skeena tributaries, and here you will find Steelhead Valhalla Lodge and Suskeena Lodge.
Owned and operated by the Sweetwater Travel, these small, exclusive nine-rod lodges offer some of the finest fishing for large steelhead in Canada. Steelhead Valhalla consists of a timber lodge, five log guest cabins, and a washhouse complete with showers, sinks and indoor lavatories. There is a modern kitchen, an expansive open-beam dining room, fully supplied fly-tying benches and a lounge area. Meals are hearty and home-cooked, including breads and pastries, and are served family-style. Domestic Canadian wines are served with evening meals. Lunches are served by your guide along the river. Suskeena Lodge is similar in style with well-furnished cabins with stove, sitting area and ensuite bathroom.
Guests fish the lower 20 miles (32km) of the Sustut River, as the upper 80 miles are utilised exclusively for salmon and steelhead spawning and rearing the key to this steelhead haven. Guests are transported each day along the river by jet boat, usually fishing three rods to a guide. Those that fish for steelhead regularly will understand that this is not a numbers game, and that the advantage of the Sustut is the average weight of the steelhead which is 15 lbs, with many running of 20 lbs and larger and the reliability or stability of the water conditions for those who have travelled a long way to fish.
The province of British Columbia has officially recognized the steelhead as a trophy fish. A catch-and-release sportfishing ethic has been encouraged with emphasis placed on returning fish to the river so that they may spawn and perpetuate their splendid race. Steelhead Valhalla Lodge and Suskeena Lodge require that all guests abide by this practice.
While fishing for great steelhead, you'll also have the opportunity to enjoy seeing eagles, moose, bears and everything that British Columbia's beauty has to offer. The scenery is simply unbelievable, and every trip on the river offers vistas both breathtaking and unique.