Location: British Columbia
Length: 570 km
Why we chose it:
In 2012, ranked #39 in all-time hot spots
Salmon or steelhead? Take your pick on northern B.C.’s mighty Skeena. This broad, powerful river has it all: bar fishing, deep pools and pockets to dredge with lures and flies, plus summer-run steelhead up to 25 pounds. And once the chinooks arrive in the Skeena, the coho swarm the nearby Kitimat. The Canadian record king, a 92-pound monster, came from the Skeena in 1985, but biologists say even bigger ones are out there. Waiting.
In 2010, Steelhead; Boat accessible fish in the 20-pound range
When to fish: Mid-March to late May and August through to the first three weeks of November are best.
Where to fish: Focus on the lower river.
Tip: Use spoons and plugs or try bottom bouncing.
—Ryan Kohler, vice-president of Wild TV
In 2008, Steelhead; Summer-run fish weighing up to 25 pounds
When to fish: August.
Where to fish: In fast water, gravel bar pockets
Where to fish: the fish rest.
Tip: Fish small streamers down and across through the pockets.
—Don Freschi, host of Sport Fishing: On the Fly
Coho; Numerous giant fish
When to fish: September and October, after rain.
Where to fish: Pools (particularly deeper ones)
Where to fish: tributaries join the river, and Skeena tribs as well.
Tip: Fish Egg-Sucking Leeches and aggressor flies with tinsel on bottom, or drift or slowly retrieve spoons along bottom.
—Mark Krupa, host of Hooked with Mark Krupa