Oscar's Fishing Report, September 7, 2018

A series of special events are taking place here in Smithers for Anglers! Please see the Steelhead Angler Events poster for more information. Some special events upcoming are:


Patagonia Gear Night with Mark Harbaugh

Wednesday September 12, 2018 @ 7 PM

Beer, pizza and door prizes at Oscar’s Fly and Tackle Shop.


Simms Gear Night

Friday September 21, 2018 @ 7 PM

Beer, pizza and door prizes at Oscar’s Fly and Tackle Shop.


Tip Talk – with Chris Sepio

Saturday September 22, 2018 @ 7:30 PM

Fun and informative evening at Oscar’s Fly and Tackle Shop.


Skeena Steelhead Talk

Monday October 22, 2018 @ 7 PM

Steelhead specialist Mark Beere hosts a discussion on Steelheading at Oscar’s Fly and Tackle Shop.


Oscar’s Fish Tip of the Week

Coho fishing can be tricky sometimes and even stump the best angler. This year on the Bulkley we have been seeing moderate to low numbers come through the system so far, which means these silver-flashes can be even more difficult to catch if the timing and presentation is not matching their bite habits.

These fish, as most know, are a blast to catch and can be caught on both flies, spoons and lures alike…as long as the presentation is triggering their aggressive nature to smash fluttering or falling prey. Thus, the new trend of using jigs with marabou material attached to the shank of the jig. Like using marabou leech patterns in trout fishing, the marabou on the jig heads creates a pulsating and erratic presentation attracting the eye of the passing Coho. The unpredictably swaying nature of the material in the river dances in a hypnotic fashion with preferential colours being pinks, blacks, blues and purples on the Bulkley. This style of jig head can be purchased at Oscars.

For more information on the freshwater jig technique, weights of the jig head and types of rods, check out the Freshwater Fisheries Society of BC’s article “The Jig’s Up for Coho Success in Freshwater” or come into the store and chat with us to help increase the chance of bringing home a silver.



Bulkley & Morice River:

The water is low, but rain is on the way apparently. The forecast for Sunday indicates a large amount of rain in particular. Let’s hope we don’t get a major blow out.

Steelhead fishing has been excellent on both the Bulkley and Morice River. These beauties are coming in with vigor and girth. Please remember to use good handling practices when landing and releasing these stunning fish.

Coho fishing has been ok in the Trout Creek area, however so far there haven’t been any Pink salmon sightings on the Bulkley. Hopefully they are just late and will come in with the cooler temperatures and rain that is moving in this week.

Use extreme caution when jet boating on the Bulkley. The river has changed considerably and there are some very challenging parts.

Kispiox River:

The water level bumped up earlier in the week, however with the lack of consistent precipitation they are back down to low levels. These low levels are creating very challenging fishing conditions on the Kispiox and might be preventing the normal numbers of fish from entering the system.

Skeena River:

Like all rivers in the area, the Skeena is low and is in need of some rain. Steelhead fishing has been ok on the Skeena. There are still some sockeye coming up the Skeena, but not in droves. Coho and pink salmon fishing has been tough. The some of the fish are there, but seem to just not be biting like normal. Hopefully cooler weather and some rain in the river will help turn on their feed.

Please note that sockeye retention ends on September 15 for the Skeena.



The time has come when a lot of anglers are pulling their boats out of the water and stowing their gear for the winter. Repairs need to be done, reels need to be washed/greased and inventory needs to be done on what tackle was lost and what needs to be replaced.  Most anglers are reflecting on how their season went and what they can look forward to for next season.

This was a year of ups and downs with the closures we saw at the start of the season.  Unfortunately this year we didn't see the salmon returns we were hoping for which was reflected in the regulation changes. There were still lots of opportunity, but anglers had to work hard at it.

We saw some new gear this year and got reacquainted with some old favorites. At Oscars we are looking forward to bringing you all the latest and greatest for the start of next season. 

Personally, I'm still looking forward to some September Coho action. The big Northern Coho are starting to come through and these fish can be a blast.

Thanks for tuning into our report this year and we looking forward to next spring when we can give you the lowdown on what's happening on our coast.

Until next season.......Tight Lines! 

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