Ideally situated in the rugged coastal mountains near Terrace, British Columbia, the mighty Skeena River and its tributaries form the major arteries that fork through stands of old growth forest and steep valley walls. It is in this river system that some of the strongest runs of large, wild steelhead and salmon left in the world return each season. Each year, steelhead, chinook (kings), coho (silvers), sockeye, pink, and chum salmon ascend the Lower Skeena from the Pacific Ocean, joining the trophy trout and char that reside in rivers year-round. It is here that Nicholas Dean Outdoors is strategically situated to provide anglers with world-class guided fishing adventures, along with fine dining and first class accommodations at the Pioneer Lodge. Because the Skeena and its tributaries receive such diverse runs of fish, Nicholas Dean Outdoors is able to offer a number of different fishing packages throughout the year, including spring steelhead, Chinook, summer steelhead, fall steelhead and trophy Coho. The highly qualified guides at Nicholas Dean Outdoors know the Skeena, Kalum, Copper, Kitimat, Lower Skeena Tributaries, and Nass River Tributaries incredibly well, ensuring that you have the best chance possible at finding these amazing fish as they migrate upriver each year. Nicholas Dean Outdoors also fishes several remote coastal rivers for the ultimate in wilderness fishing. Places where there are no roads and no development, but rather old-growth forests, pristine, gin-clear rivers, and large, wild steelhead.
LOCATION: Skeena Region, British Columbia
SEASON: Mid-March to late-November
CAPACITY: Maximum of 8 fishing guests
CLOSEST MAJOR AIR HUB: Terrace, British Columbia (YXT)
TARGET SPECIES: Steelhead, salmon and trout
DOCUMENTS REQUIRED: A valid passport is required for U.S. citizens to enter Canada. A British Columbia fishing license is required.
CONTACT US FOR MORE INFO 888-777-5060 INTL 01-1-406-585-8667 info [at] yellowdogflyfishing [dot] com
Pioneer Fishing Lodge’s traditional log buildings provide guests with an authentic Canadian “North Woods” experience, and hosts and owners Jezz and Pip Crosby are passionate about the level of customer service and hospitality they provide. The Main Lodge building is the heart of the operation and the construction and layout truly captures the essence of the Canadian wilderness. It houses the communal socializing and dining areas as well as a large commercial kitchen, a spacious lounge and a log stove. The Main Lodge is the perfect spot for relaxing after a day on the river and the ideal place for exchanging fishing tales while admiring the scale model of the world record King Salmon caught by a previous guest in 2001. Guests are housed in comfortable log cabins, each set up to accommodate one or two people with minimal intrusion and disturbance. Each guest will enjoy their own private bedroom with a deluxe double bed with quality linens. Guests share a shower room which is supplied with abundant hot water from a private, licensed well. For a more luxurious experience, Pioneer Lodge also offers the Boat House: a 'loft' space that can accommodate a couple very comfortably and can also take groups of up to four or five people. This is the ideal set-up for a family or a small group of friends. The Boat House has a well-equipped kitchen, a private sitting room, flat screen HD television and high speed internet access.
Food and Beverages
Pioneer produces great home-cooked food that is locally sourced whenever possible. Start your day off with either a cooked-to-order breakfast or a lighter continental breakfast. A packed cooler lunch that consists of freshly-made sandwiches, fresh fruit, chocolate and more is taken on the river each day. During the spring and fall seasons, guests are given the option of taking hot soup, coffee and tea to the river as well. In late afternoon, guests return to the Lodge for a hearty, three-course, home-cooked supper. Specialties include Bison Bourgogne, local Halibut, Elk BBQ and the Lodges' popular "Spice Night."
Typical Length of Stay
The standard package at Pioneer is six (6) nights / five fishing days. Shorter custom packages can also be arranged. Please call Yellow Dog for details.
Non-Angling Activities and Options
Pioneer Lodge has set up an extensive seasonal ecotour portfolio, making full use of the surrounding Canadian wildlife, rivers, mountains, glaciers and rainforests. Tours can be arranged to go whale watching, visit First Nation’s Indian Tribe arts and culture, hike to a volcano, whitewater raft down the Copper or Kalum River or play golf.
Internet / Communications
Wi-Fi is available free of charge for Lodge guests. Please bring your own laptop or PDA to access the internet. Depending on your service plan, most cell phones will also work at the Lodge.
If you enjoy long casts using a double haul or Spey fishing big water, there is the Skeena River. If you want to focus on gin-clear small streams, sight casting to spring steelhead, or skating a dry fly across a coastal river pool, then there are numerous smaller waters that are also easily accessed. No matter what you want to focus on, the Lodge can typically provide a different fishing experience every day of the week. Whether rafting a river to fish, utilizing a drift boat, hiking into a small stream, or accessing a river via jet boat or helicopter, Yellow Dog and the Lodge can prepare a trip itinerary that gives you maximum diversity and endless options. With over 54 rivers, lakes and saltwater estuary destinations, you can easily fish a different river or location every day – even if you were to visit multiple times in one year! Depending on the time of year, you decide the adventure you want based on the species you are targeting. The Lodge has highly qualified fly fishing guides and the most knowledgeable fly fishing service available in the area, with a policy of one guide for two clients and a strong line-up of destinations where you may not see another angler or person all day. The Lodge is happy to provide all fishing equipment including Spey Rods or single-handed fly rods.
Boats and Equipment Required
Nicholas Dean uses 12-foot Aire Rafts, 18-foot NRS Rafts, ClackaCraft Drift Boats, 16-foot Custom Jet Sleds with 40HP Yamaha Jet Drives, and a 22-foot Woolridge Jet Sled. Nicholas Dean Lodge guides on over 50 rivers in Northern B.C. alone, requiring very diverse means of access and transportation. Some of the bigger rivers are accessed with Jet Boats, whereas the remote coastal rivers require helicopter transportation and at times smaller Aire inflatables.
How To Get There
Guests must book flights into Terrace, British Columbia (YXT), which can be accessed via a number of daily commercial flights from Vancouver, B.C.
Arrival and Departure Details / Times
Upon arrival at Terrace you will be met by a staff member from Nicholas Dean Outdoors and transferred to Pioneer Lodge (20 minute drive from the airport). During this transfer you have the opportunity to visit the local liquor store to pick up your favorite beverages and visit the area fly shop for a license and some last minute fly purchases. Please note that Nicholas Dean prefers check-in is between noon and 6 PM on arrival days, and check-outs between 9 AM and noon on departure days. This will ensure that you have enough time to unpack, relax, and enjoy dinner on your arrival day and maximize your travel time back home on your departure day. Later arrivals and early departures can be accommodated
A passport is required for U.S. citizens to enter Canada. Anglers are also required to purchase a British Columbia freshwater fishing license and we do recommend doing this online prior to arrival. You can purchase that general freshwater license online on line at the following link: http://www.fishing.gov.bc.ca/. Depending on the fishery for the day you may have to purchase an additional classified waters permit and that can be done while at the lodge.
Drunk Driving or other Criminal Record
Anyone with a criminal record (including a drunk driving conviction) may be excluded from Canada. A waiver of exclusion may be issued but several weeks are required and a processing fee must be paid. Contact the Canadian Embassy or a Canadian Consulate in the U.S. for more information.
Yellow Dog offers a full in-house travel and reservations system, and can assist with airline tickets, hotels, transfers, and all travel logistics for every destination that we offer. Contact us at 888-777-5060 or travel [at] yellowdogflyfishing [dot] com for more details on airfare ticketing, travel services and trip insurance.
Remember that Yellow Dog's services are completely free! When you book a trip with Yellow Dog, you never pay more than when you book directly with the lodge or outfitter. All prices listed below are per person, quoted in Canadian dollars, and based on a package of six (6) nights and five (5) days of guided fishing. Rates listed below DO NOT include Canadian sales tax or fishing licenses. Trips of any length of stay can be arranged, so please call Yellow Dog for details and custom package pricing.
Main Lodge Package (Double Occupancy) = $4,950.00 CAD
Skeena Camp Package = $3,750.00 CAD
*Cost for the helicopter fly-ins can vary based on a number of logistical factors. Each expedition will be quoted based on the particulars of the trip. Please Call Yellow Dog for Details.
- Transportation to and from the Terrace Airport
- All accommodations at Pioneer Lodge
- All meals at the Lodge
- Transportation to and from the river each day
- Professionally guided fishing while on the river
- A reasonable amount of fishing tackle and flies
What's Not Included
- Airfare from original destination to Terrace, B.C.
- Alcoholic beverages at the lodge
- Canadian sales tax
- Gratuities for staff and guides
- British Columbia fishing license
"There comes a time in a steelheader's life when you think you've experienced everything. And then you visit Pioneer Lodge - and experience the welcome, the food, the comfort and the atmosphere. And you realize that you hadn't actually experienced everything."
- Padraig (Ireland)
"What a fabulous experience - very highly recommended - super hospitality, excellent winter steelhead."
- Peter L. (USA)
"I've been to fishing lodges all over the world, some fancy, some very plain. Pioneer Lodge ranks at the top!"
- Dick S. (USA)
"For those of you who don't believe in heaven, I have just found it! All the superb food you could eat, comfortable cabins with floating beds and the hospitality was out of this world. With beautiful scenery & exciting fishing this vacation was dreamy".
- David (Ireland)
"You guys made our fishing trip into a great & amazing experience ... we'll be back".
- The DB's (Netherlands)
"We have had a great week on the river with lots of success...Pioneer Fishing Lodge has provided us with great food & entertainment. Truly outstanding! See you next time!"
- Wim & Willem (Amsterdam)
"I could write pages of words saying just how wonderful my trip has been, but it all boils down to one thing:- Jezz, Pip & Dave you have made my dream come true. Thank you! It's been emotional!!" - R.B. (England)
"Great people, great food, great weather and even a few fish…Thank you for your outstanding hospitality – till next time."
-Dwight J. (Vancouver, BC)
"Everything has been well thought through and the dry room, food, hosts and lodge were first class. I will certainly come again (if they will allow me!)."
- W. Babcock (Rockford, IL)
"Thank you both for taking care of us “Irish Chaps” so well. Everything about the fishing trip was fantastic, i.e. the food, the Crack, the sightseeing – you guys took care of the lot. It was home from home. We three came here not knowing anybody but left having made new friends in both of you. Thanks again for all your hard work."
-Davy & Adam M. (Ireland)
"My adventures are defined by the folks I spend time with. Well, some by the Steelhead hooked and released. I had a fabulous adventure in all aspects. Thank you for being wonderful hosts and treating my “group” so hospitably. The décor and accommodations are the best I have enjoyed and the camaraderie was without compare, lots of new fish and fantastic new friends."
-Donald N. (San Francisco, CA)